LONDON KOREAN FILM FESTIVAL 2014 REVIEW – PART 2

Right.  Where did I leave it?

Korean Film Trailers

Ah, yes…

Saturday:

I’d overslept a tad… ok, ‘ a lot’ (well, it had been two very late nights)… and therefore missed the screening of “Hwayi: A Monster Boy” along with Q & A with Lee Jun-dong. Probably just as well – Mr Lee was probably sick of seeing me everywhere… 2 receptions, 1 forum and I’m sure elsewhere.

Odeon Covent Garden was screening the delightful “Hill of Freedom” by Hong Sangsoo – again a film I’d seen recently and perhaps the only reason I would feel the need to re-watch it so close to the previous time would be if the director himself were present.

Hence, my first film of the day was ultimately at 4pm (and also at the same Odeon… Covent Garden) and it was another which blew my mind… “Han Gong-ju”.

I’m in the process of writing a review for that film. It was introduced by BIFF [Busan International Film Festival] programmer Nam Dong-chul, as well as a Q & A at the end with him (and translator Sophia), but even after it started I completely forgot that it was ‘based’ on true story or event.  I really don’t want to speak of what that true event was, so as not to spoil ‘what may happen or be shown in the film when you witness it.  I will though, if you REALLY must know, state it at the foot of this article.*

The film is disturbing, mesmerising and more & keeps you watching throughout, filling you with emotion… even more so if you’re a sensitive, often teary soul like me.

Meanwhile, over at the Odeon Leicester Square was the fabulous “Poetry”. Obviously I missed it, having been in “Han Gong-ju” but proof of the pudding known as ‘seen-it-before’ pie here is a review from a while ago when Mini Mini had first witnessed it:

Poetry (Shi / 시)

“Alive” was next and here’s my Mini Mini Mini Mini Mini Mini review:

“Natural lighting, Nature, Nice acting, Noraebang, Nocturnal activity but Not-too-much-else.

Not to mention… Neglect, No money, Nonchalantedness and a place in the middle of Nowhere called Nemun all lead us to a glimpse of ‘Normal life’ for these people, and others out there on this planet.

But anecdoting aside, it’s a looooooong film. So much so that I couldn’t tell if I was enjoying it more after 90 minutes or so or just hoping the penultimate scene or shots were approaching.

No… They weren’t.  Those scenes weren’t just around the corner.  However, I had gained interest as well as bum-ache and an empty cup – that could be an analogy there.

Even only around 30 minutes into the film it seemed to take a strange turn or two.  That’s probably what initially started to lose my interest.

It’s not a bad film and around half way through – I think!? – there’s even perhaps a lesson concerning life over profit. That suits my heart.

Actually, I had no idea of the film’s length at first. It shouldn’t matter if a film is genuinely full of tale-telling and worthy of the runtime. It was 175 minutes (very almost 3 hours!), although the LKFF programme states 150 minutes. There’s hardly any difference… it was just looooooong.”

Then?

Home.

Meanwhile, I’d missed “Obsessed” although that was way down in Kingston.  No problem either, as it was to be shown on Sunday in Leicester Square.  Was I to catch it there though?  Follow these updates to find out.

I had missed “Man In Love” which was playing in Odeon West End (Leicester Square) but hey!, these things happen.  I was now a ‘Man In Need Of Rest’…!

What was next… after sleep?

Sunday – of course.

On my ‘day of rest’ though I was do to nothing of the sort – I was to immerse further in the LKFF.

First up was a choice.  Oh dear.  Never easy for moi.

2pm – Do I see “The Target” at Odeon Covent Garden or “A Hard Day” at Odeon West End?

I was going to see the former – “The Target – partly out of principle and therefore feeling silly to have missed a potential (free?) opportunity of seeing “A Hard Day” at the recent BFI London Film Festival.

The pic for “A Hard Day” also featured a pose with a gun or two and that was enough to put me off.  However, another founding member of our London Asian Film Society suggested I ‘do’ see it. After all, it could be the kind of tonic I needed on this Sunday afternoon.  Lighthearted apparently, and not all action.  I took his woe for it.

Here’s my extremely MINI review:

“A Hard Day – It certainly put the FUN in FUNERAL, and more !”

[sorry if slightly inappropriate]

It was around the 4pm mark now and duly satisfied with that film I was to await the evening, and more so the UK Premiere of Kim Ki-duk’s “One on One”.

I had no choice that this would mean I’d miss the 1st of 3 Mise- en-scène collections (“Mise-en-scène Shorts 1”, to be precise but a hardly unsurprising ‘title’). This was playing at the Korean Cultural Centre (KCCUK) and I’ve always enjoyed these… usually screened in the cinema venues themselves, but this year for FREE in the KCCUK. Incidentally, this year they were all screened throughout this same day – yes, you’ve guessed it, with both “Mise-en-scène Shorts 2” and “Mise-en-scène Shorts 3” coming later on.

To remind myself of their quality and indeed the inquisitive ones out there of what you can often expect, here’s a review from the year before last:

LONDON KOREAN FILM FESTIVAL 2012 – MISE EN SCÈNE PART 1

For Kim Ki-duk’s Premiere I would also be missing “10 Minutes” at Odeon Covent Garden. Note: your ‘programme’ may have stated a different venue… and talking of ‘programme’ it included a Q & A with BIFF ‘programmer’ Nam Dong-chul.  Do you see what I did there?  And yes, that guy indeed gets around during his stay in the UK.

Did I mention Kim Ki-duk…?!  Yes, at least twice. A tiny review, although not ‘quite’ as small as the “A Hard Day” one above, will follow in the next article.

So… Coming Next?

Sunday night… and more!

 [*Based on the infamous Miryang gang rape case from 2004]