thu 18/04/2024

South Korea

Yeol Eum Son / Clara-Jumi Kang, Edinburgh International Festival 2023 review - theatrical virtuosity from stunning soloists

The Edinburgh International Festival’s focus on Korea moves to the Queen’s Hall in the festival’s middle week, with performances from two Korean soloists playing alone.Yeol Eum Son has already made waves in Scotland, and she chose some meaty...

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Han, KBS Symphony Orchestra, Inkinen / Dunedin Consort, Butt, Edinburgh International Festival 2023 review - a tale of two very different orchestras

There’s a Korean strain to the Edinburgh International Festival’s programme this year, more in the drama programme than in the music one, but it came to the Usher Hall in Friday night’s concert from the KBS Symphony Orchestra (★★★★). They play a...

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Moon Is the Oldest TV review - a fitting tribute to a visionary modern artist

Who created the term “electronic superhighway”? First described a system of linked communication that would become the internet? Envisioned a multichannel TV system where viewers chose for themselves what to tune into? Watch Amanda Kim’s excellent...

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Return to Seoul review - lost in translation

Freddie (Park Ji-min) is a social hand grenade, flinging herself into situations to see where the splinters fall. Born in Korea but adopted and raised by French parents, a seemingly impulsive, brief detour to Seoul sees her seek out her birth-...

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Broker review - baby-selling in South Korea

The Japanese director Hirokazu Kore-eda  chose to make Broker in South Korea, with Parasite star, Song Kang-ho. He plays one of two dodgy chaps who make a living selling abandoned babies to desperate couples. Although...

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Park Jiha, Stone Nest, K-Music - timeless evocative East-West soundscapes

Even those with the most tangential connection to pop music will be aware that K-Pop is all conquering, and the likes of BTS and BlackPink are on some metrics the most successful of recent acts anywhere. But at the same time, there is also a growing...

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Dongyang Gozupa, Purcell Room review - K-Music’s power trio

A minute before coming on stage, the audience is asked to observe a minute’s silence for the victims of the Halloween tragedy in the central Itaewon district of the South Korean capital of Seoul. The stage is dark, clouds of dry ice forming a...

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Decision to Leave review - sly, slow-burning love and death

In Park Chan-wook’s strange Cannes prize-winning thriller, a husband is discovered mangled beneath a mountain, and pretty widow Seo-rae (Tang Wei) isn’t noticeably upset.Brilliant young detective Hae-jun (Park Hae-il) becomes obsessed as...

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In Front of Your Face review - a day in the life

Twenty-four hours in the life of a Korean woman, Sangok (Lee Hyeyoung), are caught in scenes which feel like real time in Hong Sangsoo’s latest. Moments and personal connections fall in and out of focus, the film seems sober then drunk. Hong learned...

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Hallyu! The Korean Wave, V&A review - frenetic but fun

Remember Gangnam Style, the music video that went viral in 2012? PSY’s cheeky lyrics and daft moves attracted 1.6 billion hits on YouTube, sparked dozens of parodies and turned the world on to K-pop. And that was just the beginning; K-pop has since...

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Album: Blackpink - Born Pink

This album – and its already multi-100 million stream single “Pink Venom” – starts off with a twang of Korean traditional instruments, a background chant of “blaaaackpink”, a monumentally crunching hip hop beat and – OH DEAR GOD ARE THEY DOING...

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Hellbound, Netflix review - supernatural assassins usher in an age of terror

Netflix is sometimes criticised for bringing too much of everything to its online feast, but the way it’s opening up previously under-exposed territories is becoming seriously impressive. Suddenly, South Korea is beginning to look like a powerhouse...

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