A screening of The Villainess will take place on Monday, September 11th at 19:30 at the Regent Street Cinema. This is the final teaser screening in the run-up to the London Korean Film Festival which will be held from October 26th to November 19th. The film screening coincides with the programme launch so attendees will be able to see what else has been programmed for the festival!
The Villainess has got glowing reviews for its action making it one of the Here’s the first paragraph from Maggie Lee’s review over at Variety.
“Channeling “La femme Nikita,” “Kill Bill,” Nikkatsu’s ’70s female exploitation films and a gazillion Hong Kong martial arts heroines, “The Villainess” nonetheless succeeds in being one-of-a-kind for its delirious action choreography and overall narrative dementia. Writer-director Jung Byung-gil indulges in all the excesses of South Korean screen violence, punishing his avenging angel played by Kim Ok-vin as much as she does her foes, the cumulative effect of which is a brain-melting daze for the audience.” (Maggie Lee, Variety)
It stars Kim Ok-Vin, who I adore but I’ve only reviewed two of her films: Thirst (in which she gives a barnstorming performance as a woman freshly turned into a vampire and insane with the lust and power) and Behind the Camera (a comedy involving the top actors in Korea making a train-wreck of a film.
The Villainess was at FrightFest where a couple of friends of mine saw it and one wrote a review which you can read here.
Here are the details on The Villainess:
Running Time: 123 mins.
Director: Jung Byung-gil
Writer: Jung Byung-gil (Screenplay),
Starring: Kim Ok-Vin, Shin Ha-kyun, Sung Joon, Kim Seo0Hyung, Jo Eun-ji, Lee Seung-joo, Jung Hae-Kyun,
Synopsis from the website: Trained killer Sook-hee (Kim Ok-vin, Thirst) is the architect of an unforgettable opening sequence, shot in breathtaking first person point-of-view, as she breaks into a warehouse and lays waste to the multitude of thugs contained within. When the pregnant young woman eventually goes down, she’s picked up by the mysterious National Intelligence Service (NIS).
Given the choice to join them or die, she reluctantly accepts a new identity and trains in order to complete a future assignment and eventually win freedom for herself and her daughter. Matters are further complicated by the feelings arising from the murder of her father, a past relationship with a gang-boss ex-lover and the tantalising chance at a happy future offered by an undercover agent with a mission to win her affections…
Jung Byung-gil infuses a tale containing many of the hallmarks of modern Korean thrillers with original action elements and an unflinching style that recalls Park Chan Wook’s Oldboy while also pointing towards the female-led narratives offered by Quentin Tarantino’s Kill Bill and Luc Besson’s La Femme Nikita. Despite these nods to the past, the film manages to carve out its own stylish niche in the current cinematic landscape.
Whether the protagonist deserves the moniker bestowed by the film’s title is ultimately left for the audience to decide yet with its delirious indulgence in the excesses of South Korean action cinema, The Villainess offers a bold new take on the neo-noir genre.
To find out more about the film and to book tickets, please visit the cinema’s website.