Film director Im Kwon-taek [임권택Im Gwon-taek; b. 1936] made over 60 commercial Korean cinema features before deciding in the mid-1970s that he need to stop making ‘lousy’ films. By his final (and 102nd) feature, (Revive [화장] made in 2014), Im’s late-career, ‘honest’ filmmaking had pierced local censorship taboos, and gained international film festival invitations and critical attention for Korean movies in the west.

Im Kwon-taek’s led the way for South Korea’s 21st century generation of international art house directing stars. Yet his career still featured affecting, strongly written and resonant local Korean movie box office hits. Parasite [기생충] director Bong Joon-ho has called Im Korean Cinema’s “own John Ford”.

Sydney’s Cinema Reborn Festival is showcase four of Im Kwon-taek’s films, in recent restorations by the internationally renowned Korean Film Archive (KOFA).

The season begins on Saturday 4 May (repeated Monday 6 May) with Sopyonje [Seopyeonje서편제] Im’s 1993 film on Korea’s p’ansori song tradition. Sopyonje screens as part of the 2024 Cinema Reborn Film Festival, running from 1 May at the Ritz Cinemas in Randwick, Sydney.

Remaining films in the Im season (including his 1980 features Jagko 짝코] and 1996 Festival [축제]) will screen on Saturdays through May at the Ritz Cinemas in Randwick.

Sopyonje (only) also screens as part of Cinema Reborn’s Melbourne season, screening from 9 May at the Lido Cinemas in Hawthorn.

For more information on the Im Kwon-taek season see Cinema Reborn’s website [], The Ritz Cinema’s website [] or the Lido Cinema’s website []

Korean Cultural Centre AU is presenting a webinar to help introduce Australian audiences to Im Kwon-taek’s work.

Guests, including film critic, academic and Korean cinema expert Russell Edwards, critic and Parasite subtitler Darcy Parquet, and Korean Film Archive head Prof. Hong-joon Kim will explore Im Kwon-taek’s career and the Korean Film Archive (KOFA)’s acclaimed program to restore and give global access to Korean filmmaking heritage.

The webinar will be on Friday 3 May from 2:00 PM AEST. The event is free, and please click ‘HERE‘ to join.

Webinar presented by the Korean Cultural Centre AU. 

Cinema Reborn’s Im Kwon-taek season is presented with the support of the Australia-Korea Foundation and co-presented with the Korean Film Archive (KOFA).

Webinar Guests:
Originally from Massachusetts, Darcy Paquet has been living in Seoul since 1997. He first became active in the film industry as a journalist, launching the website in 1999 and working as a reporter for Screen International and later Variety. He is the author of New Korean Cinema: Breaking the Waves (2010, Columbia University Press), and teaches at the Busan Asian Film School and the Literature Translation Institute of Korea. He also works as a Program Consultant for the Udine Far East Film Festival. Darcy has translated the subtitles for a wide range of Korean films including Bong Joon Ho’s Parasite (2019) and Park Chan-wook’s Decision to Leave (2022).

Dr Russell Edwards has been a professional film critic since the early 1990s, reviewed for Variety (2003-2012) and served as President of the Film Critics Circle of Australia (2004-2006). A former advisor to the Busan International Film Festival, Russell is currently writing a volume on contemporary South Korean cinema as well as editing an essay collection on the films of Peter Weir.

Hong-Joon Kim is currently a director of Korean Film Archive and a professor emeritus at Korea National University of Arts. He was Festival Director of the Puchon International Fantastic Film Festival and Commissioner of the Korean Film Council from 2000-2005. His published books include I, a Filmmaker: Kim Hong-Joon’s Film Notes and Two or Three Things You Want to Know About Movies. Hong-Joon Kim is an award-winning director, and screenwriter of films including Jungle Story (1996) and A Rosy Life (1994). He hosted and co-wrote the television series Korean Classical Cinema Special. Kim was also an assistant to Im Kwon-taek during the 1990s, including on his 1993 film Sopyonje.

Prof. Kyung Hyun Kim is a creative writer and current professor in the Department of East Asian Studies and Visual Studies, University of California Irvine, where he is the founding director of UCI’s Center for Critical Korean Studies. Kim is author of Virtual Hallyu: Korean Cinema of the Global EraThe Remasculinization of Korean Cinema (2004), Hegemonic Mimicry: Korean Popular Culture of 21st Century (2021)), and the Korean-language novel In Search of Lost G (Ireo beorin G-reul chajaso, 2014). In 2000 he co-edited and wrote many of the chapters for Im Kwon-taek: the making of a Korean National Cinema, which was the first book published in English on Im and the first in English on any Korean filmmaker. Kyung Hyun Kim has worked with renowned directors such as Hong Sang-soo, Lee Chang-dong and Marty Scorsese. He has coproduced and co-scripted the feature films Never Forever (2007) which was in Sundance Film Festival’s U.S. Main Competition and the remake of Kim Ki-young’s classic The Housemaid (2010), which competed in the Cannes Film Festival Main Competition. His co-scripted film screenplay, The Origins of a Detective (Hyeongsa eui kiwon), won the cash prize for the 2019 Best Film Development Project by the Korean Film Commission. He serves currently as a resident director/screenwriter for Being Built Together (BBT) which provides support to underserved Korean-speaking individuals with developmental disabilities and their families.