London Korean Links

Covering things Korean in London and beyond since 2006

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Selected publications

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 … [Read More]

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 … [Read More]

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: … [Read More]

Im Kwon-taek visits London for the Olympics

As part of the VIP delegation visiting from Seoul to launch Korea’s bid for Olympic glory in London 2012, a surprise dignitary was legendary film director Im Kwon-taek. I first caught sight of him at the Korea Shining Bright event at the Victoria and Albert Museum on Monday night, 30 July. I wondered if I … [Read More]

2010: a bumper year for Korean film?

Not so long ago, the Korean film industry seemed to be in the doldrums. Darcy, Twitch and others were sounding notes of gloom that Korean cinema had lost its way. But then things picked up again, with blockbusters such as Haeundai, and new indie films such as Breathless making the headlines and bringing in the … [Read More]

Come, Come, Come Upwards at the KCC

To coincide with their exhibition of Buddhist art opening this week, the KCC’s film screenings this month have a Buddhist theme. First, on Thursday this week, 8 April, is Im Kwon-taek’s Come, Come, Come Upwards (아제 아제 바라아제) Synopsis: A high school girl student Soon-nyeo’s father, Buddhist monk Yun Bong, dies. The paternal pain is … [Read More]

LKL’s top 10 K-films of the noughties

Mark Russell led the way with his fascinating list of films of the decade – in which the biggest shock was that there was no Park Chan-wook. GI Korea also has a list, which redresses the balance somewhat. So here is mine. Over the years I’ve been reasonably diligent in giving marks out of 10 … [Read More]

Chihwaseon screens at the KCC

The next screening at the KCC, on Thursday 25 September, is Chihwaseon (2002), Im Kwon-taek’s bio-pic of one of Korea’s most famous painters, Jang Seung-eop, also known as Owon. The film features two of Korea’s most well-known actors, Choi Min-sik as Owon and Ahn Sung-ki as his patron Kim Byung-moon. Synopsis: During the 1850s, KIM … [Read More]