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Films From Korea

Winner of the Fipresci Award at this year's Rotterdam Film Festival, [Spying Cam] once again demonstrates the incredible dynamism of contemporary independent Korean cinema. A DV feature that consists primarily of two characters in a room, it is also one of the most ambitious and original films of ... Read more
North Korea's Mass Games event is the largest choreographed spectacle in the world. Celebrated annually, it is a mind-blowing gymnastic tribute to the zealous ideology of the state and the greatness of the North's past and present leaders. An intricately choreographed display of tens of thousands ... Read more
Director Im Kwon Taek has again created a moving portrait of a Korean woman, this time in historical circumstances. ... Set in the Yi Dynasty (14th Century) Im is obviously suggesting and attempting to illuminate attitudes that still exist in Korean society. Considering recent events, the subject ... Read more
Sword in the Moon (Cheongpung Myeongweol) South KoreaA pedal-to-the-metal South Korean martial arts spectacular, Sword in the Moon injected a high dose of visceral entertainment in the Un Certain Regard section at Cannes this year with its breathtaking scenery, vivid colours and stunning climatic ... Read more
“Investigates the lonely recesses of a lucid, wounded mind and renders the astonishing portrait of a sombre heroine whose heart is as pure - and as cold - as snow.” - Toronto International Film Festival Capping off his now infamous cycle of revenge films, MIFF favourite and past guest Park ... Read 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, only to discover that he is not a suitable donor. Compounding his problem, he is sacked for ... Read more
A charming and heartfelt look at the secret lives of young women in a rapidly changing South Korea. Good looking Hae-joo dreams of becoming a successful career woman; talented outsider Ji-young yearns to study art abroad; meanwhile, rebellious Tae-hee submits to a romance that no one understands ... Read more
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 Competition in Cannes, 2005. ... This is a tale of characters whose lives come together but remain ... Read more
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 Jee-woon (The Foul King, MIFF 2001). Hollywood has already bought the remake rights, so get in early and ... Read more
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, constructing a small gallery of involving characters, terrifically played by first-timers. The ... Read more
A deliriously inventive, over the top and challenging film from youthful Korean cinema mavericks, Indiestory (see also Looking for Bruce Lee and shorts in this year's programme). ... "Of all the gob-smacking developments in Korean cinema in recent years, the arrival of this deranged feature must be ... Read more
An ingenious and sadistic murderer has left a jigsaw puzzle as a clue for the police. The problem is that the pieces in the puzzle are human body parts, and not always from the same person! All of the victims have one thing in common: the stunning, cool and enigmatic Suyeon. A sexual relationship ... Read more
There are three kinds of people in the world - men, women and actresses. ... Six ravishingly beautiful Korean movie stars make light of their professional personae in this witty, tongue-in-cheek mockumentary. ... Coming together for a Vogue Magazine photo shoot, each actress - Youn Yuh-jung ... Read more
Song Sang-Soo's Korean comedy centres around a tangled love quartet comprised of a failed novelist, a water-filter salesman, his wife and a cinema ticket-seller. Eye level direction imparts an unsettling edge to familiar urban details, thus enabling the audience to place them­selves within the ... Read more
Sungjoon, a film director who no longer makes films, goes to Seoul to meet a friend who doesn't show. ... Lonely, he wanders among old haunts and bars. Amid the random circumstance of days spent in hard drinking and encountering strangers, acquaintances, and ex-lovers, Sungjoon confronts the unseen ... Read more
On the eve of the retreat of the United Nation forces from Seoul in January 1951, following a successful Communist attack, a high army official, Colonel Lee, is shot at. The assailant turns out to be a woman singer at a concert he has just attended. Lee becomes sympathetic as he hears her ... Read more
"Blossomed azaleas on the way to school..." Young Jin-soo's teacher discovers his pupil's talent for poetry. Elated by a round of applause from his class, Jin-soo finds that not everyone in his secluded farm village appreciates his newfound gift... ... Read more
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 ... Read more
The Goggles is a poignant, sensitive film combining elements of past and present to produce a beautifully told narrative. It tells the story of Giyoung and her attempts to locate meaning in her life. Through her discovery of the parallels between swimming and her life, and her dynamic relationship ... Read more
“An operatic, sensuous social satire that dares to be different from the original classic.” - Hollywood Reporter ... Controversial Korean director Im Sang-soo (A Good Lawyer's Wife, MIFF 04; The President's Last Bang, MIFF 05) reconfigures and modernises a classic of Korean cinema into a ... Read more
“[Director Kim Ki-young is] capable of probing deep into the human mind, its desires and impulses, while paying sarcastic attention to the details.” - Cahiers du Cinéma ... Long considered a highlight of the Korean cinematic ‘Golden Age', and serving as inspiration for Im Sang-soo's 2010 ... Read more
"Hyunshik, an ex-cop in deep pain and on the lam, arrives at the end of his road, an isolated lake, dotted with floating huts, serving as a retreat for fishing and a host of sordid activities. Its beautiful but elusive proprietor, Heejin. never speaks, even when supplementing her income by ... Read more
"Hyunshik, an ex-cop in deep pain and on the lam, arrives at the end of his road, an isolated lake dotted with floating huts, serving as a retreat for fishing and a host of sordid activities. Its beautiful but elusive proprietor, Heejin, never speaks, even when supplementing her income by ... Read more
“Mightily provocative in its representation of human debasement, [Yeun Sang-ho's] satire on class inequality burns like acid.” - Hollywood Reporter ... This provocative story follows the reunion between two men who reminisce about their school days when they were downtrodden “pigs” and ... Read more
A young famiiy are out for a drive in the country, ostensibly for a picnic by the sea, but their outing begins to take on sinister overtones when they stop in some woods before reaching their destination. The climax of this award winning short from Korea is truly disturbing. ... Read more
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