Global TV: Squid Game

  • Thursday, May 12, 2022 / 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM (PDT)
  • With Chae Kyoung-sun (Production Designer)
  • Starring: Lee Jung-jae, Park Hae-soo, Wi Ha-joon, HoYeon Jung, O Yeong-su, Abdul Ali
    Series creator: Hwang Dong-hyuk

The Netflix smash hit Squid Game topped streaming charts worldwide in 2021 and found critical success for its biting social commentary and class critique. The show follows Seong Gi-hun (Lee Jung-jae), a down-on-his-luck debtor invited to a mysterious underground game that promises considerable wealth to one lucky winner. Hundreds of similarly destitute players compete in familiar children’s games like Red Light, Green Light and tug of war, only to realize the lethal stakes when one loses a game. The only way to win is to outlast other players and follow the rules enforced by the masked guards led by a shady organization. Joined by his childhood friend Cho Sang-woo (Park Hae-soo), Gi-hun encounters a motley crew of Korea’s underclass, including North Korean defector Kang Sae-byeok (HoYeon Jung), migrant worker Abdul Ali (Anupam Tripathi), petty gangster Jang Deok-su (Heo Sung-tae), and the elderly man Oh Il-nam (O Yeong-su). Striking production design and powerful performances elevate Squid Game’s dark allegory of class struggle, wealth disparity, and the ravages of capitalism, and the show offers resonant commentary on our contemporary society.

For this special hybrid event, the Pollock Theater offered an in-person screening of Squid Game episode 6, “Gganbu.” Following the screening, Squid Game production designer Chae Kyoung-sun joined moderator Rita Raley (English, UCSB) and interpreter Eunjin Choi in a virtual post-screening discussion of the show.

The event is free but advance registration is required. Participants may choose to register to attend the in-person screening at the Pollock Theater, or to watch the post-screening conversation live on Zoom.

Biographies

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Production Designer Chae Kyoung-sun

Chae Kyoung-sun is a production designer for film and television. She has worked with director Hwang Dong-hyuk since 2011 on projects including Silenced (2011), Miss Granny (2014), The Fortress (2017) and Squid Game (2021). She received the Grand Bell Award for Best Art Direction twice, for Detective K: Secret of Virtuous Widow (2011) and The Royal Tailor (2014). Her other credits as production designer include Come, Close (2010); Sorry, Thanks (2011); Ghost Sweepers (2012); Hwayi: A Monster Boy (2013); Twenty (2015); A Melody to Remember (2016); Ordinary Person (2017); Rampant (2018); MAL-MO-E: The Secret Mission (2019); EXIT (2019); Hostage: Missing Celebrity (2021); and The Policeman’s Lineage (2022).

raley

Moderator Rita Raley

Rita Raley is Professor of English at the University of California, Santa Barbara, with affiliate appointments in Film and Media Studies, Comparative Literature, and Global Studies. She works on contemporary cultural, media, and linguistic formations and is currently collaborating with Eunjin Choi on a project on the Korean creative ecosystem in the streaming era. She has work forthcoming on GPT-2 and machine translation, among other topics.

Eunjin Choi_photo_UCSB

Interpreter Eunjin Choi

Eunjin Choi currently works as a research fellow in the Research Institute for Image and Cultural Content at Dongguk University in Seoul, South Korea. She worked at UC Santa Barbara as a Korea Foundation Visiting Professor of East Asian Languages and Cultural Studies from 2018 to 2021. She received her Ph.D. in Film Studies from Dongguk University in Seoul, South Korea in 2018. Her current research is focused on Korean society in the context of mass media, particularly films and TV dramas.

This event is sponsored by the Carsey-Wolf Center.

CWC Presents: Global TV

Television has traditionally been understood through national frameworks, corresponding to national networks of television distribution. The Carsey-Wolf Center series “Global TV” explores the way some contemporary television programs and formats have become unmoored from their national contexts of production and distribution.  The series will spotlight a number of recent shows that showcase this phenomenon, including a French heist caper, a South African vigilante thriller, and a crime drama set at the epicenter of political and social change in twenties Berlin; each of these shows both transcends and is rooted in its national context and culture. The events in the series will examine how and why a particular program might travel and take hold with an international audience, addressing questions about the role of contemporary streaming services and global flows of creative labor.

CWC Global

Media are global by nature; they express culture just as much as they transcend borders. The CWC Global series is dedicated to showcasing media from around the world. This series features screenings and events that place UCSB in conversation with international media makers and global contexts across our deeply connected world.

CWC TV

In recognition of the extraordinary accomplishments of the Center’s namesakes, Dick Wolf and Marcy Carsey, the Carsey-Wolf Center is committed to examining television as an institution, industry, and cultural form. In our post-network, multi-channel, multi-media environment, understanding television demands understanding its past as well as its future, through exploration of individual episodes, mini-series, and documentaries.