Asian cinema is fast becoming a cinema without borders. Digital filmmaking and international coproductions are rapidly transforming an industry in which the transnational flow of talent and resources, even between the U.S. and Asia, has become the norm. In the monthly exhibition ContemporAsian, MoMA showcases films that get little exposure outside of their home countries or on the international festival circuit, but which engage the various styles, histories, and changes in Asian cinema. Presented in special weeklong engagements, the films in the series include recent independent gems by both new and established filmmakers whose work represent the rapidly transforming visual culture of the region. Not only are audiences given the rare chance to enjoy these undistributed films on the big screen—they also experience the diversity and richness of Asian cinema in all its many forms.
In August, Focus on South Korea, a special multifilm program, celebrates one of the most successful national cinemas on the global film circuit. The selections exemplify a flourishing, idiosyncratic cinema with plenty of international appeal, one in which filmmakers engage in a vivid critical analysis of social realities, explore subject matters rarely encountered in Korean films of the past, and confidently employ a wide variety of stylistic approaches.
Organized by Jytte Jensen, Curator, with Emma E. Meyers, Curatorial Intern, Department of Film. Focus on South Korea is organized in collaboration with The Korea Society.
Image: Nam-yeong-dong (National Security). 2012. South Korea. Directed by Chung Ji-young.