7 items from 2012
Directors: Pil-Sung Yim, Jee-woon Kim. Writers: Jee-woon Kim, Pil-Sung Yim. Cast: Doona Bae, Joon-ho Bong and Ji-hee Jin. For some people, December is Doomsday month. The obsession may have some film buffs exploring creative ways cinema has for how the Earth can stand still, or simply go boom. A well-made anthology titled Doomsday Book (인류멸망보고서) fits the bill. Quite literally, the movie's original title means, "Report on the Destruction of Mankind." Instead of the Earth rebelling against civilization, the onus is on what humanity can do unto itself. That can make for some great storytelling. Each tale is unique in relating how one solitary act can doom an entire world, or nation in the first short, "Brave New World (멋진 신세계)." This amusing tale looks at how a nerdy research scientist, Yoon Seok-woo (Ryo Seung-beom) unwittingly unleashes the zombie apocalypse by discarding a rotten apple. He is set up by »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Ed Sum)
It’s no big secret I love horror films, but 2012 hasn’t been a great year. In my top ten, three films carry over from 2011, two won’t be released until 2013, two are animated and another isn’t much of a horror film. With that said, 2012 gave us Berberian Sound Studio and Cabin In The Woods, and for that, I am forever grateful. Here is a list of the 21 horror films from 2012 I liked best.
Directed by Peter Strickland
Written by Peter Strickland
Berberian Sound Studio reminds us of the power of sound over the visual image, and can surely join the ranks of Francis Ford Coppola’s The Conversation and Brian DePalma’s Blow Out as an absorbing appreciation of sound design. But both thematically and visually, Berberian is more of a descendant of the school of David Lynch and Roman Polanski. As things get increasingly, »
South Korea, 2012
H.G. Wells, a godfather of modern apocalyptic literature, once said that, “all this world is heavy with the promise of greater things, and a day will come, one day in the unending succession of days, when beings who are not latent in our thoughts and hidden in our loins shall stand upon this earth as one stands upon a foot-stool and shall laugh and reach their hands amidst the stars”.
Decades later and continents away, Jee-woon Kim and Pil-Sung Yim’s Doomsday Book, an anthology of apocalyptic possibilities, channels the ethos of Wells’ work in a distinctly Korean endeavour. Broken into three disparate parts, the film is at times silly and farcical, and at others profound and insightful.
- Justin Li
Doomsday Book, 2012.
Three short films, together making an anthology. One chapter concerns a young man who becomes a zombie. Another shows the anarchic and zany troubles a family run into at the end of the world. The other shows a robot’s evolution to the point it’s regarded as enlightened, much to the anger of the company that made it.
A story about zombies, from a zombie’s point of view. A story about a robot who might be Buddha. A story about the end of the world. Each enough to refill any Hollywood producers cocaine cupboards. Each high concept idea put in the hands of people who are proven storytellers and at the same time not from the Hollywood House. You can see why »
★★☆☆☆ Jee-woon Kim and Pil-Sung Yim's portmanteau film Doomsday Book (2012) started production in 2006 when the first two segments of the piece were complete. Fortunately - or perhaps unfortunately - a year later the directors were able to raise funds for the third part of the anthology of shorts. All three shorts that make up Kim and Yim's own Doomsday Book are a critique on modern living in some form or another, a quasi-pithy take on well-established genres - with the first applying a unique spin on zombie apocalypse.
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- CineVue UK
Running time: 115 minutes
Synopsis: Doomsday Book is an apocalyptic anthology of three short films, dealing in zombies, meteors and, er, Buddhist robots. Of course.
Would it be remarkably offensive for me to assume Korea and the apocalypse as a logical pairing? Possibly. But Doomsday Book did it first. Two more run-of-the-mill concepts bookend an existentialist nightmare of self-aware machines in this ensemble of Korean shorts, all revolving (to an extent) around the apocalypse.
The first, entitled The New Generation, is the most generic of the three, being a zombie movie – but, thankfully, it succeeds on almost all fronts. Within its short runtime, director Pil-Sung Yim manages to proffer charming, developed characters we can care about and feel remorse for (when, of course, their inevitable zombification occurs); a sense of humour ingrained deep into the script and dialogue; and, »
- Chris Wharfe
The first thing any review of an anthology film usually mentions is that the format, by its very nature, invariably leads to a mixed bag when it comes to quality. Doomsday Book, a new anthology film from South Korea, is a mixed bag… but thankfully the quality only ranges from good to fantastic. Directors Pil-sung Yim (Hansel & Gretel) and Jee-woon Kim (I Saw the Devil) combined forces to deliver an oddball look at mankind’s demise. Some say the world will end with zombies, and others say with an asteroid. This three part film offers up both options and tosses in a third less literal end that serves as more of an awakening. All three segments have observations to share on humanity, and while the book-ending parts do so with blackly comic heart the middle story is a ruminative commentary on what it means to be a human with designs on the spiritual. Yim »
- Rob Hunter
7 items from 2012
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