Eun-Hee Kim – Ddakjung Bulre AKA Beetles (2009)

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Screened at the Seoul Independent Film Festival, the 2008 Korean indie Beetles is the first feature film from director Kim Eun Hee. Blurring the boundary between dream and reality, fiction and documentary, this unconventional narrative art film integrates ecological footage, medical documentary, and a non-linear story to form a meditation on fear of death and coping with life. The director defies the traditional filmmaking format to present a strange but uniquely cerebral and affecting picture. Continue reading

Kun-jae Jang – Han yeo-reum-ui pan-ta-ji-a AKA A Midsummer’s Fantasia (2014)

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Split into two parts, shot in black and white, the opening chapter First Love, Yoshiko follows a Korean director (Lim Hyung-kook) who is scouting for locations for his next film in the Japanese rural town of Gojo, and is joined by his assistant director Mijung (Kim Sae-byuk) who interprets for him. There he meets the locals including an elderly lady and a civil servant (Ryo Iwase) who helps him tour the area. The second part, Well of Sakura, captured in colour, is inspired by a story told in the opening chapter of a romance between a Korean woman and a local man. Mijung is now an actress while the civil servant is a persimmon farmer as they walk around the town and learn about each other. Continue reading

Sang-soo Hong – Ji-geum-eun-mat-go-geu-ddae-neun-teul-li-da AKA Right Now, Wrong Then (2015)

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The delightful new film from Festival favourite Hong Sang-soo (In Another Country) presents two variations on a potentially fateful romantic encounter between a filmmaker and a painter, tracing each to its own very distinct outcome.

The latest film from Festival favourite Hong Sang-soo pursues the always-alluring possibility of love down two very different paths. In Right Now, Wrong Then, Hong presents two variations on a potentially fateful encounter between a filmmaker and an artist, tracing each to its own very distinct outcome. Continue reading

Ki-duk Kim – Shilje sanghwang AKA Real Fiction (2000)

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An unstable artist (Ju Jin-mo) is sent over the edge during a walk in the park when a woman with a video camera (Kim Jin-ah) begins following him. Flying into a murderous rage, the artist begins running loose through the city, leaving dead bodies in his wake, until he winds up back in the park where he began. Director Kim Hi-duk shot this feature in “real time,” during less than four hours in one afternoon, using an armada of 20 film and video cameras set up in different locations; significantly, the film ends with the film running out in the cameras set in the park. Kim Hi-duk then edited his footage down to a compact 86 minutes. Continue reading

Ki-duk Kim – Samaria AKA Samaritan Girl (2004)

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Jae-Young is an amateur prostitute who sleeps with men while her best friend Yeo-Jin “manages” her, fixing dates, taking care of the money and making sure the coast is clear. When Jae-Young falls in love with one of those man she suppresses her feelings towards him in respect of her friend who’s jealous. One Day Yeo-Jin fails in doing her job overlooking police officers looking for under-aged prostitutes. In order to not get caught Jae-Young jumps out of a window almost killing herself. On her deathbed, she wishes to see the man again whom she fell in love with and turned away from. But the man only agrees if Yeo-Jin sleeps with him. She does but as they arrive in the hospital Jae-Young is already dead. Trying to understand her best friend, Yeo-Jin tracks down every man she slept with and does the same. As her father learns about this he gets on revenge with fatal consequences… Continue reading