01. Let's Meet at Walkerhill ( Wokeohileseo Mannapsida ) Han Hyeong-mo, 1966
A father who is searching for his daughter who was lost during the Korean War meets a young man looking for an old lover with whom he lost contact. The two men in Seoul, visiting from the countryside, are filled with wonder at the urban sights. The story unfolds as the young man visits a music hall and civic center to find his old lover, who has since become a singer.
The film shows actual performances of popular singers from the time between the scenes, which adds to the entertainment value of the story. The featured performances are “Ullie Bullie” by Key Boys, “Man in a Yellow Shirt” by Han Myeong-suk, “Heuksando Island Girl” by Lee Mi-ja, and more. These old Korean pop songs heavily influenced by jazz and blues music, combined with dance routines, make the film an enjoyable experience. The Walkerhill Show, which all entertainers at the time wished to perform, is depicted at the end of the film. The show is quite unconventional, even by today's standards.
Through the events that the two characters encounter, the film shows the process in which traditional Korean values conflicted with the incoming American culture. A character is flustered by the sight of people dancing to a popular song influenced by American pop music, and another lead character uses straws like chopsticks to pick up ice cubes. A scene shows one of the dried fish—brought by the young man from the countryside—dropping onto the busy street, only to be crushed by the rushing cars; another displays the father’s sesame oil bottle being kicked around by the people dancing in a music hall. Scenes as these seem to represent the confused minds of the two characters exposed to a new culture, or even the turbulent spirit of the times.
The film is sufficiently attractive just for its depiction of popular songs and culture from the mid-1960s, as well as the lives people led during the period. The film has been enhanced to HD quality, making the images of old Seoul, colorful costumes, and busy performances, which helps the audience experience the popular culture at the time, albeit indirectly. Choi Eun-ji, Librarian, Korean Film Archive Video Library