2018 BIFF Review: 밤빛(night light, South Korea, 2018)

Year: 2018
Country: South Korea
Language: Korean
Director: Kim Mooyoung
Screenplay: Kim Mooyoung
Cinematography: Kim Boram
Cast: Song Jae-Ryong, Ji Daehan, Jung Ahmi, Kangyong-Gu
Runtime: 110 min
Trailer: N/a

Seen at the 2018 Busan International Film Festival, which I had the fortune to attend with a filmmaker’s festival pass. Belately, I will be posting reviews of some the twenty-something films I watched.

Kim Mooyong’s night light is a wondrous and contemplative film in which Hee-tae (Song Jae-Ryong), a terminally ill and long-divorced man, meets his pre-teen son Min-sang for the first time as the boy comes to spend a few days with his father somewhere in the countryside. However, it is not just the ‘countryside’ as Hee-tae literally lives in a hut in the mountains, with no electricity, phone signal (unless you make an arduous climb to another mountain’s peak) or any other modern day conveniences. Continue reading “2018 BIFF Review: 밤빛(night light, South Korea, 2018)”

LKFF & K-Animation Season Review: 메밀 꽃 필 무렵, 운수좋은 날, 그리고 봄봄 (Memilggot Pil Mulyeob, Woonsoo Joheun Nal, Geurigo Bombom/The Road Called Life) and Some Reflections on the Slump in Korean Animation


Year: 2013
South Korea
Language: Korean
Director: Ahn Jae-hun, Han Hye-jin
Producer:  Lee Sang-Wook
Studio: Studio Meditation with a Pencil
Adaptation from: Yi Hyo-seok’s 메밀꽃 필 무렵 (Buckwheat Season); Kim Yu-jeong’s 그리고 봄봄 (Spring, Spring) and Hyeon Jin-geon’s 운수 좋은 날 (A Lucky Day)
Screenplay: Ahn Jae-hun
Art Direction: N/a
Animation Direction: N/a
Soundscore: N/a
Cast: Eom Sang-hyun, Jang Kwang, Ryoo Hyeon-kyeong, Park Young-jae, Lee Jong-hyeok, Jeon Hye-yeong, Kang Eun-tak
Runtime: 90 min
Distribution: N/a
Film’s official website: N/a


This film is part of the K-Animation Season at Otherwhere. Seen at the 9th London Korean Film Festival. Special thanks to the KCCUK for providing me with a press ticket.

In 2011 Ahn Jae-hun and Han Hye-jin released their first feature-length animation, 소중한 날의 꿈 (Soljonghang Naluiggoom/Green Days), after eleven years of hard work. While it failed spectacularly at the box office, the reviews were largely positive, adding yet another work to the recently more active list of Korean animations. With The Road Called Life the team returned to making shorts, offering up an omnibus of three parts (each around 30 minutes long), all adapted from well-known traditional Korean tales set in different eras (1920s, 1940s and 1960s respectively). Continue reading “LKFF & K-Animation Season Review: 메밀 꽃 필 무렵, 운수좋은 날, 그리고 봄봄 (Memilggot Pil Mulyeob, Woonsoo Joheun Nal, Geurigo Bombom/The Road Called Life) and Some Reflections on the Slump in Korean Animation”

Review: Usagi Yojimbo at the Southwark Playhouse

usagi yojimbo

Year: 2014
Language: English
Director: Amy Draper (@amyrosedraper)
Adaptation from: 
Sakai Stan’s long-running manga「兎用心棒」 (Usagi Yōjinbō)
Script: Stewart Melton (@stewmelton)
Design: Ele Slade (@EleSladeDesign)
Lighting design: Joshua Pharo
Projection design:
Nina Dunn (@nina_pixelpixie)
Sound designer: Max Pappenheim (@max_j_p)
Casting director: Annie Rowe (@AnnieRoweCasts)
Fight director: Ronin Traynor (@RoninTraynor)
Soundscore: Hirota Joji (@JojiHirota)
Cast: Amy Ip (@amyip), Kuroda Haruka (@kurodaharuka), Siu Hun Li (@siuhunli) Jonathan Raggett (@JonathanRaggett), Tabuchi Dai
Runtime: 95 min (no intermission)
Official website: None for the play but Usagi Yojimbo (website for the manga) and Facebook page (manga)


Seen at Southwark Playhouse (@swkplay) in London on December 13, 2014. The play runs from November 28, 2014 until January 4, 2015. Details and ticket booking here. Suitable for ages 8+.

Note: All Usagi Yojimbo photos taken from the manga’s Facebook page (no photographer credited).

When I posted my first review on Otherwhere back in 2011, I never really thought about where blogging might take me. Three years on, there have been new-found Asian film fan friends (in London and elsewhere), plenty of screeners, invites ge previews, film festivals and even interviews, as well as the opportunity to do a photoshoot for GIGAN magazine a few months back with several London-based Japanese actors – one of whom was Tabuchi Dai. I have been following Dai’s work ever since and was instantly intrigued when, a few days back, he started posting images on his Facebook page from a play he was involved in: Usagi Yojimbo at the Southwark Playhouse. So off to the theatre I went.

Continue reading “Review: Usagi Yojimbo at the Southwark Playhouse”

Review:「夢と狂気の王国」(Yume to Kyoki no Okoku/Kingdom of Dreams and Madness)

ghibli docu

Year: 2013
Language: Japanese
Director: Sunada Mami
Screenplay: Sunada Mami
Cinematography: Sunada Mami
Soundscore: Takagi Masakatsu
Cast: Miyazaki Hayao, Suzuki Toshio, Hideaki Anno
Runtime: 118 min
Distribution: GKIDS (North America), StudioCanal (UK)
Film’s official website: N/a


This piece was originally written as a guest review for easternKicks. It comes as part of easternKicks’s coverage of the San Diego Asian Film Festival, with SDAFF providing access to an online screener (thank you!). In the UK, the documentary will be available on DVD from StudioCanal on December 1, 2014. In the US, it will be released by GKIDS in select cinemas on November 28, 2014 and available for digital download on December 9, 2014.

Given that it has been nearly thirty years since Studio Ghibli, Japan’s probably most famous and, internationally speaking, most successful animation studio, was founded in June 1985, it comes as somewhat of a surprise that there has to date been no feature-length documentary on it. Continue reading “Review:「夢と狂気の王国」(Yume to Kyoki no Okoku/Kingdom of Dreams and Madness)”

LKFF Group Interview with Ahn Sung-ki and Q&A Photos from 화장 (Hwayang/Revivre) Closing Night Gala


This interview was originally posted on Hangul Celluloid and is republished here with permission (Note: original Korean film titles have been added). All the hard work of transcribing the interview was done by Hangul Celluloid. The photos (from the interview and the Closing Night Gala Q&A) are my own. Special thanks to the KCCUK for organising this interview. Continue reading “LKFF Group Interview with Ahn Sung-ki and Q&A Photos from 화장 (Hwayang/Revivre) Closing Night Gala”