4 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)
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 »
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
4 items from 2012
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