Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Catching up on the Past

I had a nice little surprise at Kyobo Books yesterday -- the Korean Film Archive has put out yet another box set of great old films. This set is called THE PAST UNEARTHED, and it is a collection of movies from the Japanese colonial period. Included are ANGELS ON THE STREETS (1941), SPRING OF KOREAN PENINSULA (1941), VOLUNTEER (1941) AND STRAITS OF CHOSUN (1943).

The set comes with a booklet about the films and the period (in Korean and English) and a photo reproduction of the original script for ANGEL ON THE STREETS, in Japanese and Korean. It's all pretty funky stuff.

Nothing in English about the film at the Korean Film Archives website yet, although you can read their Korean entry here. More about the DVD set at the Kyobo Books website here. And at less than 30,000 won, it is quite worth purchasing.


As long as I am on the subject of the olden days, I should mention a couple of other interesting things I ran across recently.

First, there are these old Korean singers' videos on Youtube. Totally worth checking out:
- Kim Choo-ja
- Kim Choo-ja
- Kim Jung-mi
- Kim Jung-mi (short clip)
- Sandpebbles

And apparently the nice people at Brothers Entertainment have set up a Kim Choo-ja website.


Justin said...

Let us know how those movies are, Mark. I myself have been underwhelmed by the pre-war Chinese stuff that's been coming out on DVD lately, and I'm wondering if I'd have the same hangups with early Korean stuff (I can take technical primitiveness, but a lot of the Chinese stuff was really politically dogmatic and the narratives suffered. Which I guess is to be expected given the time in which they were made.)

When is the archive going to release a copy of The Housemaid already? Are there legal issues?

Unknown said...

Nice music clips, although a touch of the mat-bag-i about Kim Jung-Mi's arm-wavy dance I thought. There seems to be a lot of old Korean music that is worth rediscovering, or at least re-packaging so we can buy it. It was hard work tracking down a couple of Kim Jung-Mi CDs, and I never did find the first three Sanullim albums.

More music posts please!

Mike said...

thanks for the comments about the dvd set, I just purchased it yesterday. Are their anymore films from the Colonial period that are available on dvd?

Last year at the PIFF they were showing a few of the pro-Japan films from the 30's and 40's. Are any of these films for sale on DVD?

Anonymous said...

'It was hard work tracking down a couple of Kim Jung-Mi CDs, and I never did find the first three Sanullim albums.'

korea does a horrible job of archiving their popular culture. try finding an original album from the 70 or 80s on cd, you won't have much luck.

now, if you still have a record player and are in korea and can order online, you can find many original albums at:

if you ain't in korea, however, you sh8t out of luck because koreans don't do business with people outside of korea. a shame.


Mark Russell said...

Simon - Did you try ordering through an online company, like All the original Sanullim albums appear to be available.

Mike - I have not seen any of the other pre-independence films on DVD. Korean Film Archive has a rather inscrutable approach to issuing DVDs.

Unknown said...

You got me all excited there, but on closer inspection the 음반상대 is still 품절! That was the case when I was originally looking for those albums. Ah well thanks for trying and thanks to the poster for the link.