Im Kwon-Taek

Also Known As: Im Gweon-Taek
Date of birth:May 02, 1936
Country:South Korea

About Im Kwon-Taek
Im Kwon-Taek was born in Jangsung, South Cholla Province in 1936. At the age of 26, he made his debut with [Farewell Duman River](1962) and produced some 50 genre-films under the apprenticeship. Beginning with 1979’s [The Hidden Hero], [Jjak-ko](1980) and [Mandala](1981), his films became the talk of film industry from both the domestic and international critics alike. Im gained a world-wide fame with [Surrogate Woman](1986), [Aje Aje Bara Aje](1989) and [Sopyonje](1993), becoming the most recognizable Korean film director. [Chunhyang] is the first Korean film ever to enter the competition section at Cannes.

Arguably the most internationally-renowned South Korean filmmaker, IM Kwon-taek has dedicated his artistic life to representing the complexities of the history and politics of his native country. IM Kwon-taek was born in Jangsung, Cholla Province, South Korea, in 1936. Compromised by his father's involvement with the Communist Party, his family's economic stability began to falter, forcing the young artist to work during the Korean War (1950-1953).

After moving to Seoul and meeting director CHUNG Chang-Wha, IM started working for the legendary Hanyang Film Company. He went on to direct his first feature film, DUMANGANG-A JAL IKKORA, five years after arriving in Korea's capital, but it wasn't until the mid-1970s that IM Kwon-taek moved from shooting Korean B-movies to using film as an artistic medium.

While Korean Cinema experienced a sharp decline during the 1970s (having just undergone two decades of rapid growth), IM Kwon-taek's career blossomed with the success of his first dramatic feature films. And as Korean cinema was saved by the creation of the Motion Picture Promotion Corporation, IM Kwon-taek turned to the humanistic and poignant social dramas that later on became the source of his international fame.

IM Kwon-taek has won numerous international awards, including the Best Director Award at the 2002 Cannes Film Festival, for CHIHWASEON (PAINTED FIRE).

Director's Statement

The name "won" is a pen name designated to the famous painters Danwon and Hyaewon. JANG Seung-up, whose pen name is "Oh-won," makes up one of the three famous 'won' painters in Korean art. He is one of the best painters of the Joseon Dynasty, and people consider his works to be divine.

Although he lived about 100 years ago, some of his mysticized deeds haven't allowed us to really see his life as it truly was. Also, apart from praise for his artistic achievements, we've never criticized his works properly. This story starts with a simple curiosity about a genius painter who lived a not-so-normal life. But it was a shock for me to realize that this film wasn't solely a dramatization of one artist's life.

There are three main elements in the film. First, the end of the 19th century was, historically, an exceptional time. Second, Joseon, which was a small country in Northeast Asia. And finally, JANG Seung-up, who became in this time and space a famous painter from the lower class. These three elements are firmly entangled, well understood, and successfully explain each other in this film.

JANG Seung-up is known as a free man who lived by his own ways and cared about nothing, even the king's order. Or he is known by his strange deeds such as painting only when he had wine and women with him. However, I don't think the same about him.

I think that his relationship to women and sex was an expression of his deep anguish and affliction, a way to sustain his artistic spirit while living in a dark world. I could feel from his life, an artist's desperate efforts and strong will for overcoming his own limits. He was proud of his works but at the same time he tortured himself to pursue the highest level - one that nobody else could reach. And this is the most crucial reason I made this film.

Another reason for making this film centers around my thoughts about the aesthetics of Korean traditional paintings falling under the category of East Asian paintings. Under the influence of modernization, which mostly comprises of a discontinuance or self-denial of traditions, western aesthetic standards have been with us for a long time. As a result, the aesthetics and spirit of Korean paintings are being forgotten. I think this could be another aspect of the Korean aesthetics and values I've been trying to find through making films. I experimented through Korean traditional opera in my previous film, Chunhyang, and on how the western mechanism of filmmaking can combine with Korean traditional narrative. Continuing this, Chihwaseon makes another experiment of this combination through the visual elements of Korean traditional paintings.

Chihwaseon will be a painful examination on how I have judged the nature and history in which I was born and raised. It will also be a small dedication to an artist's severe efforts to endure his brutal reality in order to find himself. I believe that the "drinking master of painting," JANG Seung-up, whom I met spiritually while preparing for this film, is another shape of me, a man who keeps struggling for art with a camera instead of the brush.

Filmography (1968 - 2002)

Chihwaseon - Painted Fire (2002)
Chunhyang (2000)
Ch'ukje (1996)
Taebak Mountains (1994)
Seo-Pyon-Jae (1993)
Son of a General III (1992)
Fly High Run Far - Kae Byok (1992)
Son of a General II (1991)
Son of the General (1990)
Come Come Come Upward (1989)
Adada (1988)
Diary of King Yonsan (1987)
Surrogate Woman, The (1986)
Ticket (1986)
Gilsodom (1985)
Eternal Flow, The (1984)
Daughter of the Flames (1983)
Abenko gongsu gundan (1982)
Village in the Mist (1982) (UK)
In the Bosom of a Butterfly (1982)
Polluted One, The (1982)
Mandala (1981)
Wealthy Woman, The (1980)
Pursuit of Death (1980)
High School Tears (1980)
Hidden Hero, The (1979)
Again Tomorrow (1979)
Divine Bow, The (1979)
Little Adventurer, The (1978)
Genealogy (1978)
Near Yet Far Away (1978)
Evergreen Tree, The (1978)
Madame Kye in the Imjin War (1977)
Virtuous Woman, The (1977)
Industrious Wife, The (1976)
Overcome by Misfortunes (1976)
Commando on the Nakdong River (1976)
Byegone Romance, A (1976)
Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow (1975)
Who and Why? (1975)
Wives on Parade (1974)
Hidden Princess, Part 2, The (1974) I'll Never Cry Again (1974)
Hidden Princess, The (1974)
Pursuit of the Bandits (1973)
Five Hostesses for the Resistance (1973)
Jabcho (1973) (aka Deserted Widow, The)
Testimony, The (1973) (USA)
Arrivals and Departures (1972)
Seize the Precious Sword (1972)
Cruelty on the Streets of Myongdong (1972)
30-Year Showdown, The (1971)
Gangsters of Myongdong (1971)
In Search of the Secret Agent (1971)
Stepmother's Heartache, A (1971)
Snowing on Grudge Street (1971)
Revenge of Two Sons (1971)
Swordswoman (1971)
One-Eyed Mr. Park (1970)
Hidden Investigator (1970)
Flying Sword, The (1970)
Vagabond's Story, A (1970)
Unmarried Mother (1970)
Woman Pursued, A (1970)
Snapshot and a Murder, A (1970)
Swords Under the Moon (1970)
Best Friends and Their Wives (1969)
Eagle of the Wilderness (1969)
Thunder Sword (1969)
Three Generations of Men (1969)
Escape from Shanghai (1969)
Would You Help Me? (1969)
Full Moon Night (1969)
Man Called the Wind, A (1968)
Waking Woman, The (1968)
Return From the Sea (1968)
Concubine Jang Hui-bin (1968)

자타가 공인하는 우리나라를 대표하는 감독인 임권택 감독은 80년대 이후 우리 영화를 이끌어 온 감독이다. 약 스무살 무렵 영화계에 입문한 임권택 감독은 1961년 <두만강아 잘있거라>로 감독데뷔하였다. 이 영화는 중국의 만주를 배경으로 일제에 항거하는 젊은 독립투사들을 그려내었고, 흥행에서 크게 성공하였다.

이후 많은 작품들을 만들었지만, 임권택 감독 스스로는 자신의 초기작품 50편에 대해서 저급한 영화 또는 습작의 기간이라는 평을 내릴 정도로 겸손하다. 73년 그의 51번째 영화인 <잡초>를 만들며 전기의 기회를 만들었고, 81년 <만다라>를 만들며 이후 그의 영화에 있어서 동반자가 된 정일성 촬영감독을 만난다. 이 영화는 베를린 영화제 본선에 오르는 쾌거를 이룩하며, 임권택 감독을 국제적으로 알리는 계기가 된다.

이후 <길소뜸>이 역시 베를린 영화제 본선에, <씨받이>는 강수연의 베니스영화제 여우주연상 수상, <아다다>는 신혜수의 몬트리올영화제 여우주연상을 수상하게 만들며, 한국을 대표하는 국제적인 감독이 되었다.

임권택 감독을 말할 때 빼놓을 수 없는 작품은 바로 <서편제>와 <장군의 아들>이다. 우리 영화가 <쉬리>, <공동경비구역 JSA >, <친구> 등을 거치며 국내 관객들의 많은 호응을 받고 있고, 국내 최다 관객을 동원하는 기록을 남겼지만, 그들보다 이전 시기에 국내 흥행기록을 갖고 있는 것이 바로 임권택 감독의 작품이다. 더군다나 지금은 배급력의 힘으로 많은 스크린을 확보, 물량공세가 가능하지만, 그렇지 않고 단관으로 개봉한 임권택 감독의 영화들은 장기 상영에 들어가며 흥행기록을 세웠다는 것이 놀랍다 못해 경이적이다.

임권택 감독의 뛰어난 능력중 하나는 탁월한 소재 선택에 있다. 한때 다른 감독들이 사람을 즐겁게 해주는 코미디 등에 심취해 있을 때에도 임권택 감독은 우리 근,현대사 속에서 우리들이 알아야 할만한 역사적 사실들을 소재로 가져와 관객들에게 보여주는 능력은 참으로 감탄할 만하다. 그래서, 임권택 감독의 성장은 한국의 영화계 그리고 한국 현대사의 변화와 일정하게 맥을 같이하고 있다.

작품세계 : 개인적 삶과 집단적 삶의 관계를 표현하는데 있어, 인물에 중점을 두어 전개시킨다

영화 화면의 특징 : 여백의활용과 절제의 미덕을 발휘하여 한국적 프레임이라는 평가를 받는다.


1981년 베를린영화제 본선 진출(만다라)
1986년 시카고영화제 세계평화메달상수상, 베를린영화제 본선 진출(길소뜸)
1987년 베니스영화제 여우주연상(강수연) 수상(씨받이)
1988년 몬트리올영화제 여우주연상(신혜수) 수상(아다다)
1989년 모스크바영화제 여우주연상(강수연) 수상(아제아제 바라아제)
1989년 문화훈장 보관장 수상
1992년 상해영화제 감독상과 여우주연상(오정해) 수상(서편제)
1997년 후쿠오카 아시아 문화상 수상
1998년 샌프란시스코영화제 구로자와상 수상

Revivre (2014)

Ari Ari the Korean Cinema (2012)

Hanji (2011)

Beyond the Years (2007)

Raging Years (2004)

Chihwaseon (2002)

Chunhyang (2000)

Downfall (1997)

Festival (1996)

Cinema on the Road (1995)

Taebaek Mountains, The (1994)

Sopyonje (1993)

General's Son III (1992)

Fly High Run Far (1991)

General's Son II (1991)

General's Son (1990)

Aje Aje Bara Aje (1989)

Diary of King Yonsan, The (1988)

Surrogate Womb, The (1987)

Adada (1987)

Ticket (1986)

Can't Stop the Flowing River (1986)

Gilsodom (1986)

Daughter of Fire (1983)

Crying in the Arms of Butterfly (1983)

Mist Village (1983)

Polluted Ones (1982)

Abenko Green Beret (1982)

High School Students (1982)

Buddhist Ascetic Mandara, A (1981)

Two Old Men (1980)

Man Who Has Not His Own Flag, A (1980)

Woman Speculator (1980)

Female Shaman's Bow (1979)

Mother's Face Image on the Wave (1979)

Genealogical Record (1979)

Tomorrow (1979)

Near in Distance, but Far to Reach (1978)

Evergreen Tree, The (1978)

Japanese Invasion of Korea in 1952 and Kye Wol Hya (1977)

Ok-Rye's Life (1977)

Wife (1976)

Does the Nak-Dong River Flow? (1976)

Bare Feet in the Snow (1976)

Wang Sib Ri, My Hometown (1976)

Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow (1975)

Why Did I Do That? (1975)

Yeonhwa 2 (1975)

Yeonhwa (1975)

I Won't Cry (1974)

Parade of Wives (1974)

Weeds (1973)

Big Chase, The (1973)

Testimony (1973)

Combat of Three Kingdoms (1972)

One Who Comes Back and the Other Who Has to Leave (1972)

Cruel History of Myeong Dong (1972)

Whirl of Betrayals on Myeongdong (1972)

Second Mother, A (1972)

Revenge of the Sword (1971)

Don't Torture Me Anymore (1971)

Two Revengeful Hunchbacks, The (1971)

Facedown in 30 Years, A (1971)

It Snows on the Bloody Street (1971)

Woman with Long Eyelashes, A (1970)

Powerful Sword, A (1970)

Man Who Arrived by Night Train, A (1970)

Chase that Woman (1970)

Port in the Rain, The (1970)

Crape Myrtle in Dew, A (1970)

One-eyed Park (1970)

Sword Under the Moonlight (1970)

Sorry to Give You Trouble (1969)

Eagle of Wild Field (1969)

Lightening Sword (1969)

Night of Full Moon, The (1969)

Escape Shanghai (1969)

Raining Komo Ridge (1969)

Returned Left-Handed Man (1968)

Lady in Dream (1968)

Man of Wind (1968)

Jang Hee-Bin (Concubine Jang) (1968)

Nostalgia (1967)

Swordsman, A (1967)

Red-and-blue Gauze Lantern, A (1967)

Nilriri (1966)

I am the King (1966)

Oki Makes a Judge Cry (1966)

War and a Female Teacher (1966)

King and Plebeian (1965)

Death in Rain, A (1965)

Her Majesty Younghwa (1964)

Ten Years' Power (1964)

Teacher Having Ten Daughters, A (1964)

After Realizing Ambition (1964)

Regular Tardy Student, A (1964)

Heartbreaking Story, A (1964)

Sinmungo (1963)

Mangbuseok (1963)

Man is Not Sold (1963)

War and an Old Man, The (1962)

Farewell Duman River (1962)