Jang Sun-Woo

Also Known As: Jang Seon-Wu
Job:Director, Writer
Date of birth:March 20, 1952
Country:South Korea

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About Jang Sun-Woo
South Korean director JANG Sun-woo's rich and diverse filmography is testament to his talent for powerful visuals combined with inventive storytelling. JANG's brutally honest and modern treatment of subjects ranging from sex to politics to art have earned him every-growing international recognition.
Because his films have often stirred up controversy in his native country, JANG has earned the reputation of being a challenger of conservative South Korean society.

His 1997 film, BAD MOVIE, a documentary-like portrait on Seoul's street kids and drunks, suffered heavy censorship in South Korea. BAD MOVIE was acclaimed internationally as a powerful kaleidoscope of self-destruction, sex, drug abuse, petty crime and prostitution. JANG was hailed for his unique style based on a philosophy of " no fixed scenarios, no fixed actors, no fixed camera."

The South Korean press dubbed JANG's 1991 film, THE ROAD TO THE RACETRACK as "near-porno." This film about the ups and downs of modern relationships made strong sexuality a reference aspect of JANG's work.

JANG's controversial 1994 film, TO YOU FROM ME used graphic sexual content in its scathing critique of cultural elitism and conservative mores, also adapted from a novel by South Korean writer JANG Jung-il.

JANG, born in 1952, started his career as a television screenwriter. He made his feature film debut as co-director of 1988's SEOUL JESUS, a tale imagining Jesus' descent to modern-day Seoul.

While studying Anthropology at Seoul National University in the late 1970s, JANG was active in the protest cultural movement against the South Korean military government. In 1980, he was jailed for having distributed leaflets exposing the Kwangju massacre. JANG has said that during his several-day jail stay he realized that he could use film to make social commentary. Fifteen years after the bloodshed of Kwangju, he wrote and directed, A PETAL, re-enacting scenes of one of the uprising's major demonstrations.

JANG's films have received every major award in his native country, as well as several international prizes. The originality and daring of JANG Sun-woo was honored with a full retrospective at the 1997 Rotterdam Film Festival.

1986 SEOUL JESUS, co-director SUNWOO Wan
1987 THE AGE OF SUCCESS, director/writer
1990 LOVERS IN WOOMUK-BAEMI, director/writer
1993 HWA-OM-KYUNG(WAY TO BUDDHA), director/writer
-43rd Berlin International Film festival - Alfred Bauer Award
1994 TO YOU FROM ME, director/writer
1995 CINEMA ON THE ROAD, director
(part of a documentary series, CELEBRATION OF A CENTURY OF CINEMA)
-Cannes Film Festival-special screening
1996 A PETAL, director/writer
-10th Asia Pacific Festival/Best Picture
-1st Bangkok Film Festival/Best Picture
1997 BAD MOVIE, director/writer
-10th Tokyo International Film Festival/Special Critics Award
-2nd Pusan International Film Festival/NETPAC Award
1999 LIES
-Venice Film Festival/Official Competition
-Toronto Film Festival
2002 Resurrection of the Little Match Girl