Korean Virgin on Film

By Giacomo Lee. Read the dark side to Seoul city in his novel Funereal, out now on Amazon UK & US.

Frustrated you haven’t seen Snowpiercer yet because you live outside of Asia, even though it’s the year’s best movie? Region free magazine YAM knows the pain of international release dates, so has posted a reconsideration of their best films of 2012. Amongst other gems like The Dark Knight Rises, I gave my vote to last year’s excellent comedy Super Virgin (숫호구), which I only got to see thanks to September’s Chewsock Festival in Seoul.

Director Baek Seung-Kee give a Q&A at the screening, where he expressed his surprise that no-one in or out of Korea has given this film a limited run, nor even a DVD release. I’m surprised too – the first act is a hilarious romp that pokes fun at traditions like Korean sit ‘n’ sojo house parties where everyone gets drunk and amorous (aside from Super Virgin himself). As the film grows darker, it manages to show the very real sadness behind our hero’s bumbling veneer, bravely going from high comedy to high drama without losing the lo-fi charm that pervades the whole film. That charm comes out of the very lo-fi setting of Incheon City, with rustic alleys and tiny book cafes as setting for this wintry tale of avatars and love. You can almost feel the cold in this film. Third Window Films or Terracotta should really put it out.

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