Skip to main content

LOW LIFE

Korea, 2004 (MIFF 2005, Regional Focus)

Director: Im Kwon-taek

LOW LIFE
[Low Life] is the staggering 99th feature of Korean cinema master Im Kwon-taek, in which he continues to put traditional Korean culture at the heart of his aesthetic enterprise. The visually splendid [Low Life] is set in one of the most turbulent times of Korea's recent past, from the time of the Freedom Party's decline in the late 1950s to the rise of oppressive military reform in the early 70s. The film traces the life of Choi Tae-woong (Cho Seung-woo), a man gifted with pummelling fists and an ambition to make a life for himself through these tough times of change. Choi is inducted into gang life at an early age, and is engaged by a powerful man as a 'problem-solver'. When the military coup disposes of organised crime, Choi turns to film, but his failure as a producer leads him back into the world of crime. But through all its mercilessness, some truly poignant and intimate moments - such as when he meets his wife - lend elegance and softness to the toughness of this depiction of South Korean society. [Low Life] featured in competition at Venice Film Festival, 2004.
D/S Im Kwon-taek P Lee Tae-won WS Cinema Service L Korean w/English subtitles TD 35mm/col/2004/99mins Im Kwon-taek was born in Chang-sung, South Korea, in 1936. His films include [The Deserted Widow] (1973), [Chang] (1997), [Chihwaseon] (2002).

See also...

spider forest

Rooted in the substance of nightmares but playing out like a murder mystery, [Spider Forest] is a chilling, surrealist exploration of memory and guilt. ... Min has lost his wife in a plane crash - a ... More »

3-IRON

The mesmerising 3-Iron, which won him the Best Director Award at the Venice Film Festival, again proves Kim Ki-duk deserves his reputation as one of the world's leading outsider filmmakers ... More »

tale of cinema

Hong Sangsoo epitomises a distinctive thread in the current generation of brilliant Korean filmmakers. His [Tale of Cinema] is an intelligent and quietly provocative film, which screened in Official ... More »

CRYING FIST

Down on his luck and desperate, Gang Tae-shik ([Choi Min-sik; Old Boy], MIFF 04) is doing it hard on the streets. He's lost the respect of his son, and his wife has thrown him out of home. Now the ... More »

NOWHERE TO HIDE

A wild, hyperkinetic demonstration of style, Nowhere to Hide is a propulsive action comedy that cites almost every genre and then comes back for more. If John Woo mounted an assault on MTV he might ... More »

RUNNING ON KARMA

Running on Karma (Dai Chek Lo) Hong Kong/ChinaWinner of three Hong Kong Film Awards, including Best Picture, and Best Actor for superstar Andy Lau (Infernal Affairs, MIFF 2003), Running on Karma is ... More »

Select a festival
Search The Film Archive
Browse By Director