Festival Film Review: Blood, Sweat, Tears and Laughter – ‘Yellow Sea’ has it all

While on a visit to Korea, I once asked a wise, old-looking Korean how he would describe the spirit of the Korean people. My friend who was interpreting answered the question instead, to my initial annoyance, giving the answer ‘Fun’, which I found doubly disappointing given its apparent banality. Several years on, I am beginning […]

Mark Morris on Lee Man-hee and the flowering of Korean film in the 1960s

Everybody in Britain has heard of Samsung computers or Hyundai cars. However, another aspect of South Korea today is its successful export of films, music and TV dramas to neighbouring countries, known as ‘Korean Wave’ or ‘Hallyu’. In order to get a Western perspective on Korean cinema, I visited the Korean Cultural Centre in London […]

Festival Film Review: why Dachimawa Lee is thoroughly groovy, and why I’m becoming a fan of Ryu Seung-wan

I have to confess that when I heard that Ryu Seung-wan was to be the featured director on the London Korean Film Festival 2011, my reaction was lukewarm. Of the films I had already seen, the silliness of Arahan did not endear the film to me, while seeing Jeon Do-yeon and Lee Hye-hyoung severely thrashed […]

Festival Film Review: Leafie, a Hen into the Wild

At last year’s LKFF the surprise success was the animation Green Days – which for me was the first Korean animation really to stand comparison with Japan’s Studio Ghibli. This year the story may well be the same, with another animation from a director making his first full-length feature. In a country where animation screenings […]

The LKFF 1-minute mobile phone short film competition

A special event for budding Park Chan-wooks out there: The London Korean Film Festival presents The One Minute Mobile Phone Short Film Competition Over the last two years there has been a boom in mobile phone technology which the filmmaking community has whole heartedly embraced. The use of camera phones and other mobile equipment particularly […]