Minari: a movie re-viewed

After my first viewing, I was wondering whether to recommend Minari to my friends and family. If I’d bought an expensive cinema ticket to see it then I would have only seen it once. However, I bought a ticket that licensed me to view it as many times as I wanted within a 24 hour […]

A review of the Korean cultural year 2020

It would be an understatement to say that the cultural year 2020 has been markedly different from previous years. The pandemic has had a huge impact on the cultural scene, with most live events cancelled and event promoters falling back on the internet to provide us with our cultural fixes. Some of these attempts have […]

Why Crash Landing on You had us hooked

What a preposterous scenario for a drama. A chaebol heiress goes paragliding, gets swept away by a freak tornado and lands north of the DMZ, where she is discovered by a North Korean soldier and ends up getting emotionally entangled. I loved it. Of course, the scenario is a lot more complicated than that. How […]

Parasite: a non-review

What can one say about a movie that has won Best Picture at Cannes and the Oscars, that has won best screenplay at the Oscars and BAFTAs, best edited drama feature at the Eddies, and best ensemble performance at the Screen Actors Guild? A movie that has been seen more widely in this country, and […]

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 […]

A review of the Korean cultural year 2019

A review of some of the highlights and trends in the Korean cultural year, primarily in London but also with half an eye to anything we might have seen elsewhere in the UK. The review is a personal one, inevitably skewed towards the events we managed to get to. Introduction This time last year I […]

Film Review: Love, Lies (Park Heung-sik, 2016)

An historic album made by a hitherto unknown Korean popular music singer from the colonial period is literally unearthed in a modern-day construction site. Miraculously, although the LP is damaged, audio engineers can restore the sound to something like the original, for broadcast on a golden oldies radio show. But who is the singer, and […]

Review: Kokdu – a story of guardian angels

The death of a grandmother in remote, rural Jindo becomes dramatically intertwined with a stage performance by dancers, court and folk musicians from the National Gugak Centre as they portray the journey of a soul in the afterlife. The unauthorised purchase of a Jindo puppy by her two grandchildren gets them entangled in the drama […]

Festival Film Review: Dark Figure of Crime

In a standard police procedural about a serial killer, a detective – maybe a bit of a loner, often with a drink problem – goes from crime scene to crime scene, from victim to victim, trying to fit together the pieces of the jigsaw that will eventually lead to the murderer, before the next crime […]