TrustMovies asks himself periodically, usually after seeing a bunch of 'em in a row -- whether at a festival such as this, or via Netfix streaming (which offers a wonderfully diverse number of recent Korean movies), or when a film opens theatrically (as with last week's The Berlin File, shown above).
Cyrano Agency) to ultra-dark thrillers (No Mercy, shown above), war movies (The Front Line or My Way) to historical epics (Masquerade, shown in this fest), monster movies (The Host, Chawz) to gorgeously appointed, soap-opera sleaze (that tasty remake of The Housemaid, shown below) and beyond.
Netflix or Greencine, a film called Save the Green Planet. A decade old now, there has still never been anything quite like this one.)
Kim Ki-duk’s controversial Venice prizewinner Pieta (above, which opens the fest) to Deranged, the uber-scary thriller (that closes it, below). You can see the entire schedule by clicking here -- then click on each individual movie to learn more and/or buy tickets.
Contagion, but about ten times better), in which what is going on, when revealed, is yucky as hell but a lot more fun. The film moves like a house afire, never leting up, and the family we grow closest to during the proceedings proves surprising in several ways.
Once again, as with so many Korean films, we're in the land of sleaze, though exactly where that sleaze is coming from we don't learn for quite some time. Here are politicians, police, media, the medical establishment, drug companies, and a bunch of everyday people (below) who are suddenly doing some very weird stuff.
here for tickets.
Mark Twain's Prince & the Pauper. In it, a low-level actor/magician
/entertainer who bears a striking resemblance to the current emperor (and make use of this in his "show") is recruited to replace the more prestigious guy, when an assassination attempt looks likely. Complication ensue, but they are tweaked just enough to avoid out-and-out cliche, which proves awfully entertaining (this is a skill that so many Korean movie-makers seem to have up their sleeves).
Choo Chang-min (this is the first of his I've seen), offers all the pomp and splendor of royalty, the necessary political and social underpinnings, and... romance! Really, what more do you want in a historical pot-boiler? Starring Lee Byung-hun -- the utterly gorgeous leading man from Three Extremes; The Good, The Bad, The Weird; I Saw the Devil and those dumb-fun G.I. Joe movies -- and a cast of ace actors who know just what to do, the film ignites repeatedly, and offers, humor, history, love and tears in about equal measure (the penultimate scene involving the "pauper" and the real King's bodyguard is simply wonderful). Once you've seen it, you'll understand why it's one of the box-office record-breakers in Korean film history.
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