Author Archive

South Korean Cinema and Revenge: Why Is It So Prevalent?

It seems that the theme of revenge, no matter what other sub-genre it’s paired with, is the key to both domestic and international success of South Korean cinema.

Oldboy, I Saw the Devil, Sympathy for Mr Vengeance, Tale of Two Sisters, Lady Vengeance, A Bittersweet Life, To Sir…

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Korean Films in Review: National Security

‘National Security’ (also known as ‘Namyeong-dong 1985’) is a hard-hitting film set in 1985 and based on the horrifying ordeal Kim Geun-tae (renamed as Kim Jong-tae in the film), a pro-democracy activist went through in his time at the notorious Namyeong-dong detention centre. The…

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Korean Films in Review: The Berlin File

‘The Berlin File’ is the highly anticipated, fast paced action film of international secrecy and plotting from acclaimed director and screenwriter Ryoo Seung-wan and has lived up to the hype that preceded its release.

The action starts immediately when a negotiation between Pyo (Ha Jung-woo), a North Korean…

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Korean Films in Review: Pluto

Usually when I watch a film with an intense atmosphere (horror, thriller suspense genres), every tense effect that the film had over me dissipates when I step out into the natural light outside of the theatre. However, despite walking out of the UK premiere press screening of ‘Pluto’ at the…

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What are Korean Martial Arts? Kuk Sool Won

Asia, as a continent, is known for having a rich culture which often incudes some form of martial arts, and South Korea is no exception.

The South Korean discipline of Kuk Sool Won is a systematic study of all of the traditional fighting styles of South Korea’s martial arts…

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It’s all in your blood: Korean blood type superstitions

If you’re going to South Korea, it’s worth knowing your blood type. Why? Because according to Korean stereotypes, a person’s personality, temperament and compatibility (both romantic and platonic) with others can be determined by their blood type.

Many Koreans, although not all, believe that blood types are…

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From Macho to Make-Up: Shifting Gender Ideals in South Korea

Centuries of conservative morals and Confucian culture has led to a traditional sense of gender in South Korea. Gender roles are still widely very stereotypical and the ‘macho male’ image still prevails across the country – yet South Korea is the male make-up capital of the world. It has the…

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South Korea – The Suicide Capital of the World

South Korea is richer, more stable and more influential that it has ever been, but as the country rapidly developed and became ever more prosperous, suicide rates climbed to give South Korea the nickname of ‘suicide capital of the world’.

There was a time when South Korea had one of…

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The Pressures of the South Korean Education System

According to a recent survey, South Korean children are the least happy in the developed world – and the reason behind this could be the pressures of the education system they are subjected to.

We’ve all experienced the stress of exam periods at some point or another. The cramming, the…

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Korean Films In Review: Code Name Jackal

‘Code Name Jackal’ (or ‘자칼이 온다’) is a new release from director Bae Hyung Joon and is a comedy with a slight twist of action and espionage mixed in.

The film has a relatively small cast in terms of numbers, but it is carried through by Song Ji-Hyo and Kim Jaejoong…

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