London Korean Film Festival

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News and reviews from the annual London Korean Film Festival, most recent articles first. Official website: http://koreanfilm.co.uk/.

I was as delighted as I was surprised when I saw that the London Korean Film Festival had selected The Return for its closing gala screening. The huge numbers of overseas adoptions from Korea is often a sidelined subject and understandably wouldn’t be a natural choice when showcasing Korean culture and arts. But the 2018 […]

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Festival film review: This Charming Girl

by Robert Cottingham 23 November 2018
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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 […]

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Mini review round-up: the 2018 LKFF Teaser screenings

by Philip Gowman 21 October 2018
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Sometimes I just don’t have the time to marshal any thoughts about a movie after seeing it. Daily life takes over any before I know it I’ve watched another movie and the memory of the previous one is dimming fast. But as I’ve been on holiday for a few days away from the daily grind, […]

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The film festivals approach – as does the annual battle for our diaries

by Philip Gowman 17 October 2018
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Last year I had a little rant about the hectic and competing schedules of the two overlapping film festivals of interest to the Korean film audience. The London Korean Film Festival has had a long history of packing so many films into their programme that it’s impossible to go to everything you want to see. […]

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A quiet look at the LKFF’s 2018 programme

by Philip Gowman 9 October 2018
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The London Korean Film Festival returns for its 13th edition next month with a slightly quieter tone than in some previous years. And there’s nothing wrong with that. It’s as if the organisers are saying that, as the festival enters its teenage years, the audience is becoming grown-up enough not to require a diet of […]

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London Korean Film Festival 2018: press release and detailed schedule

by Events Editor 18 September 2018
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The 2018 London Korean Film Festival programme was announced at last night’s final teaser screening. The press release is set out below, and at the bottom of the page is the detailed schedule: The 13th London Korean Film Festival London: 1 – 14 November 2018 UK tour: 15 – 25 November 2018 LONDON, 17 September […]

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Final LKFF Teaser: A Tiger in Winter

by Events Editor 25 August 2018
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So glad we’re getting to see another Lee Kwang-guk movie in London. I really enjoyed the focus on his movies back in the 2015 festival. This final LKFF 2018 teaser screening gives the opportunity for the official launch of the 2018 festival programme. The main festival runs 1 – 14 November 2018. A Tiger in […]

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Bae Chang-ho retrospective: the highlight of LKFF 2017

by Philip Gowman 20 December 2017
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For me, the highlight of this year’s London Korean Film Festival was the brief retrospective of some of Bae Chang-ho’s early output. I’ve had a soft spot for Director Bae’s work for over 15 years now: My Heart was one of the first Korean movies I saw, back in the London Korean Film Festival in 2001. […]

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Festival film review: Bae Chang-ho’s The Dream

by Philip Gowman 27 November 2017
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Bae Chang-ho’s The Dream is based on a story from the Samguk Yusa, a story that Yi Kwang-su worked up into a short novel. Although the tale is set in the late Silla dynasty, its message is timeless. The story starts with a weary and impoverished traveller (played by Ahn Sung-ki) trudging through the snow […]

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Festival film review: Bae Chang-ho’s Whale Hunting

by Philip Gowman 24 November 2017
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Based on a story by long-standing collaborator Choe In-ho, Whale Hunting is one of Korea’s seminal road movies. Hunting the whale, in the dark days of the dictatorship, was symbolic for yearning for things beyond the day-to-day. In Bae Chang-ho’s 1984 movie it represented the search for the things that give life meaning; in a […]

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Festival film review double bill: Two Doors / The Remnants

by Philip Gowman 22 November 2017
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As part of the Documentary strand of the 2017 London Korean Film Festival Lee Hyuk-sang of the activist documentary makers PINKS presented a pair of films on the Yongsan tragedy. The context of the tragedy was the plan to redevelop the Yongsan area as the US army prepared to move to their new base in […]

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Festival film review: Bae Chang-ho’s People of the Slum

by Philip Gowman 20 November 2017
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Bae Chang-ho’s debut feature, People of the Slum (1982), is based on a semi-autobiographical novel by Lee Dong-chul. The film tells the story of a complicated love triangle. Myeong-sook, played by Kim Bo-yeon, lives with her second husband, the idle and dissolute Tae-seop (played by Kim Hui-ra). Living in the same house in the run-down […]

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The Yongsan tragedy featured in two LKFF documentaries

by Philip Gowman 30 October 2017
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Those of you who have read and love Han Kang’s Human Acts will know that is is inspired not only by the Gwangju uprising but also the Yongsan tragedy. Hwang Jung-eun’s One Hundred Shadows is even more directly inspired by the same tragedy. It was a news event that was little reported in the Western […]

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Festival film review: The Mimic

by Philip Gowman 28 October 2017
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I don’t quite know how you go about reviewing a film like The Mimic. As I watched its early sections, enjoying the ride reasonably enough, I nevertheless thought back to some of the Whispering Corridors series (and sadly the weakest of them, Blood Pledge) in which plot is subservient to gratuitous scares. Probably if you […]

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Film review double bill: Bamseom Pirates and Criminal Conspiracy

by Philip Gowman 8 October 2017
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This weekend gave us the opportunity to watch two very different documentaries which cast their critical eye over contemporary Korean society and recent political history. Part of the fascination of both of them for UK-based Korea-watchers is the way they resonate: they provide, in the one case, a laser-like dissection of an issue of which […]

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LEAFF, LKFF and the battle for our diaries

by Philip Gowman 4 October 2017
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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 […]

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London Korean Film Festival 2017: full programme details

by Philip Gowman 11 September 2017
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Details of the programme for the 2017 London Korean Film Festival were announced earlier this evening at the fun-packed and blood-spattered final teaser screening (Jung Byung-gil’s The Villainess). The detailed schedule is right at the bottom of this page, and the below press release gives us plenty to mull over in terms of the individual […]

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