What comes to your mind when you hear the name of one Park Chan-wook? If you recognized the Korean film director’s name, you probably also thought of a few of his films, such as Oldboy, Lady Vengeance and Thirst; you might have even thought of Joint Security Area and Stoker,right? But that is not all that is to his name. To film goers and film critics, Park Chan-wook is the master and commander of Korean cinema; he has – without a doubt – mastered the art of filmmaking, which predominantly features violence, sexual scenes and humour that regards human suffering as absurd rather than pitiable. His latest production, The Handmaiden, which was up for the Palme d’Or at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, also stands out as one-of-a-kind titillating masterpiece.


Park Chan-wook

When Mrs Hye-jung Jeon, the London East Asia Film Festival Director, announced that Park Chan-wook will participate in the 1st LEAFF, everyone that I know was thrilled to bits; but that is not all. She also revealed that in addition to Park Chan-wook’s films, there will be a screening of the excellent The Age of Shadows, directed by another renowned filmmaker, Kim Jee-woon (I Saw the Devil, A Tale of Two Sisters), whose work has also taken over the Western markets by storm. As some film critics say, “Kim Jee-woon has a history of successfully tackling a wide range of film genres, garnering a cult following among fans of Asian cinema.” Undeniably, his name is enough for me to go watch his films.


Kim Jee- woon

The 1st Edition of the London East Asia Film Festival  will open on October 20th, with Kim Jee-woon’s The Age of Shadowsthe film has also been picked as Korea’s Oscar contender. What is more exciting is that this year’s festival will present Park Chan-wook’s retrospective, which is generously supported by Picturehouse cinemas across London. The filmmaker will talk about his latest piece de resistance The Handmaiden and introduce the 4K restoration of Lady Vengeance (2005), which is the third instalment in Park’s The Vengeance Trilogy. Also OldboySympathy for Mr VengeanceStokerDay TripJoint Security AreaThirstJudgmentI am a Cyborg But That’s Okay and Bitter Sweet Seoul –a film directed by Park Chan-kyung and his brother Chan-wook – will be screened at the LEAFF.

There will be more exciting LEAFF news coming our way shortly; the festival’s full programme will be announced soon!

Keep an eye on our website as well as London East Asia Film Festival page.

Written by Maggie Gogler

Edited by Sanja Struna

All photos © Courtesy of the photographers

The article was originally published on September 14, 2016 on http://www.viewoftheart.com

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About viewofkoreancinema

Maggie Gogler is a freelance film producer, production manager and she also works with children. She has a passion for Korean and World Cinema as well as music and arts. Maggie has been interested in cinema since she was 15 and discovered love for Korean films in 2004 when she saw Kim Ki Duk’s The Isle. She supports British and Asian independent film-making and enjoys producing creative and interesting projects. Maggie is the co-founder of View of the Arts and its sister website View of Korean Cinema. Sanja Struna is a freelance translator, occasional writer and a perpetual dreamer. Film is her first and longest-lasting love; since writing is her second, she saw the light a couple of years ago, let the two join hands and entered the field of film journalism. She has honed her knowledge through various film festivals which she either worked for or frequented. She is currently harboring a fascination with all things Korean and condones losing sleep if that means she can watch a good Korean film or drama. Sanja is the editor of View of the Arts and co-founder of View of Korean Cinema.


Film, Film Festival