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Posted : 2013-04-09 17:19
Updated : 2013-04-09 17:19

Movie theaters take audience back to the 90s

By Baek Byung-yeul

Poster for "Love Letter"
The bitter Generation Xers who claim everything was better in the 1990s finally have a chance to stake their case, at least in popular culture.

Movie theaters here are currently showing a variety of movies from the last decade of the 20th century, thanks to the advancement in digital technology, which provides new ways to enhance the picture quality of aging films.

A digitally re-touched ''Love Letter,'' the film by Japanese auteur Iwai Shunji that was first shown in Korean theaters in 1999, shortly after the country lifted the decades-long ban on Japanese cultural imports, has been showing since Valentine's Day.

The movie, a tale of love and grief built around the letters exchanged by two women who discover new things about a dead man they both knew, was a sleeper hit in 1999 when it drew an audience of more than 1.4 million.

The new version of Love Letter has so far sold 38,000 tickets.

Luc Besson's 1994 thriller "Leon," depicting the tragic bond between a professional assassin and a teenage girl, is returning to Korean theaters on Thursday, this time in a director's cut version.

The market is also awaiting remade imports like the three-dimensional (3D) versions of ''Jurassic Park'' and ''Lion King.''

The interest in showing movies from the 1990s again was sparked last year when a director's cut version of Louis Malle's ''Damage'' was shown last year, at the 20th anniversary of the original's release in 1992.

It wasn't until 1994 when Damage arrived at local theaters as censorship authorities resisted the sex scenes.

''Distributors are seeing the business sense in targeting people in their mid-20s and 30s, who are the main customers of cultural products. This drives the industry's interest in movies from the 1990s,'' said a film industry official.

''These are movies that were already proven as box office hits, so when you are re-releasing them, you could hope for a sizable turnout without spending too much on promoting them.''


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