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Thirst (Bakjwi - 2009)

Posted 14th November 2009 at 03:20 PM by Philleh

Thirst (Bakjwi - 2009)
Focus Features

The vampire genre, as we all know, has arisen from its coffin once again – thanks, some may say, to a Mormon. Though I don’t see Twilight as the saviour of the genre, I like to think Alan Ball and his excellent adaptation of Charlaine Harris’ Southern Vampire series, True Blood, is the saving grace behind the re-birth. It’s the anti-Twilight in everyway, and everything vampirism should be; dark, brooding, dangerous and sexual – not sparkly...
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Happy End

Posted 7th July 2009 at 10:23 AM by Philleh

Korean cinema has a plethora of unsung masterpieces that deserve a wider release. Films like Friend (Chingu), Oasis and Peppermint Candy seemed to have lingered in distribution purgatory until recently, with few films like Memories of Murder and Save the Green Planet being able to find the audience they rightly deserve. One movie that more than deserves its title as one of Korean new-waves greatest achievements is Happy End.

It’s the rarest of art-house feats, a film that doesn’t...
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Black House

Posted 7th July 2009 at 07:45 AM by Philleh

Based on the Japanese novel by Yűsuke Kishi, the film stars Hwang Jeong-min (A Bittersweet Life) as Jeon Jun-oh; a former banker who has just started work as an insurance investigator. He receives a call, on his first day, from a woman asking if it’s possible to claim on her life insurance policy if suicide is the cause of death. He breaks the company’s golden rule of exposing personal details to a client and informs her of a tragic moment from his past that involved suicide; she thanks him and...
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Antarctic Journal

Posted 6th May 2009 at 03:17 PM by Philleh

How can I describe my love for Kong Sang-ho? The poster I have of him in my living room doesn’t do it justice. He is, for me, one of the greatest actors working in the world - period. He comes from the same theatre troupe that gave us the equally talented Choi Min-Shik (Old Boy), who’s finally finished protesting for the treatment theatre actors receive from the big boys in the Korean film industry: He stopped acting for some time, so it’s great to actually have him start acting again – even if...
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Memories of Murder

Posted 30th April 2009 at 09:07 PM by Philleh

Memories of Murder: Death of a Nation’s Innocence.

Bong Joon-ho’s 2003 masterpiece, Memories of Murder (Salinui Chueok) may not be held in such high regard with international audiences as, say, Park Chan-wook’s teeth-pulling, hammer-time classic Old Boy; which was released the same year and would go on to earn many, many awards on the international festival-circuit but in its homeland, it was Memories of Murder that was the smash-hit; drawing wayward of five-million admissions and...
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