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Festivals: Busan IFF

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Busan 2017: Women Filmmakers Bookend 22nd Edition with GLASS GARDEN and LOVE EDUCATION

The Busan International Film Festival returns on the 12th of next month with its 22nd edition, which will kick off with the world premiere of Glass Garden, the latest film from Madonna and Pluto director Shin Su-won. For the first...

Busan 2017: Devashish Makhija's Revenge Story, AJJI Gets A Tense First Trailer

The Busan International Film Festival is about a month away and with their recent lineup announcement we are starting to see lots of exciting promotional material for the upcoming films. India is very well represented in this year's Busan lineup,...

Review: THE TABLE Gathers Quartet of Superb Actresses in Elegant Drama

Kim Jong-kwan assembles some of the finest actresses working in Korea today for his delightful new drama The Table. In some ways the Korean indie cousin of Jim Jarmusch's Coffee and Cigarettes, this elegant, delicate and humorous collection of four...

Busan 2016 Review: HOTEL SALVATION Finds Rebirth in the Pursuit of Death

Daya is ready to shuffle off this mortal coil. The 77-year old patriarch of a middle class Indian family suffers from recurring nightmares. After one such episode, he bluntly declares to his family that he is ready to die. His...

BiFan 2016 Review: GRANNY'S DANCING ON THE TABLE, Beautiful and Brutal

It might seem that we have choices for our life’s direction; we can choose whom we spend tie with, who we marry, whether or not to have children, our career. But often those choices are invisible to us, impossible to...

Busan 2015 Review: TWENTY TWO, Sober But Slow Portrait Of Chinese Comfort Women

One of most sensitive topics in regional Far East Asian politics these days, Japan's use of comfort women during the wane of its colonial empire is a constant talking point on the news. Among the more sobering and least sentimental...

Busan 2015 Review: RECORDING Chronicles Charming Cast In Forgettable Story

It's the small moments that work in Recording, a story that is low on ambition but infused with a winning charm even as it drags in the scripting department, particularly in the back half. Sweet and unaffected, Park Min-kook's debut...

Busan 2015 Review: SPECIAL ANNIE Awkwardly Switches From Subject To Artist

Ten years after her feature debut What Are We Waiting For?, documentarian Kim Hyun-kung returns with an intimate film that is both a portrait of a HIV-positive New Yorker and a filmmaker uncertain of her aims. Awkwardly straddling the border...

Busan 2015 Review: BAD GUYS ALWAYS DIE Suffers A Slow Death

One of the more high profile among the many China-Korea collaborations being made these days, Bad Guys Always Die teams Taiwanese star Chen Bolin with top Korean actress Son Ye-jin in an action-comedy (leaning more towards the later) set on...

Busan 2015 Review: ALONE Winds Its Mystery Through The Backstreets Of Seoul

Four years after his experimental 3D shaman mystery Fish, Park Hong-min returns to BIFF with another singular work that offers one of the most compelling examinations of gentrification in Seoul. Alone follows a single character as he hops from one...

Busan 2015 Review: STEEL FLOWER Offers Wilted View Of Korean Youth

A year after Wild Flowers, Park Suk-young returns to the Busan International Film Festival with Steel Flower. Gritty, intimate and centering around a young girl lost in a harsh urban world, Park's latest kicks off on the same foot as...

Busan 2015 Review: REACH FOR THE SKY Goes There And Beyond

The last few BIFFs have each afforded us one great documentary (Non-Fiction Diary, Factory Complex), and 2015 proves to be no exception with the discovery of the timely Reach for the SKY, a compelling look at a common but disastrous...

Busan 2015 Review: ORDINARY PEOPLE Offers Tired Gags In Familiar Situations

Three years after his debut Over and Over Again, director Kim Byung-june returns to Busan with a much livelier effort that strives to mixes social realism and situational crime comedy. Aping the lowbrow comic efforts of Korea's commercial realm, Ordinary...

Toronto 2015 Review: COLLECTIVE INVENTION Asks The Right Questions, But Has None Of The Answers

Wrapping a raft of social issues plaguing modern Korean society into a simple allegory, Collective Invention, a quirky new comedy-drama with dashes of the same humor found in Bong Joon-ho's work, is a succinct but relatively straightforward affair. The setting...

Busan 2015: BIFF Goes The Distance With Jam-Packed 20th Edition

For its 20th edition, the Busan International Film Festival (BIFF) has cooked up something pretty special, as it is set to deliver a jam-packed lineup sure to satisfy viewers of all tastes, and then some. Opening with the vivid Indian...

Busan 2014 Review: YOU (US) ME Finds Beauty In Deplorability

Max Sobol's début directorial feature You (Us) Me is a fast paced, funny, shocking, tragic and ultimately cogent view of dysfunctional relationships at their extreme.Edward is a serial killer, stalking the dark canals and abandoned parts of London to quickly...

Busan 2014 Review: THE NIGHT Boasts Strong Cast And Clear Message

The Korean winner of this year's Sonje Award for Best Short Film at the Busan International Film Festival, The Night is a simple 35-minute tale of college friends who fall prey to the norms of Korean society. Yet by touching...

Busan 2014 Review: Peter Chan's DEAREST Devastates

Based on multiple true story accounts of child abduction in mainland China, Peter Chan's latest film Dearest is definitely not an easy watch. It follows a divorced couple in Shenzhen, the father Tian Wenjun (comedic actor Huang Bo) and mother...

Busan 2014 Review: THE TRUTH SHALL NOT SINK WITH SEWOL Invokes Tears And Outrage

The Sewol Disaster, the most significant event to rock South Korea since the IMF Crisis in 1997, gets its first big screen treatment with The Truth Shall Not Sink With Sewol, the first of what are sure to be many...

Busan 2014 Review: The Wonderfully Surreal SELF-MADE Has More Than A Few Screws Loose

Shita Geffen's Self-Made could be the strangest film I have ever seen. Part black-comedy, part surreal drama, and all feminist parable, the film follows two very different women as they inexplicably swap identities.This is vastly complicated by the locations...