“What was the film that made you want to
continue exploring Korean cinema?"
Back in 1999, I was visiting an old friend in Hong Kong when he suggested going to the cinema. When I asked him what film we were going to be watching, his reply was ‘a good one’. It actually turned out to be a really good film about Korean spies, which had some intriguing plot twists and really well made action scenes, and was very different from the action films I was used to watching. That film was of course Shiri, which in retrospect was responsible for kick-starting the Korean film industry into its new renaissance.
So Shiri was the film that introduced me to the magic and wonders of modern Korean cinema. Since I saw it, I started searching for and watching other Korean movies (often on the Australian television channel SBS that shows many wonderful foreign films), and the amazing thing was that for the next fifteen to twenty Korean films that I saw, I found every single one of them to be original and incredibly fun to watch.
To this day, I still enjoy watching Korean films. While I like quite a few of the new films, most of my all-time favourite Korean films, like Nowhere to Hide, Barking Dogs Never Bite, Joint Security Area, My Sassy Girl, My Wife is a Gangster, Public Enemy and Memories of Murder, have come from the first five years after my discovery of Shiri, the film that I will always fondly remember as ‘the little fish that sank Titanic’ (a phrase referring to how it smashed the box office records in Korea that were previously held by Titanic).
See more of Samson's reviews at Heroic Cinema