To meet foreign residents’ growing demand for greater access to cultural life, the Seoul Metropolitan Government and CGV, a local theater chain, will screen 20 Korean films with English subtitles starting today, the city government said in a statement yesterday.
So it looks like Cinus have dropped out from the subtitle race and handed the baton over to the far superior CGV chain!
This year, four CGV theaters were added, with locations in Gangnam, Yongsan, Myeongdong and Guro.
“These four theaters are located in places where there is a large expat population,” said Kim Dae-hee, an official at CGV who is in charge of promoting the English subtitle service.
Good news for me as my local cinema is CGV Yongsan, but hopefully this expanded service will offer more English speakers the chance to watch subtitled Korean films.
Blades of Blood, directed by Lee Joon-ik (“The King and The Clown”) is a period film set in the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910). “Maid” by Im Sang-soo, “Poetry” by Lee Chang-dong and “Dreams Come True” by Kye Yun-sik are also among the 20 films chosen.
If I get to see "Maid" and "Poetry" on the subtitled big screen then I will be a happy man indeed, but I wonder whether CGV will stick to their guns and deliver the full twenty film promise or whether they will fall foul of some problem or another.
There's talk of special events for foreign fans and also Chinese and Japanese subtitled screenings that will start later in the year, so it's good news all round for non-Korean Korean film fans.
I'm off to see Blades of Blood this weekend and I encourage all Korean film fans to do the same, show CGV that this is a sustainable service that the foreign community wants and needs. As for now CGV's English language website gives no hint of the service, but hopefully they'll sort something out and do a better job than Cinus' pathetic page.