Book review: The Birth of Korean Cool

Euny Hong: The Birth of Korean Cool How one nation is conquering the world through pop culture Simon & Schuster UK, 2014, 267pp Euny Hong’s first non-fiction book (we loved her novel) is in turn infuriating, entertaining and informative. Let’s get the infuriating bits done with first. In her approach to Romanization she is cavalier, […]

Suh Do-ho in Gazelli Art House group show

An interesting group show at Gazelli Art House which takes us through into the new year contains work by renowned sculptor Suh Do-ho. DOM Exhibition Dates: 28 November 2014 – 17 January 2015 Private View: 27 November 2014 Location: Gazelli Art House | 39 Dover Street | London W1S 4NN | Gazelli Art House […]

LKFF 2014: the conversations

The London Korean Film Festival is not just about getting acquainted with the latest in Korean movies. It is also an opportunity to meet some of the people behind those movies – actors, directors and producers. Opportunities for engaging with these film professionals vary: for an ever-growing group of aficionados there is the offer of round-table […]

Festival Film Review: Hwajang / Revivre

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 […]

Festival film review: Bitter, Sweet, Seoul

Bitter, Sweet, Seoul is an ambitious crowd-sourced project in which people from around the world were invited by the Seoul Metropolitan Government to submit videos which would be made into feature length film. Directors (and brothers) Park Chan-wook and Park Chan-kyong (collectively PARKing CHANce) were commissioned to organise the submissions, attracted to the project by […]

LKFF2014 – the reviews

This year there have been more reviewers than ever covering the Korean Film Fest. Here are links to some of the reviews, to which I’ll add as and when I spot new ones. Films are listed in the order in which they screened. Title Director Reviews EK = Eastern Kicks | HC = Hangul Celluloid […]

North Korean artists paint London scenes, on show at the DPRK embassy

Seven years ago, artists from Pyongyang’s Mansudae Studios came to London with a wide range of works in a variety of genres. There were ceramics, oils, chosonhwa, embroidery, and of course the images that caught everyone’s attention: the propaganda posters. The location was opposite the Institute of Directors in Pall Mall. This week, a different […]

Dansaekhwa comes to France

As an incredible Lee Ufan exhibition closes in Versailles, Gallerie Perotin opens a solo show by Park Seo-Bo. Lee Ufan Versailles Gardens 17 June to 2 November 2014 Why choose Lee Ufan as the contemporary artist for 2014 in Versailles? Dare I say that, again, it is André Le Nôtre who influenced both Alfred Pacquement, […]

Your at-a-glance guide to the LKFF 2014 schedule

Having trouble making decisions about which films to attend? Finding the LKL online calendar too cluttered? Here’s an easy-to-read downloadable chart showing the London screenings (plus, for good measure, the screening from the KCC’s Year of the Film Professionals programme, which competes for your attention on 13 November). The pdf download is best printed in […]

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

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 […]