Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Korean Movies Not Subtitled in English...

I've skipped the last two updates of subtitled cinema listings for two simple reasons: Firstly, I've been far too busy playing Legend of Zelda - Spirit Tracks... and secondly, there aren't any subtitled films around.

Joy of joys, we start the new year the same way we started last year... with no subtitled films. Hopefully this will change, but for the moment we are bereft of translated Korean cinematic adventures.

I'll list listings as and when they appear. Hopefully we have't seen the last of them.

9 comments:

David said...

Hey there,

This is David Carruth from 10 Magazine. Just wondering where you go to get information on Korean movies subtitled in English. I was under the impression that they discontinued the program a few weeks ago...a real shame. But it's hard to get in touch with anyone at the movie theater due to the automated menu (even our Korean staff couldn't manage it).

Regards,
David

Unknown said...

Hi David,

I get my info from various Korean websites like naver, maxmovie and daum. I also sometimes call Cinus directly (just don't use the normal number try 07070179661 and you can find your way round to speaking to a real human [in Korean only]). I've also had confirmation from a Cinus employee on twitter (1 hour ago) that the program is still going ahead. I guess trying to get this kind of information requires a little lateral thinking sometimes, but it is possible. Unfortunately it also requires you to be able to speak Korean...

Best wishes,

Paul

David said...

Hey Paul,

Thanks for the helpful comment! I'll have to try that other number you mentioned for CINUS.

You're right about the language issue - it's not a problem for me or the staff here but I have no idea how a non-Korean-speaking resident here would ever get info on the program that is ironically designed for people who don't speak Korean!

best,

David

David said...

Hey Paul,

An update - one of our staff just called and was informed that CINUS has no plans for screening movies with English subtitles for the first few months of the year. I wonder who's right - the person you talked to or the person we talked to. This doesn't really surprise me...it's hard to get a straight answer sometimes!
Best,
David

crossmr said...

I think Cinus did a really poor job of this in the first year. We really need some contact info for who it was from the government who spearheaded this. Cinus had two theatres, but 90% of the time they were showing the same movie at both theatres. Thirst, which was a highly anticipated movie (regardless of how it turned out) barely played with English subs long enough to say it was there, and then was replaced for half year Mother run.

They had said they were going to sub all movies, but I doubt they even got half. Towards the end they were showing english subs only in the early shows which meant most people going out for a weekend night movie couldn't watch them, nor could they watch them on a weeknight after they got off work.

Hopefully yongsan and some other theatres will pick up the slack soon. Cinus seemed like an odd choice to give the program to anyway. CGV was already doing it at Yongsan and sometimes other theatres.

David said...

Crossmr-

Thanks for the helpful comments on the situation. You are obviously much better informed than me. I'd heard something about the CGV subtitles but they didn't seem to be promoting all that well either. Do you know if the CGV program is still running in 2010?

Regards,

David

crossmr said...

I don't know if CGV has a formal program. I think they just got the idea to subtitle it because it was so close to the military base. Even when Yong-san was showing subtitles it was rare to see them at other CGV theaters, but at least they had experience doing it. So since the CGV deal wasn't really a special program, I assume it would continue.

What I do know is that a year ago when Cinus was given this program the news articles were saying that the intention was to subtitle all the movies, and they did a fair number, but I think there were many that went undone. With all the Korean movies that were out there was never any reason why the theaters should have been limited to the same film at both theaters for weeks on end.

To be honest, I've seen how fast fans subtitle American dramas here. Given that this should have been someone's job that they were being paid for subtitling a film shouldn't have taken more than a day. I've seen one hour dramas from the US show up 24 hours after air with Korean subs. Those are volunteers who had to track down English scripts first and translate them. I would assume the theaters would be given access to a korean script (with timings) to translate. So I can't really see what the barrier here was. Paying some guy a few days wages to keep up your end on a project seems trivial.

CGV occasionally shows subtitles at other theaters. Paul can probably recall easier than I can, but I've seen subs at Apgujeong once. Lotte has shown english subs at Myeongdong, saw Speedy Scandal there a year ago, and for some reason they infrequently run Japanese subs at Star City near Konkuk. I know there is a large-ish immigrant chinese population here, but I was unaware of a significant Japanese one.

crossmr said...

As an addendum it seems that CGV apgujeong is showing a whole slew of Japanese films, and Lotte myeongdong has has a Korean film with Japanese subtitles, but nothing for us.

David said...

crossmr,

It does make sense that the Yongsan CGV would offer English subtitled films with all of the soldiers nearby.

I just wish that these programs, even if irregular, were better publicized. At 10 Magazine, we'd really like to feature more information on how people can get access to high quality Korean cinema with subtitles, but Cinus fails to update its web page and other sources of information are woefully lacking.

Please let me know if you hear anything definitive about 2010 and I will make sure that it gets in the next issue of the magazine. You can reach me at dc@10magazine.asia.

Regards,

David