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VOLCANO HIGH

South Korea, 2002 (MIFF 2002, Strange New Worlds)

Director: Kim Tae-kyun

In an indefinite time, alienated from past, future and present, a veiled school exists - training students in a combination of martial arts and supernatural expertise. After being expelled from eight schools for his magical powers of telekinesis, Kim Kyung-Soo finds himself at Volcano High. He soon runs into Jang Ryang, aka Dark Ox: rugby captain and chief bully. As the kids feud in the classrooms and playgrounds, the staff quarters are populated by strange occult musings, encircling a mysterious, all-powerful 'secret manuscript'. Events rapidly spiral out of control, leading to the emergency arrival of an education-ministry task force - a trio of gravity-defying heavies - and the stage is set for a no-holds-barred inter-generational showdown on the rain-soaked sports field.

In Korea's answer to The Matrix, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and even Harry Potter, larger-than-life characters, a thumping soundtrack and fast edits all take centre-stage. With state-of-the-art special effects and a stylised production design, this Korean box office smash hit shoots fast from the hip.

"Audiences in search of the latest offbeat, cultish action treat will get plenty of kicks." - Jigsaw Lounge

Prior to Volcano High, Kim Tae-kyun directed two other features: The Adventures of Mrs Park (1996) and First Kiss (1998).

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