Korean Cinema and Visual Culture

Korea University

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Korean Cinema and Visual Culture

  • Host University

    Korea University

  • Location

    Seoul, South Korea

  • Area of Study

    Asian Studies, Communication, Radio/Television/Film, Visual Communications

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Course Level Recommendations


    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • Credits

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
  • Overview

    This course will provide a broad background to contemporary Korean cinema from a variety of perspectives: cultural, economic, political, historical, social. 

    Topics to be considered will include: how the major political and social changes that have taken place in Korea in recent decades have been reflected in local films;  transformations in the structure of the Korean film industry over the past 15 years;  Korean cinema's increasing participation in cultural trends in Asia and the broader world;  the changing relationship between the local film industry and the Korean government; major internationally-renowned directors and their individual styles; and the development of certain genres within Korean cinema.

    Recommended reading and viewing:

    In May 2012, the Korean Film Archive launched a YouTube channel at http://www.youtube.com/koreanfilm with 100+ subtitled classic films that you can watch for free (click on the ‘cc’ button to get the subtitles). The Korean Film Archive’s building in the Digital Media City (Sangam-dong), Seoul is also a great place to visit, with a film museum, a cinematheque, and a multimedia library where you can watch many films. Their website is at http://www.koreafilm.org

    If you would like to learn more about film studies and the aesthetics of cinema, I can recommend the following two books as a starting point (although there are many other options):

    * Film Art: An Introduction by David Bordwell and Kristin Thompson is a classic introductory text in film studies, that is strongly focused on aesthetics.

    * Film: A Critical Introduction by Maria T. Pramaggiore and Tom Wallis teaches students how to analyze and critique films, in addition to providing an introduction to aesthetics.

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.