Globalization and hybridity of Korean cinema : critical analysis of Korean blockbuster films

Access full-text files




Han, Se Hee

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title



In this study, I analyze how recent South Korean cinema has responded to the forces of globalization by appropriating these influences both on and off screen. In particular, by situating Korean blockbuster within its local, regional and global contexts, I highlight the ways in which the identity politics of Korean blockbuster complicate our understanding of globalization and national cinema. The second chapter focuses on the globalization of recent South Korean cinema, with critical attention given to hybridity as an industrial strategy and as shaped by intra-regional co-productions. The third chapter analyzes four Korean films to represent the characteristics of Korean blockbuster and Korean national issues. Through the two primary chapters, I argue that Korean blockbuster is a hybrid form between national cinema and Hollywood blockbusters. It is a local answer to the accelerating forces of globalization at home, evident in the growing direct competition with Hollywood blockbusters. In fact, despite the growing reliance on the big-budget blockbusters, the recent rise in the domestic market share of local films against Hollywood movies owes much to the high-profile success of many of Korean blockbusters. The significance of the case of Korean Cinema is multifaceted in our comprehensive understanding of globalization and hybridity. It illustrates that globalization as hybridization takes place at multiple levels and in multiple directions beyond the conventional global-local paradigm. In noting intra-regional exchanges as integral to the construction of today’s hybridities, my study has contended that regionalization and localization strongly contribute to the globalization process. More important, by locating hybridity outside of Western hegemony in the intraregional cultural dynamic, it also resists the Eurocentric approach that tends to view hybridity as only produced through local appropriation of the global/Hollywood model. This is often implied even in the recognition of hybridity as a resistance against hegemonic power.



LCSH Subject Headings