Translated by Kim Hoyeun
The 26th BIFF (Busan International Film Festival) is coming to an end. Unlike last year, which was scaled down in the aftermath of COVID-19, this year’s festival welcomed movie fans by presenting 223 films from 70 countries in theaters.
The BIFF, which went back to its normal routine after two years, drew attention with the participation of A-list Korean and international stars. And at the center of heated interest is the “On Screen” section, which was created this year.
On Screen section screens highly-anticipated TV series that will be streamed via online video streaming platforms (OTT platforms) as world premiere or Asian premieres. And the first-ever invitations went out to Netflix’s Hellbound and My Name as well as HBO Asia’s Forbidden. For the official screening, My Name‘s Han So Hee, Ahn Bo Hyun, and Park Hee Soon, and Hellbound‘s Yoo Ah In, Park Jung Min, and Kim Hyun Joo attended the open-talk and GV events.
It’s more uncanny, terrifying, and more interesting than expected. Bulky supernatural beings from hell appear out of nowhere to condemn people who were sentenced with their “death dates” to hell. The new religious group “Saejinrihwe” uses this phenomenon to stretch their influence while people gather to fight against them. It is impressive to see society heading towards full madness due to the supernatural phenomenon, and each character’s story unfolds excitingly, making it impossible to take your eyes off of it until the end. In particular, the flawless performances of actors – Yoo Ah In as the head of Saejinrihwe, Kim Hyun Joo as the lawyer who confronts him, and Kim Shin Rok as a woman condemned to hell – stand out. Three episodes of this 6-part series were unveiled, and it felt like a movie with a post-credit scene for the sequel. But of course, be aware of the violent scenes throughout the series. (Editor Kim Won Hee)
Han So Hee made everything convincing. My Name follows the revenge of a woman who infiltrates the police to uncover the secrets behind her father’s death. And in short, the show was truly a “Han So Hee’s one-woman show.” That’s how much presence the actress exudes throughout the episodes. We are already familiar with keywords like undercover, revenge, and noir, but the fact that the story unravels them through a female narrative adds to the interest. Han So Hee herself acted out most of the action scenes, and they are so intense and desperate yet sophisticated that we naturally think, “That’s why she fainted.” My Name is Extracurricular director Kim Jin Man’s new project and includes several scenes that are difficult to watch because of its plot, so be aware of them before you watch. From Squid Game to My Name, maybe Netflix’s Korean content will sweep the globe once again. (Editor Yang Young Jun)
Like the movie The Medium, Forbidden centers around a mystery in a rural Thai village where a lush forest radiates a gloomy vibe. The story follows Noon, who returns to her hometown after ten years at the news of her father’s death. When she starts to question her father’s sudden death, she gets closer to the dark and eerie secret. A barbaric village where there is no cell service, a protagonist who is not welcomed, and the villagers who reject the outside world, and their indigenous beliefs. Forbidden has all the requirements for a gloomy, tense horror mystery. However, the ominous sense portrayed by the deep forest is not forthcoming as expected, and the plot is slow and distracting, decreasing the immersion level. Of course, only the first two episodes of the 8-part series were released, so the somewhat unsatisfactory first impression can be ameliorated. Forbidden was co-directed by Thai-born director Anucha Boonyawatana and Korean-American director Josh Kim. (Editor Hong Hyun Jung)
Translator Kim Hoyeun: If you are a fan of K-drama, K-movie, and K-pop, I am your guy. I will continue to provide you with up-to-date K-entertainment news.