LONDON KOREAN FILM FESTIVAL 2014 REVIEW – Part 5

Korean Film festivals

A couple of articles ago, in which MMM continued the coverage of this year’s fabulous London Korean Film Festival, we left you on the Tuesday. Well, essentially we left it at Monday, going into Tuesday… but you know what I mean.

Since that article there were a couple more – both concerning interviews, and mostly regarding ones at the festival this year. And… in fact… The grand total of articles connected with coverage this year or films featuring at it, so far (and excluding those with only a vague link to the films and/or previous years) is 10…!

That’s the boring stats out of the way, but here are those links anyway for ‘ease of use’ and your enjoyment or at least perusal… if you don’t enjoy them!🙂

https://miniminimovie.com/2014/11/10/london-korean-film-festival-2014-review-part-1/
https://miniminimovie.com/2014/11/11/london-korean-film-festival-review-part-2/
https://miniminimovie.com/2014/11/13/london-korean-film-festival-2014-review-part-3/
https://miniminimovie.com/2014/11/14/london-korean-film-festival-2014-review-part-4-interviews/
https://miniminimovie.com/2014/11/16/park-chan-kyong-interview-manchat/
https://miniminimovie.com/2011/07/25/poetry-or-grand-madeo/
https://miniminimovie.com/2014/10/06/moebius-or-moan-be-us-mmm-bios/
https://miniminimovie.com/2014/10/31/stop-press-lkff-2014-actor-jung-woo-sung-strand-programme-change/
https://miniminimovie.com/2014/10/27/london-korean-film-festival-programme/

https://miniminimovie.com/2014/09/25/london-korean-film-festival-2014/

[and…

https://miniminimovie.com/2014/11/20/ahn-sung-ki-interview-mangala/ ]

Anyway, anyways or anyhow, back to Tuesday. Tuesday 11th November 2014. What, or what was this day to bring? Let’s see…

First up was a film I didn’t have to see – having witnessed it at a special Press Screening at Busan International Film Festival 2013 – but felt I wanted to, to refresh my memory. The film? “The Fake”. I also recalled it being pretty good and indeed from the director of “The King Of Pigs“, which I really liked.

The film though, didn’t grab me this time around. I can’t say exactly why, but something felt different. Still, I had missed no other films on this murky Tuesday and so, who knows, I may be able to drum up a little review of it in the future.

Later in the day was another chance to not only see another film which Park Chan-kyong had been a major player on but also again to hear him speak… This time in a Q & A regarding the relating film, “Bitter, Sweet, Seoul”. And so I did… both watch it and hear him… and no need to venture far away from the venue where I’d witnessed the previous film, as both “The Fake” and “Bitter, Sweet, Soul” screened at Odeon Covent Garden.

I will say at this point though that a review of “Bitter, Sweet, Seoul” will be up in due course.

The film is made by the company or indeed partnership, ‘PARK-ing CHANce’ – you see, it’s co-directed, co-edited co-‘driven’ by both ‘PARK’ brothers, Park ‘CHAN’-wook and Park ‘CHAN’-kyong. Now can you see where the PARKing CHANce comes from? There’s a little more to that name, as explained to us in the aforementioned Q & A but I’m sure I’ll include that in the film’s review.

Well, what a day it had been so far. There was still more to come, at least for those with cinema-staring-stamina.

You see, whilst that film was on the KCCUK was screening the Kim Ki-duk debut feature, “Crocodile” for FREE, and as part of the KK-D retrospective occurring this year.

With stamina still weighing on my mind, and with other things to do, write and general breath-taking I decided to miss the classic, and also ‘Seoul’ related film, “Under The Sky of Seoul” – this also played at Odeon Covent Garden.

Instead, towards home I headed.

W-W-Well, W-W-What d’ya know?! W-W-Wednesday W-W-Was very soon upon me, us, them (the festival goers) and W-W-Well you too if you W-W-Were there. Anyhow, let’s stop this nonsensical stammering.

Wednesday included actually zero films to be witnessed by yours truly. It’s not that I couldn’t but ultimately decided not to. BUT… and a BIG BUT (one T, I’m not being vulgar!)… one event was to completely make my day. What was that? Read on, wouldn’t you please?

So, why was I to miss the first film on this Wednesday 12th November? I didn’t really want to omit it from my planned schedule but it simply had to go – but instead an interview!

Yep indeedy, the animated film named “The Road called Life” was playing at Odeon Covent Garden, but so was something else ‘playing’ on my mind. That was the invitation and opportunity to interview Mr Park Chan-kyong. Who was I to decline such an offer?

Indeed, I had to do this. Simply had to. The outcome was this interview:

https://miniminimovie.com/2014/11/16/park-chan-kyong-interview-manchat/

Next… The choice of missing the film, “The King of Jokgu” (playing at Odeon Covent Garden) was an easy one given that I had the chance of listening to Park Chan-kyong speaking again.

This time?

… In the Korean Cultural Centre’s event, “In Conversation with Park Chan-kyong”. It was an interesting and intriguing talk… Even if the latter word ‘intriguing’ more than intrigued those present, all the more with what he had to say. It certainly went over my head a lot, and indeed I think Mr Park knew that. We chatted again briefly after and he’d asked me if I’d understood much of it. I pretty much told the truth as best only I can. I believe the fact that it was advertised as a talk about “Manshin” and therefore perhaps regarding his career, art and filmmaking itself many were lost with his future art project [in Iniva, London] and its connection.

I felt, after this that I was a little filmed-out and it was therefore going to have been just a day of non-films. In other words, listening to chat rather than watching a screen. On that note, I decided to miss “The Warrior” – showing for free at the Korean Cultural Centre, and as part of the Jung Woo-sung retrospective.

“Night Flight”, at Odeon Covent Garden was also given a miss by yours truly, not helped by the fact that I thought it was a film I’d seen by the very same director. That film though was “White Night”. Anyway, given its length and my general tired feeling I called it a day.

Thursday!

Yes. It had been a week already since the LKFF had begun and first up on this day, and at Odeon Covent Garden was a collection of shorts. Four of them, to be precise and in this advertised order:

“I am Not a Hairdresser”
“There is no Forest”
“Faces”
“Deaf and Wind”

A small review, you ask? Indeed, very short but in the order of the films as they were screened, here is my petit overview…

“A very SHORT compilation review of a few very good SHORTS.

1. “There is no Forest” – Great use swords imagery and music.

2. “Deaf and Wind” – Soft smooth 3D-like animation and classical music soundtrack

3. “Faces” – An artist battle with the nonsensical sacrifice of talent for stardom.

4. “I am Not a Hairdresser” – Coffins, Colours and Craziness.

I was fortunate enough to meet the young director of “There is no Forest”… and indeed be handed a DVD of the film. That said, he was handing them out to quite a few peeps, essentially those who’d just witnessed it. This seems to be a half standard thing these days – Only a few weeks prior had I been handed one by the Japanese director of the brilliant short, “Ensemble”, Mr Toowa II at Raindance Film Festival.

Such non-features require little attention span, even if they often leave you with a feeling of non-resolution. Perhaps though, this is more in Korean shorts than any others.

Witnessing these 4 little films meant that I missed “Donghae & Eunhyuk (Super Junior) Concert” + “The Youth”, PLUS Q & A with Donghae (Super Junior), over at Odeon West End. This was deliberate, but that’s not to say that “The Youth” didn’t sound an interesting film.

Soon up was the film, “Gyeongju” at Odeon Covent Garden, and I must admit that this was one of my favourites of the whole festival. I’d not only visited the place whilst over in Korea – obviously… as it’s only IN Korea! – but had heard good things.

Not only the latter, I was a tad intrigued further after learning from the director of the Korean Cultural Centre (in one of our many little chats over the festival and year in general) that ‘Gyeongju’ can also translate to mean ‘Racing’. Hmmm

Also missed out on this day – although I’d hoped* to catch it later in the week [Saturday] when it was to make its Kingston debut – was the film, “Haemoo” which played at Odeon West End. Furthermore, the film “Man on High Heels” and showing at Odeon West End also, was not seen, due to seeing aforementioned splendour, “Gyeongju”.

*…hoped?! Indeed, but you’ll see WHY I ‘didn’t’ catch it… Something MUCH BETTER came up and if you were given the choice and/or opportunity you surely would have done the same.

Well, with now only 2 days remaining after this delightful Thursday it can only mean that we were soon into Friday…

Yep. The penultimate day had arrived. What oh what did the LKFF have in store for us, and even more so for a few even luckier ones. Do I mean MMM and others? Perhaps.

The first screening of the day was soon upon moi.

However, before that I’ll just mention the couple of films I did NOT witness on this Fine (pre-Finale) Friday:

These were “Moebius” and “The Dinner”, both playing at Odeon Covent Garden, 6.30pm and 8.30pm respectively. But, having previously witnessed Kim Ki-duk’s “Moebius” – on more than one occasion – a review of MiniMiniMovie’s is available and can be found here:

https://miniminimovie.com/2014/10/06/moebius-or-moan-be-us-mmm-bios/

What did I ACTUALLY see, then?

A double bill, one could say of Jung Woo-sung related films. Indeed, “Cold Eyes” and the short, “The Killer Behind, the Old Man”. In fact, you could say a ‘triple bill of Jung Woo-sung-related-ness’ if you include the Q & A which followed also.

Or… A quadruple bill if you include what was to follow for a certain few of us, following that already delightful J W-s line-up at Odeon West End. You see, we were later off to a very exclusive post-film reception where both Jung Woo-sung AND… wait for it… Ahn Sung-ki… were!

And how fitting to finish that paragraph with Mr Ahn Sung-ki. Why? Well, it was him who was first on my list on the following day – Saturday – and indeed the very reason** for that aforementioned omitting, missing and non-tripping-down-to-Kingston to see “Haemoo”.

**I don’t mean that it was him who I and others saw around the midnight connecting Friday to Saturday which caused the missage… as we meandered from the said reception, but that TOO could be a reason.

What I relate to was an OppOrtunity, Offer and One-chance-tO-miss Of: an interview with HIM. Him, the King… Of the Korean screen.

How could ‘I’ Shun A King [my anagram of Ahn Sung-ki]..?!

HIM?! Not quite in the biblical sense but…

‘So it came to be’ that I was sat in a room with quite a few others waiting with baited breath what this King had to say… although in longer answers that we had ever anticipated. The interview lasted one hour and twenty minutes, I will add.

That interview

Here:

https://miniminimovie.com/2014/11/20/ahn-sung-ki-interview-mangala/

That only left one event, but a very important one. The Closing Gala and therefore screening of “Revivre” at Odeon West End…

…Important for a few reasons.

1) It was the film which Mr Ahn Sung-ki was here ‘for’, although not exclusively I guess.

2) It was a much anticipated film by Im Kwon-taek.

3) An adaptation of a un adaptable book (http://londonkoreanlinks.net/2014/11/03/kim-hoon-hwajang-review/).

4) The UK Premiere.

5) Not even shown in Korea on general release yet.

A brilliant film, in my opinion.

*

So… That was it. Except for an ‘all-star’ post-film and post-everything party.

What more can one say?

See you next year?

The 10th London Korean Film Festival…?!

OR stay tuned for all the great filmic events and seasons coming up at the Korean Cultural Centre, London.

But… What? You want an example?

Currently this, for starters:

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