London Korean Links

Covering things Korean in London and beyond since 2006

Festival film review: The Apartment with Two Women | Gyeong-ah’s daughter

London audiences have been spoiled with some great films in the recent festivals, from the latest blockbusters to indie debut features. Both LEAFF and LKFF included in their programme a debut feature by a female director, focusing on mother-daughter relationships and headlining actors who have not had much screentime in the mainstream. LEAFF’s selection was … [Read More]

Festival film review: Hommage

In her first feature, Passerby #3 (2010), Shin Su-won looked at the life of a woman who left her job to try to become a film director. In her latest, she returns to a similar movie-making theme. Hommage is about a middle-aged movie director, Ji-wan, whose films have never been much of a success. She … [Read More]

Soup and Ideology: Yang Yonghi’s exploration of the Jeju 4:3 incident through her own family history

It must be a nightmare living with Yang Yonghi: you are constantly being filmed. Yang’s work focuses on her family history, and she has been collecting footage of her daily life since the mid ’90s. When the individual scenes are filmed – conversations, family meals, seemingly unremarkable incidents – the filming must seem without purpose. … [Read More]

Festival Film Review: Heaven – To the Land of Happiness

In recent years the LKFF programmers have been getting into a groove of scheduling indie, minority interest movies for the closing film of the festival. This year, they turned things upside down by programming the festival’s most appealing film (for me, at least,) to end the fortnight. Yes, the opening movie, Mogadishu, is the top … [Read More]

Festival Film Review: The Singer

As is often the case, I was out of town for the London East Asia Film Festival, so I missed the international premiere of the Director’s Cut of Cho Jungrae’s The Singer. I’m not sure if the previously available version has had a formal international premiere – probably not, given the devastation that Covid has … [Read More]

Interview: Cho Jungrae (The Singer, 2020)

I watched Cho Jungrae’s 2020 movie The Singer earlier this year online, after being told by a friend of the director that it was available on Amazon Prime. It struck me as a fresh take on the pansori movie genre: instead of telling a pansori tale more or less straight like Im Kwon-taek’s Chunhyang, it … [Read More]

LKL’s list of ten Squid Game superlatives

Well, I guess everyone who’s going to watch it has watched it already, but nevertheless I’ve tried to avoid any major spoilers in the below. Here’s the list of things that struck me most about the hit series. Most enjoyable reveal Runner up was the identity of the multi-gazillionaire who set up the game, But the … [Read More]

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 … [Read More]

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 … [Read More]

Review: Hong Sang-soo – The Woman who Ran

The time was right. Not having seen a Hong Sang-soo film for a few years – and he himself has had an unusual two-year break since his last one – I was perhaps ready to reacquaint myself with his work. It was a cold misty winter’s afternoon. I had just taken a rare day off … [Read More]

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 … [Read More]