Posted on Oct 10, 2017

Bikini Words: Exploring Korean Industrial Linguistics at Sedicicorto

In October 2017, the 14th Sedicicorto International Film Festival showcased BIKINI WORDS, a cinematic exploration by a Seoul-based cinematographer. This unique film delves into the distinctive vocabulary that emerged among South Korean factory workers during the rapid industrialization of the 1970s and 1980s.

Festival Overview

The Sedicicorto International Film Festival , established in 2004, annually celebrates short films worldwide. BIKINI WORDS stands out among experimental pieces, captivating audiences with its exploration of Korean industrial linguistics.

Unveiling Korean Linguistic Evolution

BIKINI WORDS focuses on a distinctive vocabulary that evolved during South Korea’s industrialization. Set against the backdrop of Geumcheon, Seoul, this cinematic piece offers a glimpse into linguistic developments and the lives of factory workers.

Behind the Scenes & Word Choices

The genesis of Bikini Words traces back to an invitation from Geumcheon District Office. Collaborating with Design Studio Kerb and Urban Intensity Architects, the project unfolded as part of a larger exhibition portraying the evolution of Geumcheon District during South Korea’s economic boom. Choosing words from the G-index, the film’s narrative unfolds through Konglish expressions, with a keen focus on the term “Bikini Closet.”

Challenges & Filming Insights

Facing resistance in scouting Geumcheon, we connected with former textile workers. Trust-building became paramount, dispelling clichés and presenting a nuanced perspective of their lives during that era. Despite setbacks like a broken-down car, the filming process unfolded smoothly. The intentional absence of people in the footage aims to allow the audience to envision and connect with the past.

Symbolism & Conclusion

Deliberately portraying stripped locations, the film navigates through spaces, offering a glimpse into the past. The title, “Bikini Closet,” encapsulates the essence of Korea during that period. Bikini Words stands as a testament to the evolving language of Korean industry, inviting audiences to explore the nuanced history of Geumcheon.

BIKINI WORDS plays out of competition in the Experia section of the 14th Sedicicorto International Film Festival, which contains a selection of experimental short films. Together with Werner Biedermann’s JAMAIS VU, Tim Weimann’s UNITED INTEREST, Eileen Byrne’s IRIDESCENE and Benjamin Bardou’s GLORIA VICTIS, Bikini Words will play at Biblioteca Aurelio Saffi (Corso della Repubblica 72 – Forlì) on Wednesday Oct. 11th at 5pm.