Korean Film Screenings - New Waves, New Shores: Busan International Film Festival

Venue: Louis Koo Cinema, Hong Kong Arts Centre 
Date: 2021.11.25 - 2022.01.16
Price: Tickets are available now on POPTICKET HK$80 / HK$64* 
 From 25 November 2021 to 16 January 2022, the Hong Kong Arts Centre presents New Waves, New Shores: Busan International Film Festival. Following the success of the first edition, which focused on the Cannes Directors’ Fortnight, this programme aims to introduce the importance of BIFF as one of the leading film festivals in Asia and how it assists budding filmmakers from Hong Kong and South Korea. The screenings comprise a Hong Kong showcase curated by Maggie Lee, Curator of New Waves, New Shores: Busan International Film Festival; Asia Chief Film Critic, Variety; Curator for Tokyo and Vancouver International Film Festivals, and a Korean showcase co-curated by Lee and Nam Dong-chul, Program Director, Busan International Film Festival. There are four thematic talks designed for those who aspire to pursue a career in film to learn about the industry’s inner-workings. Film distributors, sales, producers, festival curators, funding bodies and filmmakers will share their professional experiences and insights through in-depth conversations. The programme also consists of two workshops: Film Project Pitching Workshop and Screenwriting Workshop with Chung Seo-kyung, and Masterclass on Screen Adaptation: A Conversation Between Chung Seo-kyung and Fruit Chan.


Event Schedule

26/11 (FRI) 7:45pm Five Fingers of Death*
27/11 (SAT) 2:30pm The Bacchus Lady
27/11 (SAT) 7:30pm The King of Pigs
28/11 (SUN) 1:00pm Chelsia, My Love*
28/11 (SUN) 4:45pm Talk: Launching Korean Cinema onto the World Stage
28/11 (SUN) 8:00pm Concrete Clouds*
1/12 (WED) 7:45pm Anna Magdalena*
3/12 (FRI) 7:45pm Perfect Life *
4/12 (SAT) 1:00pm Comfort Women Trilogy – The Murmuring
4/12 (SAT) 3:15pm Comfort Women Trilogy – Habitual Sadness, My Own Breathing *
5/12 (SUN) 2:30pm Talk: BIFF’s Mission to Nurture Asian Filmmakers
5/12 (SUN) 4:30pm Talk: Industry Toolkit for Emerging Filmmakers
5/12 (SUN) 7:30pm The Journals of Musan*
8/12 (WED) 7:45pm The Floating Landscape*
11/12 (SAT) 3:00pm Drug War
11/12 (SAT) 7:30pm Believer*
12/12 (SUN) 4:00pm Talk: Cross Currents in Hong Kong and Korean Cinema
12/12 (SUN) 7:30pm Fourth Place
28/12 (TUE) 7:45pm Breathless*
29/12 (WED) 7:45pm Public Toilet*
30/12 (THU) 7:45pm Too Many Ways to Be No.1
4/1 (TUE) 7:45pm Too Many Ways to Be No.1
5/1 (WED) 7:45pm Rolling Home with A Bull*
6/1 (THU) 7:45pm Like a Virgin*
12/7 (TUE) 7:45pm Too Many Ways to Be No.1 (Updated date)
13/7 (WED) 7:45pm Too Many Ways to Be No.1 (Additional date)
15/7 (FRI) 7:45pm Decision to Leave
16/7 (SAT) 7:30pm Dumplings (Updated date)
17/7 (SUN) 2:30pm Thirst (Updated date)
17/7 (SUN) 5:15pm Masterclass on Screen Adaptation: A Conversation Between Chung Seo-kyung and Fruit Chan (Updated date)

*with after-screening talk



Comfort Women Trilogy  |  Director: Byun Young-joo
In Korean with Chinese and English subtitles | Colour
The Murmuring
South Korea | 1995 | 100 mins
Habitual Sadness
South Korea | 1997 | 57 mins
My Own Breathing
South Korea | 1999 | 77 mins
Date & Time:
4/12/2021 (Sat) 1:00pm – The Murmuring
                          3:15pm* – Habitual Sadness, My Own Breathing
*Director Byun Young-joo will attend the virtual after-screening talk.

Filmed over roughly a decade, Byun Young-joo’s landmark documentary series follows a group of Korean women who were sexually exploited by the Japanese during World War II. In The Murmuring (1995) – the first Korean documentary to receive a theatrical release in mainstream Korean cinemas – Byun follows a group of survivors who demonstrates outside the Japanese embassy in Seoul once a week, demanding the Japanese government to apologise for the pain they endured. When one of the women in the group is diagnosed with cancer, the survivors asked Byun to make Habitual Sadness (1997) to document her last days and the women’s effort to find solace as they face mortality. In the heartrending final chapter, My Own Breathing (1999), Byun brings in a former victim to interview fellow victims of Japanese sexual slavery. Not only is Byun’s trilogy an important first-hand account of wartime atrocities, it has also helped build support at home in the fight for an official apology from Japan. Though daunting in length and emotionally harrowing at times, those who see the trilogy in its entirety will also feel the women’s ability to spread joy to those around them, their loving friendship and their unwavering resilience even in everyday life.



Like a Virgin  |  Directors: Lee Hae-jun, Lee Hae-young
South Korea | 2006 | 116 mins | In Korean with Chinese and English subtitles | Colour
Date & Time: 6/1/2022 (Thu) 7:45pm*
*Director Lee Hae-young will attend the virtual after-screening talk.

Madonna’s “Like a Virgin” is an unusual empowerment song for the hero of this offbeat sports comedy, the directorial debut of the screenwriting team behind Conduct Zero (2002) and romance Au Revoir UFO (2004). Dong-gu (Ryu Deok-hwan) has been saving up for a sex change operation, but his low-paying part-time job and his violent former boxer father aren’t helping at all. He joins a tournament for Ssireum, a form of traditional Korean wrestling not unlike sumo, to make a quick buck when the team’s laidback coach realises that Dong-gu’s love of Madonna can help him achieve victory. A rare mainstream Korean film with a LGBTIQ+ hero, Like a Virgin is a weirdly hilarious sports film anchored by a winning performance by Ryu Deok-hwan, who gained 20 kilograms to play the unlikely wrestling hero. Kusanagi Tsuyoshi, former member of popular Japanese idol group SMAP, also has a scene-stealing cameo as Dong-gu’s teacher.



Breathless 1920px-Hong_Kong_film_rating_cat3.svg |  Director: Yang Ik-june
South Korea | 2008 | 130 mins | In Korean with Chinese and English subtitles | Colour
Date & Time: 28/12/2021 (Fri) 7:45pm*
*Please note that Director Yang Ik-june is unable to attend the live Q&A. A pre-recorded talk with him will be played after the screening. Sorry for any inconvenience caused.

Actor Yang Ik-june makes an explosive directorial debut with this brutal and disturbing drama. Witnessing a major childhood trauma turned Sang-hoon (Yang) into a rage-filled creature who sees violence as the only solution to everything. One day, he meets a brazen high school student (Kim Kkot-bi) who dares to stand up to him, marking the beginning of an unusually beautiful friendship. Unrelentingly violent but ultimately hopeful, Yang’s meditation on the root and the devastating consequences of domestic violence was the highest-grossing homegrown independent film for five straight years, as well as a major critical success around the world, winning awards in Rotterdam, Tokyo FILMeX, the New York Asian Film Festival and the Deauville Asian Film Festival. After its success, Yang became one of the most in-demand actors in indie cinema, starring as voice actor for Yeon Sang-ho’s The King of Pigs (2011) and The Fake (2013), Zhang Lu’s A Quiet Dream (2016), as well as acclaimed Japanese films Our Homeland (2012) and Wilderness (2017).



Rolling Home with A Bull  |  Director: Yim Soon-rye
South Korea | 2010 | 111 mins | In Korean with Chinese and English subtitles | Colour
Date & Time: 5/1/2022 (Wed) 7:45pm*
*Director Yim Soon-rye will attend the virtual after-screening talk.

After failing to make it big in Seoul, aspiring poet Sun-ho (Kim Young-pil) moves back to his countryside home to live with his parents. After an argument with his father, Sun-ho angrily takes the family bull to sell it. After he’s unable to sell the bull, Sun-ho is forced to tow the bull home via the long way, with his ex-lover (Kong Hyo-jin) – and the widow of his estranged best friend – along for the ride. Based on the novel by Kim Do-yeon, Yim Soon-rye’s gentle and whimsical road movie is also a heartfelt story of a man on a pilgrimage in search of freedom from his past failures. As mellow as “500 Miles”, the Peter, Paul and Mary tune featured in the film, Rolling Home with A Bull will inspire your own journey of tidying up personal burdens and search for things that spark joy.



The Journals of Musan  |  Director: Park Jung-bum
South Korea | 2010 | 128 mins | In Korean with Chinese and English subtitles | Colour
Date & Time: 5/12/2021 (Sun) 7:30pm*
*Director Park Jung-bum will attend the virtual after-screening talk.

An assistant director on Lee Chang-dong’s Poetry, actor-director Park Jung-bum began his career as one of the best and most uncompromising independent auteurs of his generation with this startling and powerful social drama. Park himself stars as Seung-chul, a North Korean defector living in a ramshackle flat outside of Seoul. He works a dead-end job as a poster layer, which often gets him beaten by rivals around the city; he doesn’t have the guts to make friends, let alone approach the girl he likes at church; and his only friend is a stray dog. Based on the true experiences of Park’s friend, a North Korean defector who died of stomach cancer only six years after defecting to South Korea, The Journals of Musan portrays a societal outcast seeking to bury his past in a rapidly modernising society where no one appears to be who they seem. The Journals of Musan premiered at the 15th Busan International Film Festival, where it won both the New Current Award and the FIPRESCI Award before earning over a dozen more prizes at film festivals around the world.



The King of Pigs  |  Director: Yeon Sang-ho
South Korea | 2011 | 97 mins | In Korean with Chinese and English subtitles | Colour
Date & Time: 27/11/2021 (Sat) 7:30pm
Before his live-action blockbuster Train to Busan, director Yeon Sang-ho used the art of animation to uncover the darkest parts of human nature. In Yeon’s brutal, but gripping feature directorial debut, two former secondary school classmates reunite in their 30’s and recount their time in high school, when they were sitting at the bottom rung of the social ladder (labelled as “pigs”) and ruled over by a ruling class of bullies (labelled as “dogs”). However, the school’s social balance is disrupted when an outsider emerges as the “king of pigs” and fights back against the dogs with a brutality that would irrevocably change the students’ lives. After its world premiere at Busan International Film Festival, The King of Pigs became the first Korean animated film to be selected for the Director’s Fortnight sidebar programme in Cannes and helped Korean animated film gain legitimacy around the world.


Fourth Place  |  Director: Jung Ji-woo
South Korea | 2015 | 116 mins | In Korean with Chinese and English subtitles | Colour
Date & Time: 12/12/2021 (Sun) 7:30pm

“I’m more scared of my son getting fourth place than getting hit,” says the ferocious tiger mom in director Jung Ji-woo’s captivating and equally terrifying exposé of Asian competitive culture. Tired of her son, Joon-ho, constantly getting fourth place in swimming competitions, a mother asks former Olympic hopeful Gwang-su for help. However, what she doesn’t know is that Gwang-su would turn to the same abusive methods that broke him in his youth to ensure that Joon-ho achieve victory. Co-produced by the National Human Rights Commission of Korea, this subversive sports drama is an anti-thesis to the clichéd “no pain, no gain” nature of typical films in the genre. Fans of Park Hae-joon’s deceptively charming performance as a cheating husband in hit TV drama The World of the Married will be mortified by his sinister turn here as the swimming coach from hell, while young actor Jung Ga-ram impresses with his Daejong Film Award-winning turn as the troubled young athlete.



The Bacchus Lady 1920px-Hong_Kong_film_rating_cat3.svg |  Director: E J-yong
South Korea | 2016 | 111 mins | In Korean with Chinese and English subtitles | Colour
Date & Time: 27/11/2021 (Sat) 2:30pm

To pay for her son’s university tuition, 65-year-old So-young (Youn Yuh-jung) works as an elderly prostitute. While getting treated for an S.T.D., her doctor is attacked by his Filipina mistress over their illegitimate son. In a panic, So-young takes the boy to her home and ends up forming an unusual surrogate family with her amputee neighbour and transgender landlord while caring for the boy. Before becoming a globally recognised star with her award-winning performance in Minari (2020), Youn was already a five-decade veteran actress best known at home for her daring performances. An expert in drawing out incredible female performances with films such as Untold Scandal (2003) and The Actresses (2009), director E J-yong lends a humanist touch with an empathetic look at struggles faced by the elderly, sexual minorities, the disabled and immigrants in contemporary Korean society.



Believer  |  Director: Lee Hae-young
South Korea | 2018 | 123 mins | In Korean with Chinese and English subtitles | Colour
Date & Time: 11/12/2021 (Sat) 7:30pm*
*Director Lee Hae-young will attend the virtual after-screening talk.

Like a Virgin co-director Lee Hae-young brings Johnnie To’s acclaimed thriller Drug War (2012) to Korea with this breathtakingly suspenseful remake. Like the original, Believer follows a team of dedicated detectives – led by Won-ho (Cho Jin-Woong) – who thinks they have an once-in-a-lifetime chance to take down the notorious drug kingpin known as Mr Lee when they capture Rak (Ryoo Joon-Yeol), a member of the drug ring. However, their obsession with stopping Mr Lee will cost them more than they can afford. Co-written by Chung Seo-kyung, longtime screenwriter for director Park Chan-wook, Lee’s take on the award-winning police procedural thriller is even more morally murky and thrilling than the original film. With cinematographer Kim Tae-kyung (A Muse, The Throne) and music composer Dalpalan (The Wailing), Lee also creates a vibrant and visually stylish palate that makes this remake uniquely his own.



Decision to Leave | Director: Park Chan-wook
South Korea | 2022 | 138 mins | In Korean with Chinese and English subtitles | Colour
Date & Time: 15/7/2022 (Fri) 7:45pm

Kind and polite detective Haejun is entrusted with a case of unnatural death in the mountains. While investigating the case, he meets Seorae, the dead victim's wife, and can't help but both suspect and develop an interest in her.



Thirst1920px-Hong_Kong_film_rating_cat3.svg  |  Director: Park Chan-wook (Updated date)
South Korea | 2009 | 133 mins | In Korean with Chinese and English subtitles | Colour
Date & Time: 17/7/2022 (Sun) 2:30pm
*Screenwriter Chung Seo-kyung will attend Masterclass on Screen Adaptation: A Conversation Between Chung Seo-kyung and Fruit Chan.

Sang-hyun (Song Kang-ho) is a well-meaning Catholic priest who volunteers for a vaccine experiment in Africa. In the process, he receives a life-saving blood transfusion that also turns him into a vampire. As his thirst for blood grows, so too does his desire for Tae-ju (Kim Ok-bin), the abused wife of his childhood friend. Loosely based on Thérèse Raquin – Émile Zola’s novel about a doomed adulterous love affair – the deliciously macabre script by director Park Chan-wook and Chung Seo-kyung plays with traditional vampire film tropes for a provocative and darkly comical story of a repressed man’s carnal awakening and very bloody pursuit for eternal life. Winner of the Jury Prize at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival, Park’s thrilling take on the horror genre is also one of his sexiest films.



Click here to learn more about the overall programme of New Waves, New Shores: Busan International Film Festival

 Ticket Prices:
Screenings $80 / $64*
Masterclass $60 / $48* 
One ticket each of DumplingsThirst and Masterclass $170
*20% off discount for full-time students, senior citizens aged 60 or above, people with disabilities and the minder and Comprehensive Social Security Assistance (CSSA) recipients. Tickets for CSSA recipients available on a first-come-first-served basis. Concessionary ticket holders must produce evidence of their identity or age upon admission.
*20% off for HKAC Individual members & HKAC BEE. Members must present a valid membership card upon admission.
*20% off for each purchase of 4 or more standard tickets.
*Only one discount offer could be applied to each ticket purchase.
*Free seating.
Tickets are available now on POPTICKET.
General programme enquiries: 25820282
Workshop enquiries: 25820203
Press enquiries: 25820248
Internet booking: https://www.popticket.hk/biff
While it is the HKAC’s policy to secure the best possible screening versions of our presented films, the HKAC appreciates our patron’s understanding of the occasional less than perfect screening versions. Thank you for your kind consideration. 
Presented by: Hong Kong Arts Centre
Financially supported by: Film Development Fund, Create Hong Kong
Festival Partner: Busan International Film Festival
In Association with: Korean Film Council


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