Showing posts with label barbie. Show all posts
Showing posts with label barbie. Show all posts

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Interview: The Singular Lee Sang-woo, Director of Barbie

I was fortunate to sit down with Lee Sang-woo a few weeks ago on a Saturday evening in Hongdae after having seen his latest two films Barbie (which came out last week in Korea) and Fire in Hell (which premiered in Jeonju earlier this year).

Lee has been in the industry for a long time, most notably as Kim Ki-duk's assistant director, before making the transition to becoming a prolific director in his own right. His official debut was Tropical Manila in 2008 and he has released six films up until now, including Mother Is a Whore (2010), but has actually shot as many as 12, most of which will be released in the near future.

Lee was extremely frank during his interview which, it should be noted, was conducted after a few bottles of soju. Be warned however, some parts of our discussion may not be to suitable for all tastes. 

Friday, October 26, 2012

Barbie (바비, 2012)

Though I have long been a fan of the aesthetic merits of Korean cinema, I also realize that there exists a dark side to Korean culture, a pervasive materialism that often favors beauty and perfection above all else. Designer goods and Western trappings have quickly become staples of life for modern urban Koreans. So as Korea has leapt forward in the rush of globalization, what has been lost? Director Lee Sang-woo, with his new feature Barbie, cuts right through the façade as he exposes the dark underbelly of contemporary consumerism.

A young girl (Soon-young) takes care of her sister (Soon-ja) and their mentally-ill grandfather while their mercenary uncle (Mang-tek) hatches a plan to sell her to a wealthy American. The American arrives in town with his daughter but Soon-young doesn’t want to abandon her family. The sickly Soon-ja, who plays with her Barbie and wears makeup, desperately wants to take her place. Meanwhile the American is harboring a secret.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Weekly Review Round-up (05/05-05/11, 2012)

Many reviews for a wide variety of films this week and I've rejigged the subsections to reflect films that have already been released in Korea and those that have played at international festivals but have, as of yet, not secured a Korean release date.

Over on the VCinema Show website, which I am a contributor for, Adam Hartzell has embarked on a week-long consideration of Hong Sang-soo's The Day He Arrives as he posts his thoughts after seeing it every day during its week long engagement in San Francisco.  Below are the links to his special feature with only the final day outstanding, which will likely be posted this evening: