Busan 2017 Review: AFTER MY DEATH Breathlessly Ponders High School Suicide

The New Currents competition gets a jolt of energy with Kim Ui-seok's livewire debut After My Death. Much like fellow competition title Last Child, the grief and guilt surrounding a high schooler's death also forms the crux of this film,...

Busan 2017 Review: MICROHABITAT, a Poignant and Lively Debut

Perhaps the most impressive Korean debut at Busan this year, the thoughtful and entertaining Microhabitat is a convincing showcase for star Esom and and an even more impressive calling card for director Jeon Go-woon, who becomes the first woman in...

Busan 2017 Review: LAST CHILD, a Powerful Tale of Guilt and Grief

Grief and guilt get a thorough review in Shin Dong-seok's debut film Last Child, one of three Korean films competing in this year's New Currents competition in Busan. A trio of powerful performances ground this emotionally gritty tale and lure...

Busan 2017 Review: A TIGER IN WINTER Hunts Our Individual Fears

Following his wonderfully droll indies Romance Joe and A Matter of Interpretation, both of which also debuted at Busan, director Lee Kwang-kuk is back with A Tiger in Winter. Though it employs a similarly low-key but careful aesthetic and continues...

Busan 2017 Review: BLUEBEARD, Ambitious Chiller Lacks Tension

Much like her debut The Uninvited, Lee Soo-yeon's latest film Bluebeard teases a dark genre storyline before turning off into more psychological territory through several layered images and a protagonist who isn't quite what he seems, played by Cho Jin-woong...

Busan 2017 Review: MISSING, a Compelling Women-Led Kidnap Drama

The kidnap thriller is a popular genre in Korea but E.Oni's Missing proves to be a refreshing addition to the crowded genre, buoyed by a pair of fine performances by Uhm Ji-won and Gong Hyo-jin in a story forged by...

Busan 2017 Review: ROMANS 8:37, a Difficult Theological Tale

Writer-director Shin Yeon-shick returns to Busan for the fifth time with Romans 8:37, a thoughtful if not exactly thought-provoking theological tale of faith, suffering and coverups. Focusing exclusively on the complicated inner workings and relationships of a Korean church, this...

Busan 2017 Review: MERMAID UNLIMITED Offers Limited Chuckles

Indie filmmaker O Muel has been churning out films for around a decade on his native Jeju Island, which each explore the history and society of the popular getaway in different ways but always from the perspective of the local...

Busan 2017 Review: TAKLAMAKAN, Introspective Drama Dashes Dreams

Ko Eun-ki's sixth film Taklamakan, takes its name from a red desert in China which, as legend maintains, won't let you out once you step inside. In this dark and introspective drama, featuring characters that use the word as a...

Busan 2017 Review: OLD LOVE Mourns Life's Missed Opportunities

20 years after his debut Motel Cactus, Park Ki-yong returns with his 8th feature Old Joy, a contemplative work that proves to be director's strongest since his early days as one of the pioneers of the nascent Korea indie filmmaking...

Busan 2017 Review: BUTTERFLY SLEEP Flutters Gracefully Over a Well-Worn Path

It's been a full 12 years since director Jeong Jae-eun helmed a narrative feature and the Japan-set Butterfly Sleep is a welcome return, if not a patch on her 2001 debut Take Care of My Cat, still her best work....

Sitges 2017 Review: A SPECIAL LADY, the Wrong Kind of Remarkable

Two years after Coin Locker Girl, Kim Hye-soo returns as a woman gang boss with a bold wig in Lee An-gyu's debut A Special Lady. Unfortunately, the freshness of her earlier gang saga makes way for an abundance of hollow...

Busan 2017 Review: GLASS GARDEN, Spoiled yet Soiled by Ravishing Imagery

One of Korea's foremost indie voices returns with a fable couched in verdant imagery but marred by a sense of deja vu. Shin Su-won's fourth feature Glass Garden, the opening film of this year's Busan International Film Festival, feels like...

Busan 2017 Preview: 10 Hot Titles Not to Miss at 22nd Edition

Entering its 22nd year, the Busan International Film Festival runs from 12-21 October and is once again putting on a big show that includes around 300 films, including well over a hundred world and international premieres. With so many unknown...

Review: I CAN SPEAK Should Keep It Down

A pleasant comedy-drama makes way for bald-faced histrionics in Kim Hyun-seok's overly calculated new offering I Can Speak. Veteran name Na Moon-hee and younger star Lee Je-hoon are an engaging pair at the film's center but when the story's true...

Review: THE OUTLAWS, Familiar but Punchy Thriller Shows Us New Side of Seoul

Buff and lovable star Ma Dong-seok takes on his best leading role to date in the gritty crime tale The Outlaws, which adds laughs and punch to a modest story framed around Chinese-Korean hoods and local law in a low-rent...

Fantastic Fest 2017 Review: SEE YOU UP THERE Shows Us They Can Still Make 'Em Like They Used To

Classical cinema makes a return to the big screen in the engrossing adventure-drama See You Up There, a period yarn based on the novel of the same name by ace mystery thriller writer Pierre Lemaitre. Combining imagination, humor and heart...

Maskoon Fantastic Film Festival Introduces Genre Films to Arab World in 2nd Edition

There's no dampening the enthusiasm from fantastic cinema around the world and one of the newer events to get in on the act is the Maskoon Fantastic Film Festival, which is the only festival that introduces genre cinema to the...

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...

Review: MEMOIR OF A MURDERER Forgets to Untangle Its Intriguing Premise

Just two weeks after V.I.P., Korean cinemas are getting another twist on the serial killer story with Won Shin-yeon's new work Memoir of a Murderer, based on a 2013 novel by celebrated writer Kim Young-ha. Its name evokes the greatest...