LKFF 2017

For me, the highlight of this year’s London Korean Film Festival was the brief retrospective of some of Bae Chang-ho’s early output. I’ve had a soft spot for Director Bae’s work for over 15 years now: My Heart was one of the first Korean movies I saw, back in the London Korean Film Festival in 2001. […]

{ 2 comments }

Festival film review: Bae Chang-ho’s The Dream

by Philip Gowman 27 November 2017
Thumbnail image for Festival film review: Bae Chang-ho’s The Dream

Bae Chang-ho’s The Dream is based on a story from the Samguk Yusa, a story that Yi Kwang-su worked up into a short novel. Although the tale is set in the late Silla dynasty, its message is timeless. The story starts with a weary and impoverished traveller (played by Ahn Sung-ki) trudging through the snow […]

Read the full article →

Festival film review: Bae Chang-ho’s Whale Hunting

by Philip Gowman 24 November 2017
Thumbnail image for Festival film review: Bae Chang-ho’s Whale Hunting

Based on a story by long-standing collaborator Choe In-ho, Whale Hunting is one of Korea’s seminal road movies. Hunting the whale, in the dark days of the dictatorship, was symbolic for yearning for things beyond the day-to-day. In Bae Chang-ho’s 1984 movie it represented the search for the things that give life meaning; in a […]

Read the full article →

Festival film review double bill: Two Doors / The Remnants

by Philip Gowman 22 November 2017
Thumbnail image for Festival film review double bill: Two Doors / The Remnants

As part of the Documentary strand of the 2017 London Korean Film Festival Lee Hyuk-sang of the activist documentary makers PINKS presented a pair of films on the Yongsan tragedy. The context of the tragedy was the plan to redevelop the Yongsan area as the US army prepared to move to their new base in […]

Read the full article →

Festival film review: Bae Chang-ho’s People of the Slum

by Philip Gowman 20 November 2017
Thumbnail image for Festival film review: Bae Chang-ho’s People of the Slum

Bae Chang-ho’s debut feature, People of the Slum (1982), is based on a semi-autobiographical novel by Lee Dong-chul. The film tells the story of a complicated love triangle. Myeong-sook, played by Kim Bo-yeon, lives with her second husband, the idle and dissolute Tae-seop (played by Kim Hui-ra). Living in the same house in the run-down […]

Read the full article →

The Yongsan tragedy featured in two LKFF documentaries

by Philip Gowman 30 October 2017
Thumbnail image for The Yongsan tragedy featured in two LKFF documentaries

Those of you who have read and love Han Kang’s Human Acts will know that is is inspired not only by the Gwangju uprising but also the Yongsan tragedy. Hwang Jung-eun’s One Hundred Shadows is even more directly inspired by the same tragedy. It was a news event that was little reported in the Western […]

Read the full article →

Festival film review: The Mimic

by Philip Gowman 28 October 2017
Thumbnail image for Festival film review: The Mimic

I don’t quite know how you go about reviewing a film like The Mimic. As I watched its early sections, enjoying the ride reasonably enough, I nevertheless thought back to some of the Whispering Corridors series (and sadly the weakest of them, Blood Pledge) in which plot is subservient to gratuitous scares. Probably if you […]

Read the full article →

Film review double bill: Bamseom Pirates and Criminal Conspiracy

by Philip Gowman 8 October 2017
Thumbnail image for Film review double bill: Bamseom Pirates and Criminal Conspiracy

This weekend gave us the opportunity to watch two very different documentaries which cast their critical eye over contemporary Korean society and recent political history. Part of the fascination of both of them for UK-based Korea-watchers is the way they resonate: they provide, in the one case, a laser-like dissection of an issue of which […]

Read the full article →

LEAFF, LKFF and the battle for our diaries

by Philip Gowman 4 October 2017
Thumbnail image for LEAFF, LKFF and the battle for our diaries

The film festival season is upon us, and this requires some serious diary planning. Fortunately the BFI London Film Festival remains serenely distant from the ignominious tangle caused by the collision of LEAFF and LKFF. With four titles scheduled earlier in the month, including the movie that I’ve been most looking forward to all year […]

Read the full article →

London Korean Film Festival 2017: full programme details

by Philip Gowman 11 September 2017
Thumbnail image for London Korean Film Festival 2017: full programme details

Details of the programme for the 2017 London Korean Film Festival were announced earlier this evening at the fun-packed and blood-spattered final teaser screening (Jung Byung-gil’s The Villainess). The detailed schedule is right at the bottom of this page, and the below press release gives us plenty to mull over in terms of the individual […]

Read the full article →

Film review: A Taxi Driver

by Philip Gowman 31 August 2017
Thumbnail image for Film review: A Taxi Driver

I went along to watch A Taxi Driver out of a sense of duty. What can be said about Gwangju, I thought, that hasn’t been said already? I’d rather see a documentary. Plus, Korean movies with foreign actors always raise slight alarm bells with me (Isabelle Huppert in Hong Sang-soo’s In Another Country left me […]

Read the full article →

Final LKFF 2017 Teaser: The Villainess

by Events Editor 23 August 2017
Thumbnail image for Final LKFF 2017 Teaser: The Villainess

This final teaser screening for the 2017 London Korean Film Festival looks rather fun. And to add to the tease, on the same evening the programme for the main festival will be unveiled. See you there. The Villainess (악녀) London Korean Film Festival Teaser Screening + LKFF 2017 Programme Launch Director: Jung Byung-gil (정병길), 2017, […]

Read the full article →

6th LKFF 2017 Teaser: Jang Hoon’s Taxi Driver

by Events Editor 23 July 2017
Thumbnail image for 6th LKFF 2017 Teaser: Jang Hoon’s Taxi Driver

How did we manage to squeeze in six teasers this year? Anyway, the latest is possibly one of the most anticipated Korean movies of the year so far. Here’s hoping it lives up to expectation. Taxi Driver (택시 운전사) Director: Jang Hoon, 2017, 137mins Cast: Song Kang-ho, Thomas Kretschmann, Yoo Hai-jin, Ryu Jun-yeol UK Premiere […]

Read the full article →

5th LKFF 2017 Teaser: Lee Soo-yeon’s Bluebeard

by Events Editor 19 June 2017
Thumbnail image for 5th LKFF 2017 Teaser: Lee Soo-yeon’s Bluebeard

The next teaser for the London Korean Film Festival is a psychological thriller set in Hwaseong, site of a real-life string of serial killings from 1986 to 1991: Bluebeard (해빙) Director: Lee Soo-yeon, 2017, 117 mins Regent Street Cinema, 10 July 2017, 7:30pm Book tickets: www.regentstreetcinema.com/programme/bluebeard/ South Korea has become known for its gripping thrillers featuring […]

Read the full article →

Event news: the 4th LKFF Teaser is Han Jae-rim’s The King

by Events Editor 28 May 2017
Thumbnail image for Event news: the 4th LKFF Teaser is Han Jae-rim’s The King

After the gentle comedy that was Queen of Walking, it looks like the tempo will be picked up with the fourth LKFF teaser screening. Shame that it clashes with the conversation with Mike Breen about his new book… The King (더 킹) Director: Han Jae-rim (2016, 134 mins) Starring: Cho In-sung, Jung Woo-sung, Bae Seong-woo, […]

Read the full article →

Baek Seung-hwa’s Queen of Walking is the 3rd LKFF Teaser

by Events Editor 30 April 2017
Thumbnail image for Baek Seung-hwa’s Queen of Walking is the 3rd LKFF Teaser

The LKFF Teasers this year are showing the wide range of film genres in contemporary Korean cinema. This month, a comedy. Queen of Walking (걷기왕) Director: Baek Seung-Hwa Cast: Shim Eun-Kyung, Park Joo-Hee 2016, 93 mins 7pm, Monday 22 May, Regent Street Cinema | Book here Hailed as one of the funniest Korean comedies of […]

Read the full article →

Event news: Lee Eon-hee’s Missing is the 2nd LKFF Teaser

by Events Editor 30 March 2017
Thumbnail image for Event news: Lee Eon-hee’s Missing is the 2nd LKFF Teaser

Lee Eon-hee’s Missing is the second LKFF Teaser screening this year. Paul Quinn is enthusastic. Missing (미씽: 사라진 여자) 10 April 2017, 6:30pm Picturehouse Central Book tickets UK Premiere Director E Oni’s stylish thriller utilises powerful performances from her lead actresses to address a variety of topical issues affecting two women at very different ends […]

Read the full article →