Pierce Conran
Seoul, South Korea

Pierce Conran is a film journalist based out of Seoul, where he tries to get the lowdown on the latest and greatest from the Korean peninsula for Twitch and runs the website Modern Korean Cinema. Irish by birth, he has lived in Dublin, Switzerland, New York and Los Angeles. When he's not going to film festivals, writing about and reporting on films or rambling on Twitter (@pierceconran), he mostly stares wistfully out the window.

Fantastic Fest 2015 Review: THE PASSING Broods And Glooms In Welsh Countryside

Oozing rustic dread in the remote Welsh countryside, Gareth Bryn's The Passing toys with the hidden demons of three lonely characters on a sumptuous, wet and verdant stage. Beautiful to behold but perhaps too slight in the narrative department, this... More »
By Pierce Conran   
  

Fantastic Fest 2015 Review: THE TREACHEROUS Sexes Up History In Convoluted King's Court Potboiler

History gets a savage makeover in The Treacherous, a new period offering from Korea detailing the tyrannical reign of King Yeonsan, long known as the most despotic ruler of the Joseon Era. High on provocation and low on historical accuracy,... More »
By Pierce Conran   
  

Toronto 2015 Review: COLLECTIVE INVENTION Asks The Right Questions, But Has None Of The Answers

Wrapping a raft of social issues plaguing modern Korean society into a simple allegory, Collective Invention, a quirky new comedy-drama with dashes of the same humor found in Bong Joon-ho's work, is a succinct but relatively straightforward affair. The setting... More »
By Pierce Conran   
  

Venice 2015 Review: A COPY OF MY MIND Sells Itself On Romance And Intrigue

Acclaimed Indonesian filmmaker Joko Anwar returns with his fifth feature, A Copy of My Mind, a tale of love, passion and how to get ahead in the back alleys of sprawling Jakarta. Made with the help of CJ Entertainment, as... More »
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Review: GOODNIGHT MOMMY, An Unsettling Nightmare

Austrian arthouse horror Goodnight Mommy gets under your skin early and stays there long after the credits. Within its sparse and sterile decor, this minutely observed chamber piece tears apart the constructs of the family drama. Following an accident, a... More »
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Busan 2015: BIFF Goes The Distance With Jam-Packed 20th Edition

For its 20th edition, the Busan International Film Festival (BIFF) has cooked up something pretty special, as it is set to deliver a jam-packed lineup sure to satisfy viewers of all tastes, and then some. Opening with the vivid Indian... More »
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Locarno 2015: Golden Leopard Goes To Hong Sangsoo

The 68th Locarno International Film Festival wound to a close yesterday and offered its top prize to a Korean film for the first time, in what was a strong night overall for Asian features. Two years after picking up the... More »
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Locarno 2015 Review: RIGHT NOW, WRONG THEN, Stars Shine In Classic Hong Sangsoo

Following Hong Sangsoo's career guarantees for viewers, at the very least, one thing - developing a keen eye for detail. The auteur's films are remarkably similar to one another, from their lecherous male director/professor characters and conversations over bottles of... More »
By Pierce Conran   
  

Liam Neeson To Play General MacArthur In Korean War Pic

A Moment to Remember (2004) and 71: Into the Fire (2010) director John H. Lee is set to helm Korean War pic Operation Chromite and the first cast member to join the project is none other than Liam Neeson, who... More »
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Review: THE BEAUTY INSIDE, High Concept Melo Is More Glib Than Its Title

A corporate-sponsored high concept web series gets the glossy Korean melodrama treatment in The Beauty Inside, the top romantic offering of the season. Featuring a laundry list of Korean stars all playing the same character, this debut film by music... More »
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Review: MEMORIES OF THE SWORD, Remembering Better Sword Fighting Flicks

The wild card in the quartet of major Korean releases scheduled for this year's high summer season (alongside Assassination, Veteran and The Beauty Inside), the star-driven period spectacle Memories Of The Sword proves to be a perplexing experience with jarring... More »
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Miike Colonizes Mars In TERRA FORMARS Teaser

Miike is back! (Fancy that.) With a teaser for next year's manga adaptation Terra Formars, which appears to be one of his most ambitious projects to date. With shooting scheduled for Iceland next month (a first for a Japanese film)... More »
By Pierce Conran   
  

Film4 FrightFest Goes All Out With Supersized Shorts Programme

Film4 FrightFest has revealed its Short Film Showcase for 2015, which will be its biggest yet with no less than 31 shorts from 13 different countries. Programmed by none other than Twitchfilm's very own Shelagh Rowan-Legg, this year's shorts lineup... More »
By Pierce Conran   
  

Review: MISSION IMPOSSIBLE: ROGUE NATION, Back To Basics And All The Better For It

Ethan Hunt and co. are back in a familiar yet thrilling new instalment to the Mission Impossible franchise, which sees IMF's top agent face his most formidable foe yet. Following right on cue from Mad Max: Fury Road, Rogue Nation... More »
By Pierce Conran   
  

BiFan 2015: PORT OF CALL Sails Away With Top Award

The 19th Bucheon International Fantastic Film Festival (BiFan) will end this evening but awards were already handed out on Friday night during the closing ceremony. This year's Bucheon Choice winner was Hong Kong drama-thriller Port of Call by Philip Yung,... More »
By Pierce Conran   
  

Review: PIXELS, Game Over From The Get-go

Summer blockbusters get the Happy Madison treatment in space invasion action-comedy Pixels, the most excruciating experience you shouldn't put yourself through this season. A thoroughly unconvincing action lead, Adam Sandler phones in yet another performance, but no one comes away... More »
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Review: VETERAN Deals A Knockout Blow

Korean action maestro Ryoo Seung-wan goes back to basics with his latest film Veteran, a breathless and hilarious crime thriller featuring a knockout performance from Hwang Jung-min. With fluid action choreography, punchy pacing and sharp editing, this infectious summer offering... More »
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BiFan 2015 Review: OWNERLESS FLOWER UHWUDONG Can't Choose Between Erotica And Drama

Thirty years after Lee Jang-ho's landmark film Eoh Wu-dong (available to watch for free on the Korean Film Archive's Youtube channel), a period ero that became a surprise critical and commercial hit in 1985, Lee Soo-sung offers up his own... More »
By Pierce Conran   
  

BiFan 2015 Review: 12 DEEP RED NIGHTS: CHAPTER 1, A Competent But Unremarkable Practice Run

Horror anthologies are a great way for new filmmakers to take a swing at bat, while viewers (or industry folk) get the opportunity to seek out new talents in the making. Unfortunately, that also means they're mixed bags, to say... More »
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BiFan 2015 Review: STUNG's Bite Quietly Fades Away

Benni Diez takes on the creature feature in his debut film Stung, which, while set in the US, was actually shot in Germany. With a few familiar faces in the supporting cast and generally strong production values, his film coasts... More »
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