London Korean Film Festival 2019: the official press release

Here is today’s official press release that announces the line-up for the 2019 London Korean Film Festival: The London Korean Film Festival (LKFF) has launched its full programme of films and events for the upcoming 14th edition, taking place from 1st-14th November in London before embarking on the annual tour 18th-24th November. The Special Focus, […]

Chihwaseon screens at the National Gallery

The second in the London East Asia Film Festival’s KCinema 100 series is Chihwaseon by the veteran director Im Kwon-taek, which tells the story of iconoclastic Joseon Dynasty artist Jang Seung-eop (pen name Owon). It will be screened at the National Gallery. Chihwaseon (취화선) Dir: Im Kwon-taek (2002, 116 mins) Cast: Choi Min-sik, Ahn Sung-ki […]

KCC Screening: Mandala

The fifth screening in the Rebels with a Cause season: Mandala (만다라) Director: Im Kwon-taek (1981, 112 mins) Cast: Ahn Sung-Ki, Jeon Moo-song, Bang Hee, Gi Jeong-su Thursday, 16 August 2018 7:00 pm @KCCUK | Book tickets Set in contemporary Korea, Mandala follows two rather different characters: Pob-un, a young Buddhist monk who has decided […]

A new year gift from the Korean Film Archive

Those nice people at the Korean Film Archive have given us a new year gift, in the form of twenty-one English subtitled classic movies newly uploaded to their YouTube channel. At least two of these have been available on subtitled DVD before (Come, Come, Come Upward and Gingko Bed) but I’m assuming these are new, […]

LKL at 10 years: the best of the past decade

Well, if you can’t reminisce on your website’s 10th birthday, when can you? Here’s a collection of some of my favourite London memories of the past 10 years (and one or two from slightly further afield). Some of the moments lived up to expectation: a front row seat at a performance by K-pop ballad diva Lee […]

The London Korean Links Awards 2014

Our regular unscientific seasonal post which recognises some of the people, books, films and events which made 2014 an outstanding year. Personality of the Year This year there seem to have been more anti-heroes than heroes – examples to avoid rather than emulate. Villains we loved to hate this year have included the reclusive photographer, […]

Festival Film Review: Hwajang / Revivre

Well, I was right. Ahn Sung-ki confessed in the Q+A which followed the screening of Hwajang that one of his most difficult tasks in portraying Oh Sang-moo, a senior executive in a cosmetics company, was to project certain aspects of being old – of being blocked inside because of the swollen prostate, of being more […]

Bringing Kim Hoon’s Hwajang to the big screen: How to act a swollen prostate?

Im Kwon-taek set himself quite a challenge when he decided to make a movie of Kim Hoon’s Hwajang. It is a dense, concentrated and rich piece of writing – I hesitate to say “short story”, because really there’s not much narrative flow. Instead, there’s well-balanced contrast; there’s inner thoughts and emotions; there are the human […]

Im Kwon-taek: In search of perfection

As the 2014 Asian Games in Incheon approach, LKL is finally spurred to write up some archive notes of interviews and Q&A’s with the director of their Opening Ceremony… “Why are you torturing me?” was Im Kwon-taek’s heartfelt cry when attending a screening of one of his films from the 1960s at a 70-film retrospective […]

Gilsotteum to screen at the KCC

Of the 15 or so Im Kwon-taek films I’ve managed to see so far, Gilsotteum is my favourite. It caught me by surprise at the retrospective last year, and I’ll certainly be trying to get to the screening this coming Thursday: Gilsotteum (1985) 7pm, 1 August 2013 Director: IM Kwon-Taek Cast: Kim Ji-mi, Shin Seong-il […]

Im Kwon-taek and the wounds of the Korean War

The Im Kwon Taek retrospective has given us all a chance to catch up on some of the films of the master that we haven’t seen before, rounding out our picture of Korea’s national director. Im is probably best known nowadays for his films which highlight some of the unique aspects of Korea’s cultural heritage: […]