Festival Film Review: Dark Figure of Crime

In a standard police procedural about a serial killer, a detective – maybe a bit of a loner, often with a drink problem – goes from crime scene to crime scene, from victim to victim, trying to fit together the pieces of the jigsaw that will eventually lead to the murderer, before the next crime […]

Festival Film Review: Ode to My Father

The time is the present. Yoon Deok-su, a grandfather living in Busan but born in South Hamgyong province in North Korea, looks back at his life of hardship which has coincided exactly with the life of the Republic of Korea. Surrounded by his grandchildren, he has managed to raise his family from nothing to relative prosperity, […]

LKFF 2014: the conversations

The London Korean Film Festival is not just about getting acquainted with the latest in Korean movies. It is also an opportunity to meet some of the people behind those movies – actors, directors and producers. Opportunities for engaging with these film professionals vary: for an ever-growing group of aficionados there is the offer of round-table […]

Festival Film Review: Hwajang / Revivre

Well, I was right. Ahn Sung-ki confessed in the Q+A which followed the screening of Hwajang that one of his most difficult tasks in portraying Oh Sang-moo, a senior executive in a cosmetics company, was to project certain aspects of being old – of being blocked inside because of the swollen prostate, of being more […]

Im Kwon-taek: In search of perfection

As the 2014 Asian Games in Incheon approach, LKL is finally spurred to write up some archive notes of interviews and Q&A’s with the director of their Opening Ceremony… “Why are you torturing me?” was Im Kwon-taek’s heartfelt cry when attending a screening of one of his films from the 1960s at a 70-film retrospective […]

I can’t believe he asked her that

The context was this. It was the Q&A after the 4 April screening at BAFTA of Hong Sang-soo’s Hahaha, attended by the lead actress Moon So-ri, the first featured actor of the KCC’s Year of the Four Actors. Tony Rayns was talking to Moon So-ri about how she got her first screen role. Moon started […]

LKFF Festival Bites: Film Students are Softies

We’d just seen Jang Jin’s contribution to the Human Rights Watch short film collection If You Were Me 2: Someone Grateful (고마운 사람). In it, a student demonstrator is befriended by his police interrogator in the KCIA’s underground torture chambers in the 1980s. It’s a provocative short, because instead of railing against police brutality and […]

Mysterious Creature: Jang Jin at the London Korean Film Festival

Director Jang Jin is sometimes referred to as “The Future of Korean Cinema” but also as a “Mysterious Creature”. Nyomi Anderson tells us more. This year’s London Korean Film Festival featured a retrospective of the films of writer-director Jang Jin. Jang began his career in theatre before making his first film was The Happenings, which […]