Festival film review: The Mimic

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 […]

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 […]

Final LKFF 2017 Teaser: The Villainess

This final teaser screening for the 2017 London Korean Film Festival looks rather fun. And to add to the tease, on the same evening the programme for the main festival will be unveiled. See you there. The Villainess (악녀) London Korean Film Festival Teaser Screening + LKFF 2017 Programme Launch Director: Jung Byung-gil (정병길), 2017, […]

London Korean Festival 2006 – an introduction

The London Korean Festival 2006 was the last of the festivals organised by Oh Tae-min and his team, which included Stephanie Seung-min Kim who would go on to be the first curator at the Korean Cultural Centre before moving into the art curatorial world on her own. Previously working from within the Korean Anglican Community […]

Festival film review: Yourself and Yours

Hong Sang-soo (홍상수) Yourself and Yours (당신 자신과 당신의 것, 2016) Review by Robert Cottingham. You can tell from the opening titles exactly the kind of film this is going to be. Black Korean calligraphy on a white background suggests an intelligent and possibly artistic film and the lively classical music hints at a sophisticated comedy on […]

Brief festival film review: Eoh Woo Dong

Lee Chang-ho (이장호) Eoh Woo Dong (어우동, 1985, 110 mins). Review by Robert Cottingham. Eoh Woo Dong translates as “entertainer,” a rough approximation of the duties of 14th-century Korean courtesan Eoh Yoon Chang. After a lifetime “in service,” Eoh Yoon Chang retires to a faraway village. Meanwhile, her powerful father, ashamed of his daughter’s lifestyle, […]

Brief Festival Film Review: Kai

Lee Sung-gang (이성강): Kai (카이, 2016, 96 mins) Review by Robert Cottingham Snow Queen Hattan casts a spell over the peaceful village where Kai lives, and covers everything in ice. The River Spirit who is the protector of the village gives the brave young Kai the only key to fighting off Hattan and asks him […]

Festival film review: Crush and Blush

Lee Kyoung-mi (이경미): Crush and Blush (미쓰 홍당무, 2008) Review by Robert Cottingham. Right near the beginning of Crush and Blush, the main character Mi-seok stands digging a deep hole in a schoolyard. I thought that it was a punishment used in South Korean schools, but if not it could be a visual metaphor for […]

Festival film review: The Truth Beneath

Lee Kyoung-mi (이경미): The Truth Beneath (비밀은 없다, 2016) Review by Robert Cottingham Lee Kyoung-mi got her start in films working with Park Chan-wook, and from watching this film it seems she has taken his lead when it comes to violent revenge. When a politician’s daughter goes missing the scandal threatens to upset his ambitions […]