Head-to-head with the excitement of the Terracotta Far East Film Festival comes the equally compelling International Buddhist Film Festival, showing at the Apollo Piccadilly April 11–15, 2012 (the same place the KCC is holding its big monthly screenings this year).
There’s plenty of interesting Asian films showing (the full programme can be found here), and the Korean interest comes from Hi Dharma!, Park Chul-gwan’s debut film, to be screened this Friday evening at 8:45pm. Darcy over at Koreanfilm.org gives it the thumbs-up. If the horror triple bill at the Prince Charles is too much for you, try this instead. You won’t regret it. You’ll get home earlier and you won’t have nightmares.
Directed by Park Chul-gwan
95 min / Korean with English Subtitles
Feature Film – UK Premiere
In the middle of a turf war, five big city gang brothers seek refuge in a rural Buddhist monastery, and the contrasts loom large. First-time director Kwan Park skillfully plays with these conventions while avoiding the predictable in this legendary comedy from Korea. The head monk (veteran Korean actor Kim In-moon) bears himself with dignity and reserve as the younger monks display an assortment of reactions to the intrusion and provocations from the outside world. But the gangsters are on unfamiliar ground too, and subtle transformations begin to unfold all around—not always as expected. The simplicity and solidity of the contemporary monastery environment are intriguing. These are the deep roots of Korean culture, and the collision with contemporary urban elements is very much a part of the modern dilemma there (and elsewhere…).
Screening Friday, April 13, 8:45 pm at the International Buddhist Film Festival at Apollo Piccadilly Circus