Tag Archives: Korean

Ki-duk Kim – Shi gan AKA Time (2006)

Consumed by jealousy, a woman takes an extreme step and undergoes surgery for a new face. Although her lover of 2 years misses her, he falls in love with the new face, not knowing it’s the same woman. Read More »

Sang-soo Hong – List (2011)

Plot : Over a slice of chocolate cake, a mother (Yuh Jung Youn) and daughter (Jung Yu-mi) tensely discuss the good-for-nothing relative whose money troubles have brought them to the seaside town of Mohang. For now they have nothing to do but wait, so the younger woman, Mihye, composes a list of goals for her involuntary vacation — a list which she seems to fulfill almost accidentally, as she and her mother wander, eat, drink, and meet with fate, here in the form of a clumsily flirtatious film director (Joon-Sang Yoo). Read More »

Hee-chan Ra – Bareuge salja AKA Going By The Book (2007)

A string of bank robberies sets off a public panic. In order to appease the residents of the city and fulfill his own ambitions, the newly appoints chief of police decides to hold an anti-bank robbery drill to demonstrate the effectiveness of the police. He secretly appoints a naïve traffic cop to disguise as a robber, overlooking the fact that the inflexible, by-the-book officer will go all out in accomplishing any assigned mission-even when it’s robbery. Read More »

Sang-soo Hong – Domangchin yeoja AKA The Woman Who Ran (2020)

While her husband is on a business trip, Gamhee meets three of her friends on the outskirts of Seoul. They make friendly conversation but there are different currents flowing independently of each other, both above and below the surface. Read More »

Kwangmo Lee – Areumdawoon sheejul AKA Spring in My Hometown (1998)

Director Lee Kwangmo took 10 years to complete Spring in My Hometown, a movie dealing with the Korean War period. The main plot is the life of a boy named Sungmin and his view of adults trying to continue life with what is remains after the Korean War. Rather than dealing with the historic facts of the Korean War itself, this movie depicts the emotions of the post-war generation during that time. Thus, the movie views the historic tragedy in a very contemplative, nostalgic way. The movie’s beautiful images explain why those days that everyone remembers as miserable, were in fact beautiful. Rather than a memory of the Korean War, Spring in My Hometown indirectly reflects the war through the memories of the post-war generation. Other Korean War movies opt to directly show painful experiences and suffering associated with the bloody conflict; in contrast, Spring in My Hometown shows the emotional side of this painful period through the filter of experience that is in the past. In that sense, this movie deals with history yet is not historic because the experience of the Korean War and its aftermath is still an ongoing situation. (Korean Film Archive) Read More »

Dae Hyung Lim – Merry Christmas Mr. Mo (2016)

Gi Ju-bong (Right Now Wrong Then) plays a taciturn, lonely widower with a secret or two. Mo Geum-san’s provincial life seems orderly and governed by routine: undemanding days in his small barber-shop, daily visits to the local swimming pool for his fitness, a drink and a snack on the way home and nights spent wrestling with a pillow that’s too lumpy. Mr Mo’s first secret is that he’s semi-estranged from his son, a student in Seoul; some bad news from a doctor makes him want to reconnect. His second secret is that beneath his placid and slightly dour exterior, a Chaplin-esque slapstick comedian is struggling to get out. Read More »

Woo-jin Jang – Gyeo-wul-ba-me AKA Winter’s Night (2018)

A middle-aged couple visit a temple, where they had spent their first night together thirty years previously. On their way back, the woman realises she has likely left her phone there and insists on recovering it. This begins the winter’s night, one plunged in the shared, or separate, past of what forms the heart of a couple. At the beginning of the film, the subject’s triviality is conveyed by a rather naturalistic treatment, but this only serves to subsequently produce a stronger twist and gently shift the film towards a starker viewpoint that reveals the underpinnings of love’s discourse, and its memory. The subtle undramatic acting intentionally clouds the rules of the sentimental game, never far from breaking the ice. Bodies, emotions and memories, outside the traditional patterns of attraction and repulsion, are now on an equal footing on the threshold of this winter temple-turned-stage. Read More »