LKFF, the London Korean Film Festival runs in cinemas from Thursday, November 3rd to Thursday, November 17th
The London Korean Film Festival kicks off tonight with Alienoid (Choi Dong-hoon, 2022), the first instalment of a two-part SF epic which mashes up ideas from Hollywood SF and time travel fare Alien, The Terminator and Back To The Future with epic Korean period dramas. The plot apparently involves a robot guard, prisoners trapped in human brain cells, time travel back some 600 years and a MacGuffin known as the Divine Blade. Cast includes Kim Tae-ri (The Handmaiden, Park Chan-wook, 2016).
Friday 4th sees one of the director’s earlier blockbusters, the heist movie The Thieves (Choi Dong-hoon, 2012) in which five Korean criminals head for Macao to steal another MacGuffin, a 318-carat diamond called ‘Tear of the Sun’ worth over $20 million. The latter film is presented in collaboration with the V&A’s current exhibition Hallyu! The Korean Wave. Both screenings will be followed by a Q&A with director Choi.
The Festival bows out in two weeks time with two naval warfare blockbusters, again epic historical productions, this time the first two parts of a proposed trilogy. The Admiral: Roaring Currents (Kim Han-min, 2014) is currently the most successful Korean film of all time with its David and Goliath type open sea confrontation in which Korean ships are vastly outnumbered by the Japanese fleet in the Battle of Myeongnyang, 1597.
Its sequel Hansan: Rising Dragon (Kim Han-min, 2021) is actually a prequel set in 1592 and detailing the events leading up to the Battle of Hansan Island. Admiral Yi Sun-sin is played by Choi Min-sik (Heaven: To the Land Of Happiness, Im Sang-soo, 2021; Lucy, Luc Besson, 2014; New World, Park Hoon-jung, 2013) in the first and Park Hae-il (Decison To Leave, Park Chan-wook, 2022) in the second. Both films will be followed by a Q&A with director Kim.
In between these two events comes a Special Focus strand dedicated to internationally celebrated, acclaimed actress Kang Soo-yeon who sadly passed away on in May 2022 of a cerebral haemorrhage at the age of 55. Her profile first received a massive boost when she won the Volpi Cup for Best Actress at Venice that year for her role in Im Kwon-taek’s The Surrogate Woman. Other notable appearances include Come Come Come Upward (1989 – Best Actress Award at Moscow 1989); The Road To The Race Track (1991 – multiple Best Actress Awards at assorted Asian Film Festivals); the comedy Girls’ Night Out (1998); and Rainbow Trout (1999 – Special Jury Prize at the Tokyo in 2000). All these are playing in this year’s festival.
Other sections this year include K-Horror, Indie Talent, Women’s Voices, Documentary and a selection of shorts – links with further information can be found below. The Artist Video section runs an extra three weeks until Saturday, December 10th.
LKFF, The London Korean Film Festival runs in cinemas from Thursday, November 3rd to Thursday, November 17th.
LKFF 2022 Trailer:
Special Focus: Kang Soo-yeon (includes free screening – booking essential)
Touring Programme (Glasgow, Manchester)