One film stayed with me long after the annual Far East Film Festival took place, online in summer 2020 rather than in its customary Udine location in spring: Vertigo. No, not the Hitchcock one. This Vertigo (Beotigo, Jeon Kye-soo, 2019) is a recent South Korean rom-com about a young woman office worker. It starts out as a very lame office-girl fantasy. (Yes, there will be plot spoilers.) Seo-young seems to have it all. She has escaped her abusive rural childhood via a college education and landed a job in a Seoul office full of important people doing important things. Every day, she takes the high-speed elevator to her...
A Woman’s Korea: Vertigo, Women, and Work in South Korean Cinema
Chris Berry is professor of Film Studies at King’s College London. His publications include Postsocialist Cinema in PostMaoist China: The Cultural Revolution after the Cultural Revolution (Routledge, 2004); Cinema and the National: China on Screen (Columbia University Press, 2006), with Mary Farquhar; The New Chinese Documentary Film Movement: For the Public Record (Hong Kong University Press, 2010), edited with Lu Xinyu and Lisa Rofel; and Public Space, Media Space (MacMillan, 2013), edited with Janet Harbord and Rachel Moore.
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Chris Berry; A Woman’s Korea: Vertigo, Women, and Work in South Korean Cinema. Film Quarterly 1 June 2021; 74 (4): 31–35. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/fq.2021.74.4.31
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