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Sounds of celluloid dreams: coming of the talkies to cinema in colonial Korea

Chapter


Abstract


  • Conventional reports often hint at how Koreans gained fijilm industry experience and

    training in Korea and Japan during the 1920s and early 1930s under Cultural Policy

    reforms. Yet, few studies consider the full range of influences that motivated their contributions

    to a local vibrant popular entertainment industry and to the global transition

    to sound. This article attempts to recast the story of cinema in colonial Korea by

    offfering new insights into the productive and destructive characteristics of colonial

    modernity. The exhibition of talkies from Japan and the West (primarily the United

    States)—as early as in 1925 and more regularly after 1930—inspired Korean fijilmmakers

    and technicians to experiment with sound technology in a way similar to others

    around the world. Producing a small number of talkies on “locally-made” equipment

    enabled them to reach out to millions of cinemagoers and to contribute to a “goldenage”

    of cinema—rather than simply “collaborating” with the Japanese. In the process,

    they constructed new spaces for the expression of Korean language and culture

    within and despite the political and cultural boundaries of colonialism. Colonialism

    involved entangled degrees of entrepreneurialism, nationalism, and modernity—particularly

    for those who dreamt of bringing modernity to Korea and sought the type of

    cosmopolitan lifestyle found in a fijilm production center such as Seoul,

Publication Date


  • 2013

Citation


  • Yecies, B. (2013). Sounds of celluloid dreams: coming of the talkies to cinema in colonial Korea. In H. Lynn (Eds.), Critical Readings on the Colonial Period of Korea 1910-1945 (vol 2 - Section 3: Culture) (pp. 497-526). United Kingdom: Brill.

Book Title


  • Critical Readings on the Colonial Period of Korea 1910-1945 (vol 2 - Section 3: Culture)

Start Page


  • 497

End Page


  • 526

Place Of Publication


  • United Kingdom

Abstract


  • Conventional reports often hint at how Koreans gained fijilm industry experience and

    training in Korea and Japan during the 1920s and early 1930s under Cultural Policy

    reforms. Yet, few studies consider the full range of influences that motivated their contributions

    to a local vibrant popular entertainment industry and to the global transition

    to sound. This article attempts to recast the story of cinema in colonial Korea by

    offfering new insights into the productive and destructive characteristics of colonial

    modernity. The exhibition of talkies from Japan and the West (primarily the United

    States)—as early as in 1925 and more regularly after 1930—inspired Korean fijilmmakers

    and technicians to experiment with sound technology in a way similar to others

    around the world. Producing a small number of talkies on “locally-made” equipment

    enabled them to reach out to millions of cinemagoers and to contribute to a “goldenage”

    of cinema—rather than simply “collaborating” with the Japanese. In the process,

    they constructed new spaces for the expression of Korean language and culture

    within and despite the political and cultural boundaries of colonialism. Colonialism

    involved entangled degrees of entrepreneurialism, nationalism, and modernity—particularly

    for those who dreamt of bringing modernity to Korea and sought the type of

    cosmopolitan lifestyle found in a fijilm production center such as Seoul,

Publication Date


  • 2013

Citation


  • Yecies, B. (2013). Sounds of celluloid dreams: coming of the talkies to cinema in colonial Korea. In H. Lynn (Eds.), Critical Readings on the Colonial Period of Korea 1910-1945 (vol 2 - Section 3: Culture) (pp. 497-526). United Kingdom: Brill.

Book Title


  • Critical Readings on the Colonial Period of Korea 1910-1945 (vol 2 - Section 3: Culture)

Start Page


  • 497

End Page


  • 526

Place Of Publication


  • United Kingdom