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Josef von Sternberg’s visit in Seoul(1936) and Colonial Korean Cinema

Hwajin Lee 1

1인하대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

This article attempted to reconstitute the events around Josef von Sternberg’s visit in Seoul(1936) and analysis the way how Korean film-makers’ hospitality to him had the complex meaning in the context of colonial Korean cinema. It was the members of the organizing office of Chosun Film Corporation that acted as the host to Sternberg’s visit in Seoul. They had aspirations to have reasonable production system supported by financial strength and leaded the discourse on the rationalization of film industry, criticizing the establishing film industry. They appropriated their extraordinary encounter with a world-famous film director Sternberg to build themselves as the subject leading the new step of Korean cinema since the talkie. The event of Sternberg’s visit could expose the feud and conflicts within the colonial Korean cinema. Sternberg’s visit might be a good chance that the colonial Korean cinema imagined the relation to the world beyond empire Japan. His visit was on the turning position from the Chosun cinema that the colonial Korean people watched to the Chosun Cinema that represented the Koreanness. Through this special visiter Sternberg from Hollywood, colonial Korean cinema faced the Others’ eyes to recognize the local color as the Koreanness and expressed their desire to make a leap forward to the new step of Korean cinema. However, the imbalance of their encounter also confirmed the limits of colonial cinema.

Citation status

* References for papers published after 2022 are currently being built.

This paper was written with support from the National Research Foundation of Korea.