Parameters of Disavowal: Colonial Representation in South Korean Cinema

Parameters of Disavowal: Colonial Representation in South Korean Cinema

by Jinsoo An

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The colonial experience of the early twentieth century shaped Korea’s culture and identity, leaving a troubling past that was subtly reconstructed in South Korean postcolonial cinema. Relating postcolonial discourses to a reading of Manchurian action films, kisaeng and gangster films, and revenge horror films, Parameters of Disavowal shows how filmmakers reworked, recontextualized, and erased ideas and symbols of colonial power. In particular, Jinsoo An examines how South Korean films privileged certain sites, such as the kisaeng house and the Manchurian frontier, generating unique meanings that challenged the domination of the colonial power, and how horror films indirectly explored both the continuing trauma of colonial violence and lingering emotional ties to the colonial order. Espousing the ideology of nationalism while responding to a new Cold War order that positioned Japan and South Korea as political and economic allies, postcolonial cinema formulated distinctive ways of seeing and imagining the colonial past.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780520295308
Publisher: University of California Press
Publication date: 06/08/2018
Series: Global Korea , #1
Edition description: First Edition
Pages: 204
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.80(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

Jinsoo An is Assistant Professor of Korean Studies in the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures at the University of California, Berkeley.

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations

1. Under the Banner of Nationalism: The Changing Imagery of Anticolonial Leadership
2. Film and the Waesaek (“Japanese Color”) Controversies of the 1960s
3. The Manchurian Action Film: A New Anticolonial Imaginary in the Cold War Context
4. In the Colonial Zone of Contact: Kisaeng and Gangster Films
5. Horror and Revenge: Return of the Repressed Colonial Violence
Coda: After 2000


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