KOFFIA 11 Cancelled – What Would Have Been

I was greatly disappointed to hear that the streaming security issues affecting this years Korean Film Festival in Australia were unable to be resolved, with the result that the final three days of programming (containing the three films I was most interested in seeing) will no longer be made available. As many Korean films do not normally receive wide distribution within Australia, and information about these films is no longer available on their website, here’s some information on the ones I was unable to see but will be looking out for.

My Punch-Drunk Boxer [Pansori Bokseo] (2019)

Directed by Jung Hyuk-ki

Romantic comedy about a has-been professional boxer, Byung-gu (Eom Tae-goo), who learns that he may be dying from a brain disease. Wanting to go out in a blaze of glory, he attempts to revive his ridiculed self-created boxing style, Pansori Boxing, which involves fighting to the sounds of the Pansori janggu drum. Trainee boxer Min-ji (former K-pop star Hyeri aka Lee Hye-ri) agrees to play the drum for him – and, presumably, they fall in love.

Forbidden Dream [Cheonmun: Haneule Mudneunda] (2019)

Directed by Hur Jin-ho

A 15th century historical drama about Jang Yeong-sil (Choi Min-sik), a former slave appointed by Korea’s King Sejong (Han Suk-kyu) as his science officer. Among his inventions were an iron printing press, metal alloys, a water clock, a rain gauge and a celestial globe – which incurs the wrath of the Chinese emperor for transgressing on the divine and ultimately leads to his disgrace. A biopic celebrating a pioneering scientist and engineer in a country with whose technological development I’m completely unfamiliar? Sold!

Maggie (2019)

Directed by Yi Ok-seop

I think I’ll just quote the tagline which snagged my interest: “A suspected X-ray of her having intercourse in hospital may become the least of Yoon-young’s (Lee Joo-young) problems as strange sinkholes begin to materialise all over Seoul.” I’ve included two trailers because they each have a very different flavour and just made me more intrigued about what this oddity might hold.

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