Films cover family, monsters, war

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Films cover family, monsters, war


Hong Sang-soo’s “Our Sunhi,” which shows Seoul in all its glory, is a great movie to see over the break. Provided by Fine Cut

The lineup of movies over the Chuseok break is an eclectic one, with genres covered from Korean films to Hollywood animations to artsy, controversial films.

The two big homemade productions, already booked ahead by many, are the comedy “Spy” and the more dramatic “Face Reader.”

While the first one delivers laughs and plenty of them, the latter offers beautiful cinematography, a stimulating plot and an A-list lineup of Song Kang-ho, Kim Hye-soo and Lee Jung-jae. Both movies, in different ways, play on the notion of family - and what better time to ponder over that theme than during Chuseok.

But for those seeking something more art-house with minimal effects and emphasis on dialogue, “Our Sunhi” by Hong Sang-soo, who won the Best Director award at this year’s Locarno International Film Festival, will no doubt do the trick. Although it doesn’t have the ingredients for a blockbuster, it is intriguing. It’s a film that’s open to interpretation, with not all that much happening, but the scenery of Seoul and Changdeok Palace in early winter is magical. The essence of the city is captured magnificently, and the film will no doubt encourage viewers to make a trip to a nearby palace after the movie.

Meanwhile, Hollywood animations “Despicable Me 2” and “Monsters University” will also serve up laughs in full color and oozing cuteness. “Monsters University” in particular is fantastic on the visual front with monsters of every color, shape and size - there are some 200 monsters present per scene. Both films are second installments to previous hits and have done well at box offices around the world. As always, these works by Pixar and Universal Pictures will no doubt entertain adults as well as the kids, all with a fuzzy, feel-good message, too.

Another animation film that’s been talked about is “The Wind Rises,” the final film by Japanese director Hayao Miyazaki, which is a biopic of Jiro Horikoshi, the creator of the Mitsubishi A6M Zero airplane used by the Japanese military for kamikaze operations during World War II. If that wasn’t controversial enough, the fact that Miyazaki, 72, said he’d no longer be making films after this one was another shocker.

And of course, if you haven’t already, Chuseok is a great time to catch up on all the films that were so talked about in the past month. “Snowpiercer” by Bong Joon-ho and “Hide and Seek” are still doing well at the box office, and are no doubt worth a look.

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