Festival Film Review: Lee Kwang-guk focus

If I had seen no other films at the 2015 London Korean Film Festival, the evenings of films by Lee Kwang-guk would have made the whole festival worthwhile. The first evening featured his second film, the short Hard to Say (2013), along with his debut feature Romance Joe (2012), while the second evening followed up […]

Festival Film Review: Chung Chang-wha focus

Each year the LKFF includes a few golden oldies among its line-up of the latest commercial and art house offerings. This year the festival gave us the opportunity to get to know three films by veteran director Chung Chang-wha, made before he was scouted by Shaw Brothers in 1969. The earliest film to be screened […]

Festival film review: Love And…

Two years ago the revered Korean film critic Tony Rayns asked Moon Sori an awkward question. The question was followed by a sharp intake of breath from the audience who couldn’t believe what they had just heard, and by a few false starts at a response by Ms Moon before she answered fluently. At the final […]

Festival Film Review: Socialphobia

Socialphobia, a debut film from Hong Seok-jae, was one of the fifteen sold-out screenings at this year’s LKFF. For an indie film, it had a strong reception at the Korean box office, aided in part by the actor Byun Yo-han who played in the hit TV drama Misaeng, but also because of its contemporary theme: […]

Festival Film Review: Sleepless Night

There is something slightly hypnotising about seeing a movie which seems to aspire to do nothing more than lovingly record the daily lives of a couple who face the same everyday challenges and questions that most of us face. How and whether to stand up to the boss at work when he seeks to make […]

Festival Film Review: Collapse

The second screening in this year’s documentary strand, this movie left you wondering what the director’s intentions were. Indeed, it made you wonder whether there was another guiding spirit which took over the film-making process, editing and shaping the unfinished work of the director. And then you looked at the credits, and discovered that there […]

Festival Film Review: The Classified File

As goodwill ambassador for Sancheong County, I was delighted when Sancheong’s most famous Buddhist monk, the late Seong Cheol sunim, got name checked in The Classified File as the Seon Master of the Buddhist-trained fortune teller who unofficially assisted the police in the real-life 1978 kidnap case that was the subject of the movie. One […]

Festival Film Review: Ode to My Father

The time is the present. Yoon Deok-su, a grandfather living in Busan but born in South Hamgyong province in North Korea, looks back at his life of hardship which has coincided exactly with the life of the Republic of Korea. Surrounded by his grandchildren, he has managed to raise his family from nothing to relative prosperity, […]

Two masterclasses as part of LKFF 2015

Two late additions to the LKFF schedule, both on Saturday afternoon, 14 November. But you can’t do both. And you can’t do either if you want to watch the classic Chung Chang-wha screenings. Choices, choices … but I think I’ll choose a large dose of muhyeop and Q&A with Director Chung. Masterclass: In Conversation with […]

LKFF 2015: the reviews

Here is an index to reviews of some of the films screening at LKFF 2015. I’ll update this article with more links when I find them. Films are listed in order of screening. LKL = London Korean Links | EK = Eastern Kicks | THN = The Hollywood News | HC = Hangul Celluloid Film […]

An introduction to “Love And…” — LKFF’s closing gala film

The London Korean Film Festival’s choice for the closing gala is an interesting one: Zhang Lu’s Love And… (the literal meaning of the Korean title, 필름시대사랑, is “Love of the Film Era”), which only recently opened at the Korean box office. Closing galas over the years have included blockbusters and mainstream movies such as Masquerade […]