Chaw is an surprising little film to come out of Korea. It’s not a historical drama, nor a modern thriller, nor a huge piece of CGI-assisted melodrama like Haeundae, my last Korean film experience. It’s a proper monstrous-animal B-movie, and much of the buzz surrounding the film has compared it to Spielberg’s Jaws or the Aussie cult classic Razorback, also starring a gigantic boar. I cain’t think of another recent Korean film that’s gone for this particular genre, … (read more)
Bong Joon-Ho is one of my favourite directors, and in my opinion, one of the world’s best directors working today. His works so far have covered a wide variety of different genres, ranging from the quirky social satire Barking Dogs Never Bite, to the memorable murder mystery Memories of Murder, to the monster masterpiece The Host. What impresses me the most about this director is his ability to tell stories, regardless of their genres, so incredibly well. … (read more)
One of the best Korean gangster movies of the 2000s. Noted for the gritty, spontaneous look of its fight scenes, to me it’s also the interplay of conventional and reflexive elements that makes A Dirty Carnival stand above the excessively histrionic Friend, cute but daft jopok comedies like Marrying the Mafia and My Wife is a Gangster, the aesthetically appealing but shallow A Bittersweet Life and the largely unadventurous output of Ryu Seung-wan, among others.
Jo In-seoung, unbearably … (read more)