Film & TV

We’ve almost finished clearing the London Korean Film Festival backlog, the only major review outstanding now being Park Chan-kyong’s fascinating documentary Manshin. While I’m polishing that, here are a few brief reviews of the films I didn’t feel moved to write dedicated articles about. Han Gong-ju A heavy and depressing story redeemed by the sensitive […]

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Festival Film Review: This Road Called Life

by Philip Gowman 15 December 2014
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Following on from the success of their feature-length animation Green Days, Studio MWP worked with Korean TV broadcaster EBS to produce a trio of short films which adapt three familiar short stories which are studied by most Koreans in high school: Yi Hyo-seok’s Buckwheat Season, Kim Yu-jeong’s Spring, Spring, and A Lucky Day by Hyun […]

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LKFF 2014: the conversations

by Philip Gowman 23 November 2014
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The London Korean Film Festival is not just about getting acquainted with the latest in Korean movies. It is also an opportunity to meet some of the people behind those movies – actors, directors and producers. Opportunities for engaging with these film professionals vary: for an ever-growing group of aficionados there is the offer of round-table […]

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Festival Film Review: Hwajang / Revivre

by Philip Gowman 17 November 2014
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Well, I was right. Ahn Sung-ki confessed in the Q+A which followed the screening of Hwajang that one of his most difficult tasks in portraying Oh Sang-moo, a senior executive in a cosmetics company, was to project certain aspects of being old – of being blocked inside because of the swollen prostate, of being more […]

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Festival film review: Bitter, Sweet, Seoul

by Philip Gowman 16 November 2014
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Bitter, Sweet, Seoul is an ambitious crowd-sourced project in which people from around the world were invited by the Seoul Metropolitan Government to submit videos which would be made into feature length film. Directors (and brothers) Park Chan-wook and Park Chan-kyong (collectively PARKing CHANce) were commissioned to organise the submissions, attracted to the project by […]

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Hong Sang-soo season on Film 4

by Philip Gowman 1 November 2014
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There are still some Korean film fans out there who haven’t seen any Hong Sang-soo yet. There’s a chance to catch his latest at this years London Korean Film Festival. But you can also see some of his recent back catalogue on TV before then. This must be the first occasion that Hong Sang-soo has […]

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Controversy in Korean Literature: Hailji on Road to the Racetrack

by Philip Gowman 30 October 2014
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What a great way to warm up for the London Korean Film Festival. Artist Talk: Think !n Literature Film Screening & Talk: Controversy in Korean Literature Wednesday 5 November │ 18:30-23:00 │ Korean Cultural Centre UK │ Speaker: Hailji, Author The Road to Racetrack RSVP to KCCUK on 0207 004 2600 or info@kccuk.org.uk We cordially […]

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LKL’s latest must-see film of the LKFF 2014: The Road Called Life

by Philip Gowman 28 October 2014
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It’s taking a while to go through the LKFF 2014 programme to prioritise those films which I simply *have* to go to see. So thanks to Frances Yoo from Studio Meditation with a Pencil for alerting me to the title that instantly has gone from “when I get round to it, I’ll look to see […]

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London Korean Film Festival 2014: the schedule in detail

by Philip Gowman 23 October 2014
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Here’s the full schedule of the London Korean Film Festival 2014 for you to optimise your viewing pleasure. Full details will soon be up on the festival’s official website, www.koreanfilm.co.uk. And the tickets will be on sale at the relevant Odeon websites: Odeon West End | Odeon Covent Garden | Odeon Kingston. The 9th London […]

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Ryu Seonghie is the last of the KCC’s film professionals

by Philip Gowman 18 October 2014
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The KCC brings their Year of the Film Professionals to an end with a focus on art director and production designer Ryu Seong-hie, who has worked on some of the top Korean movies of this century. The Year of the Film Professionals: Ryu Seonghie — Production Designer October – December 2014 One of the longest […]

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Seven ways in which Hill of Freedom is different from other Hong Sang-soo films

by Philip Gowman 11 October 2014
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… and some ways in which it isn’t. Hill of Freedom (자유의 언덕) is Hong Sang-soo’s 16th feature, and could not have been made by anyother director. The awkwardness of human interaction and conversation, the bonding over alcohol, the fragmentation of the narrative, the aim to rekindle lost love – all are common features of […]

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K-Drama week: Yang Yun-ho, IRIS, and the current state of Korean drama

by Philip Gowman 6 October 2014
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The KCCUK’s K-Drama week included the opportunity to meet the director of one of Korea’s most successful TV dramas of recent years, IRIS, which has been screened in 26 countries and brings film-like tension to the small screen. Director Yang Yun-ho gave a talk on the current state of Hallyu at SOAS, and participated in […]

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Cho Young-wuk on waltzes, playgrounds and working with Park Chan-wook

by Philip Gowman 5 October 2014
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So much has changed over the past few years. Nearly 10 years ago Asia House organised the London premiere screening of Lady Vengeance including a Q&A with the director, Park Chan-wook. It was hard not to squirm in embarrassment at the shallowness of some of the questions from the audience, and the moderator could have […]

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Cho Young-wuk to conduct the Philharmonia Orchestra in his “Oldboy Suite”

by Philip Gowman 22 September 2014
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At the time of writing, according to the KCC website there are just 3 seats left for the Oldboy screening on Thursday. But people who have booked will have received an email to remind them that if they don’t turn up promptly their seat will be given to people on the waiting list. Whatever, if […]

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Details of the K-Drama Week screenings, 25 – 28 Sept

by Philip Gowman 17 September 2014
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The upcoming week of Korean drama promoted by the KCC is your opportunity to sample three dramas or to binge-watch a complete series. Separately there’s a chance to see a feature-length theatrical screening of IRIS, but here are the details of the screenings of episodes from the TV dramas, which will be held at the […]

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Fashion icon Nora Noh honoured in art and film

by Philip Gowman 15 September 2014
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LKL looks at two works devoted the life and work of Nora Noh: A documentary by Kim Sung-hee (Nora Noh, 2013, South Korea, colour, DCP, 93′) and An installation by Cho Duck-hyun (The Nora Collection, 2008, Graphite and charcoal on canvases, frames, wall papers, dimensions variable) To the current generation of Koreans, two names that […]

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A special Oldboy screening with live music and Q&A

by Philip Gowman 10 September 2014
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When did you last see Oldboy on the big screen? In fact, have you ever seen it on the big screen? Come to think of it, I’m not sure if I have myself. Like many, I’ve got the DVD, and sometimes watch it when it’s screened on Film 4, and of course many of the […]

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