Lee Chang-dong

Lee Chang-dong’s first two movies are featured this month: Green Fish 초록 물고기, 1997, Cast: Han Seok-kyu, Shim Hye-jin, Moon Sung-keun Cert 15 | 114 mins KCCUK, 10 September 2015, 7:00 pm When Mak-dong returns to his hometown of Ilsan after two and a half years of military service, he finds that it has been […]

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I can’t believe he asked her that

by Philip Gowman 6 April 2013
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The context was this. It was the Q&A after the 4 April screening at BAFTA of Hong Sang-soo’s Hahaha, attended by the lead actress Moon So-ri, the first featured actor of the KCC’s Year of the Four Actors. Tony Rayns was talking to Moon So-ri about how she got her first screen role. Moon started […]

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Lee Chang-dong’s Oasis screens at the KCC

by Philip Gowman 12 March 2013
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Lee Chang-dong’s Oasis figures in most people’s list of top ten Korean films of all time, or at least of the first decade of this century: a compelling storyline which is both moving and shocking, with stand-out performances from Sol Kyung-gu and Moon So-ri. It will be screening this Thursday at the KCC as part […]

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Fribourg Fest honours two K-films

by Philip Gowman 2 April 2012
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Lee Chang-dong’s “Poetry” and Kim Tae-yong’s “Late Autumn” Lee Man-hee remake win awards at Fribourg Int’l Film Fest http://bit.ly/hHIAXU # “Poetry” won the top award, the Regard d’Or, while “Late Autumn” won the Special Mention of the Jury of the International Federation of Film Societies, and the Ex-Change Award, which is a prize selected by […]

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On rewatching some favourite films: An Affair and Secret Sunshine

by Philip Gowman 11 February 2012
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Last week, I re-watched two of my all-time favourite Korean films. Or at least, I thought they were. Film number one: E J-yong’s An Affair (1998), which was in the first dozen of Korean films I ever saw. I caught it at the 2001 London Korean Film Festival (yes, there have been Korean Film Festivals […]

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Where does “Poetry” rank among Lee Chang-dong’s films?

by Philip Gowman 26 July 2011
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With Lee Chang-dong’s Poetry getting its UK theatrical release on Friday1, it’s worth taking a moment to think about where it ranks among his filmography. His first film, Green Fish (1997), is also probably his least-known, and tackles Korea’s urbanisation. By contrast, Peppermint Candy (2000), which addresses Korea’s troubled modern history, ranks highly among many […]

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Korean directors on the panels at Cannes 2011

by Philip Gowman 9 April 2011
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BBC News – Bong Joon-ho to head Cannes debut filmmaker panel (Camera d’Or) http://bbc.in/dMrGOw # while Lee Chang-Dong is on the panel for critics’ week

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Five Korean winners at Asian Film Awards

by Philip Gowman 26 March 2011
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Lee Chang-dong among five Korean winners at Asian Film Awards http://bit.ly/i54Noc. The complete Korean list: Best Director, Screenplay (Poetry) Editing (I Saw the Devil) Actor (Yellow Sea) Supporting Actress (Housemaid). #

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Lee Chang-dong and Poetry at Cannes

by Philip Gowman 30 May 2010
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“Poetry” misses out on Cannes top award, but wins Lee Chang-dong Best Screenplay award. http://bit.ly/cfcKR2 # The Joongang Ilbo tells us that the Korean Film Council rejected Lee’s request for funding: the screenplay was too much like a novel ‘”Poetry” is a dazzling piece of screen portraiture. Yun Jung-hee surely a front runner for Best […]

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2010: a bumper year for Korean film?

by Philip Gowman 27 April 2010
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Not so long ago, the Korean film industry seemed to be in the doldrums. Darcy, Twitch and others were sounding notes of gloom that Korean cinema had lost its way. But then things picked up again, with blockbusters such as Haeundai, and new indie films such as Breathless making the headlines and bringing in the […]

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LKL’s top 10 K-films of the noughties

by Philip Gowman 26 January 2010
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Mark Russell led the way with his fascinating list of films of the decade – in which the biggest shock was that there was no Park Chan-wook. GI Korea also has a list, which redresses the balance somewhat. So here is mine. Over the years I’ve been reasonably diligent in giving marks out of 10 […]

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Alienation and industrialisation in Green Fish

by Matthew Jackson 13 July 2008
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Matthew Jackson encounters Lee Chang Dong for the first time “Good, but gruelling” was Jason Bechervaise’s summary of the film for me in the lift in on the way up to the screening of ‘Green Fish’ at the Cultural Centre on Thursday night. I later learned this film had been the subject of his dissertation, […]

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Lee Chang Dong featured at KCC

by Philip Gowman 9 July 2008
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The theme for this month’s films at the KCC film club is Director Lee Chang Dong (right). A few weeks ago we had Im Sang-soo at the KCC talking about his “modern Korean history trilogy”; and the recent KOFIC book on Im says: Im Sang Soo is practically the only director now making films that […]

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Festival Film Review: Secret Sunshine at the BFI London Film Festival

by Philip Gowman 29 October 2007
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Caution: this post contains spoilers. It was slightly disappointing to see Screen One of the Odeon West End (seating capacity: 500) somewhat under half full for the London premiere of Lee Chang-dong’s Secret Sunshine last Monday. By contrast, No Mercy for the Rude, a film which (from its description at least) is much more in […]

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Kim Young-jin: Lee Chang-dong

by Philip Gowman 21 September 2007
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(Seoul Selection, 2007) I can imagine that there was a certain amount of discussion about the timing of this book. After a break of some years — enforced by his stint as Roh Moo-hyun’s first Minister for Culture and Tourism — the well-regarded director Lee Chang-dong was active again. His new film, with two of […]

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Jeon Do-yeon wins at Cannes

by Philip Gowman 28 May 2007
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Congratulations to Jeon Do-yeon on winning best actress at Cannes. She was an early front-runner in the competition, and just for once those early hopes of success were justified. For the first third of its nearly two-and-a-half-hour running time, “Secret Sunshine” feels like a slightly somber fish-out-of-water comedy (reports AO Scott at the New York […]

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Lee Chang-dong’s Secret Sunshine gets early thumbs-up

by Philip Gowman 7 May 2007
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Probably the most eagerly awaited Korean film of 2007, at least by me, is Lee Chang-dong’s fourth: Secret Sunshine, or Milyang (밀양). I’ve admired his first three for the issues they tackle and the superb acting: Lee has had access to some top stars for his films – Sol Kyung-gu and Moon So-ri for Oasis […]

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