by Darcy Paquet
1903 -- First public screening of a film in Korea (the exact year is debated).
1910 -- Korea is formally annexed by Japan, after several years of effective colonization.
1919 -- First Korean film, a kinodrama (play with motion picture inserts) named The Righteous Revenge ( Uirijeok Gutu ).
1923 -- First silent film, Plighted Love Under the Moon ( Wolha-ui maengseo ) directed by Yun Baek-nam.
1926 -- Arirang by Na Un-kyu.
1935 -- First sound film, Chunhyang-jeon directed by Lee Myung-woo.
1937 -- Japan invades China; censorship of film industry increases.
1945 -- Japan surrenders; Korea regains independence, but is soon divided in two.
1949 -- Korea's first color film, The Women's Diary by Hong Seong-gi.
1950 -- War starts on the Korean Peninsula.
1953 -- Cease-fire agreement signed at Panmunjeom.
1956 -- Box office smash Madame Freedom inaugurates industry revival.
1960 -- The Housemaid , directed by Kim Ki-young.
1961 -- Obaltan , (pictured right) directed by Yu Hyun-mok.
1961 -- Military coup leads to consolidation and heavy regulation of film industry.
1973 -- Establishment of Korean Motion Picture Promotion Corporation (KMPPC).
1974 -- Establishment of Korean Film Archive.
1979 -- President Park Chung Hee is assassinated.
1980 -- Gwangju Uprising.
1981 -- Mandala , directed by Im Kwon-taek.
1988 -- Hollywood studios open first branch offices in Korea, led by UIP.
1992 -- Marriage Story is first film financed by a member of the chaebol (Samsung).
1993 -- Democratization spreads in Korea under new president Kim Young Sam.
1993 -- Sopyonje , directed by Im Kwon-taek, sets new local box office record.
1997 -- Opening of Namyangju Cinema Complex outside of Seoul.
1999 -- Shiri , directed by Kang Jae-gyu, kicks off commercial boom.
2001 -- Local market share tops 50%, boom in overseas sales.
2004 -- Silmido and Tae Guk Gi become the first films to sell 10 million tickets.
2004 -- Oldboy wins Grand Prix (second prize) at the Cannes Film Festival.
2006 -- The Host breaks box office record and helps local market share reach 64%.
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The Pada Pada doesn’t require a great cultural leap for foreigners. The band has an English name, not that it makes much sense to a native speaker, but English words travel well. If the Pada Pada spreads across Asia, however, it will be on the strength of Japanese pop songs, Japanese music videos starring Japanese girls with light cedar hair, and Japanese cool. Maybe there is not much traditionally Japanese about any of it. But if that is a requirement for national branding, American pop culture is hardly more respectful of traditional Americana — unless you count when Madonna wears a cowboy hat.
Committee on Damage by Atomic Bombs in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Hiroshima and Nagasaki: The Physical, Medical and Social Effects of the Atomic Bombings (London, 1981).
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