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Archive - 11th Five Flavours Film Festival

The Age of Shadows

South Korea 2016, 139’
subtitles: Polish and English
director: Kim Jee-won
screenplay: Lee Jimin, Park Jongdae
cinematography: Kim Jiyong
editing: Yang Jinmo
music: Mowg
cast: Song Kang-ho, Gong Yoo, Han Ji-min
producer: Kim Jee-woon, Choi Jaeweon
production: Grimm Pictures, Warner Bros Korea, Harbin
language: Korean, Japanese, Mandarin, English
colouration: colour

Awards and festivals

Asian Film Awards 2017 - Best Composer; Austin Fantastic Fest 2016 - Best Picture (Action Features); Baek Sang Art Awards 2017 - Best Director, Best Actor; Grand Bell Awards, South Korea 2016 - Best Supporting Actor, Best Art Direction; KOFRA Film Awards 2017 - Best Actor; Korean Association of Film Critics Awards 2016 - Best Film, Best Music, Ten Best Films of the Year; Korean Film Actor's Association Awards 2016 - Top Supporting Actor

Film description

Spectacular spy action cinema set in the 1920s. The Japanese occupation of Korea, the resistance, the betrayal lurking around every corner, and a Korean police officer working for the Japanese government. The impossible task of smuggling Chinese explosives, needed to fight the enemy, is the basis for the brilliant narration so dynamic, there is no time to catch a breath.

The new film by the master of subversive genre cinema did not let the audiences or the critics down – both groups name him among the most important Korean productions of the year. Kim Jee-woon chooses unconventional editing methods, and the frames imbued with gloom create the film’s disquieting, sensual atmosphere. The use of music is also quite ingenious – who would have thought Ravel’s tired "Bolero," used in hundreds of soundtracks, can sound so fresh? Even though the plot is based on true events, "The Age of Shadows" goes far beyond typical historical cinema. It is a brutal ballet and intellectual duel, with more than just life at stake.

Jagoda Murczyńska

Kim Jee-won

Born in 1964, a leading representative of the new Korean cinema, successfully combining his auteur ambitions with commercial triumphs. He grabbed the audiences’ attention with his debut, a pitch-black comedy "The Quiet Family." His subsequent films revealed a strong interest in genre cinema – "A Tale of Two Sisters" is a horror, "A Bittersweet life" a gangster film, and "I Saw the Devil" a thriller. 

Selected filmography:

1998 Spokojna rodzinka / Choyonghan kajok / The Quiet Family

2003 Opowieść o dwóch siostrach / Janghwa, Hongryeon / A Tale of Two Sisters

2005 Słodko-gorzkie życie / Dalkomhan Insaeng / A Bittersweet Life

2008 Dobry, zły i zakrecony / Joheunnom nabbeunnom isanghannom / The Good, the Bad and the Weird

2010 Ujrzałem diabła / Akmareul boatda / I Saw the Devil

2013 Likwidator / The Last Stand

2016 Gra cieni / Miljung / The Age of Shadows

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