The Korean Film Festival, screening as part of the month-long Korea Festival in Auckland, plays next week, with John H Lee’s Operation Chromite, the newest title in the line-up, opening the festival.
Released in July, Chromite features a turn by Liam Neeson as American general Douglas MacArthur, It tells the story of the 10-day Battle of Incheon in 1950, during the war between North and South Korea.
Australian critic and Korean film aficionado Russell Edwards gave the film a mostly positive review when it played the Korean Film Festival in Australia earlier this year.
Russell Edwards’ review of Operation Chromite
For those with a broader interest in Korean cinema, Edwards’ YouTube channel on Korean film and filmmaking, Wadayathink is a great source of reviews and perspective, including current posts from Korea’s premiere film festival, Busan.
Also in Auckland for the Korean Film Festival are Jang Joon-hwan’s action-packed if brutal thriller Hwayi: A Monster Boy, which screens with an R-18 rating. Surprisingly screening with an R16 rating is Choi Dong-hoon’s ensemble heist comedy The Thieves, shot in Korea, Hong Kong and Macau, which took the all-time Korean box office crown on release.
Trailer: The Thieves
Rounding out the programme are Lee Joon-ik’s Battlefield Heroes (2013), a period comedy set during a war between two Korean states and sequel to Once Upon a Time in a Battlefield; Noh Deok’s contemporary romcom Very Ordinary Couple; and festival closer Green Days, an animated family title.
Korean film is having a good year at home and abroad. Zombie title Train to Busan is currently in NZ cinemas, having smashed all manner of records back home. Shortly after the festival concludes here, Madman will release Jee-woon Kim’s Venice-premiered period spy thriller The Age of Shadows in NZ cinemas from 27 October.
The Korean Film Festival runs 18 – 22 October at Academy Cinemas. Screenings are free.
While Auckland gets the Korea Film Festival, the Japan Film Festival will screen in Wellington before visiting Auckland in late November.