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Thursday, March 10, 2011

What Should be on the Radar for Korean Cinema Fans

My last post got me thinking, perhaps people haven't had the same opportunity as they've had before to see Korean films because they don't known about them. It could be that the passive fans who found out about Korean cinema from The New York Times or The Guardian don't know what else is out there since most publications that have mentioned these films in the past seldom mention them today.

To give people a chance to catch up, here is a list of films that have recently come out of Korea and those to keep on eye out for in the near future:

The Man From NowhereI wasn't very exited about this project when I first heard about it but now I'm looking forward to seeing it. It still has a relatively low profile but the word of mouth is very strong for this action thriller that seems the channel Leon and Taken.

Available on Blu-ray & DVD in the US, out on DVD in UK on April 11.

Bedevilled - By all accounts an exciting addition to the Korean 'revenge drama' cannon from first time director Yang Chul-soo.

Available on Blu-ray & DVD in the UK. Currently no plans for release in the US.

I Saw the Devil - Another revenge drama, this time from Kim Ji-woon, one of the most marketable Korean directors abroad. It features great performances from powerhouse leads Choi Min-sik and Lee Byung-hun and is a refreshing and uncompromising take on the revenge narrative.

Currently on limited release in US, out on Blu-ray & DVD on May 10. To be released in theaters in the UK on April 29 and on Blu-ray & DVD on May 9.

Poetry - The latest from Lee Chang-dong,  about a grandmother who tries to write a poem as she deals with a failing body and the consequences of an act of her grandchild's.

Currently on limited release in NY. No plans for the UK, but this is only a matter of time.

HaHaHa and Oki's Movie - Both of these well-received Hong Sang-soo films were well received in Korea last year.

Will make the rounds at the festivals this year, perhaps these will see release by the end of the year.

The Yellow Sea - The sophomore effort from the director of The Chaser. It's about a Chinese man goes to Korea to find his wife and ends up on the run after being framed for a murder.

Will be in competition at Cannes this year, so there will be a wait before this becomes available.

Glove - From veteran filmmaker Kang Woo-suk, a story about a hot-tempered former professional baseball player, is sent to the countryside to coach a team of hearing-impaired players.

Recently released in Korea.

The Journals of Musan - The debut from Lee Chang-dong's former assistant director, Park Jung-bum. A North Korean defector has a hard time coping in society.

Will be released in Korea on April 7.

My Way - From the maker of Taegukgi, Kang Je-gyu, comes another war film, this time about a Korean man who dons a german uniform during WWII. It is the most expensive Korean film of all time.

Currently in production, to be released this December in Korea.

Hanji - Im Kwon-taek's 101st feature film.

To be released on March 17 in Korea.

The Battle of Yellow SeaFrom Kwak Kyung-taek, the director of Friend, comes A 3D action film based on the true story of the 2002 gun battle between the North and South Korean navies.

To be released in Korea in 2011.

Snow Piercer - Based on a French comic, this Bong Joon-ho helmed picture, to be produced by Park Chan-wook, will chronicle a train of 1001 cars, which has to carry a large group of the last human beings on Earth after a nuclear war. It's time to start getting very exited about this.

Most Likely will be released in late 2012 in Korea.

The Host 2 - A sequel to the 2006 megahit, is being made in 3D. Bong Joon-ho is not attached to this project.

Aiming for a summer 2012 release in Korea.

Let me know if there is anything you would add to this list.

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