Produced as part of the BFI’s series of films commemorating the centennial of cinema, The Cinema on the Road is an extraordinarily unique look at the place of cinema and filmmaking in Korean society. Jang travels the length and breadth of Korea, interviewing both well-known film personalities and random individuals he meets in his travels. He finally ends up on Jindo Island, where a shaman, Kim Dae-rye, performs a traditional exorcism. Beginning with the Japanese occupation, moving through Korean military dictatorships, and now facing furious competition from Hollywood, Korean cinema has indeed, Jang implies, been plagued by a number of powerful demons. It’s time, the film says, to put them to rest.—Film Society of Lincoln Center
Jang Sun-woo (born 20 March 1952) is a South Korean film director. Before his directorial debut, Jang made a name for himself by writing film criticism and scripts.
Jang Sun-woo is undoubtedly one of the most relevant and distinctive voices in contemporary Korean cinema. Since his debut feature, Seoul Jesus (1986), co-directed with Wan Son-u, his works have always displayed an incessant need to find and explore new resources in the language of cinema, and have often questioned audiences about controversial issues in Korean society. In the early 90s his films began to acquire international recognition, thus contributing to the detection of the first signs of a renewal in Korean cinema. In 1994, Hwaomkyung was awarded the Alfred Bauer Prize at the Berlin International Film Festival; in 1996, the International Film Festival Rotterdam chose Jang as one of its Filmmakers in Focus.
A couple of his subsequent features, Timeless, Bottomless, Bad Movie (1998) and Lies (1999) stirred… read more
This informative, insightful documentary essay is a must-see for anyone who wants to delve deeper into S. Korean cinema. Thanks to Jang's work, I have been introduced to the formally and generically hybrid cinema of the great Lee Man-hee, who, despite being responsible for a number of critically and commercially successful efforts in his 15-year, 51-film career, had become virtually unknown until recently.