London Korean Film Festival 2017 Preview by Helen M Jerome

London Korean Film Festival 2017

London Korean Film Festival 2017 Preview: We’re giving you the heads-up early this year, so you can book to see the hottest Korean films around – and some of the biggest directors and stars, too. Yours truly is a sucker for Korean movies, and for this annual film festival in particular, so I’m rubbing my hands with glee at several of the offerings, and will share my insider tips with you…

Opening and closing gala films both (coincidentally) have the same female star, Kim Saebyuk, and this’ll be the UK’s first chance to see Hong Sangsoo’s
The Day After (right) kickstart proceedings on October 26th, with the lower-key The First Lap from director Kim Dae-hwan (who will do a Q&A session after) also premiering here when the festival ends on November 8th. Sangsoo can be a bit of a Marmite director, but those who love cleverly structured, self-referential cinema will be in hog heaven with this black and white release.

The rest of this 12th LKFF is a whirlwind of themed and curated sections – totalling over SIXTY films! But if you like your movies and heroes hardboiled, then the Korean Noir section is packed with must-sees, including recent stand-outs The Merciless and Coin Locker Girl , plus more movies tracing Noir back through the decades to 1964’s Black Hair, the restored print of The Last Witness, from 1980, with director Lee Doo-yong attending, plus 2000’s Kilimanjaro – where a detective is mistaken for his gangster twin brother, with its director Oh Seung-uk also coming over.


The Cinema Now strand bulges with the biggest hits and the coolest releases, and I’m marking your card for Master (above), a financial thriller, and The Mimic, which goes into horror territory, plus Crime City – a true crime story, and In Between Seasons, based on the director’s (Lee Dong-eun) own comic book.

The Women’s Voices section shines a light onto issues of discrimination and misogyny, but also celebrates the power of friendship, through one documentary Candle Wave Feminists, and four dramas.

And if you want to get even more hip and indie, then Indie Firepower showcases stuff you’ll be lucky to track down outside the festival circuits, including Bamseom Pirates Seoul Inferno (about an edgy Korean punk band), and Non Fiction Diary from 2013, about a serial murder case. Documentaries on your list might include A Dream Of Iron. Then there are the Classics Revisited, this time zooming in on the work of director Bae Chang-Ho, who will be doing a number of Q&A sessions. Not forgetting the shorts, animations, and artist videos…

Book your tickets and check out the full line-up at: http://koreanfilm.co.uk/site/the-2017-festival

NB. If you can’t get to the capital, then you’re still in luck as the festival tours to: Glasgow Film Theatre, Manchester HOME, Sheffield Showroom, Nottingham Broadway Cinema, Belfast Queen’s Film Theatre until November 19th, 2017.


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