An opinion on South Korean film

Until about two years ago I hadn’t seen much outside of Hong Kong when it came to Asian cinema. It’s something that I now regret fiercely, as its fast become my favourite. The liberal movement of the nineties is now really starting to show with some very talented directors putting out some splendid work. 

I’m really enjoying cinema in general at the moment. While I don’t particularly enjoy the avengers movies themselves, their stand alones are a lot easier for me to enjoy. I don’t think the main selling point of the films should just be the star power. Just because you’ve enveloped all the characters into one film does not mean it is going to be good. That being said I’d much rather watch any of these films over some poorly crafted family film, and they seem to have fizzled out of mainstream cinema to streaming services like Netflix. If these trends are linked in anyway then I’m happy the marvel universe has a dominance now.

My first film like many others was Oldboy and man it’s a good movie, but I didn’t want it to be my only experience so I did some intense googling to try and find something to bridge the gap a little. ‘Snowpiercer’ was newly released and being a western sci-fi hybrid it seemed like a good choice. It’s newly easily one of my favourite movies of all time, I love nearly everything about it. The choice of colour, the mix of Korean and Western acting and styles. It all makes for a really good experience. Being based on a pretty popular book already I won’t praise its plot too much, but it’s definitely well executed.

This was the start of my love affair with Bong Joon Ho, I’ve worked my way through nearly all of his films now, and the guy struggles to get it wrong. ‘Mother’ is an incredible thriller from start to finish and through my excessive consumption of media I can usually guess the outcome of most films of its ilk. I was never certain while watching this though, I can’t tell you what it was about the experience but never have I seen a camera used so effectively to throw you off. Every trope that western cinema has taught me to look for when identifying the bad guy was irrelevant. It’s just a solid movie watch it. As political as the academy is I would be incredibly surprised if this guy doesn’t pull in an oscar at some point. At worst he’s going to put this tiny country on the map for good.

If your more than just a casual watcher of movies or can tolerate subtitled films, go and check this new world of creativity out. It’s mind blowing how much culture that is so readily avalible is still so easy to ignore. I started writing this midway through ‘Train to Busan’ and I’m going to say preemptively that this is the movie I expected War Z to be. Just watch it all you filthy muggles.

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