Tag Archives: Korean

Chang-dong Lee – Bakha satang AKA Peppermint Candy [4K Restoration] (1999)

Shown in reverse chronological order, Peppermint Candy is the tale of a solitary man’s painful growth in life set against the back drop of nearly three decades of Korean history. A distraught and weathered man, Yong-ho stands on the rails of a train track staring oncoming death in the face. Through divided sequences we retrace the steps that brought him to this place and this state of mind. From his failed marriage and unsuccessful career, to his first love and his traumatizing experience in the army, we are shown all of the elements that went into the psychological demise of a broken man. Read More »

Chang-dong Lee – Shi AKA Poetry (2010)

Mija lives with her middle-schooler grandson in a small suburban city located along the Han River. She is a dandy old lady who likes to dress up in flower-decorated hats and fashionable outfits, but she is also an unpredictable character with an inquisitive mind. By chance she takes a poetry class at a neighborhood cultural center and is challenged to write a poem for the first time in her life. Her quest for poetic inspiration begins with observing the everyday life she never intentional took notice of before to find beauty within it. And with this, Mija is delightfully surprised with newfound trepidation as if she were a little girl discovering things for the first time in her life. But when she is suddenly faced with a reality harsh beyond her imagination, she realises perhaps life is not as beautiful as she had thought it is… Read More »

Hae-jun Lee – Kimssi pyoryugi AKA Castaway on the Moon (2009)

Quote:
A man named KIM jumps into the dark, quiet waters of the Han River. He wakes up and finds himself lying on strange ground, covered with sand. For a second, he thinks he is in heaven, but soon recognizes that he simply drifted to a nameless island in the river. In one of the riverside apartment buildings, there’s a girl who hasn’t ventured out of her room for years. With her dishevelled hair and in the same old clothes she’s worn for years, she looks just like a castaway. Then one day, she catches sight of a man living alone on an island through her binoculars. Day after day, his lonely but seemingly contented life triggers her curiosity and compels her to step out of her room after so many years. KIM’s extraordinary life becomes the inspiration for change in this girl’s lonely, detached life. Read More »

Hong-jin Na – Chugyeokja AKA The Chaser (2008)

Quote:
Possessed of the same bloody fatalism that pulses through many a Korean crimer, and topped by Kim Yoon-suk’s star-making performance as a lowlife racing to save a woman’s life, “The Chaser” is a grisly serial-killer thriller that develops into a howl of outrage at the ineptitude of the system. Drawing both white-knuckle tension and moral anguish from a maddening succession of red herrings and wrong turns, Na Hong-jin’s The Chaser (Chugyeogja) “tells the story of a detective turned pimp who finds himself in trouble when several of his girls disappear without paying him.” The film was released in its native South Korea in February and was a good-sized hit. Read More »

Ki-duk Kim – Hwal AKA The Bow (2005)

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 »

Sang-soo Hong – Book chon bang hyang AKA The Day He Arrives (2011)

Quote:
Shot in murky black and white, Hong’s film traverses an open-air spectrum of repeating nuances, locations, and dialogue in charming ways. The small groups of characters, including mildly famous film director Sungjoon (Yu Jun-sang), who’s visiting an old friend in Seoul, graze on the coincidences and human fallibilities defining their overlapping mental quirks. Together, they’re like lost sheep roaming the urban academic landscape for a shepherd. Read More »

Sang-soo Hong – Geuk jang jeon AKA Tale of Cinema (2005)

Quote:
In Seoul, the paths of two men and one woman intersect and move apart from one another, centering around their love for cinema. A suicidal student meets a young woman who decides to follow him in his fatal gesture. Coming out of a cinema, Tongsu, an unsuccessful filmmaker, spots a beautiful young woman, and recognizes her : she is the main actress in the film he has just seen. The life of this wavering and distressed young man strangely echoes the one of the young man from the beginning… Read More »