Spike Lee’s Oldboy was released earlier this week, and so far has been met with much disdain from both the press and audiences. If there is one good thing that has come of its release, it is that I have rediscovered my interest in Korean cinema. It all started when I watched Kim Ki-duk’s Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter, and Spring back in university. What followed was a brief period of fascination with South Korean, including the work of Park Chan-wook. Between then and now I have watched very few Korean films, a shame when I know there is such a plethora of high quality content out there.
South Korea has come to be perhaps the strongest alternative to Hollywood. Korea has been constantly creating films of a high standard and with a strong identity of their own, distinct from that of Hollywood film. As Korean films make up over half of the box-office in the country (a lot more than most countries outside of America), this has caused a demand for great filmmakers to step up, and it will continue to do so. This is why Korean cinema is so interesting, it cannot rest on its laurels like it seems that some Hollywood studios do. The Korean film industry will undoubtably continue to pump out talented filmmakers and quality films into the foreseeable future.
Motivated by the impending possibility of moving to South Korea myself, I have decided to start reviewing Korean films alongside my box office reviews. This in part to help myself, and perhaps in some small way prepare myself for going over there. But also in part to give some small recognition to a film industry which deserves to be recognised among the best in the world.