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Films From South Korea

“Film festivals and cinema workshops come across as hotbeds of drunken brawls, fulsome schmoozing and adulterous sex.” - Hollywood Reporter ... In a self-reflexive jibe, filmmaker Hong Sang-soo (Woman on the Beach, MIFF 07; Night and Day, MIFF 08) skewers artistic pretensions and sends up the ... Read more
Looking For Bruce Lee is a post-millennium, spiky Korean Hard Day's Night, revolving around real-life band Crying Nut (Korea's most successful punk act) and their often futile attempts to understand the world around them. Crying Nut perform at Drug, an underground club in the lively university ... Read more
“Heralds a dark wit and sleek intelligence guided by a creatively secure humility.” - Variety ... Death, family and literature all come to the forefront but not necessarily in that order, as three seemingly unrelated guests at a funeral reveal their hidden relationships with the deceased and ... Read more
Equal parts Carrie-style supernatural thriller and seething lesbian love story, Memento Mori is a radically stylish Korean feature debut. High-schooler Min-ah happens upon a scarlet diary, a record of shared moments between schoolgirls Hyo-shin and Shi-eun. Min-ah's suspicion that there is more ... Read more
Originally created for the Jeonju International Film Festival's Digital Project, Memories is a short film triptych from three very different European directors. German Harun Farocki's Respite is an original take on the Holocaust using black and white footage of inmates at a concentration camp ... Read more
Memories of Murder (Sarineui Chueok) South KoreaOne of South Korea's box-office smashes of 2003, Memories of Murder is the latest film from acclaimed director Bong Joon-ho, who dazzled MIFF audiences in 2001 with Barking Dogs Never Bite. Part atmospheric thriller, part low-key comedy, part ... Read more
“Vertigo-style flashback and shocking revelations elevate the film beyond mere thriller into high-octane Almodovar territory.” - Screen International ... One of South Korea's most exciting filmmakers, Bong Joon-ho (The Host, MIFF 06) continues to subvert genre conventions with Mother, his take ... Read more
1375 and China is in chaos: the Ming Dynasty has seized power from the Yuan. Korea's ancient government sends a delegation of diplomats and soldiers to China to pledge peace. Ambushed and exiled to the desert to die, the delegation survivors resolve to make it back to their homeland as a matter of ... Read more
South Korean animator Lee Sung-Gang's feature debut (which recenty won the Grand Prix for Best Animated Feature at the prestigious Annecy Animation Festival) is a highly original cinematic fantasy. It has echoes of feverish childhood dreams shot through with a wide-eyed fascination with a world ... Read more
In an unknown Korean city in the near future, a desperate woman named Anna arrives in search of the rumoured 'oblivion virus', a bug with the fortunate side effect of erasing painful memories. Outbreaks of the virus are tracked and willing victims embrace blissful amnesia. ... Although relying on a ... Read more
“A rags-to-rogues crimer whose finely chiseled portraits of greed, self-preservation and depravity are buttressed by powerhouse performances.” - Variety ... Set in the 1980s around President Roh Tae-woo's war on organised crime, this epic Korean gangster movie charts a decade-long rivalry ... Read more
Natural City South KoreaA high-impact Korean sci-fi blockbuster that won the Best Special Effects prize at South Korea's Grand Bell Film Awards.It is 2080 and the Last Great War has devastated the globe. On a rebuilt earth, technology enforces law, and genetic experiments have achieved new levels ... Read more
Korean expats spend lazy days in the city of love, in the latest offering from Hong Sang-soo (Woman on the Beach, MIFF 07). ... Nominated for the Golden Bear at the 2008 Berlin International Film Festival, prolific South Korean director Hong Sang-soo's latest film tackles the peculiar existential ... Read more
Gyung-sun used to be a professional safecracker but now she is all washed up, trawling the streets as a cab driver in order to pay off her ex-husband's debts. The only thing that gets her by is the hope that one day she'll meet her estranged daughter. ... Soo-jin, nicknamed 'Sunglasses Girl', lives ... Read more
Slip into a sharkskin suit, strap on a machete and join Taeju, Jophil and 'The Infamous Ashtray' (so named for his weapon of choice) as they shoot, slash, kick and punch their way to the top of the Korean gangland food-chain. Being 'No. 1' is all that matters and when you're 'No. 3', the only way ... Read more
"The New Wave is still alive and kicking in Korea … judging by Hong Sang-soo's latest contribution." - Screen Daily ... Many MIFF-goers will be familiar with the work of Hong Sang-soo (most recently with In Another Country, MIFF 2012, and The Day He Arrives, MIFF 2011), and this latest ... Read more
Oasis won four awards at the 2002 Venice Film Festival, including Best Director and a FIPRESCI award 'for the audacity and courage of its imaginative exploration of the difficulties of communication, and for its remarkable actors.' A huge box-office success in its home country, Oasis is a film to ... Read more
Sex, lies and filmmaking. ... In Oki's Movie, Hong Sang-soo (Hahaha, MIFF 2010; Night and Day, MIFF 2009), presents a love triangle told in four chapters. The woman at the centre of the affair is Oki, a university student majoring in film and simultaneously wrestling with the romantic expectations ... Read more
Old Boy South Korea'a wild, intensely cinematic ride.' -VarietyWinner of the Cannes Grand Prix award, Old Boy is an electrifying tale of revenge from Festival favourite Park Chan-wook (Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance, MIFF 2003).'One day in 1988, an ordinary man named Oh Dae-su, who lives with his wife ... Read more
More The King of Pigs (MIFF 2012) than Finding Nemo, Padak continues the confronting impulses of recent Korean animation. ... Writer/director Lee Dae-hee spent five years crafting this exquisite and harrowing "fable for adults", centred on innocent mackerel Padak, caught in the ocean and ... Read more
A polished mystery story set in a South Korean border town about a man seeking to escape the demons of his past, and the enigmatic women entangled in it. ... They say the mist that wraps around the city of Paju is from the soldiers who fell there during the Korean War, but for Joong-shik it's a ... Read more
Orphaned by the sudden death of her father, a 10-year-old girl's bleak day-to-day existence is poignantly explored in this remarkably gentle film. Unable to put up with her harsh reality any longer she decides to escape from it. ... Read more
Winner of the Best Screenplay prize at this year's Cannes Film Festival. ... Filmmaker Lee Chang-dong (Secret Sunshine, MIFF 08; Oasis, MIFF 03) continues his tradition of razor-sharp social critique with his latest feature, a quietly haunting and thought-proking meditation on society's quick-fix ... Read more
Part screwball comedy, part social commentary, Ray Bang is both a great deal of fun and a warm meditation on the hopes and dreams of a trio of deadbeat cab drivers. Hak-Rak contends with a wife nagging him to work longer and harder. Joon-Hyung, a balding former accountant, salts away his taxi ... Read more
Kim's most experimental film to date, Real Fiction was shot in just 200 minutes with eight 35mm cameras, ten digital cameras and twelve sequence directors. It's title, translated literally from Korean as 'state of reality', is as much a tongue-in-cheek contrivance as an allusion to the reality of ... Read more
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