It’s that time again. The last two weeks in Tribeca have been all about festivals and festival films (and we’ve still got some more spillover coverage of that coming up over the next few days), but now it’s time to look to the future.
And by the future I mean the past, because the next series of Korean Movie Night NY is all about period pieces. For those of you who don’t know, pretty much every other Tuesday the New York branch of the Korean Cultural Service puts on screenings of Korean films at the Tribeca Cinemas. These screenings are free and open to the public on a first-come, first-serve basis. They show some pretty great films, so I always recommend checking them out. With any luck, we will have reviews of the films up the Mondays before the screenings to tell you what we think and remind you that they are happening.
The official press release and more information can be found below.
Korean Movie Night
from May 1, 2012 – June 19, 2012
courtesy of the Korean Cultural Service
Every other Tuesday @ 7pm
(54 Varick Street, on the corner of Canal Street, one block from the A, C, E and 1 train Canal Street stops)
All seating is first-come, first served.
Doors open at 6:30pm.
Series Three: Epic Romance
Romance is in the air, but this time, it’s getting EPIC.
Love that spans the ages has been a longtime favorite of Chinese and Japanese cinema, but it wasn’t until the last decade that epic, awe-inspiring romantic blockbusters made their way into Korean film – but when they hit, they hit with a vengeance! The floodgates opened and nobility clashed with peasants, royalty fell for servants, and everyone somehow stumbled across their soulmates amidst the wildest, most untamed eras of Korean history. So prepare yourself for a healthy dose of action, plenty of gut-busting comedy, and all the swoon-inducing, star-crossed lovers you can possibly take as we present New York City with a bouquet of Korea’s most epic romances!
Tuesday, May 1 @ 7pm
THE SERVANT (2010)
Opening at number one at the Korean box office, this retelling of Chunhyang-jeon (Korea’s version of Romeo & Juliet which has been remade hundreds of times) is told from the point-of-view of Bang-Ja (Kim Ju-Hyuk), a servant of the young scholar Lee Mong-lyong. Bang-Ja is normally an incidental character in Chunhyang-jeon who does little more than act as a go-between for the star-crossed lovers, but here he’s elevated to center stage and the result is a funny, touching, unexpected twist on a classic tale. Writer/director Kim Dae-Woo, who crafts pure cinematic magic here, also wrote the script for 2003’s Untold Scandal, the hit Korean riff on Dangerous Liasions.
Tuesday, May 15 @ 7pm
KING AND THE CLOWN (2005)
During the reign of the infamous King Yeon-san, two clowns (Gam Woo-Sung and Lee Joon-Ki, both mesmerizing here) star in a satirical play about the powerful monarch, which becomes popular among the commoners. Immediately arrested for treason, they bet their lives on making the king laugh at their routine, and their surprising success allows them to stay in the palace as royal performers. When the king (Hi, Dharma’s Jeong Jin-Young) starts displaying an irresistible attraction toward one of the clowns, the performers quickly realize that they may be in over their heads. A pop culture phenomenon, this mid-budget romance about man love ended up selling more tickets than any other film in Korean history – cementing itself deeply in the public consciousness and becoming a culture-defining romantic hit.
Tuesday, June 5 @ 7pm
FORBIDDEN QUEST (2006)
A modest hit in Korea that deserves far more attention than it received, this sharp dramedy from The Servant director Kim Dae-Woo has the endearing Yun-Seo ( the legendary Han Suk-Kyu) randomly coming across an ‘indecent novel.’ Hesitant to read it at first, he’s soon inspired to write one of his own, even asking his family rival and infamous captain of guards, Gwang-Heon (Lee Beom-Su, City of Violence), to illustrate it for him. Their book is soon the most talked-about in town and it’s eventually picked up by Jeong-Bin, the king’s favorite concubine. But when she becomes a little too involved, the two men are soon drawn in a tricky web of palace intrigue that will leave no one safe.
Tuesday, June 19 @ 7pm
THE SWORD WITH NO NAME (2009)
Holy blockbusters! A big hit at the Korean box office, Sword is the epitome of posh, luscious, decadent period filmmaking. Based on the real life Empress Myeongseong, it tells her story through the eyes of a bounty hunter who becomes her bodyguard (Cho Seung-Woo, now doing his mandatory military service). She tries to stand up to Russian and Japanese intervention in 19th Century Korea and the results are a series of luxurious, CGI-enhanced action scenes alternating with carefully calibrated and eye-meltingly colorful scenes of court life, making this movie feel like an unholy mix of Merchant-Ivory and The Matrix.