London Korean Links

Covering things Korean in London and beyond since 2006

Breathless screens at the KCC

The 40th KCC film night is Breathless:

BreathlessFilm title: Breathless, 113mins
Director: Yang Ik-june
Cast: Yang Ik-june, Kim Kot-bi
Genre: Drama / Crime
Venue: Multi-purpose Hall, The Korean Cultural Centre, Grand Buildings, The Strand, London WC2N 5BW
Time: Thursday, 25th March, 7:00pm

Yang Ik-June’s Breathless was released in cinemas across the United Kingdom in January 2010.

The winner of numerous international film awards in 2009, including the Tiger Award at the Rotterdam International Film Festival, the Jury Prize for Best Film and Best Male Performance at Montreal’s Fant-Asia Film Festival and the Best Film award and Critics’ Prize at the Deauville Asian Film Festival, the debut feature from South Korean writer-director and star Yang Ik-june, Breathless is a brutal, uncompromising and profanity-filled look at the cause and effect of domestic violence.

Sang-hoon is a thirty something scamp collecting money from debtors for a loan shark. One day, he encounters Youn-Hee, a young hot-tempered high school student. Their strong wills causes the two strangers to clash at first, but an unique friendship then develops as they realize they have far more in common …


Review – Tom Huddleston (Time Out)
Of all the dysfunctional, sociopathic loners in the long history of cinema, it’s hard to remember one quite as vicious, belligerent and unpredictable as Sang-hoon, anti-hero of Korean character actor Yang Ik-June’s crackling directorial debut. As played by the director, Sang-hoon is a dizzying, almost comically outrageous human tornado, every other word a curse, every other movement a fist in somebody’s face. The impressive thing about Yang’s movie is that you care for him.

The plot fits squarely into the ‘single man finds companionship against his will’ template established by US indies like ‘The Station Agent’. What’s remarkable is how Yang approaches this potentially hackneyed narrative, balancing scenes of punishing, hyper-realistic violence with moments of sympathetic tenderness and dark, savage humour. Blending a thoughtful cycle-of-violence subplot with a piercing study of how even the most hateful and isolated people inevitably affect those around them, ‘Breathless’ is a challenging, dynamic experience.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.