Eastern Kicks Asks: "The Film that Started It All"

crouching tiger
Childhood memories & global success story: Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.

Recently Andrew Heskins of Eastern Kicks asked a number of critics, film bloggers and friends about “the film that started it all” – i.e. their passion for Asian cinema:

It might not have been the first Asian film you saw, or even the best, but was there one that stood out? That light bulb moment when you realised how much you loved Asian movies and had to write/talk/blog/podcast about it?

Continue reading “Eastern Kicks Asks: "The Film that Started It All"”

Review: 와이키키 브라더스 (Waikiki Beuradeoseu/Waikiki Brothers)

waikiki brothers 5

Year: 2001
Country: 
South Korea
Language: Korean
Director: Lim Soon-rye
Screenplay: Lim Soon-rye
Cinematography: Choi Jee-Yul
Soundscore: N/a
Cast: Lee Eol, Park Won-sang, Hwang Jung-min, Oh Gwang-rok, Ryoo Seung-bum, Oh Ji-hye, Park Hae-il, Kim Jong-eon, Jeong Dae-yong, Moon Hye-won
Runtime: 109 min

Trailer (in Korean):

Seen at the Korean Cultural Centre (KCCUK) during the Lim Soon-rye (임순례) month of KCCUK’s Korean Film Night programme “2012: Year of the 12 Directors”.

Waikiki Beuradeoseu begins, somewhat aimlessly, with a band of musicians, middle-aged and in a sort of midlife crisis. The four members of the Waikiki Brothers play songs they don’t like at events and places (small weddings, third-rate clubs) where they do not wish to be. The gigs are underpaid, barely allowing them to scrape by, and audiences could not care less about the group performing on the stage. It is far from the dream that the (original) Brothers had in mind twenty, thirty years ago when they first screamed their voices hoarse at school assemblies, trying to impress teenage girls. Continue reading “Review: 와이키키 브라더스 (Waikiki Beuradeoseu/Waikiki Brothers)”

Not Quite Final Thoughts on the Year of 12 Directors

Year of 12 Directors collage

The Korean Cultural Centre in London (aka the KCCUK) gave Korean cinephiles a special treat in 2012 with the Year of 12 Directors: one Korean director for every month of the year, four screenings (most of them free) for each filmmaker, with a bonus for the final session: a Q&A event with the director of that month flown in straight from South Korea.

Now that the Year of 12 Directors is over, it’s time to reflect. Continue reading “Not Quite Final Thoughts on the Year of 12 Directors”

Review: 무적자 (Moojeokja/A Better Tomorrow)

better tomorrow 3

Year: 2010
Country:
South Korea/Japan/China
Language: Korean
Director: Song Hae-seong
Remake of:
 John Woo’s 英雄本色 (Yīngxióng běnsè/A Better Tomorrow, Hong Kong, 1986)
Screenplay: Kim Hyo-Seok, Choi Keun-Mo, Lee Taek-Kyung, Kim Hae-Gon
Cinematography: Kang Seung-Ki
Soundscore: Lee Jae-jin
Cast: Joo Jin-Mo, Song Seung-Heon, Kim Kang-Woo, Jo Han-Seon
Runtime: 124 min

Trailer:

Seen at the Korean Cultural Centre (KCCUK) during the Song Hae-seong (송해성) month of KCCUK’s Korean Film Night programme “2012: Year of the 12 Directors”.

There is one particular problem with Moojeokja, a remake of John Woo’s 英雄本色  (Yīngxióng běnsè/A Better Tomorrow, Hong Kong, 1986): it is an action film made by a director that is in reality only interested in sentimental melodramas. Continue reading “Review: 무적자 (Moojeokja/A Better Tomorrow)”

K-Directors: Lim Soon-rye (임순례) Month at the KCCUK in December

It’s the final month of the KCCUK‘s Year of 12 Directors (and, yes, it’s already more than half-gone-by). I don’t really want to believe it either, for one because it means 2012 is nearly over but also because what in the world will we be doing on Thursday evenings starting from January on? I’m hoping the KCCUK will still organise some film screenings, but I’m guessing it won’t be quite as many as this year.

As for December: It’s Lim Soon-rye (임순례, sometimes also romanised as Yim or even Im Soon-rye) who is the final director of the year, and she’s also the only woman in the line-up – a reflection of that female directors in South Korea are still rather limited in number.* Continue reading “K-Directors: Lim Soon-rye (임순례) Month at the KCCUK in December”