LKFF 2015

I always look forward to long-haul flights as an opportunity to catch up on all the movies I should have been watching over the past year. And having just returned from an ultra-long-haul holiday, I can heartily recommend Singapore Airlines in-flight entertainment. My only complaint is that there was too much to watch: if the […]

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Festival Film Review: Lee Kwang-guk focus

by Philip Gowman 23 November 2015
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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 […]

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Festival Film Review: Chung Chang-wha focus

by Philip Gowman 20 November 2015
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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 […]

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Festival film review: Love And…

by Philip Gowman 20 November 2015
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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 […]

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Festival Film Review: Socialphobia

by Philip Gowman 16 November 2015
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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: […]

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Festival Film Review: Sleepless Night

by Philip Gowman 16 November 2015
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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 […]

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Festival Film Review: Collapse

by Philip Gowman 15 November 2015
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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 […]

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Inside the Corinthia – home to the LKFF stars

by Philip Gowman 13 November 2015
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As you settle into your seat before a screening at the London Korean Film Festival there’s a familiar set of brief films you watch before the main feature starts: first the official trailer, and then three short promotional videos for the sponsors. Of these, the one that probably sticks in the mind for all the […]

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Festival Film Review: The Classified File

by Philip Gowman 12 November 2015
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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 […]

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Festival Film Review: Ode to My Father

by Philip Gowman 10 November 2015
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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, […]

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Classics revisited – an opportunity to get to know the films of Chung Chang-wha

by Philip Gowman 9 November 2015
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One of the things we like about the London Korean Film Festival the range of different perspectives it offers us on the vibrant Korean film scene, from emerging directors to actor retrospectives via documentaries and more. One of the strands we appreciate most is the opportunity it gives us to see classic movies from the […]

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Two masterclasses as part of LKFF 2015

by Events Editor 8 November 2015
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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 […]

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Festival Film Review: Kim Eungsu — The City in the Water

by Philip Gowman 8 November 2015
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Write down on a piece of paper a list of techniques you expect to be used in a documentary about a controversial episode in recent history. Maybe it will include archive footage; expert talking heads giving their views of the historical problem; interviews with people who lived through it, witnessed it or even contributed to […]

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LKFF 2015: the reviews

by Philip Gowman 7 November 2015
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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 […]

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A lunchtime of ceramics and an evening of awesomeness

by Philip Gowman 5 November 2015
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I wish the lunch break had been longer at today’s Korean film conference at SOAS. I was planning on having a quick snack at Mr Mok’s Bibimbap Cafe in Museum Street, maybe say a brief hello to my friends at It’s All Greek a few doors away, and then look in at the British Museum’s […]

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

by Philip Gowman 5 November 2015
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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 […]

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CJ Entertainment celebrates its 20th birthday with a special strand at LKFF 2015

by Philip Gowman 2 November 2015
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CJ Entertainment has been associated with some of the biggest and best films since the turn of the millennium. 20 years old this year, it is celebrating its birthday with a big splash at the 10th London Korean Film Festival organised by the KCCUK.1 Five screenings at this year’s festival are of CJ productions: Miss […]

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