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20 Films you shouldn’t miss at the 26th Bucheon International Fantastic Film Festival (Part 2)

We continue with our list of films that you shouldn’t miss at the 26th Bucheon International Fantastic Film Festival (BIFAN) which will take place online and in cinemas from July 7 – 17, 2022 in Bucheon, South Korea.

To see the first part of this article please go here: PART 1

– Selected Films – (Part 2)

Popran by Ueda Shinichiro – Japan | 2021 – 97 minutes
Section: Merry-Go-round

Tatsuya becomes a famous entrepreneur thanks to the success of his webtoon app. Neglecting friends and family, he throws himself into succeeding. One day, something dreadful happens to him, his genitals disappear. When not even doctors can find the cause, he finds a message about a meeting in a community he comes across. The community is for those like Tatsuya who have lost their genitals. When they explain that if he can’t find the genitals named ‘Popran’ soon, they will disappear forever, he sets out to find them. Popran is a new film from Ueda Shinichiro, director of One Cut of the Dead (2017) and Special Actors (2019). The protagonist in this ridiculous situation realizes the value of the relationship with people he has forgotten or missed as he runs around solving problems in crazy situations, which has become his own stamp as he makes more films. Unmissable laughter and lasting impressions make the film shine more. (Martin LEE | BIFAN 2022)

Screening:
July 9, 2022 | Saturday | Korea Manhwa Museum | 10:30 am
July 14, 2022 | Thursday | CGV Sopung 9 | 17:00 pm

Trailer:

Reroute by Lawrence Fajardo – Philippines | 2022 – 114 minutes
Section: Adrenalina Ride

Dan and Trina have an argument whilst driving to the countryside. Their plan gets complicated when the main road is blocked due to military operations. As the couple take a detour and pass through a private estate, their car breaks down. Luckily, they get help from Gemo, a landlord and veteran. However, the encounter with the generous man reveals an unexpected and disastrous truth. Numerous films have depicted hidden threats in apparent generosity toward outsiders, and Reroute has some distinct touches of auteur arthouse film in its B-movie style plot, which seems much swayed by stimulating sensation. The director takes a more psychoanalytic approach by juxtaposing images of violence, sex, and death. The film’s necrophilia motif, reminiscent of Hitchcock’s Vertigo (1958), lets us see the film as a text of profound depth. (CHO Jaewhee | BIFAN 2022)

Screening:
July 10, 2022 | Sunday | CGV Sopung 5 | 20:00 pm
July 12, 2022 | Tuesday | CGV Sopung 9 | 11:00 am
This will be available online via Wavve

Trailer:

Ring Wandering by Kaneko Masakazu – Japan | 2021 – 103 minutes
Section: Merry-Go-Round

Unlike the title, the story unfolds like calm water. Sosuke aspires to be a cartoonist. When a black and white storyboard of his turns into colorful moving images in an instant, we get to travel through different times and unusual places with him. The Japanese wolf is extinct, so he has a hard time drawing one. Working at a construction site, he digs out a skull of a wild animal and goes back there at night to find more. Whilst there, he runs into a mysterious girl called Midori, and believes that she looks like the girl in his cartoon work. The story goes round in a circle; once the film reaches its stunning end, you might want to go back to the beginning and start again. Located at the heart of the vortex is not vertigo, but the sentiments of longing and regret for loss. Buried under our feet are collapsed houses, dead bodies sacrificed in war and pets that were once family members. Buildings are built anew, and fireworks celebrate the seasons to come. Kaneko made a new classic. (Creta D. KIM | BIFAN 2022)

Screening:
July 10, 2022 | Sunday | CGV Sopung 10 | 20:00 pm
July 12, 2022 | Tuesday | Bucheon City Hall Main Theater (2F) | 13:00 pm
This will be available online via Wavve

Trailer:

Semantic Error by Kim Soo Jung – Korea | 2022 – 178 minutes
Section: Boys, Be, Love

“Why are they even together?” would be the first thought that comes to mind, as Chu Sang Woo and Jang Jae Young are so different in every conceivable way. One is a robot-like engineering student who wears dark clothes for convenience and follows a strict timetable. The other is a free-spirit design major, with colorful outfits and a skateboard. When Jae Young freerides on a team assignment with Sang Woo, Sang Woo crosses off Jae Young’s name from the project, and the two become enemies. The film is a re-edit of an eight part TV series that topped the WATCHA Chart, based on the web novel Semantic Error by Jeo Soo-ri. It would be challenging to exceed expectations as the novel has a huge fanbase, however, two formal idol actors, Park Seo Ham and Park Jae Chan, hit the jackpot. Director Kim Soo Jung delicately emphasizes the comic and fresh romance of the young men, who have unique charms and perfect looks, as they do in the novel. (KIM Songhee | BIFAN 2022)

Screening:
July 8, 2022 | Friday | Korean Manhwa Museum | 16:00 pm
July 13, 2022 | Wednesday | Korean Manhwa Museum | 16:30 pm
July 15, 2022 | Friday | Bucheon City Hall Main Theater (2F) | 00:00 am

Social Distancing by Gilitte Leung – Hong Kong, China | 2022 – 98 minutes
Section: Bucheon Choice – Features

After two years of living in Korea and coming back to Hong Kong due to Covid pandemic, Cherry (Gladys Li) opens a YouTube channel. In trying to increase the number of subscribers, she hears about e-ghosts. Strange things happen one after another around her, she finally comes to believe in the existence of e-ghosts. She asks her best friend, Sean (Angus Yeung) for help to exorcise the curse of the e-ghosts. The thing that sticks to me 24 hours is not a friend or family, but my mobile phone. It knows me better and remembers me more accurately than I do. Social Distancing is a horror movie that implants the fear that a mobile phone is beyond my control and even dominates me into the loneliness of social distancing and isolating during the pandemic. This film’s persuasive power comes through Gladys Li’s casual acting and the backdrop of the Covid-19 era we just went through. The film immerses the viewer in the latter part, as if they are all in the game. (Ellen Y. D. KIM | BIFAN 2022)

Screening:
July 11, 2022 | Monday | CGV Sopung 11 | 14:00 pm
July 13, 2022 | Wednesday | CGV Sopung 10 | 17:00 pm

Socialphobia by Hong Seok-jae – Korea | 2014 – 102 minutes
Section: It Goes On: 39+1 KAFA Features

In a society of hatred, people spout all sorts of criticism and animosity towards others, while hiding behind anonymity. Socialphobia by Hong Seok-jae is a kind of realistic and harsh report about the new hell-like modern society, where people use social network services and the internet to consume others’ misfortunes, and for a window of excretion without any feeling of guilt. Ji-woong and Yong-min get involved in a suicide case while participating in an online livestream show for fun. Although they are preparing to join the police force, they harm others in anonymous cyber space with no feelings of guilt. Their ironic behavior is a reflection of those who consume others’ misfortunes like a virtual game, and it also becomes a genre tool to develop the narrative, solving a mystery related to the suicide. Socialphobia was made 8 years ago, but the questions asked are still valid. The potential of the actors Byun Yohan, Lee Ju Seung and Ryu Jun Yeol, who are leading the present Korean film industry, is revealed in this film. (MO Eun-young | BIFAN 2022)

Screening:
July 8, 2022 | Friday | CGV Sopung 9 | 11:00 am
July 11, 2022 | Monday | CGV Sopung 4 | 19:30 pm

Trailer:

The Woman in the White Car by Christine Ko – Korea | 2022 – 125 minutes
Section: Korean Fantastic – Features

A woman arrives at Seolwon hospital by car with her sister stabbed and unconscious. From the shocking accident, she can’t even speak properly. Police officer Hyun-ju (Lee Jung-eun) arrives at the hospital and recalls herself while watching Do-kyung (Jung Ryeo-won), who refuses to be treated to take care of her sister. Hyun-ju, who does the given tasks indifferently like a machine, investigates the case actively out of compassion for Do-kyung. However, the case becomes a mystery when it is revealed that the woman in the hospital is not Do-kyung’s real sister, and the actual sister was a nurse who worked at the hospital in the past, and the person who will be Do-kyung’s brother-in-law was also on the scene. The Woman in the White Car is a thriller full of twists and turns showing the psychology of the women understanding each other while entangled with the case, as well as satisfying the basic expectations of the genre. (IM Soo-yeon | BIFAN 2022)

Screening:
July 10, 2022 | Sunday | CGV Sopung 4 | 16:30 pm
July 13, 2022 | Wednesday | CGV Sopung 10 | 13:30 pm
This will be available online via Wavve

The Womb by Fajar Nugros – Indonesia | 2021 – 115 minutes
Section: Bucheon Choice – Features

Wulan works at a local supermarket and has an irresponsible boyfriend. When she finds out she is pregnant, she tells her boyfriend, but he doesn’t want to have a child yet. Wulan is left alone. In despair, she joins a Facebook group called “Support Pregnancy” to see if she can find a solution. The group then leads her to the Santoso Family. Mr and Mrs Santoso meet Wulan and promise to adopt the unborn child and take care of her during her pregnancy. Living with Mr and Mrs Santoso, Wulan starts to notice strange behavior and peculiar rituals. Wulan starts investigating the Santoso’s dark family history. The Womb offers a slow burning mystery that takes its time to build eerie moments that sink in little by little. The combination of thrilling incidents with unpredictable plot twists makes the film worth watching. The Womb creates a subtly disturbing atmosphere that leaves the viewer curious until the very end. Fajar Nugros is known as one of the most prolific filmmakers in Indonesia. He has made numerous box-office films in a short period of time, ranging in style from comedy to drama and biopics. This is his first attempt at a genre film. (John BADALU | BIFAN 2022)

Screening:
July 8, 2022 | Friday | CGV Sopung 5 | 19:30 pm
July 13, 2022 | Wednesday | CGV Sopung 6 | 19:30 pm
This will be available online via Wavve

Trailer:

Tiger’s Trigger by Lee Kang-wook – Korea | 2022 – 85 minutes
Section: Korean Fantastic – Features

Tiger’s Trigger (Saber Tooth) is a term for felines with gigantic canines, which do not exist anymore. A girl, who is nursing her hospitalized mother, happens to pick up a Russian gun and shifty cops barge in, looking for it. An old wordless man whose wife is in the same ward, saves her from the danger. Tiger’s Trigger can be considered an older version of The Man from Nowhere (2010) starring by Won Bin, or a Korean version of Liam Neeson’s Taken series. It is overwhelming just to be able to see the presence of two actors who were very active in Hong Kong, Casanova Wong who jumps over huge tables to make a flying kick in Warriors Two (1978) and Won Jin, who performs acrobatic action with the unique scorpion pose in Operation Scorpio (1992). It is also touching to see them step back and actively intervene with the girl and the pistol in the story. (JU Sungchul | BIFAN 2022)

Screening:
July 8, 2022 | Friday | CGV Sopung 4 | 16:30 pm
July 11, 2022 | Monday | CGV Sopung 11 | 17:00 pm

Trailer:

What She Likes… by Kusano Shogo – Japan | 2021 – 122 minutes
Section: Boys, Be, Love

What She Likes… is based on a webnovel of the same title by Asahara Naoto and was already adapted into a TV drama in 2019, which proved popular. This film version was made by Kusano Shôgo, director of Bittersweet (2016) and The Longest Photo in the World (2018). It’s a story about a gay high school student, Jun, and Sae, a girl who fantasizes about Boys’ Love, crossing the dichotomy between love and friendship. What She Likes… is an exceptional youth film, with the sensuality peculiar to Japanese teen movies and asks serious questions of LGBTQ drama. It also explores the blind spot of emotion, where no-one knows how it develops on this journey in the romance genre, using a pretty boy and a lovely girl as the medium. (JIN Myunghyun | BIFAN 2022)

Screening:
July 8, 2022 | Friday | Korean Manhwa Museum | 10:30 am
July 11, 2022 | Monday | Korean Manhwa Museum | 16:30 pm

To see the first part of this article please go here: PART 1

For more information, please visit: http://www.bifan.kr/eng/

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