Foul-Mouthed Gangster Films Named Korea's Top Genre

  • By Hwang Ji-yoon

    September 27, 2019 13:39

    Audiences mostly consider Korean movies synonymous with gangster films and foul language.

    Lotte Cinema and the Chosun Ilbo polled 2,000 people and found that 25 percent thought of gangster films as the most representative genre of Korean cinema. Next came melodrama with 24 percent and historical epics with 16 percent.

    Indeed, many big films released this year were gangster flicks, from "Long Live the King," "The Beast," "The Gangster, The Cop, The Devil," to "Tazza: One Eyed Jack," and they were full of salty dialogue.

    Film critic Jeong Ji-ouk said, "Foul language is an easy way to build a stock character. That's how people expect cops and gangsters to talk, but it's not exactly the most subtle character development."

    In a solemn academic study in 2011, Kim Jeong-seon and Yoon Young-min argued that the frequency and intensity of bad language increased in PG-13 movies from the 1990s to 2010.

    The trend was particularly evident in the 2000s. "The Parasite" by Bong Joon-ho, which won Palme d'Or at this year's Cannes Festival, is also full of inventive cursing.

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