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More Than Just Pickled Cabbage

By Rob Christopher in Arts & Entertainment on Oct 30, 2007 6:23PM

2007_10korea.jpg We're embarrassed to admit that when it comes to Korean culture, beyond bulgoki and kimchi we sort of draw a blank. (But oh how we love bulgoki!) So it's great to know that DOC Films at U of C is on the job: this week they're hosting the Korean Film Festival, a traveling tour of contemporary and classic cinema.

1958's A Flower in Hell is described by Jonathan Rosenbaum as "potent and grim," but would you want a melodrama about lust and corruption any other way? It revolves around life in Seoul during the Korean War, with some intriguing observations about American G.I.'s. Although technically it's a bit on the crude side it's still a fascinating glimpse at a very specific time and place.

To us the highlight of the festival is a bizarre little flick from 2003 called Save the Green Planet! (pictured above, via Asia Pacific Arts). It's a truly wacked out, big-budget horror comedy that plays like a cross between Hostel and the miniseries V. An eccentric young beekeper is convinced that the CEO for a chemical corporation is actually an alien leader and kidnaps him. But is he? It's the only film we can think of that features both death by bee attack and stabbing by paper drink umbrella; we can't claim it's a classic, but it's so damn weird you won't be bored for a second.

The festival runs Thursday through Sunday. Full details here.