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.

Busan 2014 Review: WILD FLOWERS Wilts After A Bristling Start

The lives of aimless youths at the bottom of the social ladder are the focus of Wild Flowers, a bleak look into teenage destitution in the streets and back alleys of Seoul. Uncompromising in its focus and brisk in its... More »
By Pierce Conran   
  

Busan 2014 Review: A MATTER OF INTERPRETATION Is David Lynch Meets Hong Sangsoo

Following his terrific debut Romance Joe (2011), Lee Kwang-kuk is back in Busan with A Matter of Interpretation, a breathless play on dream logic with smart plotting and a great script that proves he's no fluke, and then some. Frustrated... More »
By Pierce Conran   
  

Busan 2014 Review: END OF WINTER Boasts Strong Cast And Subtle Mise-en-scene

Dankook University scores a New Currents competition slot at the Busan International Film Festival for the second year running with End of Winter, a controlled family drama taking place in the dead of winter. Eschewing histrionics in favour of a... More »
By Pierce Conran   
  

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 »
By Pierce Conran   
  

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 »
By Pierce Conran   
  

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 »
By Pierce Conran   
  

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 »
By Pierce Conran   
  

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 »
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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 »
By Pierce Conran   
  

Fantastic Fest 2014 Wrap: Over 70 Movies Reviewed + Our Top Picks!

Holy Toledo is that headline correct? Yes Twitch has reviews published for over 70 of the films that played at Fantastic Fest 2014! (There were 76 non-repertory films screened at Fantastic Fest 2014). So why were we slacking? Well... More »
By Ryland Aldrich   
  

Fantastic Fest 2014 Review: GOODNIGHT MOMMY Will Keep You Up At Night

Serving as the single secret screening at this year's Fantastic Fest, 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... More »
By Pierce Conran   
  

Fantastic Fest 2014 Review: Strong Visuals Not Enough to Save LET US PREY

Known primarily for stuffy literary films and the odd historical potboiler, or losing its talent to more attractive industries in the English diaspora, Ireland has, in recent years, become an unlikely purveyor of impressive genre fare. Though horror films are... More »
By Pierce Conran   
  

Fantastic Fest 2014: Twitch's 12 Most Anticipated Films From Our 12 On-Hand Contributors

Hallelujah! It is Fantastic Fest time once again! The fest kicks off tomorrow, and what's more, Austin's ridiculously fun genre festival is back at its spiritual home of the Drafthouse South Lamar. You might say we are a little excited.... More »
By Ryland Aldrich   
  

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 »
By Pierce Conran   
  

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 »
By Pierce Conran   
  

Toronto 2014 Review: Stylish And Well Performed, SCARLET INNOCENCE Surprises And Delights

Adapted from a Korean folk tale and starting off as a softly lensed romantic melodrama, you'd be forgiven for thinking that Scarlet Innocence, the latest work from noted visual stylist Yim Pil-sung, must be primed for a local audience. Yet... More »
By Pierce Conran   
  

Choi Dong-hoon's ASSASSINATION Assembles Killer Cast

Following 2012's blockbuster caper hit The Thieves, director Choi Dong-hoon is back at it with the new period action-thriller Assassination. What's more, he's bringing his The Thieves stars Gianna Jun, Lee Jung-jae and Oh Dal-su with him, along with more... More »
By Pierce Conran   
  

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 »
By Pierce Conran   
  

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 »
By Pierce Conran   
  
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