2013: Upcoming Korean Films

2012 was a fantastic year for Korean film, The Thieves is currently the second highest single day opener of all time in Korea and Nameless Gangster had over 4 million viewings in under a month. Following Korean film success, two of Korea’s most noted directors are making their Hollywood debuts this year. Kim Ji-Woon’s The Last Stand starring Arnold Schwarzenegger is due to be released in UK cinemas later on this month and Park Chan-Wook’s Stoker is due for release in cinemas in February. Bong Joon-Ho’s Snowpiercer will also be released in UK cinemas in the second half of this year. Western directors are also trying their hand at Korean film, although not as skilfully as their Korean counterparts. Spike Lee is releasing an English language remake of Park Chan-Wook’s cult classic Oldboy later on this year bearing the same name.

However, there is plenty of film to go around the Korean film market this year to challenge the record-breaking viewers of 2012:
February will bring us The Berlin File from director Ryu Seung-Wan which revolves around a betrayed spy. Han Jae-Rims will also bring us Fortune tells the story of disgraced noble families son. Park Hoon-Jeong will bring us a crime thriller in the form of The New World and Lim Soon-Rye will bring us a drama/comedy through Run to the South. April will see Kang Woo-Seok’s Fist of Legend hit the screens, which follows old school friends who were ‘legends’ in high school through a fighting tournament.

2013 will also bring Jo Ui-Seok’s Stakeout, Jang Joon-Hwan’s crime film Hwa-Yi and Jang Cheol-Su’s Covertness. All of these titles have yet to be scheduled for monthly release.

Let’s take a closer look at my predicted Top 3 from this list:

#3 – The Berlin File

Ha Jung-woo stars in the spy-thriller about a North Korean agent who gets left in Berlin after being cut loose from his job and betrayed by his country when a weapons deal goes bad. He has to get himself and his Korean translator wife to safety as they are perused throughout the narrative. The film promises to be delivered in fast paced, heart racing chases and perhaps a twist in the tale will be waiting for audiences.

#2 – Fortune

Song Kong-ho stars as the son of a disgraced noble family who studies the controversial art of physiognomy. His talents mean that he can read and understand a person’s mental state, personality and various other intimate details just by looking at their faces. He is summoned before royalty for his talents and soon becomes intertwined in a battle of power between two royal families.

#1 – The New World

A promising thriller, this story revolves around a detective who infiltrates one of the country’s biggest gang organisations. He then becomes involved in a fight for power for the heir to the gang when the boss dies. He struggles with his morality regarding the second in command of the gang, who trusts him with his life, and his high-ranking police official bosses, who see him only as bait for the trap.

With all this and more to look forward to, 2013 may be able to beat the records set for it by the legendary films of 2012 and pose new records for the future of Korean film.

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