LKFF 2016

Hong Sang-soo (홍상수) Yourself and Yours (당신 자신과 당신의 것, 2016) Review by Robert Cottingham. You can tell from the opening titles exactly the kind of film this is going to be. Black Korean calligraphy on a white background suggests an intelligent and possibly artistic film and the lively classical music hints at a sophisticated comedy on […]

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Festival report: Park Hong-min Q+A after the screening of “A Fish”

by Robert Cottingham 12 November 2016
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Park Hong-Min was in London yesterday for a 3-D showing of his first film A Fish (2011). He gave a short Q-and-A after the screening. Transcribed by Robert Cottingham. Tony Rayns: I’ll get things going. I take it this film is not based on your own experience? Park Hong-min: Yes, it’s definitely not based on […]

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Brief festival film review: Eoh Woo Dong

by Robert Cottingham 11 November 2016
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Lee Chang-ho (이장호) Eoh Woo Dong (어우동, 1985, 110 mins). Review by Robert Cottingham. Eoh Woo Dong translates as “entertainer,” a rough approximation of the duties of 14th-century Korean courtesan Eoh Yoon Chang. After a lifetime “in service,” Eoh Yoon Chang retires to a faraway village. Meanwhile, her powerful father, ashamed of his daughter’s lifestyle, […]

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Brief Festival Film Review: Kai

by Robert Cottingham 8 November 2016
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Lee Sung-gang (이성강): Kai (카이, 2016, 96 mins) Review by Robert Cottingham Snow Queen Hattan casts a spell over the peaceful village where Kai lives, and covers everything in ice. The River Spirit who is the protector of the village gives the brave young Kai the only key to fighting off Hattan and asks him […]

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Festival film review: Crush and Blush

by Robert Cottingham 7 November 2016
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Lee Kyoung-mi (이경미): Crush and Blush (미쓰 홍당무, 2008) Review by Robert Cottingham. Right near the beginning of Crush and Blush, the main character Mi-seok stands digging a deep hole in a schoolyard. I thought that it was a punishment used in South Korean schools, but if not it could be a visual metaphor for […]

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Festival film review: The Truth Beneath

by Robert Cottingham 6 November 2016
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Lee Kyoung-mi (이경미): The Truth Beneath (비밀은 없다, 2016) Review by Robert Cottingham Lee Kyoung-mi got her start in films working with Park Chan-wook, and from watching this film it seems she has taken his lead when it comes to violent revenge. When a politician’s daughter goes missing the scandal threatens to upset his ambitions […]

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LKFF report: the opening night and The Truth Beneath

by Philip Gowman 4 November 2016
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The eleventh of the London Korean Film Festivals organised by the KCCUK opened on Thursday with a little sprinkling of stardust. Jung Woo-sung, who electrified the audience during the 2014 festival where he was the headline attraction, came to the opening night as just a regular guy wanting to watch a movie. But that didn’t […]

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Brief review: Train to Busan

by Philip Gowman 8 October 2016
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What can you say about Train to Busan that hasn’t already been said? When everyone tells you it’s a fantastic thrill-ride you try to go into the screening with lowered expectations just in case everyone is delusional and you come away disappointed. No need to fear. It’s pretty much non-stop entertainment from start to finish, […]

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Event news: Train to Busan is the final LKFF 2016 Teaser screening

by Events Editor 1 October 2016
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The final LKFF Teaser screening before the official festival in November. It’s sure to be popular: Train to Busan (부산행) Director: Yeon Sang-ho. Starring: Gong Yoo, Kim Soo-an. South Korea 2016. 118 mins. Korean with English subtitles. Picturehouse Central, 6 October 2016, 7pm | Book here Eurostar was never like this. Noted South Korean animation […]

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A look at the 2016 London Korean Film Festival programme

by Events Editor 23 September 2016
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Oooh oooh oooh my favourite film of 2012, and in a shortlist for my film of the decade is being screened again. I thought it would never find its way back into a London theatre and that I’d never have the pleasure of seeing it again, because it’s not the sort of movie that they’re […]

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Brief review: Lee Seok-hoon’s Himalaya

by Philip Gowman 25 July 2016
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What do Himalaya (Lee Seok-hoon, 2015), Possessed (Lee Yong-ju, 2009) and A Better Tomorrow (Song Hae-seong, 2012) have in common? They are all Korean films which I have gone to a screening room or theatre to watch but couldn’t be bothered to stay to the end. When you pop a DVD into the machine at […]

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Event news: Lee Seok-hoon’s Himalaya screens at Regent Street Cinema

by Events Editor 19 July 2016
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The third of the KCCUK’s teaser screenings for the 2016 London Korean Film Festival is on 4 August at the Regent Street Cinema. Its star Hwang Jung-min told audiences at last year’s film festival that Himalaya had been the most exhausting film he had worked on. Find out why by watching it. The Himalayas (히말라야) […]

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Brief review: The Priests – another excellent LKFF16 teaser

by Philip Gowman 3 June 2016
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The second of the KCC’s “teaser screenings” for the 2016 London Korean Film Festival, which screened last night at the Picturehouse Central, was another hit. Let’s hope they keep this up. Jang Jae-hyun’s The Priests was a hugely fun (and suspense-filled) exorcism movie, and an impressive full-length debut for the director. It will win new […]

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Event news: Jang Jae-hyun’s The Priests screens at Picturehouse Central

by Events Editor 16 May 2016
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The second of the KCCUK’s teaser screenings for the 2016 London Korean Film Festival is on 2 June at Picturehouse Central. The screening also serves as a curtain-raiser for the annual Korean Screen Culture Conference which this year is held at King’s London. The Priests (검은 사제들) + Intro Director: Jang Jae-hyun, South Korea, 2015 […]

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Lee Joon-ik’s The Throne: a familiar tale made a believable tragedy

by Philip Gowman 22 April 2016
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The first of the KCCUK’s “Teaser Screenings” for the London Korean Film Festival 2016 took place on Monday in the presence of Director Lee Joon-ik and the recently-arrived Korean ambassador. The chosen film was The Throne (사도) – a movie which was #5 in the 2015 Korean box office and deals with an incident in […]

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Event news: Lee Joon-ik’s The Throne screens at Regent St Cinema

by Events Editor 20 March 2016
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Returning to the period movie genre that made him famous, Lee Joon-ik’s 2014 The Throne explores the life and death of Crown Prince Sado. As homework, you are strongly encouraged to read the memoirs of Sado’s wife, Lady Hyegyong, failing which Margaret Drabble’s The Red Queen, for a version of his life with which to […]

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K-film at the BFI London Film Fest: A Fish — mysterious, tantalising and rewarding

by Philip Gowman 15 November 2012
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What a stunning first film. Park Hong-min is still a graduate student at Dongguk University, but this debut is amazingly confident. A truly mysterious creation which has you wondering throughout what is going on, and when it finishes you want to watch it again immediately to see if it makes more sense the second time […]

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