London Korean Links

Covering things Korean in London and beyond since 2006

A look back at some of the films of 2018

A wide variety of genres was presented to the London audience this year, from the return of the romantic melodrama (Be With You) to big budget fantasy (Along with the Gods). We also saw #MeToo beginning to have an impact, not just in the themes of movies such as Land of Seonghye and Testimony but … [Read More]

Festival Film Review: The Return

I was as delighted as I was surprised when I saw that the London Korean Film Festival had selected The Return for its closing gala screening. The huge numbers of overseas adoptions from Korea is often a sidelined subject and understandably wouldn’t be a natural choice when showcasing Korean culture and arts. But the 2018 … [Read More]

Festival Film Review: Microhabitat

Miso just about gets by, living in a cockroach-infested room, earning just enough to pay the rent by taking low-paid cleaning jobs. She has to budget carefully, and can just afford a couple of her little indulgences: smoking cigarettes (preferably foreign brands), and frequenting whisky bars for a drop of single malt on the way … [Read More]

Festival mini movie review: Love+Sling

A sporting rom-com involving a love triangle whose vertices are a well-meaning but over controlling single father (Yoo Hae-jin, 1987); his dutiful son (Kim Min-jae) who is obliging his father by training hard in the skill of greco-Roman wrestling; and the pretty girl next door (Lee Sung-kyung), who inconveniently and inexplicably fancies the father rather … [Read More]

Festival film review: This Charming Girl

Lee Yoon-ki (이윤기) This Charming Girl (여자, 정혜, 2004, 99 mins). Review by Robert Cottingham. You know how people talk about reality TV, even though there is nothing ‘real’ about it? Well, if you wanted to see actual reality, the sheer day-to-day mundane-ness of the average person’s life, then this film is the closest you … [Read More]

A quiet look at the LKFF’s 2018 programme

The London Korean Film Festival returns for its 13th edition next month with a slightly quieter tone than in some previous years. And there’s nothing wrong with that. It’s as if the organisers are saying that, as the festival enters its teenage years, the audience is becoming grown-up enough not to require a diet of … [Read More]

Another World We Are Making: a look at LKFF’s focus on Kim Dong-won

Almost inexplicably, when compared with previous documentary screenings, the KCC’s mini festival of Korean documentaries, spread over two weekends, was over-subscribed, with latecomers for one session needing to sit on the floor. The decision to break out the documentary strand from the main London Korean Film Festival has probably been vindicated, and the strategy of … [Read More]

Final LKFF Teaser: A Tiger in Winter

So glad we’re getting to see another Lee Kwang-guk movie in London. I really enjoyed the focus on his movies back in the 2015 festival. This final LKFF 2018 teaser screening gives the opportunity for the official launch of the 2018 festival programme. The main festival runs 1 – 14 November 2018. A Tiger in … [Read More]

LKFF Teaser #5: Gonjiam – Haunted Asylum

The last LKFF teaser screening of the summer dovetails nicely with Frightfest (which this year occurs 23-27 August): the found footage horror movie Gonjiam by director Jeong Beom-sik, who also brought us the horror movie Epitaph (2007). Note that the London screening is at a later time than usual. Gonjiam: Haunted Asylum (곤지암) Director: Jeong … [Read More]

An introduction to the LKFF summer documentary fortnight

I’m glad the KCC is spreading out the goodness of the London Korean Film Festival throughout the year. That first week or so in November gets far too congested with all the competing strands of the festival (with additional competition from LEAFF and the K-music festival). So to have the high-quality teasers earlier in the … [Read More]

Documentary fortnight day 4: Jung Il-woo, My Friend

The final day of the London Korean Film Festival Summer Documentary Fortnight. All events free. Jung Il-woo, My Friend (내 친구 정일우) Director: Kim Dong-won (2017, 85 mins) 19 August 2018 3:00 pm @KCCUK | Book tickets Kim Dong-won’s most recent film to date is a heartfelt tribute to Father Jung Il-woo, a North-American Jesuit … [Read More]

Documentary fortnight day 3: Soseongri

Day 3 of the London Korean Film Festival Summer Documentary Fortnight. All events free. Soseongri (소성리) Director: Park Bae-il (2017, 87 mins) 18 August 2018 3:00 pm @KCCUK | Book tickets Soseongri is the portrayal of a community of senior citizens whose way of life is threatened when the decision is made to place the … [Read More]