Books on Screen

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Having failed to make much headway with Park Kyung-ni’s T’oji / Land, I thought I might give her Curse of Kim’s Daughters a try, in preparation for a re-watch of Yu Hyun-mok’s film adaptation of the novel. I didn’t particularly enjoy the movie the first time I saw it. But then, so far I haven’t […]

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A week-long programme of films based on Korean novels at SOAS

by Events Editor 6 April 2015
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April is the month of the London Book Fair (14-16 April at Olympia). Last year Korea was the market focus, an honour assumed by Mexico this year. But the Korea Publishers Association, LTI Korea and other bodies will be attending to fly the flag for Korea. To remind us of the fun we had last […]

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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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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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Bringing Kim Hoon’s Hwajang to the big screen: How to act a swollen prostate?

by Philip Gowman 3 November 2014
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Im Kwon-taek set himself quite a challenge when he decided to make a movie of Kim Hoon’s Hwajang. It is a dense, concentrated and rich piece of writing – I hesitate to say “short story”, because really there’s not much narrative flow. Instead, there’s well-balanced contrast; there’s inner thoughts and emotions; there are the human […]

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Controversy in Korean Literature: Hailji on Road to the Racetrack

by Events Editor 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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Im Kwon Taek’s Hwajang selected to close 2014 LKFF

by Philip Gowman 23 September 2014
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It’s tremendously good news that the closing gala screening of the London Korean Film festival 2014 is Im Kwon Taek’s 102nd film, Hwajang (western title: Revivre). It synchronises nicely with the KCCUK’s focus on literature this year, as it is based on a short story by Kim Hoon. More importantly, it’s a film that has […]

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LBF event, 8 Apr 7pm: Toon Talk with Yoon Tae-ho

by Events Editor 28 February 2014
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The third of six evening events during London Book Fair week, which unfortunately overlaps with a session with Yi Mun-yol at the British Library. Toon Talk: Webtoons, A New Trend in Korean Digital Comics 8 April, 19.00-20.00 A special talk with Korean webtoon writer, Yoon Tae-ho, famous for his unique works such as Moss, later […]

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LBF event 1 Apr: Books on Screen — Moss

by Philip Gowman 28 February 2014
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The fourth of the KCC’s Korean Literature on Screen events. LKL’s review of the film can be found here. As usual, pre-registration is required via the KCC website. Moss 이끼, Kang Woo-suk, 2010 Tuesday 1 April 7pm, KCCUK Running time 163 mins Adapted from a popular internet cartoon, Ryu Hae-guk investigates the mysterious death of […]

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LBF event 25 Mar: Books on Screen — Leafie, a Hen into the Wild

by Philip Gowman 28 February 2014
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The fourth of the KCC’s Korean Literature on Screen events. The Hwang Sun-mi story on which it is based has been recently published in translation. Follow the links to LKL’s review of the novel and the film. As usual, pre-registration is required via the KCC website. Leafie, a Hen into the Wild 마당을 나온 암탉, […]

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LBF event 18 Mar: Books on Screen — the Scarlet Letter

by Philip Gowman 28 February 2014
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The third of the KCC’s Korean Literature on Screen events. The film is based on two Kim Young-ha’s novellas: The Photo Shop Murder (available in translation from Jimoondang) and Meditation on Mirror, which to my knowledge (and the author’s knowledge as of two years ago when I last spoke to him on the subject) has […]

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LBF event 11 Mar: Books on Screen — Portrait of the Days of Youth

by Philip Gowman 28 February 2014
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The second of the KCC’s Korean Literature on Screen events. The Yi Mun-yol story on which it is based is not yet available in translation. As usual, pre-registration is required via the KCC website. Portrait of the Days of Youth 젊은날의 초상, Kwak Ji-kyoon, 1990 11 March 7pm, KCCUK Running time 148 minutes A university […]

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LBF event 4 Mar: Books on Screen — The Road to Sampo

by Philip Gowman 28 February 2014
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The first of the KCC’s Korean Literature on Screen events. The Hwang Sok-yong short story on which it is based is pretty hard to find in translation. It’s part of a collection published by Heinemann Asia in the 1980s, logged on Brother Anthony’s site here, and available on Amazon for the princely sum of £112.14. […]

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Book Review: Hwang Sunmi — The Hen who Dreamed she could Fly

by Philip Gowman 26 February 2014
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Hwang Sun-mi: The Hen who dreamed she could fly Translated by Kim Chi-young; illustrations by Nomoco Oneworld Publications, 2014, 124pp First published as 마당을 나온 암탉, 2000 A brief fable that can delight children and adults alike, the story touches on themes of motherly love, discrimination, otherness, and belonging, while also touching on and accepting […]

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Book Review: Gong Ji-young — Our Happy Time

by Philip Gowman 24 February 2014
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Gong Ji-young: Our Happy Time Translated by Sora Kim-Russell Short Books, 2014, 269pp. Originally published as 우리들의 행복한 시간, 2005 Our Happy Time is not the obvious title for a novel in which a three-times attempted suicide goes reluctantly to visit a convicted murderer awaiting execution on death row. But strangely, as the relationship between […]

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The Korean Novels on Screen Programme at the KCC

by Events Editor 17 February 2014
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The KCC, in conjunction with the British Council, has announced its programme of films inspired by Korean literature. Two and a half of the films have their original stories available in English translation. The ones available in English are The Road to Sampo and Leafie. The half-film is The Scarlet Letter, which is based both […]

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