Festival Film reviews: we also went to…

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 […]

Festival Film Review: This Road Called Life

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 […]

LKFF 2014: the conversations

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 […]

Festival Film Review: Hwajang / Revivre

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 […]

Festival film review: Bitter, Sweet, Seoul

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 […]

LKFF2014 – the reviews

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 […]

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

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 […]

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

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 […]

Hong Sang-soo season on Film 4

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 […]

Manshin: Ten Thousand Spirits, at LKFF 2014

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 […]

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

… 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 […]