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Festivals: Jeonju

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Jeonju 2015 Review: UNWANTED BROTHER Puts Onus On Characters In Familiar Setting

After nearly a decade away from the director's chair, Shim Kwang-jin returns with an unhurried take on a common tale of a lowlife manipulating those around him to pay a debt. Propped up by a few fresh spins on the...

Jeonju 2015 Review: ISLAND, An Elegiac Arthouse Mystery

A man travels to Jeju Island, planning to kill himself in his grandparents' abandoned home, in the most intriguing Korean film to grace the Jeonju International Film Festival this year. A lushly filmed and thoroughly engrossing mystery channeling local family...

Jeonju 2014 Review: Grand and Mysterious, THE AVIAN KIND Soars

A great many gems have emerged from the Korean independent scene of late, but some worry that the milieu lacks the unique voices that it used to cultivate 10 to 15 years ago. Director Shin Yeon-shick may already be on...

Jeonju 2014 Review: Meditative POHANG HARBOR Doesn't Quite Connect

In a country with so many hardships out in the open and an unspoken swell of pain swirling just beneath the surface, there needs to be a release valve for the frustrations of ordinary citizens. In Korea, that role is...

Jeonju 2013 Review: Experimental ECHO OF DRAGON Explores Myths and Emotion

When it comes to what we expect to see on screen, it's worth considering sometimes just how strict we can be. Though we demand filmmakers to be creative, our definition of originality is actually quite narrow. As the lights dim...

Jeonju 2013 Review: Lee Sang-woo's Thrilling EMERGENCY EXIT is a Poetic Gutpunch

Every year, the Jeonju International Film Festival commissions a pair of omnibus features. The longest-running and most famous of these is the Jeonju Digital Project, which has featured a number of star Asian directors over the years. The other is...

Jeonju 2013 Review: The Ethereal DEAR DOLPHIN Explores Grief and Guilt

The most anticipated film of the Jeonju International Film Festival's Korean Competition this year, Kang Ji-na's feature Dear Dolphin, was also the most polished. With its themes of love, loss and loneliness, as well as its vibrant colors, strong mise-en-scene...

Jeonju 2013 Review: Mystery Abounds in the Divisive LEBANON EMOTION

In the world of cinema, things aren't always as they seem. A film presents itself to us in a certain way, its details on screen carefully selected by its director. The new Korean film Lebanon Emotion takes a risky approach...

Jeonju 2013 Review: CHEER UP MR. LEE Could Use a Pick-Me-Up

If you watch a lot of films, it's hard not to get at least a little excited when a new film about filmmaking comes along. While not a golden recipe for surefire success, the subgenre yields a surprisingly strong crop...

Jeonju 2013 Review: Narrative Experiment DECEMBER Let Down by Weak Story

These days, in a bid to stand out from a crowded field, a lot of young filmmakers experiment with their chronologies. While there's nothing wrong with experimenting with form, it's very important to have a strong narrative before playing around...

Jeonju 2013 Review: GROGGY SUMMER Teaches Us You Can't Always Get What You Want

As viewers, sometimes we take for granted the decisions made by filmmakers that affect their works. A lot is decided in pre-production, and one particularly important element is a film's shooting style. Outside of a few highly stylized works, the...

FOXFIRE and WADJDA to Bookend 14th Jeonju Film Festival

The Jeonju International Film Festival (JIFF) will be returning for its 14th edition next month. It gets underway on April 25 with its opening film Foxfire, the new film from Laurent Canet, who was behind the 2008 Palme d'Or winner...