Blog Archives

The Admiral: Roaring Currents (2014)

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The Admiral: Roaring Currents is screening at this year’s Korean Film Festival in Australia. See the KOFFIA website for more details!

For me, not being Korean, it is hard to get behind Korean nationalism. Period piece war movies like The Admiral have this nationalistic intent, meant to inspire pride whilst reminding us of the sacrifice made by those who’ve died in history — as an almost direct connection to our present selves.  Being able to empathise with the characters plays … (read more)

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New World (2013)

Without a doubt, South Korea’s crime thrillers rank amongst the best in world cinema. And New World is the latest proof supporting that claim. This box office hit from 2013 boasts a rock solid cast that includes some of the hottest male stars from South Korea today: Lee Jung Jae (The Thieves), Choi Min Sik (Oldboy) and Hwang Jung Min (The Unjust).

New World tells the story of the struggles amongst and between the … (read more)

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I Saw the Devil (2010)

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Director Kim Jee-woon and Lee Byung-hun are turning into Korea’s own Scorsese and De Niro. After flopping around the industry for a while and getting notice on and off for his interesting, if uneven, films (The Quiet Family, The Foul King), international audiences sat up and took note of Kim’s segment in the horror anthology Three. A year later A Tale of Two Sisters (2003) really made a splash. Imperfect though it was, Sisters had a … (read more)

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The Quiet Family (1998)

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Squeamish about corpses? Want to do something about it? Well, watch The Quiet Family and you’ll see enough to cure you for life. Either that or you’ll lock yourself in your bedroom and refuse to come out.

The genre is black comedy, and it is really quite black. If you can’t laugh at Mother, Father, Uncle, and Son trundling a pair of suicide-pact lovers into the woods in wheelbarrows, then I suggest you steer clear. If you’re revolted at the … (read more)

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Chihwaseon (2002)

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Chihwaseon is major-league arthouse painted up like a travelogue. The story of a famous painter, set against the backdrop of political upheaval in Korea that also echoes turbulence worldwide, sometimes slides into the background because of the breathtaking scenery.

For a truly heavyweight arthouse flick, it’s surprisingly watchable. Its credibility was demonstrated when it won the Prix De La Mise En Scene at Cannes, although it lacks the dreary quality of many arthouse films. A fair amount of arthouse often … (read more)

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