Melodrama, Exorcism, Mimicry:

Mark Morris

in Cultural Studies and Cultural Industries in Northeast Asia

Published by Hong Kong University Press

Published in print May 2009 | ISBN: 9789622099746
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9789882206793 | DOI:
Melodrama, Exorcism, Mimicry:

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This chapter first refers to a number of different films that have appeared in the last few years, ones that apply a variety of mainstream generic conventions to stories that touch on Korea's former colonial master, Japan. It then looks in some detail at a film that is perhaps more art house than multiplex in its ambitions: Im Sangsu's The President's Last Bang. The chapter suggests the usefulness of keeping a certain postcolonial critical consciousness alert when dealing with products of any “new cinema” emerging in a region, such as northeast Asia, once shaped by colonialism and empire—one that sometimes comes from Europe but, most significantly for the future of the region, sometimes from next door. For it is a striking feature of the contemporary popular culture of East Asia that optimism about the increasing flow and circulation of cultural goods keeps bumping up against political frictions and ghosts of the not-so-distant past.

Keywords: films; Korea; Japan; Im Sangsu; President's Last Bang; new cinema; colonialism; popular culture; East Asia

Chapter.  7640 words. 

Subjects: Society and Culture

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