For whom the Grand Bell tolls?

  • Published : Mar 30, 2010 - 13:34
  • Updated : Mar 30, 2010 - 13:34


대종상, 누구를 위해 종을 울리나?

How many award ceremonies (수상식) does Korea need to bolster (채워 넣다) its film industry?
For many disillusioned (환멸감을 느끼는) movie fans, the answer might be "the fewer, the better," particularly (특별히) when a major award is embroiled (뒤얽히다) in a dispute (논쟁) over fairness (공정성) and a not-so-major one has been cancelled abruptly (갑작스럽게).
The 46th Grand Bell Awards, Korea`s top movie award ceremony, was originally scheduled to take place in June, but was pushed back (연기되다) to November due to the dearth (부족) of entries (참가자-후보작들). Worse, it confronts (직면하다) heated criticism (비판) about its selection of nominees (수상 후보 선정).
MBC, a local TV station which organizes the Korea Film Award, said it has decided to cancel the ceremony this year, citing (말하다, 열거하다) problems in funding (자금). The Korea Film Award had touched off (일으키다) debates (논란) about the glut of similar, overlapping film ceremonies (유사하고, 중복되는 시상식들의 범람) in 2002 when MBC went ahead with the project.
But it is not the first time that film awards in Korea suffered criticism. The Grand Bell Awards, known as "Daejong" here, have long been mired (오랫동안 곤경에 빠져있다) in controversy over their selection criteria (선정 기준). The ceremony will be on Nov. 6 this year, but it remains uncertain whether the selection of awardees will convince (납득시키다) skeptical (회의적인) movie fans.
Last Wednesday, the Grand Bell Awards organizers unveiled (밝히다) the nominees. It was hardly surprising that "Haeundae," a tsunami blockbuster that smashed (강타하다) the box office record this summer, was nominated in nine categories including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Actor. But "Thirst," directed by Park Chan-wook, is strangely absent (부재, 제외되다) from the Best Picture (최우수 작품상) nomination list despite its high-profile credentials (높은 대중적 인지도에도 불구하고); instead, "The Sky and the Sea," a film to be released this Thursday, has made it to the list.
Also in dispute is the Best Actress category. Ha Ji-won starred (주연을 맡은) in two notable films this year - "Haeundae," the highest-grossing film this year, and "Closer to Heaven," a melodrama that received critical acclaim (평론가들의 갈채) - but she failed to make it to the Best Actress list. Another missing name on the list is Kim Ha-neul, a popular actress who played the title character for the surprise box office hit, "My Girlfriend is an Agent."
In contrast, Jang Na-ra, a singer-turned-actress who has a strong presence (존재) in China, came to the unexpected spotlight because of her nomination in the Best Actress category for her role as an autistic (자폐증) musician in "The Sky and the Sea."
By Yang Sung-jin (