A look back at some of the films of 2018

A wide variety of genres was presented to the London audience this year, from the return of the romantic melodrama (Be With You) to big budget fantasy (Along with the Gods). We also saw #MeToo beginning to have an impact, not just in the themes of movies such as Land of Seonghye and Testimony but […]

Korean films at the 2018 BFI London Film Fest

An exciting selection of Korean movies is lined up for the BFI London Film Festival, of which the highlight is undoubtedly Burning. Finally: Lee Chang-dong will be in town! All details below are from the BFI LFF website. Become a member and get access to tickets from 6 September, a week earlier than general release. […]

Festival film review: Becoming who I was

Nine years ago Moon Chang-yong and Jeon Jin were in Ladakh, Kashmir – a mountainous region 100 miles or so northeast of where the Dalai Lama lives, and less than 50 miles from Tibet’s westernmost extremity. They were filming a documentary about practitioners of traditional medicine in the various regions of Asia. Their subject was […]

Film review: Memoir of a Murderer

Memoir of a Murderer asks us to step inside the mind of someone who is losing his memory, a sufferer of Alzheimer’s disease. The movie opens with a scene focusing on the face of a gaunt and aged-looking Sol Kyung-gu as single dad Kim Byung-soo. As we watch, his face begins to twitch. At first […]

LEAFF, LKFF and the battle for our diaries

The film festival season is upon us, and this requires some serious diary planning. Fortunately the BFI London Film Festival remains serenely distant from the ignominious tangle caused by the collision of LEAFF and LKFF. With four titles scheduled earlier in the month, including the movie that I’ve been most looking forward to all year […]

Brief review: Park Chan-wook’s Handmaiden

I’ll leave others to do the detailed review of Park Chan-wook’s Handmaiden (아가씨), which screened at the London Film Festival this week and which will return later in the month at the London East Asia Film Festival. Suffice it to say that it’s gorgeous-looking, both in terms of costume and interiors, great story-telling and totally […]

Korean films at the 2015 BFI London Film Festival

The programme for the BFI London Film Festival has been announced and as usual there’s a decent Korean representation. It’s great that Assassination is coming, though I was secretly hoping that it was going to open the London Korean Film Festival in November, giving the organisers an excuse to bring over Jeon Ji-hyun as star […]

Seven ways in which Hill of Freedom is different from other Hong Sang-soo films

… and some ways in which it isn’t. Hill of Freedom (자유의 언덕) is Hong Sang-soo’s 16th feature, and could not have been made by anyother director. The awkwardness of human interaction and conversation, the bonding over alcohol, the fragmentation of the narrative, the aim to rekindle lost love – all are common features of […]

The tweet that launched a podcast

I was watching Nobody’s Daughter Haewon as part of the BFI London Film Festival this year, and was rather enjoying it. I’ve done a little review of it here. It was nice to see some familiar locations in the film. And then I saw something even more familiar: one of the characters in the film […]