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Transnational Reception of Korean Film: Analyses of Film Reviews

정소영 1 YOON sinwon 1

1성균관대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

This paper is based on the view that film should be conceived as a form of cultural practice whose meaning is always in the process of being produced within diverse socio-cultural contexts and aims to examine the ways in which the meaning of Korean film is (re)mediated or received in diverse cultural contexts outside the country. In this paper, we employ two theoretical grounds. Firstly, it positions itself in line with the audience studies within the field of cultural studies where the audience is conceived as active agents who produce the meaning of a popular culture text. The recruitment of the theoretical propositions from the audience studies enables recognition of the significance of the reception in film practice which recently seems to be oriented on production and distribution. Secondly, we conceive transnationality of film as that which is being produced in the process of transaction between the film and the audience, that is to say, transnationality is a form of discourse that emerges upon cultural interaction. The empirical work involves examination of a set of reviews of four films--Chihwaseon, Oldboy, Thirt, Poety--that have been published in daily newspapers and some popular film magazines in the U. S., the U. K. and France. Through the analysis of the film reviews, we identify four interpretive schemes or rather discourses recruited via which the Korean films are approached and understood: auteurism, formalism, universal themes, emotional response. We propose that these four kinds of discourse provide a common ground for the audience from different cultural backgrounds to understand Korean film. Furthermore, we also suggest that transnationality of Korean cinema needs to be reconsidered in terms of the reception as the audience from different socio-cultural backgrounds should be understood as active agents who are capable of engaging in Korean cultural texts such as film in their own way producing various meanings and these are also constituent of the meaning of the cultural texts.

Citation status

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