Busan 2014 Review: HAN RIVER Ponders Urban Malaise in Contemporary Korea

With black and white lensing, cheerful yet destitute protagonists and the absence of a clear narrative, the philosophical vagabond film Han River, benefits from a style and focus that sets it apart from the bulk of recent Korean indie fare,... More »
  

Busan 2014 Review: DAUGHTER Explores The Ills Of Modern Korean Parenting

Following a pair of indulgent films that awkwardly straddled the balance between fantasy and reality, the multi-hyphenate Ku Hye-sun, a well known actress, singer and artist as well as director, returns with Daughter, her most mature work to date. An... More »
  

Busan 2014 Review: WE WILL BE OK Hits Its Stride Too Late In The Game

Writers are told to write about what they know, so it stands to reason that the same rule should apply to filmmakers. As a result, many films take place within the film world and in the Korean industry this proves... More »
  

Busan 2014 Review: A MIDSUMMER'S FANTASIA Effortlessly Draws You Into Its Subtle Tale

Taking place in the quiet town of Gojo in Japan, an ageing community tinged with a lingering sadness and marked by stillness, A Midsummer's Fantasia is a wistful, hopeful and nostalgic third feature by rising Korean indie auteur Jang Kunjae.... More »
  

Busan 2014 Review: SECOND LIFE OF THIEVES Is Mundanely Melancholic

A melancholic malaise permeates the incredibly subdued and softly told Second Life of Thieves, the latest feature from Malaysian director Woo Ming Jin. Set in the sweltered confines of a seaside village, the film transgresses past and present confidently. Initially... More »
  

Busan 2014 Review: ENTANGLED Gets Caught Up In Its Own Depressing Narrative

Following the blistering debut Fatal, a gritty rape-revenge thriller that bowed at the Busan Film Festival in 2012, Lee Don-ku returns to Busan with the disappointing family drama Entangled. Though it seeks to inspire a similar sense of shock and... More »
  

Busan 2014 Review: GIFTED Takes An Interesting Turn Before Veering Off Course

Taking its cue from the common social grievances often found in Korean indie dramas, Gifted, the sophomore effort of Poongsan (2011) helmer Jung Jai-hung, examines the friction between unemployment and consumerist ambitions in modern Korea. Slight and familiar, the film... More »
  

Busan 2014 Review: PARADISE IN SERVICE, A Classical Tearjerker

Paradise in Service is presented by Taiwanese film-maker Hou Hsiao-Hsien but it is certainly not directed by him. This classical melodrama is a much more accessible film, and although conventional, communist-war period in Taiwan is brought to vivid life thanks... More »
  

Busan 2014 Preview: World Cinema Done Right

The 19th Busan International Film Festival is primed to begin, highlighting the best in new Asian cinema and Korean indie. The festival, although somewhat Asia-centric also provides a very impressive array of world cinema; from festival favourites that have... More »
  

Watch The Teaser For Fantastic Fest And Sitges Selection THE INCIDENT

Just days before Isaac Ezban's science fiction picture The Incident (El Incidente) premieres in North America at Austin's Fantastic Fest, the first teaser trailer has arrived online courtesy of Cine Caníbal, the company that will distribute the film next year... More »
  

Toronto 2014 Review: CART, Women's Rights Take Center Stage In Social Drama

Following hot on the trail of recent Korean dramas seeking to depict the plight of Korea's common class is Cart, a David vs. Goliath, based-on-fact tale detailing the injustices of Korea's labor system and the harsh treatment of women in... More »
  

Toronto 2014 Review: Epic And Austere, ALIVE Depicts Dark Days For Korean Laborers

Incessantly grim and pushing the three-hour mark, indie helmer Park Jung-bum's Alive is about as challenging a sophomore work as anyone could have dreamt up. And this from a man who debuted with the ferociously bleak The Journals of Musan... More »
  

Busan 2014 Preview: Window on Asian Cinema Provides Powerhouse Line-up

The 19th Busan International Film Festival hits South Korea early next month, and it brings with it a sharper focus and a dynamic program that still remains faithful to the diverse offerings from niche Asian regions.The gallery below lists the... More »
  

Venice 2014 Review: HILL OF FREEDOM Proves A Pleasant But Slight Slice From Hong Sangsoo

It's easy to accuse Hong Sangsoo of doing the same thing over and over again as each of his films revisit the same themes with similar characters, situations and locations. Such a reading can easily miss the point of his... More »
  

Busan 2014: 19th Busan Film Festival Unveils Full Program Guide

The 19th Busan International Film Festival hits South Korea early next month, and it brings with it a sharper focus and a dynamic program that still remains faithful to the diverse offerings from niche Asian regions.The festival opens 2nd October... More »
  

Venice 2014 Review: Mortality And Desire Mingle And Dance in REVIVRE

Returning for his 102nd feature, the indefatigable Im Kwon-taek continues his move away from period and cultural fare with the melancholic Revivre, pairing up once again with the equally venerable screen legend Ahn Sung-ki. Somberly shot and deliberately paced, Im's... More »
  

Venice 2014 Review: Kim Ki-duk Off His Game With ONE ON ONE

Enfant terrible Kim Ki-duk returns with his 20th feature One On One, opening the Venice Days sidebar this year with an uncharacteristically plot-and-character-heavy offering. With an overt social agenda and a familiar revenge narrative, the film appears to be primed... More »
  

Busan 2013 Review: NON-FICTION DIARY Offers Captivating Glimpse of 1990s Korea

I stepped onto Korean soil for the first time almost 13 years after the end of the 1990s but there's no arguing the otherworldliness of that time, which can still be picked up on today by sampling the available media... More »
  

Busan 2013 Review: The Devastating HAN GONG-JU Is A Hidden Gem

What is it that drives us to the cinema, time and again? What are we looking for when we enter a theater and the lights begin to fade? In answering that question you will often come across the words entertainment... More »
  

Busan 2013: Highlights From The Tarantino And Bong Joon-ho Open Talk

Nearing the last legs of the festival everyone received a nice jolt to the system when news quickly spread that Quentin Tarantino was dropping by Busan for an open talk with director Bong Joon-ho. If one is observant, Tarantino could... More »
  
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