The Korean Film Festival returns to Australia for the 6th year, bringing a stellar range of movies from the exciting world of Korean cinema. The festival will be held in Melbourne from 3-10 September at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image, Federation Square. If you need a little help navigating through the whopping 20-film line-up, here are some of our top picks:
All films screen with English subtitles. For more information and ticket bookings, visit KOFFIA’s website here.
Tazza: The Hidden Card (타짜 – 신의 손)
The second installment of the ‘Tazza’ series, the film stars BIG BANG’s T.O.P (Choi Seung-hyun) as Ham Dae-gil, a young man with a natural talent for gambling. Co-stars Shin Se-kyung and Honey Lee feature as well on Dae-gil’s journey as he navigates his way through the seedy underground world of gambling. Despite his gambling prowess, he gets caught up in a devious plot involving betrayal and conspiracy, and prepares for a final showdown with his biggest enemies.
Screening details: Sat 5 September, 2pm.
Han Gong-ju (한공주)
Based on the events of the Miryang gang rape case of 2004, Chun Woo-hee stars as the titular Han Gong-ju in this highly-acclaimed, intricate, coming-of-age story about a high school student involved in a terrible incident. To escape scandal, she moves homes and transfers to a new school, but the withdrawn and traumatized Gong-ju keeps to herself and tries to move on from what happened. It takes a long time for Gong-ju’s troubled past to catch up with her, but when it does the revelation is devastating.
Screening details: Sat 5 September, 5pm
Clearer Than You Think (생각보다 맑은)
Clearer Than You Think stands out as the sole animated offering in the list of films. The brainchild of animation prodigy Han Ji-won, the preview for this movie enchants us straight from the get-go: it takes a humorous yet bittersweet look at the vast gulf between the reality and ideals of our lives at different moments. Before we make a choice, during the process of choosing, and after a choice has been made. Love, regret, hopes and dreams, adventure, longing and the passion for life is captured brilliantly through the diverse characters of Maro, Crow, department chief Ms. Kim, Sweet Potato, Titi, Ye-mi and Gang-bo.
Screening details: Sun 6 September, 2pm
The Admiral: Roaring Currents (명량)
The Admiral: Roaring Currents is the all-time most-watched film in South Korea, smashing various box office records and sweeping countless accolades in 2014-2015. The trailer for this sageuk movie sends a chill down our spines as Ryu Seung-ryong, in the role of Japanese samurai Kurushima Michifusa, declares that ‘Joseon will burn to the ground tonight.’ Choi Min-sik stars as revered Korean strategist Yi Sun-shin, who is faced with the formidable task of defending the Korean seas from the 300-ship strong Japanese naval fleet with a mere 13 ships at his disposal. With the fate of the Korean peninsula in the balance, will Admiral Yi succeed in this seemingly impossible quest?
Screening details: Tue 8 September, 8:30pm
Love Forecast (오늘의 연애)
If you are a fan of romantic comedies, Love Forecast is a must-watch. Moon Chae-won stars as Hyun-woo, a weather reporter famed for her stunning looks and elegance. In reality, she’s a potty-mouthed booze hound who can shatter any and all preconceived notions of her in the blink of an eye. Lee Seung-gi co-stars as her childhood friend Jun-su, who has secretly held a torch for Hyun-woo all these years. He is forced to watch as Hyun-woo gets involved in several relationships including the cold, married producer Dong-jin and Hyo-bong, a sincere but dull photographer. To sort out her true feelings for the three men, Hyun-woo leaves on a soul-searching trip. Who will she choose?
*Event*: Come to the screening of Love Forecast dressed in your comfiest pyjamas/onesies and stand a chance to win a best-dressed prize and other goodies at the ACMI!
Screening details: Tue 8 September, 8:30pm
How far would you go to fight for what you believe in? Yum Jung-ah features in a Paeksang Arts Award-winning portrayal of Sun-hee, a mother of two who struggles to provide for her family as a temporary worker at a large retail store. When Sun-hee is about to obtain a permanent position, she and numerous other female store workers are laid off and realise that their company is trying to avoid its obligations to the employees. As a shy but devoted mother, openly protesting and going on strike against the company was something she never once thought of. However, when other temp women co-workers begin their solitary fight against the unjust layoffs, Sun-hee finds courage to stand at the frontline. With her once estranged son’s (EXO’s D.O) support and united with her colleagues, Sun-hee starts to make a giant step forward for a better life and a better world.
Screening details: Tue 8 September, 6pm
Stay tuned to The Seoul Story for coverage and reviews from the Melbourne leg of the festival!