February 20, 2007 07:48
Veteran director Im Kwon-taek's one hundredth film is scheduled to be released in April.
Im's latest work, "Beyond the Years," is a love story interwoven with the music of pansori, Korea's traditional narrative song. This 100th production comes 45 years since his debut.
Im has won international acclaim for portraying Korea's traditional lifestyle and culture through his films. An example is his 2002 film "Strokes of Fire" about a renowned 19th-century Korean painter who influenced the direction of Korean art.
Im's love for film combined with his talented artistry led him to earn the best-director prize at the Cannes Film Festival that year. At a time when most Korean films deal with modern life, Im stands out for bringing scenes from the past on-screen.
"Pansori exists nowhere in the world but Korea. Pansori is the country's unique and prominent music," Im said. "However, the reality is that historic Korean music is being forgotten among its people today. In my earlier film 'Seopyeonje,' the sound of pansori was difficult to learn, so this time around, I made it easier, so that audiences could feel closer to the music."
In "Beyond the Years," Im focuses on the love between a brother and sister. Im says his goal is to plant a positive image of Korea in the minds of filmgoers.
"Because I'm Korean, I like to make films that can only be produced by Koreans. I want to play a key role in promoting and advancing Korean films worldwide," he said. "People from the West are interested in learning about Korean culture, how the country has developed and its traditional lifestyle."
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