Korea tagged posts

Train to Busan

train-to-busan-posterDirector: Yeon Sang-ho

Writer: Yeon Sang-ho

Cast: Gong Yoo, Kim Soo-an, Ma Dong-seok, Jeong Yu-mi, Choi Woo-sik, Ahn So-hee, Kim Eui-sung

Cert: 15

Running time: 118mins

Year: 2016

What’s the story: Seok-woo and his estranged daughter Soo-an take the KTX fast train from Seoul to Busan and soon discover they must fight for their lives during a zombie outbreak.


What’s the verdict: It is not as scary as the British rail service when a single flake of snow falls from the sky. But, Yeon Sang-ho’s Train to Busan joins such locomotive nailbiters as Runaway Train, The Taking of Pelham 123 and Horror Express as a first class example of how to keep excitement and tension on the right track.

A zombie film by way of a disaster movie, main characters are efficiently set up while the undead apo...

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The Handmaiden

the-handmaiden-posterDirector: Park Chan-wook

Writers: Park Chan-wook, Chung Seo kyung, Sarah Waters (novel)

Cast: Kim Min-hee, Kim Tae-ri, Ha Jung-woo, Jo Jin-woong

Cert: 18

Running time: 144mins

Year: 2016


What’s the story: In 1930s Korea, when the country was under Japanese rule, a pickpocket posing as a handmaiden schemes with a local conman to rob a Japanese noblewoman of her fortune.


What’s the verdict: Since making an impression on the global stage with the military thriller JSA back in 2000, South Korean director Park Chan-wook has become one of the most audacious and exciting directors on the scene.

A Park Chan-wook movie is not watched, but experienced. The films are playful, dark, violent, shocking...

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Must-See Films at the 2016 BFI London Film Festival


When writing preview features for the London Film Festival it’s difficult to resist the numbers. Those big numbers representing how many films will show over the 12 day festival, how many countries are featured, how many cinemas films are hosting films. And crucially, which numbers in the calendar you should be blocking out.

That last one’s easy – Wednesday 5th to Sunday 16th October.

But, there is one figure this year of paramount importance. 60.

In 2016 the BFI London Film Festival marks its 60th anniversary. Maintaining the original brief of being a “festival of festivals” the LFF continues to bring to the UK movies which have wowed audiences at other festivals that year.

The opening film way back in 1957 was Akira Kurosawa’s masterpiece Throne of Blood...

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A Girl At My Door

A-Girl-At-My-Door---posterDirector: July Jung

Writer: July Jung

Cast: Doona Bae, Kim Sae-ron, Song Sae-byeok

Cert: 18

Running time: 119mins

Year: 2014

Original title: Doheeya

The lowdown: July Jung’s debut movie is a good example of the powerful, satisfying melodrama Korean cinema can do so well. Wachowski muse Doona Bae is Young-Nam, a Seoul police chief banished to small coastal town and its small-minded residents. Soon she finds herself the reluctant protector of Do-hee, a teenage girl terrorised by her abusive father and grandmother. Captivating and tragic, with Bae deservedly winning Best Actress at the Asian Film Awards for her nuanced portrayal of a flawed, conflicted woman.


The full verdict: One of the best films of the past ten years is Lee Chang-dong’s Palme D’or nominated Secret Sunshine...

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Boomerang Family Cast and Director Interview

Boomerang Family - poster, Park Hae-il, Yun Je-munThe 2013 London Korean Film Festival boasted a broad range of movies old and new, but in time honoured tradition arguably saved the best for last.

Boomerang Family closed the London stage of the festival, before a select number of movies then tour the country. And a fine choice to showcase how exciting the country’s cinema can be.

Revolving around a sixty-something woman and her dysfunctional brood, Boomerang Family is a family drama, slapstick comedy and crime thriller in one deliciously spicy package.

We caught up with movie’s writer and director Song Hae-sung and stars Yoon Yeo-jeong and Yun Je-mun, who play the mother and one of her son’s respectively, to talk about the film.

Electric Shadows: Could you give me one word to describe Boomerang Family?

Song Hae-sung: Boomerang Fam...

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Kim Jee-woon Interview at the London Korean Film Festival

Kim Jee-woonKorean director Kim Jee-woon may not be a household name in this country, but chances are you may have come across his excellent tale of the supernatural A Tale of Two Sisters and you’ll definitely have heard of his Arnold Schwarzenegger action movie The Last Stand.

A suspense filmmaker in the same league as David Fincher or Brian De Palma, Kim Jee-woon’s movies peer into the darker corners of the human mind to stunning effect.

Kim Jee-woon - I Saw The Devil posterHis 2010 film I Saw the Devil is a serial killer classic in waiting, while The Good, The Bad, The Weird is an action movie with brains as well as brawn.

Kim is also a director who flits between feature films and short movies, and on 9th November presented four of his shorts to great acclaim at the London Korean Film Festival.

We caught up with him to discuss sho...

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The Flu

The Flu - Ae Su, Jang, Park Min-ah, posterDirector: Kim Sung-su

Cast: Ae Su, Jang Hyuk, Park Min-ah

Cert: 15

Running time: 122mins

Year: 2013

The lowdown: Korean pandemic thriller in the style of Outbreak that ladles on the de rigueur (mortis) apocalyptic imagery, but also finds room for romcom antics and a liberal glazing of melodrama. A disaster movie evoking the cheesy charms of The Towering Inferno or The Poseidon Adventure, this crams in enough excitement to satisfy those looking for an easy thriller, although the gushing sentiment might make this Flu too sickly for some.

The Flu - Ae SuThe Flu - Jang Sung, Park Min-ah

The full verdict: Cramming in enough disaster to make the most fraught season of 24 resemble a lazy Sunday with the papers, The Flu cannot be accused of shortchanging the audience.

But, a little more restraint would have provided greater focus for this blu...

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London Korean Film Festival 2013

London Korean Film Festival - poster Those mourning the end of the London Film Festival take heart in the news that the London Korean Film Festival begins this week.

Kicking off on Thursday 7th November, it runs until Friday 15th with almost 30 films showcasing the best in Korean cinema past and present.

Over the past 8 years the LKFF has established itself as a must-see event not just for fans of world cinema but for movie lovers in general, with a host of talent on hand to discuss the importance of the country’s cinema.

Excitingly diverse, the range can be seen in the opening and closing gala movies. Opening the festival is the European premiere of Huh Jung’s directorial debut, Hide and Seek...

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