The Power of Kangwon Province


Watching Korean films now, to help with my Korean studies. I’ve shied away from Korean Dramas and mainstream movies for the same reason I avoid them in the States – it promotes an unattainable life that, in my experience, only leads to misery. In this I fall in with my Lithuanian friend, who refused to spend anything on coffee or snacks, “If I get used to it – one day I won’t have money, then I’ll want those things..”
I began taking Korean dialogues from language courses and playing them over Western Film Noir, the 51 Criterion selections – quite good! Then I got the idea to Google Korean Indies, following Kim Ki-duk’s trail, and found a thriving scene – enormous, bleak, unforgiving works that can’t be watched all the way through, not all at once. The beautiful desolation of Hong Sang-soo’s The Power of Kangwon Province, for instance. A few more (from the excellent:


1. Snowpiercer, dir. Bong Joon-ho
2. The Fake, dir. Yeon Sang-ho
3. Nobody’s Daughter Haewon, dir. Hong Sang-soo
4. Sleepless Night, dir. Jang Gun-jae
5. Very Ordinary Couple, dir. Roh Deok
6. Jiseul, dir. O Muel
7. City: Hall, dir. Jeong Jae-eun
8. Russian Novel, dir. Shin Yeon-shick
9. How to Use Guys with Secret Tips, dir. Lee Won-suk
10. Cold Eyes, dir. Jo Ui-seok and Kim Byeong-seo


1. National Security, dir Chung Ji-young
2. Pieta, dir. Kim Ki-duk
3. Juvenile Offender, dir Kang Yi-kwan
4. Romance Joe, dir. Lee Gwang-guk
5. Planet of Snail, dir. Lee Seung-jun
6. Talking Architect, dir. Jeong Jae-eun
7. In Another Country, dir. Hong Sang-soo
8. Architecture 101, dir. Lee Yong-joo
9. The Winter of the Year Was Warm, dir. Cho Sung-kyu
10. Padak, dir. Lee Dae-hee


1. The Day He Arrives, dir, Hong Sang-soo
2. The Journals of Musan, dir. Park Jung-bum
3. Arirang, dir. Kim Ki-duk
4. Sunny, dir. Kang Hyoung-chul
5. Come Rain, Come Shine, dir. Lee Yoon-ki
6. Animal Town, dir. Jeon Kyu-hwan
7. Bleak Night, dir. Yoon Sung-hyun
8. Punch, dir. Lee Han
9. Re-encounter, dir. Min Yong-keun
+ Out Of the Cave, dir. Ahn Kearn-hyung


1. Poetry, dir. Lee Chang-dong
2. Oki’s Movie, dir. Hong Sang-soo
3. Bedeviled, dir. Jang Cheol-soo
4. The Unjust, dir. Ryoo Seung-wan
5. Eighteen, dir. Jang Geon-jae
6. HaHaHa, dir. Hong Sang-soo
7. I Saw the Devil, dir. Kim Jee-woon
8. Passerby #3, dir. Shin Su-won
9. The Yellow Sea, dir. Na Hong-jin
10. Secret Reunion, dir. Jang Hun

Good luck with your cold, hard reality..

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