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)”
Country: China Language: Mandarin Director: Vicki Zhao
Studio: Multiple involved, including China Film Group
Adaptation from: 2007 novel of the same title by Xin Yiwu Screenplay: Li Qiang Cinematography: Li Ran Soundscore: Dou Peng Cast: Mark Chao, Han Geng, Yang Zishan, Jiang Shuying Runtime: 132 minutes Distribution: China Film Group Film’s official website: N/a
Seen at the 2013 London Film Festival at a screening with a director’s Q&A. Previously featured in Trailer Weekly #75. Trailer:
In the opening scene of《致我们终将逝去的青春》(Zhì wǒmen zhōng jiāng shìqù de qīngchūn/To Our Youth That Is Fading Away aka So Young) the heroine, Zheng Wei (Yang Zishan), finds herself in a lush fantasy world, populated by fairy tale creatures both good and bad, only to awaken and find it was all a terrible dream. No more than a few minutes long, this opening reveals much of what is wrong with Zhì wǒmen zhōng jiāng shìqù de qīngchū, for as luxuriantly beautiful that dream world is – the scene must have cost a good chunk of the film’s 30 million yuan (US$5 million) budget – it is also completely irrelevant, for nothing that happens is of any importance for the story that follows. Continue reading “LFF Review:《致我们终将逝去的青春》(Zhì wǒmen zhōng jiāng shìqù de qīngchūn/To Our Youth That Is Fading Away aka So Young)”
This review is part of the K-Animation Season on Otherwhere. These shorts screened as part of the Puchan International Fantastic Film Festival this year. A special 감사합니다 goes to the Korean Film Council and the directors for granting access via Kobiz’s online Festival Screenings option.
The Puchon International Fantastic Film Festival (PiFan) has made it its mission to screen films from “marginalized genres” (quote from PiFan website), showcasing in particular works that fall outside the popular cinematic realm of comedy, drama and action. On the programme this year were some fantastic shorts, two of which were made available online (restricted access only).
Shorts, animated but also otherwise, are a strange thing: they differ from feature-length productions and certainly within animation often exist to explore the artistic medium rather than to narrate a story or entertain. The average viewer might find them pointless, but at the same time shorts can raise interesting questions about conventions, both in terms of what is made (and how) and what we watch. With an animation industry that is simply not known outside national borders and has no full-fledged identity like the world of Japanese anime does, yeonghwa manhwa shorts are seeds of potential that give a glimpse of Korean animation could be. Continue reading “K-Animation Review: PiFan Yeonghwa Manhwa Shorts”
Country: South Korea Language: Korean Director: Byeon Yeong-joo (변영주)
Adaptation from: Miyube Miyaki’s novel「火車」 (Kasha, 1992, translated into English as All She Was Worth in 1999) Screenplay: Byeon Yeong-joo (변영주) Cinematography: Kim Dong-Young Soundscore: Kim Hong-jip Cast: Lee Sun-gyun, Kim Min-hee, Kim Min-jae Runtime: 117 min Trailer:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lYxLwXNcdkw Seen at the film’s UK premiere at the 56th BFI London International Film Festival. Hwacha is, in essence, a longer, prettier version of CSI Seoul: it is a feature-length film with striking cinematography from the opening shots on but with a story we have been told in some form before, most likely while watching a crime television series. Continue reading “Review: 화차 (Hwacha/Helpless)”