(some memorabilia collected – not stolen – from the KCC)For those who frequent or have once attended a film from the Korean Film Festival, partly held in London each year, you may already be aware of the KCC – that’s the Korean Cultural Centre (UK/London branch, of course). Either way, it’s a place you need to be aware of. If aware of Korea in any way or an almost novice like myself it’s a venue with much to offer & good times to be had.
I say this after only a couple of visits to this centre. And…best of all, its all free!So far I can only speak of Thursday evenings – and not every Thursday, but currently fortnightly ones…this is when they show a certain picked movie. The evening is far from just a “turn up, sit down, watch movie” one.In essentially what is really just the foyer and reception area things are going on from around 6pm. The usual things are a couple of Korean games and various nibbles & refreshments available to all.The latest visit of mine there was to include something which I was in two minds to take part in or not – this was a chance to try on various Korean costumes. ‘Costumes’ in the fact that they were period ones – this was to tie in very nicely with the week’s film…one filled with such similar clothing.I had hoped that my lady-friend was going to accompany me on this particular evening…both trying on such costumes would have given me that much needed push to dress up. Needless to say, it was me…alone…but I decided to try it on for size so to speak 😉…But to take the word ‘alone’ literally would be far from the description of my standing in this venue. It was eventually heaving…at least for the foyer’s size. Couples, Singletons, Koreans, English, Cosmopolitan-whoevers…!So, in between snack-attacking on rice cake crispy thingies (obviously not the actual Korean name…nor English for that matter) I debated and then decided on wearing such a cosi. Actually I had already made my choice but had to wait for another guy to finish wearing it. It was a lovely gown – see photo – but unfortunately for moi and my stick-thin body the square belt or band required just wanted to slip over my hips and well, to my feet given the chance.Anyway, a photo was taken – to which I’d have access to after the film.Soon, the film “Forbidden Quest” was to start. I didn’t want to miss the start, of course but nor did I want to get a bad seat [Note: my previous visit with ladyfriend, to see “Portrait Of A Beauty” resulted in us STANDING throughout the entire film…not due to a lack of seats – but almost – but due to the remaining seats not being ideal for reading the subtitles].A very nice – & talkative – American woman whom I spoke to prior to the film, had mentioned the seating (essentially the bench rows) being not good for someone with back problems. I was to discover this when taking my pew, but hey at least I had a seat. Let the movie commence.It was a period film but a comedy, as I cited previously. In fact a film which didn’t quite know what it was…but still good. One moment, pretty intriguing and dramatic. The next, outrageously funny. The bench I sat on was pretty bad but mainly due to not being able to lean back…or if I did it would be on someone else’s lower legs 😉 Don’t get me wrong – and as briefly stated before – there were proper seats to sit on plus floor space.Following many gasps of laughter & gaps of awe, where people were waiting to see how this story would infold, the movie came to a close. We all wandered out towards the reception area and as promised, not only were our previously taken photos ready for our collection, a selection of them were displayed in a lovely pattern on the wall.
I proceeded to check whether it was ok to take mine. It seemed fine to do so. In fact, I was going to leave my photo there as the photos themselves would also be uploaded to the KCC’s website…as below.
(see if you can spot me. . . but. . . you have been warned)The staff here really are very welcoming and anyone with any fears or lack of confidence would easily feel at ease. I’ll continue to frequent this place, that’s for sure. Next stop? Hmmm… Korea itself…? Who knows.