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Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Yong Joon Are You Joining Them?

Originally uploaded by marissa_p.
The Korean Government announced last January 27 that they will reduce the quota of local films that must be screened to 73 movies starting July in order to accomodate more foreign movies specifically those made in Hollywood. As expected the news generated a negative response from the korean movie industry.

For those not familiar with the quota system, Korea first introduced the screen quota in 1966. In 1985, when the nation liberalized imports of foreign films, the guideline was set higher to two-fifths from one-third. However, the system didn't function properly because local theaters often violated rules and authorities were enforcing the rules. Since a screen quota watchdog was launched in 1993, however, the system has been operating smoothly with support from the booming local movie industry. Beginning in the late 1990s, economy-related ministries have raised the need for the quota's reduction as the United States increased its pressure. In response, producers and actors began to step up their efforts to defend the screen quota and shield the Korean film industry. Meanwhile, the Coalition for Cultural Diversity in Moving Images representing supporters of the quota said “the decision, giving in to arrogant US trade pressure... is an anti-cultural coup d'etat in itself” and went on to vow that the coalition will strive to save the quota till the bitter end using any and all means available. Its members demanded that the US stop applying trade pressure immediately and that the government scrap its decision to halve the screen quota.

However, I don't think their government will give in because they see this as an opportunity for a free trade agreement with the US and an increase in their export of korean made products. In the economist point of view, this is the best course of action.

Starting last Saturday (February4) veteran actor Ahn Sung-ki started his protest at the front of Gwanghwamun Street in downtown Seoul. The next day had Park Joong-hoon, then Jang Dong Gun and Choi Min-shik. Today at 1:00 in front of a Cathedral a large group of stars including Ji Jin-hee, Lee Byun-heun, Lee Na-young, Han Chae-young, Song Yun-ah, Kang dong-won, & Soo-ae joined in the street protest.

I made me wonder what BYJ's stand on the issue and how he express his point of view. I remember him stating the need for a more unilateral cultural exchange between Korea and other countries. But Yong Joon is also very patriotic so he may also share the sentiments of his fellow actors. In that case, will he just issue a statement through BOF or will he go as far as join the others in their street protest.

Just me thinking...... What about you?


Blogger bb said...

hey there marissa...

hee... was wondering when one of us bae-bloggers would be blogging about the quota thingy... so you did! very nicely done too, thanks!

10:23 PM

Blogger luvjoon aka chiligoyo said...

Hmmm.. u got me thinking as well.. but I'm really not sure what Yong Joon will do..

It sure is kind of sad that they have such talented artistes, directors, and movie/drama plots in their country but yet they chose to cut the quota down. Well, they should have their reason politically.. so, its hard for us to tell if that decision is good or bad..

*shrugs shoulders*

9:19 AM

Blogger marissa said...

Hi bb & chris,

Both sides raises valid points, so there is no definite right or wrong here. What I'm just curious about is Yong Joon's stand on the issue but looks like he is still quiet on the matter... wise decision?

10:53 AM

Blogger Toujours_BYJ said...

Hi marissa
Maybe he will express his point of view but knowing the man, I think he will never come at the front of Gwanghwamun Street to protest like others actors.
just my 2 cents !

8:05 PM

Blogger mishio said...

Hi marissa-
been following this story too...haven't completely formulated my opinion but will probably end up falling in the minority camp, i'm sure. But I do agree with camille, doubt he'll come out to join the protest, unless coerced.

5:03 AM

Blogger marissa said...

Personally I don't think their govt. will give in to the cause of the movie industry.

I'm sad that they have to single out BYJ for not joining the rally.

10:04 AM

Blogger joycebay said...

Hi Marissa
I think it will be wiser for him to say nothing. Can you imagine, he did not participate and it has caused so much issues, if he had....what will the reporters be saying...hell breaker loose....??

12:57 AM


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