Screening: The Old Garden

Continuing the season of adaptations of Korean novels. LKL’s seven-year-old review of the novel can be found here. The Old Garden (오래된 정원) Director: Im Sang-soo (2007, 112 mins) Cast: Ji Jin-hi, Yum Jung-ah, Kim Eung-soo, Kim Hyun-ah Original novel by Hwang Sok-yong KCCUK, 24 May 2018 7:00 pm | Reserve via Eventbrite Anti-government protests […]

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 […]

A class apart: why Im Sang-soo loses to Kim Ki-young in the battle of The Housemaids

What really intrigued me about Kim Ki-young’s original Housemaid (1960) was when I read that the female audience were so incensed by the seducing housemaid’s character, that they stood up in cinema auditoriums and shouted: “Kill the wench!” I can’t help but think that a female watching Im Sang-soo’s 2010 remake would remark: “nice house.” […]

Book Review: Hwang Sok-yong – The Old Garden

Hwang Sok-yong: The Old Garden / The Ancient Garden Originally published in 2000 English translation by Jay Oh, Seven Stories Press 2009 / Picador 2010. “More has been expected of Hwang Sok-yong than almost any other Korean writer of the past quarter century,” says Bruce Fulton1. Having read The Guest (2002), and having watched and […]

LKL Top 10 Film of the Decade at the KCC this week

The theme of the KCC’s film screenings this month is the Family. Earlier this month we had a nice warm cuddly film bursting with family values. This coming Thursday 27 May is the innocent-sounding “A Good Lawyer’s Wife”. But the Korean title, 바람난 가족, translates literally as “Unfaithful family”. Kim Kyu-hyun, one of’s reviewers, […]

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 […]

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 […]

President’s Last Bang gets uncensored DVD release

Im Sang-soo’s controversial black comedy receives a UK DVD release this month, with four minutes of documentary footage, excised by the censors, restored to the cut. Based on the true story of the events leading up to and immediately following the 1979 assassination of South Korean President Park Chung-hee, the controversial satirical black comedy The […]

Im Sang Soo: Uncut

As part of the Tiger Asian film festival Im Sang Soo, director of socio-political films ‘The President’s Last Bang’, ‘A Good Lawyer’s Wife’ and ‘The Old Garden’, held a Q&A session on 30th May 2008 at the Korean Cultural Centre in London. There was a small but select feel to the gathering that took place […]

Im Sang Soo faces London grilling

Korean film director Im Sang Soo is participating in two Q&A sessions this week: Friday at the KCC and Saturday at the ICA, the latter in conjunction with the screening of The President’s Last Bang. It has been said that Im Sang Soo is practically the only director now making films that take a long […]

London Korean Festival + Film Festival 2004

A press release announcing the launch of the 2nd London Korean Festival. The festival comprised a series of cultural lectures in conjunction with Asia House (not mentioned in the press release), a rock concert, a classical music concert and a film festival. The latter contained three of the top Korean movies of the decade (2003 […]