When I lived in New York, I used to love going to the movie night events put on by the Korean Cultural Center. They rented out a theater in Tribeca and, first come, first served, you’d go and watch a Korean movie for free! I watched the likes of Gong Yoo’s The Suspect, T.O.P’s Commitment, Jung Woo Sung’s The Divine Move, Yeo Jin Gu’s Hwayi: Monster Boy, the list goes on and on. Its actually one of the things I really miss about living in the city. The Cultural Center does a great job spreading the Korean word.
And they’ve only stepped up their game during the shutdown!
Since no one in their right mind wants to go to a movie theater right now, they’ve moved their movie night to your tv (or computer or tablet). They’ve extended their series Korean Movie Night At Home and you have a week to see some popular movies with even more popular actors–did I mention you can do this for free?
One of the best things about Korean Movie Night, (besides making me feel so cool and New York) is this event would make me try movies I never would have thought of trying before. I’d meet up with friends or I’d do it alone and watch whatever was playing. Some of the movies I loved, some were meh, I don’t think there was a single one that I out and out hated. But I tried them. I stepped out of the box, out of my apartment, and tried something new. It was a great experience and just seeing the advert for these series brings back all of those feelings again! I wish I’d paid attention sooner (as a self-defense mechanism I try not to go on FB and missed the ads), but they’ve extended this series and we have a week to catch them!
I’ve focused here on the movies it looks like we can’t get on Netflix or Viki, so they are real events for us just like the real Korean Movie Night Experience.
The Battle: Roar to Victory
In the 1920’s, Japanese military forces in Manchuria, China hunted down a handful of Korean liberation fighters willing to risk their lives to bring an end to the Japanese rule of Korea. Tasked with the mission to deliver funds to the Korean Provisional Government in Shanghai, Hwang Hae Cheol (Yoo Hae Jin) and a small band of subordinates set out at once. But the road ahead is anything but easy.
Stephanie’s Note: I mean, I’d say no, but I also wanted to say no to Kundo: Age of the Rampant on Korean Movie Night but I loved that one, it was a surprising hoot. Also, it says Roar To Victory so it can’t be all that bad, right?
An Sang Goo is a political hoodlum who takes dirty jobs from powerful people (carries out an array of underhanded schemes for corrupt politicians). When he becomes ruined, An Sang Goo plots his revenge after his downfall. ~~ Based on the original webtoon by writer Yoon Tae Ho.
Stephanie’s Note: Meh. Well, people love things based on webtunes?
Man of Men
Jang Soo is a lawyer at a top law firm. A medical diagnosis reveals that he doesn’t have much time left to live. Young Ki is a good-for-nothing gangster, but he dreams of having a perfect life. He performs court-ordered community service and meets Jang Soo. Jang Soo decides to offer money to Young Ki if he will help him complete his bucket list.
Stephanie’s Note: For some reason this looks like a hoot. Of course, main character will probably die at the end, but again, it’s a Korean movie, we should expect that, right?
Malmoe: The Secret Mission
Imprisoned several times during the 1940s, when Korea was under Japanese occupation, Kim Pan-Soo is illiterate and does not know how to read or write Korean or any other language. The teaching of Korean in the schools is banned by the Imperial government. He meets a representative of the Korean Language Society and join forces to publish a dictionary of the Korean language.
Stephanie’s Note: Uhoh. Historical war time. This could be a hard watch.
In the year of 1762, when King Yeongjo of the Joseon dynasty’s been ruling for 35 years already, Crown prince Sado is accused of plotting treason by his biological mother lady Yi. Yeongjo falls into a dilemma since he could not penalize his own son as a traitor as it would mean that he would become the father of a traitor threatening his throne, and ends up ordering Sado to take his own life. As Sado’s lieges oppose Yeongjo’s decision by putting their own lives at risk, Yeongjo locks Sado in a wooden rice chest. Locked up without being given a single drop of water, Sado is also deprived from succeeding the throne, having his son take his place as an heir. On the 8th day inside the chest, Sado faces death. The movie follows the most tragic and iconic 8 days in the history of Joseon Dynasty disclosing what forced a father to kill his own son.
Stephanie’s Note: GASP. I’ve heard of this story. I would not want to go back and time and be a royal. It sounds TERRIBLE. And Yoo Ah In as Sado? I see tears coming.
Vanishing Time: A Boy Who Returned
13-year-old Su-rin moves to a remote island with her stepfather when her mother passes away. She befriends Sung-min, an orphan boy who truly understands her. One day, they venture into a cave in the forest with a group of kids and discover a glittering egg which, according to their local folktale, hold a time-eating monster; a monster that can instantly turn a child into an adult. Su-rin tries to stop them, but the boys take the egg out of curiosity. When she follows them out of the cave, she finds that her friends have disappeared. The police assume that this is an abduction case and begin their investigation. Su-rin tells the police about finding the egg, but nobody believes her. Later, a mysterious man in his 30s shows up and tells Su-rin that he is Sung-min.
Stephanie’s Note: I see this being a very, very sad Big.
I wonder, if I tried, just how many of these I could get in by the end of the week? Could my schedule handle this much monkeying around? Could the next “What We’re Watching” episode of the podcast stand for me to watch so many things and still be a manageable length. I don’t know, but I just might try!
I really applaud the Korean Cultural Center. They’ve had some great programs during lockdown, virtual museum exhibits, Kpop trivia nights, and classic Korean musical concerts. They have really stepped up to the plate of being as relevant as possible during this time.