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[HanCinema's Film News] New Korean Films Inbound...

2013/09/07 | Permalink

K-Films Coming Soon:

★★★★★ "Our Sunhi": A young filmmaker returns to her old school in the hopes to get a letter of recommendation from her past professor. (09/12)

★★★★★ "The Face Reader": The most skilful face reader in the Joseon dynasty gets pulled from his life of seclusion and soon finds himself in the middle of a political power struggle for the crown. (09/11)

Title: "The Face Reader"

Genre: Historical, Drama

Length: 142 min

Release Date: 2013/09/11

Director: Han Jae-rim ("The Show Must Go on", "Rules of Dating")

Screenplay: Kim Dong-hyeok ("Haan")

Stars: Song Kang-ho, Lee Jung-jae, Baek Yoon-sik, Lee Jong-suk, Kim Hye-soo, Jo Jung-suk


The Short and Sweet: The most skilful face reader in the Joseon dynasty gets pulled from his life of seclusion and soon finds himself in the middle of a political power struggle over the crown.

This is the third feature by director Han Jae-rim whose previous efforts included the romantic comedy "Rules of Dating" (2005) and action film noir "The Show Must Go on" (2006). Song Kang-ho (who was also the lead in "The Show Must Go on") is fresh off the "Snowpiercer" express but already his next project "The Face Reader" is upon us. Set during Korea's Joseon dynasty, "The Face Reader" is intriguing period piece that casts Song as Nae-kyeong, a useful character who possesses the ability to judge and discern the truth behind people's, often deceptive, faces.

Nae-kyeong lives in isolation but is persuaded by a Yeon-hong (a Korean geisha played by Kim Hye-soo) to read the faces of her guest. Nae-kyeong's skills get him noticed by the King Moonjong who wishes to use his skills to identify potential traitors and threats to his crown. After the death of the king, Nae-kyeong finds himself entangled in the palace's political power struggles. "The Face Reader" looks an interesting tale, and personally I do enjoy a good quality period piece, but at a gruelling 142 minutes the film may just test the patience and endurance of some viewers.


Title: "Our Sunhi"

Genre: Drama

Length: 89 min

Release Date: 2013/09/12

Director: Hong Sang-soo ("In Another Country", "The Day He Arrives", "Oki's Movie")

Screenplay: Hong Sang-soo

Stars: Jung Yu-mi, Lee Sun-kyun, Kim Sang-joong, Jung Jae-young


The Short and Sweet: A young filmmaker returns to her old school in the hopes to get a letter of recommendation from her past professor.

Hong Sang-soo casts a number of his previous actors in his latest cinematic outing "Our Sunhi", a drama about filmmaking, life, and the advice we get from others as we move forward. "Our Sunhi" appears to fit in with much of Hong's filmography, so expect a contemplative and philosophical slant woven into a film that favours realism over the more formal fancies of perhaps more popular Korean features. Hong's favours a very uncomplicated visual style, choosing to hold the camera's gaze with long takes and repeated scenes and settings. Bars, restaurants, parks, and coffee shops are favourite locations for Hong, and his character's are often young filmmakers and directors who are struggling to grow personally and professionally.

In "Our Sunhi" a former student returns to her old university to get a letter from a professor she knew like her. Sunhi (played by Jung Yu-min) wants the letter so that she can head to American to further her work. However she also meets two other directors who insist on giving her life advice while she stands at a fork in her life. Both "Our Sunhi" and "The Face Reader" will have some stiff competition from some of this year's biggest foreign animations ("Despicable Me 2" and "Monsters University") and it will be interesting to watch how the Korean public respond to Hong's more reflective and personal style of storytelling, especially after the amount of thrillers and action flicks that rocked the Korea summer. 


Title: "Love in 42.9"

Genre: Drama, Family, Fantasy

Length: 97 min

Release Date: 2013/09/12 

Director: Choi Wee-an ("Today and the Other Days")

Stars: Kim Jae-man, Sin So-hyeon, Yoon In-yeong


After eight years of marriage a husband decides to write a love letter to his wife to rekindle their relationship. After seeking ways to move his wife, he finally decides to send the letter anonymously. He believes his wife will be definitely touched by the letter. However it turns out that the wife thinks someone who still loves her has sent the letter, being totally unaware that it was actually sent by her husband. Being disappointed that his wife keeps the letter in secret without noticing his handwriting, the husband starts to test his wife seriously, which makes his wife sank into her own world deeply.



Also Coming Soon:

 "The Baytown Outlaw" (2012), "Yakuza VS Ninja" (2012), "Monsters University" (2013), "Medianeras Sidewalls" (2013), "Percy Jackson and Sea of Monsters" (2013), "Despicable Me 2" (2013), "The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones" (2013)




- C.J. Wheeler (@KoreaOnTheCouch)

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