Festival film review: Yourself and Yours

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 […]

Brief festival film review: Eoh Woo Dong

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, […]

Brief Festival Film Review: Kai

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 […]

Festival film review: Crush and Blush

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 […]

Festival film review: The Truth Beneath

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 […]

Brief review: Train to Busan

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, […]

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

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 […]

Brief review: Lee Seok-hoon’s Himalaya

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 […]

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

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 […]