Posted on Feb 15, 2016

Bikini Words: A Filmmaker’s Journey at the Liverpool Lift-Off Film Festival

Explore the nuances of BIKINI WORDS, a thought-provoking film by filmmaker Nils Clauss. The film has now been selected for the Liverpool Lift-Off Film Festival 2016. Uncover the evolution of language among South Korean factory workers during the industrialization of the 1970s and 1980s.

The Festival Experience

BIKINI WORDS secured a spot at the Liverpool Lift-Off Film Festival among 1300+ global entries. Catch it on Thursday, 3rd March 2016, from 9:00 to 10:30 pm at Small Cinema Liverpool in Shorts Programme 1. Purchase tickets at Lift-Off Tickets.

Exploring Linguistic Shifts

BIKINI WORDS explores the changing vocabulary of South Korean factory workers during rapid industrialization. Directed by Nils Clauss, a distinguished cinematographer and director based in Seoul, this film captures the essence of a bygone era, giving voice to the unsung heroes of urbanization.

Behind the Scenes

Discover the origins of BIKINI WORDS as Nils Clauss shares insights into the creative process. Approached by Hongsung Kim and Jinbok Wee of Design Studio Kerb and Urban Intensity Architects, respectively, Clauss embraced the challenge of showcasing Geumcheon District’s transformation during South Korea’s economic boom.

G-Index and Word Choices

The narrative is anchored in the G-index, an index of 99 words from the 1970s and 1980s, compiled by researcher Haeyeon Yoo. Clauss, in collaboration with producer Kuiock Park, carefully selected eight words. Together they crafted a narrative that resonates with international audiences, culminating in the intriguing title, BIKINI WORDS.

Connecting with the Workers

Despite time constraints, Clauss and Park navigated the challenges of capturing the essence of factory workers’ lives. They faced initial reluctance but gained the trust of key contributors, such as the “puppet boss” lady, an influential workers’ activist during that era.

Cinematic Representation

Experience the deliberate absence of individuals in BIKINI WORDS, allowing viewers to immerse themselves in the historical spaces. The intentional “stripped” motif, highlighted by the term “Bikini Closet,” underscores the film’s theme of revealing the bare reality of workers’ lives.

Balancing Artistic Expression

As a cinematographer, Clauss acknowledges the importance of aesthetics but emphasizes that storytelling reigns supreme. BIKINI WORDS beautifully combines visual appeal with a compelling narrative, bridging the gap between artistic expression and educational impact.

Seoul’s Inspirations

Living and working in Seoul, Clauss finds inspiration in the city’s dynamic evolution since the Korean War. He reflects on the challenges of a young democracy, economic disparities, and the non-homogenous society. This offers a unique perspective that fuels his creativity as a filmmaker.

The Creative Scene in Seoul

Clauss notes the surge in Seoul’s creative scene, gaining international acclaim. He traces this trend back to the ’90s, challenging the notion that recent recognition is a recent phenomenon, asserting that Korea’s creative prowess has been a constant force.

The Essence of Good Cinema

In a parting thought, Clauss emphasizes the timeless importance of a compelling story in filmmaking. Amidst technological advancements, he urges filmmakers to prioritize narrative depth over gadgetry, ensuring that audiences are captivated and enlightened.

As we anticipate the screening at the Liverpool Lift-Off Film Festival, BIKINI WORDS stands as a testament to Nils Clauss’s craftsmanship. He seamlessly blends cinematography with storytelling. Join us exploring the linguistic tapestry of South Korea’s industrial past on Thursday 3rd March 2016 from 9:00 to 10:30pm at Small Cinema Liverpool (57-59 Victoria Street, Liverpool, L1 6DE).