And this list comes from Aniruddh Chatterjee, the self-declared biggest Korean movie fanatic on this side of the planet. Do read the post, and do watch the films. If you have come across some interesting Korean movies recently, do let us know in the comments.
Over to Aniruddh.
Jeon Do-yeon relocates alongwith her young son to the village where her recently deceased husband grew up. And tragedy strikes again. The film is not so much about the tragedy itself, as about its aftermath. Jeon Do-yeon’s performance is as raw and naked as it can get.
Note: Jeon Do-yeon won the Best Actress award at Cannes Film Festival for Secret Sunshine.
Lee Chang-dong is fairly underrated when it comes to the big league of Korean directors. His last film Poetry is an absolute gem. Do watch his entire filmography which includes Oasis, Peppermint Candy and Green Fish.
Secret Sunshine is now available on Criterion DVD/Blu-ray.
CASTAWAY ON THE MOON
A failed suicide attempt results in Jeong Jae-yeong play Robinson Crusoe in a conservation island in the middle of Han River. The only person who can see him is Kim Jung-yeon, an agoraphobic, who has shut herself in one of the city’s high rises.
Offbeat, quirky, bizarre yet immensely endearing take on romantic comedy.
The opening scene in the film sees Seo Woo traveling in a taxi through dense fog. From the first shot director Park Chan-ok is preparing the audience for the ride. Paju is about the complicated relationship between a young girl and her brother-in-law and complications that follow. Gorgeously shot by Kim Woo-hyung and a brilliant and emotionally nuanced performance by Seo Woo in her breakout role.
This is what we call a mood-piece!
A tender, almost meditative tale of resilience, while facing constant abandonment from family. Heartbreaking real performance from both leads, Kim Hee-yeon and Kim Song-hee.
THE DAY HE ARRIVES
Hong’s films are very Woody Allen-esque. His characters aren’t as neurotic as Allen but definitely immature and self centered fools. Beautifully shot in monochrome, highlighting the winter, the film is about Yoo Jun-sang, a retired film director, currently teaching film studies, and his encounter with friends, acquaintances and strangers over the next few days when he visits Seoul.
Note : Hong Sang-soo is criminally underrated when it comes to the big league of Korean directors.
He is a Cannes Film Festival regular with five of his films nominated for either Palme d’Or or Un Certain Regard. His film Hahaha won the Un Certain Regard award in 2010.
Do check out his filmography which includes Woman on the Beach, Tale of Cinema, Night and Day, Hahaha and the recent In another Country.
A beautiful film about a couple of lost souls trying to fit into society, knowing it is difficult for them to change at all.
Terrific performances by Seo Young-joo and Lee Jung-hyun.
The struggle of a North Korean refugee trying to cope with her new life in South Korea as she’s constantly under the radar of South Korean intelligence alleging her to be a spy.
Note : The final chapter in director Jeon Kyu-hwan’s town trilogy, other two being Mozart Town and Animal Town.
Bleak Night is post-mortem of a suicide. Three high school friends, their loyalty, betrayal, guilt and despair leading to and post the suicide. Touches the important topic of bullying and violence in high school.
Yoon Sung-Hyun makes one of the most assured directorial debuts in recent times.