Rampo Noir [Rampo Jigoku]

“Why couldn’t the lens capture on the spot the cerebral life, the chemical reactions of the brain, the silver bath of the association of images, the over- or underexposure of the principal idea and the marvels of the surge of the subconscious, revealing all?” “Pourquoi l’objectif ne saisirait-il pas sur le vif la vie cérébrale,… Read More

Private Eye (그림자 살인, 2009)

On paper at least, Private Eye (literally, Shadow Murder) looks mildly promising, as the film boasts a collection of talented actors, including Ryoo Deok-hwan (Like a Virgin), Hwang Jeong-min (Black House) and Oh Dal-soo, and the period atmosphere (1910 colonial Korea) was created by the same person responsible for the wonderful sets used in The… Read More

My Scary Girl (달콤, 살벌한 연인, 2006)

Synopsis A timid college lecturer, Dae-woo, who is smart but has never been in love, meets a mysterious but charming woman, Mi-na. With no skills to win a date, he asks her out awkwardly. To his surprise, she accepts. And as a first time lover, he behaves very unnaturally. However, as they fall in love,… Read More

La fille du juge (My Dad is into Terrorism) 2006

Some of the most engaging films coming out of France these days are not dramas or thrillers, but documentaries, often made on tight budgets and restricted to broadcast on national television, then promptly forgotten. William Karel, whose documentaries have for years been a permanent fixture on local networks, is working diligently to ensure that his… Read More

Kim Ki-young’s The Housemaid (하녀) Remastered (1960)

When I reviewed the digitally restored print of The Housemaid at last year’s Pusan International Film Festival, I asserted that, when Kim Ki-young’s classic was released on video, it would be one of the most cherished DVDs of the year. Having seen the new Korean region-free transfer, I’ve had to temper my enthusiasm somewhat, though… Read More

Kim Ki-young (김기영) Collection

This month, Taewon Entertainment, under the auspices of the Korean Film Archive, has released a boxset of four films by legendary director Kim Ki-young. It has been over a decade since the 2nd Pusan International Film Festival hosted the first major retrospective of the director’s work, leading to requests from festivals the world over to… Read More

Hyperbola of Youth (청춘쌍곡선,1956)

Hyperbola of Youth (1956), Han Hyung-mo’s satirical musical comedy, tells the story of two friends, one rich, the other poor, both suffering from digestive disorders, who agree to exchange lifestyles for two weeks on the advice of their physician. Each of them falls in love with the other’s younger sister and by the end of… Read More

Heimat – Eine deutsche Chronik (1984)

“A catastrophe! What we need is a catastrophe! An earthquake, a flood, or better yet: a train wreck. A forest fire, perhaps? The California forests are burning all the time. Nothing ever happens in this godforsaken Hunsrück! – Lucie, Heimat 1 Heimat: an unparalleled achievement There can no longer be any question that Heimat, German… Read More

Family Ties

The box office success of films like last year’s The King and the Clown and this year’s The Host can’t conceal the fact that Korean cinema is facing difficult times. Exports of domestic films have dropped dramatically, as have those of television dramas. Industry watchers have pointed out the current under-representation of Korean films at… Read More