Tag: biff

Busan 2022 Review: THE DREAM SONGS, Moving and Marvelous Portrait of Teen Friendship

For the past half a dozen years or so, some of the very best debut Korean films have chronicled friendships between young girls. Filled with the fleeting excitement of youth and the complex, mutable feelings that underpin the process of...

Busan 2022 Review: MOTHER LAND, Gorgeous Korean Stop Motion Animation Heads Out onto the Ice

Unlike Hollywood, France or Japan, Korea isn't known for any particular kind of animation. However, the country is overflowing with animators, and when not being outsourced to foreign productions, they churn out unique local films that each march to the...

Busan 2022 Review: A WILD ROOMER, Wry and Stimulating Character Study Delights

Screening in the Busan International Film Festival's signature New Currents competition section, A Wild Roomer, the delightfully droll debut of director Lee Jeong-hong, is a refreshing character study that unfurls around a minor mystery. The film begins much as it...

Busan 2022 Review: BONES AND ALL, An All-Consuming Adolescent Love Story

Timothée Chalamet reunites with his Call Me By Your Name director Luca Guadagnino for another unconventional romance, the cannibal road movie Bones And All, adapted from Camille DeAngelis’ award-winning 2016 novel of the same name. Chalamet is just one of...

Busan 2022 Review: BARDO, FALSE CHRONICLE OF A HANDFUL OF TRUTHS, Pretentious but oh so Pretty

It has been seven years since Mexican filmmaker Alejandro G. Iñárritu’s last film, the epic western The Revenant, which scored him his second consecutive Best Director Oscar after winning for Birdman the previous year. Considering the subject matter of his...

Busan 2022 Review: NEXT SOHEE, Bae Doona Shines in July Jung's Memorable Slowburn

Good things come to those who wait, and so it is with Next Sohee, the blunt and powerful new film from director July Jung, which bowed at the Cannes Film Festival this spring, following eight years after her sensational debut,...

Busan International Film Festival Returns to Full Strength with Packed 27th Edition

For the first time since 2019, the Busan International Film Festival (BIFF) will return to full force, with a complete lineup for its upcoming 27th edition, which will welcome a full complement of international guests for the first time since...

Busan 2021 Review: THE APARTMENT WITH TWO WOMEN, Sensational Debut Is an Electric Dysfunctional Family Drama

One of the most dysfunctional families of recent memory has its dirty laundry aired out in the hypnotic The Apartment with Two Women, an ambitious and surprisingly mature debut from 29-year-old director Kim Se-in. In a barnstorming performance, Yang Mal-bok...

Busan 2021 Review: HEAVEN: TO THE LAND OF HAPPINESS, An Infectious Return to Form for Im Sang-soo

The Busan International Film Festival puts a strong first foot forward this year with its tightly paced and effortlessly entertaining opening film Heaven: To the Land of Happiness, marking a return to form for director Im Sang-soo. Ace Korean cinema...

Busan 2020 Review: SPEED OF HAPPINESS Delivers Soothing Snapshot of a Unique Profession

Documentary filmmaker Park Hyuck-jee, known for the charming documentary With or Without You, is back with his latest non-fiction work, his first to be invited to Busan. Set in the mountainous Oze region of Central Japan, the pleasurable and satisfying...

Busan 2020 Review: FIGHTER, Compelling Character Study Winds Up Pulling Its Punches

After opening the festival in 2018 with Beautiful Days, director Jero Yun returned to Busan this year with his second narrative feature Fighter, which once again focuses on a North Korean defector's difficult experience adjusting in South Korea, and how...

Busan 2020 Review: SELF-PORTRAIT 2020, Long yet Riveting Odyssey of a Drunk Savant

I'll admit I went into Self-Portrait 2020 with a fair amount of trepidation. Here is a nearly three-hour documentary that follows a man who has given up on life, turned to the bottle and now roams the streets of Central...

Busan 2020 Review: YOUNG ADULT MATTERS, An Explosive and Frequently Engrossing Runaway Teen Drama

Three years after his abrasive debut Park Hwa-young, director Lee Hwan returns to Busan with Young Adult Matters, an intense and frequently engrossing follow-up set in the same world of foul-mouthed, unpredictable and violent runaway teens. While it inherits many...

Busan 2020 Review: SNOWBALL Gently Strikes with Familiar but Well-Told Tale

A wide variety of films find their way to the Busan Film Festival every year, but one thing you can always count on is the polished, youth-driven social indie that has become the de-facto Korean indie template, at least on...

Busan 2020 Review: A LEAVE, Responsibilities Clash in Compelling Character Study

Given that it successfully ousted a president after months of mass protests, which peaked with well over two million participants, it should perhaps come as little surprise that Korea is a country where protesting is widespread. For many it's an...

Busan 2018 Review: HOUSE OF HUMMINGBIRD Soars As It Signals Major New Talent

Exploring modern themes and history through the eyes of a young girl, Kim Bora's sensational debut House of Hummingbird is the Korean indie drama par excellence. A subtle exploration of local family and societal pressures crafted in a way that...

Busan 2018 Review: ODE TO THE GOOSE
 Serenades with Strong Performances and Playful Plot

Two years after opening the festival with A Quiet Dream, director Zhang Lu returns to Busan with Ode to the Goose, a terrifically performed and breezy art drama that meanders between allegories of national identity and literary and historical references....

Busan 2018 Review: OUR BODY Hits the Ground Running and Sails to the Finish

If Korean cinema will be remembered for anything in 2018, it may well be for a batch of films that have found surprising ways to shine a spotlight on the country's youth. Specifically, the enduring image of the year may...

Busan 2018 Review: BEAUTIFUL DAYS Handsomely Frames Somber Subject

As the veil of secrecy over the guarded North Korean regime threatens to give way (if only slightly) in the surprising geopolitical climate we find ourselves in today, the film industry in South Korea has also begun to change how...

Busan 2018: BEAUTIFUL DAYS and MASTER Z: THE LEGACY OF IP MAN to Bookend Packed 23rd BIFF

The Busan International Film Festival held a press conference in Seoul on Tuesday to launch the program for next month's 23rd edition. Local indie drama Beautiful Days will kick off BIFF on October 4 while Master Z: The Ip Man...