Presentation on theme: "Attack the Gas Station! 1999 directed by Sang-Jin Kim written by Jeong-woo Park."— Presentation transcript:
Attack the Gas Station! 1999 directed by Sang-Jin Kim written by Jeong-woo Park
Background Over the past decade, South Korean cinema has undergone a remarkable transformation, with the traditional staid melodramas and exploitation movies giving way to a 'NEW WAVE' of filmmakers who have revitalized the industry with their bold arthouse productions, big-budget action films, and subversive satires.
Background South Korea is now being likened to a new 'Hong Kong', with a homegrown film industry exploding onto the world stage. This is similar to the 'Hong Kong New Wave' of the late 70s and 80s, which brought groundbreaking directors (eg. Tsui Hark, John Woo, Ringo Lam, and Wong Kar-wai) into the international spotlight.
Background The seeds for this dramatic evolution were sown back in 1988, when two important pieces of legislation were passed. The first was South Korea's new constitution, which eased the country's strict political censorship laws, providing filmmakers a more liberal venue for political expression.
Background The second was the easing of import restrictions on foreign films, which forced Korean filmmakers to compete directly against Hollywood and Hong Kong productions. Unfortunately, the film industry was slow in adapting to this new operating environment.
The New Wave Ironically, when South Korea was hit by a recession (1997), this convinced many of the large industry conglomerates (chaebols), such as Daewoo and Samsung, to invest in the movie industry. This trend was eagerly followed by private investors, who wanted films that were more daring and in tune to audience tastes.
The New Wave This provided many opportunities for first- time directors, whose unique worldview married their upbringing in Korean society with their exposure to Western education and filmmaking techniques. As a result, the South Korean film industry gained considerable visibility, with better production values and a more iconoclastic (image-breaking) attitude.
Attack the Gas Station! This is one of the more interesting films to come out of the 'Korean New Wave'. It became a national phenomenon among South Korean students in 1999, making it the second-highest grossing film at the box office that year.
Attack the Gas Station! Its subversive script and exuberant direction make this a wonderfully absurd take on modern life in South Korea. This film satirizes how the rigid social strata of modern South Korea has contributed to the country's turmoil.
Attack the Gas Station! As in recent history, the most volatile people in the film are the students and the blue-collar workers (represented by the delivery boy), who have traditionally been the most active proponents of reform in Korean society.
Attack the Gas Station! 1999 was a time of economic turmoil, with many car manufacturers laying off thousands of employees. There are allusions to this throughout the film, mostly when Paint discovers framed pieces of paper with slogans promoting a productive work force (which he destroys in a fit of rage).
Attack the Gas Station! The film also comments on American economic imperialism, when “Rockstar” drinks from a can of Pepsi. A police officer chastises him for "giving money to the Yankees." Rockstar says that Pepsi is a Korean product, referring to the Pepsi logo's resemblance to the South Korean flag.
Attack the Gas Station! The film also illustrates the dynamics of power in Korea’s troubled history. Allegiances and power bases among the hostages and their captors shift, as different characters enter and leave the room.