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“INSIDE THE SQUID” Presented by Professor Kyung H. Kim via Webinar from New Canaan Library

November 30, 2021 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm


New Canaan Library is pleased to welcome back Professor Kyung Hyun Kim, filmmaker, scholar, and writer, who will discuss and explore the popularity behind Netflix’s new blockbuster series, Squid Game. The talk will take place on Tuesday, November 30 at 7 PM EST. Zoom sign in information will be provided upon registration at newcanaanlibrary.org.

In Korea, a particular type of comedy variety show has become quite popular in recent years. These productions typically feature a group of male performers in front of a camera in a public space, who then disperse to change into track suits and play childish playground games such as hide-and-seek, capture-the-flag, rock-paper-scissors, wordplay, and pass-the-cellphone. Reflecting this phenomenon is Netflix’s hit series Squid Game, a horror drama version of these Korean comedy shows. The nine-episode Korean drama-thriller Squid Game strips away the comedic veneer of adults playing children’s games by instead fictitiously tricking debt-ridden desperate men and women to take part in literally deadly competitions derived from the same childhood game. Professor Kim will discuss how Squid Game propels the Korean game show format into the dystopian world of neoliberal capitalism that it seeks to critique. HIs talk will discuss a range of topics, from the surprising and unprecedented success of Squid Game and the socioeconomic background of these cultural products to Korea’s emergence as a global pop juggernaut.

Professor Kyung Hyun Kim is a creative writer, a scholar, and a film producer, who is currently a professor in the Department of East Asian Studies, UC Irvine. He has worked with internationally renowned directors such as Hong Sang-soo, Lee Chang-dong and Marty Scorsese, and also with American film producers Jason Blum and Steven Schneider. Professor Kim is the author of the recently published book Virtual Hallyu: Korean Cinema of the Global Era, as well as The Remasculinization of Korean Cinema, Hegemonic Mimicry: Korean Popular Culture of 21st Century (all Duke University Press), and a Korean-language novel entitled In Search of Lost G (Ireo beorin G-reul chajaso, 2014) about a Korean mother combing the US in search of her missing son during his junior year in a Massachusetts prep school. His recent article analyzing Squid Game was recently written for foreignpolicy.com https://foreignpolicy.com/2021/10/09/squid-game-netflix-south-korea-capitalism/?tpcc=recirc_trending062921