Tag: 강하늘

BiFan Promises Thrills and Chills in Stuffed 22nd Lineup

Pollution particles and yellow dust have been replaced by summer humidity hanging in the air, which can only mean one thing - BiFan is just around the corner! On a hot Thursday afternoon in early June in Central Seoul, the...

Jeonju 2018 Review: A GOOD BUSINESS, NK Defector Doc Poses Fascinating Ethical Quandaries

Some of the best documentaries are those that don't tell you what to think but choose instead to explore a subject from different viewpoints and angles, let the images speak for themselves and give the viewer a chance to make...

Jeonju 2018 Review: WINTER'S NIGHT Takes a Colorful and Introspective Trip Down Memory Lane

Returning with his third film to the festival where he picked up the top Korean Competition prize for his debut A Fresh Start, director Jang Woo-jin delivers his most carefully designed work to date with Winter's Night, one of this...

Jeonju 2018 Review: GRADUATION Scores Top Marks for Its Young Director and Star

Making films is hard anywhere, but in Korea, where so many youths dream of entering what is a successful yet relatively small industry, it's a particularly tricky proposition. Thus it comes as little surprise that so many debut features focus...

Jeonju 2018 Review: HELLO DAYOUNG, Korean Comedy Goes Full Chaplin

For the third year on the trot, and after already receiving two prizes, director Ko Bong-soo returns to the Jeonju International Film Festival with his third work, Hello Dayoung. Largely working with the same troupe of actors, who are taking...

Review: BELIEVER, Explosive DRUG WAR Remake Puts Faith in Livewire Cast

Korean noir gets an action makeover in Believer, the explosive and hugely entertaining local remake of Johnny To's mainland Chinese crime saga Drug War. A parade of Korean character actors sink their teeth into deliciously over-the-top characters, including the beloved...

Cannes 2018 Review: BURNING, a Slow Burn for the Ages

Eight years after his phenomenal drama Poetry, Lee Chang-dong makes a long-awaited return to the Cannes competition with his sixth film Burning, an adaptation of Haruki Murakami's short story 'Barn Burning'. Dense with symbolism, this tour de force burrows towards...

GONJIAM: HAUNTED ASYLUM Trailer: An Experience in Terror Begins Now

Although I've steered away from found-footage films for several years, my curiosity about Gonjiam: Haunted Asylum was stirred by Pierce Conran's recent review of the film. He wrote, in part: "It is the first Korean film to properly blend found...

Udine 2018 Review: GONJIAM: HAUNTED ASYLUM May Scare You Away from Hospitals for Good

The history of Korean horror was rewritten this year by the most unlikely of contenders, as a low-budget found footage chiller became one of the top-selling K-horrors of all time. Without the benefit of any stars, Epitaph co-director Jung Bum-sik...

Udine 2018 Review: THE RUNNING ACTRESS Dashes to Victory

Ever since picking up a Best New Actor Prize from the Venice International Film Festival for Oasis in 2002, Moon So-ri has been known as one of the top performers in the Korean film industry. Now, after impressing viewers and...

Udine 2018 Review: BE WITH YOU, Pleasant Fantasy Drama Stays the Course

The Korean fantasy romance, a genre that has spawned modern classics such as Il Mare and Ditto, has fallen on hard times in recent years but makes a strong case for a return to form with Be With You, an...

Udine 2018 Review: LITTLE FOREST Will Have You Yearning for the Simple Life

In Korean cinema, when characters retreat to the countryside things generally don't work out too well for them, but in Yim Soon-rye's new drama Little Forest, a young woman regains her spirit, and as she does so, many viewers will...

Berlinale 2018 Review: HUMAN, SPACE, TIME AND HUMAN aka Rape: The Movie

The work of Kim Ki-duk has been contentious for many reasons over the years, with the rampant misogyny that permeates his films being a particular bone of contention amongst critics. His most recent outing doesn't so much add fuel to...

Review: 1987: WHEN THE DAY COMES Offers Timely and Powerful History Lesson

Save the Green Planet director Jang Joon-hwan mobilizes dozens of familiar faces, including The Chaser and The Yellow Sea stars Kim Yun-seok and Ha Jung-woo, for a weighty and powerful dramatization of the birth of Korean democracy. Following a slew...

Review: ALONG WITH THE GODS: THE TWO WORLDS, Ambitious Fantasy Epic Indulges in Cheesy Backdrops and Melodrama

Riding in on a wave of curiosity and anticipation, popular webcomic adaptation Along with the Gods: The Two Worlds, the opener of Korea's first simultaneously filmed two-part series, represents one of the biggest gambles in Korean film history. No Korean...

Review: STEEL RAIN, Bombastic Action-Drama Ponders Nuclear Armageddon

The first of a trio of major end-of-year releases in Korea this winter, Steel Rain is the third North Korea-themed action-thriller of 2017 (following Confidential Assignment and V.I.P.) and easily its most bombastic. From The Attorney helmer Yang Woo-suk, who...

Review: THE CHASE Leads Us Down Familiar Path

An intriguing, if admittedly low-key twist on the Korean serial killer chiller never really comes together in the mediocre The Chase, the third film from The Con Artists helmer Kim Hong-sun. Leading man Baek Yoon-sik (of Save the Green Planet...

Review: FORGOTTEN Mislays Its Mystery after Strong Start

Modern thrillers live or die by their twists, and while an unexpected and well-executed surprise can elevate a film from mundane to memorable, many filmmakers forget that it's the journey there that counts. In his latest film Forgotten, director Chang...

Review: THE SWINDLERS Cons Viewers Out of Their Time

Stars Hyun Bin and Yoo Ji-tae go toe-to-toe in this month's The Swindlers, a loose and jazzy caper thriller that mines Korea's abundant fascination with grifters. Or at least that's what it attempts to do, as this blatant ripoff of...

Review: THE FORTRESS, Sublime Political Allegory Closes Its Doors to the Uninitiated

One of the most impressive casts of the year lines up in the austere and languid period siege drama The Fortress. Led by Lee Byung-hun, Kim Yun-seok and Park Hae-il, performances are strong all around in this magnificently shot and...