However, we have to give serious consideration to the fact that almost all of these seven movies are what we call blockbusters. That there are fine films that are not blockbusters in Korea should not be ignored. For example, Mudang--Yongmae by Park, Gi-bok, The Road Taken--Suntaek by Hong, Gi-sun and Repatriation--Songhwan by Kim, Dong-won are independent films that are recently recognized and given favorable critical acclaim.. They are of course not in the top ten list but are loved by audience who have different taste for film. In spite of rising screen proportion, it is sad that audience who especially love Korean independent film can not easily get see the movies in the vicinity of multiplex. Mudang and The Road Taken were released in only one screen in Seoul and Repatriation only on three screens--eight screens nationwide through art film distribution system sponsored by KOFIC. It is a fact that multiplexes show a tendency to get easy money by screening blockbusters; in the case of Korean film, Silmido was shown at 5 or 7 screens in almost every multiplexes.
Complete responsibility of this problem lies in the distribution system which relies on multiplexes and prefers blockbusters. Therefore, it becomes more and more difficult for independent films to meet audience and to get more screens, despite the encouraging tendency among Korean audience to prefer to see Korean movies. For example, the latest film The Road--Gil by Bae, Chang-ho, who is representative and very famous director from the 1980's, is not able to obtain any screens to release his film yet. To solve this problem, we must organize supporting policy which will enable independent film to be distributed through public distribution network. And the most important thing is that screen managers have to become keenly aware of this problem. The more chances audience could get to see films of his or her liking, the bigger spectator ratio and diversity in Korean film we would enjoy. Finally, because of achievement of film industry and commercial success, the future of Korean film is very bright and encouraging.
The writer is a professor in the Dept. of Film Studies.
Lee Ju-yoen The Dongguk Post
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