The 2023 London East Asia Film Festival will cover the 40-year career of auteur Chung Ji-young, introducing his eight representative films to European audiences next month.
The eighth edition of the festival will celebrate the director's career spanning across decades and retrospect his filmography, making it the first such event covering Chung’s works. LEAFF said the special exhibition will be part of the major section during the 12-day event.
Chung will attend to introduce his works, holding conversations with European critics and moviegoers at the festival.
From his debut in 1983 with “Mist Whispers Like Women,” the director has covered a wide scope of films, including social issues as well as historical events across 17 films, including the forthcoming “The Boys.”
“The Boys,” starring Sol Kyung-gu, revolves around a group of boys suspected as perpetrators in a robbery case at a countryside supermarket.
LEAFF will screen Chung’s 1994 film “Life and Death of the Hollywood Kid” in a digital version for the first time. “White Badge” (1992), “North Korea’s Southern Army” (1994), “Unbowed” (2011), “National Security” (2012) and “Black Money” (2019) will also be introduced, as well as his documentary film, “Ari Ari the Korean Cinema” (2012).
Chung said he was receptive to the festival’s intention to spread recognition of Korean cinema’s diversity in Europe through this retrospective exhibition on his works, despite any lingering worries.
“At first, I thought holding a retrospective exhibition in London is like wearing clothes that don’t fit me, because I’ve always regarded myself as a commercial director, and a film festival is where artists are invited,” he said. "Plus, I was worried that whether my works – not so famous overseas – will evoke public attention."
On the sidelines of the exhibition, LEAFF will also publish English-language versions of review books written by critics on Chung’s films, as well as an interview of Chung.
“Director Chung has actively worked for 40 years and became the representative creator focusing on society’s absurd reality and justice. We are going to introduce K-film’s diversity and competitiveness in London through his eight films,” said Jeon Hye-jung, LEAFF's executive director.
Having launched in 2015, LEAFF will show some 60 films this year and hold screenings and other events at theaters in not only London, but also Sheffield and Nottingham in central England.