South Korean Horror: International Successes and Cultural Customs PART TWO

THE STORY OF ROSE AND LOTUS - Janghwa Hongryeon jeon To summarise the tale of ‘Janghwa Hongryeon jeon’, a.k.a The Story of Rose and Lotus,  that A Tale of Two Sisters was based on, a mother dies when her two daughters are still children and the father, her husband, remarries. The stepmother fortunately bore sons … Continue reading South Korean Horror: International Successes and Cultural Customs PART TWO

South Korean Horror: International Successes and Cultural Customs PART ONE

INTRODUCTION to South Korean Horror and its international acclamation With the success of the thriller Parasite (Bong Joon Ho, 2019), winner of four Oscars including Best Picture and Best Foreign Language Film, its come as no surprise that more non-Korean audiences are looking towards its industry with more anticipation than ever before. Parasite is not … Continue reading South Korean Horror: International Successes and Cultural Customs PART ONE

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (George C. Wolfe, 2020) – blues, bands, and Boseman’s best performance.

Adapted from the stage production by playwright August Wilson and produced by actor Denzel Washington, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom is less about the legendary ‘Mother of the Blues’ Ma Rainey herself and more about the appropriation of black culture and music, explored over one afternoon at a recording session for her and the band. This … Continue reading Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (George C. Wolfe, 2020) – blues, bands, and Boseman’s best performance.

Thunder Road (Jim Cummings, 2018) – a tragicomedy of perfect proportions.

Thunder Road is an extended version of the 2016 short by Jim Cummings that was loved by Sundance. The short was recreated by him as the first 12 minutes of this feature film, featuring similar elements but ultimately made to be a better fit to lead into the rest of the feature. The single shot … Continue reading Thunder Road (Jim Cummings, 2018) – a tragicomedy of perfect proportions.

Blow-Up (Michelangelo Antonioni, 1966) – allusion to altered attitudes and the truths of perception.

Stylish, perceptive, fashionable; Antonioni’s almost-thriller murder-mystery is equal parts gratifying and unsatisfying. From the perspective of a swingin’ 60s London fashion photographer Thomas (David Hemmings) comes an avant-garde mixture of drama, comedy, and mystery that leaves the audience questioning what’s real and what’s just a product of personal perspective. Thomas has it all: women throwing … Continue reading Blow-Up (Michelangelo Antonioni, 1966) – allusion to altered attitudes and the truths of perception.

I’m Your Fairy Fu*king Godmother (Mike Narouei) – the cost that comes with ambition.

From Veto Productions comes their first film, the 10-minute 2-location piece that traverses the growth of boyhood to adulthood and the fulfilled childish dreams that aren’t quite what they seem in the reality of growing up. I’m Your Fairy Fu*king Godmother toys with the idea of ambition, aspiration, and achieving that vision you have as … Continue reading I’m Your Fairy Fu*king Godmother (Mike Narouei) – the cost that comes with ambition.

Malcolm & Marie (Sam Levinson, 2021) – a white voice spoken over a black character.

Filmed last summer in the middle of a pandemic, shot in one location and featuring just two actors, Sam Levinson manages to utilise his surroundings and restrictions well enough to shoot Malcolm & Marie. However, it’s the actors John David Washington (BlacKKKlansman, Tenet) and Zendaya (Levinson’s own tv series Euphoria) as Malcolm and Marie that … Continue reading Malcolm & Marie (Sam Levinson, 2021) – a white voice spoken over a black character.

Uncut Gems (Benny and Josh Safdie, 2019) – a semi-precious film.

After enjoying Good Time (2017) so much, I was excited to watch another Safdie brothers’ film. Then I watched The Pleasure of Being Robbed (Josh Safdie, 2008) and was exceptionally disappointed. With the success of Uncut Gems, Benny and Josh’s next collaboration after Good Time, I thought maybe there was hope. Reviews showed that people … Continue reading Uncut Gems (Benny and Josh Safdie, 2019) – a semi-precious film.

Persona (Ingmar Bergman, 1966) – an introspective into the individual and their image as an art.

The ‘persona’ can be defined as a mask created by the individual that one wears to both conceal their true nature and to reflect themselves to others; a kind of social face, according to psychiatrist Carl Jung (1953). This could be the explanation behind the actions of the characters within Bergman’s Persona, a film which … Continue reading Persona (Ingmar Bergman, 1966) – an introspective into the individual and their image as an art.

His House (Remi Weekes, 2020) – a promising debut of terror, tension, and trepidation.

Weekes’ debut feature film is a mixture of human drama and conventional horror, exploring the trauma of survivor’s guilt through the main characters and their environments. Bol (Sope Dirisu) and Rial Major (Wanmi Mosaku) are a husband and wife who have fled their home of South Sudan, escaping the grips of terror and war that … Continue reading His House (Remi Weekes, 2020) – a promising debut of terror, tension, and trepidation.