Showing posts with label mkc. Show all posts
Showing posts with label mkc. Show all posts

Friday, December 27, 2019

Top 10 Korean Films of 2019

By Pierce Conran

You won't find any big surprise at the top of this list, but beyond the obvious choice for best film of the year, the sad truth of the matter is that 2019 was a very poor year for Korean cinema overall. As the industry has tried to course-correct from the blockbuster-heavy lineup of the last year or two, a great number of very watchable but not altogether memorable mid-level films have emerged. It's the same story within the indie industry which has grown stale with a great many competent films appearing at festivals that cycle through the same social themes but precious few among them generating genuine excitement.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

MKC Wants You! Looking For Writers with a Passion for Korean Films

First off, apologies to all MKC readers for the significant recent lack of updates. The month leading up to the Busan Film Fest is always a busy time (or at least it has been in my brief two years in Korea) and other new ventures have kept me away from the site. Not to worry though as I'll make sure that MKC gets back on track and continues to deliver fresh new content on the latest Korean films (and a few old ones too). However, I may need a little help...

Though I've been responsible for most of the site over the last few years, the MKC team has grown in recent times, with the addition of Rex Baylon's excellent reviews, Fabien Schneider's very informative New Korean Films column and Connor McMorran's Edinburgh IFF coverage. In addition, various events, such as 'Jopok Week' and 'Revenge Week' on the monthly 'Thought Leader's Corner' have yielded an enormous amount of exciting content from different contributors. Clearly, there is no shortage of Korean film fans out there, a great many of whom have readily transferred their passion to the page (or screen).

In the hopes of turning MKC into a more frequently updated hub for Korean film coverage and recognizing the growing fan base for the Korean cinema, I would like to announce a call for writers. Whether news, features, interviews, columns or news, we are open to any new content on Korean film. So if you share our passion and would like to join our team please get in touch at [email protected] by telling us a little about yourself and giving us a writing sample. At the end of the day, MKC was set up as a way to talk about a long-held passion for Korean film. By bringing more people into the fold, I hope that that excitement can be shared among a larger group of people.

Don't be shy! ;)

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Revenge Week: Conclusion

Part of MKC's Revenge Week (July 8-14, 2013).

All good things must come to an end, and after nine days (roughly a week) and 30 articles, Revenge Week is winding up on MKC. It's been a great journey and I would like to thank everyone who contributed and of course all of you that have visited the site this week. It wouldn't have been possible without you.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Revenge Week: Reader's Top 10 Korean Revenge Films

Part of MKC's Revenge Week (July 8-14, 2013).

We began Revenge Week with the MKC's Top 10 Korean Revenge Films and now as the feature comes to an end, here is the Top 10, as voted by you! Thanks to all who took part and if you leave a comment with your favorites, we may still just include them in the list. ;)

Friday, July 12, 2013

Revenge Week: Trailers of Revenge! Day 5

Part of MKC's Revenge Week (July 8-14, 2013). This daily series comes courtesy of Tom Giammarco, the author of the Seen in Jeonju website, surely one of the best resources for information on classic Korean cinema on the web. Enjoy!

Incest as a tool of revenge must surely be one of the most shocking methods of achieving vengeance. The role it played in the most popular of Park Chan-wook’s Vengeance Trilogy shocked audiences around the world with both its venom and its creativity. The more recent Dirty Blood features a young woman intent on getting revenge on her father and begins a sexual relationship with him without him knowing her real identity. Are these cases unique in Korean cinema? The answer, of course, is ‘No.’


Part of MKC's Revenge Week (July 8-14, 2013).

If Revenge Week has achieved anything, it's confirmed beyond any doubt just how prevalent the theme of revenge is in Korean cinema. But exactly how many are there? That's a hard question to answer but here's our shot at a list covering every Korean revenge film we could think of.

This list is far from exhaustive and we encourage suggestions to improve it! Let us know what you think is missing in the comments below, on facebook or on twitter.

We also hope to create a user list of the best Korean revenge films this week so please use this a resource and tell us five of your favorites.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Revenge Week: Seeing Devils - Violence and Revenge in Kim Jee-woon’s I Saw the Devil (Part II)

Part of MKC's Revenge Week (July 8-14, 2013).

By David Bell

Released the same year, Jang’s Bedevilled offers a more delicate approach. Hae-won, an unsympathetic Seoul bank-worker, is forced to take time off after aggressive behaviour towards a colleague and visits her childhood friend Bok-nam on the fictional island of Moo-do. Appalled by the mannerisms and cleanliness of the farming islanders, she passively bears witness to their horrific treatment of Bok-nam and murder, and denial thereof to (again) useless police, of Bok-nam’s daughter. Frustratingly, Jang persistently plays with our expectation to see Hae-won emerge from her clean middle-class apathy and intervene in Bok-nam’s suffering under the abject, conventionally Othered, islanders. But just as she previously failed to act after witnessing Bok-nam’s gang rape as a teenager by those same men as youths, Hae-won, indifferent, arranges her return to Seoul. In turn, Bok-nam’s manic massacre of the islanders takes on a decidedly, and cleverly achieved, tone of despair. Had Hae-won intervened, as her need for redemption combined with the wretched islanders’ need of punishment appeared to signpost she would, the ensuing carnage might have taken a more traditionally cathartic mode – one more in keeping with the violence performed in I Saw the Devil.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Revenge Week: Seeing Devils - Violence and Revenge in Kim Jee-woon’s I Saw the Devil (Part I)

Part of MKC's Revenge Week (July 8-14, 2013). 

By David Bell

Spectacles of violence are an important aspect of modern cinema. At times they shock and appal us, at others they attract and excite. Often they are the most memorable moments of a film. To mention Park Chan-wook’s Oldboy (2003) is to remind those, who have seen it, instantly of a man slicing off his own tongue. Our uneasy relationship to screen violence can be traced from the very genesis of cinema. Thomas Edison’s 1903 film Electrocuting an Elephant showed simply that – a scene of violence, the public electrocution of an elephant. That same year Edwin S. Porter took steps with The Great Train Robbery to bring the two cinematic aspects of narrative and violence effortlessly together. Today, spectacles of violence are regularly where cinema is found at its most visceral; where the reality of our corporeal bodies is brought into line with those of the characters on screen. In some instances, it can be deeply uncomfortable; in others, massively pleasurable.

Revenge Week: Top 10 Korean Revenge Films

Part of MKC's Revenge Week (July 8-14, 2013). 

Korean cinema may not only be a purveyor of revenge fare but there's no denying the country's particular flair for churning out gripping vengeance-fuelled narratives. However, unlike gangster fare or romcoms, revenge films are a little harder to identify, especially when it comes to making a list like this. Outside of a few obvious contenders, it took a lot of ground work and research before even writing a word, as, again and again, I had to keep asking myself "does this count as a revenge film"?

Monday, July 8, 2013

Revenge Week: A Dish Best Served Cold

Part of MKC's Revenge Week (July 8-14, 2013).

It is a popular assertion in drama and literature that revenge is a violent action committed to gain justice for a wronged party. Hamlet kills his uncle for murdering his father, the 47 ronin in the Chushingura devised an elaborate plan to avenge their fallen daimyo and the Old Testament gave us the old acorn “An eye for an eye”. Yet while this simplistic dictum has fueled many vendettas from around the world and throughout time there is never any peace for those involved. In the land of the blind the one-eyed man inherits nothing but a charred and ruined kingdom.

Revenge Week Begins!

Welcome to Revenge Week on Modern Korean Cinema! We are very excited to be featuring lots of new and exciting content from MKC team members and many new contributors throughout the next seven days as we seek to explore the bountiful theme of revenge in Korean cinema.

This page will serve as homebase for all the accumulated content that goes up during the week so please bookmark or check back to keep up with all the great stuff coming up over the next few days.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Edinburgh 2013: Introduction to Korean Showcase

Part of Connor McMorran's coverage for MKC of the Edinburgh International Film Festival (June 19-30, 2013).

Following last year’s retrospective of the works of the long overlooked Japanese director Shinji Somai, Edinburgh International Film Festival’s artistic director Chris Fujiwara now brings focus onto two likewise overlooked aspects of global cinema: the films of Sweden and Korea. Film festivals are an interesting concept as they bring films from all over the world to one particular town or city, allowing local cineastes to explore and discover a wide variety of directors and works. Yet, unfortunately, their main flaw is often their attempt to house such a diverse range of cinematic voices over the relatively short space of one or two weeks.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

MKC Thought Leaders' Corner: North Korea in South Korean Cinema (May 2013)

North Korea has been in the news a lot lately for its latest round of belligerent actions. Many believe that Western media has been exaggerating the danger the communist state poses to South Korea's national security. I can't say that I've noticed any especial alarm among the local populace yet there's no denying that the oppressive regime casts a long shadow over the country. Cinema is just one of the places where this is readily evident, so this month I asked the experts:

Has Korean cinema's representation of North Korea changed over the years?

Monday, November 12, 2012

Sleepless Night Production Stills

Part IV of a special MKC feature on Jang Kun-jae.

Director Jang Kun-jae very kindly provided MKC with the following production stills taken during the shoot of his latest film Sleepless Night. A few were used for our interview with him but they are all so good that I felt I should share them all with you. You can get a real sense for how intimate the filming was, a feeling that really seeps into the finished product.

Hope you enjoy these as much as I did!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

MKC Leaves for Seoul

Part of an ongoing series about my trip to and discovery of Seoul...

Well the day is here and as I'm about to leave so I'll keep it short.  I'll be touching down in Seoul in 23 hours with my scant 28kgs of baggage.

I'm supposed to have internet in my new apartment but if there is any problem upon arrival please bear with me as I get myself set up in a few days.  Though baring any major problems I expect the flow of news and content to go uninterrupted, only the box office update will be delayed due to the flight.

See you on the other side!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

MKC to Touch Down in Seoul in 5 Days

Part of an ongoing series about my trip to and discovery of Seoul...

The big day is almost here.  Last week I received my issuance number from Korean immigration and made my way to the local embassy in Bern, the Swiss capital.  I'll get my passport back with its new visa stamp in the next day or two and this morning I received my e-ticket which departs from Zurich this Sunday (June 3rd) with a layover in Doha, Qatar before arriving at Incheon airport Monday evening.  I'll be flying with Qatar Airways which I've only heard great things about, however I am sad that it won't be with Korean Air as naturally I would have liked to catch some new releases on the plane!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Site Updates During Udine Far East Film Festival

I'll be heading off to Udine early tomorrow morning and just like last month's FIFF, I plan to post daily updates of the films I see at the festival.  I can't wait to get there and meet the many people that, until now, I've only had the opportunity to converse with online.

It's going to be a very busy week with screenings kicking off at 9am and running until 2am (though I may have to miss a few midnight screenings if I want to maintain my sanity).  As such I just wanted to let everyone know that MKC's weekly updates will go on an exceptional hiatus but I will double down when return in nine days.

I hope you enjoy MKC's FEFF coverage and as always thank you for visiting the site!