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Busan 2017 Review: HIT THE NIGHT Flips Genders in Talky Game of Cat and Mouse

Following quickly on the heels of her surprising debut Bitch on the Beach, which bowed at the Seoul Independent Film Festival last year, Jeong Ga-young gets her first Busan berth with Hit the Night, which once again features the director...

Busan 2017 Review: METHOD Gets Booed Off the Stage

Bang Eun-jin scales things down significantly for her fourth work, the theater world forbidden love story Method. Lacking any chemistry between its leads, this facile mirrored narrative proves to be Bang's least impressive work as it trudges through thinly drawn...

Busan 2017 Review: THE THIRD MURDER Ponders the Unknowable in Quiet and Electric Mystery

Known for his controlled and humanistic family dramas, acclaimed filmmaker Hirokazu Koreeda tries his hand at the bread and butter of the Japanese mainstream, the murder mystery. The result, which he directed from his own script, is the ruminative and...

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: THE WORK, an Essential Exploration into Masculine Fragility

There are few places in the world more terrifying than prison. For most of us, it is an environment we will never have to experience first hand, but for those who are incarcerated, it is a community of division, hostility...

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...

Sitges 2017 Review: BLADE OF THE IMMORTAL, Miike Takashi's 100th Feature Film

There are very few directors who are as much loved as Miike Takashi for audiences in Sitges, that’s a fact. His movies have earned a very well-deserved place in genre fans’ hearts all over the world, so every new film by...

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...

Camera Japan 2017 Review: Lee Sang-il's RAGE Keeps You Guessing

A lot of films tend to look unpolished, and bland, handheld video is often accepted to be good enough it seems. Not so with the films of Lee Sang-il, which look as bright and shiny as if the visuals have...

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: MAN HUNT, a Disaster in Search of a Director

John Woo’s first contemporary action film produced in Asia for more than 20 years falls woefully short of the director’s best work. Shot entirely in Japan with a mostly local crew, Man Hunt pairs Zhang Hanyu and Masaharu Fukuyama as...

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....

Busan 2017 Review: THE BRINK Delivers Delightfully Ludicrous Entertainment

After a string of scene-stealing supporting roles, a bleach blond Zhang Jin takes the lead in Jonathan Li's The Brink, as a renegade Hong Kong cop on the trail of Shawn Yue’s villainous gold smuggler. Featuring a string of impressively...

Busan 2017 Review: Indian Revenge Drama AJJI is a Battlecry for Justice

When a ten-year-old slum kid is brutally raped and left for dead, her elderly grandmother takes matters into her own hands. Fuelled by a lifetime of oppression and injustice, trapped in a social hierarchy in which the rich and powerful...