Sight and Sound: the December 2022 issue

Korean cinema now: a special issue celebrating the best of contemporary Korean cinema, with contributions from Park Chanwook, Lee Changdong and more. Plus: Ruben Östlund on Triangle of Sadness, Charlotte Wells on Aftersun, the Black Film Bulletin and much more…

28 October 2022

Sight and Sound
Sight and Sound, December 2022

Features

Korean cinema now

Korean cinema now

With the global success of Parasite and Squid Game, and with Park Chanwook’s Decision to Leave now thrilling audiences, South Korean filmmaking has become an unstoppable juggernaut. But how representative is the small group of auteurs basking in international attention? And while foreign filmmakers flock to Korea, why are homegrown stars heading overseas? By Eugene Kwon.

Hallyu hell: contemporary K-horror

Given a boost with Korean liberalisation and a route to the UK via the ‘Asia Extreme’ label, K-horror has enjoyed a golden quarter-century. By Anton Bitel.

Breaking the wave

It took more than a quarter of a century for Korea’s modern cinema to reach international prominence. Why? By Tony Rayns.

30 hidden gems of New Korean Cinema

Korean cinema specialists, writers and directors, including Lee Changdong, Park Chanwook and Chung Seo-kyung, pick great films from the past three decades that failed to get the attention they deserved in the UK.

Park Chanwook interviewed

Kiss me deadly

Park Chanwook’s Decision to leave, the tantalising tale of a detective who falls for a woman suspected of murder, sees the director break new ground, dialling down the lurid violence for which he is often known in favour of an enigmatic romance that reinvents noir for the digital age. Hannah McGill speaks to the director.

+ Murder, she wrote

Decision to Leave co-screenwriter Chung Seo-kyung discusses her formidable five-film collaboration with Park Chanwook. By Eugene Kwon.

Ruben Östlund interviewed

In sickness and in wealth

The Swedish director Ruben Östlund discusses politics, power, provocation and puke in Triangle of Sadness, his Palme d’Or-winning tale of class war on the high seas. By Guy Lodge.

Charlotte Wells interviewed

Postcard from the edge

Aftersun, Charlotte Wells’ haunting debut feature about a father taking his young daughter on holiday to Turkey, marks the director out as a name to watch. Here she talks to Adam Nayman about her semi-autobiographical exploration of childhood, memory and depression.

Working with Hitchcock

From the archive: Working with Hitchcock

The British polymath Ivor Montagu recalls being enlisted as emergency editor on Alfred Hitchcock’s 1927 thriller The Lodger and explains how, even at that very early stage in his career, the great director was displaying an unrivalled knack for marketing and self-promotion.

Black Film Bulletin, December 2022

Black Film Bulletin

Magic and play: Julie Dash and Jenn Nkiru in conversation

Julie Dash, pioneering American director of Daughters of the Dust, and one of the women she has inspired, British-Nigerian filmmaker Jenn Nkiru, sat down to talk about their influences and their ambitions. By Leila Latif.

bell hooks on cinema: a remembrance

Iconoclast. Avant-garde Black feminist scholar. Unflinching pop culture critic. The inimitable Gloria Jean Watkins – best known by her pen name ‘bell hooks’ – died one year ago. To mark the anniversary, Jan Asante revisits her landmark Reel to Real: Race, Class and Sex at the Movies and other irresistible offerings.

In memoriam

Mable Haddock

A trailblazer who for more than 40 years worked to bring diverse voices and stories of Black experience to television and film. By June Givanni.

Biyi Bandele

The playwright and novelist broke into film with his 2013 version of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s acclaimed novel. By Nadia Denton.

Radar: unmissable Black cinema from the BFI London Film Festival

Black film was strongly represented in this year’s festival, with features and documentaries from established names and new voices. Here is our pick of the highlights. By Grace Barber-Plentie.

Opening scenes

Opening scenes

‘John Hughes wasn’t a jock or a nerd – cool music gave him a clique’

A new 74-track compilation explores the master of 1980s mainstream cinema and his insightful, carefully curated soundtrack choices. By Sam Davies.

In conversation: Luca Guadagnino

The Call Me by Your Name director returns with the grisly Bones and All, a road movie that’s really about our lack of control. By Catherine Bray.

Dream palaces: West Newton Cinema

Kasi Lemmons, the director of Eve’s Bayou and a forthcoming Whitney Houston biopic, recalls how she took refuge in her local cinema as a child and how it was a window into a world of adults. Interview by Leila Latif.

Obituary: Angela Lansbury

The granddaughter of a Labour leader who became acting royalty, Angela Lansbury died five days short of her 97th birthday. Her career spanned eight decades and brought 46 major award nominations. Yet she never found the niche in cinema that she achieved on stage and television, and the fault was entirely Hollywood’s. By David Parkinson.

Festival: San Sebastián

New films by Sebastián Lelio and Hong Sangsoo break the rules in northern Spain. By Thomas Flew.

Report: What next for Edinburgh’s film scene?

The city’s film festival and its Filmhouse have ceased trading. But how did it happen so fast? A ‘perfect storm’ of audience and financial conditions, according to the Centre for the Moving Image. Some think it can make a swift comeback but others see a portent for arts organisations across the board. By Jamie Dunn.

News: This is Not (Just) a Film

On 10 October, around halfway through this year’s BFI London Film Festival (LFF), members of the international filmmaking community gathered at the BFI Southbank as a show of solidarity against increasingly violent repression in Iran. By Arjun Sajip.

The Making of: Nil by Mouth

Ray Winstone talks about late-night London and being on the estate filming Gary Oldman’s brutal drama. Interview by Lou Thomas.

Talkies

Talkies

The long take

The great silent film star Norma Talmadge is finally getting her place in the spotlight. By Pamela Hutchinson.

Cine wanderer

To Jacques Demy, Nantes was a city full of beauty, sadness and poignant memories. By Phuong Le.

Director’s chair

Ten tips for aspiring filmmakers by Lee Changdong.

Editorial

Regulars

Editorial

Mike Schank: A personal journey, and American Movie. By Mike Williams.

Rediscovery: The Swimmer

Frank and Eleanor Perry’s version of John Cheever’s scathing, melancholy picture of wealthy, white American suburbia is so much more than fodder for jeans ads. By Trevor Johnston.

Archive TV: The Owl Service/The Intruder

With an energy crisis and spiralling inflation, the early 70s were a time of turmoil we can hardly imagine now. Still, at least there was children’s TV to cheer you up. Or not. By Robert Hanks.

Lost and Found: Siméon

Even by the standards of Euzhan Palcy – the first Black woman to direct a Hollywood studio feature – this joyous romantic musical ghost comedy breaks a lot of barriers. By Alex Davidson.

Wider screen

Wider screen

Wanderers in space and time

The films of António Reis and Margarida Cordeiro ignore customary notions of narrative and the boundaries between documentary and fiction in ways that, after nearly half a century, still feel surprising. By Ben Nicholson.

Curiouser and curiouser

The great Czech animator Jan Švankmajer has produced what may be his farewell to cinema – a tour of his own home and the strange objects that inhabit it. By Peter Hames.

Endings: Mandala

The 1981 classic in which Korean master Im Kwontaek found his distinctive voice follows two itinerant Buddhist monks, one seemingly dissolute, the other pious and proper. Its ending offers both closure and a sense of infinite possibilities. By Tony Rayns.

Reviews

Reviews

Film

  • What Do We See When We Look at the Sky? reviewed by Tom Charity.
  • Neptune Frost reviewed by Simran Hans.
  • Bones and All reviewed by John Bleasdale.
  • Living reviewed by Philip Kemp.
  • Medieval reviewed by Michael Brooke.
  • Armageddon Time reviewed by Giovanni Marchini Camia.
  • Bardo, False Chronicle of a Handful of Truths reviewed by John Bleasdale.
  • The Menu reviewed by Anton Bitel.
  • A Bunch of Amateurs reviewed by Philip Concannon.
  • All Quiet on the Western Front reviewed by Leigh Singer.
  • Aftersun reviewed by Leigh Singer.
  • No Bears reviewed by John Bleasdale.
  • Cette Maison reviewed by Sophia Satchell-Baeza.
  • Call Jane reviewed by Rebecca Harrison.
  • Hunt reviewed by Lou Thomas.
  • Triangle of Sadness reviewed by Christina Newland.
  • Bros reviewed by Jason Anderson.
  • Return to Dust reviewed by Sara Merican.
  • The Gravedigger’s Wife reviewed by Ehan Khoshbakht.
  • Barbarian reviewed by Adam Nayman.
  • Wendell & Wild reviewed by Alex Dudok de Wit.

Television

  • Little Women reviewed by Rebecca Harrison.
  • Mammals reviewed by Guy Lodge.
  • The English reviewed by Kate Stables.
  • How To with John Wilson reviewed by Ben Nicholson.
  • SAS Rogue Heroes reviewed by Caspar Salmon.
  • Shantaram reviewed by Kim Newman.

DVD and Blu-ray

  • The War Trilogy: Three films by Andrzej Wajda reviewed by Hannah McGill.
  • Arsenic and Old Lace reviewed by Michael Atkinson.
  • The Great Dictator reviewed by Nikki Baughan.
  • Mystery Road Origin reviewed by Tony Rayns.
  • Night of the Living Dead reviewed by Michael Atkinson.
  • Robin Hood at Hammer reviewed by Philip Kemp.
  • Shriek of the Mutilated reviewed by Kim Newman.
  • The Ballad of Tam Lin reviewed by Sophia Satchell-Baeza.
  • The Most Dangerous Game reviewed by Philip Kemp.
  • Videodrome reviewed by Nikki Baughan.

Books

  • Hollywood: The Oral History reviewed by Kate Stables.
  • A Year in the Country: Cathode Ray and Celluloid Hinterlands reviewed by Sophia Satchell-Baeza.
  • Shoe Reels: The History and Philosophy of Footwear in Film reviewed by Hannah McGill.

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