Friday, June 21, 2013

Interview: "City" with Studio YOG

This week at Cinema on the Park we screened the very creative and stylish short film "City" from Studio YOG. Thanks to the wonderful team at KIAFA we managed to get an interview with them to find out more about the production, read on below!

1. How did you get into the film industry / Why did you get in to filmmaking? 

나의 이야기를 다른 사람들이 깊이 공감해줄 때의 느낌은 매우 짜릿합니다. 영화는 말이나 글 보다 입체적으로 세상과 소통할 수 있게 해주는 멋진 언어라고 생각합니다. 보다 의미 있는 이야기를 찾아내고 좀 더 많은 사람들과 나누기 위하여 계속 노력하고 있습니다. 

I am very excited when many people feel sympathy with my story. I believe that movie is a nice language which communicates with the world in three dimensions. I am trying to make a good story and share it with many people. 

Monday, June 17, 2013

Review: Poongsan / 풍산개 (2011)

‘Poongsan’ heralded the second full length feature from director Juhn Jai-hong after his 2007 debut, the dark psychological thriller ‘Beautiful / 아름답다’. A protoge of Kim Ki-duk, ‘Beautiful’ saw Jai-hong not only on directorial duties, but he was also responsible for the screenplay, and the movie was met with a lot of critical praise. Four years later, he had stated that he wanted to try his hand at more of a “popcorn movie”, and the result was ‘Poongsan’.

Jai-hong takes up the directorial reigns once more, however ‘Poongsan’ is actually written by his mentor Kim Ki-duk, who also co-produced the movie, and perhaps as a result of this an undercurrent of sexual violence runs throughout the movies themes. The whole thing was made in just thirty days for 200 million Won, and Jai-hong was quoted as telling the actors and staff that there was no guarantee it would even be released, but he was on a mission to prove that a quality movie could be made with a limited budget.

The question of whether or not he succeeded is one which is open to debate, but we’ll get to that later. In the title role of Poongsan himself is Yoon Kye-sang, who was most recently seen in Kim Ji-woon’s short film ‘Love of Rock, Scissors, Paper / 사랑의 가위바위보’. Poongsan is actually a nickname, taken from the brand of cigarette he smokes, themselves named after the breed of dog which is entirely native to North Korea. Kye-sang had quite a task on his hands with his role, as despite also being a singer, here he doesn’t have a single line of dialogue in the whole movie. In fact his entire character is a mystery, we never find out his name, we never find out if he is South or North Korean, and we never find out what his real motivations are.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Review: The Big Swindle (범죄의 재구성)

Seen a film at Cinema on the Park lately? Feel free to send through your reviews on the films and we will publish them here on the KOFFIA blog. Liked it? Hated it? We want to develop the discussion around Korean cinema! This week we have Nathan Wishart's thoughts on the heist film "The Big Swindle". 

South Korea’s ascent is built largely on genre deconstruction or delivering locally made entertainment to compete with Hollywood product so it’s no surprise that someone finally made a caper movie in the style of Ocean’s Eleven and The Sting. Director Choi Dong-Hoon delivers a stylish if somewhat familiar tale of con men after a big score. 

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Screen Trends 2014: An Evening with Park Chan-wook

The month of June has been a creative hub of excitement here in Sydney, thanks to the double header of Vivid, a festival of light, music and ideas, transforming various areas of the city into spectacular displays of colour and sound. On top of that we’re also in the midst of the Sydney Film Festival, of which the lineup includes the Australian premiere of ‘Stoker’, Chan-wook’s first foray into English language movie making.

On Saturday night crowds flocked to the area of Circular Quay to gasp at the illuminated Opera House and Harbour Bridge, but I found myself navigating my way through the hordes for another reason – in a last minute announcement, Park Chan-wook had been added to the panel of an event being hosted by Vivid called ‘Forward Thinking: Screen Trends 2014’, which has a group of film-makers discussing their thoughts on the future of their respective film industries at the Museum of Contemporary Art.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Road to ruin: the ethics of revenge

Today we welcome a new writer to the KOFFIA blog, Nathan Wishart, who is a big fan of Korean cinema, and as you will read below, of Park Chan-wook. Director Park is in Sydney this week for the Australian Premiere of his latest film 'Stoker', and so we thought we would take a look at the influence this infamous director has had on so many cinefiles. Read on for Nathan's piece on the ethics of revenge!

There's a reason why we, as an audience, connect so much with a good old, fashioned revenge movie. The desire for revenge is as old as time, all you need is a hero who has a violent injustice visited upon by villains who we can't recognize as human beings as it helps the audience overlook the idea of the hero turning into a cold-blooded killer in pursuit of those he holds responsible. Revenge is practically forged in the fires of revenge and Park Chan-Wook understands this simple elemental motivator completely. As a result, he's created three completely different films all focusing on what it means to seek revenge and what the consequences are.