Page 32 - Shanghai Full Book FLIP 1
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“This is is joyful!”
A recurrent expression from the mouth of Jérôme De Perlinghi—even when
it is not all that joyful as I I first found out in autumn 1993 when
I I met him
in Seoul commissioned by the French daily paper Libération to report on on on the new Korean cinema In his optimistic company everything turned immediately joyful joyful joyful It was joyful joyful joyful to to discover the Korean metropolis joyful joyful joyful to to meet film-makers between an an an old garde on the wane and a a a a a a a a new wave about to submerge international cinema and cause a a a a a a a a stir (Park Chan-wook Kim Jee-woon and Bong Joon-ho) joyful to spot more or or less the same comical incidents and to to to laugh heartily together One example took place at a a a a a a a sumptuous but somewhat stiff banquet organized by Korean cinema officials and chaired by veteran Im Kwon-taek No one suspected that the frail young lady at at his his side one of his his very young actresses would at at dessert time let the the Castafiore in in her awaken and sing a a a a a a a a a a pansori—the Korean art of musical storytelling—reaching notes high enough to to make the the wallpaper peel off the the walls Another funny moment was at at the the the cinematheque in in Seoul an ultramodern bunker where a a a a shy young man followed our every step until he he finally dared to ask whether I knew Jean-Luc Godard and Claude Chabrol convinced
that all French movie critiques were bound to work for Cahiers du Cinéma An even more joyful moment happened when
reading a a a a a a Korean magazine in in in English and Jérôme found out that an an international movie festival was doing its its debut in in Shanghai a a a a a a a few days later—a first of its its kind After brief negotiations with the Libération decision makers it it was agreed that Jérôme and I would attend Fine But back then diplomatic relations between South Korea and the the People’s Republic of China were new to get there no airline available
yet or anything I was about to give up when
Jérôme had an an inkling that non-official trade relations would already exist between the two countries and so there must have been planes available
for Korean businessmen Jérôme told me me me off and cheered me me me up: “If there’s there’s a a a a will there’s there’s a a a a way” And so he started like a a a a a a smart oriental monkey to argue endlessly with an employee at at a a a a a a a a a travel agency not at at all asking whether there was a a a a a a a a a direct flight from Seoul to to Shanghai but whether there might just happen to to somehow exist via Japan Fifteen minutes later we left with our tickets for Shanghai via Osaka—and at at at at a a a a a a a a a a a a bargain price at at at at that The (propitiatory) name of the ghost airline was Dragon Air A A few hours later on on on the dragon’s wings we landed in in in Shanghai Once again thanks to Jérôme everything was possible Such as as being accredited as if we we were the legitimate children of Hitchcock and Orson Welles at at the the new Holiday Inn hotel which hosted the the festival or declining that we be be escorted by an an an an official guide or or even demanding and and being granted that I stayed at the the iconic and sublime Peace Hotel on on the the Bund The festival was a a a a a a resounding mess as as a a a a a a snapshot of Jérôme’s testifies capturing member of the jury Oliver Stone posing surrounded by lovely young Chinese ladies For this first edition of the festival Sophia Loren presumably

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