Hello everyone! 안녕하세요 여러분!

Welcome to Hanguk Yeonghwa (한국 영화) – or Korean film, if you prefer.

This blog is dedicated to the cinematic endeavors of Korea, where the films are often referred to as an exciting, innovative, and challenging alternative to Hollywood.

Most Korean films that make their way to foreign shores are often labeled as ‘extreme cinema’ due to the violent and/or sexual themes contained within. As such, the majority of audiences are aware of the horrors and thrillers produced, including the likes of Oldboy (올드보이, 2003), Thirst (박쥐, 2009), and the films of Kim Ki Duk (김기덕).

This is unfair, as in addition to the crime and revenge thrillers Korea produces an incredibly large amount of melodramas, comedies, and war films exploring the relationship with their northern cousins. While these films have a slowly increasing level of awareness in Europe and North America, they are extremely widespread throughout the rest of Asia to the point where the immense popularity has been designated as ‘the Korean Wave’ or ‘Hallyu’ (한류). The films, TV dramas and celebrities have an enormous following in Japan, Thailand, The Philippines and beyond, to the point where tour dates are sold out within minutes and actors learn different languages to make appearances on national television. The Korean Wave is expanding into new territories however, thanks to the innovation of those within the entertainment industry, expats, and of course the internet. Today, Korean actors such as Lee Byeong Heon (이병헌), Rain (비/real name 정지훈), and Jeon Ji Hyeon (전지현) are appearing in Hollywood, with director Kim Ji Woon (김지운) at the helm of the upcoming Arnold Swarzenegger film ‘Last Stand’ (2013).

This blog is also riding the wave and will feature film news, festival highlights, and reviews of both past and present, familiar ad unfamiliar. Hopefully, upon reading the reviews you will be curious enough to seek out, or re-watch, some fascinating moments from an ever-changing industry.

But make no mistake, these reviews will not simply be gushing praise simply because of their country of origin. They will be objective, impartial, and compared with counterparts from other countries.

Therefore, if you are interested in Korean film then this is the place to be. There will be no idol gossip about celebrity scandals however; instead, film fans can voice their opinions about the film productions from ‘the land of the rising calm.’ So if you have a few minutes free, sit back and enjoy the posts! (^.^)

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