5 great ways to follow Korean cinema.
The Korean cinema scene is one of the richest in the world with a plethora of well-respected auteurs crafting some of the most striking cinema you'll ever see. Because of the language barriers and a significant difference in style to Western movies, getting into Korean cinema can seem like a daunting task. Fortunately there are a few resources available to give you a helping hand. We've pulled together some of our favourites for this list.
What’s Korean Cinema? podcast.
What’s Korean Cinema is a conversational podcast hosted by Kenneth Brorsson. The show is part of the Podcast on Fire network which specialises in Asian cinema with shows about the film industry in Japan, Taiwain and more. They also do a show called This Week in Sleaze which covers transgressive cinema of a sexual nature that has come out of Asia as well a whole series of other podcast.
Their Korean-focused podcast features regular guest Paul Quinn of Hangul Cinema (we’ll get to that). As well as reviewing contemporary Korean films, WKC shed some light on some older Korean films which may not have gotten as much press as some more recent releases. It’s full of information and some interesting perspectives from two guys who clearly love cinema. Be sure to check out it.
For more information on What's Korean Cinema or any other Podcast on Fire shows click here.
As well as being a co-host on the What’s Korean Cinema? Podcast, Paul Quinn also has his own website called Hangul Celluloid. The site is absolutely loaded with reviews and essays that show off Quinn’s near-encyclopedic knowledge of Korean cinema, new and old.
As well as his critical work, Hangul Celluloid has a great bunch of interviews with various actors and directors working in the Korean film industry.
His work is incredibly in-depth in it’s dissection of Korean cinema and is well worth a look.
For more information on Hangul Celluloid click here.
Another site that bridges the gap between academia-style essays and journalism is KoreanFilm.Org.
KoreanFilm.Org has been around since the late nineties since it’s founder Darcey Parquet. Parquet began working part-time in the Korean film industry and after becoming frustrated with the lack of online Korean Cinema resources in English, Parquet decided to start his own site. Since then it’s gone from strength to strength expanding it’s team to include different writers from different countries.
The site is absolutely busting with various resources to help you learn about Korean cinema. They have hundreds of reviews organised by year making it easy to find perspectives on both contemporary and traditional Korean movies. They also have "top ten" lists of Korean films also organised by year for those looking for more of an overview of Korean movies.
One one aspect of their site that is particularly impressive is library of bios on Korean Actors, Actresses and Directors making a must use resource for anyone with an insatiable thirst for knowledge on Korean cinema.
For more information on KoreanFilm please click here.
Ko-Biz is the official site of KOFIC (Korean Film Council) so as you’d imagine, it’s less journalistic than the other entries in the list. Instead it’s an incredibly in-depth database of statistics, news reports and more. Essentially, anything you want to know about the Korean film industry can be found on this site.
The site does have it’s journalistic side though. KoBiz produces a webzine and a magazine, of which all the copies are available to download for free as a pdf! Ko-Biz also produced a podcast on Korean film. While they n -longer do this, the old episodes are still available to download and act as a great supplement for learning about Korean film.
While not for the feint-hearted, the site has an incredibly impressive amount of resources available for the true cinephile looking to explore what Korea has to offer.
For more information on KoBiz please click here.
Modern Korean Cinema
Modern Korean Cinema is another website full of reviews of Korean movies, interviews with esteemed guests and information about the Korean movie industry. Unlike some of the others on the list, MKC is specifically designed to focus on latest releases and contemporary interests.
MKC was started by journalist and filmmaker Pierce Conran who has worked with the likes of KO-Biz (see above), TwitchFilm, and as a consultant for several international film festivals.
Since then the team has expanded, as has the site’s focus with it. One interesting thing about MKC is that it sheds light on the often overlooked world of Korean short films. While they’ve only done a few features in this area, we’re hoping to see a lot more from them soon.
On top of this, MKC is a great way to keep up to date on film festivals taking place in Korea as well as International film festivals that spotlight Korean cinema. If you want to keep up to date on ROK’s film events then Modern Korean Cinema is a great resource.
For more information on Modern Korean Cinema click here.