Ha Jung-woo

Somehow, I managed to miss last year’s fantasy blockbuster Along with the Gods. I didn’t spot that it got a brief UK release until it was too late, and the movie didn’t make to any of the UK festivals to my knowledge. I didn’t even read any reviews. But it registered in my brain as […]

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Along with the Gods: Last 49 Days gets UK release

by Events Editor 11 August 2018
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The London East Asia Film Festival presents a special screening of the biggest box office hit in Korea, Along With The Gods: The Last 49 Days as a UK premiere. The pre-fest screening will be presenting a double bill of Along With The Gods – Part 1 and 2. Along with the Gods: The Last […]

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Review: 1987 – When the Day Comes

by Philip Gowman 18 June 2018
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1987: When the Day Comes is one of those movies which could not have been made a couple of years ago. It would have got the director and its all-star cast included on the infamous blacklist of suspected lefties who would not get government support in future. And to have the director of this film […]

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UK Premiere screening: 1987: When the Day Comes

by Events Editor 7 June 2018
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After Save the Green Planet (2003), one of my own favourites from that decade, director Jang Joon-hwan took a long break. I’m afraid I missed his second feature, Hwayi: A Monster Boy (2013), something that I’m going to have to rectify, because his third film, coming to the Picturehouse Central this month, has been getting […]

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Brief review: Park Chan-wook’s Handmaiden

by Philip Gowman 9 October 2016
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I’ll leave others to do the detailed review of Park Chan-wook’s Handmaiden (아가씨), which screened at the London Film Festival this week and which will return later in the month at the London East Asia Film Festival. Suffice it to say that it’s gorgeous-looking, both in terms of costume and interiors, great story-telling and totally […]

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Event news: Cyrano Agency and Fasten Your Seatbelt are October’s screenings at the KCC

by Events Editor 28 September 2016
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The two final screenings at the KCC before we get to the London Korean Film Festival bring to an end the season of movies which look at Korean humour. Cyrano Agency (시라노;연애조작단) Director: Kim Hyeon-seok, 2010, 117 mins Cast: Uhm Tae-woong, Lee Min-jung, Park Shin-hye, Daniel Choi 13 Oct 16 7:00 pm Named after the well-known French drama Cyrano […]

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Film review: Tunnel – will it be a hit outside Korea?

by Philip Gowman 4 September 2016
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Tunnel (dir: Kim Sung-hoon, whose Hard Day put him on the map) has been topping the Korean box office since it was released less than four weeks ago, and amazingly now has a one-week release in the UK, until 8 September. What has contributed to its popularity in Korea? And could it attain the same […]

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Festival Film Reviews: the four Korean films at the BFI London Film Fest 2015

by Philip Gowman 17 October 2015
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It was a very pleasing selection of Korean films at the BFI London Film Festival this year. And for the first time that I can remember, I managed to get to all of them. Here are the verdicts.   The Assassination 암살, Dir Choi Dong-hoon, 2015. With a fantastic ensemble cast, including Jeon Ji-hyun as […]

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The Unforgiven: a fleetingly interesting but ultimately dull debut for Yoon Jong-bin

by Philip Gowman 10 October 2013
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The Unforgiven represents two hours of my life that I shall never get back. Two hours, but it felt like more. After an hour I was looking at my watch, wondering where the film was headed. And then, like Achilles and the tortoise, the remaining period of the film was divided in two, and at […]

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The Berlin File – so slick it’s really rather dull

by Philip Gowman 17 July 2013
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A plot which involves a dodgy international arms deal, a secret multibillion dollar bank account belonging to the extended family of Kim Jong-il and a power struggle in the wake of Kim Jong-un’s succession. A list of characters which includes operatives from the CIA, Mossad, and both North and South Korean security agencies, plus would-be […]

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Year of the Four Actors – the schedule

by Events Editor 12 January 2013
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After 2012’s Year of the 12 Directors, 2013 brings Year of the 4 Actors, with 24 films and three Q&As featuring Moon So-ri, Jeon Do-yeon, Choi Min-sik and Ha Jung-woo. Here’s the schedule: Date Title Director Moon Sori 17 January The President’s Barber Lim Chan-sang 31 January A Good Lawyer’s Wife Im Sang-soo 14 February […]

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Festival Film Review: Blood, Sweat, Tears and Laughter – ‘Yellow Sea’ has it all

by Matthew Jackson 22 November 2011
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While on a visit to Korea, I once asked a wise, old-looking Korean how he would describe the spirit of the Korean people. My friend who was interpreting answered the question instead, to my initial annoyance, giving the answer ‘Fun’, which I found doubly disappointing given its apparent banality. Several years on, I am beginning […]

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Catch Na Hong-jin’s Chaser while you can!

by Saharial 24 September 2008
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Saharial advises you to go see The Chaser on the big screen while you can. I was delighted when I discovered, at long last, a Korean film showing again in a city centre cinema, something that seems very rare these days. The basic story that I knew before I went in, was that it concerned […]

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