Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Yours Truly to Appear on Busan e-FM for Weekly Segment of Cine Concerto

October 19, 2011

I got a gig appearing as a weekly guest on Cine Concerto hosted by Tina Park, the movie program of the local English radio station Busan e-FM. I’ll be on every Wednesday around 10:40 am to discuss a famous director, actor, actress, or anyone related to film. I did my first show today (Wednesday October 19) about Korean filmmaker Kim Ki Duk and it should be up on the website for you to stream by the end of the day. Here’s a link to the page where you can find the show. Hit the “Script Board” section and that should bring you to a list of shows organized by date. Once you get it to start playing, feel free to skip to about two-thirds of the way through since I only talk during the last portion of the show.

Big thanks to fellow film critic Thomas Bellmore, who helped me land the gig. He has a similar segment on the same program where he talks about all time classics on Monday mornings around the same time, so make sure to tune in then too!


Busan e-FM Radio Interview # 2

June 8, 2010

I appeared on Busan e-FM 90.5 to talk films with fellow movie-critic and Busan Haps writer Tom Bellmore for a special segment of their weekly program “Let’s Talk Busan.” Listen to the show (No 49 [2009-05-23] Let’s Talk Busan!) here:

My Yearly Oscar Angst

March 5, 2010

Is it just me, or do the Oscars feel completely irrelevent this year? OK, so I haven’t seen a large portion of the nominees, and will concede that I’m more or less talking out of my ass, but the reason I haven’t seen films like “The Blind Side,” “Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire” or “Invictus” isn’t because they haven’t yet been released in South Korea. I simply don’t care to. By upping the number of “Best Picture” nominess, the idea was to include a broader range of movies, but it seems to me that the Academy has just put its sought-after spotlight on more of the same drivel. Not that there aren’t any good films vying for the top prizes; “Inglourious Basterds,” “The Hurt Locker,” and “Up” were all on my top 10 list of 2009, and I suppose “Avatar” has to be rewarded, though it wasn’t much more than a dazzling display of 3-D images. What’s a shame is that even these better crafted, more compelling contenders fall in line with an awards ceremony that allows no exceptions to its rigid rules.

Last year, I took the time to actually make predictions; this year, I don’t see the point. I wasn’t going to write about the Oscars at all, but I simply couldn’t abstain from my yearly ritual of ripping this disgustingly indulgent gathering where all of Hollywood  gets together and pats itself on the back.

Top Ten Films of 2009

January 5, 2010

Here’s a preliminary look at my 2009 top ten list. There’s still a lot I haven’t had the chance to see yet, so it will inevitably change.

Dogtooth (Giorgos Lanthimos)

Lourdes (Jessica Hausner)

Letter to Uncle Boonmee/Phantoms of Nabua (Apitchatpong Weerasethakul)

Vincere (Marco Bellochio)

Mother (Bong Joon Ho)

Paranormal Activity (Oren Peli)

Inglorious Basterds (Quentin Tarantino)

The Hurt Locker (Kathryn Bigelow)

Bruno (Larry Charles)

Up (Peter Docter)

Honorable Mention: Face (Tsai Ming Liang), Antichrist (Lars Von Trier), Drag Me to Hell (Sam Raimi), Tales from the Golden Age (Cristian Mungiu), A Prophet (Jacques Audiard)

Busan e-FM Interview

October 18, 2009

I appeared on Sean O’Malley’s “See the World” program on Busan e-FM 90.5 at 10:05 am, Monday October 19. To hear me sum up my experience at PIFF (and the suave sound of my voice), listen to the show (No 95 [2009-10-19] See The World) here:

PIFF Wrap Up and Final Grades

October 17, 2009

My last article about PIFF (where I give my ratings to all the films I saw) is available here:

PIFF Tickets on Sale September 23

September 22, 2009

PIFF tickets for general screenings go on sale at 9:00 on September 23. The new ticketing system should be a huge improvement over last year since it allows foreigners living in Korea and abroad to reserve seats through the festival’s website. I highly encourage you to get tickets before screenings start to sell out (the opening ceremony/closing ceremonies sold out within a matter of minutes).

Here’s the explanation on how to purchase tickets from the festival’s website:

* Please register first in order to book a ticket via internet (http://WWW.PIFF.KR)

A. Foreigner residing in Korea.
How to

Create a personal account (Verification pocedure for your foreigner number is necessary when first registering)
Login with your foreigner number and passwords
Book a ticket

Payment : Credit card, debit card, remittances, mobile phone
** A 20% discount will be applied by using the only PIFF-ShinHan HI-POINT NANO Card. (2 tickets per purchase)
Pick-up : Available at GS25, Busan Bank, Temporary Box Offices

B. Foreigner
How to

Create a personal account by entering some simple information
Login with you email and passwords
Book a ticket

Payment : Credit card
** Due to the exchange rate, foreign customer will be charged a processing fee.
Pick-up : Temporary Box Offices

If you have problems reserving tickets, call 051-747-8591.

Haneke Wins Palme d’Or

May 26, 2009

Michael HanekeMichael Haneke, the Austrian filmmaker and darling of the Cannes film festival won the Palme d’Or for his latest film, “The White Ribbon” and no one seems to be  acknowledging the giant elephant in the room. Isabelle Huppert, the President of the jury this year, was the leading lady in two of Haneke’s previous movies and obviously has a close relationship with him  (a conflict of interest I pointed out when the official lineup was announced). But maybe it’s just that no one cares. After all, the director is a major heavyweight in arthouse cinema and has a wide following around the world. If you ever glance at my list of all time favorite films, you’ll immediately notice that I’m a part of that following. Whether or not the jury’s decision was swayed by its less than objective President, I’m happy to see Haneke awarded what’s arguably the most prestigious prize for an achievement in filmmaking. Hopefully, “The White Ribbon” lives up to it.

Cannes Film Festival Announces Exceptional Lineup for 2009

April 23, 2009

Cannes Film Festival 2009

The official selection for the 2009 Cannes Film Festival was announced today, giving cinephiles worldwide a heads up on what’s in store for the next year or so in terms of art-house cinema. And there’s reason to be excited. Michael Haneke, Lars Von Trier, Quentin Tarantino, Pedro Almodovar, Jane Campion, Ang Lee, and Ken Loach are among the prestigious filmmakers competing for the Palme d’Or. Park Chan-Wook’s “Thirst” (which hits theaters here next week) is the only South Korean film vying for the top prize. However, Bong Joon-Ho (“Memories of Murder,” “The Host”) will premiere his upcoming movie “Mother” out-of-competition. Other highlights include the latest from Pixar, “Up,” as well as what will be Heath Ledger’s last appearance on the silver screen for his role in “The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus” – one that had to be completed by Johnny Depp, Jude Law, and Collin Farrell due to his untimely death. Most of these films won’t come out in theaters here for months, if at all, but the Cannes lineup usually offers a pretty good indication of the what lies ahead at the Pusan International Film Festival in the Fall.

*It’s interesting to note that Isabelle Huppert has been picked as the President of the jury when she has worked with Michael Haneke on several occasions (“The Piano Teacher,” “Time of the Wolf”). Is this an advantage or a handicap for the Austrian director (whose work I’m particularly fond of)?

UPDATE: Sergio Leone Retrospective

February 27, 2009

Unfortunately, the Busan Cinematheque is screening the Italian versions of “Duck, You Sucker,” “The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly,” and “Once Upon a Time in the West,” without English subtitles. Only “Once Upon a Time in America” is in English.