SEOUL Weekly — April 17, 2012 11:04 pm

April 17, 2011 Issue No. 524

Planet of Snail

Written by Robert Koehler

April 17, 2012 / Issue No. 524
Planet of Snail
Award-winning documentary with English subtitles
Cine Code Sonje will host a showing of director Yi Seungjun’s award-winning documentary “Planet of Snail” with English subtitles. The film is a moving story of a deaf and blind man and his wife, who also suffers from a physical handicap, who communicate by lightly tapping each other’s fingers. Produced by an international crew, Yi’s film won the Best Feature-Length Documentary award at the 2011 International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam, the Cannes of documentary filmmaking. There will be a Q&A session after the film with director Yi and producer Gary Byung-seok Kam.


Youngchan comes from the Planet of Snail. Dwellers of this tiny planet are deaf and blind, and call themselves “snails” because they rely on their tactile senses, and communicating by touch.

Young-Chan was not happy with his lethargic life on the planet. When Young-Chan came to Earth, there was nothing Earth offered him. Worse was that nobody understood his language. When he was desperate, an angel walked into his life. Soon-Ho is a woman who knows what loneliness is about and where Young-Chan’s deeply rooted pain comes from. She soon becomes an inseparable part of his life. She is a wife, a soul mate and a window and bridge to the world for him. Each mundane moment of every routine day becomes a tender shared experience, whether it be the hour-long process of changing a simple light bulb, hugging trees and smelling pine cones on the threshold of spring, or the feeling of raindrops landing on the skin. Young-Chan also discovers an amazing world under his fingers. Since he learned to read books with braille, hopes and dreams began to grow in Young-Chan’s heart. He dreams of writing a book. However, Soon-ho worries about Young-Chan’s future because she cannot always be there for him as she is suffering from her own problem of spine disability. The couple now needs to learn how to survive alone. While Soon-Ho uneasily spends her first day alone waiting for his return, Young-Chan goes out for the biggest adventure of his life.

VENUE: Cine Code Sonje
DATE: April 18, 8pm
MORE INFO: See this link.
GETTING THERE: See link above.

Around the Web
A miscellany of high-quality hyperlinks from the week, courtesy of SEOUL editor-in-chief Robert Koehler.
The Korean Wave… an industry?
I know these photos are a bit off-season, but still, they are quite beautiful.
The 14th International Women’s Film Festival in Seoul (IWFFIS)

The International Women’s Film Festival in Seoul (IWFFIS) is a non-competitive international film festival with films dealing with various aspects of life seen through the eyes of women. It seeks to introduce recent trends in women’s films and serve as the Asian center for the international women’s film network. Opening the festival is Paula Markovitch’s “The Prize,” the story of a mother and a daughter who risked a political escape during the period of military dictatorship in Argentina.

VENUE: Artreon Theater, Songpa-gu Community Center, Ewha Womans University Welch-Ryang Auditorium, Korean Film Archive Cinematheque KOFA, Seoul Women’s Plaza Arthall Bom, Gangdong Children Center
PERIOD: Apr 19—26
ADMISSION: Depends on program
MORE INFO: (02) 583-3598,

Loose Union

Loose Union is proud to announce the launch of its much-anticipated project on April 21st 2012 at Club DGBD in Hongdae. Loose Union is a collective of artists and musicians producing the highest quality audio and video to capture the thriving underground music scene happening right now in Seoul, Korea. Founded by American Danny Arens, Canadian Adam Brennan and Ollie Walker of South Africa the idea was born from a perceived void of documentation of the alternative music and culture emerging in Seoul.

DATE: April 21
ADMISSION: 10,000 won cover
GETTING THERE: See map here.

New Students Invited to Master of Arts in Asian Studies

Sejong University in Seoul is now offering a post-graduate program taught in English focusing on the interdisciplinary study of East Asian culture, language, politics, history, economics, philosophy, religion, and education. Fall semester classes begin on August 29, 2012. Application period: April 23 (Mon)—May 31 (Thu). Scholarship Policy: 100~60% waiver depending on certain conditions. More Information:
2012 Dream Theater World Tour—A Dramatic Tour Of Events
International rock band Dream Theater has already made an unprecedented five previous visits to Korea since 2000, almost selling out every time. This time, they’re back for a sixth time as part of a world tour to mark the release of their latest album, “A Dramatic Turn of Events.” The band’s eleventh studio album entered the top ten in no less than 14 countries, including the US, in 2011, while the song On the Backs of Angels won the band’s first ever Grammy nomination in the Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance category. Even if you can’t make it to their concert on April 19, be sure to check out their guitarist John Petrucci’s articles on arranging Chopin’s Piano Concerto in A minor, Opus No.2, for guitar via

VENUE: Olympic Hall, Olympic Park
DATE: Apr 19, 8pm
ADMISSION: R: 132,000 won, S: 110,000 won
MORE INFO: (02) 3141-3488
GETTING THERE: Olympic Park Station, Line 5, Exit 3.

Old Incheon: A Walk through Korea since 1876
During this excursion of old Incheon, we will explore the many layers of Korean history since 1876 when the Treaty of Ganghwa with Japan forced Korea to open three ports to trade, one of which was Incheon. Incheon, or Jemulpo as it was called at the time, developed soon after to serve the needs of foreign traders. Trade brought Western missionaries, who built churches and schools; Chinese traders established a community that became Korea’s largest Chinatown. Many of the buildings and other landmarks of this early “international history” still remain.

VENUE: Incheon
DATE: April 29
COST: 20,000 won for RAS members, 24,000 won for non-members
MORE INFO: See this link.
GETTING THERE: See link above.

Everyday Koreans
Suwon Hwaseong Fortress
Suwon Hwaseong Fortress’s Janganmun Gate at night. Photo by Robert Koehler.
*Click the photo to see a full-size version at our website.
NOTE: If you have a photo you would like to see in our Everyday Koreans section, please sent it to Photos should be AT LEAST 950px wide. Send a one-line bio, too.
Looking for Overseas Partners – Seoul Selection is looking for overseas publishing/ advertisement partners for its travel and culture monthly SEOUL. See this link for more information. Those interested are advised to contact Hank at
Brenda Paik Sunoo’s New Website – Writer and photographer Brenda Paik Sunoo, author of “Seaweed and Shamans,” “Vietnam Moment” and “Moon Tides: Jeju Island Grannies of the Sea,” has opened a new multimedia website, Go over and check it out now.
Shinhan Bank’s Seoul Global Center – Shinhan Bank has launched its own Seoul Global Center on the first floor of Gwanghwamun’s Seoul Finance Center. This is a branch specially made for foreigners, with financial consulting services for foreigners (individual/group), financial counsellings at your place of work (even for one person) and commemorative events such as special rates on currency exchange and interest rates. For more information, contact Deputy General Manager Jeon at (02) 773-3149 or 010-7275-9006.
Learn Korean Traditional Dance – Chumsae Dance School is offering lessons on Korean traditional dance. Morning (10:00—11:30, Tue Thu), afternoon (4:00—5:30, Mon Wed) and evening classes (7:30—9:00 Tue Thu) available. Classes are limited to 10 persons each. Tuition is 200,000 won a month. For more information, call (02- 762-7731).

Send Your Event Info – If you would like to advertise any upcoming events you are organizing, please send us the press release material to by the preceding Friday in order to appear in the following Tuesday’s issue.

Freelance Contributors Wanted – SEOUL magazine needs writers who are fluent in both Korean and English. Writers should be able to interview Koreans and also have a strong interest in Korean culture. Send your resume and writing samples to

We Buy & Sell Used Books – Seoul Selection buys and sells used books in English. Unlike our regular selection of publications that specialize in Korea-related topics, our Used Book Section carries books on all subjects. It’s all part of our effort to make life easier for the English-speaking community.

(April 2012)
Korea and the World
New Books
Azalea Vol. 5 – Journal of Korean Literature & Culture
Public Sector Reform in ASEAN Member Countries and Korea
National Palace Museum of Korea – General Catalogue
Korean Families: Continuity and Change
Nonkilling Korea: Six Culture Exploration
New DVDs
Love On-Air
A Reason to Live
The Magicians
Publisher: Hank Kim / Editor: Robert Koehler /
Website Manager: Ray Hong
Seoul Selection reserves all intellectual property rights on information provided in this newsletter. Some event information has been provided by the Korea Foundation. The IPRs are protected by pertinent laws
Seoul Selection Web Site:
e-mail: tel: 734-9567 fax: 734-9563

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