The London Korean Film Festival starts next week. The programme has been out for a little while already, so I’m running a little late with this post – fortunately, it’s still just in time. As always, the programme is diverse as can be, with animation, horror, thrillers, rom-coms (and more) all featuring. Most films are recent releases, but a few older ones are on the programme too – most of those as part of mini-seasons (e.g. a Kim Ki-duk season).
The festival managed to snag a number of particularly high profile guests this year, including A-list actors Kang Dong-won and Jung Woo-sung. Yes, Kang Dong-won and Jung Woo-sung! K-pop fans will also be delighted to hear that Donghae and Eunhyuk of Super Junior are stopping by (though I am not sure if any tickets for that special event are still left).
Note: Most films screen in a London only, although a handful goes on tour, showing in Hebden Bridge (wherever that is – someone enlighten me!), Aberystwyth and Norwich (a rather random choice of cities?).
- Opening Gala: 군도 (Kundo/Kundo: Age of the Rampant, 2014) + Q & A with director Yoon Jong-bin , actor Kang Dong-won and producer Han Jae-duk
Kang Dong-won is coming to town for this one. Kang Dong-won is coming town. Have I mentioned that Kang Dong-won is coming to town? He plays a total baddie in Kundo, by the way – can’t wait!
- 피에타 (Pieta/Pieta, 2012) – Dir. by Kim Ki-duk.
Pieta is one of several Kim Ki-duk films that will be playing at the festival. There were rumour for a while that the director was going to attend one of the screening, but it seems this is not going to happen after all. As with pretty much all Kim Ki-duk films, watch at your own risk. I confess, I’m too much a sensible soul for most of them.
- 도희야 (Doheeya/A Girl at My Door, 2014) + Q & A with director Jung July, producer Lee Jun-dong and BIFF＇s programmer Nam Dong-chul
I recently saw Doheeya at the London Film Festival. I have had no chance to review it yet, but I would certainly recommend it – as seems to be consensus among the critics as well. Bae Doona has earned some awards for her performance already and Kim Sae-ron (the oldest of the Ron sisters) is one of Korea’s child stars to keep an eye on.
- 화이 (Hwayi: Gwimuleul Samkin Ahyi/Hwayi: A Monster Boy, 2013) + Q & A with producer Lee Jun-dong. – Dir. by Jang Joon-Hwan.
Apparently the story falls a bit apart at the end, but Yeo Jin-Goo has received plenty of praise for his performance in Hwayi.
- 자유의 언덕 (Jayuui Eondeok/Hill of Freedom, 2014) – Dir. by Hong Sang-soo.
Jayuui Eondeok recently screened at the London Film Festival. Read my REVIEW.
- 한공주 (Han Gong-ju/Hang Gon-ju, 2013) + Q & A with BIFF＇s programmer Nam Dong-chulLee Sujin
This particular indie has had some rave reviews and it’s on the top of my must-watch list for the festival.
- 시 (Shi/Poetry, 2010) + Q & A with producer Lee Jun-dong. Dir. by Lee Chang-dong.
Shi – about a woman, in the early stages of Alzheimer, who begins writing poetry – is from 2010. I haven’t seen it, but I do know that it received a lot of praise. The only reason I won’t be watching it at the festival is that it has actually been released on DVD and my preference at festivals is always for the films that I might otherwise never get a chance to see.
- 산다 (Sanda/Alive, 2014) – Dir. by Park Jung-bum.
- 인간중독 (Inganjoongdok/Obsessed, 2014) – Dir. by Kim Dae-woo.
- 남자가 사랑할 때 (Namjaga Saranghal Ddae/Man in Love, 2014) – Dir. by Han Dong-wook.
Hwang Jung-Min stars in this one. I have only seen him in a couple of films – 여자, 정혜 (Yeoja, Jeonghye/This Charming Girl) and 와이키키 브라더스 (Waikiki Beuradeoseu/Waikiki Brothers) – and I find him quite wonderful. He has this way of delivering often very quiet, subtle performances.
- 표적 (Pyojeok/The Target, 2014) Dir. by Chang.
- 끝까지 간다 (Kkeutkkaji Ganda/A Hard Day, 2014) – Dir. by Kim Seong-hun.
This thriller recently screened at the London Film Festival. I did not see it, but some of my fellow London K-film friends did and apparently enjoyed it. Lee Sun-Kyun is in the lead, which can’t be a bad thing.
- 미장센 단편 1 (Mis-en-scene Shorts 1)
- 미장센 단편 2 (Mise-en-scene Shorts 2)
- 미장센 단편 3 (Mise-en-scene Shorts 3)
Three screenings of shorts, all different directors. No trailers available.
- 10분 (10 Pun/10 Minutes, 2014) + Introduction by BIFF＇s programmer Nam Dong-chul – Dir. by Lee Seung-yong.
- 일대일 (Ildaeil/One on One, 2014) + Introduction by Anton Bitel. Dir. by Kim Ki-duk.
Kim Ki-duk’s latest. Not for the faint of heart. I have read some mixed reviews too.
- 파스카 (Paseuka/Pascha, 2014) – Dir. by Ahn Seon-kyoung.
- 우리 이웃 이야기 (Uri iju iyeogi/Neighbors) – Dir. by Shin Sojeong, Son Tae Gyum & Kim Heejin.
No trailer or further details.
- 내 머리 속의 지우개 (Nae Meorisokui Jiwoogae/Moment to Remember, 2004) – Dir. by Lee Jae-han.
- 만신 (Manshin/Manshin, 2014) + Q & A with director Park Chan-kyong.
- 사이비 (Saibi/The Fake, 2014) – Dir. by Yeon Sang-ho.
The director of 돼지의 왕 (Daegieui wang/The King of Pigs) is back with a new animated feature – one that sounds just as bleak as his debut. Sadly, the KCC has scheduled all animations in the afternoon, so I can’t make this screening. Boohoo.
- 고진감래 (Bitter, Sweet, Seoul, 2014) + Q & A with director Park Chan-kyong.
Apparently this film was pieced together from thousands of submissions of video material from Seoulites – I guess a sort of colourful portrait of the sweet and bitter that this city can be.
- 악어 (Ago/Crocodile, 1996) – Dir. by Kim Ki-duk.
- 서울의 지붕밑 (Seoul-ui jibungmit/Under the Sky of Seoul, 1961) + Introduction by Dr. Mark Morris. – Dir. by Lee Hyung-pyo.
- 메밀 꽃 필 무렵, 운수좋은, 날 그리고 봄봄 (Memilggot, Woonsoo Joheunnal, Geurigo Bombom/The Road called Life, 2014) – Dir. by Ahn Jae-hun Han Hye-jin.
An animation from the team that brought us 소중한 날의 꿈 (Soljonghang Naluiggoom/Green Days). Another afternoon screening, but fortunately, this one fits into my schedule!
- 족구왕 (Jokgu Wang/The King of Jokgu, 2014) – Dir. by Woo Moon-gi.
- 무사 (Musa/The Warrior, 2001) – Dir. by Kim Sung-su.
- 야간 비행 (Yaganbihaeng/Night Flight, 2014) – Dir. by Leesong Hee-il.
- 난 미용사가 아니야 (Nan Miyongsaga Aniya/I Am Not a Hairdresser), 무림 (Murim/There Is No Forest), 얼굴들 (Alguldeul/Faces), 귀머거리와 바람 (Deaf and Wind) – Dir. by Lee Hyung-suk, Kim Na-kyung, Kim Minjun and Hwang Kyu-il respectively.
- 해무 (Haemoo/Haemoo, 2014) – Dir. by Shim Sung-bo.
Donghae & Eunhyuk (Super Junior) Concert + The Youth (레디 액션 청춘) + Q & A with Super Junior (Donghae, Eunhyuk)Kim Jin-moo Park Ga-hee Ju Seong-su Jeong Won-sik
- 경주 (Gyeongju/Geyongju, 2014) – Dir. by Zhang Lu.
- 하이힐 (Haiheel/Man on High Heels, 2013) – Dir. by Jang Jin.
Well, for those of you who are watching the currently airing atrocious Korean remake of Nodame Cantabile and want to see more of the actor that plays Il-rac, Gyung-Pyo has a role (not lead) in this film. The synopsis actually sounds intriguing: it’s about a (male) detective that wants to be a woman, as well as about mysterious woman that helps two other men.
- 뫼비우스 (Moebius/Moebius, 2013) – Dir. by Kim Ki-duk.
- 감시자들 (Gamshijadeul/Cold Eyes, 2013), plus the short 킬러앞에 노인 (Killeoapenoin/The Killer Behind, the Old Man) + Q & A with actor Jung Woo-sung. – Dir. by Jo Ui-seok and Kim Byung-seo.
- 만찬 (Manchan/The Dinner, 2014) – Dir. by Kim Dong-hyun.
- Closing Gala: 화장 (Hwajang/Revivre, 2014) + Q & A with actor Ahn Sungki. – Dir. by Im Kwon-taek.
Film number 102 of master Im Kwon-taek…
- Booking information here.
- The screening schedule, nicely and clearly presented by London Korean Links.
- The official London Korean Film Festival website.
- The wonderful Korean Cultural Centre UK is organising the event.