Wednesday, November 4, 2009

My Beautiful Girl, Mari (2002)

My Beautiful Girl, Mari (2002)

November 5th, 7:00PM in Garland 104 (2441 E. Hartford)

Korean animated films have existed for more then forty years, but it is only in the last ten that South Korea has gained widespread notoriety in this area. By the early 90's Korean animation studios were in the ascendance, they were initially concerned with subcontracting work from Japan as well as a few high profile American projects such as the first season of The Simpsons.

During the 2000's the Japanese animation market came to rely on South Korea so much that few animated series don’t have at least some Korean involvement in their production. This helped to reach a point where Korean animators felt more able to create their own unique animated features.

The 2002 film My Beautiful Girl, Mari became one of the first of these high profile animated features. Its director Lee Seong-kang helped to create a visually distinctive world that is unlike typical Japanese or Western animation. He would also go on to direct Korea’s most successful animated film, a period folk tale entitled Yobi, the Five Tailed Fox in 2007. Both films became major international successes, although Korean animation has not been spurred on as much as some hoped it would be.

The films story deals with a young man who remembers back to time spent at a seaside village where he encountered a strange young girl who may have been a dream. The story features surrealistic voyages into the young boy’s encounters with the strange girl.

South Korea, Director Lee Seong-Gan, Cast Lee Byeong-Heon, Gong Hyong-Jin, Bae Jong-Ok and Ahn Seong-Gi, 86 minutes, in Korean with English subtitles.

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