Thursday, January 15, 2015

News: Rotterdam to Host 19 Korean Films

The International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR) is no stranger to Korean films but for their 44th edition, they've gone all out, programming 19 films across various sections. In addition to some of the latest Korean indie films, many from Busan, the festival has also announced a 12-title Jang Jin retrospective.

Roh Gyong-tae's fourth film Black Stone will have its world premiere in the Spectrum section, along with Jang Kun-jae's A Midsummer's Fantasia. The Bright Future lineup will feature PARK Jung-bum's Alive, KIM Tae-yong's Set Me Free and LEE Kwang-guk's A Matter of Interpretation. Meanwhile, BOO Ji-young's Cart and KIM Dong-hoo's Made in China will be featured in different Signals lineups.

Writer-director-producer Jang Jin's impressive career will be under the spotlight in his own section, which will feature his directorial efforts Guns and Talk (2001), Murder, Take One (2005), Righteous Ties (2006), Someone Grateful (2006), My Son (2007), The Quiz Show Scandal (2010), Romantic Heaven (2011) and both his 2014 films, Man on High Heels and We Are Brothers. Also included will be his big screen writing debut A Hot Roof (1996) and Welcome to Dongmakgol (2005) and The Recipe (2010), both of which he wrote and produced. It's a terrific retrospecitve but personally I'm a little disappointed not see Someone Special (2004) and Going By the Book (2007), which I consider to be his best films.

Though no Korean films were selected this year for the main competition, five have picked up the signature Hivos Tiger Award in the past, including Han Gong-ju (2013) last year. IFFR takes place over January 21st to February 1st.

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  1. I think SOMEONE SPECIAL (2004) is screening, it's just been misnamed SOMEONE GRATEFUL (2006). Completely unexpected retrospective from Rotterdam who have never before screened a film by Jang Jin.

  2. Nice to read, even though I live near Rotterdam I never have been to the festival. Which of these Korean movies would you suggest?

    1. Lots of great stuff, but ALIVE, A MATTER OF INTERPRETATION and A MIDSUMMER'S FANTASIA were among my favorites last year. And try to get some Jang films if you can. WELCOME TO DONGMAKGOL is a crowd-pleaser.