Special Focus: Korean Noir Forum

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London Korean Film Festival

Panel One: Talking Noir

The first panel brings together two exciting guests. We will begin with Eddie Muller, the ‘Czar of Noir’, who will first sketch out the history and key elements of film noir; Muller will also discuss the origin of noir-ish conventions in Hollywood films of the 1940s, and how they have subsequently appeared in films produced in different cultural settings around the world. Next up, renowned film critic and programmer Huh Moonyung will present a number of key Korean films whose ‘noirness’ has generated critical debate; Huh will illustrate how he understands the term ‘Korean noir’ as a distinct type of film which pays homage to the canon of ‘film noir’ whilst at the same time remaining within the particular conventions of Korean cinema. Following on from these introductions, curator, critic and filmmaker Ehsan Khoshbakht will moderate the discussion, interrogating the relationship between film noir and ‘Korean noir’.


Eddie Muller is Founder and President of The Film Noir Foundation whose work is dedicated to research, preserve and promote film noir. Muller’s books include Dark City: The Lost World of Film Noir (1998), Dark City Dames: The Wicked Women of Film Noir (2001), and The Art of Noir: Posters and Graphics from the Classic Film Noir Era (2004).

Huh Moonyung, currently Programme Director of The Busan Cinema Center has been a journalist for Joong-ang Monthly and journalist and the editor-in-chief (2002-2003) for one of the most important film magazines, Cine 21 and film programmer for Busan International Film Festival. He has published two collections of essays and reviews, Secular Cinema, Secular Criticism (2010) and Invisible Cinema (2014).


Ehsan Khoshbakht is a curator, critic and filmmaker who has curated for various cinematheques internationally and is a member of the programming committee for Il Cinema Ritrovato festival in Bologna. His books, published in Persian, include Celluloid Architecture, The Art of Movie Posters and Westerns.

Panel Two: Representing Korean Noir

In the second panel we will hear more from two Korean film directors whose work was included in the special noir programme this year: Lee Doo-yong and Oh Seung-uk. Since beginning his career in the early 1970s, Lee has directed over 60 films in a wide array of genres and was the subject of a special retrospective at last year’s Busan International Film Festival. The Last Witness (1980), recently restored by the Korean Film Archive and showing in our programme this year is an acute work of social realism, and has also received critical acclaim for its masterful treatment of crime / noir genre conventions. Lee will talk us through his understanding of how Korea’s complex history relates to Korean noir film-making. Oh is a well-known scriptwriter, film critic, and director. The two films directed by Oh, Kilimanjaro (2000) and The Shameless (2015), as well as his screenplay Green Fish, make use of familiar noir archetypes and find their protagonists lonely and vulnerable in the face of the harsh reality of Korean society.  We look forward to deepening our knowledge of Korean noir through sharing a conversation with two directors who have lived through different eras of Korean cinema. The discussion will be moderated by film critic Huh Moonyung.


Lee Doo-yong’s selected filmography:

Arirang (2002)

Mulberry (1986)

Spinning the Tales of Cruelty Towards Women (1983)

The Hut (1980)

The Last Witness (1980)

Returned a Single-legged Man (1974)

Manchurian Tiger (1974)

The Lost Wedding Veil (1970)

Oh Seung-uk’s selected filmography:

The Shameless (2015)

My Love, Korean Cinema (2008)

Rikidozan: A Hero Extraordinary (screenplay, 2004)

H (screenplay, 2002)

Kilimanjaro (2000)

The Uprising (screenplay, 1999)

Christmas in August (screenplay, 1998)

Green Fish (screenplay, 1997)


Huh Moonyung (see panel one)

BBFC rating
Running time
210 mins

Book tickets

November 5th

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