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5.0 out of 5 stars Finally a book for the rest of us
It's about time that someone wrote a book about Korean cinema from recent years. Up until now, the only books available were about films before the early 90s and read more like textbooks. Korean Cinema is an easy read and has a good balance between insight and irreverence, such as how the author makes a parallel between Korea right now and Hong Kong ten years ago, his...
Published on May 7 2003 by monica1130

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2.0 out of 5 stars A promising book which is the sound without the fury
A certain quality which could have been redeeming about this book is that it approaches the films discussed from a point of view of a cinema reviewer or critic, and thus uses layman's terms without the hassle of all the academic jargon to explain what the critic's views are. However, there are more than just one point which mark for me the serious Achilles' heels(note, I...
Published on July 3 2003 by T. Choong


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5.0 out of 5 stars Finally a book for the rest of us, May 7 2003
This review is from: Korean Cinema: The New Hong Kong (Paperback)
It's about time that someone wrote a book about Korean cinema from recent years. Up until now, the only books available were about films before the early 90s and read more like textbooks. Korean Cinema is an easy read and has a good balance between insight and irreverence, such as how the author makes a parallel between Korea right now and Hong Kong ten years ago, his thoughts on all those time travel romances, and how he shreds absolutely horrible movies like Dream of a Warrior to pieces. This one is a keeper!
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4.0 out of 5 stars A great read, May 1 2003
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This review is from: Korean Cinema: The New Hong Kong (Paperback)
I wish I had this book a year ago. I would have saved so much money in choosing which Korean DVDs to buy. This book rates and reviews a number of movies and even has some background on what's happening in the Korean movie industry. If you are a fan of Korean movies, check this out.
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5.0 out of 5 stars There should be more books like this, Jan. 16 2004
This review is from: Korean Cinema: The New Hong Kong (Paperback)
I received this for Christmas from my boyfriend and read it from cover to cover by New Years: its that good. Its like reading a magazine dedicated completely to Korean movies. Now when I go to the local Korean video store, I know which movies are worth renting and which ones to stay away from. Whoever wrote this, thank you for helping me appreciate some of the best movies in the world.
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5.0 out of 5 stars I hope there's a sequel!, Aug. 27 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Korean Cinema: The New Hong Kong (Paperback)
What a great book! Everything you need to know about Korean movies all in one package. With lots of background on why Korean movies kick ass right now, what movies are worth watching, and which ones should be avoided, you definetely get your money's worth here. I hope he writes another one soon!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Sex & Zen & A Bullet in the Head for K-movies, July 10 2003
This review is from: Korean Cinema: The New Hong Kong (Paperback)
Remember that book about HK movies from a few years ago called Sex & Zen & A Bullet in the Head? Well this book is just like that only it talks about K-movies. With the articles, tons of reviews, and cool style, KCTNHK is the best book on the topic and looks great on my bookshelf!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Good book on Korean film without the academic posturing, July 8 2003
By 
Martin (New York, NY) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Korean Cinema: The New Hong Kong (Paperback)
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).
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2.0 out of 5 stars A promising book which is the sound without the fury, July 3 2003
By 
T. Choong (Singapore, ------- Singapore) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Korean Cinema: The New Hong Kong (Paperback)
A certain quality which could have been redeeming about this book is that it approaches the films discussed from a point of view of a cinema reviewer or critic, and thus uses layman's terms without the hassle of all the academic jargon to explain what the critic's views are. However, there are more than just one point which mark for me the serious Achilles' heels(note, I use 'heels', and not 'heel')of the author's approach.
Firstly, the attempt to compare Korean film qualitatively with the cinema of Hong Kong, which defeats the whole point about Korean cinema's cultural idiosyncracies, which have often been pointed out by critics and scholars as both its strength and self-alienating weakness, yet very much an undeniable aspect Anthony Leong does not draw attention to. When one tries to call Korean cinema the "New Hong Kong cinema", one is just supplanting one's notions of what constitutes dominant filmic forms of expression in Asia for the rest which could be equally distinct and different apart from it. I managed to obtain access to the book via its online pages, where certain review sections were cut and pasted onto the Internet site for Anthony Leong's book, but disappointed at his whole paradigm of analysis, which assumes a certain shared culture or filmic set of paradigms for filmmaking between Korea and Hong Kong, I would dissuade anyone who wants to know more about Korean films to try doing so via Anthony Leong's book.
Secondly, the book shows little reference to the earlier periods of Korean cinema which are in fact the formative years, starting from the years of early Japanese colonialism and occupation, and the heavy censorship and propaganda exposure which seriously limited the film industry in Korea, to the deposing of the various military regimes from Sgnyman Rhee right through to the current legacy of the "Sunshine Policy" bequeathed by Kim Dae-Jung and how all these political-historical movements have affected the mediatised expressions of culture and nationalism on Korean cinema. Anthony Leong's book carries virtually little or no allusion to all these, which even the amateur interested in Korean cinema will make the effort to find out about.
If one desires a better and more comprehensive guide to Korean cinema and its auteurs, that is, for good publications in English, one would be better placed if he or she turns to Professor Lee Hyangjin's "Contemporary Korean Cinema" or journal articles written by either native Koreans or Tony Rayns and Chris Berry(academics established in the non-Korean world for their expertise in East Asian films).
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4.0 out of 5 stars Not bad, May 1 2003
This review is from: Korean Cinema: The New Hong Kong (Paperback)
A good book on an ignored area of film. It does what it promises.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Pathetic, April 27 2003
By 
Phil Azio (Daejin, Korea) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Korean Cinema: The New Hong Kong (Paperback)
The New Hong Kong? Whatever....
This is clearly a newbie, offering insight to other newbies. Anybody even remotely acquainted with Korean Cinema won't need this collection of average review from somebody who clearly has only started watching Korean Cinema in the last few years.
There's no real information, just a patchwork of IMDB info and other snippets from sites. Ask anything about pre-99 Korean Cinema to the guy, and he wouldn't know squat.
A few advices to mr. Leong, for his next project:
1) Learn Korean. Are you basing your review on English Subtitles? Most of them are really bad.
2) Learn about Korean Culture. You can't possibly comment on any social or cultural practice in Korea if you don't know squat about it. This shows pretty heavily in most of your reviews.
3) Study the history of Korean Cinema. Most of your reviews are average forum material. No real insight into the filmmakers' styles and their position in the industry. Good magazines to start are Cine 21, Film 2.0 and NKino. Of course, they're in Korean...
4) Stop trying to compare everything to Hollywood and other Asian movies. Korean Cinema has a clear identity of its own, one you clearly can't grasp yet.
5) Study a bit the Korean entertainment scene. Watch TV Dramas, listen to some music. Inform yourself.
For an introduction to K-cinema, it's barely OK. If you know already about the major films and filmmakers, this book ain't worth the paper it's printed on.
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5.0 out of 5 stars New Hong KOng, April 9 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Korean Cinema: The New Hong Kong (Paperback)
Korean Cinema: The New Hong Kong is a guidebook for exploring this new and exciting treasure trove of cinema. It is the first book of its kind, covering this emerging cinematic powerhouse in an easy-to-read and leisure-focused fashion, bringing all the sought-after information on Korean cinema into one convenient package. Within the pages of Korean Cinema: The New Hong Kong, you will find:
A brief history of South Korea and its film industry, which will help you understand the reasons behind the revolutionary changes in Korean cinema and what is influencing the country's directors
A look at the present state of Korea's filmmaking industry and how it resembles the dot-com era (with the only difference being that these companies are actually making money, and lots of it)
An examination of the characteristics, themes, and dominant genres of the films in this newest 'Korean New Wave'
In-depth reviews and commentary of the top ten must-see films of this latest 'Korean New Wave'
An overview of the top genres of Korean cinema, with reviews, commentary, and notes on availability for the good, the bad, and the ugly
A look at the stars of Korean cinema, such as the Korean equivalents to Tom Cruise (Han Suk-kyu) and Julia Roberts (Shim Eun-ha).
How moviegoers can go about seeing Korean flicks (with English subtitles too!)
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Korean Cinema: The New Hong Kong
Korean Cinema: The New Hong Kong by Anthony Leong (Paperback - Jan. 1 2003)
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