Opening June 4
Noir, action. Directed by Jang Jin
Yoon Ji-wook (Cha Seung-won) is a homicide detective whose macho looks match his undisputed ability to nab violent criminals. He is revered as a legend in the police force and at the same time feared among the mafia for his brutality in cracking down on crime. But deep inside, his identity is quite different. Ji-wook has desired to become a woman ever since his teenage days. He tries to suppress the inner desire -- in vain. He finally reaches the point where he makes up his mind to live as a woman. The flick is the first attempt at action-noir by director Jang Jin, known for his maverick style.
Opening May 29
Action, adventure, family. Directed by Robert Stromberg.
In this hidden story behind Disney’s classic “Sleeping Beauty,” Maleficent (Angelina Jolie) becomes a vindictive fairy when her forest kingdom is invaded by a human kingdom. In order to exact revenge, she wages a war against the human kingdom and places an irreversible curse on infant princess Aurora (Elle Fanning). But as the princess grows up, Maleficent realizes that Aurora is the only one who can restore peace between the two kingdoms. The film is directed by Robert Stromberg, who is known for “Pirates of Caribbean: At World’s End” and “The Hunger Games.”
A Girl at My Door (Korea)
Opened May 22
Drama. Directed by July Jung.
Young-nam (Bae Doo-na), a pale-faced young woman, moves to a quiet, seemingly uneventful port town to take over as head of a police substation there after being demoted from Seoul. All of her subordinates in the station are men, most of whom are older than her. On her way to her new house in the village, she runs into Yong-ha (Song Sae-byeok), the man who “runs the economy” of the town, who smiles derisively after learning that Young-nam is the new chief officer.
Mad Sad Bad (Korea)
Opened May 15
Fantasy, drama, horror. Directed by Ryu Seung-wan, Han Ji-seung and Kim Tae-yong.
A collaboration between three renowned Korean directors, “Mad Sad Bad” consists of three short films, each telling a different story. It starts off with “Ghost” by Ryu Seung-wan, which deals with a senseless murder by reckless teenagers based on a real-life case. The second is Han Ji-seung’s “I Saw You,” a romance between a zombie and a human. The last film, “Picnic” by Kim Tae-yong, is about a child and her relationship with her autistic younger brother. Prior to its theater release, “Mad Sad Bad” was screened as the opener of this year’s Jeonju International Film Festival.
The Fatal Encounter (Korea)
Opened April 30
Drama. Directed by Lee Jae-gyu.
In 18th-century Joseon, the nation’s young King Jeongjo spends every night training alone in the palace to prepare himself for possible attacks from his political opponents. When he was 10, his father, Crown Prince Sado, died of starvation in a wooden chest of rice in which his father and Jeongjo’s grandfather, King Yeongjo, ordered him to be confined. Growing up, Jeongjo was often stigmatized as the “son of the sinner” by those who accused Prince Sado of raping and killing people in the palace and organizing a political conspiracy against Yeongjo. In just his first year as king, Jeongjo survived seven assassination attempts. The film is inspired by Jeongyuyeokbyeon, one such attempt on the king’s life in 1777.