Fans of Asian films should check out some of the many Korean DVDs currently available. And even if you’ve never watched an Asian film in your life, you might find that their unconventional plotlines and unpredictable endings are a welcome change of pace from the repetition of Hollywood. I’ve listed six high-quality Korean DVDs below, and they’re all highly recommended for both Asian cinephiles and those new to the genre.

Welcome to Dongmakgol (2005) – One of the highest-grossing Korean films of all time, Welcome to Dongmakgol is set during the Korean War and centers around an isolated mountain village where the locals aren’t even aware of the fighting around them. When an American pilot crash lands near the village, he’s soon joined by both North and South Korean forces. Will these enemies continue their fighting, or will the calming atmosphere of the village wash away the tensions? Kang Hye-jeong is a standout as a quirky village girl.

Gangster High (2006) – Director Park Ki Hyeong takes a look at teen violence in this riveting film about a soccer club that gets embroiled in a feud with a rival gang over the affections of a tough-talking girl. While it’s far from being a comedy, enough dark humor is thrown in to keep audiences entertained between scenes of high school brutality.

The King and the Clown (2005) – Set in the 16th century and featuring lesser-known actors and homosexual themes, The King and the Clown still managed to become a major hit with Korean moviegoers. The male leads are a pair of tightrope walkers and clowns who wind up serving the court of a king prone to homicidal fits. When the king falls for the effeminate Gonggil (Lee Jun Ki), it sparks jealousy among his court (especially his main concubine), and a plot is hatched to get rid of the performers permanently. Based on the play “Yi,” the film provides an in-depth look at Korean jester and folk culture.

Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter…and Spring (2003) – Instead of his usually violent films, controversial director Kim Ki-duk turns in a reflective piece set on a Buddhist monastery which floats on a peaceful lake. Broken into five segments, the film follows the life of a Buddhist monk from childhood to old age. A big hit with the critics, it was recently added to Roger Ebert’s list of great movies.

100 Days with Mr. Arrogant (2004) – When a high school girl accidentally causes a college student to scratch his Lexus, he draws up an enslavement agreement to allow her to pay off the damages. This begins a bizarre and often hilarious relationship based on various forms of revenge. An unconventional love story starring Kim Jaewon and Ha Ji-won.

Silmido (2003) – Loosely based on true events, Silmido begins with North Korean commandos trying to assassinate South Korean President Park Chung-hee. After the mission fails, South Korea retaliates by rounding up prisoners and other social undesirables and training them on the island of Silmido. Their training complete, they’re ordered to head into North Korea and assassinate Kim Il-sung. But something goes wrong along the way, and soon these agents are facing termination at the hands of their own countrymen. The first South Korean film to ever draw an audience of 10 million people.

Start with these Korean DVDs, and you’ll be delighted to know that there are plenty more available when you finish. From critically acclaimed monster movies like The Host to inventive dramas such as Oldboy, there’s a whole world of cinema waiting for you out there.



Source by Shane Rivers