Korean cinema

Discussion in 'Visual Arts' started by Bruce Racket, Feb 11, 2020.

  1. Bruce Racket

    Bruce Racket Active Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    USA
    With a renewed interest in Korean cinema with Parasite winning 4 Oscars, I thought it might be time for a discussion on Korean cinema.
    The run of great movies coming out of South Korea from the late 90's to now is simply amazing. The output is even more impressive when you consider how small the movie industry was, heck still is, in South Korea. They run the gamut from some of the most intense scenes shot on film to heartbreaking emotion to some of the funniest stuff ever written. Sometimes all in the same scene.
    And when it comes to revenge movies, nobody does it like South Korea. Nobody.
    I think the concept of Han really influences their cinema.
    Here's a list of my personal favorite Korean movies through the end of 2017:
    Best Korean Movies Ever Made - IMDb
    Anyone else enjoy Korean movies?
     
    Tim S likes this.
  2. Captain Groovy

    Captain Groovy Senior Member

    Location:
    Freedonia, USA
    I'm no expert - but I love I Saw the Devil and Lady Vengeance that came out about ten years ago and bought both immediately after viewing.

    Both riveting, on the longer side, but fast-paced and the star of Oldboy is in it - and wow. He's great. Min-sik Choi.

    It took me awhile to finally see these films since I've never liked the film Oldboy itself, it's ugly but not good ugly - I love David Fincher and hate Seven so guess same thing.

    And yes, Parasite is terrific.

    Unfortunately, just because of Oscar wins.. well, Life is Beautiful did nothing for Italian cinema here in the US and I could gripe all day about how underappreciated Roberto Benigni is here because... you know, it's the internet..
     
    Jazzmonkie and Bruce Racket like this.
  3. Halfwit

    Halfwit Forum Resident

    Location:
    Dublin
    I actually started a thread back in 2016, which had zero interest:

    Korean Film recommendations

    Perhaps this one will be a bit more popular.
     
    Johnny Action, Tim S and Bruce Racket like this.
  4. AintGotHalfOf

    AintGotHalfOf Well-Known Member

    Location:
    New York
    Saw 301/302 several years ago, was pretty crazed, good too, better imho than 6.4.

    301, 302 (1995) - IMDb

    Also, saw and liked some movie set in Medieval times and regarded regal succession, also very good, can't think of the name.
     
    Bruce Racket likes this.
  5. Bruce Racket

    Bruce Racket Active Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    USA
    I saw that thread from 2016. I would have responded and continued it if it wasn't closed.
    Maybe the interest in Parasite will draw more people into Korean cinema? Doubtful though, it seems a lot of people just can't get their head around subtitles even if the movie looks interesting to them. Which is a shame because I think South Korea has put out some of the best movies around in the last 20 years.
    The movies are just so heavy; emotionally, mentally and physically. They always hit me harder than most American movies.
     
    Halfwit likes this.
  6. Bruce Racket

    Bruce Racket Active Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    USA
    AintGotHalfOf, regarding 301/302 (1995), thanks for the heads up! I've never even heard of it so I'm stoked to check it out.
     
  7. AintGotHalfOf

    AintGotHalfOf Well-Known Member

    Location:
    New York
    Bruce Racket likes this.
  8. stepeanut

    stepeanut Forum Resident

    The Handmaiden is another impressive (and expansive) film from a few years back. Park Chan-wook, the director of Oldboy, again responsible.
     
    Saintbert and Bruce Racket like this.
  9. Solitaire1

    Solitaire1 Carpenters Fan

    One movie I stumbled upon is Time, a movie directed by Kim Ki-Duk. Excellent drama that keeps you guessing until the end.
     
  10. john hp

    john hp Forum Resident

    Location:
    Warwickshire, UK
    Bruce Racket, Tim S and Don P. like this.
  11. robertawillisjr

    robertawillisjr Music Lover

    Location:
    Hampton, VA
    Netflix has a good number of Korean movies available. I have only watched a few (names escape me at the moment) and found them to be good. Really good production values.
     
    Bruce Racket likes this.
  12. Tim S

    Tim S Senior Member

    Location:
    East Tennessee
    The Host
    A Tale of two sisters
    Thirst

    I've probably seen more, but these are the ones I remember that I know are Korean. I liked all of them a lot.

    I loved the unique tonal shifts in The Host and Thirst - at times both are hilarious and at others really frightening. It's done in ways that I've never seen western films do very well if at all.
     
    Bruce Racket likes this.
  13. Don P.

    Don P. Forum Resident

    Location:
    Upstate NY
    All of the films I have seen that were directed by Lee Chang Dong have been excellent. Burning was the second best film of 2018. Shoplifters was the one that was better.
     
    Bruce Racket and john hp like this.
  14. Train to Busan is a great zombie-type movie.
     
    PHILLYQ, realkilroy, Macman and 3 others like this.
  15. wolfram

    wolfram Slave to the rhythm

    Location:
    Berlin, Germany
    I've only seen 4 movies on your list, but I might look out for some more in the future. Thanks for your recommendations.
     
  16. Saintbert

    Saintbert Forum Resident

    Location:
    Helsinki
    Castaway on the Moon (2009) is an interesting take on survival film. A suicidal man ends up stranded in the middle of Seoul, and his only connection to the rest of the world is a girl hiding away in her room.

    Also, the most misleading poster I've come across in a while.

    [​IMG]
     
    Bruce Racket and Halfwit like this.
  17. Bruce Racket

    Bruce Racket Active Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    USA
    Kingdom is an interesting Korean TV show on Netflix. It's actually a historical period piece … that has zombies. I know, I know, I thought the same thing when I heard about it but it's really good. Typical Korean mashup of styles that works perfectly. Season 2 premieres on March 13th in the US. It's worth checking out in you already have Netflix.
    Kingdom (TV Series 2019– ) - IMDb
     
    wolfram likes this.
  18. Bruce Racket

    Bruce Racket Active Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    USA
    I loved Castaway on the Moon. I dug the whole concept of being stranded on a deserted island in the middle of one of the largest cities on the globe. At least the poster has the duck. :D
     
    Saintbert likes this.
  19. Bruce Racket

    Bruce Racket Active Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    USA
    Kim Ki-Duk is one of the best directors to come out of South Korea. He has made one of the prettiest movies I've ever seen, Spring Summer Fall Winter and Spring, and one of the ugliest I've ever seen, Pieta. Both hit you hard. Both highly recommended.
    His documentary Arirang is one of a kind. Arirang (2011 film) - Wikipedia
    I don't even know how to desribe it other then it is unique. I wouldn't recommend it unless you are really a fan or you are really into the human condition.
     
    Juan Matus likes this.
  20. wolfram

    wolfram Slave to the rhythm

    Location:
    Berlin, Germany
    Thanks, I added it to my watchlist.
     
    Bruce Racket likes this.
  21. Jimmy Disco D

    Jimmy Disco D Forum Resident

    Location:
    Shropshire, UK
    My favourite is Musa (aka The Warrior) from 2001.

    A really epic film that has elements of westerns, action movies and historical drama.

    I should imagine people might be put off by the martial arts looking promotional artwork and while there are some well choreographed action scenes it ain't no kung-fu movie.
     
    Bruce Racket likes this.
  22. Saintbert

    Saintbert Forum Resident

    Location:
    Helsinki
    The Handmaiden and Time, mentioned earlier, are definitely films I'd recommend too. They are both what I call "plot films". Usually that means trouble in my mind because films relying on intricate or "clever" plots have so many ways they can fail. But these don't. Time is exceptionally good and inventive in this sense, I think, but I wouldn't want to say too much about it to anyone who's yet to see it. It connects emotionally too (which I think always trumps plot).
     
  23. AintGotHalfOf

    AintGotHalfOf Well-Known Member

    Location:
    New York
    I forgot to mention (no pun intended) probably my fave though bittersweet Korean movie-A moment to remember. This was real heavy (my Mom had alzheimers).

    A Moment to Remember (2004) - IMDb
     
    Bruce Racket likes this.
  24. Juan Matus

    Juan Matus Reformed Audiophile

    Agreed.
     
    Bruce Racket likes this.
  25. Vaughan

    Vaughan Forum Resident

    Location:
    Essex, UK
    By far my favorite South Korean Director is Kim Ki-duk. His movies are so poetic yet hard hitting. Check out The Isle, Address Unknown, Bad Guy, Spring Summer Fall, The Bow and so on. Truly wonderful work.
     
    Bruce Racket likes this.

Share This Page