K-film at the 51st BFI London Film Festival

Not to be confused with the Korean Film Festival at the Barbican at the beginning of November (on which more later), the BFI London Film Festival in October has an excellent spread of recent Korean film.

The Highlight: Secret Sunshine (Lee Chang-dong, 2007, starring Jeon Do-Yeon, Song Kang-Ho, 142 mins)
“A devastating account of a woman’s mental turmoil.”

Secret Sunshine

For those coming to Korean film for the first time, this is possibly the most important film to come out of Korea this year, partly because it marks Lee’s return to film-making after 5 years, and partly because it won Jeon Do-yeon best actress at Cannes.

Mon 22 Oct 20:30, Odeon West End 1 £11.00
Tue 23 Oct 12:30, Odeon West End 2 £11.00

Links:

  • More details on the LFF site here
  • Links to further reviews at Greencine

The lively one: No mercy for the rude (Park Chul-Hee, 2006, starring Shin Ha-Kyun, Kim Min-Jun, Yoon Ji-Hye, 124 mins)
“A Korean debut fantasy telling of a hitman with a moral code….”

No mercy for the rude

Shin Hya-kyun is always entertaining to watch.

Tue 23 Oct 18:30, ICA Cinema £8.50
Wed 24 Oct 14:00, NFT3 £8.50

Links:

The indie one: Let’s Finish!!! (Whang Cheol-Mean, 2006, starring Jeong In-Ji, Kim Min-Jae, Hong Ki-Joon, 99 mins)
“Suicide-pact web-buddies meet in a Korean road movie with a twist”

Let's Finish

Whang Cheol-Mean’s first feature film, Spying Cam, shot on DV, won the Fipresci Award at the Rotterdam Film Festival in 2005

Sat 20 Oct 21:00, ICA Cinema £8.50
Mon 22 Oct 14:00, ICA Cinema £8.50

Links:

  • More details on LFF site here
  • Interview with Whang Cheol-mean at koreanfilm.org

The eye candy: Yobi, the Five-Tailed Fox (Lee Sung-kang, 2007, 86 mins)
“A fun, exciting and beautifully animated fantasy from South Korea”

Yobi

According to IMDB, this film is inspired by the Korean horror legend “Gumiho,” about a fox’s attempt to steal the soul of a young man. This version transfers this story to a contemporary setting, makes the fox the protagonist rather than the antagonist and sympathizes with her.

Lee’s earlier animated feature was My Beautiful Girl, Mari (2001)

Sat 20 Oct 15:30, Odeon West End 1 £11.00
Tue 23 Oct 12:00, NFT2 £8.50 (£5.00)

Links:

The shorts:

1 Dangerous Supplement (Yoo Soon-Mi, 2006, 14 mins)

Dangerous Supplement

Is it possible to see the landscape of the past even though it was first seen by the other’s murderous gaze? Dangerous Supplement poetically appropriates footage shot by US military to explore the secrets of the mountain, and the legacy of the Korean War.

Part of Past Imperfect — Histories revisited and imagined – Sat 27 Oct 16:00, NFT3 £8.50

2 The Breath (no, not by Kim Ki-duk) (Jang Minyong, 2007, 10 mins)

The Breath

“A respiratory exchange between me and a bamboo forest.”

Part of The Percipient Image – Poetic visions of the natural world and private spaces – Sun 28 Oct 16:00, NFT3 £8.50

Links:

(automatically generated) Read LKL’s review of this event here.

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