LET’S GET ONE THING out of the way: the Busan Cinema Center is a ridiculous thing. It is a metallic mammoth, a flowing steel maze of platforms and escalators. It looks big in pictures, but that is not enough. Not until you look up and see its North Star—the centre of the outpouring rainbow of lights that covers the 30,000-square-metre outdoor ceiling—do you really understand what’s going on here.

The whole thing cost 1,678,500,000,000 won, or approximately a billion and a half US dollars.


It is worth noting, however, that the Busan Cinema Center’s sleek grey and beige leather sofas, coupled with the subtle floorlights and beautiful contemporary design by Austrian firm Coop Himmelb, forced me to despite myself by acknowledging that this shit is pretty fucking mindblowing. The place literally smells like a new car.

My latest piece of Busan International Film Festival coverage for Busan Awesome—three vignettes on the festival’s atmosphere.


I KNOW, I KNOW. Movies are cool. But film festivals? Even when you speak the language, navigating a pretentious labyrinthine orgy of independent art is a daunting prospect. All these movies! All these names! Can’t I just save my money and download the popular ones later?

The biggest change is the new Busan Cinema Centre. They began constructing this glossy behemoth back in 2008 and only finished it this September… basically, it looks as if an alien mothership landed and was transformed into a future-themed amusement park that also showed movies.

A sort-of goofily written piece for Busan Awesome, an English-language online magazine for Busanites. My full guide went online last week, and my Top 11 Films to Look Out For was put up just a few days ago.