Seoul Through Film
See & Do Tours
- Jean-Luc Godard -
Photos are snapshots of reality. Therefore, they are the truth (as long as they aren’t edited.)
Films are even more truthful than photographs. Showing 24 frames per second, films show us the reality of life through moving pictures. By presenting familiar locations, places, and people, even sci-fi movies can give off a feeling of being real. Once just stories we watched through a screen, these films can be experienced directly in Seoul. Let’s explore Seoul through film.
- Sebitseom (Some Sevit) -
Who could have ever imagined superheroes like Captain America and Black Widow speeding through downtown Seoul and flying against Seoul’s skyline to take down super villains?
When it was announced that “Avengers: Age of Ultron” would be shot in Seoul back in 2015, Korean fans were ecstatic with joy. Depicting Seoul as a futuristic city with cutting edge technology, the film brought attention to some of Seoul’s beautiful attractions like Some Sevit, DMC City, MBC Building, and Mapodaegyo Bridge. Garnering a lot of attention during the screening of the film, Some Sevit is the first floating cultural space to be constructed in the world, complete with restaurants, convention centers, banquet halls, and venues for performances. At night, the entire area is illuminated with sparkling LED lights, lending a very romantic atmosphere to the place.
683 Olympic-daero, Seocho-gu, Seoul
- Seochon (Sejong Village) -
A place to feel and see both the past and present Seoul, Seochon was the setting for a 2013 movie titled “Nobody’s Daughter Haewon”. In the movie, the main character, Haewon, walks through Seochon on a date and speaks with her mother in one of Seochon’s cafes. The charms of this neighborhood have been explored over and over in numerous magazines, dramas, and movies. It was also a shooting location for Suzy’s movie, “Architecture 101”. Restaurants and shops are all enclosed in charming little hanok houses, making visitors feel as if they’re walking through a small and cozy film set.
Sajik-ro 9-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul
- Snow-Covered Jongmyo Shrine -
The movie, “Masquerade”, starts out in a snow-covered Jongmyo Shrine.
Jongmyo is a shrine housing the spirit tablets of former kings and queens of the Joseon Dynasty. When a king takes over the throne, the first thing he’s expected to do is head to Jongmyo Shrine and bow down to his ancestors in a sacred ancestral ritual. Although the movie starts out at Jongmyo Shrine, it can only be described as ironic how King Gwanghae, the main character of this film, never got a chance to have his tablet be placed at Jongmyo Shrine for various political and cultural reasons.
Jongmyo Shrine covered in snow is a sight to behold. If you’re still under the spell of the “Masquerade” film, a walk through the solemn Jongmyo Shrine is a must. Designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Center, Jongmyo Shrine only allows a limited amount of visitors per day, requiring people to reserve guided tours in advance before visiting.
157 Jong-ro, Hunjeong-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul
Guided tours required to visit Jongmyo Shrine.
Sometimes, we want to live life just like the movies. Whether feeling happy, sad, or lonely, we want to live like the main characters. We know, we know. Lives of characters in movies aren’t real. However, it’s possible to feel like you living their lives when you’re standing in the same places as they did in their respective movies. There are many such places to be found in Seoul. This December, let’s visit those places and star in our favorite movies.
- Dark Dining in “About Time” -
Sometimes, more truth can be obtained by simply not seeing. In the movie “About Time”, two characters by the name of Tim and Mary have a date at a dark dining restaurant… and fall in love. Among those who like to try out unique-themed restaurants or cafés, dark dining is a must on their to-do list. In Noontaengi-Gamtaengi, a dark dining restaurant in Sinchon, diners order and eat their food in a place completely void of light. It may be uncomfortable at first, but after remembering the movie scenes and focusing more on your other senses, you’ll start to “see” things you weren’t able to before. (For example, you might find that food taste richer when you’re more receptive to your other senses.) You never know. You might even meet someone special too, just like Tim and Mary.
26 Yonsei-ro 5-gil, Seodaemun-gu, Seoul
- Boarding the Hogwarts Express at Hongdae -
The Harry Potter series always start with Harry and his friends departing for Hogwarts from Platform 9¾ at King's Cross Station. Well, everyone is invited to come relive the magic of Harry Potter through Hongdae’s newly opened Café & Pub 943 King’s Cross. The disappearing cart, the wall stocked full of wand boxes, and the portrait filled wooden stairways leading to the upper floors all make you feel as if you’re literally in the world of wizards and magic. A long line waits for the use of a photo zone where you can wear the robes of your house color and pose with a wand or broomstick. And as you sip your drinks and reminisce about your childhood, the movie soundtracks play softly in the background, making it feel as if you really are sitting in the mystical, yet very magical world of Harry Potter.
24 Yanghwa-ro 16-gil, Mapo-gu, Seoul
- Holiday Season, Together with Kevin -
The start of the holiday season bring to mind the imagery of Kevin in “Home Alone 2” wandering around, lost in the city of New York, and finding himself standing before the great big Christmas tree in Rockefeller Center to make a wish. The magic of Christmas tends to fade away as you get older, but no matter the age, once you find yourself standing in front of a gigantic Christmas tree, it’s impossible not to get excited. Almost as big as the Christmas tree in Rockefeller Center, a big Christmas tree can be found right here in Seoul. Since 1960, a giant Christmas tree is set up every year in front of Seoul City Hall. And each year, a lighting event takes place at the start of December, so make sure you don’t miss it on top of the discovering the many other great photo spots around Seoul!
110 Sejong-daero, Jung-gu, Seoul
Snow starts to fall in Seoul. They drift down lazily in the air, carols are sung around street corners, and movie theaters start showing a lineup of new movies, all just in time for the holiday season. However, there’s no need to head to a theater to experience a movie. Instead, you can simply head toward Seoul because there will always be plenty of things to see and do in the city this December.