Edinburgh conference on Reunification of the peninsula and the March 1st Independence Movt

The Edinburgh Korean Students Society is holding a conference on 29 February 2020 to commemorate the March 1st Independence Movement in 1919 against Japanese colonial rule: Korea Conference: Exploring the Korean Independence Movement and the Reunification of the Korean Peninsula Saturday, 29 February 2020, 10:00-19:30 Lecture Theatre A | David Hume Tower | George Square […]

Book review: Marilyn and Me

Ji-min Lee: Marilyn and Me Translated by Chi-young Kim HarperCollins / 4th Estate 2019, 176pp Originally published as 나와마릴린, 2009 “Where did all the beautiful and hopeful young women go?” That was the thought that occurred to author Ji-Min Lee, looking back at the grim post-war years, and looking at a couple of photographs from […]

Bong Joon-ho’s BAFTA talk has now been uploaded

Bong Joon-ho’s BAFTA lecture at the Curzon Mayfair on 12 December 2019 has now been uploaded to the BAFTA Guru Youtube channel. The talk was part of a lecture series that “exists to celebrate screenwriters’ authorial contribution to film and gives esteemed writers a platform to share highlights and insights from their careers with an […]

Review: JM Lee – The Boy who Escaped Paradise

The Boy Who Escaped Paradise J.M. Lee, translated by Chi Young Kim Pegasus, 2016, 288pp Originally published as 천국의 소년, Seoul, 2013. A fifty-year-old North Korean is found shot to death in a flat in Queens, New York; beside him is a wounded man, the presumed killer. On the floor around the bodies are mysterious […]

Bong Joon-ho makes Oscars history

We almost feared that he had jinxed himself with that comment about the Academy Awards being “very local”. The comment, made in an interview with Vulture in October 2019, was made in the context that it’s “not a big deal” that a Korean movie had yet to be nominated for an Oscar (the nominations for […]

Concert notes: Park Jiha at LSO St Lukes

What a difference a venue makes. Uncomfortable seats, noisy air conditioning and poor sight lines meant that Park Jiha’s gig at the Rich Mix in the 2019 K-music festival was less enjoyable than it could have been. At LSO St Luke’s at the end of January everything seemed right. Yes, there was the faint hiss […]

Brief book review: The Plotters

Kim Un-su: The Plotters Translated by Sora Kim-Russell Fourth Estate, 2019, 304 pp Originally published as 설계자들, Seoul 2010 I always find when embarking on a new book it pays to have neutral expectations. That way you won’t be disappointed. But sometimes it’s hard to filter out your own personal prejudices and the word of […]

February events 2020

We’re all keeping our fingers crossed for the two Korean movies with seven Oscar nominations between them. Be sure to buy your March copy of Sight & Sound (available from 3 Feb) guest-edited by man of the moment Bong Joon-ho. Music Unsuk Chin’s SPIRA – A Concerto for Orchestra – will be broadcast on Radio […]

Book review: When Adam Opens His Eyes

Jang Jung-il: When Adam Opens His Eyes Translated by Hwang Sun-ae and Horace Jeffery Hodges Dalkey Archive 2013, 126 pp Originally published as 아담이 눈뜰 때, Kimyeongsa, Seoul, 1990 Deleuze, Lacan, Bataille… if you’re reading a text that references any of those thinkers, you’re probably reading a rather turgid book on postcolonial or film studies, […]

Recently published books on Korean film

Having done my list of upcoming fiction titles, I’ve been working on a similar list of upcoming non-fiction. But in compiling the non-fiction list I’ve identified several titles that slipped under the radar towards the end of last year. Three of them relate to film. No doubt, following all the buzz about Parasite, there will […]

A round-up of three early January exhibitions

LKL visits three solo shows in the first two weeks of 2020: Suh Shinuk, Song Gin-young and Kang Jungsuck. Hopefully we’ll get to Tate Modern to see the big Nam June Paik exhibition before it closes. Suh Shinuk’s Man(u)fractured has been extended for a week, to 18 January. It’s well worth a trip to North […]

Moon Jae-in’s 2020 New Year speech

Here is the text of President Moon Jae-in’s 2020 New Year Message, sourced from the Blue House website. Fellow Koreans, The New Year, the Year of the White Rat, has dawned. We rang out the significant past year that marked the centennial of the March First Independence Movement and the founding of the Provisional Republic […]