Cover

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Title Page, Copyright Page

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pp. i-iv

Contents

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pp. v-vi

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Acknowledgments

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pp. vii-x

We wish to thank a number of individuals who have read various parts of the book and helped us improve it with their thoughtful comments and suggestions: Nancy Abelmann, Robert Cagle, David Desser, Ted Hughes, Kelly Jeong, Kathleen McHugh, Michael Pettid, and Tim Tangherlini. We would also like to extend our gratitude to Jinsoo An (UC–Berkeley), Andrew Jackson (SOAS, University of London), David Kang (USC), Christina Klein...

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Introduction. South Korean Cinema’s Transnational Trajectories

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pp. 1-18

Standing on a pier that overlooks Hong Kong Harbor, a trio of Chinese jewel thieves, fresh from a burglary that has filled their pockets and inflated their egos, discuss their next potentially lucrative endeavor. Led by a hardened yet charismatic criminal named Chen (Simon Yam), the gang members await the arrival of a fourth crew member, a skilled safecracker named Julie (Angelica Lee) who will play a part in a diamond heist that promises to net them millions...

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Chapter 1. Toward a Strategic Korean Cinephilia: A Transnational Détournement of Hollywood Melodrama

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pp. 19-43

A slight yet significant gesture: a man lights a cigarette with the graceful elegance and the casual demeanor of someone whose cool exterior belies a passionate, romantic streak. He hands another, unlit cigarette to a young woman standing opposite him. She brings it to her lips and leans seductively toward him. Face to face, the couple poses as if on the verge of a kiss. As they slowly draw nearer to each other, the ends of the two cigarettes touch, one lighting the other. By visualizing the convergence of two cultures—one ostensibly...

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Chapter 2. The Mamas and the Papas: Cross-Cultural Remakes, Literary Adaptations, and Cinematic “Parent” Texts

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pp. 44-69

In 2002, many South Korean newspaper critics who were disgruntled with explicitly derivative genre films and would-be blockbusters like Yun Sang-ho’s R. U. Ready? (A Yu Redi?) and Chŏng Yun-su’s Yesterday (Yesŭt’ŏdei) coined a neologism that has since been pejoratively applied to a variety of productions. The term, “Copywood,” connotes mainstream filmmakers’ purportedly “parasitic” imitation of Hollywood plots and tropes, which are either lifted wholesale or subtly recalibrated to meet the demands of a domestic audience increasingly...

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Chapter 3. The Nervous Laughter of Vanishing Fathers: Modernization Comedies of the 1960s

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pp. 70-95

Beginning November 6, 2008, the Korean Film Archive (KOFA) in Seoul, along with the Goethe-Institut Korea, co-hosted a ten-day retrospective comparatively showcasing the works of the Weimar-era German actor Emil Jannings (1884–1950) and the Golden Age South Korean film icon Kim Sŭng-ho (1917–1968). 1 While star-centered retrospectives are not uncommon in South Korea and Europe, the pairing of these two male stars from different countries...

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Chapter 4. Once upon a Time in Manchuria: Classic and Contemporary Korean Westerns

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pp. 96-124

In the closing seconds of George Stevens’s magisterial Western Shane (1953), after a violent barroom showdown that leaves a hired gun from Cheyenne dead, young Joey (Brandon De Wilde) beseeches the titular hero not to leave his parents’ homestead. The plaintive words of the teary-eyed boy—“ Come back!”—echo through the valley below the Teton Mountains, which Shane (Alan Ladd) ascends on horseback to the accompaniment of composer Victor Young’s swelling score. Although those memorable words continue...

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Chapter 5. Reinventing the Historical Drama, De-Westernizing a French Classic: Genre, Gender, and the Transnational Imaginary in Untold Scandal

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pp. 125-147

As South Korean cinema continues to attract international recognition and pan-Asian fandom, talented young filmmakers have creatively experimented with different genres, reinventing formulaic conventions through aesthetic and technical innovation, mature themes, and poignant social commentary. Despite the increasing diversification and hybridization of contemporary South Korean films, three particular genres labeled “box office poison” had been, until recently, avoided by producers and film companies: the costume...

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Chapter 6. From Gojira to Goemul: “Host” Cities and “Post” Histories in East Asian Monster Movies

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pp. 148-176

In 2006, a half century after its initial stateside theatrical release, director Honda Ishirō’s pioneering monster movie Gojira (1954; retitled Godzilla: King of the Monsters for its 1956 premiere in the United States) was joined by a contemporary, cross-cultural updating of the perennial Japanese film genre known as kaijū eiga. Directed by the talented Korean filmmaker Bong Joon-ho (Pong Chun-ho) and starring celebrated actor Song Kang-ho as a struggling...

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Chapter 7. Extraordinarily Rendered: Oldboy, Transmedia Adaptation, and the US War on Terror

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pp. 177-207

Few South Korean films have received as much critical attention in recent years as Oldboy, director Park Chan-wook [Pak Ch’an-uk]’ s 2003 adaptation of a Japanese manga series of the same title (Oorudo Boi, written by Tsuchiya Garon and illustrated by Minegishi Nobuaki). After snagging the Grand Prix award at the 2004 Cannes Film Festival, this grisly mystery thriller—the second entry in Park’s “Vengeance Trilogy”...

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Chapter 8. A Thirst for Diversity: Recent Trends in Korean “Multicultural Films,” from Bandhobi to Where is Ronny?

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pp. 208-239

In recent years, moviegoers and television viewers have not had to look far to find examples of vampire-themed fiction in US popular culture. In addition to such post-Buffy TV series as True Blood (2008–2014), The Vampire Diaries (2009–), and Being Human (2011–2014), several big-budget Hollywood films such as Underworld (2003), Ultraviolet (2006), 30 Days of Night (2007), Twilight (2008), and Daybreakers (2009) have been vying for the eyes of audience members while expanding the representational schemas of this perennial, if critically...

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Conclusion. Into “Spreadable” Spaces: Netflix, YouTube, and the Question of Cultural Translatability

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pp. 240-254

There was a time, not long ago (in the mid-1990s), when the only South Korean film titles commercially available on home video (VHS or laserdisc) in the United States were director Pae Yong-gyun’s Why Has Bodhi-Dharma Left for the East (Talmaga tongkkot ŭro kan kkadakŭn, 1989) and Pak Chŏl-su’s 301/302 (Samgongil, samgongi, 1995). Categorized as a Buddhist-themed art-house film and a bizarre cult thriller, respectively, these two titles could only be found at specialty video stores known for exceptionally wide foreign...

Notes

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pp. 255-278

Index

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pp. 279-292

About the Authors

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pp. 293-296