Thursday, April 10, 2014

Review: Boss / 보스 (1996)

Having recently screened the Australian premier at Cinema on the Park for the rare Korean kung-fu movie, ‘Canton Viper’ (reviewed here), directed by Korean kicking extraordinaire Hwang Jang-lee back in 1983, I decided it was high time to check out his final movie appearance, in the 1996 movie ‘Boss’.

While it’s fairly common knowledge for fans of Jang-lee to know that this was his last performance, information about it is virtually impossibly to come by, being made in that murky decade of Korean cinema from the mid-80s to the mid-90s, when it seems very little is known about the countries cinematic output. Still, in this day & age it’s only once in a blue moon when you can go into a movie knowing hardly anything about it, so I gladly pressed play with little to no expectations. As it turned out it was just as well, as for anyone approaching this as a fan of Jang-lee, it should be pointed out that he’s in it for barely a minute, has a couple of lines, and disappears. It seems he saved his final fighting performance for against Dragon Lee a couple of years earlier, in 1994’s ‘Emperor of the Underworld’ (암흑가의 황제), which he also directed.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Review: Confession of Murder / 내가 살인범이다 (2012)

As a huge fan of Asian action cinema, I found the 2008 documentary 'Action Boys' (우린 액션배우다), which followed the lives of a group of stuntmen in the Seoul Action School, to be hugely enjoyable. Such was my enjoyment that I visited the school in the same year, to witness first hand the rigors of the training that they went through. Of course a huge part of that enjoyment came from the way first time director, and student of the school himself, Jeong Byeong-gil, structured the story. So I felt pretty excited when four years later, it was announced his first full movie was set for release, ‘Confession of Murder' (내가 살인범이다).

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Review: A Company Man / 회사원 (2012)

The success of the 2010 movie ‘The Man From Nowhere’ (아저씨) spawned a fair few imitations in its wake, notably ‘Man of Vendetta’ (파괴된 사나이) made the same year, & ‘The Beast’ (짐승) made the following year, both of which paled in comparison. Last years ‘A Company Man’ had many people also drawing comparisons to the Won Bin outing, not to mention ‘A Bittersweet Life’ (달콤한 인생), thanks to a promotional poster and storyline that seemed a little too familiar. However ‘A Company Man’ had something going for it the other movies didn’t, and that was the draw of having So Ji-sub (‘Rough Cut’ 영화는 영화다) in the starring role, a sign for most people that the production could hold some potential.

Friday, November 15, 2013

KOFFIA 2013: My Experience by Priscilla

KOFFIA 2013 eventually comes to an end and the opportunity to work for KOFFIA has been a memorable and brand new experience for me. I am neither a Korean nor Australian, I’d only been living in Australia for four months and started working here from the beginning of June. My Korean film background is not very impressive at all but I’d like watching the Korean drama, movies and entertainment TV show.

Whenever I told my friends in Hong Kong I assisted in marketing the Korean film festival here, they’re all very excited and followed by a lot of questions, for instance, “Will you meet any of the famous Korean artists or celebrities during the event? Which Korean movies / drama have you watched recently? Do you like Song Joong Ki? He is very handsome"blah blah blah... and the conversation never ends. No doubt, Korean movies and culture are very popular among Hong Kong people too and I believe that the Kwave is spreading quickly in other countries as well, perhaps we will see more Korean Film Festival organised in different places soon.

Back to my experience for KOFFIA, it’s hard to describe in just a few sentences but I'd have a couples of happy “First Time” memories to be recorded here.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

KOFFIA 2013: My Experience by Margaret

The opportunity to blog for KOFFIA has been an enriching and rewarding experience. Much like Ben, I have been attempting to juggle the demands of uni, learning Korean and tutoring HSC students, with writing for the KOFFIA blog. It has been a tough balance, but a nice reprieve! As much as I like writing, it can be an arduous task actually putting pen to paper. Starting that first sentence is always the most excruciating. 

My Korean film background is not impressive at all, so I feel that the blogging experience really opened my eyes to the impressive repertoire of Korean films out there. I may not engage in fan-girling or know all the actors names and filmography, but I am beginning to appreciate Korean film, especially as I enjoy seeing the settings and places in the films  that are so familiar to me.