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South Korea, 2002 (MIFF 2002, Regional Focus)

Director: Im Kwon-Taek

"Sharing this year's Best Director prize at Cannes, veteran Korean filmmaker Im Kwon-Taek has crafted a stirring, poetic portrait of the creative process as personified by Ohwon, an eminent late-nineteenth century Korean painter. A colourful individual with a healthy appetite for living, Ohwon, at least in temperament, was something of the Pollock of his time. Born in 1843, toward the end of the Chosun Dynasty, Ohwon would later earn the nickname of 'Drunken Painting Immortal', given his taste for wine and women - both of which he maintained were indispensable as far as producing great works of art were concerned." - Hollywood Reporter

"Grounded by a vigorous, physical performance from Choi Min-Sik, who brings both earthiness and grandeur to the central role, the film vividly evokes the world of an obsessive natural talent who lived and worked in a sometimes violent and repressive era. There's a complete fascination in watching as the artist attacks his canvases... Director-co-writer Im Kwon-Taek uses rich colours and vibrant sound to recreate the world of a man who was a law unto himself." - Variety

Im Kwon-Taek (born in Changsong, Cheollanam-do, Korea, 1936) grew up in the southern city of Kwangiu and later moved to Pusan in search of work. After completing his first film in 1962, Farewell to the Duman River, he has made close to a hundred films.

See also...


Korea's master director Im Kwon-Taek has over 100 features to his name including the highlight of last years AFI Korean season, Sopyonje. The wisdom of experience shows in his steady handling of the ... More »


A mega-budget Korean, sci-fi thrill-ride, Yesterday takes its influences from Blade Runner and The Matrix via James Cameron's Dark Angel TV series and Silence of the Lambs. A malevolent ... More »


Dae-shik, a once celebrated mountaineer, is the leader of a ramshackle group of homeless people. One morning he discovers, sprawled on the pavement, Suk-Won, an ex-financier who has been kicked out ... More »


Ryu is a hearing-impared factory worker who spends his spare time with his younger sister and offbeat girlfriend. When his sister becomes dangerously ill, Ryu decides to offer her one of his kidneys ... More »


Out-of-work actor Gyung-soo flees to a popular country town to visit a former schoolmate, now writer, Seong-wu. Soon upon arrival, he has a brief, intense fling with a dance instructor Myung-sook ... More »


Asian cinema specialist Tony Raynes described Resurrection of the Little Match Girl as 2002's best martial arts fantasy from South Korea—his runner up was last year's MIFF smash Volcano High ... More »

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