South Korea

Je-gyun Yun – Saekjeuk shigong aka Sex Is Zero (2002)

Eun Sik is 28 years old and has recently started school at the university. He is a member of the Cha Ryu group and practices with them daily, through painful endurance training. He meets the much younger and gorgeous Eun Hyo, for whom he holds a completely one-sided attraction. Eun Sik’s amazingly unlucky, and a host of embarrassing situations happen to him. Through all of this, him and his insanely horny group of friends help make one of the most memorable sex comedies, complete with both hilarious and somewhat dramatic moments. Read More »

Shin Su-won – Reinbou aka Rainbow (2010)

Plot / Synopsis
The fantasy musical film “Passerby #3? by Korean director Shin Su-won won the Best Asian-Middle Eastern Film Award at the 23rd Tokyo International Film Festival.

Ji-Wan is a middle-aged mother with a case of malaise and hardly any backbone to speak of. She abruptly quits her job to follow her dream of becoming a film director; she’s been working on a script for five years. Her husband thinks she’s wasting her time; her son Si-Young is ashamed of her and lets her know it at every possible moment; and the producer she’s supposed to be working with, Choi, keeps trying to make the film into a commercial blockbuster. Read More »

Ki-duk Kim – Ag-o aka Crocodile (1996)

Quote:

I often quote Kim Ki-Duk as my favourite director of all time, partly because of his prolific output (I’m glad he numbers his films, I was losing count!) and his consistently emotional style. While I absolutely adore the “new-wave” Kim Ki-Duk (3-Iron, Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter…And Spring, The Bow), I also thoroughly enjoy his earlier, grittier films (The Isle, Address Unknown). This film, his debut, is possibly the best and grittiest of the early films. In a setting that stands somewhere between urban and rural, and filled with Kim Ki-Duk’s beloved water motif, we see three misfits (a boy, the title character Crocodile and an elderly man) inexplicably living together on a platform under a bridge. Read More »

Sang-ok Shin – Cheonnyeon ho AKA A Thousand Year Old Fox (1969)

IMDB:
Once upon a time, under the reign of the three kingdoms, there was a woman who tempts a Buddhist priest named Cho. She is a one-thousand-year-old fox who intends to reincarnate as a human being. Not knowing this, Cho lives with the fox. But in the end, they get separated harboring sadness of unfulfilled love in this world.
– Written by KCCLA Read More »

Ki-duk Kim – Hae anseon aka The Coast Guard (2002)

Quote:
Perhaps the reason why this movie is getting such a bad rap is mainly a fault of its well-meaning, but still incoherent style and narrative structure. I have not read any articles on this movie or interviews with the director to know what his overt intention was, but in the end I think the movie falls short of its mark due to Kim’s perennial fixation on obsession, whether it was his intention to delve into this subject matter or not. On most levels, obsession is a largely private affair, and any exegesis of obsession enmeshed within the loaded geopolitical situation that is now Korea would require a broader vision and canvas matched with a technical command of story telling than any that Kim has been able to provide here or elsewhere. Read More »

Ki-duk Kim – Suchwiin bulmyeong AKA Address Unknown (2001)

Romances end in blood and the frail hopes of individuals are torn apart in a vile karmic continuity of colonialism…
Address Unknown (2001) is Kim Ki-Duk’s most political film so far which traces the scars left by the Korean war of the 1950s and its contemporary reverberations on a US Army base. Read More »

Ki-duk Kim – Bom yeoreum gaeul gyeoul geurigo bom AKA Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter… and Spring. (2003)

Synopsis:
From the award-winning Korean writer/director/editor Kim K-Duk comes this critifcally acclaimed and exquisitely beautiful story of a young Buddhist monk’s evolution from innocence to Love, Evil to Enlightenment and ultimately to Rebirth.

Prayer, meditation, and appreciation of nature are the sacraments by which two monks live a simple life in Korean director Kim Ki-Duk’s SPRING, SUMMER, FALL, WINTER… AND SPRING. A wise old monk (Oh Young-soo) is master to a young student, and remains so throughout the changing seasons of the younger monk’s life. In springtime the young monk is a 5-year-old boy, in summer he is a teenager, in fall he is a 30-year-old man, and in winter he is in mid-life. The master and his student live in a tranquil house that floats in the middle of a pond hidden in a vast woodland. Paddling their row boat to the edge of the pond, they roam the forest collecting herbs for medicine, observing animals, and learning deep lessons about life. Read More »