DVDs have enabled us to see movies from some unlikely places. Our critic at large says some of the best films he's seen come from South Korea: the crime drama Memories of Murder and the political thriller The President's Last Bang are two examples, based on true stories.
A blockbuster Korean novel has just been translated into English, in which a mother from the country goes missing in Seoul. Fresh Air's Maureen Corrigan says the book delves deeply into traditional values, putting the mother's melancholy squarely on the shoulders of her grown (unappreciative) children.
Aaron Katz's mumblecore flick Cold Weather is set in Portland, Ore.; Lee Chang-dong's Poetry is from South Korea. Critic John Powers says both films are wonderful, in part because the stories they tell are so unpredictable.