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Renowned filmmaker Lee Chang-dong is set to be featured in a retrospective series in New York City, showcasing his critically acclaimed works. Best known for his film Burning, Lee has won multiple awards for his work, including the prestigious Cannes Film Festival FIPRESCI Prize. The psychological thriller focuses on a love triangle and arson, and was South Korea’s entry for Best Foreign Language Film at the 91st Academy Awards, making it the first Korean film to make the final shortlist.

The series, titled Novel Encounters: the Films of Lee Chang-dong, will feature six curated films that explore themes of life, society, and humanity. It includes 4K restorations of Green Fish, Peppermint Candy, Oasis, and Poetry, as well as A Brand New Life, A Girl At My Door, and Secret Sunshine. These films delve into various aspects of human nature and relationships, providing audiences with a deeper understanding of Lee’s unique storytelling style.

Green Fish, Lee’s 1997 directorial debut, follows a young man who gets involved with the local mob, while Peppermint Candy explores themes of unhappiness and transformation in South Korea. Oasis tells the story of a man recently released from prison who befriends a woman with cerebral palsy, and Poetry showcases a grandmother’s journey of self-discovery through the art of poetry.

A Brand New Life, a 2009 French-South Korean co-production, highlights a young girl’s experience in a Catholic orphanage, while A Girl At My Door, directed by July Jung and written by Lee, addresses rural prejudices through the relationship between a police officer and a troubled teen. Secret Sunshine, directed by Lee, features a piano teacher who faces a life-altering tragedy after relocating to her late husband’s hometown.

The series aims to provide audiences with a comprehensive look at Lee Chang-dong’s body of work, offering a glimpse into his unique storytelling style and thematic explorations. The retrospective will run from April 5 to April 28 at the Metrograph in New York City, with select encore screenings to follow. Lee expressed his excitement about the retrospective, noting the Metrograph’s reputation as a revered haven for cinephiles, and inviting film enthusiasts to experience his films on the big screen.

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