Tag: busaninternationalfilmfestival

Busan 2018 Review: ALPHA, THE RIGHT TO KILL Declaws Duterte's War on Drugs

Arriving hot on the heels of Eric Matti’s similarly plotted but decidedly more entertaining BuyBust, Brillante Mendoza’s Alpha, the Right to Kill is a down and dirty frontline take on Filipino President Rodrigo Duterte’s controversial war on drugs. Seen from...

Busan 2018 Review: CITIES OF LAST THINGS, Noirish Tryptich Explores One Man's Broken Soul

Ho Wi Ding’s noir-tinged triptych details three nights in the life of troubled Taiwan police detective Zhang Dong Ling, as his turbulent personal life repeatedly triggers eruptions of murderous violence. Winner of the Platform Prize at this year’s Toronto International...

Busan 2018 Review: THE PREY Plays a Most Dangerous Game in the Cambodian Jungle

An undercover cop must fight for his life when he becomes an unwitting participant in a deadly game of cat and mouse in writer-director Jimmy Henderson's ambitious follow-up to prison riot throw-down Jailbreak, reworking Pichel and Schoedsack’s classic The Most Dangerous Game...

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a terrifically performed and breezy art drama that meanders between allegories of national identity and literary and historical references....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: Shinya Tsukamoto's KILLING, a Blunt yet Effective Samurai Drama

A young masterless samurai faces a crisis of confidence when he is called upon to defend a family of farmers from a marauding gang in Shinya Tsukamoto’s small scale samurai drama. Killing is the actor-writer-director’s first film since 2014’s remake...

Busan 2018 Review: FAHRENHEIT 11/9 is More Hot Air than Hot Take

14 years after his Palme D’Or winning Fahrenheit 9/11, documentarian Michael Moore seizes the opportunity to conveniently flip his title and train his satirical eye on American politics once again. Asking simply “How the fuck did this happen?!” Fahrenheit 11/9...

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...

Busan 2017 Review: BLOCKAGE Chronicles the Hard Times of a Desperate Man

Faced with losing his job and his family on the same day, a shady municipal officer in contemporay Tehran is forced to make some difficult choices in Blockage, Mohsen Gharaie’s gripping social drama.   Qasem (Hamed Behdad) is tasked with...

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: 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: 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...

Busan 2014 Review: YOU (US) ME Finds Beauty In Deplorability

Max Sobol's début directorial feature You (Us) Me is a fast paced, funny, shocking, tragic and ultimately cogent view of dysfunctional relationships at their extreme.Edward is a serial killer, stalking the dark canals and abandoned parts of London to quickly...

Busan 2014 Review: Peter Chan's DEAREST Devastates

Based on multiple true story accounts of child abduction in mainland China, Peter Chan's latest film Dearest is definitely not an easy watch. It follows a divorced couple in Shenzhen, the father Tian Wenjun (comedic actor Huang Bo) and mother...

Busan 2014 Review: THE TRUTH SHALL NOT SINK WITH SEWOL Invokes Tears And Outrage

The Sewol Disaster, the most significant event to rock South Korea since the IMF Crisis in 1997, gets its first big screen treatment with The Truth Shall Not Sink With Sewol, the first of what are sure to be many...

Busan 2014 Review: The Wonderfully Surreal SELF-MADE Has More Than A Few Screws Loose

Shita Geffen's Self-Made could be the strangest film I have ever seen. Part black-comedy, part surreal drama, and all feminist parable, the film follows two very different women as they inexplicably swap identities.This is vastly complicated by the locations...

Busan 2014 Review: KABUKICHO LOVE HOTEL, A Raunchy Charmer

Kabukicho Love Hotel (better translated as Sayonara Kabukicho) is the latest urban-centric film from esoteric director Hiroki Ryuichi (Vibrator). Although the film contains the sprawling metropolitan malaise that permeates his contemporary films, this is a far more accessible and crowd-pleasing effort that plays...

Busan 2014 Review: RED AMNESIA Is Haunted By Forgotten Ghosts

Wang Xiaoshuai (Beijing Bicycle) returns to cap off his so-called legacy trilogy with a film that is one part thriller and one part melodrama. It does not always work, but when it does, it is largely thanks to the incredible...