After a couple of seriously impressive contributions to this year's BFI London Film Festival, Korean cinema comes into sharper focus in November with the 9th London Korean Film Festival. Expect weird, wonderful and impeccably-composed cinema as movies new and old are screened across the capital before going on tour around the UK afterwards.
The opening night film is Kundo: Age of the Rampant, which could be about anything with a title like that, and we'd still want to see it. It's actually a Robin Hood-style period action thriller about bandits taking on a bunch of scum-sucking feudal overlords who've been oppressing the poor. (Incidentally, the soundtrack to the film was mixed at Abbey Road Studios).
Then there's a welcome spotlight on contemporary director Kim Ki-duk, who has produced an extraordinary body of dreamy work which manages to surprise at just about every turn. If you don't know his work — mesmerising fare such as The Isle or profound and nasty meditations like Bad Guy — it's a great opportunity to get better-acquainted with his singular visions up on the big screen. The festival will present Kim's three latest titles: Moebius, Pieta and the UK premiere of controversial new film One on One, in which victims of a brutal crime are terrorised by a mysterious sect.
Big-hitting genre fare includes Cold Eyes, a slick techno-thriller about a surveillance team taking on a criminal mastermind, plus The Killer Behind The Old Man which centres on a hitman reluctant to rub out a pensioner. As usual with top-drawer Korean genre entries, expect typical tropes to be subverted.
Then Professor Kim Hong-june and the Korean Film Archive have picked out a set of K-Classics, including the Hitchcock-infused domestic thriller The Housemaid, from 1960. Some of the films in the K-Classics strand will also be made available online.
There are over 50 screenings in all with the majority to be held in the Odeon West End, plus additional London venues such as Odeon Covent Garden, Odeon Kingston and the Korean Cultural Centre.
The London Korean Film Festival runs from 6-21 November. Click here for the full schedule