“David Bordwell” wrote:
Warnings about gay sadomasochism to the contrary, this doesn’t offer much you can’t see in Warhol or Waters. What it does provide is three shots. The first, nearly 45 minutes long, provides virtually a one-act play about a motel tryst between a businessman and his teenage lover. The second shot shifts us to an anonymous sexual encounter that is admittedly fairly off-putting, but handled with the mix of casual framing and off-kilter suspense we find in, again, Warhol. The very last shot is very brief and puts the other two into a new context. Continue reading
Newcomer director Im Chansang’s debut “The President’s Barber” vividly depicts, sometimes comically and sometimes seriously, the sociopolitical vicissitudes from the perspectives of a barber and his cute son during the most turbulent period of modern Korea between the 1960s and the 1970s. During these two decades, any remark made by the President was often a law in and of itself. The difference is that the main hero here, who is narrow-minded and unsophisticated, lives near the President’s mansion – Cheong Wa Dae (formerly called Gyeong Mu Dae) in Hyoja-dong in central Seoul. Like his fellow citizens of those times, Seong Hanmo the barber (played by veteran actor Song Gangho) is far from the world of politics, yet he is deeply affected by them. Seong watches everything from illegal electioneering under President Syngman Rhee to the assassination of President Park Chung Hee in 1979. In his personal life, Seong wheedles his assistant Kim Minja (Mun Sori) to marry him. Minja delivers a baby, ironically, on April 19th of 1960, just when the historical students’ uprising for democracy breaks out. Seong’s barbershop, “Hyoja Ibal-gwan,” becomes prosperous after the May 16 military coup d’etat led by General Park Chung Hee. The reason is simple: the newly launched military government ordered every middle and high school student to have their hair cut short. Continue reading
It’s been fifteen years since the apparent murder of a young child. Detective Chang-Ho (played by Kim Sang-kyeong) discovers something astonishing at an emotionally charged location- a place only known by himself, the child’s mother, and the the girl’s kidnapper. With this, a race quickly begins to try and apprehend the criminal before the statute of limitations run out. Continue reading
Sunhi (Jung Yu-Mi) graduated from college, majoring in film. In order to ask about a recommendation letter from Professor Choi (Kim Sang-Jung) to study in the US, she visits her university after a long time. Sunhi expects Professor Choi to give her a good recommendation letter because he likes her. She also meets two other men she knew: Moon-Soo (Lee Sun-Kyun), who just became a film director, and Jae-Hak (Jung Jae-Young), who is a well established film director. Continue reading
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 Continue reading
A semi-documentary concerning the violent lives of delinquent teenagers in Seoul, Bad Movie (나쁜 영화 – Nappeun yeonghwa) aka Timeless, Bottomless Bad Movie is an award-winning 1997 South Korean film directed by Jang Sun-woo. Continue reading
A woman catches her husband cheating and in a fit rage brings a knife into his bedroom, slips under the covers and tries to castrate him. He awakes and thwarts her impetuous plot but still wracked with anger she then visits her teenage son’s room and dismembers him instead.
The above plays out over mere minutes but to say any more about the events that unfold would only dilute its impact. Safe to say, things only get worse and more bizarre as the film’s protagonists are pushed to delirious extremes. It’s not exactly a restaging of the Oedipal Complex (though some of its elements are evident) but it does borrow a lot from Greek tragedy, though it’s a bit more extreme than what you would find in the Classics.