The first images we see of "Attack the Gas Station!" are highly abstract. We see the gas station being attacked. But who would do such a thing, and why? Rather than tease out this mystery director Kim Sang-jin almost immediately gives a very blunt non-reflective answer. Everybody was bored and there was nothing better to do. The situation is further confused by the gas station attacking thugs deciding to stick around for awhile and terrorize the gas station's owners in the name of...justice?...More
As I have stated many times before, Hong Sang-soo's influence in the indie, art-house production of Korea is visible on all levels, and "Winter's Night" is not exactly an exception. A number of unique elements, here and there in the narrative, though, allow the film to be a work on itself, and a rather entertaining experience, at least for the art-house audience...More
During the latter years of the Japanese Occupation the Korean language is not quite banned. Still, the Japanese who rule Korea would rather their subjects not speak it. The chief exception to this rule is for language scholars who are studying Korean academically. Or at least, that's what they want the Japanese to think. In reality Gap-yoon (played by Kim Hong-pa) is putting together a team of cunning linguists to publish and distribute a secret dictionary...More
Jae-hyeok (played by Kim Nam-gil) works at a nuclear plant in southeast part of Korea and is constantly badgering his family about moving away for the sake of better opportunities. A lot of people have been leaving southeast Korea over the last few years for exactly this reason, so weighing ambition and opportunity against tradition and home is a relevant social conflict. Alas, "Pandora" chooses a very different villain- the sinister specter of nuclear power...More
Based once more on a story by Choe In-ho, Bae Chang-ho's "Whale Hunting" cemented his position as one of the most commercially successful Korean directors of the 80's, topping the box office in 1984. The titular phrase, during the years of dictatorship, meant yearning for something more than the financial progress that was the government's main goal, and in essence represented dissatisfaction with the then (everyday) life...More
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