Kim Jee-woon’s Age of Shadows gets UK release

The official UK release date for Kim Jee-woon’s colonial era spy thriller is 24 March. The Age of Shadows, released in the UK by Soda Pictures, opened last year’s London East Asia Film Festival. At the time of writing no London screenings have been announced, but the movie will be screened in Sheffield, and earlier previews are […]

Kim Ji-woon is March’s featured director

For March, the programme of screenings is expanded: two at the KCCUK and one at SOAS. Tale of Two Sisters is a classic, and Foul King is a guilty pleasure. For me though, Takashi Miike’s remake of Quiet Family, the deliriously madcap Happiness of the Katakuris, is unusual in being an improvement on the original. […]

K-film at the BFI London Film Fest: Doomsday Book is really not worth the effort

Doomsday Book, the first of six Korean films to screen at the 56th BFI London Film Festival is a set of three short films based loosely on a science fiction theme. The two outer segments, gentle comedies directed by Im Pil-seong (임필성), sandwich a semi-serious but nevertheless meagre filling by Kim Ji-woon entitled Heavenly Creature […]

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 […]

A Scoop of Korea at Thames Festival 2009

As Chuseok approaches, it’s time once again for the Thames Festival: 12-13 September. This will be the third year that there has been a significant Korean presence. The amazing Dulsori led the way three years ago; last year the high-profile item was Jump. This year we get the musical essence of contemporary Korea, Sorea: a […]

Nom Nom Nom gets DVD release

Kim Ji-woon’s western is finally getting a Region 3 release. A first press limited edition hits the websites on March 11, with not only the international cut (at 129 minutes) but the Korean theatrical cut as well – which comes in at 6 minutes longer. One of the differences between the versions is the greater […]

Good Bad Weird on general release

We saw it at the festivals last year, now it’s on mainstream release. Astoundingly, the normally hostile Wendy Ide in The Times gives it 4 out of 5, while Peter Bradshaw in The Guardian gives it a more measured 3 out of 5. LKL probably would split the difference, as does Tom Huddleston in Time […]

LKL 2008 Quiz of the year – the answers

The answers to the teasers posed just before the New Year. 1 Stressful times What does the current credit crunch and the most recent DPRK nuclear test have in common? a) the media blame them on an incompetent government who should have seen it coming and somehow prevented it b) they would both cause a […]

Good, bad or weird?

Now the festival is over, perhaps it’s time to set down some thoughts on the lead film, Kim Ji-woon’s Manchurian western. This was one of the most hotly anticipated films in recent years, on a par with Lady Vengeance and Secret Sunshine. Kim Ji-woon has built up an enviable track record with his past films. […]

Kim Ji-woon in London: bigger, faster

Friday night’s screening of The Good the Bad and the Weird (좋은 놈, 나쁜 놈, 이상한 놈, hereafter Nom Nom Nom) was followed by a screen talk with director Kim Ji-woon and actor Lee Byung-hun, chaired by Tony Rayns. Lee Byung-hun was late for the chat, either tied up with promotional activities for his upcoming […]