Organized Panel Session
Sin Sang-ok (1926-2006) is one of the most prolific figures in Korean realist cinema who has also made a significant impact on the North Korean cinematic trajectory between 1983 and 1986 with his novel visual elements and unorthodox shooting approaches. My paper examines how his techniques brought unusual elements of different genres such as horror (Pulgasari), fantasy (The Tale of Shim Cheong), enlightenment Manchurian-movies (Runaway and Salt), action with martial arts (Hong Kil-dong) and historical drama (An Emissary of No Return) into the politically restrictive North Korean cinema. Sin’s cinematic style was most pronounced in the use of new camera techniques and in the depictions of various new themes such as action, eroticism, and fantasy which seemed incongruous to North Korea’s film aesthetics but also served the demands of the North Korean regime. Thus, my paper pieces together different elements of Sin’s contributions to North Korean cinema in the mid-1980s.