South Korean cinema is known for its wealth of excellent thrillers, horror films, historical dramas and melodramas, but its fantasy genre has been known more for the misses than the hits; it always seemed that the industry found itself slightly out of its depth when it took on the more massive, epic-level projects – or […]

Can one scene from a film change a young boy’s life? That seems to be the case for Lee Jin-mu, a South Korean actor, filmmaker and a model, who got struck by the acting bug when he saw an emotional scene from Eyes of Dawn, one of the most popular TV dramas of the 1990’s: […]

When in 1987, Park Jong-chul, a 21-year-old activist and a student of Linguistics at Seoul National University, died while being questioned by the Anti-Communist Investigations Bureau about whereabouts of the campus leader and the fellow ‘revolutionist’, no one expected that the South Korean political landscape was about to change forever. The authorities insisted that the young […]

Hashima Island is a small Japanese island, located a mere 15 kilometers off the coast of Nagasaki; it is full of concrete buildings and has a seawall that protects it from the waves. Its shape is the reason for the other name the island is known for: Gunkanjima (Gun-ham-do, 군함도 in Korean) – “Battleship Island”. The […]

In South Korea, Hwang Jung-min is a member of the so-called ‘100 Million Viewer Club’. He starred in 2 od the 5 highest domestic grossing films in South Korea (Ode to my Father and Veteran) of all time and it is safe to label him as one of the Big Three; alongside Song Kang-ho and Ryu Seung-ryong, he […]

The volunteers at the 20th Udine Far East Film festival looked in wonder as the doors of the main Teatro Udine theatre opened on Friday night – and half of the visitors came out either red-eyed, wiping their eyes or still quietly sobbing. That was the effect of Be With You, the Korean adaptation of the […]

The novels of Takuji Ichikawa are well known to numerous book lovers. His bestselling works have been adapted for the Japanese silver screen a couple of times; Be With You in 2004 by Nobuhiro Doi, and Heavenly Forest in 2006 by Takehiko Shinjo. The film adaptation of Be With You became a huge commercial success with its imaginative, beautiful and emotional love story […]