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Five Days in Heaven: The 15th Jecheon International Music & Film Festival
  • 기사등록 2019-07-26 16:50:11
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[NEWS PORTAL STARTODAY] From August 8th to 13th music and film lovers will be able to experience a little bit of heaven.  The 15th Annual Jecheon International Music & Film Festival (15th JIMFF) will offer 126 music films for our viewing pleasure, a record-high for this festival. 

   

   As a musician myself I was very pleased to learn that this festival actually focuses on the role that music plays in film. The trailer states that “the entire world is made up of musical notes”. Director Kang Hyoung Chul, expressing his love for film music says, “I think of music as one of the actors”. Just imagine a world where music is absent. I cannot even perceive of such a thing. Yet, one can experience a time in film history when sound was not available, the period of silent films that preceded the “talkies”. Musicians, usually pianists, provided the ever important musical backdrop to these silent films. A special program entitled “Cinema Concert” will honor, highlight and resurrect films accompanied by live music performances. Composer, performer, producer and silent movie fan, Marcin Pukaluk, will present his works at films including, “The Polish Dancer” (Poland, 1917) and “The Self-Seeker” (Ukrainian SSR, 1927). Pukaluk notes that “the very key to understand his music is what you see on the screen. This is the picture, the image that often determines the final composition of the music making it very much illustrative.” 


     Every year the festival appoints an actor as its honorary ambassador to promote the festival. This year Jung Soo Jung aka Krystal, actor and member of the K-Pop group “f(x)” will shines brightly as she ushers in and livens up the mood of the festival. Live music performances will feature popular and local singers, bands and DJ’s representing all styles and genres. Look for them at events such as “Cool Night”, which takes place in an indoor roller skating rink for over 20’s and features DJ performances by Giiana, Apro, Raphan and Primit, each with their own particular musical tastes and styles. The JIMFF “Summer Stage” will take place on Culture Street, Jungagn-ro, Jecheon (Aug 9-12) and at Dongmyung-ro 77 Stage (formerly Dongmyung Elementary School) for the “Summer City Night” performances (Aug 7-13). Initiating the converted school to Dongmyung-ro77 stage venue are The Kimchangwan Band and beloved diva singer, Ailee who set the record of the first K-Pop song that was streamed 200 million times in 2017! That was the song, “I Will Go to You Like the First Snow” from the hit movie, “Goblin”, a must-see movie. Their performances on August 12th at 8pm are slated as inter-generational, to be “experienced and enjoyed by anyone and everyone”. 


   The festival is cleverly divided into sections, each bringing our attention to the different and varied uses of music in film as well as the musicians who create the music. To help you dissect the offerings here is a brief synopsis. 


   The Opening film, “Inna de Yard – The Soul of Jamaica”  is a documentary film by Peter Webber (The Zebra Man, Girl with a Pearl Earring and Emperor) in which we learn about the origins of reggae music and how it flowed from the yard to the world. 


   “Cine Section” displays ten feature films and thirty-five short films from around the world that focus on music and musicians as well as contemporary dramas which deploy music for narrative development. 


   “Music in Sight” presents a number of varied documentaries which reveal the real and very human side of iconic and legendary musicians including Ara Malikian, Ella Fitzgerald, Eric Clapton, Miles Davis, UzRock, David Crosby, and the late Joao Gilberto. We also get a look into the infamous Blue Note Records. These documentaries, twelve features and eighteen shorts which include the lives of Michel Legrand and Nao Takeuchi are meant to allude to the universality of lives and cultures through music.


   “Korean Music Film Now” turns our attention to the role of diversity in subject matter and the way the film handles music; “films that please the eyes and ears, deploy music as the pivotal medium of the narrative and character transformation, and portray the process of musical creation”. Ten features and seventeen short films are included in this section. A special commemorative screening of films by the late director Ryu Jang-ha will include “Listen to Your Heart” and “The Beautiful Mind”. 


   “100 Years of Korean Cinema, Songs of the Times” presents six films that celebrate and represent period-specific film music and theme songs. This includes “The Blue Hill (1949)”, a film considered the pioneer of Korean music films. Additional films include “Popular Songs in the Past 50 Years (1968)” featuring music from the 1920’s to the late 1960’s, “Heavenly Homecoming to Stars (1974), “Whale Hunting” focusing on youth music of the 1980’s, “Sopyonje (1993) about the underlying theme of Korean sorrow presented through Pansori traditional music, and “Radio Star (2006), a film about the friendship between a has-been singer and his longtime manager. 


  “Themes & Variations” bring forth the important role of music used as an instrument for social voice in past and recent resistance events around the globe. Featured full length and shorts include the legendary film, “Woodstock”, a documentary of a weekend rock concert that changed America and subsequently the world, “Metal Politics in Taiwan” about metal singer Freddy Lim who was appointed representative of foreign affairs and national defense of Taiwan’s parliament, “The Song of Grassroots” about Indonesia’s human rights violation cases, “Re-sound” marking the 40th anniversary of “Meari”, a folk singing club at Seoul National University where students have sung about the history of Korea’s modern age and progressive social movement, “music movement”, “The Third Part of the Third Measure”, a film about queer African-American Avant-garde composer and performer, Julius Eastman, “To Live and Die in Manila” shares information about the brutal war on drugs, and finally, “Palestinian Underground” which relates the story of music collective “Jazar Crew” which has successfully fostered a vibrant party scene in Haifa, Israel. 


   Lovers of talk, analysis, commentary and the like are not forgotten. Programs, events and activities, where audience and handpicked guests are able to meet in more intimate venues, will encourage more personal communication, provide opportunities to hear inside stories and enjoy Q & A sessions. 


   The Closing film will be the winner of the Grand Prize of the International competition, “World Music Film Today”. The competition introduces two documentaries and five dramas from countries including Spain, Japan, USA/Japan, Argentina/France/Japan, Belgium/Indonesia, India, and Russia/Armenia. The films represent all genres in which music plays a central role. The winner film will receive the LOTTE Award and prize of 20 million KRW!! 

   I encourage you to visit the festival website (www.jimff.org and in English at: www.jimff.org/eng/), follow their Instagram page (www.instagram.com/jimfflove) and LIKE their Facebook page (www.facebook.com/JIMFF). Take the time to see what is offered, select your faves then download the application from the website to purchase tickets in advance. Ticket prices are extremely reasonable ranging from around 7000krw to 35,000krw. Some events are free for children under age 7 (born after 2012 with certification required). Package prices and discounts are available if you are a “friend” of JIMFF. Some also include an additional free ticket. Be sure to note age restrictions that are in effect at certain events such as the “General Screening” (not for under 5’s born after 2015) and “Cool Night” (a late night concert with a party-like atmosphere is not for under 20’s born after 2000). The “Closing Ceremony” is free for all (first come first served!). Note that even if online tickets are sold out there may be tickets available at the box offices on the day of the screening. It can’t get more heavenly than this! 


Review by Kim Miso (aka Rahel Limor)

[NEWS PORTAL STARTODAY / startoday.net]

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