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Notebook on Cities and Culture’s Korea Tour: Men, Women, and Society Behaving Badly with Marc Raymond

marcraymondNotebook on Cities and Culture‘s Korea Tour is brought to you by Daniel Murphy, David Hayes, and The Polar Intertia Journal, an outlet for artists and researchers documenting the urban condition.

On a rainy day in Seoul’s Garosu-gil, Colin Marshall talks with Marc Raymond, film scholar, teacher at Kangwoon University, and author of Hollywood’s New Yorker: The Making of Martin ScorseseThey discuss how much you can learn about Korean life from Hong Sangsoo movies; what Hong has in common with Martin Scorsese; how the two directors relate differently to their “outsider” status; the international code Hong seems to have cracked, and why the rest of Korea covets that; Hong’s probable place in the Criterion Collection (or at least the Eclipse Series); how, exactly, he would describe what a Hong Sangsoo film is; the rarity of the intersection between talky relationship cinema and formally experimental cinema; the importance of drinking, smoking, and improvisation in not just Hong’s method but in Korean culture itself; how he first discovered Hong, and how he discovered Scorsese shared his enthusiasm; how Hong illustrates the breakdown of the social rules Korea doesn’t expect to break down; why his Korean wife laugh at different moments in the movies than he does; whether straight-up critiques of Korean masculinity have remained central to Hong’s work; Hong’s less-discussed critique of Korean femininity; whether he finds, given his experience with Korean life, that Hong’s criticism of Korean society hit the mark; how Hong’s films have become linguistically easier as he has gained larger international audiences; why, between degrees, he came to Korea in the first place; his early impressions of the familial attitude and reliance on authority that penetrated all environments; the reductiveness he dislikes in the scholarship of both Korea and Scorsese; where his native Canada’s lack of popular cinema drove him; whether Koreans expect him to exemplify Canadian virtues; the hockey comedy that outgrossed Titanic in Quebec; what it felt like to go from a huge, thinly populated country to a small, thickly populated one where his first apartment complex had more people than his hometown; the importance of a career that allows you to pick and choose where you go and when in a big city; what films, besides Hong’s, have helped him integrate into Korean culture, like Oasis and Secret Sunshine; the difference between Korean melodrama and other countries’ melodrama; who we can call “the Korean Martin Scorsese”; and whether Canada has, or could use, a Scorsese of its own.

Download the interview here as an MP3 or on iTunes.

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