I just got in from some holiday festivities to find an email in my inbox with the line up of films for the Korean Cultural Services January and February free screenings...Christmas has arrived early.
While I have not seen the first film, I do know that the remaining ones kick serious butt. I saw Rough Cut and Secret Reunion at the New York Asian Film Festival and both are must sees ( and if I remember correctly, when Rough Cut ran at the NYAFF there was a near riot when fans of the star tried to push their way in to see him at the screening.) The final film in the series White Night, I only know by reputation but it's excellent.
Look for me to be attending some if not all of the films.
And with out further adieu here's the line up:
Korean Movie Night
from January 10, 2012 – February 28, 2012
courtesy of the Korean Cultural Service
Every other Tuesday @ 7pm
(54 Varick Street, on the corner of Canal Street, one block from the A, C, E and 1 train Canal Street stops)
All seating is first-come, first served. Doors
open at 6:30pm.
Series 1: Jang Hun Plus One!
Jang Hun started out as an assistant director to Kim Ki-Duk, but with his first film, Rough Cut, he established himself as Korea’s answer to Steven Soderbergh: a director making big budget movies with an independent sensibility. Rough Cut, Secret Reunion and The Frontline have all become massive box office hits without making an compromises or talking down to their audiences. To round out the trio of movies in this mini-retrospective, we’re including White Night, another crime film that transforms itself into something dark, glittering and truly amazing.
Tuesday, January 10 @ 7pm
THE FRONTLINE (East Coast Premiere, 2011)
One of the biggest hits of 2011, The Frontline is the simple story of a hill: Aerok Hill, a small rise on the Eastern Front of the Korean War that changed hands 30 times over 18 months of fighting. A military investigator is dispatched to see if allegations that the South Korean soldiers tasked with taking the hill are collaborating with their North Korean enemies to deliver letters to their families. It turns out that they are, and that’s the least of it. A movie about men (and some women) trying to hold onto their humanity in the midst of war, Frontline is Korea’s official submission to the Academy Awards.
Tuesday, January 24 @ 7pm
ROUGH CUT (2008)
Kim Ki-Duk wrote this high concept knuckle-buster about a spoiled actor, famous for playing gangsters, who hires a real-life gangster to appear in his new flick. It sounds like nothing but a pile of cliches, but Jang Hun ignores the traditional approach and instead focuses on the volcanic, boiling testosterone that drives the conflict between a man used to getting his way because he’s famous, and a man used to getting his way because he’s violent. The seduction of filmmaking, the appeal of acting and the temptation of a street brawl all exert their siren song on the two studs in suits at the heart of this film: superstar So Ji-Sub, surprisingly, playing the gangster and Kang Ji-Hwan as the actor.
Tuesday, February 15 @ 7pm
SECRET REUNION (2010)
Two of Korea’s best actors face off in this blockbuster action flick that manages to be sly, subversive and really funny while delivering white knuckle thrills. Song Kang-Ho (The Host) is a South Korean secret agent who fumbles a sting operation on a North Korean spy. Pop star Gang Dong-Won (Haunters) is the North Korean assassin who has been embedded in the South. After the botched operation, both men are cut loose by their respective agencies and Song becomes a private eye, while Gang sinks into deep cover, trying to survive long enough to go home. Years later, they cross paths and what audiences are treated to is a buddy movie to end all buddy movies.
Tuesday, February 28 @ 7pm
WHITE NIGHT (North American Premiere, 2009)
White Night is a sprawling, evil epic about an unsolved crime that happened 14 years previously that has spilled its poison out over the subsequent years. Based on a best-selling Japanese novel, and featuring a riveting performance by Ko Soo, star of The Frontline, director Park Shin-Woo turns this movie into a slick, beautifully realized film about true evil, as a detective refuses to let go of this single case, instead insisting on following its threads for years no matter where they lead. And where they lead is dark and truly shocking. This hit film has been called the best Korean film of 2009 by several critics and once you’ve seen it, it’s hard to forget