Korean for Beginners

Here’s a list of films for readers seeking out the best in Korean cinema. It’s been a while since I updated it, though.

Best Korean DVDs 2011
Poongsan, Juhn Jaihong
Bleak Night, Sung Hyun Yoon

Best Korean DVDs 2009
The Road to Sampo, Lee Man-hee
A Tale of Cinema, Hong Sang-soo
Like You Know it All, Hong Sang-soo
Insadong Scandal, Park Hee-gon
Breathless, Yang Ik-joon
Daytime Drinking, Young-seok Noh
My Friend and His Wife, Dong-il Shin
Rough Cut, Hun Jang
My Wife Got Married, Yun-su Jeon
Influenza, Bong Joon-ho (short film incl. in Jeonju Digital Project)

Worst Korean DVDs 2009
A Blind River, Ahn Sun-Kyung
Possessed, Lee Yong-Ju
Chaw, Shin Jung-Won
Possessed, Lee Yong-Ju
M, Lee Myeong-se
Crush and Blush, Kyoung-mi Lee

Best Korean Movies 2009
A Brand New Life, Ounie Lecomte
Haeundae, Yoon Je-kyoon
Mother, Bong Joon-ho

Most Disappointing Korean Movies 2009
Thirst, Park Chan-wook
Private Eye, Park Dae-min
My Girlfriend is an Agent, Sin Tae-ra

Best Korean Films 2008
The Good, The Bad and the Weird, Kim Ji-woon
Night and Day, Hong Sang-soo
My Dear Enemy, Lee Yoon-ki
The Housemaid, Kim Ki-young

Worst Korean Films 2008
How to Live on Earth, Ahn Seul-Ki
Dream, Kim Ki-duk
Ban Geum-ryeon, Kim Ki-young
Sagwa, Kang Yi-kwon
If You Were Me 4, omnibus

Best Korean DVDs 2008
Kim Ki-young Collection
With a Girl of Black Soil, Jeon Soo-il
Hyazgar (Desert Dream), Zhang Lu
Woman on the Beach, Hong Sang-soo
Our Town, Jeong Gil-yeong
Independent Film Collection (No Regrets, The Railroad, Boys of Tomorrow), Leesong Hee-il, Park Heung-sik, Noh Dong-seok
Short Films, Long Feelings (Collection, 7 shorts)
The Old Garden, Im Sang-soo
Coréen 2495 (documentary), Ha Jun-soo

Worst Korean DVDs 2008
The Texture of Skin, Lee Seong-kang
The Chaser, Na Hong-jin
Seven Days, Won Shin-yeon
Gagman, Lee Myeong-Se

All-Time Top Ten
Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance, Park Chan-wook
The President’s Last Bang, Im Sang-soo
Save the Green Planet, Jang Joon-hwan
Family Ties,  Kim Tae-yong
The Housemaid, Kim Ki-young
Peppermint Candy, Lee Chang-dong
Deaf Sam-ryong, Shin Sang-ok
Woman on the Beach, Hong Sang-soo
Sandglass (TV Drama), Kim Jong-hak, Song Ji-na
Rough Cut, Hun Jang
Our Town, Jeong Gil-yeong
The Big Swindle, Choi Dong-hoon

Offbeat
Like a Virgin, Lee Hae-joon,  Lee Hae-yeong
Rules of Dating, Han Jae-rim
My Scary Girl, Son Jae-gon
Midnight Ballad for Ghost Theater, Jeon Gye-soo
The Customer is Always Right, Oh Ki-hyeon

Favorite Korean Movies that Bombed at the Box Office
A while back, I mentioned that I might make a list of a few of my favorite Korean movies that bombed at the box office. I’ve tried to restrict myself to films made since 2004 that did fewer than 1 million admissions. The films are in no particular order, and the categories are arbitrary, since most Korean movies mix up genres. Some of them may no longer be available on DVD.

Comedy
Midnight Ballad for Ghost Theater (삼거리 극장, 2006)
Lovely Rivals (여선생 vs 여제자, 2004) 1,099,539 admissions

Action/Drama
Rough Cut (영화는 영화다, 2008) 1,322,435 admissions

Drama
Breathless (Yang Ik-joon, 2009) 120,789 admissions
Daytime Drinking (낮술, 2009)
Like a Virgin (천하장사 마돈나, 2006) 571,034 admissions
Woman on the Beach (해변의 여인, 2006) 103,125 admissions
No Regrets (후회하지 않아, 2006)
My Dear Enemy (멋진 하루, 2008) 400,912 admissions
The Old Garden (오래된 정원, 2006) 136,218 admissions
The Wonder Years (열세살, 수아, 2007) 2,881 admissions
The Railroad (경의선, 2006)
My Friend and his Wife (나의 친구, 그의 아내, 2006) Not released until 2008. 3,439 admissions
Family Ties (The Birth of a Family) (가족의 탄생, 2006) 167,209 admissions

Thriller
Our Town (우리 동네, 2007) 311,285 admissions
The Customer is Always Right (손님은 왕이다, 2006) 138,278 admissions
Rainbow Eyes (가면, 2007) 287,838 admissions
Princess Aurora (오로라 공주, 2005) 764,783 admissions

Documentary
Taxi Blues (택시 블루스, 2005)
Coréen 2495 (2005)

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