New Korean Films at PiFan

The 13th Puchon International Fantastic Film Festival (PiFan) kicks off July 16 26 with an exciting range of new Korean independent genre films, commercial hits and rare classics. Among the 12 films vying for the Puchon Choice competition section's top prizes are Korean low-budget omnibus feature "The Neighbor Zombie", by four Korean directors, Oh Young-doo, Ryu Hoon, Hong Seo-baek, and Jang Youn-Jung and the spring released detective thriller "Private Eye" starring Hwang Jung-min and written and directed by Park Dae-min.

PiFan hosts several World Premieres of new Korean genre films in its World Fantastic Cinema section including "Bloody Shake" by Kim Jee-yong, a film that delves into the dark side of the unconscious; "A Good Night Sleep for the Bad" by Kwon Yeong-cheol - an action noir that portrays how several desperate youth are driven to armed robbery; "Norwegian Woods" by No Zin-soo - a campy B-horror set in a forest; "My Burning Heart", an upbeat, sexy love story by Choi Won-Sub; and "Today and the Other Days" by Choi Wee-an.

Korean films in other sections include a rare 1974 classic by Korean master Lee Man-hee-I, "A Triangular Trap" in the Strange Hommage program. PiFan's Off the Fantastic includes a new feature by Korean-American director Abraham Lim, "God is Dad" and Baek Seung-hwa's "Turn It Up to 11".

A special program called Fanta Masters: Vampires of their Own will screen Park Chan-wook's latest Cannes winner, "Thirst" alongside with classic and rare vampire films. Howling Decade: Whispering Corridors presents all five features in the Korean teen horror franchise including the latest, "A Blood Pledge".

A special highlight this year is PiFan's retrospective showcase of Korean erotic films from the 1980s titled Urban Erotica. Films featured include master director Kim Ki-young's "Free Maiden" (1982), Lee Jang-ho's "Between the Knees" (1984), and Bae Chang-ho's "The Flower at the Equator" (1983).

Nigel D'Sa (KOFIC)