Your feedback from the London Korean Film Festival 2006

Thanks to those of you who replied to LKL’s audience survey of those who attended the 2006 London Korean Film Festival. I’ve passed your detailed comments on to the organisers, Tae-min and Jase, and here is a summary of what you said.

Love is a crazy thing
Love is a crazy thing

Your favourite film of the festival? Dan loved Love is a Crazy Thing,

The only standout film was, for me, Love is a Crazy Thing, an impressive work from a veteran director which captured the city of Busan like no other film I’ve ever seen. An excellent example of what contemporary Korean cinema has to offer.

while I really hated it: in fact it put me in such a bad mood that I couldn’t face going to see what was going to be the highlight of the festival for me (Rules of Dating) and had to go and drown my sorrows instead (that’s the danger with double-bills).

Princess Aurora
Princess Aurora

Jase and Jimmy loved Princess Aurora, which I thought was generic Asia Extreme stuff (I think I was just generally grouchy this year).

My Scary Girl
My Scary Girl – the audience choice

Overall though My Scary Girl came out as the people’s favourite. I’m sorry I missed it.

But I’m not the only grouchy one. When asked “what films would you most like to see?” Lucos said “No Korean Wave bs please”. Aw, c’mon, where’s your sense of fun? I’d just love to see Shiri on the big screen (my DVD of it is wearing out). And has there ever been a proper screening of My Sassy Girl in the UK? Why not show the uninitiated some of the classics of recent popular cinema?

Some of you wanted just to see the most recent box office films from Korea – I guess you’re lucky, and have seen all you need to see from the back catalogue. But what a shame the selection this year was, to be honest, not quite the cream of the last twelve months’ releases. Some of you spotted that. In fact Dan had a good old rant about it (and I’m 99% with you, Dan). There are so many other films higher on the watchlist, such as Marathon, Welcome to Dongmakgol, Duelist, Typhoon and, of course, The King and the Clown. My guess is that one or two of these have been saved up for something more “prestigious” like the BFI London Film Festival. I hope I’m right, because I’d love to see them – though I always find the London Film Festival to be a real pain: the best films are either at stupid times or sold out. (What WERE they thinking of, putting Lady Vengeance on at midnight or thereabouts last year?).

Others wanted to have the opportunity to catch up with some of the more serious back catalogue – Lee Chang-dong and earlier Kim Ki-duk, from the more recent past, and Im Kwon-taek, Kim Ki-young and Han Hyung-mo for the pre-hallyu era. Again, I’d also like to see some of the past classics (and guess why I asked you the question?). It was great to have the Housemaid shown last year (and a shame it clashed with the film industry conference!).

One thing which split you down the middle was the issue of ticket prices. Should the films be free, but you have to join the queue (which extends quite a length – and often people are turned away because there’s too many people trying to get in)? Or would people rather pay a fair price and be guaranteed of a ticket? Those who answered that they’d like the films to continue to be free seemed to be the ones who most take advantage of this free filmfest. You come to as many as you can, and take the rough with the smooth. Good on you. Those who were happy to pay were the more selective viewers: you knew what you wanted to see, and didn’t want to have to queue. There must be a way of satisfying both markets. After all, the Prince Charles has a circle as well as the stalls. Maybe upstairs should be for the ticket-buyers, and downstairs for the people who take pot luck. It would be pretty difficult to control though.

And on the subject of scheduling, some of you had more stamina (or greater dedication) than others: some wanted more packed in to a day, others who had to work the next day wanting to restrict viewing to one per evening (I’m certainly with them on this).

There’s definitely no pleasing everyone, Tae-min, so use your judgement. Anyway, I hope you find the above feedback useful.

And finally, blind_cc speaks for us all:

I would like to say a huge thank you to all the organisers and staff for this fabulous event. They were nothing but professional and extremely cheery throughout, despite such circumstances as the bad weather.

Thanks Tae-min.

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