Tuesday, 2 November 2010

London Korean Film Festival Preview

Featuring 21 screenings over three venues across London, the London Korean Film Festival (now in its fifth Year) begins this Friday and aims to bring the best in recent Korean cinema to the capital. After seeing two extraordinary pictures last month from South Korea at the London Film Festival, Lee Changdong’s Poetry and newcomer Jo Sung-Hee’s End of Animal, it’s exciting to see what else is on offer, particularly when it involves the new offerings from Kim Jee-Woon (The Good, The Bad & the Weird; A Tale of Two Sisters) and Im Sang-Soo (A Good Lawyer’s Wife) who will both be on hand to present their new films, I Saw The Devil and The Housemaid respectively.
Here’s a brief run-down of what’s playing from the LKFF publicity material, starting Friday night at the Odeon West End with the UK Premiere of Lee Jeong-Beom’s The Man From Nowhere.
The Man From Nowhere
Friday 5th November - Odeon West End – 6.30pm – 119 mins – Dir : Lee Jeong-Beom

Press material write-up :
"Tae-sik (Won Bin) is a highly trained former agent and convict who, in an attempt to live with past mistakes, has shut himself of from the world. But somehow a young girl, So-mi, who lives next door manages to break through his defences and the two quickly bond like siblings. Things are not all sweetness and light for long as So-mi's mother, a hopeless addict who slings dope for a local gang, decides to steal some of the product she sells and entrusts Tae-sik with it. Her bosses find out and kidnap So-mi and her mother. Tae-sik must come to terms with who he is to be able to save the only person that has ever cared for him.
Featuring a young but talented cast including Won Bin, recently seen in the beautiful Mother, and Kim Sae-ron, from the award winning A Brand New Life. The Man From Nowhere is a revenge story that oncould have only come from Korea. Much like its brothers in arms, Oldboy and A Bittersweet Life, The Man From Nowhere is more than an action film, discussing as it does ideas of human trafficking, organ harvesting and drug smuggling. But still, even with all the dark and gruesome underworld surroundings the characters find themselves in, at the heart is a touching story of the bond between a man and girl."

I Saw The Devil
Saturday 6th November – Odeon West End – 6pm – 144 mins – Dir : Kim Jee-woon

Press material write-up :
"Kyung-chul (Choi Min-shik) works as a school bus driver during the day and at night he is one of the most dangerous and sadistic killer that Korea has ever known. One day he targets a young woman who he brutally murders. Her boyfriend (Lee Byung-hun) is destroyed by his lover‟s death and vows to inflict the same ordeal that his girlfriend experienced on the monster responsible for her death.
Proving why they are the two biggest acting powers in Korean cinema today this film is a bloody but brilliant portrayal of two deeply disturbed individuals."

Jang Jin Retrospective
Guns & Talk (2001) – ICA – Monday 8th -  6pm – 123 mins
Good Morning President (2009) – ICA – Monday 8th  -  8.45pm – 131 mins
Someone Special (2004) – ICA – Tuesday 9th – 6pm – 107 mins
Murder Take One (2005) – ICA – Tuesday 9th – 8.45pm – 115 mins

The Housemaid
Sunday 14th November – ICA – 6.30pm – 107 mins

Press material write-up :
"Im Sang-soo’s remake of the classic Korean 1960‟s film of the same name was a huge hit at this year’s Cannes Festival and a worthy successor of the original. It follows Lee Eun-yi (Jeon Do-yeon, Secret Sunshine) a na├»ve and innocent young woman who takes up the position of junior housemaid in an overly luxurious mansion. She tends after the two owners, Hoon and Hae-ra, as well as their creepily perfect daughter Nami. She soon becomes embroiled in a deeply erotic affair with Hoon unleashing the hidden desires Eun-yi never knew existed. The consequences of this affair soon catch up with the maid, falling pregnant and victim to the viciously jealous wife.
With universal themes that transcend the original setting to one much more contemporary, director Im Sang-soo has created a masterfully sensual film that surpasses his past erotic thriller A Good Lawyer’s Wife."

There’s plenty more on offer in between, from a Tony Rayns hosted talk on Korean cinema, to the latest offerings from Jang Cheol-Soo (Bedevilled), Lee Jung-ho (Bestseller) and Lee Joon-ik (Blades of Blood).
Head over to www.koreanfilm.co.uk for the full schedule and ticket information.

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