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.

Review: RED FAMILY's High Concept Suffers From Stilted Delivery

Though as a theme it has spawned some of Korean cinema's biggest hits, including Shiri (1999), Joint Security Area (2000), Silmido (2003), Taegugki (2004) and Welcome to Dongmakgol (2005), the representation of North Korea on screen has always been a... 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 »
  

Review: Strong Scenes Doth Not a Narrative Make in Genre-Hopping COMMITMENT

Following on from this year's Secretly Greatly, another action-drama featuring Korean idols playing young North Korean spies who stay undercover in the south only to be targeted by their homeland, Commitment announces itself as a medley of genres, as commonly... More »
  

Review: One-Stop Korean Revenge Shop THE FIVE Is A Bloody Good Time

Aside from the greats of Korean cinema - the Bong Joon-hos, Lee Chang-dongs, Im Kwon-taeks and Kim Ki-youngs - years ago, after I first immersed myself in the country's cinema, there were few things that I preferred doing than putting... More »
  

DMZ Docs 2013 Review: Unique Shaman Doc MANSHIN Is A Sensory Thrill

I've been a keen fan of Korean films for over a decade and have now spent about a year and a half living within the country's borders, yet, though I've been exposed to it many times, shamanism stubbornly remains a... 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 Review: Thoughtful STEEL COLD WINTER Doesn't Stray from Its Comfort Zone

Sometimes, even the most skillfully assembled volley of words can do little to express our feelings or explain our past experiences. There are moments, so great, that they are beyond words or others, so terrible, that could never truly be... More »
  

Busan 2013 Review: Personal and Subdued PASCHA Resonates

Life has a habit of moving on, whether we'd like it to or not. Moments of joy are fleeting and even our most crushing lows are washed away by the waves of time. Our present always leaves us, replaced to... More »
  

Busan 2013 Review: THE FAKE Is a Bleak and Devastating Experience

Terrible things happen all the time but it's easy to ignore what goes on around us. Sometimes, we even fail to see what's right in front of us. Independent films, at least those with a realistic bent, frequently attempt to... More »
  

NYC Happenings: Get To Know The Late, Great Park Chul-soo With 301, 302

Perhaps not as well known to this generation of cinema goers, Park Chul-soo was an important staple in modern Korean cinema. Why you ask? Inspired by his time in Manhattan and the independent film scene that was flourishing there in... More »
  

BIFF 2013: Twitch's 10 Picks for the 18th Busan Film Festival

The Busan International Film Festival, the largest film celebration in Asia, is just a few days away and Twitch is packing its bags and heading to the beachside Korean town. I will be making my second trip to the fest... More »
  

Review: Jang Joon-hwan Returns With Dark Thriller HWAYI

Korean cinema has become known for its thrillers, and though the genre is one that is popular around the world, there is one particular take on the genre that Korea has excelled at: let's call it the emotional thriller. By... More »
  

Check Out the Trailer for Plastic Surgery Horror UNDER THE KNIFE

"Beverly travels to South Korea to get plastic surgery, but ends up unknowingly getting a computerized implant from a surgeon who maniacally turns his patients into beautiful killing machines." So reads the synopsis of Under the Knife, a new Korean-Swedish... More »
  

TIFF 2013 Review: COLD EYES Looks To The Best For Inspiration

Korean thrillers have earned a reputation for consistency over the years and, though there may only be a few great ones, the majority of them are solid efforts. However, we've come to expect a lot of the same tropes as... More »
  

Busan Film Fest Reveals Massive New Program

The 18th Busan International FIlm Festival (BIFF) is just a month away and yesterday BIFF revealed their packed new lineup. 301 films from 70 countries will be screened over the event's 10 days, including 95 world premieres and 42 international... More »
  

Venice 2013 Review: MOEBIUS Is Insane and Brilliant

Kim Ki-duk has shocked many a festival/arthouse audience over the years, ever since he used fishhooks to terrible effect in The Isle (2000). Watching his films can be an uncomfortable experience and while he has perhaps gone overboard in the... More »
  

Review: THE FACE READER Is a Terrific Period Yarn

Though absent from Korean marquees this year until now, the period Korean film makes a big comeback with the release of Han Jae-rim's arresting The Face Reader. Sublimely mounted, intriguingly plotted and featuring a terrific cast, this seems the ideal... More »
  

Korean Box Office: NOW YOU SEE ME Rises To First

As we head out of the summer, the major Korean releases of the season are starting to tapper off, leaving the door for America to reclaim some ground ahead of the Chuseok holiday, which will likely see the balance... More »
  

Review: THE SPY: UNDERCOVER OPERATION Should Have Stayed Under Wraps

Korean cinema has gotten very good at staging impressive onscreen spectacle in recent years. Though $10 million budgets used to be a rare thing, reserved for only the most ambitious and promising films, these days an abundance of these pricey... More »
  

Korean Box Office: HIDE AND SEEK Ekes Out Another First Place

In the last weekend before many schools start their new terms, business had a last hurrah with 3.24 million tickets sold over the frame, approximately 30% more than last year. A new Hollywood release dampened the market share somewhat, but... More »
  
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