May 18 – surprise hit of the LKFF

A modern historical drama about Korea’s Tiananmen Square incident might not sound like the most gripping of scenarios for a film, but May 18 certainly draws you in as a cinematic experience. One member of the audience had already seen the film twice on the internet, but came along to see it on the big […]

Aimless bullet, scary housemaid and Korea’s modern history

Two classic films from Korean cinema’s golden age provided a fascinating compare-and-contrast exercise last Monday night at the Barbican. Encouragingly, the films were better attended than the comparable double-bill last year (Madame Freedom and My Mother and her Guest). Maybe that reflects the growing literacy of UK audiences when it comes to Korean film. Or […]

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 […]

Lee Byung-hun on being the bad guy

Lee Byung-hun, in town for the launch of the London Korean Film Festival, took advantage of his trip to have some interviews and engage in other promotional activities. He impressed the crowds at the opening screening of The Good the Bad and the Weird, and again the next day at the post film discussion, with […]

Stars launch Korean Film Festival

In what must be the biggest-budget launch of the KCC’s third London Korean Film Festival, director Kim Ji-woon and actor Lee Byung-hun were brought to London to introduce the flagship film of the festival, The Good the Bad and the Weird. Tony Rayns, the UK’s most established Korean film expert, was also there to celebrate. […]

The London Korean Film Festival 2008

The programme for the 2008 London Korean Film Festival has been announced. A great line-up with something for everyone. From the latest releases, there’s the biggest film of 2008 (The Good, the Bad and the Weird), plus one or two I’d forgotten about, but which with a bit of thought are obvious choices: last year’s […]