NPR Story
3:05 pm
Mon December 16, 2013

Renee Graham's Guide To South Korean Cinema

Originally published on Tue December 17, 2013 9:35 am

Spike Lee’s remake of the Park Chan-wook movie “Oldboy” has brought more attention to the South Korean film maker.

Here & Now pop culture critic Renee Graham tells host Robin Young that it’s about time — there is a lot of exciting work coming out of South Korea.

“They’re incredibly original — a lot of these directors, they write their own work and they just take chances,” Graham says. “They cross genres, there’s a lot of dark humor, there’s action, there’s incredible sort of emotional violence in these films. I mean, people keep saying they’re violent, but it’s much more an emotional level. I just think they’re fantastic.”

Graham shares a 10 of her favorite Korean films and says Americans will get another look at a Korean filmmaker’s work, when Bong Joon-ho’s “Snowpiercer” opens next year. She also mentions the 2001 romantic comedy “My Sassy Girl,” directed by Kwak Jae-yong.

Renee Graham’s 10 Favorite Korean Films

  1. Oldboy” directed by Park Chan-wook (2003)
  2. J.S.A.: Joint Security Area” directed by Park Chan-wook (2000)
  3. Memories of Murder” directed by Bong Joon-ho (2003)
  4. Sympathy for Lady Vengeance” directed by Park Chan-wook (2005)
  5. A Bittersweet Life” directed by Kim Jee-woon (2005)
  6. Save the Green Planet” directed by Jang Joon-hwan (2003)
  7. Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance” directed by Park Chan-wook (2002)
  8. The President’s Last Bang” directed by Im Sang-soo (2005)
  9. Oasis” directed by Lee Chang-dong (2002)
  10. The Chaser” directed by Hong-Jin-na (2008)

Guest

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