For March, the programme of screenings is expanded: two at the KCCUK and one at SOAS. Tale of Two Sisters is a classic, and Foul King is a guilty pleasure. For me though, Takashi Miike’s remake of Quiet Family, the deliriously madcap Happiness of the Katakuris, is unusual in being an improvement on the original.
Bookings for the KCC screenings are required via the KCC website.
March Korean Film Nights: Kim Ji-woon
Moving on to the third director focus of this year, we are excited to screen the first two films by director Kim Ji-woon: ‘The Quiet Family’ (1998) and ‘The Foul King’ (2000). Both films star actor Song Kang-ho. Dr. Shin Chi Yun (a senior lecturer in Film Studies at Sheffield Hallam University) will also offer a pre-screening talk entitled ‘Kim Ji-woon: Genre-mixing and Star-making’, discussing Kim Ji-woon and Song Kang-ho on 26 March.
The Quiet Family (조용한 가족, 1998)
12 March 7pm, KCCUK. 103 mins
Synopsis (from KCCUK)
After their father’s dismissal from his company, a family decides to open a mountain lodge in the suburbs of Seoul. Although they initially expect a rush of lodgers, the mansion remains empty for days leaving the family anxious. Meanwhile, Mina (the youngest daughter) is upset by strange noises at night and a strange old woman’s ominous omen. The first guest appears two weeks after their opening. Excited, the family pours excessive favours on him. However, the guest is found dead the next day, and so the family buries him in a panic to avoid any risks of ruining their newly formed business. The second guests are a couple who commit suicide, and so the family buries them again. About the time when the family gets accustomed to digging, they learn there will be a new path constructed by their lodge just where the bodies are buried.
Tale of Two Sisters (장화, 홍련, 2003)
16 March 7pm, SOAS, Room B111, 115 mins
Synopsis (from http://www.koreanfilm.or.kr/)
Two sisters, Su-mi and Su-yeon come back home after recovering their health. Eun-joo, the stepmother welcomes them, but Su-mi intentionally avoids her and Su-yeon shows a smack of fear for her stepmother. One day, stepmother’s brother and his wife visit the house. While having dinner, the wife suddenly sees a ghost and strange things begin to happen after that day. A ghost haunts the house and stepmother’s birds are poisoned to death while Su-mi brings belongings of her late mother and Su-yeon cries saying there is someone in her room. Assuming Su-yeon is behind the inauspicious incidents, stepmother locks her in the closet. When Su-mi learns about the cruel punishment, conflict between the stepmother and two sisters gets bitter than ever. In spite of all this conflicts and air of troubles, Mu-hyun is only unconcerned, and doesn’t do anything to sort out problems. One day, Mu-hyun goes to town and Su-mi finds there is no sign of her sister, Su-yeon. In an anxiety for Su-yeon, Su-mi starts to look around for her sister all the length of the house and spots Eun-joo dragging a big bag through the dark corridor leaving bloody stains behind her. Su-mi follows bloody trace of the bag and she confronts with Eun-joo on her way of tracking. They starts to fight vehemently pushing down each other, stabbing with a scissor and Su-mi falls down struck by Eun-joo in the end. A while later, bloody stains vanish into thin air, the front door is opened and sunlight pours into the house…
Foul King (반칙왕, 2000)
Synopsis (from imdb)
Dae-Ho is an unproductive bank clerk who is late to work every morning and the object of his manager’s frustrations. He was a fan of TV wrestling as a child, but can’t get out of a headlock. He finds a local wrestling trainer and through a series of events eventually starts to train. He is slowly transformed as he begins his second job as the cheating villain wrestler known as the Foul King. He starts to stand up for himself in odd ways that are not really in his own best interest. Events get out of hand as conflicting influences come together.