Final set of Jeonju pictures:
The Indie Vision jury--Korean filmmaker Lee Yoon-ki, me, and Czech filmmaker Jiri Menzel. The lone girl in the group is Festival Vice-Director Ancha Flubacher-Rhim. This was outside some cultural center for our Juror's Dinner.
The Juror's Dinner. I'm seated between Festival programmer Yoo un-sung and Jiri, in a traditional Korean meal of epic proportions (to get this shot I had to either cut off the picture's sides or shrink the people in it to the size of cockroaches, and I didn't want cockroaches). Poor Jiri couldn't eat anything, so for most of the dinner he lounged in his chair and struck a pose not inappropriate to the cover of GQ Magazine.
Standing in front of the ice sculpture at the festival's closing ceremony reception (they served whole platters of fresh salmon sashimi, and huge bowls of bright red strawberries (Jeonju, apparently, is famous for its strawberries)), crammed between filmmaker Yoshiharu Ueoka (The Look of Love) and Takushi Tsubokawa (Aria). On extreme right is Kazakhstan's most famous film critic, Gulnara Abikeyeva, who was kind enough to present me a copy of her book, The Heart of the World: Films From Central Asia.
I pulled Takushi aside and tried out my theory re: The Wonderful Wizard of Oz being the inspiration for Aria and in reply--he could just be trying to be polite--he put a finger to his lips and whispered: "don't tell anyone!"
I had to pull Korean actor Jung Chan (Jeong Chan) away from the mob of schoolgirls and pretty autograph hounds surrounding him to take this picture, thinking: this might lend the blog a much-needed influx of Korean fangirl readers. Note the "V for Victory" hand signal, customary in Korean photos.
Outside the crematorium--sorry, that was Jiri's joke, but I couldn't resist--the complex where the festival was to have its closing ceremonies, I prevailed upon poor Areum Jeong (her official title was, if I remember right "jury coordinator;" I called her "nanny and nursemaid to sixteen cranky foreigners," heroically obliging gal that she was) to stop herding us for a moment and snap this photo of us three: Jiri, his lovely wife Olga Menzelová-Kelymanová, and I, moments before we stepped on that damned red carpet/shooting gallery.
And of course, Jiri was kind enough to lend me his wife for a moment to take this pic. Yes, Olga, if you're reading this blog, I'm a shameless sexist pig, so sue me.
All good things must come to an end, the more wonderful the more inevitable I suspect, and the Jeonju Festival was no exception. The festival did have this lovely tradition--all the volunteers (they gave us plenty of souvenirs, but the one I really wanted were those cool yellow rain jackets) lined up outside the crema--sorry--arts and culture complex and sang us a specially composed song that wished us farewell and hoped we would come again. I couldn't resist; I had to grab poor Areum again (or was it Jeong Chan?) and ask him/her to take this picture of me with the volunteers.
Couldn't sing the song (though I did manage to wave the "V for Victory" sign), but for a moment there I enjoyed the illusion that I was one of them, singing the guests goodbye until next year's festival. Till then--an-yeong ni gaseo, or in Tagalog, paalam.