Monday, December 1, 2014

Colloquium "The Everyday without Depth: Hong Sang-soo and a Cinema of Paradox" at Pitt, December 5.

The Department of East Asian Languages & Literatures at the University of Pittsburgh will present a colloquium with Seung-Hwan Shin, "The Everyday without Depth: Hong Sang-soo and a Cinema of Paradox", on December 5. The abstract:
Hong's arrival in the mid-1990s marks a new phase in the development of Korean cinema in the post-democratization era. He responded to the post-epic condition by rediscovering everyday life (its contingency and disjontedness) via a minimalist gaze. Yet instead of putting his films under such blanket terms as postmodernism or deconstruction, I read them as hinging upon the urge to scrutinize and embrace life without "good sense". Notably, his cinema is marked by the lack of center and depth to build our perception on it; depth gives way to service where events prove to be governed by paradoxes instead of good senses that oblige us to pick one direction over the other. We thus recurrently witness in his films such motifs as drifting, idling, waiting, drinking, chatting, doubting, hesitating, wavering, forgetting, etc. Notable in this regard is Hong's peculiar sense of humor, which I attributed to his effort to make sense of life without good sense, viz., the everyday that continues without an ultimate solution to its paradoxes. It is also intriguing to note how his minimalism shows a viable way of independent cinema between maximalism (e.g., big-budget films) and protectionism (e.g., publicly funded films).
Dr. Shin is a part-time instructor of Korean and East Asian Cinema, and earned his Ph.D. from Pitt in April. The talk will take place in 4130 Posvar Hall (campus map) from 12:00 pm.