The 2012 installment of the London Korean Film Festival begins this coming weekend, opening on the 1st of November and continuing through to the 11th in the capital before taking the show on the road to Glasgow, Bristol and Bournemouth. This year has been incredible for Korean cinema and the quality of films produced is reflected in the stellar line-up.
The opening gala, to be held at he high profile Odeon West End, will feature the most successful film in Korean cinematic history – The Thieves (도둑들). Following the screening will be a Q&A session with director Choi Dong-hoon (최동훈) and actor Kim Yoon-seok (김윤석), who has appeared in such prolific films including The Chaser (추격자), The Yellow Sea (황해), and Punch (완득이). Bookending the festival on the 10th of November will be the hugely – and still currently – successful film Masquerade (광해, 왕이 된 남자), also featuring an Q&A with director Choo Chang-min (추창민) and superstar Lee Byeong-Heon (이병헌), who is in London filming action film Red 2.
The festival will also highlight several other of the notable films produced in Korea this year, including science-fiction disease thriller Deranged (연가시) about a new form of parasite that spreads chaos across Korea, comedy-drama Dancing Queen (댄싱퀸) involving a middle-aged woman who attempts to realize her life-long ambitions, and poetically romantic Eungyo (AKA A Muse) (은교) which explores the love that develops between an aging poet and a 17 year old girl. Also present are All About My Wife (내 아내의 모든 것), a comedy about a man desperately trying to divorce his nagging other half, table tennis drama As One (코리아) which is based on the true events of the Northern and Southern teams forced to play together at the 1991 Championships, and Top Gun-inspired action film R2B: Return to Base (R2B: 리턴투베이스).
Animated films are ably represented in the form of stark, poignant drama King of Pigs (돼지의 왕) about a reunion of school friends that forces old secrets to light, and indie hit Padak (파닥파닥) involving a fish attempting to escape his fate at a sushi restaurant and return to the ocean. Katuri – A Story of a Mother Bird (엄마 까투리), will also feature.
To honour director Choi Dong-hoon (최동훈), as well as opening the festival with his latest success The Thieves there will also be a retrospective of his work including The Big Swindle (범죄의 재구성), Tazza: The High Rollers (타짜), and Jeon Woo-chi : The Taoist Wizard (전우치).
For the full line-up and to purchase tickets for the event, please head over to the official London Korean Film Festival website, or alternatively visit Hangul Celluloid who first broke news of the line up and sports a host of reviews and interviews with those within the industry.