In feudal Korea, the evil King becomes aware that there is a peasant rebellion being planned in the country. He steals all the iron farming tools and cooking pots from the people so that he may make weapons to fend off the peasant army. After he returns the property to the people, an old blacksmith is imprisoned and starved to death. His last creation is a tiny figurine of a monster- Pulgasari, a Godzilla-like creature that eats iron. The blood of his daughter brings the creature to life, and fights with the poor, starving peasants to overthrow the corrupt monarchy.
Tag Archives: Korean
Hong kil dong / The Avenger with a Flute (1986) Kil-in Kim, Chang Son Hui, Gwon Ri, Riyonun Ri, Action, Fantasy, Adventure
Due to the strict Korean Confucian laws, Hong, born an illegitimate child, is not accepted by his father and family. The legitimate wife (in the original novel, it seems to be his father himself for religious reasons) pays bandits to kill him but fails. He and his mother are saved by a Kung-Fu master who then starts teaching him…
The struggles of an artist. Jang Seung-up (1843-1897), also called Owon, focusing on the years 1882 to 1897, when Korea was in political upheaval, caught between China and Japan, the conservative dynasty dying, and peasant revolt at hand. Jang, born poor, has genius; a merchant, Kim, becomes his patron, finding him a teacher. Jang must convince others that a commoner can have talent, then move beyond his ability to copy old masters and find his own style. He’s bedeviled by a temper and alcohol, arguments with patrons as he seeks commissions, and relationships with kisaeng, particularly Mae-hyang, that start and stop. It’s the life of a restless spirit producing great art.
Mongryong marries the beautiful Chunhyang without telling his father, the Governor of Namwon. When his father is transferred to Seoul, Mongryong has to leave Chunhyang and finish his exams. Chunhyang, being the daughter of a courtesan, is also legally a courtesan. She is beaten and imprisoned when she refuses to obey the new Governor Byun, as she wishes to be faithful to her husband. After three years, Mongryong passes his exam and becomes an emissary to the King. He returns to Namwon, disguised as a beggar, just before Chunhyang is to be flogged to death at the governor’s birthday celebration.
A man tries to raise his two sons and two daughters under some of the most adverse conditions known to man. The father operates a horse-drawn cart, but in a city that is modernizing after the destruction of the Korean War, automobiles are making carts obsolete. The children are experiencing difficulties as well. The eldest son has flunked the bar exam twice and is not hopeful of passing it a third time to become a lawyer. The eldest daughter is mute and married to an abusive husband. The younger daughter tries to pose as a rich university student to move up in life. The youngest son has a penchant for petty theft.
A country bumpkin (Dong-shik) goes to Seoul in order to bring his older brother (Young-shik)back to the country. Little does he know Young-shik is a petty crook involved with a prostitute (Sonia) who is servicing American GIs. Then Sonia comes onto Dong-shik…
Joong-ho is a dirty detective turned pimp in financial trouble as several of his girls have recently disappeared without clearing their debts. While trying to track them down, he finds a clue that the vanished girls were all called up by a same client whom one of his girls is meeting with right now.
Hyojadong ibalsa / The President’s Barber (2004) Chan-sang Lim, Kang-ho Song, So-ri Moon, Jae-eung Lee, Comedy, Drama
A well-meaning but politically naive barber gets pulled into the inner circle of the South Korean dictator Park Chung-Hee, with rather baleful consequences for his hapless family. This sharp political satire covers roughly twenty years in South Korean political history, from the viewpoint of the barber’s son.
Jal al-ji-do mot-ha-myeon-seo / Like You Know It All (2009) Sang-soo Hong, Tae-woo Kim, Ji-won Uhm, Hyun-jung Go, Drama
Invited to serve on the jury at a film festival, Director Ku does not care about his supposed-to-dos. Rather, chatting at parties and drinking now seem to be his all time favorites. Ku runs into an old friend who insists he come over for dinner and he stays the night at his friend’s house. Yet, the next day, Ku finds himself in trouble with an alleged accusation of seducing his friend’s wife. Later, he travels to Jeju Island to give a lecture. He hooks up with a painter for another long night of drinking. The day after, Ku is invited to the painter’s where he happens to see his ex-girlfriend.
A woman goes to France in search for a man who she lost contact with, only to find that he has moved on to Venice. On her way to Venice, she faces a horrible incident in the train which makes her painfully question herself about life and relationships. And when she makes a frightening conclusion, the question becomes the share of the audiences.