Yang Ik-june

King of Pigs

Editor’s Note: This review appeared as part of our coverage of the 11th Annual New York Asian Film Festival, and we’re bringing it back to be part of our Fantastic Fest coverage. Animated films are traditionally the home of kiddie fare and pure entertainment, but on rare occasions filmmakers use the format to tell decidedly adult stories. Heavy Metal is probably the most notorious example, but even rarer are the animated films that attempt to tell truly dramatic tales about more than big boobed space warriors and horny robots. The Plague Dogs and When the Wind Blows are two fantastic examples of serious films with serious themes being told by way of animation. And now one more bleak, occasionally stunning and depressing as hell cartoon can be added to that short list. Kyung-min stands naked in the shower as his recently deceased wife sits dead at the kitchen table. Jong-suk suspects his wife is cheating on him and knocks her to the ground in his rage. The two men, once childhood friends, reunite after two decades apart to commiserate and reflect on their last year together in middle school. The year they discovered their place among the lowly, subservient pigs and the cruel, entitled dogs. The year they first noticed the small smile of tired acceptance worn by the defeated. The year they met Chul, a young boy who showed them how even a pig could fight back by matching brutality with brutality.

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Import This: Breathless

Great movies come from all around the world, and so do great DVDs and Blu-rays. Import This! is an irregular feature here at FSR that highlights discs worth importing for movie lovers and fans of fantastic cinema. Today’s entry is one of last year’s best movies… that has yet to see a US release date.

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