Time for international audiences to catch up with the latest and very best out of Hallyuwood with a fortnight of New Korea Cinema at Lichtblick Kino.
This month, Exberliner and Lichtblick are gearing up for the opening of Bong Joon-ho’s Parasite (from October 31 at the Kastanienallee cinema) with a handpicked selection of prize-winning South Korean gems, screened with those hard-to-get English subs. The recent strong output of Hallyuwood auteur films (from Hallyu aka Korean Wave) hasn’t made the shortlist easy. The fortnight kicks off on October 15 with Park Chan-wook’s erotic psychological thriller The Handmaiden – and a pre-screening Korean-snack party with Soju and delicious homemade Korean tapas from Yam Yam Berlin (Oct 15, 19:00). In this gloriously overwrought adaptation of Sarah Waters’ bestseller Fingersmith, the Oldboy director renews his beloved themes of vengeance and fetishism, deftly transposed from Victorian England to Japanese-occupied Korea.
Lee Chan-dong’s Burning is another must-see. This adaptation of a Haruki Murakami short story, “Barn Burning”, about a young wannabe writer reconnecting with a former schoolfriend who mysteriously disappears, is a meticulously crafted thriller that’s as unpredictable as it is riveting. If you missed out on last June’s release, it’s your chance to catch it in the English-subtitled version.
As if that weren’t enough, we’re treating you to Hong Sang-soo’s competition entry (and Best Actress winner) at last year’s Berlinale, On the Beach at Night Alone, a piercingly intimate drama that will delight the fans of the prolific but seldomly distributed director. Starring HSS’ muse and, following much speculation and drama in the Korean media, officialised partner Kim Min-hee (also the Lady Hideko of Park Chan-wook’s Handmaiden), the film follows an actress trying to get over an affair she was having with her (married) director. Shot on a budget in Hamburg and on a South Korean beach, it’s a film of two halves, whose seeming aimlessness might not be for everyone; however, get on its wavelength and you’ll find a powerfully poetic contemplation on longing and love. Don’t miss out!
EXBlicks New Korean Cinema Special | Lichtblick Kino, Prenzlauer Berg. Oct 15-31. See full programme here.