LKFF Review: 화이: 괴물을 삼킨 아이 (Hwayi: Gwimuleul Samkin Ahyi/Hwayi: A Monster Boy) and Q&A

hwayi 6 Year: 2013
Country: South Korea
Language: Korean
Director:  Jang Joon-Hwan
Producer: Lee Jung-dong
Studio: 
Showbox/Mediaplex
Screenplay: Park Joo-suk
Cinematography:  Kim Ji-Yong
Soundscore: Mowg
Cast: Kim Yun-Seok, Yeo Jin-Goo, Lee Kyoung-Young, Jang Hyun-Sung, Cho Jin-Woong, Kim Sung-Kyun, Nam Ji-Hyun
Runtime: 125 min
Distribution: N/a
Film’s official website: N/a
Trailer: (Please note that the trailer reveals quite a lot of the plot – you may want to skip it.)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6EODuG-0Y9E

Seen at the 9th London Korean Film Festival. Special thanks go to the LKFF organisers for providing me with a press ticket.

Hwayi, an Oedipal action thriller that falls neatly into its genre as well as into Korean cinema (of the darker kind) more generally, comes as the long-awaited return of director Jang Joon-hwan, who last made a featurelength film in 2003 (지구를 지켜라!/Jigureul Jikyeora!/Save the Green Planet, 2003).

Continue reading “LKFF Review: 화이: 괴물을 삼킨 아이 (Hwayi: Gwimuleul Samkin Ahyi/Hwayi: A Monster Boy) and Q&A”

LKFF Opening Gala 군도: 민란의 시대 (Kundo: Age of Rampant) – Photos, Q&A and Other Musings

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Shadowplay.

Note: These images were also posted on the London Asian Film Society’s Facebook page.

Opening Gala

Thursday night was the opening gala for the 9th London Korean Film Festival, which will be screening 55 films over the next few weeks (London dates: Nov 6-15). The opening film was Yoon Jong-bin’s 군도: 민란의 시대 (Kundo: Minranui Sidae/Kundo: Age of Rampant, 2013), with the director, lead actor Kang Dong-won and producer Han Jae-duk all in attendance. Continue reading “LKFF Opening Gala 군도: 민란의 시대 (Kundo: Age of Rampant) – Photos, Q&A and Other Musings”

LFF Review: 우리별 일호와 얼룩소 (Wooribyeol Ilhowa Eolrukso/Satellite Girl and Milk Cow)

satellite girl 2 Year: 2013
Country: South Korea
Language: Korean
Director: Jang Hyung-yoon (sometimes written Chang Hyung-yun)
Studio:
Nowornever
Screenplay: Jang Hyung-yoon
Art Direction: N/A
Animation Direction:
N/A
Soundscore: Black Magic
Cast: Yeong Yu-mi, Yoo Ah-in, Lee Don-yong, Hwang Seok-jeong
Runtime: 81 min
Distribution: Indiestory Inc.
Film’s official website: http://www.milkcow2014.kr/ (in Korean)
Trailer: 

Seen at the 2014 London Film Festival. This review is part of the K-Animation Season on Otherwhere. Other than two festival screenings, the film has not been released in the UK although it will be shown at the Leeds International Film Festival on November 7 and 10, 2014. A Region A Blu-ray disc with English subtitles is however available from Yesasia.com.

It rather seems that every year there is yet one or another Korean director that we have barely or not at all heard from before that has his/her feature-length animation debut, only then to seemingly disappear forever again. This year (well, last year, if you want to be technical) it is Jang Hyung-yoon that brings an animated tale alive on our screens for the first time.

Continue reading “LFF Review: 우리별 일호와 얼룩소 (Wooribyeol Ilhowa Eolrukso/Satellite Girl and Milk Cow)”

LFF Review: 자유의 언덕 (Jayuui Eondeok/Hill of Freedom)

hilloffreedom 11

Year: 2014
Country:
South Korea
Language: English, some Korean
Director: Hong Sang-soo
Screenplay: Hong Sang-soo
Cinematography: Park Hongyeol
Sound: Kim Mir
Music: Jeong Yongjin
Cast: Kase Ryo, Moon So-ri, Youn Yuh-Jung, Kim Eui-Sung, Jung Eun-Chae, Seo Young-Hwa
Runtime: 66 min
Distribution: N/a
Film’s official website: N/a

Trailer: 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jtv9t2wQCAo

Seen at the 2014 London Film Festival. Note: If you have seen the film and can’t make sense of it, I have added some further thoughts (marked as spoilers) after the image gallery.

For the sixteenth feature-length film in someone’s career, Hong Sang-soo’s Jayuui Eondeok feels surprisingly raw: it comes with a fragmented, non-chronological narrative that clearly has a few pieces missing, a camera with a conspicuously amateurish zoom and naturalistic dialogue composed of lengthy and often quite awkward utterances that normally are polished away, if not in the scripting, then certainly in the editing stage of the film making process. These are all, I am told, the director’s typical tricks (I am a Hong Sang-soo novice). Continue reading “LFF Review: 자유의 언덕 (Jayuui Eondeok/Hill of Freedom)”

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"”