London Korean Links

Covering things Korean in London and beyond since 2006

Lee Chang-dong and Poetry at Cannes

“Poetry” misses out on Cannes top award, but wins Lee Chang-dong Best Screenplay award. # The Joongang Ilbo tells us that the Korean Film Council rejected Lee’s request for funding: the screenplay was too much like a novel ‘”Poetry” is a dazzling piece of screen portraiture. Yun Jung-hee surely a front runner for Best … [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]

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]

Lee Chang Dong featured at KCC

The theme for this month’s films at the KCC film club is Director Lee Chang Dong (right). A few weeks ago we had Im Sang-soo at the KCC talking about his “modern Korean history trilogy”; and the recent KOFIC book on Im says: Im Sang Soo is practically the only director now making films that … [Read More]

Korean film – a review of 2007

Jason Bechervaise, founder of, gives his perspective on the ups and downs of the Korean film industry in 2007 By all accounts 2007 was a year that has been difficult one for the Korean film industry where it seems that the golden years of the Korean film industry has passed. Rising costs have meant … [Read More]

K-film at the 51st BFI London Film Festival

Not to be confused with the Korean Film Festival at the Barbican at the beginning of November (on which more later), the BFI London Film Festival in October has an excellent spread of recent Korean film. The Highlight: Secret Sunshine (Lee Chang-dong, 2007, starring Jeon Do-Yeon, Song Kang-Ho, 142 mins) “A devastating account of a … [Read More]

Book review: Kim Young-jin on Lee Chang-dong

(Seoul Selection, 2007) I can imagine that there was a certain amount of discussion about the timing of this book. After a break of some years — enforced by his stint as Roh Moo-hyun’s first Minister for Culture and Tourism — the well-regarded director Lee Chang-dong was active again. His new film, with two of … [Read More]

Jeon Do-yeon wins at Cannes

Congratulations to Jeon Do-yeon on winning best actress at Cannes. She was an early front-runner in the competition, and just for once those early hopes of success were justified. For the first third of its nearly two-and-a-half-hour running time, “Secret Sunshine” feels like a slightly somber fish-out-of-water comedy (reports AO Scott at the New York … [Read More]

Darcy’s predictions for 2007

It’s getting to be the case that the more interesting stuff over on Darcy’s site is in his What’s New page rather than his forums. Here are his predictions for 2007: Park Jin-pyo’s VOICE OF A MURDERER is going to be a major critical and popular hit (at least 6 million tickets) There will be … [Read More]

Korean film at the Firecracker Showcase

This year’s Firecracker Showcase has four Korean films: Another chance to see Bong Joon-ho’s record-breaker The Host (Friday 22 September, 9:00pm, Renoir) Jang Jin’s fun assassin flick Guns & Talks (Monday 18 September, 4:00pm, Curzon Soho | Friday 22 September, 6:45pm, Renoir) Kim Ki-duk’s The Bow (Wednesday 20 September, 9:15pm, Curzon Mayfair) and Lee Chang-dong’s … [Read More]