War of the Arrows opens with a chase. Armed men bear down upon a teenager dragging a little girl who stumbles and falls. Before they are brought down, their pursuers are taken down by their father. Given that moment of relief, they are ordered to flee before seeing their father cut down by the attacking forces. Now orphans, they find themselves at a friend of their father’s where they are fostered.
Such a tragic opening lends itself to a revenge … (read more)
From the outset, Moss, by director Kang Woo-Suk (Public Enemy, Silmido), wasn’t quite what I expected. I expected long, and yes, it was that, clocking in at 2 hours and 43 minutes from opening to closing credits. Not that I was wishing it was over half way through, of course, but a run time of 163 minutes is something that you want to know about before you buy a ticket, generally speaking.
I expected a suspense … (read more)
Screening in both Sydney and Melbourne at this year’s KOFFIA festival, Shim’s Family is a character drama with bits of ensemble comedy sticking out. Or perhaps it’s the other way around. South Korean director Jeong Yoon-Chul presents us with a darkly funny look at the chaotic life of a small family (the film’s other English title is Skeletons in the Closet), shot through with the occasional rapid shifts in mood that I’ve come to love from Korean cinema.
Yong-sun … (read more)
I saw End Of Animal last night at its first screening at this year’s Sydney Film Festival, in an almost full house. I got the feeling that nobody knew what to expect — I heard murmurs to that effect as we lined up on George Street, and the SFF writeup throws down quite a challenge:
“There’s almost nothing in contemporary cinema to compare with Jo Sung-hee’s stunning debut.”
They’re right, though. At least nothing I’ve seen. End of Animal was … (read more)
What would you do for a million dollars? Among the things I wouldn’t do is take part in a reality show – I think I’d rather eat my own toenails, or anyone else’s toenails for that matter. But unlike cranky folk like me, there’s a lot of people who’d like nothing better than to spend several weeks exposing their every breath to millions of viewers. Even when the ‘reality’ involves spending 7 days in the Australian outback, in an arduous … (read more)
A suprisingly powerful film from the director of the amusing Barking Dogs Never Bite, this film about a serial killer has the tone of Se7en but without the weirdness. More importantly, Memories of Murder has addressed the debate about integrity in police methods with the greatest effectiveness since Orson Welles made Touch of Evil. Song Kang-ho (JSA, The Foul King) is, as always, dynamite as the cop who is obsessed with this case.
Every Korean … (read more)
“Scent of Love”
- 1 grain (optional) character back-story
- 60g script, preferably used
- ½ cup of girl walking in slow-motion with musical crescendo
- 1 clove My Sassy Girl, sliced
- 1 tablespoon love triangle
- pinch of unexplained event
- 2 mins of musical interlude
- 125g tragic event
- 1 scene involving rain
- splash of happy times, followed by inevitable bad stuff
1. Combine ingredients in pan and simmer. It’s important that cooking takes place straightaway. Characters should have minimal backstory so … (read more)