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Director Im to Soon Release 100th Film Updated: 2007-02-18 12:00:00 KST

Director Im to Soon Release 100th Film
One of Korea's greatest film directors is about to release his 100th movie.
Im Kwontaek has directed movies since 1962, mostly on traditional Korean themes.
But his latest work "Beyond the Years" is his first love story.
Son Heekyung sat down with the prolific director.

The 1993 movie "Seopyeonje" is famous for depicting the beauty and realism of a bygone way of life.
It's also remembered for luring one million moviegoers in Seoul alone for the first time in Korean cinematic history.
It's the work of one of Korea's most celebrated directors - Im Kwontaek.
Now a blip in the past, at least by movie industry standards, Sopyeonje met with several roadblocks that kept Im from portraying the subject of pansori to a wide audience.
This time around, however, Im's getting a second chance to delve into his beloved topic.

SON HEEKYUNG, REPORTER: "Veteran director Im Kwontaek's one hundredth film is scheduled to be released in April. Im's latest work, 'Beyond the Years,' is a love story interwoven with the music of pansori, Korea's traditional narrative song. This 100th production comes 45 years since his debut."

Director Im has won international acclaim for portraying Korea's traditional lifestyle and culture through his films.
An example is his 2002 film Chihwaseon about a renowned 19th-century Korean painter who influenced the direction of Korean art.
Im's love for film, combined with his talented artistry, led him to earn the best-director prize at the Cannes Film Festival that year.
At a time when most Korean films deal with modern life, Im stands out for bringing scenes from the past on-screen.

RECORDED: "Pansori exists nowhere in the world, but Korea.
Pansori is the country's unique and prominent music. However, the reality is that historic Korean music is being forgotten among its people today. In "Seopyeonje," the sound of pansori was difficult to learn, so this time around, I made it easier, so that audiences could feel closer to the music.

In "Beyond the Years" Im focuses on the love between a brother and sister.
Im says, his goal is to plant a positive image of Korea in the minds of filmgoers.

RECORDED: "Because I'm Korean, I like to make films that can only be produced by Koreans. I want to play a key role in promoting and advancing Korean films worldwide. People from the West are interested in learning about Korean culture, how the country has developed and its traditional lifestyle."

So with 100 films to his name, what legacy does the director hope to leave?
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