Nameless Stars (Ireum-eobsneun byeoldeul) (1959)|
Director : Kim Kang-Yun
Production Company : Asea Films Co., Ltd
Date of Rate : 1959-10-31
Running Time : 105 min.
Opening Theater : Kukdo Theater
Screenplay(Adaptation) : Choi Keum-Dong
Producer : Lee Jae-Myeong
Director of PhotoGraphy : Kim Hyeong-Keun
Gaffer : Ko Hae-Jin
Music : Kim Dong-Jin
Art Director : Jeong Wu-Taek
Editor : Lee Kyeong-Ja
Sound/Recording : Sohn In-Ho
Hwang Hae-Nam, Cho Mi-Ryeong, Lee Bin-Hwa, Lee Hae-Rang
Nameless Stars recounts the history of Korean students' struggles against Japanese occupation by focusing on the Gwangju Student Independence Movement of 1929. The son of a freedom fighter, Sang-hun (Hwang Hae-nam) is a member of an anti-Japanese resistance group called "Seongjinhoe," composed of students who share a dedication to the cause of liberation. Their spiritual guide is a teacher named Song Un-in. One day, Yeong-ae (Cho Mi-ryeong), whose brother is a detective in the Japanese police force charged with monitoring independence movements, joins their group. Followinga series of sporadic incidents, the students gather one night to resolve on an uprising, but are discovered by the police. Young-ae is wrongfully accused of betraying their plans, but she risks her life in order to allow the group members to escape. The morning after, the students of Gwangju rise up against the Japanese government.
"An admirable film engraved with our national spirit" (Chosun Ilbo)
A new trend that swept through the Korean film industry in the latter half of the 1950s was the emergence and development of period pieces. As a result, between the late 1950s and the early 1960s, virtually every national event and period conducive to the cinematic medium made its way onto the big screen. In the case of Nameless Stars, the year of production, 1959, is particularly noteworthy in that it fell during the twilight phase of the Lee Seung-man administration. At the time, the Lee administration sought to overcome its crisis by advocating the strategy or slogan of "anti-Japan,"using Lee Seung-man's personal history as an anti-Japanese freedom fighter to rally the public's support. Although Nameless Stars is not a blatantly pro-government film like Independence Association and Young Lee Shing-man (Doglibheyobhoe-wa cheongnyeon Lee Seung-man), the fact that it enjoyed substantial backing from the initial stages of production is certainly not unrelated to this political situation.
Based on the Gwangju Student Independence Movement, Nameless Stars was shot with all-out support from not only middle and high school students in Gwangju but from the city's entire population. Thanks to this support, the film was able to enlist sets and extras on a scale that was hardly imaginable for its time. What makes Nameless Stars extraordinary is that it boasts solid cinematography and editing despite the use of large-scale sets and manpower and that it contains very few plot holes which were a chronic problem for Korean films in the 1950sas befits the debut opus of a screenwriter-turned-director. Such factors bestow this film with a relatively high degree of sophistication among other period films of the time. Its successful and well-appointed use of resources from various aspects of Korea's national culture such as songs, poetry, and sports in stimulating national sentiment also contributes to its status as an exemplary film in the history of Korean national cinema.
Director Bio: Kim Kang-yun (1923-?)
Born in 1923. After graduating from Gyeongbok High School, he entered the Seoul National University physics department, but quit it. Although he directed 5 movies in all including Nameless stars (Ileum-eobsneun byeoldeul) (1959), he wrote 73 screenplays, adopted 37 screenplays and wrote 3 originals. He is more famous as a screenwriter than as a director. He worked mainly with Shin Film Studios during the beginning of his career. He spent time as Chair of the Motion Pictures Association of Korea and as the President of the Korean Screenwriters Association. He died in New York. (References: Kim Jong-won and others, The Dictionary of Korean Film Directors, published by the Korea Film Directors’Society Incorporated, Kookhak Community Corporation article on Ahn Chul-yeong)