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[Well-curated weekend] Catch Berlin film fest winner, street performances this weekend

A scene from “The Novelist’s Film” directed by Hong Sang-soo (Jeonwonsa Film)
A scene from “The Novelist’s Film” directed by Hong Sang-soo (Jeonwonsa Film)
Have you ever wondered what makes award-winning movies so special? Then try watching director Hong Sang-soo’s 27th feature, “The Novelist’s Film,” in theaters this weekend.

The 92-minute long black-and-white film, which was shot in March last year, won the Silver Bear Grand Jury Prize at Berlin International Film Festival in February.

A scene from “The Novelist’s Film” directed by Hong Sang-soo (Jeonwonsa Film)
A scene from “The Novelist’s Film” directed by Hong Sang-soo (Jeonwonsa Film)
Hong’s movie follows female novelist Jun-hee (Lee Hye-young) who goes to a bookstore run by an old friend with whom she has fallen out of touch. After arriving at the bookstore, she heads to a tower nearby on her own, where she runs into a film director and his wife. Then, they take a walk in a park together and meet actor Gil-soo (Kim Min-hee) who has retired from the industry. The novelist suddenly tries to convince the actor to play a role in a film that she has been considering making.

The film’s charm is in its ordinary, everyday storyline -- which makes the story believable -- especially with the veteran actors’ performances -- to a point where it could almost be mistaken for a documentary.

A scene from “The Novelist’s Film” directed by Hong Sang-soo (Jeonwonsa Film)
A scene from “The Novelist’s Film” directed by Hong Sang-soo (Jeonwonsa Film)
Also, some of the repeated awkward pauses between characters in the film are so realistic and relatable that it can easily make audiences burst into laughter.

Another notable factor in the movie is some of Jun-hee’s lines which seem to reflect what the director wants to say to audiences. 

A scene from “The Novelist’s Film” directed by Hong Sang-soo (Jeonwonsa Film)
A scene from “The Novelist’s Film” directed by Hong Sang-soo (Jeonwonsa Film)
There is a scene where a director tells actor Gil-soo that she should do more commercial films, adding that many in the film industry think that she is wasting her talent. Korean audiences would likely draw parallels to the plight that Kim faces, after she admitted to being in an extramarital relationship with Hong. Since their relationship became public, Kim has not been working with any other directors but Hong.

In response, the novelist in the film aggressively defends the actor by saying “What do you mean ‘wasting?’ She is not an elementary school student. Are you saying you love her life more than she does?”


Marvel pop-up exhibition zone in Itaewon

Exterior of Walt Disney Company Korea’s pop-up exhibition zone, “Marvel: The Reflection,” located at Vinyl & Plastic by Hyundai Card in Itaewon, central Seoul (Walt Disney Company Korea)
Exterior of Walt Disney Company Korea’s pop-up exhibition zone, “Marvel: The Reflection,” located at Vinyl & Plastic by Hyundai Card in Itaewon, central Seoul (Walt Disney Company Korea)
If you are a fan of the Marvel series, a visit to this exhibition is highly recommended this weekend.

Walt Disney Company Korea has opened a local pop-up exhibition venue, “Marvel: The Reflection,” an experiential cultural space where visitors can explore the Marvel universe’s characters up close.

“WandaVision” artwork decorated in vivid colors and metal flowers (Walt Disney Company Korea)
“WandaVision” artwork decorated in vivid colors and metal flowers (Walt Disney Company Korea)
A large-sized Marvel facade welcomes visitors when stepping into the pop-up exhibition. The main section of the exhibition features reinterpretations of Marvel heroes’ stories in creative and multisensory ways. 

“Moon Knight” artwork in a spherical installation (Walt Disney Company Korea)
“Moon Knight” artwork in a spherical installation (Walt Disney Company Korea)
It focuses on Marvel characters from three different movies -- “WandaVision” and “Moon Knight,” as well as “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness,” which is set to hit local theaters on May 4. Visitors can experience the colorfully decorated space with special media artworks. 

Three-dimensional artwork of “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” decorated with a celestial globe and pieces of glass (Walt Disney Company Korea)
Three-dimensional artwork of “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” decorated with a celestial globe and pieces of glass (Walt Disney Company Korea)
There is also a space where visitors can pick their favorite original soundtracks of Marvel movie series and listen to them on LP records. Options for the original soundtracks include songs from “Black Panther,” “Avengers: Infinity War,” “Guardians of the Galaxy” series, “Shang-Chi and The Legend of the Ten Rings” and “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.”

Listening zone for original soundtracks of Marvel movie series (Walt Disney Company Korea)
Listening zone for original soundtracks of Marvel movie series (Walt Disney Company Korea)
The exhibition takes place at Hyundai Card’s record shop Vinyl and Plastic located in Itaewon, central Seoul, until May 8. Admission is free and the exhibition is open from noon to 9 p.m. Tuesdays to Saturdays, as well as noon to 6 p.m. on Sundays and holidays. It is closed on Mondays.

Street performances throughout Seoul

“Tipping point” (SFAC)
“Tipping point” (SFAC)
Spring offers the perfect weather for enjoying street performances. To take the advantage of the warm sunshine and to support street performers, the Seoul Foundation for Arts and Culture organized a festival dedicated to various street arts ranging from puppet shows to a percussions concert.

The event takes place every weekend from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. at different places from April 23 to May 22. For this weekend’s edition, Seoul Forest will be the center stage for nine performances. 

“Animated sweeper” (SFAC)
“Animated sweeper” (SFAC)
“Fortune Doll: Eating Together,” a 25-minute performance created by A Friend’s Rooftop Art, portrays a lonely doll maker. “Animated Sweeper” by Showgang will feature a cleaner who is an impromptu sound maker.

“Fantasy Space” by CreativeGroup SSAK is a nonverbal puppet show. 

“Fantasy space” (SFAC)
“Fantasy space” (SFAC)
Green Cow, a contemporary Experimental arts research group, will offer “Tipping Point,” a creative performance mourning icebergs that melted due to a heated Earth.

JinaOKing will mix sounds of various instruments and noises in a concert called “The tiny isle of nobody.”

“Fortune Doll” (SFAC)
“Fortune Doll” (SFAC)
The event was launched in 2014 to fill public squares and parks with street performances.

Detailed schedules and locations are available on the Seoul Foundation for Arts and Culture website. 

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By Korea Herald (khnews@heraldcorp.com)
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