London Korean Film Festival 2018 Programme Launch

You can’t walk around central London at the moment without tripping over a film festival or two. Just as LFF prepares to launch in less than three weeks the LKFF has launched its own programme for London Korean Film Festival 2018. The festival will run across London venues for the first two weeks of November before touring highlight throughout the UK. The full programme can be found in this beautifully formatted PDF and more details of the festival are available at the LKFF website.

Earlier this week we were treated to a teaser screening of Lee Kwang-kuk’s A Tiger In Winter, setting the tone for the festival which this year focuses on the theme of “A Slice of Everyday Life”. Overall this year’s line-up leans closer to Hong Sang-soo than Park Chan-wook, but there a still thrills to be found amongst the selection of over 50 contemporary films.

Below are my three top picks for which I have already treated myself to tickets:

Little Forest

Kim Tae-ri grabbed everyone’s attention when she made her feature film debut in the sumptuous and twisty The Handmaiden and continues to charm in Netflix’s historic epic Mr. Sunshine. Now she is back on the big screen in Yim Soon-rye’s Little Forest; a film about food, relationships, and food. Frankly it looks freaking charming and I want a bit more of that in my life.

Hotel by the River

Did someone say Hong Sang-soo? I cannot resist this man and his idiosyncratic oeuvre. Looked at the wrong way his films can seem slow and aimless but when properly indulged Hong’s humour and subtlety deliver great dividends. He has once again teamed with the other star of The Handmaiden Kim Min-hee and other Hong regulars to produce a comedy drama about death, poetry, and men making a fool of themselves (I assume).

Mothers

At some point a few months ago I added Lee Dong-eun’s second feature to my always growing list of films I need to watch so seeing it on the line-up for LKFF meant I had to buy a ticket. The only issue is that I have no recollection of why I added it to my watchlist; I just have to have faith that I knew what I was doing. A drama exploring themes of parenthood and familial connections that has to be worth a watch. Right, past me?

BFI London Film Festival Short Film Award

I have just watched the twelve films up for the Short Film Award at this year’s London Film Festival. Short film is an underappreciated medium and always worth seeking out. The films were a diverse bunch; some were incredible and others were so pretentious I was genuinely angry that someone would want to steal other people’s time by asking them to watch. Below are four that particularly caught my eye:

Edmond

Edmond

Director: Nina Gantz
A charming, surreal, and funny stop motion film about Edmond; a man looking back on the significant moments of his life. Moments that often seem to involve him trying to eat loved ones. The felt characters were enhanced with hand drawn facial features creating a pleasing animation hybrid. I loved it.

Mother(s)

Mother(s)

Director: Maïmouna Doucouré
A French short drama with a plot! You have no idea how much you can long for plots when watching short films. Told from the point of view of a young girl Mother(s) explores what happens when the father of a nuclear family returns homes with the woman he has impregnated. Incredibly touching and with an impressive young actor at its centre. I loved it.

Operator

Operator

Director: Caroline Bartleet
The first time I have noticed a Kickstarted short out in the wild. A woman and her son are trapped in a house fire and dial 999 for help. All we see is the 999 operator’s face as she deals with the situation in an incredibly tense six minutes. Excellent face acting. I loved it.

Over

Over

Director: Jörn Threlfall
In a quiet suburban street we see a series of vignettes depicting what appears to be the aftermath of a crime. With each shot we slowly move back through the day leading up to the reveal of just what has happened. This short is shocking and has a message ingrained in it while also subtly showing how little impact an incident can have on those who just pass by. I loved it.

All the shorts are screened on Saturday 17th October in two chunks and tickets can be bought on the BFI website here and here. If you ask me, I’d go for the first block of films over the second.