Skip to main content

THE FOUL KING

South Korea, 2000 (MIFF 2001, Regional Focus)

Director: Kim Jee-woon

Dae-Ho, a timid bank clerk, is hopeless at his job. Mind you, it doesn't help that his boss is a ferocious disciplinarian who punishes staff with brutal headlocks Dae-Ho's escape comes with a decision to learn wrestling. Before long, the no-hoper becomes famed for his prowess as a skilled cheat, attacking his opponents with everything from kitchen utensils to rubber bands "I tried to create a situation that is hilarious yet still heart-breaking. I wanted to expose the ridiculous side of the world through an everyday citizen and ask which is more fabricated and violent: the foul play of the real world, or the foul play in the ring? This is the story of a man whose life is going nowhere, a loser who becomes a king when he steps into the ring."-director, Kim Jee-Woon "When he's not giggling uncontrollably or yelling in pain, Mr Song wears a Keatoneque mask of melancholy Kim stages the film's wrestling sequences with the grace and decorum of classical slapstick. The story is held together by the surprise and precision of its gags. Rather than stampede you with gags, it jabs and tickles — New York Times

See also...

BITTERSWEET LIFE, A

“Even by Korean standards of movie brutality, A Bittersweet Life raises the bar to a new level… will have genre fans nailed to their seats” - Variety ... A tour de force of noir-ish style ... More »

TALE OF TWO SISTERS, A

A Tale of Two Sisters (Janghwa, Hongryon) South KoreaBased on a Korean folk tale about an evil stepmother and her two daughters, this South Korean box-office smash is from acclaimed director Kim ... More »

BARKING DOGS NEVER BITE

An accomplished debut feature from South Korean director Bong Joon-ho. this twisted social comedy works as a dry and amusing human-interest cackle. An indolent university lecturer, scheming to bribe ... More »

VIRGIN STRIPPED BARE BY HER BACHELORS

The multi-award winning The Day a Pig Fell Into the Well and its follow-up The Power of Kangwon Province, have established Hang San-Soo as the reigning Korean poet laureate of the ins, outs and ... More »

JOINT SECURITY AREA

At a border post between North and South Korea, three soldiers are dead and the two surviving witnesses to their killing have attempted suicide. Into a potentially explosive situation steps ... More »

TEARS

Tears is a sad, funny and sexually forthright look at a group of lour underage teens in Seoul's underbelly. This second feature by Sang Soo Im doesn't fall prey to the excesses of the subject matter ... More »

Select a festival
Search The Film Archive
Browse By Director