Tagged: South Korean Cinema

Park Ki-woong Cast to be in Kim Ki-duk’s Upcoming Film ‘Made in China’

Korean auteur Kim Ki-duk rarely uses the same leading actors twice in his movies. For his follow-up to last year’s Moebius, he decided to cast K-Drama star Park Ki-woong. Kim’s new movie is called Made in China and co-starring with Park is the lovely  Han Chae-ah. So that’s a Bridal Mask reunion then? Should be good. According to Park’s agency: “After being cast, Park Ki Woong has analyzed his character in detail from hairstyle to costume and is working hard to perfectly become Chen”. Yep, sounds like though work.  Continue reading

Mini-Review: My Little Bride (2004) – A Fairy Tale About Arranged Marriage or a Pedo’s Wet Dream?

Sang-min (Kim Rae-won) is a twenty-something college student and bit of a playboy (or douchebag depending on who you talk to). Bo-eun (Moon Geun-young) is an ordinary 15-year-old high school girl. One day, out of nowhere, Bo-eun’s grandfather announces that he hasn’t much to live and so it’s time to bring up an old promise he made to his father and his BFF. Basically, Bo-eun and Sang-min have to get married. Why? Because their Great-grandparents were war buddies and made this pact. The two kids don’t really like the idea at first, but then the old fart tricks them into agreeing. What happens next is pretty standard romantic comedy fare.  Continue reading

Review: Castration, Incest and Slapping in Kim Ki-duk’s “Silent Film” ‘Moebius’ (2013)

moebius 2013 kim ki-duk
*Warning: Spoilers, Sex & Sadism Inside*

A young man (Seo Young-ju) witnesses how his father (Jo Jae-hyeon) cheats on his mother (Lee Eun-woo). The mother knows her husband is cheating on her. So she tries to castrate him as he’s sleeping, but he wakes up in time. She decides to castrate her son instead. After that the son approaches his father’s lover (Lee Eun-woo), but he can’t have sex with her (for obvious reasons). Meanwhile his guilt-ridden father researches penis transplant opportunities on the web, as well as alternative ways for him to have an orgasm. There’s a possibility his son might have a working penis again. So the father he decides to evirate himself and donate his sex organ. Unfortunately, the son’s new genitalia only seem to respond to his mother.  Continue reading

Review: A Moment to Remember (2004) Fully Commits and Embraces its Melodramatic Nature

a moment to remember
*Attention! Spoilers*
Kim Su-jin (Son Ye-jin), a gorgeous, young woman is stood up by her lover (Baek Jong-hak), who was supposed to pick her up at the station. Heartbroken and tired, she walks into a random convenience store, buys a coke and decides to walk home. A couple seconds after she leaves the store, she realizes that she forgot her coke inside the store. At the door she meets a handsome, rugged young man (Jung Woo-sung) holding a coke in his hand. She just assumes it’s hers. He opens the can. She takes the soda from him, chugs it down her throat and burps in his face: It’s the beginning of a beautiful love story.  Continue reading

Review: Midnight FM (2010) – An Intense South Korean Action, Thriller Shot à la Tony Scott

Ko Sun-young (Soo Ae) is a single mother who used to be a TV announcer, but then reinvented herself as a midnight DJ. Korean hombres love her delicate velvet voice and her passion for cinema and great soundtracks. Some of them “lover” her just a little to much. So much they become obsessed with her impossibly adorable persona and turn into some kind of raving psychos. The kind of deranged lunatics that break into your home with a fuzzy fur coat and a monkey wrench, tie up your sister (Shin Da-eun) and chase your cute, but mute daughter (Lee Joon-ha) all over your fancy apartment. Meanwhile Ma Dong-seok (Son Deok-tae), Sun-young’s stalker, is trying to help, but it’s not like anyone’s going to listen to a slightly overweight, awkward creep… Continue reading

Review: Kim Ki-duk’s Samaritan Girl (2004)

samaritan girl
*Spoiler Alert*
Yeo-jin (Kwak Ji-min) and Jae-yeong (Han Yeo-reum) are two South Korean teenage girls. Best friends forever. They’re trying to save up money for a trip to Europe. To raise enough money Jae-yeong is prostituting herself, while Yeo-jin acts are her “pimp”. Things start to get out of hand when the police raids the motel where Jae-yeong is entertaining one of her clients. To escape the police she decides to jump out of a window, against her better judgment and Yeo-jin begging her not to do it. As Jae-yeong lays dying on the hospital bed her last wish is to see one of her clients.  Continue reading

Mini-Review: Hello, Schoolgirl (2008) – A Cute South Korean Romantic Comedy

Kwon Yeon-woo (Yoo Ji-tae) is a 30-year-old civil servant who just moved into a new apartment building. Han Soo-young (Lee Yeon-hee) is an 18-year-old schoolgirl who lives with her single mom (Na Young-hee), just one storey below. It is inevitable that they’ll meet, sooner or later. Soo-young seems annoyed by him at first, but then realizes that Yeon-woo is just shy. Slowly but surely the two fall in love, but will their significant age difference be a problem? Of course it will, because Soo-young’s mother doesn’t approve of their relationship. Meanwhile, Yeon-woo’s friend and colleague Sook (Kang-in) has been experiencing some heartache of his own. He has fallen in love with Ha-kyeong (Chae Jung-an) a woman significantly older than him, who isn’t completely over her ex just yet. Will love conquer all? Is it better to have loved and lost? And is there really such a thing as a cat-dog?  Continue reading

Kim Ki-duk forced to cut 21 scenes from ‘Moebius’

Kim Ki-duk

What a sad day for cinema.

South Korean auteur Kim Ki-duk’s new film Moebius was going to be censored in South Korea unless he made some cuts. Kim submitted a re-cut version, because he aims for a September release of the film in South Korean theaters. The Korean Media Rating Board reserves itself a three month period to re-evaluate Moebius. One minute and twenty seconds, twenty-one incest related scenes had to be trimmed from the director’s cut in hopes to be able to show the film in its own country of origin.

The Golden Lion winning director himself commented: “As a filmmaker [cutting the scenes] is unfortunate, but in a market environment where major movies dominate theaters, I could not give up on this hard-won opportunity for the film to be released”.  He also added: “I would be able to share the meaning of my film in overseas markets and film festivals, but emerging actors or staff members that took part in the project need the film to be shown in Korea so they can have the opportunity to become better known”. Kim himself was clearly displeased with the state of artistic freedom in Korea: “In the future, films that need to portray scenes that could be problematic will have to seek working with foreign actors and production companies”.

At least he has a very honorable reason for re-editing. I can definitely appreciate that. It shows he truly cares about his cast and crew. Demonstrating noble character, Kim Ki-duk puts other people first, even before his own art. That is certainly something to admire and respect. I’m sure a lot of self-important and self-abosrbed directors wouldn’t even think about anyone else. In fact I’ll admit that I myself only thought of “what I was going to get”, but that is a very egoist way to reason. So I am still completely on board with Moebius, super excited, I’m sure we’ll get the entire film on home video and I love the man even more than after watching Arirang. He is a good person.

Review: A Werewolf Boy (2012)

a werewolf boy
Kim Suni (Lee Young-lan) is an elderly Korean woman living in the US. One day she receives a phone call about the sale of her old family house in South Korea. Suni decides to travel back to her homeland, where she meets her granddaughter Eun-joo (Park Bo-young) who coincidentally looks exactly like her as a teenager. As soon as granny Suni steps inside her property she starts reminiscing the good old times, remembering when she lived there 47 years ago. Overcome by emotions she has to recount her whole life story to her granddaughter.
After her father’s death Nineteen-year-old Suni (Park Bo-young, again) and her family moved to the countryside. Once there, slime-ball Ji-tae (Yoo Yeon-seok), son of her father’s business partner, is trying to get into young Suni’s pants. Fortunately for her, there was an cute werewolf boy (Song Joong-ki) that wouldn’t let that happen. As these things go after a rocky start, Suni and werewolf boy fall in love with each other and of course their love is perfect and forever, but remember Ji-tae, the creep? Yeah, he doesn’t like that one bit and will do everything in his power to keep them apart.  Continue reading