The London Korean Film Festival returns next week for its sixth year, showcasing the latest in Korean cinema. This year’s programme includes a North & South Korean film strand, which includes the European premieres of Poongsan by director Juhn Jai-hong (written by Kim Ki-duk) and The Front Line, an action drama set towards the end of the Korean War. The strand also offers another chance to catch the terrific The Yellow Sea by Hong-jin Na (The Chaser) as well as the UK premiere of Jeon Kyu-hwan’s third feature, Dance Town.
Retrospectives this year focus on the films of Ryoo Seung-wan, an action legend back in Korea but still largely unknown in the UK as well as the late director Lee Man-hee. Ryoo Seung-wan’s fantastic City of Violence (2006) and Crying Fist (2005) will be screening alongside his four-part action film debut, Die Bad (2000) and his first major studio feature No Blood No Tears (2002), whilst his latest picture The Unjust closes the Festival. The director will be in attendance to participate in Q&As following the screenings of Crying Fist and The Unjust, whilst Lee Man-hee’s A Day Off (1968) and Assassins (1969) will screen at the Korean Cultural Centre.
The ICA Cinema plays host this year to a strand efficiently translated as ‘The Light Hearted Side of Korean Cinema’, which includes screenings of Sunny, South Korea’s box office record holder to date, as well as Suicide Forest, Detective K and Late Autumn, a remake by Kim Tae-yong of a film by retrospective subject Lee Man-hee.
There’s plenty more going on across the fortnight, including masterclasses and forums, as well as an Animation Day and ‘Mise-en-Scene Shorts’ programme, which will be screening Park Chan-wook’s iPhone shot (and Berlin Golden Bear winning) Paranmanjang (Nigh Fishing) alongside the winning entries from the Festival’s One Minute Short Film iPhone Competition.
The Festival kicks off on Thursday with a special K-Pop concert at the Odeon West End, followed by the European premiere of War of the Arrow, attended by director Kim Han-min, who will take part in a Q&A after the screening.
Full details of the programme, including dates and ticketing information can be found at www.koreanfilm.co.uk