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Seoul’s New French Cultural Center

Posted January. 06, 2006 03:23,   


The French Cultural Center in Seoul, headed by Jean-Luc Maslin, has renewed itself for the first time in five years.

The Center’s focus had been mainly on movies until it moved from Sagan-dong, next to Gyeongbok Palace, to the Woori Building in Bongrae-dong in 2001.

However, as the Center changed location, its focus shifted as well to its library. It continues to show French movies, but their popularity has declined compared to the past.

Faced with this reality, the center plans to show French movies together with the Dongsoong Art Center in Daehak-ro this year. This plan intends to restore the fame of the basement movie theater that the center had in its previous location by showing French movies in a high-quality theater. Unfortunately, the admission will not be free.

Starting from December 17, the Center will show a series of French movies in the Hypertheque Nada of Dongsoong Art Center every Tuesday at 7:00 p.m. New movie themes will be introduced every two months. The theme for January and February is “French women.” Seven movies starring charming actresses representing each era, including Brigitte Bardot and Audry Tautou, will be on screen.

In addition, the center has overhauled its website (www.france.or.kr) to make it function as the “cyber-French Cultural Center.” The previous website focused only on introducing the library. Apart from the library, you can find EduFrance, an agency for students wishing to study in France, and Cafe de France, a restaurant serving French cuisine, within the center. To put it another way, the center aims to be an information center that offers everything about France like studying in France, French cuisine, exhibitions and performances.

One interesting thing is that the center, which had been at the forefront of teaching the French language, began to provide services not only in French but also in Korean and English. This hints at France’s changed attitude toward English.

EduFrance, too, will transform itself in terms of function from just introducing schools in France to students considering studying there to offering a one-stop service, from visa issuance to school admission and support during students’ stay in France.