NEWS: A Feast Of Korean Film Streaming Online For Free
This year’s Cannes jury achieved something near impossible last week: pleasing almost everyone – apart, maybe, from bookies’ favourite and longtime bridesmaid Pedro Almodóvar – with their choice of Palme d’Or winner. No one at the festival had a word to say against Bong Joon-ho’s darkly funny, socially conscious thriller Parasite, and the win was viewed as a very belated honour for South Korean film as a whole, which has long held a reputation for vibrancy and daring, but has never produced a Palme champ before. (Others considered it balm on the wound of last year’s surprise snub, when Lee Chang-dong’s critically adored Burning failed to win a single jury prize.)
Parasite won’t be out in the UK for months yet, but as critic Cathy Brennan pointed out on Twitter, there’s another way to celebrate the country’s cinematic victory (or at least to whet your appetite), courtesy of the official Korean Film Archive’s remarkable YouTube channel Korean Classic Film. With nearly 200 feature-length films available to stream, legally and for free, it’s an invaluable resource for fans and students of a national cinema not very well served by international DVD distributors, particularly as you delve further back into the last century. If not always immaculate, the image quality is acceptable: for many of the selections you won’t find them any other way.