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Kim Ki Young Collection (DVD) (Korea Version) DVD Region 3

Kim Ki Young (Director) | Kim Jin Kyu (Actor) | Lee Jung Gil (Actor) | Lee Hwa Si (Actor)
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Kim Ki Young Collection (DVD) (Korea Version)
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YesAsia Editorial Description

The Kim Ki Young Collection comes with the following four films: Goryeojang (a.k.a. Burying Old Alive) (1963), Chungnyeo (a.k.a. The Insect Woman) (1972), Promises (a.k.a. Promises of the Flesh) (1975), and Ieoh Island (a.k.a. Iodo) (1975).

Korean Film Archive posthumously honors late filmmaker Kim Ki Young, who is widely known for his psychodramas and sexual horror films. Born in 1919, the acclaimed director grew up in Pyongyang and spent a good amount of his adulthood in Japan where he studied theater and film. In 1960, he presented The Housemaid (or Ha neyo), a disturbing psychological drama which is still voted by critics as one of the best Korean films of all time. After releasing a string of well-received films such as Chungnyeo and Ieoh Island in the 70s, Kim acquired a new interest for B-movies which got him off the mainstream market. But by the early 90s, Kim's work began to catch the attention of some diehard fans of Korean cult films, resulting in the revival of Kim's career including special screenings at numerous international film festivals. Unfortunately in 1998, Kim and his wife were killed in a house fire. Nonetheless, his legend continues in particular through many of his younger colleagues such as Kim Ki Duk, Bong Joon Ho, and Park Chan Wook who cite Kim as their great mentor. This edition comes with special features that includes commentaries by film critic Kim Young Jin and director Bong Joon Ho, plus a photo gallery and 35 minutes of interview clips of the legendary director.

Goryeojang (1963) (a.k.a. Burying Old Alive)
In the ancient Goryeo tradition of "Goryojang", when one's parents reach the age of 70, they are carried to the mountaintop and left to die. A widow marries a poor farmer who already has ten children, making her young son Gu Ryeong number eleven in line. But her marriage brings bad luck to the village as a shaman prophesizes that Gu Ryeong will kill all of his ten stepsiblings. Overhearing that, the stepsiblings attempt to kill Gu Ryeong, but only manage to cripple his leg. Thirty years later, the stepsiblings strike again by raping Gu Ryeong's wife, but this time, Gu Ryeong and his wife kill two of his siblings. Fifteen years later, devastating drought brings despair to the village, during which Gu Ryeong is charged with his siblings' murders. The shaman orders him to be executed, but Gu Ryeong's mother begs the shaman for her grace in exchange for sacrificing her own life to Goryeojang.

Chungnyeo (1972) (a.k.a. The Insect Woman)
A mentally disturbed Professor checks himself into a hospital where he meets other patients suffering from schizophrenia as a result of extramarital affairs. He comes across a story about a man who was killed by his mistress - a prostitute named Myung Ja. Apparently Myung Ja was raped by a married man who incidentally suffered from impotence, but the assault turns into a prolonged love affair. After much contemplation, Myung Ja asks her man to be his concubine. Surprisingly, the man's wife agrees to it and even arranges Myung Ja to live with them in exchange for curing her husband's potency. But what no one has yet to see is that something horrific is heading their way.

Promises (1975) (a.k.a. Promises of the Flesh)
Convicted murderer Hyo Soon is granted a short leave from prison to visit her mother's grave. On her way, she meets a man named Hun whom she feels an instant connection with. The two soon share an intimacy that goes beyond the sexual level. They plan on escaping but Hyo Soon backs out and returns to jail with the promise that they join again two years later. Two years zoom by and Hyo Soon is released from the prison. Anxious to see Hun, she hurries to meet him, but will Hun show up for their sweet reunion?

Ieoh Island (1975) (a.k.a. Iodo)
Ieoh Island tells the story of a missing man from Ieoh island. Woo Hyun who works for a travel agency starts a marketing campaign inside a cruise ship in honor of the opening of "Ieoh", the newly constructed hotel in Jeju Island named after the mysterious Ieoh Island. The campaign entails searching for the exact location of Ieoh Island. Listening quietly to Woo Hyun's exciting plan, Nam Suk looks rather disturbed and suddenly disappears amidst the storm. Feeling responsible for his death, Woo Hyun sets out in search of the missing man and starts unlocking the mysteries surrounding his sudden disappearance.

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Technical Information

Product Title: Kim Ki Young Collection (DVD) (Korea Version) 金綺泳電影作品集 (DVD) (韓國版) 金绮泳电影作品集 (DVD) (韩国版) キム・ギヨン作品集 (韓国版) 김기영 컬렉션
Artist Name(s): Kim Jin Kyu (Actor) | Lee Jung Gil (Actor) | Lee Hwa Si (Actor) 金鎮奎 (Actor) | 李長秀 (Actor) | 李花始 (Actor) 金镇奎 (Actor) | 李长秀 (Actor) | 李花始 (Actor) キム・ジンギュ (Actor) | Lee Jung Gil (Actor) | Lee Hwa Si (Actor) 김 진규 (Actor) | 이정길 (Actor) | 이화시 (Actor)
Director: Kim Ki Young 金綺泳 金绮泳 キム・ギヨン 김기영
Release Date: 2008-07-07
Language: Korean
Subtitles: English, Japanese, Korean
Country of Origin: South Korea
Disc Format(s): DVD
Region Code: 3 - South East Asia (including Hong Kong, S. Korea and Taiwan) What is it?
Publisher: Taewon Entertainment, Korea
Other Information: 4 DVDs + Booklet
Shipment Unit: 3 What is it?
YesAsia Catalog No.: 1011125395

Product Information

김기영 감독의 대표작 4편 <고려장> <충녀> <육체의 약속> <이어도>

한국영상자료원에서 김기영 사후 10주기를 맞아 김기영 컬렉션을 제작했다. 김기영은 1919년에 태어나 1998년 2월 6일 자택에서 전기 합선으로 인한 화재로 부인과 함께 사망했다. 신작 <악녀> 제작을 앞두고 있던 터라 영화팬들의 안타까움은 더욱 컸다. 그의 사후 10주기를 맞아 영상자료원은 김기영 감독의 그로테스크하고, 독특한 영화미학을 또 한번 나누고자 한다. 바로 한국고전영화 DVD컬렉션의 하나로 김기영 컬렉션을 준비한 것. 이번에 출시되는 김기영 컬렉션에는 <고려장> <충녀> <육체의 약속> <이어도> 등 그의 대표작 4편이 포함돼 있다. 본편뿐 아니라 서플먼트에 참여한 영화감독 및 영화평론가들의 면면도 화려하다. 영화평론가 정성일의 심도 깊은 영화분석뿐 아니라 영화감독 봉준호 감독의 재치 있는 입담 등 시대를 앞서간 김기영 감독에 대한 헌사가 다채롭게 이어진다.

* 고려장 Goryeojang (1963)
* Screen Format : Anamorphic Widescreen
* Sound Mix : Korean Dolby Digital Mono
* Extras : (Korean, English)
- 코멘터리 이연호 영화평론가, 김대승 영화감독
- <감독들, 김기영을 말하다> (48분)
- 사진자료 모음

일흔살이 되면 누구나 밥그릇을 손자에게 넘겨주고 선인장에 올라가 죽어야 하는 고려장 풍습이 있는 마을. 극도로 가난한 이 마을에 한 과부가 어린 아들 구령을 데리고 시집을 온다. 그녀를 다섯 번째 아내로 맞은 남자에게는 이미 전처들이 낳은 10명의 자식이 있었다. 무당은 이 열 형제가 구령의 손에 죽을 거라는 점괘를 친다. 이를 알게 된 열 형제는 구룡을 죽이려고 독사를 풀지만 구령은 죽지는 않고 절름발이가 된다. 이에 구령의 어머니는 땅뙈기를 떼어 받고 집을 나간다. 그로부터 삼십년 후, 구령(김진규)은 벙어리와 결혼한다. 열 형제가 구령의 아내를 강간하자, 아내는 그들 중 하나를 죽이고 구령도 다른 형제 하나를 죽인다. 그로부터 다시 15년 후, 그렇지 않아도 가난한 마을에 극심한 가뭄이 찾아온다. 구령은 이 기회를 이용해, 마을 사람들로부터 땅문서를 받고 감자를 판다. 무당은 구령 어머니가 아들 등에 업혀 산에 올라가면 비가 올 것이라고 예언하지만 구령은 동의하지 않는다. 그러나 구령은 이복 형제들 때문에 옛 애인 간난이와 함께 살인 누명을 쓰고 죽을 위기에 처하자, 어머니를 업고 산으로 올라간다. 비가 오면 구령과 간난이를 살려주겠다는 이복 형제들의 약속을 믿은 탓이다. 구령이 더 살고싶다는 어머니를 산에 두고 내려온 후 정말로 비가 내린다. 그러나 형제들은 약속을 지키지 않고 간난이를...

* 충녀 The Insect Woman (1972)
* Screen Format : Anamorphic Widescreen
* Sound Mix : Korean Dolby Digital Mono
* Extras : (Korean, English)
- 코멘터리 김영진 영화평론가, 봉준호 영화감독
- 김기영이 김기영을 말하다 (35분)
- 사진자료 모음

첩의 딸인 명자(윤여정)는 본처에게 아버지를 빼앗긴 상처를 가지고 있다. 생활고로 술집에 나가게 된 명자는 동식(남궁원)에게 강간을 당한 후 첩이 되겠다고 매달린다. 본부인(전계현)은 동식의 성불능을 고치려고 밤 12시에는 가정에 돌아온다는 조건으로 생활비를 지급한다. 또한 교묘히 동식의 정관수술을 시킨 후 명자를 이층집으로 이사시켜 준다. 그러나 이사한 날 동식의 딸(김주미)은 쥐를 선물하고, 냉장고에서는 갓난아이가 나온다. 계속 집 안에 출몰하는 쥐에게 시달리는 명자는 어느 날 아이를 잃어버리게 되는데...

* 육체의 약속 Promises of the Flesh (1975)
* Screen Format : Anamorphic Widescreen
* Sound Mix : Korean Dolby Digital Mono
* Extras : (Korean, English)
- 코멘터리 정성일 영화평론가
- 김기영 감독 다큐멘터리 (51분)
- 사진자료 모음

여러 번 남자들에게 배신을 당한 상처 때문에 우발적으로 살인을 저지른 효순(김지미)은 여교도관(박정자)의 배려로 고향 여수에 특별 휴가를 간다. 기차에서 만난 청년(이정길)은 일행에 호의를 보인다. 친구에게 빛을 받으러 가는 그에게 교도관은 효순에게 삶의 의지를 불어 넣어달라고 부탁한다. 효순에게 결혼을 제안한 후 청년은 친구를 만나지만, 살인죄를 뒤집어쓰게 된다. 다시 서울로 가는 기차에서 청년과 효순은 정사를 하지만 여전히 효순은 냉랭하기만 하다.

* 이어도 Ieoh Island (1977)
* Screen Format : Anamorphic Widescreen
* Sound Mix : Korean Dolby Digital Mono
* Extras : (Korean, English)
- 코멘터리 김영진 영화평론가, 오승욱 영화감독
- 사진자료 모음

관광회사 직원인 선우현(김정철)은 제주도에 이어도라는 명칭의 호텔 건설을 기념해서 이어도를 찾는 이벤트를 연다. 배 위에서 이것을 알게 된 기자 천남석(최윤석)은 맹렬히 이를 비난하고 그날 밤 폭풍우 속에서 사라진다. 선우현은 자신의 살인 혐의를 해명하고자 천남석의 상사(박암)와 함께 그의 고향인 파랑도에 간다. 파랑도의 무당(박정자), 천남석의 친구 고춘길(여포), 동거녀인 박여인(권미혜), 그리고 이후 정체를 알 수 없는 술집 작부(이화시)를 만나면서 천남석의 행적을 파헤친다. 자신의 숙명을 피해 서울로 왔으나 결국 다시 고향으로 돌아온 천남석은 환경오염으로 인해 전복 양식업에 실패하고 기자가 되었다가 이번 사건으로 사라진 것이다.
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YumCha! Asian Entertainment Reviews and Features

Professional Review of "Kim Ki Young Collection (DVD) (Korea Version)"

July 17, 2008

This month, Taewon Entertainment, under the auspices of the Korean Film Archive, has released a boxset of four films by legendary director Kim Ki-young. It has been over a decade since the 2nd Pusan International Film Festival hosted the first major retrospective of the director's work, leading to requests from festivals the world over to do the same. In 1998, a retrospective was held at the Berlin International Film Festival, and more recently, there have been screenings at the Cinémathèque Française, in San Fransisco and New York, as well as last month at the Korean Film Council in Seoul. These events created expectations that a release on DVD would be forthcoming. Which prompts the question: was it worth the wait?

To begin with, we are treated to only four of the 23 surviving films, and those four prints have more than their fair share of fading, scratches and dust specks. One film is even missing a couple of reels. Most of the films and supplements are plagued with faulty English subtitles. Furthermore, The Housemaid (1960), the most eagerly anticipated title, is not included in this set (it will be released separately). So just why must you own this set?

Because Kim Ki-young was without a doubt one of the most distinctive filmmakers working not only in Korea, but in the world. The director, who seems to have developed a fondness for B-films in the 1970s, was not averse to mixing genres, and his stories are often a curious blend of mystery, horror, supernatural, melodrama and exploitation. It should come as no surprise that in stories in which rape, murder, human sacrifice (and mice) figure prominently, extreme camerawork was called for, and it is there in spades: colored gels, intentional blurring, rapid pans and zooms, sudden close-ups, wacky camera angles and lurid color, much to the delight of fans everywhere.

Quite unlike his contemporaries, Kim presents a world in chaos, peopled by predatory females, cowardly males driven by the basest of impulses, where unquestioned patriarchal authority no longer exists. Sexual politics is what interests him most. All this might be heavy going were it not for the abundant flourishes of brazen humor that add spice to the proceedings, such as when a woman justifies her husband's non-consensual vasectomy, invoking the "Family Planning Act" (The Insect Woman, 1972). When asked what audience he had in mind when making these subversive and often shocking films, Kim responded that they were made for women, as housewives represented the bulk of filmgoers.

What is baffling is that these movies were made under the most unfavorable circumstances imaginable, during the repressive military dictatorship of Park Chun-hee, when everything from the rearing of children to the workplace was highly regimented. On top of which, in spite of the reclusive director's utter disregard for commercial considerations, his pictures continued to achieve box-office success well into the 1970s, and went on to capture several awards. What is perhaps even more remarkable, considering the bizarre nature of his films, is that by all accounts, the director led a relatively stable life: he grew up in a loving home, studied dentistry at Seoul National University, married a classmate and remained faithful until their untimely death in a house fire in 1998.

Goryeojang (1963)

The earliest film in the collection, Goryeojang features superb B&W lensing and outstanding performances. A woman arrives with her sole surviving son (Guryong) to a village in order to marry a man with ten sons by four previous marriages (yes, I'm not making this up!). The village is beset by recurring famines and has an unfortunate tradition of sending its elderly to the Sacred Peak to die (apparently, abstinence was not an option). The village shaman, scorned by the groom, places a curse on his ten sons. Shortly after their wedding, the sons play a cruel trick on Guryong and he is maimed for life. The woman leaves her husband to live with her son on a plot of land he has given her. The years go by, and the bitter rivalry between the ten sons intensifies when they learn of Guryong's impending wedding. Shortly after his wedding, tragedy strikes and he is alone again with his aging mother. Many more years pass when a prolonged drought pits the brothers, who own the sole well in the village, against Guryong, who has been using his supply of food to extort land from all the villagers.

Persons with disabilities appear to have been a recurring the motif in Kim's oeuvre, stemming perhaps from his experience as a filmmaker for the USIS during the Korean War, where he must have witnessed many such casualties. In this film, he handles them with a refreshing realism and lack of affectation. The sets and makeup are spectacular, as is the set of the Sacred Peak that Kim reserves until toward the film's breathtaking finale. The adult Guryong is performed by Kim Jin-kyu, who also starred in some of Shin Sang-ok's finest movies and Jeon Young-sun, the saccharine daughter in Mother and Guest, also has a small but affecting role.

Two reels of film are lost and during seventeen minutes of the movie there is no image, only the soundtrack. The dialogue and missing scenes are provided in the accompanying booklet. The English subtitles on this film are excellent.

The Insect Woman (1972)

Myung-ja (Yun Yeo-jong), a schoolgirl traumatized by the loss of her "father", is coerced by her mother into working as a barmaid in order to help put her older brother through college. The inexperienced girl falls into the hands of the shrewd proprieter and madam (Park Jeong-ja). At the club, Myung-ja is introduced to Mr. Kim (Nam Gung-won), a customer suffering from impotency and henpecked by a domineering wife. When the middle-aged man consents to make the teenager his mistress, a vicious and often bitingly humorous battles ensues between the two women. Not since the Japanese Angel Guts series have I seen a film as audacious, inventive and perverse as this one, with its frank portrayal of the cannibalistic relations between the sexes. Perhaps the film's most famous image is that of the sex scene on a glass floor covered with colored candies. Yoon is wonderful as the feisty Myung-ja, as is Nam Gung-won as the fumbling Mr. Kim.

Of the four films included in the set, this transfer suffers the most from every imaginable sort of damage - fading, dirt, scratches and shifting color balance - in addition to the added distraction of burned-in Spanish subtitles.

Promise of the Flesh (1975)

This story is a remake of Lee Man-hee's Late Autumn, which no longer exists. When we first encounter Hyo-soon (Kim Ji-mi), she is boarding the train for her hometown to meet the only man she has ever loved, a meeting we are told will never take place. Through flashbacks, we learn that while serving time in prison for unpremeditated murder, Hyo-soon was allowed by a compassionate parole officer (Park Jeong-ja) to make the very same journey several years earlier.

Along the way, the two women are greeted by a young man (Lee Jeong-gil) who offers them a lunch box from the train station, a gesture that would later hold great significance for Hyo-soon. The woman had until then experienced nothing but grief at the hands of men, having been raped several times. Her loss of faith in humanity, compounded by the loss of her mother, left her with little reason to live, and she had already made repeated attempts to take her own life. The chance meeting of the young man restored her will to live, and the two lovers vowed to meet again after her release from prison in two years.

The haunting theme song and the uncharacteristic use of voice-over convey Hyo-soon's longing and contribute to the air of melancholy that permeates this, the most subjective and intensely personal film in the collection. Long stretches of time pass on the train without any dialogue, punctuated only by the sound of the train rolling along the tracks. The little details of ordinary life: a coke bottle rolling along the floor, the parole officer feeding pink candies to her prisoner, the young man blowing cigarette smoke rings to amuse the women—acquire an added gravity as they are recalled in flashbacks. The frantic attempts by the couple to embrace one another through a prison wall, efforts thwarted by the parole officer and several policemen, make a vivid impression, and Park Jin-pyo made use of this scene in You Are My Sunshine (2005). The print shows the effects of age and is covered with dust specks. The English subtitles are awkward, with many grammatical errors.

Ieodo (1977)

What begins as a press junket for a new hotel on Jeju Island to be named after the mythical island of the film's title turns into a supernatural murder mystery when one of the journalists (Choi Yoon-seok) aboard the ship disappears overnight after a quarrel with Seonwoo Hyun (Kim Jeong-cheol), the mastermind behind the promotional event. In order to clear his name of any suspicion of wrongdoing, Seonwoo Hyun, together with the reporter's boss (Park Am) head for Parang island, inhabited only by a population of aging sex-starved female divers. The blend of mystery, supernatural, pseudo-science and graphic sexual imagery likening sex to the mating of insects recalls the tales of Japanese writer Edogawa Rampo. The camera takes full advantage of the beauty of the ocean, the island's jagged coastline and actress Lee Hwa-si's stunning features. Toss in an exuberant sexually-charged shamanistic ritual (performed by Park Jeong-ja) and a shocking scene of necrophilia, and it adds up to an experience you won't soon forget. The subtitles are frustratingly bad and the faded print has loads of dust specks, but the colors are more saturated than those of the other films in the set.

Bonus Material

Disc One: Goryeojang

Commentary by Lee Yeon-ho (film critic) and Kim Dae-seung (director, Blood Rain) Directors on Kim Ki-young (Kim Hong-joon, 2006) 48 min.

The list of 22 directors who pay tribute to Kim Ki-young on this featurette reads like a who's who of some of Chungmuro's brightest young filmmakers. Here's the rundown: Kim Gok, Kim Dae-seung, Kim Sun, Kim Ji-woon, Kim Tae-young, Ryoo Seung-wan, Min Dong-hyun, Park Ki-hyung, Park Soo-young, Park Jae-young, Park Jin-pyo, Park Chan-wook, Byun Young-joo, Bong Joon-ho, Song Il-gon, Shin Jane, Um Hye-jung, Oh Seung-wook, Im Sang-soo, Jang Jun-hwan, Jung Yoon-chul and Jung Ji-woo.

The prevailing sentiment is that of an accumulation of lost opportunities: regret that the Kim Ki-young did not live to complete what was to have been his 'comeback' film, Diabolical Woman; regret at not having had the occasion to speak with the director, or in the case of Bong Joon-ho, not realizing at the time he was filming The Host that one of his actresses had actually worked alongside Kim. Some of them acknowledged their indebtedness to the director, including Kim Ji-woon and Park Jin-pyo, both of whom adapted scenes of his for use in their own films. In addition to scenes from films included in the set, are clips from numerous other of Kim's films from the 70s and 80s, as well as from The Housemaid. The directors are nicely photographed, presumably in their studio offices. Special mention must be made of the grammatically correct, idiomatic English subtitles, the best of the set.

Disc Two: The Insect Woman

Commentary by Kim Young-jin (film critic) and Bong Joon-ho (director, The Host) Kim Ki-young on Kim Ki-young (1997) 35 minutes

This featurette, made on the occasion of the retrospective at the 2nd Pusan International Film Festival, was shot in the director's home and is divided into eight themes:

I) Reflection of Contemporary Images: Kim Ki-young's Filmmaking
II) To Hate Ideas and Ideology
III) Cult Film? To Show the Truth
IV) Main Theme: Women and Family
V) To Anticipate Women Dominating Society
VI) Criticisms on the Completion Quality of His Latter Films and His Answer
VII) Depth, Kim Ki-young's Space Design
VIII) Critical Interest in Kim Ki-young's Films

Kim talks about the influence Greek plays and Ibsen had on his scriptwriting; his dislike of 'ism's' and ideologies; and his dislike of clear-cut endings, among many other things. Kim seems relaxed in the comfort of his home, taking puffs on his pipe as he delivers his answers, which he appears to be reading from a prepared manuscript.

Disc Three: Promise of the Flesh

Commentary by Chung Sung-il (film critic)
Director Kim Ki-young Special Documentary (52 minutes)

This documentary was made on the occasion of the retrospective of the director's work at the 2nd Pusan International Film Festival. Director Kim was accompanied by cinematographer Jeong Il-seong and actress Park Jeong-ja at the press conference. The room was practically empty. Clearly choked up and eyes welling with tears, Jeong said that he felt sorry that only one director deigned to attend Kim's press conference. Know who that was? Hint: he just completed his hundredth film last year.

After a screening of The Housemaid, Kim tells the audience that filmmaking was his hobby, and that he was an amateur director, by which he meant that he was completely self-taught and had no business sense whatsoever. He went on to say that it was thanks to the support of his wife, who produced his films, that he was able to pursue his filmmaking career. It was when as many as 300 films and 1000 videos a year began to inundate the market that Kim discontinued making movies. In 1997, he said, Koreans, maybe sick of watching American films, were starting to watch Korean films again. This documentary also contains the same footage found on Kim Ki-young on Kim Ki-young.

Disc Four: Ieodo

Commentary by Kim Young-jin (film critic) and Oh Seung-wuk (director, Kilimanjaro, 2000)

Final Thoughts

This handsomely packaged set is the most significant Korean release since last year's Shin Sang-ok Collection, and both belong in any film lover's collection. While one can gripe about the condition of the prints and the poor English subtitling, the selection is a fine one, and opinions are likely to be strongly divided over which film is best. My own favorite? Why, Goryeojang, of course! In the meanwhile, The Housemaid, which screened at Cannes in May, is undergoing restoration by the World Cinema Foundation and will hopefully be released on DVD sometime early next year.

DVD Details
All four discs are NTSC, all-region and anamorphically enhanced for widescreen television.
English, Korean and Japanese subtitles on feature films, bonus materials and commentary tracks.
An 87 page bilingual booklet that includes the missing scenes and dialogue from Goryeojang.

by Jon Pais

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