IFFK at 20: Can’t-miss cinema in Korean Panorama section


Thiruvananthapuram, Nov 30: The upcoming 20th edition of the International Film Festival of Kerala (IFFK) features works by six leading South Korean filmmakers in the Korean Panorama section. IFFK favourite Kim ki-duk is the marquee name on the list.

The section, which has over the years been synonymous with thrillers, veers into the melancholy this year with films that also capture contemporary realities in Korea. Kim ki-Duk’s Stop is an eco-thriller that examines the trauma of a couple troubled by the Fukushima nuclear disaster. Clown of a salesman (2015) is a take on the present-day corporate world while Madonna (2015) a medical drama deals in depth with the class discrepancies in a hospital. The Unfair (2015) is a reflection of the Korean judiciary and courtrooms.

Stop (2015)

The story of how the meltdown at Japan’s Fukushima nuclear reaction altered the lives and fates of a young married couple who were exposed to it. Kim Ki-duk turns guerrilla filmmaker. Like his previous film, One on One (2014), the provocative elements of the film demand attention, and he doesn’t hesitate to insist on the radical notion that to avoid nuclear accidents, we should stop using electricity.

Madonna  (2015)

Director Shin Su-won depicts the extremes of our society; where lives are divided according to the discrepancy between the rich and poor, the possession of power, and the gender divide. As in her earlier feature, Pluto (2012), the director once again explores the conflict between rich with Madonna. It simultaneously tells the story of a son who forces his father to undergo a difficult surgery to inherit his property and of a prostitute trying to save her unborn foetus

Office (2015)

Hong Won-chan’s directorial debut doubles as psychological thriller and satire about the corporate politics. Office, a deftly made genre film that was showcased at the ‘Midnight Screening’ at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival, begins with a man who disappears after killing his entire family.

Clown of a Salesman  (2015)

In a desperate attempt to pay his daughter’s medical bills, the protagonist of this morose movie joins a firm which provides free entertainment to old women in exchange for buying their products. The silver lining of the film amidst the crushing helplessness is the bond he develops with a client. The film alternates between the joy of this friendship and the misery of his debts.

Right now, wrong then (2015)

Winner of the Golden Leopard, top honours, at the 68th Locarno International Film Festival, director Hong-Sang Soo gives two variations of a fateful encounter between a filmmaker and an artist. With the same actors and sets, this film tells the same story twice in two hoursand unfolds in two parts under the subheadings: ‘Part 1: Right then, Wrong now’ and ‘Part 2: Right now, Wrong then’.  

The Unfair (2015)

On a demolition site, a man is accused of murdering his son. What transpires is an explosive courtroom drama in which a legal battle rages between a prosecutor and a lawyer due to paternal love.

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