02 Nov - The Korean Film Festival 'Ode To My Father' premiere

November 2nd, 2015.

As I mentioned last year at the Korean Film Festival premiere of 'Kundo : Age of the Rampant', I am perhaps not the most qualified person in London to be covering such an event. My experience with Korean film is presently limited to watching (and enjoying) 'The Host (2006)', being confused by 'The Good, The Bad and The Weird (2008)', not entirely able to process the manga 'Sky Blue (2003)' while being disturbedby 'Sympathy for Lady Vengeance (2005)'. So... you know.... I apologise in advance for my cultural limitations! Although technically if you count the English-language 'Stoker (2013)' as Korean due to its director being Korean, then that movie was fantastic.

Anyway, London is paying host to Korean Film Festival. What was I going to do... go home and avoid making a fool of myself?

Hardly. Here's how it went down:

It's a cool evening and I've left my warm cafe approximately 45mins before I had to in order to ensure a spot at tonight's premiere, hosted at the BFI Southbank. It's a nice location... and apparently down in Leicester Square people are already camping out for The Hunger Games Mockingjay Part2 premiere.... which isn't for another 3 nights. I won't be joining them.

It's a cool evening and I've left my warm cafe approximately 45mins before I had to in order to ensure a spot at tonight's premiere, hosted at the BFI Southbank. It's a nice location... and apparently down in Leicester Square people are already camping out for The Hunger Games Mockingjay Part2 premiere.... which isn't for another 3 nights. I won't be joining them.

I was going to ask why there isn't (say) a German film festival in London, but then I realised that Germany is like 2hrs flight time away from London, so perhaps I'll ask why there isn't an AUSTRALIAN film festival in London instead? Good call on Korea, though - and lift your game, Australia.

I was going to ask why there isn't (say) a German film festival in London, but then I realised that Germany is like 2hrs flight time away from London, so perhaps I'll ask why there isn't an AUSTRALIAN film festival in London instead? Good call on Korea, though - and lift your game, Australia.

BFI Southbank doesn't host all that many premieres, which is a shame as it's a nice spot, and the nearby cafe/bar inside the BFI is pretty decent. Also : warm, on a cold afternoon.

BFI Southbank doesn't host all that many premieres, which is a shame as it's a nice spot, and the nearby cafe/bar inside the BFI is pretty decent. Also : warm, on a cold afternoon.

"No, we're not Korean, but feel free to interview and photograph us anyway..."

"No, we're not Korean, but feel free to interview and photograph us anyway..."

"It looks flashy, sure, but right now I'd trade it for a coat and a beanie!" I'd offer her mine, but I'm presently wearing them both. Oh... you mean, like, chivalry? Oh.

"It looks flashy, sure, but right now I'd trade it for a coat and a beanie!" I'd offer her mine, but I'm presently wearing them both. Oh... you mean, like, chivalry? Oh.

"Tom, I'm here at London's Korean Film Festival and I'm going to admit right here and now that other than really enjoying grabbing tasty and very reasonably priced lunch at any of the KimChee chain restaurants dotting the city, I'm not really sure why I'm here representing the station. Back to you in the studio."

"Tom, I'm here at London's Korean Film Festival and I'm going to admit right here and now that other than really enjoying grabbing tasty and very reasonably priced lunch at any of the KimChee chain restaurants dotting the city, I'm not really sure why I'm here representing the station. Back to you in the studio."

"You know... we really ought to cast the likes of Charlize Theron and Scarlett Johansson in more Korean films just so we can invite them to these events". I say even flimsier pretexts can and should be found. Has anyone tried simply phoning them?

"You know... we really ought to cast the likes of Charlize Theron and Scarlett Johansson in more Korean films just so we can invite them to these events". I say even flimsier pretexts can and should be found. Has anyone tried simply phoning them?

"Much warmer in here..."

"Much warmer in here..."

Our first arrival (left) may or may not be big (or even present) in the Korean film industry, but a few photographers took some photos and the people to my immediate right wanted him to sign some DVD covers. That's all I've got... sorry.

Our first arrival (left) may or may not be big (or even present) in the Korean film industry, but a few photographers took some photos and the people to my immediate right wanted him to sign some DVD covers. That's all I've got... sorry.

"If you think you're famous enough, feel free to walk over to our sponsors board so you can be photographed".

"If you think you're famous enough, feel free to walk over to our sponsors board so you can be photographed".

The person who people are DEFINITELY here to see is actor Jeong-min Hwang, who is in this film and also numerous others that imdb helpfully lists but I have to concede I have not (yet) watched.

The person who people are DEFINITELY here to see is actor Jeong-min Hwang, who is in this film and also numerous others that imdb helpfully lists but I have to concede I have not (yet) watched.

"You're not announcing my arrival with some song by 'Psy'... which is good. But something from the soundtrack of this movie would have been nice..." Cheering crowds asking for autographs and selfies make a nice soundtrack, too.

"You're not announcing my arrival with some song by 'Psy'... which is good. But something from the soundtrack of this movie would have been nice..." Cheering crowds asking for autographs and selfies make a nice soundtrack, too.

Jeong-min Hwang, flanked by his director (left) and model wearing what I assume to be Korean garb (right). I myself am personally flanked by my iPod (Gen3) and Nikon, Pentax and Go-Pro cameras. I think he's winning.

Jeong-min Hwang, flanked by his director (left) and model wearing what I assume to be Korean garb (right). I myself am personally flanked by my iPod (Gen3) and Nikon, Pentax and Go-Pro cameras. I think he's winning.

"I've got about 5 minutes to sign autographs, 5 minutes to pose for photos and 10 minutes to do interviews... and the movie starts in 15 minutes. This should be fun!"

"I've got about 5 minutes to sign autographs, 5 minutes to pose for photos and 10 minutes to do interviews... and the movie starts in 15 minutes. This should be fun!"

"How sick am I of all the Force Awakens junk they've been shoving down consumers' throats for months before the movie even comes out? Well.. that has nothing to do with the movie I'm in... but a LOT, actually"

"How sick am I of all the Force Awakens junk they've been shoving down consumers' throats for months before the movie even comes out? Well.. that has nothing to do with the movie I'm in... but a LOT, actually"

JK Youn isn't answering questions on the merciless ubiquity of Force Awakens merchandise... I don't think.

JK Youn isn't answering questions on the merciless ubiquity of Force Awakens merchandise... I don't think.

Numerous questions later, and Jeong-min Hwang begins to sign autographs and pose for selfies. I'll admit the crowd was very well behaved and civilised. I shouldn't really be surprised - seems only English crowds comprised of autograph hunter/dealers and screaming teenagers cause near-riots when the likes of Logan Lerman show up.

Numerous questions later, and Jeong-min Hwang begins to sign autographs and pose for selfies. I'll admit the crowd was very well behaved and civilised. I shouldn't really be surprised - seems only English crowds comprised of autograph hunter/dealers and screaming teenagers cause near-riots when the likes of Logan Lerman show up.

I might have let Jeong-min Hwang get a bit too close to the camera and possibly overdone it with the incidental moody lighting, however imdb informs me that he's won two Blue Dragon Awards (one for Best Actor and one for Best New Actor), so I'm sure he's versatile.

I might have let Jeong-min Hwang get a bit too close to the camera and possibly overdone it with the incidental moody lighting, however imdb informs me that he's won two Blue Dragon Awards (one for Best Actor and one for Best New Actor), so I'm sure he's versatile.

Too close? Too close.

Too close? Too close.

"I'm impressed you have so many DVD covers of my films. I thought disks were a dying format". People are going to regret having only download copies of media in the future, I feel. You can't sign an Ultraviolet Download Code Voucher...

"I'm impressed you have so many DVD covers of my films. I thought disks were a dying format". People are going to regret having only download copies of media in the future, I feel. You can't sign an Ultraviolet Download Code Voucher...

"I'm now signing just to see whether you've missed ANY of my films....or try to sneak in ones that I'm not in". I assume eventually everybody everywhere makes it into a Marvel movie..

"I'm now signing just to see whether you've missed ANY of my films....or try to sneak in ones that I'm not in". I assume eventually everybody everywhere makes it into a Marvel movie..

"Why are those two girls following me, and more to the point how can I write that into my contract for all future premieres?"

"Why are those two girls following me, and more to the point how can I write that into my contract for all future premieres?"

So... that was kind of cool, and if they'd been handing out free tickets I'd certainly not have refused one. But sadly (or pleasingly?) it seems London's Korean community and actual paying cinemagoers were happy to pay for tickets to the film and the subsequent Q&A, thus making this a success, near as I can judge.

And it not only joins my "Archive of Movie Premieres" but becomes the second Korean film premiere I've attended, after last year's mighty "Kundo : Age of the Rampant" premiere at the now-a-construction-destruction-zone-hole-in-the-ground-formerly-known-as the Odeon West End.

There is also another premiere scheduled for Korean Film Festival 2015... and I'm hoping to get to that one, too. But first....? I gotta pack, and then get back.

Until next time? Hopefully so!

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