On a recent trip to Korea, or just after it, I had the following dream:
What happened directly before the events which follow, I can’t recall, but I found myself in an office, or clerical environment. Nobody else was there but it must have been an important film-related office… Perhaps even a back-office room in a cinema in South Korea.
I could even go as far to say it was somewhere like the Korean Film Archive / Korean Film Council / KOFIC or an office belonging to a conglomerate [’chaebol’] or major cinema chain in South Korea.
I appeared to be looking for something. However, whether I was actively searching or not, I happened to find a press-kit or… was it a feature film in a box? Whatever it was it was found within an almost standard-like waste-paper bin. An actual film had been discarded? Really?
The movie in question was of a slightly lesser known film to those often topping the bill in Korea, whilst perhaps at the same time a massive film hit elsewhere in the world [Incidentally, I’m convinced it was “A Star Is Born” (2018 version)…]
At some point here - maybe when I was half awake, or still in dream-mode - I thought and recalled back to a conversation whilst in Korea and indeed with Koreans there who had not even heard of “A Star Is Born”. I could only then think, “How could this be? After all, many Koreans like musicals or films infused with music… don't they?”
Why was it there? Was it not commercial or salable enough, in Korea, at least?
Like a mini epiphany, I suddenly realised why most cinemas in Korea were only showing the newest blockbuster [the latest "Avengers" film?] and not just in one screening room but almost every auditorium that exists! Yes. I suddenly realised or felt that bigger powers were at play here. Could it really be that such large film companies, like the one I had found myself in, maybe, & indeed where I found this film, were deliberately disposing of any good and artistic films, independent films, art house movies, less commercial flicks and/or less ‘creative’ ones? In fact, was the film playing across all screens in South Korean cinemas actually an Avengers one or even a home-made and therefore Korean-own blockbuster? Either way, what would the reason be for this?
Well, it seemed to me or the dreaming me, and in full epiphany mode, that the tycoons / conglomerates / ‘chaebols’ which were connected to or had an ‘invested’ interest (well, invested money!) and not just a vested interested in these giant franchises. Perhaps such large companies were in cahoots with Hollywood corporations.
So it was that I further surmised that artistry in Korea was never to be the same again - Korea was never going to escape this long run of maybe mediocre, Marvel or simply ‘run-of-the-mill’ films... Certainly not if any other films were being hidden from the public and therefore not fully distributed.
It felt almost like film companies were sending what they had to cinemas, be this from American companies, UK ones or elsewhere and these were being hidden in favour of simply ‘what sells’ and ultimately what ‘chaebols’ had their vested or invested interested in.
Ultimately, I woke up… [obviously]… and the total experience had been, I suppose, like a movie - or two - within a dream.