Movie review: E J-Yong – My Brilliant Life

A feelgood Korean drama which the main character has a fatal and incurable disease, and who is writing an account for the benefit of loved ones when he is gone? Been there, done that. Well, not exactly: when the director is E J-Yong and the movie is an adaptation of a Kim Aeran novel, you […]

The Kimjang Project is officially launched

The Kimjang Project launched yesterday in New Malden with congratulatory messages from the Mayor of Kingston Thay Thayalan and the local MP Sir Ed Davey among others. The project celebrates the various aspects of kimjang, for example the communal character of kimchi-making and its health-giving properties. New Malden, sometimes known as New Mal-dong (뉴몰동), as […]

Festival film review: This Charming Girl

Lee Yoon-ki (이윤기) This Charming Girl (여자, 정혜, 2004, 99 mins). Review by Robert Cottingham. You know how people talk about reality TV, even though there is nothing ‘real’ about it? Well, if you wanted to see actual reality, the sheer day-to-day mundane-ness of the average person’s life, then this film is the closest you […]

E-DO at Rich Mix: a second-hand review

I know I said that SsingSsing was the gig I was most sorry to miss from the K-music festival this year, but E-DO ran it a close second. Their music that supported Over the Moon at the Edinburgh Fringe last year was totally mesmerising, even in the absence of their percussionist who had to return […]

A visit to Foyles during Korean Culture Month

Foyles’s Korean Culture Month runs from 13 October into the middle of November in partnership with the KCC. As part of the promotion, Korean books are displayed prominently by the ground floor information desk and on Level 4, where all their foreign language books are. You are able to sign up for a free exploratory […]

Brief review: Comrade Kim goes Flying

The London East Asia Film Festival gives us the second chance this year to see Comrade Kim Goes Flying in the company of two of its directors, Nicholas Bonner and Anja Daelemans. The screening in March was in fact the UK premiere, which came almost six years after its international premiere in Toronto in early September […]

BTS’s busy couple of weeks

It’s been a busy couple of weeks for Korea’s biggest band: A speech for UNICEF at the United Nations on 24 September. The speech, by the band’s leader Kim Namjun (aka RM), ended as follows: Like most people, I’ve made many and plenty mistakes in my life. I have many faults and I have many […]

Another World We Are Making: a look at LKFF’s focus on Kim Dong-won

Almost inexplicably, when compared with previous documentary screenings, the KCC’s mini festival of Korean documentaries, spread over two weekends, was over-subscribed, with latecomers for one session needing to sit on the floor. The decision to break out the documentary strand from the main London Korean Film Festival has probably been vindicated, and the strategy of […]

Restaurant visit: Suhyung Lee and Yujung Kim at Carousel

Over the recent half a dozen years, there have been several opportunities to explore Western cuisine with Korean influences. A couple of them have been for guests of the KCC only. First, to celebrate the Korean programme of events around the London 2012 Olympics a star chef from the CJ Food stable presented a VIP […]

The 73rd Independence Day celebrations in New Malden

Kingston’s Koreans today celebrated the 73rd anniversary of Independence Day. It was the first public engagement of the new ambassador, HE Park Eun-ha, who is to be thanked for making the time: she only arrived in London to take up her post two days ago. In attendance were Kingston’s Mayor, Thay Thayalan, and the leader […]

8 more reasons to visit Lee Bul: Crashing

Lee Bul’s fabulous show at the Hayward Gallery closes this weekend. If you haven’t seen it yet, here are eight more reasons why you should. 1. Park Chung-hee naked OK, a rather sensationalist opener, and not something I ever expected to find myself writing, but yes: suspended from the ceiling are two naked effigies of […]