Tag Archives: Korean

Lee Jae-sueui nan / The Uprising (1999) Kwang-su Park, Eun-ha Shim, Jung-jae Lee, Gye-nam Myeong, Drama

Lee Jae-sueui nan AKA The Uprising (1999)
In the late 19th century Catholicism was gaining a foothold on Jeju island, much to the horror of the Confucian community, who were seeing their influence diminishing as well as getting increased taxes from Catholic-friendly government officers. The conflict became a religious war that resulted in a rebel Confucian army massacring hundreds of Christians in little more than a matter of days. The Uprising details the events leading up to the assault, focusing on the story of Yi Jae-su, the young man destined to become the leader of the rebel army.

Read More »

Hae anseon / The Coast Guard (2002) Ki-duk Kim, Dong-gun Jang, Jeong-hak Kim, Ji-a Park, Action, Drama, War

Hae anseon (2002)
At South Korea’s border with the North, troops guard the coast. Each bullies those ranking beneath him; tensions are high. PFC Kang and his friend Private Kim are on patrol when drinking youths jeer them. Two nights later, Kang follows orders, opening fire at a person who has infiltrated the border zone. It proves to be a young man, one from the earlier encounter, on a drunken tryst with his girlfriend, Mi-yeong. Kang is commended, yet horrified. Mi-yeong is unhinged. Kim tries to hold onto friendship, duty, and his humanity. While Kang retreats into bizarre behavior and violence, Mi-yeong becomes easy prey to soldiers. Sickness is all.

Read More »

Bin-jip / 3-Iron (2004) Ki-duk Kim, Seung-yeon Lee, Hyun-kyoon Lee, Hyuk-ho Kwon, Crime, Drama, Romance

Bin-jip (2004)
The lonely and silent rider Tae-suk breaks in empty houses and lives a normal life while the owners are traveling. He does not steal anything and moves from house to house without any loss other than food, and he cleans the houses, provides small repairs or washes some clothes to pay for the hospitality. When he enters in the house of Sun-hwa, he does not see the woman that is wounded in her room after being beaten up on by her abusive husband Min-gyu Lee. Tae-suk helps the hurt woman and when Min-gyu returns, he hits the husband with golf balls and Sun-hwa leaves her husband with Tae-suk on his motorcycle. When they break in the house of an old man, they find that the man is dead and Tae-suk provides funeral service for him. However, his son returns and Tae-suk and Sun-hwa are arrested by two abusive police detectives. He is sent to prison and Sun-hwa is forced to return home. But she never forgets him.

Read More »

Seopyeonje / Sopyonje (1993) Kwon-taek Im, Myung-gon Kim, Jung-hae Oh, Kyu-chul Kim, Musical, Drama

Seopyeonje (1993)
The specifically Korean tradition that is reclaimed in Sopyonje is the type of folk-song known as pansori, described as a musical sublimation of South-West Korea’s collective grief and suffering – in other words, a kind of blues. The film’s three central characters are itinerant pansori singers in the 1950s, a time when many aspects of Korean culture came under siege from Japanese and western influences. The story unfolds through flashbacks. A man named Dong-ho is roaming the rural hinterlands, ostensibly to find rare herbal medicines for his employer back in Seoul, but actually in search of Song-hwa, the woman he grew up with. Orphans, they were both apprenticed to the pansori master Yu-bong who pressured them to sacrifice everything for the art. Dong-ho rebelled and ran away, to become the man he is now. Song-hwa stayed, lost her sight, and outlived Yu-bong. Rumor has it that she is still traveling and still singing pansori… The tale has one truly shocking twist, but the overall …

Read More »

Gwoemul / The Host (2006) Joon Ho Bong, Kang-ho Song, Hie-bong Byeon, Hae-il Park, Action, Drama, Horror

Gwoemul (2006)
The film revolves around Park Hee-bong, a man in his late 60s. He runs a small snack bar on the banks of the Han River and lives with his two sons, one daughter, and one granddaughter. The Parks seem to lead a quite ordinary and peaceful life, but maybe they are a bit poorer than the average Seoulite. Hee-bong’s elder son Gang-du is an immature and incompetent man in his 40s, whose wife left home long ago. Nam-il is the youngest son, an unemployed grumbler, and daughter Nam-joo is an archery medalist and member of the national team. One day, an unidentified monster suddenly appears from the depths of the Han River and spreads panic and death, and Gang-du’s daughter Hyun-seo is carried off by the monster and disappears. All of the family members are in a great agony because they lost someone very dear to them. But when they find out she is still alive, they resolve to save her.

Read More »