Celebrity Cinema and Hallyu 2.0


Korean directors such as Im Kwon-Taek are synonymous with Korean national Cinema. They have raised the country’s cultural profile internationally through the film festival circuit. However, in more recent times, film is no longer a singular projection of the image of South Korea. (Berg, 2014; Shin, 2005) Today, television dramas have overshadowed films, flooding small screens with attractive faces of Korean celebrities and has been perpetuated further with the prevalence of social media. Taking into consideration Pierre Bourdieu’s framing of appropriating films as part of the larger identification and acquisition of cultural capital through the theory of Popular Aesthetic (1984) and Marshall McLuhan’s theory of the Hot-Cold Medium (1964), this paper acknowledges the power of Korean film in creating a global image and lucrative cultural product for the nation. However this paper also challenges this, arguing that Hallyu and the spread of Korean media culture are no longer directly influenced by Korean films alone. Hallyu has evolved to become Hallyu 2.0 – a trans-national, trans-media product of both television and cinema, created through the combined influence of social media and star power. Through an analysis of social media statistics from fan pages, television ratings, box office figures of Korean films and trans-nationally made films featuring three key Korean celebrities who have a large fan-base from both film and television: Rain, Gianna Jun and Lee Young-Ae, this paper seeks to demonstrate possibilities in Hallyu 2.0 for the worlds of television and cinema to merge through celebrity influence with emergence of social media.

Author Information
Shu Min Chrystal Ng, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
Kai Khiun Liew, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore

Paper Information
Conference: MediAsia2015
Stream: Film

This paper is part of the MediAsia2015 Conference Proceedings (View)
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon