Hancinemas Film Review Ash Flower

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[HanCinema's Film Review] "Ash Flower"

Ha-dam (played by Jeong Ha-dam) is a normal teenage girl who lives in an obscure township somewhere in Chungcheong. While a generally happy young woman, Ha-dam does frequently run into the problem of not having very much to do in her spare time, considering the only people she knows are the adults in her immediate family. That changes when the much younger Hae-byeol (played by Jang Hae-geum) comes into Ha-dam's life, claiming to be an obscure relative.

"Ash Flower" is another one of those dual movies, one that's really two stories mixed into one. In this case, the main story is of Ha-dam and Hae-byeol's budding friendship, as Ha-dam's idyllic existence running through the fields and enjoying the country stream is massively improved by having a little sister like person to share it with. These scenes are adorably sweet and optimistic, a testament to the powerful chemistry shared by the lead actresses.

[Indie Review] Oh Hee Jung - Short Film
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[Indie Review] Oh Hee Jung - Short Film

Oh Hee Jung is a soloist that got her start in 2013 after a series of independent releases. Her latest effort, this year's 'Short Film' EP, comes on the heels of 2016's Bandcamp-released 'Freckles.Oh Hee Jung is often the sole creative force behind her work, with the production, recording, artwork, mastering, mixing and design all being credited to her for this album. Using a combination of great ideas and total creative control, Oh Hee Jung creates a magical mix with each release that's sure to leave fans with a new daily soundtrack.

[HanCinema's Film Review]
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[HanCinema's Film Review] "Cherry Blossoms, Again"

Jang Beom-june was the leading singer/songwriter for Busker Busker, an independent rock band from Cheonan. Today he...still writes and performs music, just as a solo artist. Jang Beom-june owes his presence in South Korean musical culture largely to one song- "Cherry Blossom Ending" which appears every spring in the South Korean music charts. But aside from that, Jang Beom-june also writes and performs other songs. Sometimes he even does covers.

And that's pretty much it. "Cherry Blossoms, Again" was financed in part by MBC, so this is a documentary in the television mold, where the focus is on being purely informational rather than making any kind of grander artistic or philosophical point. Jang Beom-june lives a normal life. Apparently he's even married with a daughter. The wife we never get to see, even if Jang Beom-june begs her to come home early at one point.

[HanCinema's Film Review]
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[HanCinema's Film Review] "Gag Powerful Man"

While cartooning is generally thought of as a medium for children, as long as there have been cartoons, there have been crude distorted versions. The twenty-first century has been very kind to crude cartoons, as technology advances have made it easy for anyone to make static, repetitive animations which shock via overt graphic violence and explicit sexual titillation. Gag Powerful Man" is a traditionally Korean themed version of such a cartoon, in feature length form.

One aspect of such cartoons is that they are almost always extremely short- there's only so many times blood can spurt from the ruptured appendage of a loud, obnoxious man with a hideous facial expression before the novelty wears off. So it took me a moment to realize that "Gag Powerful Man" was in fact a feature length film rather than a collection of shorts- the characters are such thin shallow caricatures it's hard to visualize them engaging in the same plot for more than ten minutes at a time.

[HanCinema's Film Review]
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[HanCinema's Film Review] "House of the Disappeared"

In the opening scene of "House of the Disappeared", Mi-hee (played by Kim Yoon-jin) comes upon horror. Her husband has been stabbed, and her son is only briefly visible before unseen forces drag him off into the unknown. The authorities conclude that, somehow, Mi-hee was responsible for these crimes, and she comes out of prison twenty five years later an old woman, still muttering about the monstrous forces at work in her house. Father Choi (played by Taecyeon), an old family friend, hears Mi-hee out as she delves into her own memories, trying to find an answer.