‘Café Noir’ 2-DVD Release Date

Mark this date in your calendars – June 9th. Yes, that’s the day Café Noir will at last be available on DVD. Admittedly, we’re not a little disappointed that we won’t be getting a shiny Blu-ray in our greedy little mitts, but hey, this isn’t The Avengers or anything! There have been petitions for a limited edition Blu-ray by… Read More

The King and the Clown (왕의 남자)

Synopsis Chosun dynasty, ca. 1504. Two itinerant street performers, Jang-sang and Gong-gil, having fled to Seoul, face an even more onerous fate when a bawdy farce lands them in prison to await certain death. An opportunity to redeem themselves arises, and a rather lackluster show succeeds nonetheless in pleasing the King and purchasing the troupe’s… Read More

The Customer is Always Right (2005)

Synopsis: An adaptation of a short story by Japanese mystery writer Kyotaro Nishimura, The Customer is Always Right is a comic thriller about a timid barber confronted by a stranger demanding blackmail money. At each visit by the blackmailer, the barber is required to double the ante. The attentions bestowed by the stranger on the… Read More

The Chaser (추격자)

With the countless stories yet to be committed to film, what is it that draws Korean filmmakers time and time again to the same worn-out formulas and conventions? This and sundry other cosmological reflections are what passed through my mind as I patiently endured the two-hour running time of Na Hong-jin’s The Chaser, the thriller… Read More

She Came From (그녀에게)

A contemplative, enigmatic arthouse drama with a bit of road movie tossed in, Kim Seong-ho’s ambitious sophomore feature film – about a young director confronting loss and abandonment – benefits from a great choice of locales, fine lensing, and the natural performance of a fresh newcomer, but lapses into excessive melodrama in the final reel.… 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

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

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