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Blades of Blood

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Blades of Blood

(Like the Moon Escaping from the Clouds / Kureumeul Beoseo Nan Dalcheoreom)
Sponsored by: CinéAsie & Korean Film Council

Canadian Premiere

  • South Korea 2010
  • 111 min
  • 35mm
  • Korean with English subtitles

Genre

Martial ArtsHistoricalDramaAction / Adventure

Screening Times

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“Expect to be entertained, with plenty of blade-whipping action and some ticklish poetic dialogue” — Lee Hyo-won, KOREA TIMES

Credits

Director: Lee Jun-ik
Screenplay: Choi Seok-hwan, Jo Cheol-hyeon, Oh Seung-hyeon-I, from Park Heung-yong
Cast: Cha Seung-won, Hwang Jeong-min, Baek Seong-hyeon, Han Ji-hye
Producers: Sul Won-hee
Print Source: M-Line

Part of...

Korean Cinema   

Spotlight:
Korean Cinema


Cinemabox

Description

It is 1592 and the Korea of the Joseon Dynasty is storm-tossed by political instability, moreover in the face the Japanese invasion. Foul souls are caught up in the furious winds of change. Lee Mong-hak, a master swordfighter of royal descent, leads a ruthless rebellion to supercede the country's bickering factions, repel the Japanese—and perhaps claim the throne. His old friend Hwang Jeong-hak, an ostentatiously buffoonish yet deadly blind swordsman (in the mold of Japan's beloved Zatoichi), opposes Lee's violent ambitions, and has enlisted the help of young Gyeong-ja, bastard son of a lord assassinated by Lee, who harbours his own vengeful designs. The courtesan Baek-ji pursues Lee as well, driven by a broken heart. Carried by the winds of wartime, the quartet will collide in a clash of words, wills and weapons.

Sageuk, meaning historical drama, is a cornerstone of Korean popular culture—it's even argued that 1923's STORY OF CHUNHYANG, a tale that has become a much-remade staple of sageuk cinema, was the first feature film ever shown in Japan. What's certain is that in 2005, Lee Jun-ik's gorgeous and provocative hit KING AND THE CLOWN reinvigourated the Korean public's enthusiasm for the genre. Five years later, Lee returns to sageuk terrain, adapting the immensely popular, award-winning manhwa (Korean comic serial) “Like the Moon Escaping from the Clouds.” A far more elegant title than the international BLADES OF BLOOD, though you can be assured, sharp steel and splashes of hot, wet red abound in Lee's exciting period piece. So, however, do finely wrought character drama and appealing wittiness, grand historical chronicle and astute critique of class dynamics. Of particular note is Hwang Jeong-min (BLOODY TIE, PRIVATE EYE) as the blind swordfighter, a role Lee fine-tuned just for him. As with his 2005 smash, Lee again proves that style and substance can be reconciled, as can thoughtful drama and dynamite martial arts.

—Rupert Bottenberg

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