New Korean Cinema

New Korean Cinema

15 Episodes

As Korean pop culture continues its worldwide ascent, now is a perfect time to catch up with the wild, genre-defying pleasures of the seemingly unstoppable movement known as the New Korean Cinema. Bringing together essential works by major directors like Bong Joon Ho (THE HOST, MOTHER), Park Chan-wook (SYMPATHY FOR MR. VENGEANCE), Kim Jee-woon (A TALE OF TWO SISTERS), and Ryoo Seung-wan (CRYING FIST) this sampler of modern classics and cult favorites spotlights the innovative artists who have powered the commercial and creative renaissance that completely transformed South Korea’s film industry from the mid 1990s through the late 2000s. Characterized by an ingenious mixing and subversion of genre conventions and an effortless blending of art-house and commercial sensibilities, these visceral, audaciously constructed films deliver both high-octane thrills and biting social and political critiques of contemporary Korean life.

Guest programmed by Goran Topalovic, cofounder of Subway Cinema and the New York Asian Film Festival

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New Korean Cinema
  • New Korean Cinema Teaser

    Episode 1

  • Introducing New Korean Cinema

    Episode 2

    This new introduction by author and New York Asian Film Festival cofounder Grady Hendrix was recorded in 2020.

  • Bong Joon Ho and Park Chan-wook on New Korean Cinema

    Episode 3

    This 2020 program features directors Bong Joon Ho and Park Chan-wook (OLDBOY) discussing the groundbreaking New Korean Cinema movement.

  • The Quiet Family

    Episode 4

    Directed by Kim Jee-woon • 1998 • South Korea
    Starring Park In-hwan, Na Moon-hee, Song Kang-ho

    The feature debut from Kim Jee-woon is an audaciously warped blend of horror-thriller and pitch-black comedy. At their newly opened mountain inn, recent Seoul transplants the Kang family find themselve...

  • Nowhere to Hide

    Episode 5

    Directed by Lee Myung-se • 1999 • South Korea
    Starring Park Joong-hoon, Ahn Sung-ki, Jang Dong-gun

    This visually staggering policier adopts a dizzying array of styles—from film noir to slapstick comedy—as it follows two detectives (Park Joong-hoon and Jang Dong-gun) scouring the streets of Seoul...

  • Joint Security Area

    Episode 6

    Directed by Park Chan-wook • 2000 • South Korea
    Starring Lee Yeong-ae, Lee Byung-hun, Song Kang-ho

    Superstar director Park Chan-wook achieved his first major success with this masterful mystery thriller, which explores the complex relationship between North and South Korea with searing humanity....

  • Barking Dogs Never Bite

    Episode 7

    Directed by Bong Joon Ho • 2000 • South Korea
    Starring Lee Sung-jae, Bae Doona, Kim Ho-jung

    Bong Joon Ho’s entertainingly warped feature debut teems with the genre-bending tonal shifts, pitch-black humor, and astute social commentary that have become his trademarks. Ko Yun-ju (Lee Sung-jae), an ...

  • The Foul King

    Episode 8

    Directed by Kim Jee-woon • 2000 • South Korea
    Starring Song Kang-ho, Jang Jin-young, Park Sang-myun

    A timid bank clerk transforms himself into a masked wrestling villain in this rousing and eccentric underdog comedy from director Kim Jee-woon. Dissatisfied with the drab routine of his corporate ...

  • Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance

    Episode 9

    Directed by Park Chan-wook • 2002 • South Korea
    Starring Song Kang-ho, Shin Ha-kyun, Bae Doona

    The first film in Park Chan-wook’s bracing VENGEANCE TRILOGY is a morally complex human tragedy wrapped in the guise of a stylish, blood-spattered thriller. Unable to afford proper care for his sister ...

  • Save the Green Planet!

    Episode 10

    Directed by Jang Joon-hwan • 2003 • South Korea
    Starring Shin Ha-kyun, Baek Yun-shik, Hwang Jung-min

    Under the belief that Earth is being invaded by evil aliens who take the form of human beings, a seemingly unhinged amateur ufologist (Shin Ha-kyun) kidnaps a wealthy businessman (Baek Yun-shik) ...

  • A Tale of Two Sisters

    Episode 11

    Directed by Kim Jee-woon • 2003 • South Korea
    Starring Kim Kap-su, Yum Jung-ah, Lim Soo-jung

    Inspired by a popular Korean folktale, Kim Jee-woon’s dreamily disturbing, spectrally beautiful psychological puzzle helped to popularize K-horror abroad when it became the first of its genre to be distr...

  • Crying Fist

    Episode 12

    Directed by Ryoo Seung-wan • 2005 • South Korea
    Starring Choi Min-sik, Ryoo Seung-bum, Im Won-hee

    Following the international triumph of OLDBOY, the great Choi Min-sik starred in this powerfully moving look at a desperate man’s search for redemption. Once a silver medalist in the Asian Games, T...

  • Lady Vengeance

    Episode 13

    Directed by Park Chan-wook • 2005 • South Korea
    Starring Lee Young-ae, Choi Min-sik, Kwon Yea-young

    After being wrongfully convicted of kidnapping and murdering a young child, a beautiful young woman (Lee Young-ae) is imprisoned for thirteen years and forced to give up her own daughter. While in...

  • The Host

    Episode 14

    Directed by Bong Joon Ho • 2006 • South Korea
    Starring Song Kang-ho, Byun Hee-bong, Park Hae-il

    Equal parts creature-feature thrill ride and poignant human drama, Bong Joon Ho’s exhilarating international breakthrough jolted new life into the monster-movie formula with its bracing intelligence, ...

  • Mother

    Episode 15

    Directed by Bong Joon Ho • 2009 • South Korea
    Starring Kim Hye-ja, Won Bin, Jin Goo

    Bong Joon Ho’s follow-up to his international triumph THE HOST uses a mother’s fierce, primal love for her son as the basis for singularly arresting, audacious murder mystery. Mother (a stunning Kim Hye-ja, playi...