Korean Cinema's Golden Decade

Subway Cinema and Film at Lincoln Center present “Korean Cinema’s Golden Decade: The 1960s,” a retrospective of 24 films from this stunning period in Korean cinema. One of the largest retrospectives of Korean Cinema of the 1960s ever held outside Korea, the series will run from September 1-17. Several films will be shown on 35mm archival prints.

It was the aftermath of the Korean War that laid the foundation for South Korean cinema long before Bong Joon Ho, Hong Sangsoo, and Park Chan-wook took the world by storm. There was a wealth of innovative and eclectic filmmaking during this period, culminating in the 1960s. This decade, now widely regarded as Korea’s premier film renaissance, saw the arrival of seminal works by authors such as Kim Ki-young, Shin Sang-ok, Yu Hyun-mok, Kim Soo-yong, and Lee Man-hee, as well as the meteoric rise and reinvention of genres, including melodramas, period epics, action films, horror films, war films, and giant monster films. These filmmakers managed to create arthouse fare and unabashed popular entertainment both under such constraints, despite the military dictatorship’s tight restrictions, which continue to reverberate and inspire today. A generation’s collective endeavor to define a national cinema will be showcased at Film at Lincoln Center and Subway Cinema in September.

Highlights include Kim Ki-young’s The Housemaid, one of the unquestionable masterpieces of Korean cinema which tells the story of a bizarre ménage à trois formed between a music teacher, his wife, and their increasingly assertive housemaid; Kang Dae-jin’s The Coachman, the first Korean film to win a major overseas award, the Silver Bear (Special Jury Prize) at the 1961 Berlin Film Festival; Hong Eun-won’s A Woman Judge, the second Korean feature to be directed by a woman and considered lost for more than 50 years until a 16mm print was recovered in 2015; Special Agent X-7, a highly entertaining and beautifully shot color spy film from Chung Chang-wha (The King Boxer), which was also long considered lost until the 35mm print was discovered in 2013; Kim Kee-duk’s The Great Monster Yonggary aka Yongary, Monster from the Deep, Korea’s first monster movie and an entertaining take on Godzilla and Gamera “that’s long on rampages and short on sensible behavior”; Shin Dong-hun’s The Story of Hong Gil-dong, South Korea’s very first animated feature film which follows the iconic Robin Hood-like figure Hong Gil-dong and was considered lost until 2008; and A Day Off, Lee Man-hee’s spare, lyrical film concerning the strained relationship of a poor young couple, belatedly recognized as one of the decade’s masterpieces after censors refused to allow its release.

In addition to screenings, the series will include conversations afterwards. After the September 2 screening of Yu Hyun-mok’s seminal Aimless Bullet, audiences will be treated to a discussion about the growth of the Korean film industry and major trends and filmmakers in Korean cinema in the 1960s—a not to be missed primer for the series as a whole; and on September 3, a conversation will follow the international premiere of the newly restored The Marines Who Never Returned, and how Lee Man-hee’s breakthrough feature became the first Korean movie to gain national theatrical distribution in the U.S.

Organized by Young Jin Eric Choi, Goran Topalovic, and Tyler Wilson. Korean Film Archive and Korean Cultural Center New York co-present this event.


Choi Jee-Woong and PROPAGANDA; Darcy Paquet; Kyungmi Kim; Taekyung Goh; SRS Cinema; Chae Yunsun; Kwon Munkyu; Sung Yeon Tae; Shon Kisoo; Roh Changwoo.

Tickets will go on sale on Thursday, August 3 at 2pm, with an early access period for FLC Members starting at noon. Tickets are $17; $14 for students, seniors (62+), and persons with disabilities; and $12 for FLC Members. See more and save with a 3+ Film Package ($15 for GP; $12 for students, seniors (62+), and persons with disabilities; and $10 for FLC Members) or an All-Access Pass: $125 for General Public and $99 for Students. Add dinner at Café Paradiso, located in FLC’s Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center, with our $30 Dinner + Movie Combo.

Enjoy two films for the price of one at select double features! Valid on September 2 & 17 with The Story of Hong Gil-dong + Hopi and Chadol-bawi , September 9 & 16 with The Great Monster Yonggary+ Space Monster Wangmagwi, and September 14 with A Swordsman in the Twilight + Special Agent X-7. Discount automatically applied when adding both tickets to your cart; double features excluded from 3+ Film Packages.

“Korean Cinema’s Golden Decade: The 1960s” is sponsored by MUBI GO. With MUBI GO, you can get a free ticket every week to see the best new film in a theater near you, plus a wide selection of films to stream at any time, from iconic directors to emerging auteurs. All carefully chosen by MUBI’s curators.

Opening September 1, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum will present Only the Young: Experimental Art in Korea, 1960s–1970s, the first North American museum exhibition dedicated to Korean experimental art (Silheom Misul) and its artists, whose radical approach to materials and process produced some of the most significant avant-garde practices of the 20th century.


Film at Lincoln Center is dedicated to supporting the art and elevating the craft of cinema and enriching film culture.

Film at Lincoln Center fulfills its mission through the programming of festivals, series, retrospectives, and new releases; the publication of Film Comment ; and the presentation of podcasts, talks, special events, and artist initiatives. Since its founding in 1969, this nonprofit organization has brought the celebration of American and international film to the world-renowned Lincoln Center arts complex, making the discussion and appreciation of cinema accessible to a broad audience and ensuring that it remains an essential art form for years to come.


Subway Cinema Inc. is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit volunteer-run organization dedicated to the exhibition and appreciation of Asian popular cinema and preservation of America’s Asian film exhibition heritage. Founded in 1999, it has played a key role in nurturing the growth of Asian film culture in the U.S. by championing the works of Johnnie To, Tsui Hark, Park Chan-wook, Bong Joon-ho, Takashi Miike, Kim Jee-woon, Ryoo Seung-wan, Seijin Suzuki, Sion Sono, and other notable directors.

It founded and ran the annual New York Asian Film Festival (NYAFF) for 17 consecutive years, establishing it as North America’s leading festival of popular Asian cinema. Subway Cinema’s current focus is on retrospective programming, including the Old School Kung Fu Fest (a showcase for the best of classic martial arts and action films) and Hong-Kong-a-Thon! (12-hour marathons of classic Hong Kong genre  films from the 80s and 90s).

Website:  www.subwaycinema.com / Twitter: @subwaycinema / Instagram: @subwaycinema
The Korean Film Archive (KOFA) is the national film archive of South Korea and is dedicated to the preservation of Korean cinema. It was founded in Seoul in 1974 as a non-profit organization and has been a member of the International Federation of Film Archives (FIAF) since 1985. KOFA’s primary duties are to collect, catalogue, preserve and make accessible Korean films and film-related materials. It works to make its collection available through public screenings, DVD and Blu-ray publications, and online streaming platforms. KOFA operates several public facilities, including the Cinematheque KOFA, the Korean Film Museum, and the Film Reference Library. Information about the KOFA collection can be accessed through its online database KMDb.
Website:   www.koreafilm.or.kr / Twitter: @film_archive / Instagram: @koreanfilmarchive


Inaugurated in 1979, the Korean Cultural Center New York (KCCNY) is a branch of the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism (MCST) of the Republic of Korea. KCCNY works to promote cultural arts exchange and stimulate interest in Korean culture through various opportunities including exhibitions, concerts, film festivals, educational programs, and more.

Website:  www.koreanculture.org / Twitter: @KoreanCultureNY / Instagram: @kccny

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