Intertitles, history and memory in Spring in My Hometown

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Lee Gwang-mo’s 1998 film Spring in My Hometown (Areumdaun sijeol) tells the story of the tragic impact of the Korean War on the children of a village servicing a local US Army base. One of the film’s distinctive formal features is a set of intertitles in the style of silent film title cards that frame the beginning and end of particular sequences of the film. Each intertitle provides a running commentary of historical and fictional events occurring contemporaneously in the Korean War and in the village. The film’s stunning cinematography has attracted academic attention, but was also criticized for creating an aesthetic spectacle that could be enjoyed by spectators while eliding the brutal history of the war. This paper makes use of publicity materials, reviews, and research on intertitles in silent film to demonstrate that the use of intertitles is central to the film’s foregrounding of tragic history. The film places the audience into a more uncomfortable viewing position than other Korean War films of the period by implicating them in the violence. It also explores the complex relationship between memory and the recording of history, and gives voice to unheard testimonies of the conflict. In this way, Spring in My Hometown accomplishes something quite singular in distinction with narrative Korean War films either before or since.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)107-123
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Japanese and Korean Cinema
Volume9
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 3 Jul 2017

Keywords

  • history in film
  • Intertitles
  • Korean War film
  • Lee Gwang-mo
  • silent cinema
  • subtitles

Cite this

@article{d7005fe77608440fb4761af2e38522e8,
title = "Intertitles, history and memory in Spring in My Hometown",
abstract = "Lee Gwang-mo’s 1998 film Spring in My Hometown (Areumdaun sijeol) tells the story of the tragic impact of the Korean War on the children of a village servicing a local US Army base. One of the film’s distinctive formal features is a set of intertitles in the style of silent film title cards that frame the beginning and end of particular sequences of the film. Each intertitle provides a running commentary of historical and fictional events occurring contemporaneously in the Korean War and in the village. The film’s stunning cinematography has attracted academic attention, but was also criticized for creating an aesthetic spectacle that could be enjoyed by spectators while eliding the brutal history of the war. This paper makes use of publicity materials, reviews, and research on intertitles in silent film to demonstrate that the use of intertitles is central to the film’s foregrounding of tragic history. The film places the audience into a more uncomfortable viewing position than other Korean War films of the period by implicating them in the violence. It also explores the complex relationship between memory and the recording of history, and gives voice to unheard testimonies of the conflict. In this way, Spring in My Hometown accomplishes something quite singular in distinction with narrative Korean War films either before or since.",
keywords = "history in film, Intertitles, Korean War film, Lee Gwang-mo, silent cinema, subtitles",
author = "Jackson, {Andrew David}",
year = "2017",
month = "7",
day = "3",
doi = "10.1080/17564905.2017.1368144",
language = "English",
volume = "9",
pages = "107--123",
journal = "Journal of Japanese and Korean Cinema",
issn = "1756-4905",
publisher = "Taylor & Francis",
number = "2",

}

Intertitles, history and memory in Spring in My Hometown. / Jackson, Andrew David.

In: Journal of Japanese and Korean Cinema, Vol. 9, No. 2, 03.07.2017, p. 107-123.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Intertitles, history and memory in Spring in My Hometown

AU - Jackson, Andrew David

PY - 2017/7/3

Y1 - 2017/7/3

N2 - Lee Gwang-mo’s 1998 film Spring in My Hometown (Areumdaun sijeol) tells the story of the tragic impact of the Korean War on the children of a village servicing a local US Army base. One of the film’s distinctive formal features is a set of intertitles in the style of silent film title cards that frame the beginning and end of particular sequences of the film. Each intertitle provides a running commentary of historical and fictional events occurring contemporaneously in the Korean War and in the village. The film’s stunning cinematography has attracted academic attention, but was also criticized for creating an aesthetic spectacle that could be enjoyed by spectators while eliding the brutal history of the war. This paper makes use of publicity materials, reviews, and research on intertitles in silent film to demonstrate that the use of intertitles is central to the film’s foregrounding of tragic history. The film places the audience into a more uncomfortable viewing position than other Korean War films of the period by implicating them in the violence. It also explores the complex relationship between memory and the recording of history, and gives voice to unheard testimonies of the conflict. In this way, Spring in My Hometown accomplishes something quite singular in distinction with narrative Korean War films either before or since.

AB - Lee Gwang-mo’s 1998 film Spring in My Hometown (Areumdaun sijeol) tells the story of the tragic impact of the Korean War on the children of a village servicing a local US Army base. One of the film’s distinctive formal features is a set of intertitles in the style of silent film title cards that frame the beginning and end of particular sequences of the film. Each intertitle provides a running commentary of historical and fictional events occurring contemporaneously in the Korean War and in the village. The film’s stunning cinematography has attracted academic attention, but was also criticized for creating an aesthetic spectacle that could be enjoyed by spectators while eliding the brutal history of the war. This paper makes use of publicity materials, reviews, and research on intertitles in silent film to demonstrate that the use of intertitles is central to the film’s foregrounding of tragic history. The film places the audience into a more uncomfortable viewing position than other Korean War films of the period by implicating them in the violence. It also explores the complex relationship between memory and the recording of history, and gives voice to unheard testimonies of the conflict. In this way, Spring in My Hometown accomplishes something quite singular in distinction with narrative Korean War films either before or since.

KW - history in film

KW - Intertitles

KW - Korean War film

KW - Lee Gwang-mo

KW - silent cinema

KW - subtitles

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85028555981&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1080/17564905.2017.1368144

DO - 10.1080/17564905.2017.1368144

M3 - Article

VL - 9

SP - 107

EP - 123

JO - Journal of Japanese and Korean Cinema

JF - Journal of Japanese and Korean Cinema

SN - 1756-4905

IS - 2

ER -