DONGHYEON KIM

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Oldboy – review

Why do we need an English-language remake of Park Chan-wook's prize-winning Korean thriller? Other than catering to an audience unwilling to read subtitles, it's hard to see what Spike Lee has brought to the table, despite his insistence that this is not really a remake, but another interpretation …

The 10 best films of 2013, No 10 – Wadjda

Wadjda is the first Saudi Arabian feature to be directed by a woman. Shot in the suburbs of Riyadh, Haifaa Al-Mansour's film tells the story of an 10-year-old who wants to buy a green bicycle to race against her friend Abdullah.<p>Wadjda (Waad Mohammed) shouldn't want a bike (her mum's worried – it …

The 10 best films of 2013, No 9 – I Wish

I Wish was released without fanfare in the midst of Oscar season. It came tip-toeing in from the sidelines to spin a tale of everyday magic and remind us that miracles can happen, if we can only be bothered to put ourselves in their path. It was the year's most purely joyous picture, dappled with …

The 10 best films of 2013, No 8 – Only God Forgives

Nicolas Winding Refn's brilliant, bizarre and ultraviolent anti-revenge movie Only God Forgives is his most interesting work since the Pusher trilogy in the Mads Mikkelsen era. It is put together with lethal strangeness: there are bad-dream setpieces of sentimentality and nauseous black comedy. The …

The 10 best films of 2013, No 7 – For Ellen

For Ellen arrived somewhat unheralded in cinemas, a product of the 2012 Sundance film festival; unheralded, perhaps, because of its opaque title and director So Yong Kim's track record of wispy meditations on Korean-American identity. But what a pleasure it turned out to be. It's never easy to …

The 10 best films of 2013, No 6 – Before Midnight

Another year, another sequel, another shameless attempt to cash in on prior brand recognition and to exploit fans desperate for another hit of their favourite franchise. So why was Richard Linklater's second sequel to Before Sunrise greeted with a loving embrace, rather than the spitting backlash …

The 10 best films of 2013, No 5 - Django Unchained

When Django Unchained was released back in January, Spike Lee did what he does best: took umbrage. "American Slavery Was Not A Sergio Leone Spaghetti Western," the director tweeted. "It Was A Holocaust".<p>Lee hadn't seen the film, but he had a point. Django Unchained, Quentin Tarantino's action …

The 10 best films of 2013, joint 3rd – Gravity

When Gravity finally dropped at the Venice film festival earlier this year, it answered a question that had been perplexing the film world for quite some time: was this long-in-the-making space thriller going to be a gigantic disaster, a folie de grandeur from fast-talking Mexican writer-director …

The 10 best films of 2013, joint third – Behind the Candelabra

Twas the week before Christmas, and all round the globe, film writers were speculating about the 2014 Oscars. One of the most hotly-contested categories looks set to be best actor. Will it be Dern or Ejiofor? Redford or Hanks?<p>It could have all been so different. Had assorted studio heads, about …

The 10 best films of 2013, No 2 – The Great Beauty

The "king of the high life" is heading for a fall in The Great Beauty, Paolo Sorrentino's astonishing satire on la dolce vita and the withering flesh. Here is a film that casts upper-crust Rome as a circle of hell, at once beautiful and damned. It arranges its citizens (crooks and cardinals, …

The 10 best films of 2013 – readers' choice

Last week we asked readers to send nominations for their favourite films of the year. We've received close to 1,000 votes, with a clear winner; the film in first place took nearly twice as many votes as the film in third place. The film in second place, meanwhile, was quite a surprise – and …

The 10 best films of 2013, No 1 – The Act of Killing

Indonesia's military coup in 1965 ushered in the rule of Major General Suharto, after a purge during which approximately half a million people were murdered as alleged communists by paramilitaries and mobsters. The memory of this mass slaughter is reawakened by documentarian Joshua Oppenheimer in a …

The best films of 2013: Mark Kermode's choice

It was the year that someone finally made a movie which made me think that 3D might not be just a headache after all. After the adventurous experiments of Ang Lee's <i>Life of Pi</i> and Martin Scorsese's <i>Hugo</i> (both of which used the format inventively, but not essentially), Alfonso Cuarón's <i>Gravity</i> was a …

2014 in film preview: science-fiction

The Edge of Tomorrow<p>Tom Cruise, all trussed up in robo-exoskeleton, plays havoc with quantum theory as a future soldier who can die and be resurrected via a fancy fandangle the film-makers are calling a "time loop". Doug Liman directs a script based on the Japanese young adult novel All You Need is …

2014 in film preview: Oscar essentials

12 Years a Slave<p>When Steve McQueen's unflinching, unforgettable deep south slavery epic premiered at Telluride and Toronto in September, pundits identified it immediately as the likely big victor at March's Oscars. Despite young pretenders Gravity and plucky upstart American Hustle, that still …

2014 in film preview: drama

Jane Got a Gun<p>This one's already been pretty dramatic, what with most of the cast quitting and then director Lynne Ramsay departing the project on unamicable terms. So it'll be interesting to see what this femme western actually ends up looking like. Natalie Portman slings the guns, Rodrigo …

Painted ladies: why women get tattoos

The first tattoo I ever saw belonged to my grandad. He had it done in Scotland during his national service in the 50s, so the tattoo must have been more than 30 years old when I became fascinated by it. I used to ask him to roll up his shirtsleeve and I would use my finger to follow the outline of …

Bitcoins: Widely known and widely misunderstood

Back in the 1980s, when I lived in Nairobi, foreign residents had a simple way of obtaining Kenyan shillings.<p>They'd write a check in, say, U.S. dollars on their U.S. bank accounts to the Indian man who owned the ice cream store down the block. He'd pay over shillings at the current black market …

Bitcoin

Why remake Carrie, one of the best horror films ever made?

First question: Carrie, why? Possible answers: the remake rights were just lying there, like as not. And it's been a profitable property several times over now, taking a circuitous, money-spinning four-decade journey through pretty much every medium of popular entertainment: a huge bestselling …

Alcohol without the hangover? It's closer than you think | David Nutt

Science now allows us to develop a safer way to get drunk. But before we can sober up in minutes, the drinks industry needs to embrace this healthier approach<p>Imagine enjoying a seasonal drink at a Christmas party without the risk of a hangover the next day, or being able then to take an antidote …

Nymphomaniac to be hardcore only as Lars von Trier gives up final cut

Lars Von Trier has abandoned plans to release a softcore version of his sex epic Nymphomaniac. The film's two-part four-hour cut, which is due to debut in Copenhagen on Christmas Day, will now contain explicit scenes.<p>The release of Nymphomaniac will see the Danish director give up final cut for the …

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Gravity and other films that changed Hollywood for ever

Gravity is a game-changer that makes a swath of films seem redundant. Here are seven earlier movies that broke the mould – and one that didn't<p>Every now and then a film comes along that totally changes everything: whether it is expensive new technology or a cute talking pig, nothing can be the same …