01:574:230 Introduction to Korean Cinema and Cinematic Language 

In this course, students will view several contemporary South Korean films that have received varying amounts of public attention and critical acclaim both inside and outside of South Korea. With South Korean directors receiving acclaim at international film festivals such as Cannes, the line between South Korean cinema and Global cinema is becoming blurred. Furthermore, with the recent success of Bong Joon-ho’s Parasite at the 92nd Academy Awards, this course aims to equip students with a unique cultural perspective that will allow them to further explore the scope of South Korean cinema. The goal of this course is to engage with different cinematic representations of South Korean culture being presented and consumed by both a domestic audience and a global audience.

Course Goals:
  -Experience a wide range of contemporary films that can be categorized as “Korean Cinema” and understand the growing global appeal of these films.
  -Identify whether or not a distinct cultural representation of South Korean culture has successfully been translated to a global audience.
  -Generate discourse among students with different levels of exposure to South Korean culture and film.

Grading: Quizzes: 10%, Forum Discussions: 25%, Response Papers (2): 20%, Group Project: 10%, Final Examination: 25%

For each week that a film is assigned, there will be a short quiz to be completed by the end of that week (Sunday @ Midnight). Each quiz is worth 1 point. These quizzes will consist of comprehension questions about the film in order to check that students have watched the assigned film. Quizzes will can be found in the “Quizzes” tab on Canvas. For each film, there will be a class forum on Canvas. This forum will be for discussion and conversation, and should be an environment where students can openly share their ideas and opinions on the films that they watch. Each week, students are expected to make at least one post following the weekly topic—this topic will change each week (e.g., analyze a certain theme, identify a motif, show the film to a friend/family member and share the experience, provide a movie review, etc.). These discussion posts are due each week, Sunday @ Midnight. Students are also expected to contribute to the forum by responding to their peers’ posts. Students are expected to make at least 10 “Response Posts” throughout the semester. Our class forum can be found in the “Discussions” tab on Canvas.

Students will be responsible for two response papers throughout the semester. Students will watch five films that have been recognized at international film festivals and compare them to five films that have received domestic attention/acclaim in South Korea. These response papers are an opportunity for students to identify and analyze key similarities and differences between a Korean film that has received international acclaim and a Korean film that received domestic success. Optional writing prompts will be given to students one week prior to the due date.

Students are encouraged to generate their own writing prompt. Minimum word count: 800 words.

Students will sign up and form groups of 2-4 to create short PowerPoint presentations about one film that will be watched throughout the semester. These presentations should include background information about the film, including information about the director, actors, global and local box office, critical reception, motifs, themes, etc. Most importantly, the group will present discussion questions to be used in the discussion forums.

The final exam is to be completed during the 14th week of the course. Students will have the entire week to complete and submit the exam. The Final Exam will consist of 25 multiple choice/short answer/True False questions. The exam will cover all 10 films we have watched in class, as well as cover the required readings for the semester. Students will have access to all of the films, readings, and other resources, and are encouraged to make use of these sources of information to answer their exam questions.