By this point, you New Yorkers should really know the drill. At various points throughout the year, those lovable lugs over at the Korean Cultural Service put on a series of free movie nights down at the Tribeca Cinemas. Those screenings happen every other week during the duration of the series, and the films are almost always good at least (and are often great).
To kick off 2013, the KCS has decided to showcase South Korean animation. Earlier in the year, we had a chance to interview one of the few Korean animation directors, Yeun Sang-Ho, who directed two of the films in this series, and he talked a bit about the state of the industry (and its relative nonexistence). He said:
Honestly, there is not really an animation market in South Korea. Usually there are TV series or 3D movies for children, and sometimes, very rarely, a theatrical release of a feature. Last year we had fortunately, we were able to have quite a few theatrical features, but that’s really rare.
Which makes me appreciate all the more that the KCS is pulling together some of those rare releases. As in the past, the plan is to bring you reviews of the films before they screen to let you know if they are worth your time. But since they’re free, I would venture to guess there are far worse things you could be doing.
More information on the screenings, including dates, times, and descriptions of the films, can be found below.
The Korean Cultural Service Presents Series One of Free Movie Nights!
from January 15, 2012 – February 26, 2013
courtesy of the Korean Cultural Service
Every other Tuesday @ 7pm
(54 Varick Street, on the corner of Canal Street, one block from the A, C, E and 1 train Canal Street stops)
All seating is first-come, first served.
Doors open at 6:30pm.
Drawn Into Film:
It’s a brand new year, and The Korean Cultural Service is ready to draw you back into their Free Movie Nights by offering up four of the greatest animated films to ever come out Korea!
While animation has flourished in America, Europe, and Japan for over a century, Korean artists have only recently stepped up and begun delivering product of their own – and the results have changed the industry worldwide. With top American television programs like The Simpsons and Futurama now being animated in Korea, it’s time to shine a spotlight on the talented Korean wiz kids who are drawing us all back into animation – and reminding us that this beautiful storytelling medium is anything but child’s play!
With a whole new year of exciting films, unexpected guests, and a few surprises that you certainly won’t see coming – the Korean Cultural Service welcomes you to the first Free Movie Night series of 2013. Now let’s get animated!
JANUARY 15 – THE KING OF PIGS (2011)
The first animated Korean film to screen at Cannes, the award-winning The King of Pigs is near-perfect cinema visualized through jaw-dropping animation. Kyung-Min’s business is failing and he’s just murdered his wife. On top of that, he can’t stop thinking about his middle school days, back when he was one of the lowly, bullied “pigs.” His old school friend, Jong-Suk, agrees to meet, and each man tells the other polite lies about their wrecked lives. But both of them have one thing on their minds: their old class comrade Chul-Yi, the quiet, deadly boy in the hoodie who fought back against their aggressors and became, for one blazing moment in time, The King of Pigs. An intensely brutal, not-to-be-missed masterpiece.
JANUARY 29 – PADAK PADAK (2012)
In Korea’s surprisingly powerful take on Pixar’s Finding Nemo, a mackerel from the sea named Flappy ends up caught in a net and dumped carelessly into a restaurant tank. A pessimistic old flatfish, who has somehow avoided death for ages inside the tank, becomes her confidant and mentor…even if his means for survival border on cowardice.
Very quickly, Flappy refuses her fate and becomes determined to make it out of the tank and back to the ocean – even if that means going against the old flatfish and shattering the hierarchy of the tank. A feel-good adventure for the whole family, Padak Padak combines computer animation with traditional hand-drawn art, delivering a funny, lovable film that’s also packed with social drama and subtext.
FEBRUARY 12 – THE HOUSE (2010)
The House, which echoes of the wildly surreal worlds seen in Spirited Away, focuses on Ga-young, a young woman who moves to an old town where she meets Zipsin, the spirit of a house that is soon to be demolished. Whisked away on an enchanted adventure, Ga-young and Zipsin seek out a new spirit who may be able to help them – and together, they hatch a scheme to save the house from those who don’t believe in its magic.
FEBRUARY 26 – THE WINDOW (2012) accompanied by short films
North American Premiere
The King of Pigs director Yuen Sang-ho delivers yet again, with his stunning new short feature, The Window. Private Jung is proud to be a member of a leading military division; but after Private Hong joins, disruption runs abundant. Jung tries in vain to train Hong, who is indifferent to everything, but the new cadet only ends up causing more trouble. And after an altercation, their woes become even more intense, leading to a shocking, powerful conclusion.
This special short feature, celebrating its North American Premiere, will be accompanied by additional short films. The evening’s program will have a two-hour running time