LKFF 2014

What is it that makes Park Chan-kyong’s biopic of Korea’s national shaman so compelling on so many levels? Right from the start, the narrative grips you. We meet Kim Geum-hwa, the subject of the movie, praying for the success of the film. She also prays for the health of the film crew, and asks the […]

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Festival Film reviews: we also went to…

by Philip Gowman 19 December 2014
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We’ve almost finished clearing the London Korean Film Festival backlog, the only major review outstanding now being Park Chan-kyong’s fascinating documentary Manshin. While I’m polishing that, here are a few brief reviews of the films I didn’t feel moved to write dedicated articles about. Han Gong-ju A heavy and depressing story redeemed by the sensitive […]

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Festival Film Review: This Road Called Life

by Philip Gowman 15 December 2014
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Following on from the success of their feature-length animation Green Days, Studio MWP worked with Korean TV broadcaster EBS to produce a trio of short films which adapt three familiar short stories which are studied by most Koreans in high school: Yi Hyo-seok’s Buckwheat Season, Kim Yu-jeong’s Spring, Spring, and A Lucky Day by Hyun […]

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LKFF 2014: the conversations

by Philip Gowman 23 November 2014
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The London Korean Film Festival is not just about getting acquainted with the latest in Korean movies. It is also an opportunity to meet some of the people behind those movies – actors, directors and producers. Opportunities for engaging with these film professionals vary: for an ever-growing group of aficionados there is the offer of round-table […]

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Festival Film Review: Hwajang / Revivre

by Philip Gowman 17 November 2014
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Well, I was right. Ahn Sung-ki confessed in the Q+A which followed the screening of Hwajang that one of his most difficult tasks in portraying Oh Sang-moo, a senior executive in a cosmetics company, was to project certain aspects of being old – of being blocked inside because of the swollen prostate, of being more […]

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Festival film review: Bitter, Sweet, Seoul

by Philip Gowman 16 November 2014
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Bitter, Sweet, Seoul is an ambitious crowd-sourced project in which people from around the world were invited by the Seoul Metropolitan Government to submit videos which would be made into feature length film. Directors (and brothers) Park Chan-wook and Park Chan-kyong (collectively PARKing CHANce) were commissioned to organise the submissions, attracted to the project by […]

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LKFF2014 – the reviews

by Philip Gowman 15 November 2014
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This year there have been more reviewers than ever covering the Korean Film Fest. Here are links to some of the reviews, to which I’ll add as and when I spot new ones. Films are listed in the order in which they screened. Title Director Reviews EK = Eastern Kicks | HC = Hangul Celluloid […]

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Your at-a-glance guide to the LKFF 2014 schedule

by Philip Gowman 4 November 2014
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Having trouble making decisions about which films to attend? Finding the LKL online calendar too cluttered? Here’s an easy-to-read downloadable chart showing the London screenings (plus, for good measure, the screening from the KCC’s Year of the Film Professionals programme, which competes for your attention on 13 November). The pdf download is best printed in […]

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Bringing Kim Hoon’s Hwajang to the big screen: How to act a swollen prostate?

by Philip Gowman 3 November 2014
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Im Kwon-taek set himself quite a challenge when he decided to make a movie of Kim Hoon’s Hwajang. It is a dense, concentrated and rich piece of writing – I hesitate to say “short story”, because really there’s not much narrative flow. Instead, there’s well-balanced contrast; there’s inner thoughts and emotions; there are the human […]

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Hong Sang-soo season on Film 4

by Philip Gowman 1 November 2014
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There are still some Korean film fans out there who haven’t seen any Hong Sang-soo yet. There’s a chance to catch his latest at this years London Korean Film Festival. But you can also see some of his recent back catalogue on TV before then. This must be the first occasion that Hong Sang-soo has […]

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LKL’s latest must-see film of the LKFF 2014: The Road Called Life

by Philip Gowman 28 October 2014
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It’s taking a while to go through the LKFF 2014 programme to prioritise those films which I simply *have* to go to see. So thanks to Frances Yoo from Studio Meditation with a Pencil for alerting me to the title that instantly has gone from “when I get round to it, I’ll look to see […]

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Manshin: Ten Thousand Spirits, at LKFF 2014

by Philip Gowman 23 October 2014
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This is one of the films that LKL will be looking forward to as part of this year’s Korean Film Festival: Manshin: Ten Thousand Spirits 만신, Dir Park Chan-kyong (박찬경), 2013 Odeon Covent Garden, Monday 10 Nov, 8:30pm | Aberystwyth Arts Centre, Thursday 20 Nov, 5:30pm A documentary spanning a lifetime, Manshin centres on a […]

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London Korean Film Festival 2014: the schedule in detail

by Events Editor 23 October 2014
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Here’s the full schedule of the London Korean Film Festival 2014 for you to optimise your viewing pleasure. Full details will soon be up on the festival’s official website, www.koreanfilm.co.uk. And the tickets will be on sale at the relevant Odeon websites: Odeon West End | Odeon Covent Garden | Odeon Kingston. The 9th London […]

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Seven ways in which Hill of Freedom is different from other Hong Sang-soo films

by Philip Gowman 11 October 2014
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… and some ways in which it isn’t. Hill of Freedom (자유의 언덕) is Hong Sang-soo’s 16th feature, and could not have been made by anyother director. The awkwardness of human interaction and conversation, the bonding over alcohol, the fragmentation of the narrative, the aim to rekindle lost love – all are common features of […]

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Programme for the 2014 London Korean Film Festival announced

by Philip Gowman 24 September 2014
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Here’s the official press release announcing the outline of this year’s London Korean Film Festival, together with some of the key screenings that have been confirmed so far. The detailed schedule will be available in October. It’s a great line-up, and there’s plenty to look forward to. Booking and more detail will be available on […]

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Im Kwon Taek’s Hwajang selected to close 2014 LKFF

by Philip Gowman 23 September 2014
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It’s tremendously good news that the closing gala screening of the London Korean Film festival 2014 is Im Kwon Taek’s 102nd film, Hwajang (western title: Revivre). It synchronises nicely with the KCCUK’s focus on literature this year, as it is based on a short story by Kim Hoon. More importantly, it’s a film that has […]

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