November is here which means one thing for all us UK folks… THE LONDON KOREAN FILM FESTIVAL! If you are subscribed to us on Facebook, you would have no doubt seen us gushing about it. This is the 7th annual LKFF and it is probably the most epic one yet! When we saw the movie list we were overwhelmed by the volume of films on offer this year. We were also MASSIVELY excited to see that many latest Korean releases were included! No more waiting for DVD releases and all our favourite actors on the big screen right here in the UK. Whats more, the LKFF is spreading and will be holding screenings in Glasgow, Bristol and Bournemouth!
Of course the highlights of this year are the opening and closing films and the LKFF has made some fine choices in the form of 2012’s biggest Korean films: The Thieves and Masquerade! People were eager to get tickets and both screenings have now sold out according to the Korean Cultural Centre. The Thieves is one of the biggest selling films in Korea after reaching over 11 million viewers in it’s 4th week of release, and by the 6th week it had over taken our personal favourite The King and the Clown as second highest grossing movie in Korean film history! The Thieves is a heist film and we expect it to be full of your usual fabulously shady characters (with fantastic names) and unexpected twists and turns. This film also has a pretty star studded cast, first of all we have Dream High dreamboat Kim Soo Hyun which is no doubt bringing in the younger audiences. Kim Yoon Seok plays the part of Mr. Macao Park, just one of the many awesome names featured in this film, whom you may remember as the cool bass player of The Happy Life and ex-cop/pimp daddy in The Chaser. Just looking at the poster you know that this film is going to be bad ass! This film is set in the Las Vegas of Asia and also features a Chinese cast including Simon Yam, a personal favourite and a veteran of Hong Kong cinema! The cool factors of this film is officially through the roof! This will be the European Premier of The Thieves and tonight’s opening screening in London Westend will also feature a Q&A with Director Choi Dong Hoon and as mentioned Kim Yoon Seok; excited would be a understatement.
This film festival will run from the 1st-16th November, and the LKFF have helpfully split them into genres for us. First up is a genre that Korea does oh so well: Comedy. There is a huge list of comedies to pick from this year, we’re personally looking forward to seeing I am King, like Masquerade it’s a tale of body doubles, but this one is more Prince and the Pauper style, so expect a lot of big belly laughs! And if you are into historical films, The Grand Heist should also provide you with a good few laughs as we watch a group of “experts” try to steal the country’s supply of ice…
If you are looking for something a little modern, how about a bit of romcom, please British folk, don’t moan and groan because when Korean’s do romcoms, they do it with STYLE. Any How I Met You Mother fans out there? Remember the “glass shattering” episode when Ted realises that his new seemingly perfect girlfriend talks a lot, a lot a lot? Now imagine if they got married, this is All about My Wife. Starring the amazing Lee Seon Gyoon from Petty Romance as the fed up husband and the multi talented Im Soo Jeong of Tale of Two sisters, I’m a Cyborg and Come Rain Come Shine fame (quite an eclectic collection) as perfect but naggy wife, we watch as ladies man Ryoo Seung Yong (too many awesome movies to name) attempt to seduce the wife to free the husband from eternal nagging. This is another fresh hot 2012 release from South Korea and a movie we desperately wanted to see but unfortunately it clashes with the first sell out film of this year’s film festival…. I AM
The past 12 months has been a year of Kpop domination, the Korean Cultural Centre has embraced all the Kpop fans after last year’s overwhelming response to SHINee with events and academies and this time they’ve added a Kpop section to the Film Festival to satisfy UK’s Kpop craving. With Psy bringing Korean music into the limelight, the films selected will give you a 101 on the Kpop industry. I AM is not a documentary, well that’s what they say but this film will give you an insight into one of the most famous record labels in South Korea, a concept that is still pretty alien in the UK. We will see all the back stage happenings as well as what it takes to become an idol in South Korea and hopefully this will give UK folks a bit more undestanding into the intense Kpop industry. Mr Idol (Jay Park!) shows you the more scandalous underbelly of the Kpop world, what idols have to constantly deal with and just the pressures and rollercoaster way of life. And just in case you walk away thinking Korean music is all super sync dancing and pop tunes, have some Acoustic!
After the Olympics we’ve personally felt a bit empty, no more fencing every evening, no epic Badminton duo Chung and Lee. LKFF plans to fill that void with a few specially selected Sport films, we’re personally looking forward to seeing As One Korea starring Secret Garden’s Ha Ji won and Pacemaker which have scenes set in our very own London town! As well as Drama, Comedy, Kpop and Sport, the other genres featured in this year’s London Korean Film Festival is Animation, Mystery (in the form of very frightening Deranged) and Art house. Theres something for EVERYONE!
We have just mentioned a very small handful of movies featured in this year’s London Korean Film Festival as we didn’t want to overwhelm you guys. You should see our week’s schedule! Please do take the time to check out the all films this year, there are so many hidden jems! And of course we couldn’t end this post without mentioning Black Eagle: R2B starring Rain! If you have not heard of this movie then check out our previous post from when this film was first released. We finally get to watch it on our shores and see Rain on our Cinema screens once again! (Just in case you didn’t know, the Rain we refer to is the South Korean Singer/Actor, not the common weather type we are currently experiencing in London…) See you all at the cinema!