South Korea

Yoon-ki Lee – Saranghanda, saranghaji anneunda AKA Come Rain, Come Shine (2011)

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Synopsis

Quote:
Seoul, the present day. Yeong-shin (Im Su-jeong), who works for a publishing company, has been married to architect Hwang Ji-seok (Hyeon Bin) for five years. One Thursday, while he is driving her to the airport for a two-day business trip to Japan, she tells she him she is leaving him for another man. Ji-seok reacts in a muted way, not even asking her who the other man is. Some time later, on the day the other man — photographer Kim Seong-hun (Ha Jung-woo) — is due to pick her up with her things, Yeong-shin and Ji-seok find themselves closeted together in the house as the rain pours down outside from a hurricane that has been causing havoc in the region. And then Ji-seok finds a stray kitten crying on the patio outside. Read More »

Ki-duk Kim – Hwal AKA The Bow (2005)

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Plot:
A sixty and something year old captain has been raising for ten years a girl since she was six in his old fishing vessel that is permanently anchored offshore with the intention of marrying her on her seventeenth birthday. He survives bringing fishermen to fish in the vessel and predicting the future using his bow and shooting arrows in a Buddhist painting on the hull of the vessel while the girl moves back and forth in a swing. He also uses the bow and arrows to protect the girl against sexual assault of the fishermen. They live happily until the day that a teenage student comes to the ship and the girl feels attracted for him. When the teenager discovers that the girl was abducted when she was six and does not know the world, he returns to the vessel to bring the girl back to her parents. Read More »

Ki-young Kim – Hanyo AKA The Housemaid (1960)

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Review
In 2003, Jean-Michel Frodon, editor-in-chief of Cahiers du cinéma, wrote that the discovery of The Housemaid by the West, over forty years after the film’s debut, was a “marvelous feeling– marvelous not just because one finds in writer-director Kim Ki-young a truly extraordinary image maker, but in his film such an utterly unpredictable work.”
Comparing the director to Luis Buñuel, Frodon wrote Kim is “capable of probing deep into the human mind, its desires and impulses, while paying sarcastic attention to the details…” He called The Housemaid “shocking”, noting that “…the shocking nature of the film is both disturbing and pleasurable…” Frodon pointed out that The Housemaid was only one early major film in the director’s career, and that Kim Ki-young would continue “running wild through obsessions and rebellion” with his films for decades to come. Read More »

Chang-dong Lee – Bakha satang AKA Peppermint Candy (1999)

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Quote:
Screenwriter turned director Lee Chang-dong, who scripted the acclaimed A Single Spark, creates this tale of personal evolution and national history. Told backwards, the film opens in the spring of 1999 where a family outing is spoiled by a raggedy old man, Yeong-ho, who threatens to throw himself in front of a train. Rewind to three days earlier, Yeong-ho is seen buying a gun to off himself. Recently ruined by bad stock deals, terrorized by loan sharks, and dumped by his adulterous wife, Yeong-ho is a typical victim of the Asian financial meltdown. He pays his dying ex-girlfriend a visit in the hospital and, though she is unconscious, he gives her the same peppermint candy that she used to send him. Rewind further to the summer of 1994, Yeong-ho hires a detective to tail his philandering wife, though he is involved with a pretty office assistant. Rewind to 1987, which reveals Heong-ho as a thuggish policeman known for dispensing horrific amounts of brutality. This film was a critical favorite at the 1999 Pusan Film Festival. Read More »

Sang-soo Im – Hanyo AKA The Housemaid (2010)

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Award-winning actress Jeon Do Yeon stars as poor divorcee Eun Yi, who gladly signs on to work as a nanny and housemaid for a wealthy, upper-crust family. In her naive eyes, the rich and handsome Hoon (Lee Jung Jae, Typhoon), his pregnant wife Hae Ra (Seo Woo, Paju), and adorable daughter (Ahn Seo Hyun) make the picture-perfect family. But that myth is soon shattered when the domineering Hoon finds his way to her bed. Their torrid affair upsets the balance of the household, unleashing a cruel power struggle as Hae Ra, her mother (Park Ji Young), and the head housekeeper (Yoon Yeo Jung) all answer with their own calculated measures. Read More »

Yong-sik Yu – Anakiseuteu Anarchists aka The Anarchists (2000)

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Plot Outline: A groups of Korean anarchists in 1920s China are determined to overthrow the military and government. Read More »

Su-jin Lee – Jeogui sagwa AKA Enemy’s Apple (2007)

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On a hot summer day in a blind alley, a police officer and a laborer, both who have fallen behind from their units, are confronting each other. What they are wearing represents their status and makes them mutual enemies. Read More »