[the new york korean film festival]

New York Korean Film FestivalThe New York Korean Film Festival is back, from August 25 to September 3, with films showing at the ImaginAsian Theatre, BAM and the Anthology Film Archives.

The Film Festival website offers a fair amount of information, including synopses and even trailers — although without subtitles, so I can’t get more than the gist of what they’re about. Still, it’s enough for me to have picked a few highlights that I hope to see.

Korean film has developed a reputation for moody thrillers and crime dramas, but I’ve never been wild for the genre, and my own interests lean more towards films that reveal the experience of daily life in Korea. Two romantic comedies, Rules of Dating and When Destiny Meets Romance, look like they’ll be good fun, and even without understanding most of it, the trailer for the latter is hilarious. On a darker note, Grain in Ear is a social drama focused on the plight of a poor Chinese-Korean woman and her young son, and it seems to have won a fair amount of international recognition.

I have to admit that I’m intrigued by Forbidden Quest, an erotically charged historical drama. Also historically New York Korean Film Festivalinteresting are Water Mill, a black-and-white drama of revenge and betrayal from 1966, and The Way to Sampo, a 1975 film about the rapid pace of change in South Korea. And then there’s If You Were Me, a collection of six short animated films.

But the film I’m most excited about is Wedding Campaign, which follows an unlucky Korean bachelor to Uzbekistan, of all places, where he goes to find himself a bride among the substantial Korean diaspora that lives there. How often will a movie come along that can satisfy my fascinations with Korea and Central Asia simultaneously? Right: once. And this is it. I’ll be at the showing at BAM on Sunday, September 3 at 4 p.m. See you there!