Ji-hoon Kim, Associate Professor, Chung-Ang University & Visiting Scholar in the Film in the School of the Arts.
Moderated by Jae Won Edward Chung, Rutgers University
Friday, September 24 @4pm
Co-sponsored by Columbia University Seminar
This talk presents an overview of Post-verité Turns: Korean Documentary Cinema in the 21st Century, the first-ever English-written academic monograph on the South Korean nonfiction film and video practices by individual filmmakers, artists, and collectives since the 1980s. More than offering a comprehensive history of those practices during the last four decades, it offers a critical mapping of how the formal and aesthetic variations of the Korean documentary cinema during the last two decades have differed from and simultaneously renewed the activist, cinéma-vérité tradition of Korean independent documentaries of the 1980s and 1990s in conjunction with the transition to the post-authoritarian, post-minjung, post-IMF, and post-traumatic society. These variations encompass personal documentaries and essay films, experimental documentaries on landscapes, documentaries extensively using archival materials, digitally enabled documentaries, and intersections of documentary and contemporary art. Mapping these variations onto five categories along with trends of the activist documentaries reloaded in the 21st century, I use the term ‘post-verité’ to theorize these new constellations of aesthetics and politics. By departing from the epistemological and aesthetic assumptions of its predecessor, the Korean documentary in the twenty-first century has formed the most vibrant screenscape for cinematic experimentations. At the same time, I argue that these experimentations have also updated the activist tradition’s political and ethical commitment to history and politics by reinventing the ways of engaging with the traumas of modernization and the new problems of neoliberalized contemporary Korea.
Jihoon Kim (chungang.academia.edu/JKIM) is associate professor of cinema and media studies at Chung-ang University, and currently a visiting scholar in the Film and Media Studies program at Columbia University. He is the author of Documentary’s Expanded Fields: New Media and the Twenty-First-Century Documentary (forthcoming in Oxford University Press, Feb 2022) and Between Film, Video, and the Digital: Hybrid Moving Images in the Post-media Age(Bloomsbury, 2018/16). He is also finalizing his third book, Post-verité Turns: Korean Documentary Cinema in the 21st Century.