The Korean Film Festival DC 2015
Martin Scorsese says, "Over the past few years some of the most new exciting work I've seen in movies has come from South Korea. Of course I'm not alone in this; many critics and festival goers have been following these pictures for years... The films I've seen by Park Chan-wook, Lee Chang-dong, Chang Sun-woo, Im Kwon-taek, Park Kwang-soo, Kim Ki-duk, and Park Chan-ok have enriched me, educated me, disturbed me, moved me and awakened me to new possibilities in cinema." South Korean cinema has been booming and Korean filmmakers have been making inroads into Hollywood. International film festivals bestow awards on Korean filmmakers and Hollywood is buying Korean films for re-makes.
This year's Korean Film Festival features 17 films shown at two locations--the Freer Gallery of Art and the American Film Institute. Some were popular blockbusters in Korea and some are independents. Most are new to us although a few have been seen in local cinemas in the past year and at the recent Filmfest DC. Director Jang Jin will be present on the weekend of May 29-31 to introduce three of his films and take questions.
The festival opens on May 3 11:00am-4:00pm with cultural activities such as kite-making, the game of Jegichagi, cooking demonstrations by Jae Ok Chang, dance performances and the animated film The Satellite Girl and Milk Cow (Chang Hyung-yun, 2014) at 2:00pm.
Films include Cart (2014), a social-justice film inspired by actual events directed by Boo Ji-young; The Pirates (2014), a swashbuckling blockbuster set in 1388 directed by Lee Seok-hoon; Miracle in Cell No. 7 (2013), a sleeper hit in Korea directed by Lee Hwan-kyung; Confession (2014), a thriller noir by first-time director Lee Do-yoon; Haemoo (2014), a story about a ship captain transporting illegal immigrants and based on true events; Ode to My Father (2014), a melodrama covering fifty years of Korean history and a big hit in Korea; Hong Sang-soo's latest film Hill of Freedom (2014), a witty puzzle; A Hard Day, a thriller by Kim Seong-hun; Miss Granny (2014), a comic fantasy by Hwang Dong-hyuk; and 301, 302 (1995), a thriller by Park Chul-soo shown in 35mm.
Three selections from the 2014 Busan International Film Festival are End of Winter (2014) by Kim Dae-hwan and winner of the top prize at Busan's New Currents Competition; The Liar (2014) by Kim Dong-myung starring popular actress Kim Kkot-bi; and A Midsummer Fantasia (2014) by Jang Kun-jae.
Jang Jin is famous in Korea as a playwright, theater director, and film director. A retrospective of his work was shown earlier this year at the International Film Festival Rotterdam. Film festival programmer and writer Tony Rayns said that Jang "is best known for one thing: satire. He doesn’t respect institutions, powerful individuals or dogmas of any kind. He believes, endearingly, that satirical comedy might change society more effectively than throwing Molotov cocktails." Director Jang Jin will appear at the Freer for three of his films Man on High Heels (2014), a gangster spoof; Quiz Show Scandal (2010), a satire-comedy; and We Are Brothers (2014), a satire about two brothers separated as children.
See the website for film dates, times and more information. And prepare to be "enriched, educated, disturbed, and moved."
Calendar of Events
American Film Institute Silver Theater
"Shakespeare Cinema, Part II" (April 19-July 1). May films include Shakespeare in Love, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, Richard III (1955), Titus and The Tempest (2010). More in June.
"Steve Martin: AFI Life Achievement Award Retrospective" (April 18-June 16). Titles in May are Little Shop of Horrors (1986), All of Me (1984), Three Amigos, Roxanne (1987), Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Planes, Trains and Automobiles, LA Story and Parenthood (1989). More in June.
"Orson Welles Centennial" (April 17-July 1) includes films director by Orson Welles, films he appeared in as actor, and documentaries. In May you can see Journey Into Fear, The Stranger (1946), The Lady from Shanghai, Macbeth (1948), Touch of Evil and Othello (1952). More in June.
"Korean Film Festival DC" (May 11-June 25) takes place at the Freer and the AFI. May films at the AFI include The Pirates, Miracle in Cell No. 7 and Confession. More in June.
"Adventures in 3D" (April 18-July 1). May films include Hugo, Life of Pi, Charlie Victor Romeo, Kiss Me Kate, It Came From Outer Space, House of Wax and Creature from the Black Lagoon with actress Julie Adams appearing in person. More in June.
"Designing for Disaster" is a film series co-presented by the National Building Museum exploring the human response to disaster. Film titles are Trouble the Water, Take Shelter, O Brother Where Are Thou, Key Largo, the double feature of The River and Wild River and the anime double feature Ponyo shown with The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom.
"2015 DC Labor FilmFest" is co-presented with the Washington Council of the AFI-CIO. Films this year are Pride (2014), Cesar Chavez, The Grapes of Wrath, Fighting For Our Lives, Compliance, Eat Sleep Die, Two Days One Night, Hard Times (1975), Northern Lights (1978) and Blood Fruit.
Special Engagements in May include three films celebrating their 50th anniversary: The Ipcress File (1965), Pierrot Le Fou (1965), and Alphaville (1965). Two digital restorations are also shown: The Servant (1963) and Accident (1967).
"The 48 Hour Film Project" is back for the 14th edition. Do-it-yourself filmmakers are given a genre, a prop, a character, a line of dialogue, and 48 hours. Films are shown May 7-10 and the "Best of 2015" on May 29.
Freer Gallery of Art
The Korean Film Festival DC 2015 takes place in May and June at the Freer and at the American Film Institute's Silver Theater. On May 3 at 2:00pm is The Satellite Girl and Milk Cow (Chang Hyung-Yun, 2014); on May 8 at 7:00pm is Cart (Boo Ji-Young, 2014); on May 12 at 2:00pm is 301,302 (Park Chul-Soo, 1995); on May 29 at 7:00pm is Man on High Heels (Jang Jin, 2014); on May 30 at 2:00pm is We Are Brothers (Jang Jin, 2014) and on May 31 at 2:00pm is Quiz Show Scandal (Jang Jin, 2010). Director Jang Jin will be present at all three of his films. More in June. Also see the AFI.
National Gallery of Art
While the East Building is being renovated, films are shown in the West Building and in other locations. Please check the locations for each show.
"Heinz Emigholz: Architectural Record" is a series of films by the German avant-garde director documenting the works of architects. On May 2 at 2:30pm is Parabeton-Pier Luigi Narvi and Roman Concrete (2012) shown at the Gallery's West Building. On May 11 at 6:30pm is Loos Ornamental (2008) shown at the Goethe Institute. On May 30 at 2:00pm is D'Annunzio's Cave (2005) shown with Two Museums (2014) at the National Portrait Gallery. On May 30 at 4:00pm is Goff in the Desert (2003) also at the Portrait Gallery. One more in June.
"American Experiments in Narrative: 2000-2012" is a program of artist-made cinema. On May 10 at 4:00pm is This Side of Paradise (Jonas Mekas, 1999) shown with Our Nixon (Penny Lane, 2013). Penny Lane and Jon Gartenberg are scheduled to attend. On May 15 at 12:30pm is The Great Flood (Bill Morrison, 2013). On May 16 a 2:00pm is Consuming Spirits (Chris Sullivan, 2012) with the director present. On May 17 at 4:00pm is Hamilton (Mark Street, 2006) shown with A Year (Matthew Porterfield, 2006) with both directors in person. On May 30 at 2:00pm is The Time We Killed (Jennifer Reeves, 2004) with Jennifer Reeves in person. On May 31 at 4:00pm is Through a Lens Darkly: Black Photographers and the Emergence of a People (Thomas Allen Harris, 2014) with the director present. More in June. All are at the Gallery's West Building.
Special events include two shows of F for Fake (Orson Welles, 1973) on May 3 at 4:00pm and May 6 at noon, both shown in the West Building.
National Portrait Gallery
The Portrait Gallery is one of the venues for the series "Heinz Emigholz: Architectural Record". On May 30 at 2:00pm is D'Annunzio's Cave preceded by Two Museums. The home of Italian poet and military hero Gabriele d'Annunzio is recorded in this documentary. On May 30 at 4:00pm is Goff in the Desert, a documentary from the series "Architecture as Autobiography," about American architect Bruce Goff (1904-1982) and shown in 35mm.
Washington Jewish Community Center
On May 2 at 8:00pm is Magic Men (Guy Nattiv and Erez Tadmor, 2014) which was Opening Night film at the Jewish Film Festival. On May 3 at 1:30pm is Deli Man (Erik Greenberg Anjou, 2014), a documentary about the Jewish deli; and on May 3 at 3:30pm is The Sturgeon Queens (Julie Cohen, 2014), a documentary about a New York lox and herring emporium on its 100th anniversary. On May 5 at 7:30pm is The Length of the Alphabet (Joe Balass, 2013), a documentary about an Iraqi-Canadian author. On May 12 at 7:30pm is El Gusto (Safinez Bousbia, 2011), a documentary about an orchestra of young Jews and Arabs in 1950s Algeria. On May 19 at 7:30pm is Dawn (Romed Wyder, 2014), a Swiss-made film based on Eli Wiesel's best-selling novel with the filmmaker in person. On May 26 at 7:30pm is Closer to the Moon (Nae Caranfil, 2014), a story about Romanian Jews who robbed Romania's National Bank.
Library of Congress
Two films are shown for Jewish American Heritage Month. On May 5 at 12:30pm is the short film Baghdad Twist with filmmaker Joe Balass present to discuss the film, about the disappearance of Iraq's Jewish community and answer questions. On May 12 at noon is the 55 minute version of Hava Nagila (The Movie) (Roberta Grossman) about the popular Jewish song.
The Goethe Institute takes part in the series "Heinz Emigholz: Architectural Record" with Loos Ornamental (2008) on May 11 at 6:30pm.
On May 12 at 6:30pm is An Apartment in Berlin (Alice Agneskirchner, 2013), about young Israelis moving to Berlin. Filmmaker Alice Agneskirchner will take part in a panel discussion after the film.
On May 6 at 6:30pm is This Ain’t No Mouse Music! (Chris Simon and Maureen Gosling, 2013). Arhoolie Records founder Chris Strachwitz will take part in discussion after the film. A reception also follows the discussion.
On May 18 at 6:30pm is a series of short films as part of the "Forging the Future" series. The short film titles include Glimpses of Light, Everyday Heroes, Our Values – A Global Journey, Sartoriale, and Declaring Love on Erfurt's Kraemer Bridge. A second showing of The Farmer and His Prince (Bertram Verhaag, 2014) is on May 4 at 6:00pm.
On May 28 at 8:00pm is "A Tribute to John Williams," a concert of film score themes composed by John Williams. The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra is conducted by Jack Everly.
On May 9 at 8:00pm is "An Evening with Shirley MacLaine," moderated by Peter Marks. Academy Award-winning actress, dancer, and author Shirley MacLaine discusses her life stories.
On May 12 at 7:00pm is "Borders on the Horizon: Three Perspectives on Migration from Africa to Europe," a collection of three short films portraying different perils of young African immigrants who do not hesitate to risk their lives in search of a better future in Europe.
The Japan Information and Culture Center
On May 20 at 6:30pm is Mourning Recipe (Yuki Tanada, 2013), based on a best-selling novel and starring Fumi Nikaido.
The Textile Museum at GWU
On May 28 at noon is Salsa in Japan (Elizabeth Chamberlin, 2003), a short documentary about the growing popularity of salsa dancing in Japan.
Arlington Arts and Artisphere
On May 9 at 7:00pm and 9:00pm is the documentary The Measure of All Things (Sam Green, 2014). Green will narrate the film in person while TCB perform the live soundtrack. The film consists of dozens of portraits of record-holders inspired by the Guiness Book of Records.
On May 29 at 7:00pm is Impossible Light (Jeremy Ambers), a feature-length documentary about Leo Villareal as he installs LED lights on the San Francisco Bay Bridge. The director will take part in a Q&A and a panel discussion with local arts personalities.
Episodes from the Ken Burns 2011 PBS series on Prohibition begin this month. On May 15 at noon is Episode I: Prohibition: A Nation of Drunkards, on May 22 at noon is Episode II: Prohibition: A Nation of Scofflaws, and on May 29 at noon is Episode III: Prohibition: A Nation of Hypocrites.
On May 21 at 7:00pm is "Boardwalk Empire: Behind the Scenes of the HBO Series." Terence Winter leads a discussion of the show's creation using video clips and behind the scene stories. Panelists include Gretchen Mol, the actress who played Gillian Darmody; Edward McGinty, Jr., the actor who portrayed Ward Boss Boyd and research adviser for the show; Lesley Robson-Foster, visual effects supervisor; Nelson Johnson, author of Boardwalk Empire; and others. A book signing will follow the program.
Landmark's Bethesda Row Cinema
"Movie Rewind" is a new series of classic films on Wednesdays. On May 6 at 7:00pm and 9:30pm is The Shining (Stanley Kubrick, 1980); on May 13 at 4:00pm and 7:30pm is Chinatown (Roman Polanski, 1974); on May 20 at 7:00pm and 9:30pm is Hairspray (John Waters) in the 1988 original version; and on May 27 at 7:00pm and 9:30pm is The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly (Sergio Leone, 1967).
National Museum of Natural History
On May 10 starting at noon is the "Greenland Eyes International Film Festival." Films include Tupilaq: Village at the End of the World, The Prize of the Pole and Sume: the Sound of a Revolution. Special guests include film director Staffan Julen and Arctic Archaeologist Stephen Loring.
Interamerican Development Bank
On May 14 at 6:30pm is "Panama Canal Stories" (Carolina Borrero, Pinky Mon, Luis Franco Brantley, Abner Benaim and Pituka Ortega, 2014), a collection of five short films about the Panama Canal. Come at 5:30pm for a discussion about the Canal and stay after the films for Q&A.
On May 6 at 8:00pm as part of the "Programmer's Choice" series is Kumiko, The Treasure Hunter (David Zellner, 2014) starring Rinko Kukuchi.
On May 13 at 8:00pm is Fair Play (Andrea Sedlácková, 2014), about an Olympic sprinter in 1983, shown as part of the "Czech Lions" series with the director present for Q&A.
The "French Cinematheque" film for May is Three Hearts (Benoit Jacquot, 2014) on May 20 at 8:00pm.
The "Reel Israel" film for May is The Kindergarten Teacher (Nadav Lapid, 2014) on May 27 at 8:00pm.
On May 4 at 8:00pm is After Winter, Spring (Judith Lit, 2013) shown as part of the series "Forging the Future." The filmmaker will participate in Q&A after the film.
On May 21 at 8:00pm is the Turkish film Come to My Voice (Huseyin Karabey, 2014) set in a Kurdish mountain village. Note that although this film is shown at the Avalon, tickets are sold by HasNa.
A special "film studies" event is a screening and discussion of Alfred Hitchcock's Vertigo (1958) in a two-session program. Vertigo was named the "greatest film of all time" by international film critics in 2012, supplanting Citizen Kane. Session I (history and analysis) on May 13 10:30am-12:45pm will trace the production history, its critical reception, an analysis of the its style and motifs, and the film's afterlives. Session II is a screening of the film and discussion on May 20 10:30am-1:30pm. Sessions are conducted by Oliver Gaycken, Assistant Professor of Comparative Literature and Film Studies at the University of Maryland. See the website for pricing information.
Italian Cultural Institute
On May 4 at 6:30pm is Vinodentro (2013), a Faustian story about a wine expert, with film director Ferdinando Vicentini Orgnani present to answer questions and introduce the film.
Anacostia Community Museum
On May 12 at 2:00pm is Booker's Place: A Mississippi Story (2012), a documentary about Booker Wright and featuring discussion and Q&A with Wright's granddaughter and the film's co-producer.
On May 23 at 2:00pm is The Black Power Mixtape 1967-1975 (2011), an award-winning documentary about the Black Power movement from the perspective of a Swedish film crew.
On May 30 at 11:00am is Egalite for All: Toussaint L'ouverture and Haitian Revolution (Laurent Dubois, 2009), a documentary about the Haitian revolution.
On May 30 at 2:00pm is Selma (2015), about the March 25, 1965 Civil Rights March from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama.
On May 5 at 7:00pm is On Our Land (Erica Harding), an ethnographic documentary about people of African descent in Honduras.
On May 13 at 7:30pm is Limited Partnership (Thomas G. Miller, 2014), about one of the first same-sex couples to be married. This film won the Justice Matters Award at Filmfest DC.
On May 20 at 7:00pm is Led Zeppelin Played Here (Jeff Krulik) with the filmmaker taking part in Q&A after the film.
On May 27 at 1:00pm is Gaslight (1944), part of the "Midday Thrillers."
Angelika Film Center
The Angelika Mosaic Film Center takes part in the GI Film Festival. See below.
University of Maryland
Dr. Satsuki Ina will discuss the experience of Japanese Americans in the World War II Internment site Tule Lake and screen her award-winning documentary From a Silk Cocoon. May 4 at 4:00pm in the Stamp Student Union, Juan Jimenez Room. See the website to register.
On May 14 at 6:45pm is a discussion and screening of The Northern Lights (Pål Brekke), a documentary about the Aurora Borealis. The filmmaker, a Norwegian solar physicist, will talk about his experiences observing the Northern Lights and of making the film which combines animation, time-lapse cinematography and spectacular solar images from NASA satellites. See the website for location and ticket information.
Montpelier Arts Center
On May 9 at 6:00pm is Beat the Drum (David Hickson, 2003) from South Africa and on May 17 at 1:00pm is Twenty Feet From Stardom (Morgan Neville, 2013), a documentary about backup singers.
Reel Affirmations XTra
On May 15 at 7:00pm and 9:15pm is Eat With Me (David Au, 2014), a comedy starring Teddy Chen Culver and Sharon Omi and with a cameo by George Takei.
Busboys and Poets
On May 17 at 5:00pm is The Junior and the Swan (Konrad Ege) about three US citizens who were convicted by spying for East Germany. Shown at the Hyattsville location.
On May 24 at 5:00pm is Limited Partnership shown at the 14th and V location.
On May 12 at 6:00pm is a panel discussion "DC Labor Film Fest: Mobilizing for Filmmakers" at the 5th and K location and on May 19 at noon is another panel discussion "DC Labor Film Fest: A Panel Discussion on Labor and the Arts" at the 14th and V location. See films at the AFI in the DC Labor Film Festival.
The documentary the six-episode Apocalypse: The Second World War (Daniel Costelle and Isabelle Clarke, 2009) commemorates the 70th anniversary of the end of WWII. The film is composed exclusively of actual footage of the war as filmed by war correspondents, soldiers, resistance fighters and private citizens. On May 1 at 7:00pm are the first two episodes, on May 7 at 7:00pm are episodes three and four; on May 22 at 7:00pm the final two episodes are shown.
The Alliance takes part in the series "Forging the Future" with Food Beware: The French Organic Revolution (Jean-Paul Jaud, 2009) on May 29 at 7:00pm. A small mountain village decides to make school lunches organic and locally-grown.
George Mason University
The Mason Film Festival Spring 2015 takes place May 7-9. Screenings of student films compete in various categories. See the website for more information. Open to the public.
On May 15 at 7:30pm and 9:30pm and on May 16 at 7:30pm and 9:30pm is a program of short films "Pasties and Popcorn" shown at the U.S. Navy Memorial's Burke Theater. See the website for film titles and ticket information.