Kwak Kyung-taek is July’s featured director at the KCC

July features the early films of Kwak Kyung-taek, best known for his 2001 movie Friend. The

Doctor K (닥터 K, 1999)

9 July, 7pm, KCCUK Book here
Cast: Cha In-pyo, Kim Hye-soo, Kim Ha-neul, Yu In-chon, Park Sang-myeon
107 mins, Cert. 15

Kwak Kyung-taek: Doctor K

A mysterious doctor has a very special gift that allows him to successfully save his patients’ lives when they are statistically impossible to save. As his peers begin to investigate him, they soon discover the lengths that the doctor is going to to save his patients. (Short)

Neuro-surgeon resident K is embedded with state-of-the-art medical knowledge. He is always full of esoteric energy despite his hectic schedule of long, stressful operations, allowing him only two hours of sleep each day. Born to a shaman mother, he is gifted with spiritual powers which he uses to treat critical patients. PYO Jee-soo, a female anesthetist and a classmate of K, has great admiration for him, as well as jealousy. When K saves three young terminally-ill patients, rumors of unnatural practices conducted in the hospital spread, and to make matters worse, the head of the neurosurgery ward starts having doubts about K’s operations.

Friend (친구, 2001)

with introduction by Graham Gillespie
23 July, 7pm, KCCUK Book here
Cast: Yoo Oh-seong, Jang Dong-kun, Seo Tae-hwa, Jung Woon-taek, Kim Bo-kyung
115 mins, Cert. 18

Kwak Kyung-taek: Friend

Joon-suk, Dong-su, Sang-taek and Joong-ho have been friends since they were little boys. Joon-suk is the son of a mob boss, Dong-su’s father is a mortician, Sang-taek comes from a middleclass family and Jung-ho’s mother sells smuggled goods on the black market.

As teenage boys, they fight together, fall for the same girl and form rivalries that will haunt them for the rest of their lives. Joon-suk is the leader of the gang and he looks after Sang-taek, the timid bookworm. Dong-su is the brooding rebel and Joong-ho is the clown. A few years later, Joong-ho and Sang-taek entergo onto college and eventually lose touch with Joon-suk and Dong-su. Now in his twenties, Sang-taek reunites with the drug addicted Joon-suk and hears that Dong-su is in jail. To his surprise, his first love, Jin-sook is now living with the violent tempered Joon-suk. Years elapse again and now Joon-suk has inherited his father’s organization while Dong-su has become his biggest rival. Sang-taek visits them again before taking off to study abroad and cannot help dreading the outcome for his dearest friends.

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