An early morning flight to Korea looms as I write this reflection. Funny, this feeling - that somehow through the films I viewed at KOFFIA 2013 I feel as if I’ve already been to Korea – from ancient Joseon to modern day Seoul! Is it safe to say that when I step out of Incheon everything will feel alien-ly familiar? I hope so, even though this will be my first time to the land of the Morning Calm.
I’m a K-pop, K-drama and K-fashion enthusiast – adding K-film to my list of K-enthusiasms was just covering another base I hadn’t previously. This opportunity came through artistic director Kieran Tully and fellow blogger Raelene to whom I’d like to express my deepest gratitude to. I also extend that to the KCO and the entire team behind KOFFIA. It is so great that such good cinema has become readily available here. I had only experienced Korean cinema once or twice before but after KOFFIA 2013 I can never see Korean cinema the same way again. I believe the expression is “broader horizons”!
I was fortunate enough to see A Werewolf Boy; My Paparotti, Watcha Wearin, Architecture 101, Boomerang Family, Masquerade and my favourite of the whole festival, Pluto. In total seven films - a pretty good run for a first timer, hey? Some were more memorable than others but all of them left an impression that excited me about my upcoming trip to Korea. Oh and what's more memorable than actress Kim Kkot-bbi tweeting her well wishes for your impending trip to her country?
Sensual perhaps sums up my experience of KOFFIA 2013. Song Joong-ki took my heart when he finally uttered “kajima”, Lee Je-hoon made me tear up when he belted out Nessun Dorma, I pained with Lee Byung-hoon when Sa-Wol died in his arms and I felt a cool sense of revenge when Lee Da-wit finally lit that fuse. If this is how cinema is supposed to be experienced then I hope KOFFIA reaches further audiences in the future.
Honourable mentions must also go out to my fellow bloggers who also offered such varied, academic and informed perspectives on the other films. It was also quite a joy to socialise in the Korean way (chi-mek and soju) with these kindred spirits!
Long live KOFFIA and hopefully see you at KOFFIA14!
By Genesis Mansilongan