The popularity of Korean culture is increasing with each passing day either via television dramas, music aka K-pop as well as cinema, especially more now after the Parasite’s landmark victory at the Oscars this year. Another filmmaker from South Korea Yeon Sang-ho, who has also achieved much acclaim for his works including Train to Busan and Psychokinesis, is rather pleased with this boom.
“I definitely feel the increase in interest from abroad. I hope that the interest in Asian cinema grows even more. As a creative, I will continue to focus on creating,” he shares.
Talking about what he thinks could be the reason behind this sudden interest in Korean art and culture, Sang-ho shares, “It’s an incredible thing that Korean culture and content is receiving so much love. I think Korean content has a something universal about it that hasn’t been discovered yet, so when it’s unearthed, it’s both unique while being universal. I try to keep these things in mind.”
Even in India, K-dramas and K-pop is quite a rage and Sang-ho says that he too is quite impressed with the Indian film and animation industry. “I’ve heard that it is enormous. I’m also aware that the Indian audience is very passionate about film. Indian cinema is varied in both genre and form, and the influence it exerts on film globally is substantial. I heard that Zatoichi, a Japanese film I love, was also influenced heavily by Indian cinema,” says the filmmaker, whose next Peninsula released in India.
The film is the sequel to the hit zombie horror film, Train to Busan. Sang-ho ‘s resume consists of sci-fi, superhero and zombie films. Is there any particular reason why he has stuck with the genre?
“Like most kids, I grew up loving Manhwa and animations. I enjoyed drawing as well, and would draw the characters in these Manhwas and animations. In around middle school was when I thought a lot about being an animation director. There were a lot of fantasy, hero stories, and horror animations then, so my tastes naturally developed in that direction,” he explains.