Korean film festival of Los Angeles - KOFFLA 2010

Posted by Eric Brightwell, March 2, 2010 02:20pm | Post a Comment

I’m kind of embarrassed to admit it, but up until three months ago, the only Korean films and dramas I’d seen were ?? ?? (Green Chair), ??? ??? (200 Pound Beauty) and ????? (Soulmate). I’d been given a grip of dramas by the good folks at MBC but I’d dutifully passed them along to my own soulmate’s mom, who’s a raging Korean drama addict.

I remember when ?? (Shiri) first opened in 1999, ushering in a new era of popular Korean films like ?????? (JSA), ???? ?? (My Sassy Girl), ?? ??? (My Wife is a Gangster), ??, ?? (A Tale of Two Sisters), ??? ???? (Taegukgi) and many more. But I think that, whilst those films were big sellers here at Amoeba, and the Korean Wave was crashing all around us, I was a bit suspicious of the hype. I assumed it might be uncritical band-wagon jumping, exoticism or a combination of both. After none other than Bill Paxton said to the mezzanine staff of ???? (Oldboy), “They're [Koreans] kicking our ass over there!” and then asked for some tasteful, Korean soft-core, he inadvertently confirmed the suspicions in my quick-to-write-off mind. But all along I knew I wasn’t being fair, so I asked a co-worker if he’d seen any Korean films, he said “No – I already watch Japanese films,” which, far from dissuading me, actually confirmed that writing off Korean film was one more example of the chauvinism so often directed toward Korean culture, especially by Sinophiles and Nipponophiles.


As a contrarian, champion of the underdog, advocate of fairness and generally curious person, I decided to stop sitting on the sidelines and to expose myself to some Korean films. In the process I found a rich, healthy and diverse cinema with a lot of examples of great filmmaking. Though I learned that ??? (Park Chan-Wook) doesn’t do that much for me, ??? (Bong Joon-Ho), on the other hand (whom I had the pleasure of sitting next to at a screening of his amazing excellent film ?? (Mother)), has quickly become one of my all-time favorites.


Actors ??? (Bae Doona) and ??? (Song Kang Ho) are always highly enjoyable, even in films that are less so. Next up for me is well-known director ??? (Kim Ki-Duk), who wrote ??? ??? (Rough Cut), which I also loved when it screened at the Japan Korea Festival in Little Tokyo.

It was there, at the JACCC, that two girls told me about The Korean Cinematheque and the upcoming Korean Film Festival of Los Angeles (KOFFLA). One of them said it was like the Korean Oscars (hopefully minus the excruciating boredom); she told me to come and implored me to spread the word.

KOFFLA is the biggest Korean film festival in the US, which makes sense, since LA is home to more Koreans than any city in the world after Seoul. It’s organized by the aforementioned Korean Cinematheque and sponsored by the Korean Cultural Center in Los Angeles (KCCLA), Korean Film Council (KOFIC), and the Korea Tourism Organization. KOFFLA will showcase over seventy Korean and Korean-American features and shorts which are judged by a jury of Korean industry figures and prominent figures in the Korean community. Korean film fans will want me to mention that Chan-Wook Park is on the advisory board. See you there.


Please check out the official site if you’re interested!

Eric Brightwell is an adventurer, essayist, rambler, explorer, cartographer, and guerrilla gardener who is always seeking paid writing, speaking, traveling, and art opportunities. He is not interested in generating advertorials, cranking out clickbait, or laboring away in a listicle mill “for exposure.”
Brightwell has written for Angels Walk LAAmoeblogBoom: A Journal of CaliforniadiaCRITICSHidden Los Angeles, and KCET Departures. His art has been featured by the American Institute of Architects, the Architecture & Design Museum, the Craft ContemporaryForm Follows FunctionLos Angeles County Store, the book SidewalkingSkid Row Housing Trust, and 1650 Gallery. Brightwell has been featured as subject in The Los Angeles TimesHuffington PostLos Angeles MagazineLAistCurbedLAEastsider LABoing BoingLos Angeles, I’m Yours, and on Notebook on Cities and Culture. He has been a guest speaker on KCRWWhich Way, LA?, at Emerson College, and the University of Southern California.
Brightwell is currently writing a book about Los Angeles and you can follow him on AmebaDuolingoFacebookGoodreadsInstagramMubiand Twitter.

Art Prints

Relevant Tags

Hollywood (86), Asian Cinema (15), Korean-americans (16), Korea (9), Korean Film (2), Korean Wave (2), Koreans (4), Korean Drama (2), Asian-american Culture A (1), Korean Cinema (3), Asians (3), Asian-americans (40), Asian-american Cinema (12)