YESORNODC


Yes: Koreans Yes: Films Yes: Festivals by Jason Powell
April 3, 2008, 7:09 am
Filed under: Film, Going Out

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With China and Hong Kong seemingly content to continue flooding the movie market with mega-budget historical kung fu epics left and right, and Japan cranking out so many horror flicks they’ve started to lapse into self-parody, South Korea is currently sitting pretty at the vanguard of Asian cinema.

This year’s Korean Film Festival DC, which runs from Friday April 4 through June 12, is the city’s biggest and most diverse yet. With more than 20 titles playing at the Freer Gallery of Art, the AFI Silver and the National Museum of Women in the Arts, this is a great opportunity to sample the vibrant, creative and challenging state of contemporary Korean film. Dasepo Naughty Girls (pictured) is a candy colored live action cartoon about a high school full of singing and dancing horndogs, but like many Korean comedies contains a weepy, sentimental core. 2005’s box office and critical champ The King and the Clown is a historical love triangle loosely based on an ancient ruler who goes insane after falling in love with a court jester. Auteur Park Chan-Wook’s newest film I’m a Cyborg, But That’s OK backs off on the violence of his infamous “vengeance trilogy” but keeps all of his trademark visual flair in this quirky love story between two patients at an asylum. But this year’s biggest treat comes from director Lee Chang Dong, who will appear in person to present his latest film Secret Sunshine, a three-hanky melodrama for which star Jeon Do-Yeon won the best actress prize at the 2007 Cannes Film Festival.

Discuss: Could DC ever become a first-run film city like NY or LA?

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