5.0 out of 5 stars
Good book on Korean film without the academic posturing, July 8 2003
Korean Cinema: The New Hong Kong is a refreshing change of pace from other texts on the subject in that it avoids the dense and very dry tone of academia and is thankfully free of pretension. As a result, it is very accessible to the average reader and provides a good basis for understanding the underpinnings of the growing success of South Korea's film industry.
The book is comprised of two distinct parts. The opening chapters provide some background on South Korea and the current state of its film industry, and though this may be something that some readers may wish to skip, it provides context for readers in understanding what makes Korean films special. Also, the author's style keeps the read light and interesting, so it is actually fun to read.
The second part consists of a number of reviews (I counted at least 80) of recent Korean films grouped by genre. One thing I liked about the author is his digressions into related topics in his reviews, such as how he discusses the alternate history genre in science fiction in his review of 2009 Lost Memories, or how he dabbles in guerrilla journalism in taking apart less-than-worthy films.
Whether you have developed an interest in Korean film or have been watching them for a few years, this book is an excellent companion and will help you build your DVD collection. For the author, I would suggest that he think about expanding the book in the future to include interviews with some Korean filmmakers and add more reviews (with the number of Korean films being released on DVD growing day by day).