Life and Death of the Hollywood Kid

Institute History

  • 1995 Sundance Film Festival


Life and Death of the Hollywood Kid is a successful attempt by director Chung Jiyoung (White Badge) to interpret the aftermath of the influx of Hollywood celluloid culture into an Asian country. A generation of South Koreans grew up watching Hollywood movies while their own film industry was losing ground to the aggressive tactics of the West.

The film traces the lives of Myonggil and Pyongsok, two fanatics who organize a movie club called The Magnificent Seven. Later in life, after Myonggil is released from military service, he goes to visit his childhood friend and finds out that their lives have taken very different paths. Together, they try and make a go of it in the Korean film industry.

Life and Death of the Hollywood Kid is a tale of obsession, the story of a man so addicted to Hollywood movies that he begins to confuse fantasy with reality. The power of the Hollywood image is paramount, and the death of Korean cinema is synonymous with the globalization of Hollywood iconography and ideology. Both a poignant film about the painful transition to adulthood and a serious look at Hollywood’s cultural colonization, Life and Death of the Hollywood Kid is a warm film with a chilling message

— Christian Gaines

Screening Details

As you use our Online Archives, please understand that the information presented from Festivals, Labs, and other activities is taken directly from official publications from each year. While this information is limited and doesn't necessarily represent the full list of participants (e.g. actors and crew), it is the list given to us by the main film/play/project contact at the time, based on the space restrictions of our publications. Each entry in the Online Archives is meant as a historical record of a particular film, play, or project at the time of its involvement with Sundance Institute. For this reason, we can only amend an entry if a name is misspelled, or if the entry does not correctly reflect the original publication. If you have questions or comments, please email [email protected]