Legendary Director Yoo Hyeon Mok (Part One)

As I have grown older and earned my Bachelors degree, I have come to view many things in an expanded way. When I watch films, I see deeper meanings and purpose. I pick up on things that were not exactly on my radar. I spend more time starting conversations that go beyond, “Yeah, I liked it. It was interesting.”

I like film. In fact, I wish I could be a film maker. However, I will settle for delving into background of film and learning more about this art form. In addition to my love of the Arts is my love of culture.

This week we are celebrating Korea. As part of the Korean Blogathon 2011, I am going to share my thoughts about a Korean film I watched this evening. However, before I give my review, I want to introduce to you the film’s director. He was and remains one of the most influential Korean directors in the history of Korean Cinema.

What director am I am talking about? It is none other than Yoo Hyeon Mok.

Who is Yoo Hyeon Mok?

In a nutshell, he is the most relevant Korean director of the 50s and 60s Korean Cinematic Renaissance. In the beginning, according to Yoo, Korean films were just moving pictures. They lacked tempo or a rhythm. Yoo came along and made Korean film making into an art form.

Inspired as an assistant director, when you leapt out on his own he initially focused on technique. He would later mature and use both technique and theme to create a potent story.

Yoo’s early films captured the despair and a divided country’s pain. Yoo Hyeon Mok lived through World War II and the Korean War. They were difficult times. Yoo expressed that the first half of his years were describing the desperate lives of everyone and the dissatisfaction he had with social irrationality.

In Yoo’s later films, when Korea was becoming economically rich, he dealt with the inner side of human beings not the tragic social conditions. The films honored the wishes of his mother and discussed salvation or the providence of god. Yoo said that his films went inside the man, the way of humanism, and they sought to define what humanism itself was.

Aimless Bullet

Aimless Bullet and The Extra Mortals, The Lost Youth and some others represent the first half of his works.

Son Of A Man

The latter half of his works include The Martyrs, Son of a Man, and A Regret.

{ To Be Continued }

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