Archive of films The Foul King / Ban Chik Wang

South Korea
2000, 112 min

Section: New Korean Cinema
Year: 2001


Thanks to his poor performance, a sheepish and insignificant bank clerk is on the verge of being fired. At the same time his boss uses him as the object of ceaseless taunting criticism, and doesn’t hesitate to resort to aggression and wrestling holds. Thus it’s no surprise that memories of his childhood admiration for the wrestler Ultra Tiger Mask begin to flash more and more often through the young man’s mind. And from memory it’s only a step – or perhaps a few stumbling feet – to action. The clerk’s daily life becomes a mere dull reflection of his night-time matches as a wild and cruel wrestler, no holds barred – though in reality everything is agreed on beforehand. But then love enters the ring: he falls for the trainer-daughter of the idol he worshipped as a child and perhaps because of this the final match against a bloodthirsty adversary gets completely out of control. A somewhat surprising look at modern Korea in which the seemingly obvious differences between a bank office and the bloodstained wrestling ring dissolve into one.

About the director

Kim Jee Woon (b. 1964) graduated from the Arts Institute in Seoul. He began his film career in 1993 as assistant director to Lee Song Su during the making of A Little Lover. In 1997 he won Cine21 magazine’s Best Screenplay award and later turned the script into a film. The Foul King has been screened at festivals in Toronto, Vancouver and Hong Kong, among others.

About the film

Black & white, 35 mm

Section: New Korean Cinema
Director: Kim Jee Woon
Screenplay: Kim Jee Woon
Dir. of Photography: Hong Kyung Pyo
Music: Uh-Uh-Boo
Editor: Goh Im Pyo
Producer: Oh Jung-wan
Production: b.o.m. Production
Cast: Song Kang Ho, Chang Jin Young, Park Sang Myun, Jung Woong In

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