Monday, April 18, 2011

Korean Cinema News (04/11-04/17, 2011)

A lot of festival news this week as the lineups to Canne and the Udine Far East Film Festival were announced.  I have decided to cover Korean box office as well as other industry news and have included under its own heading at the bottom of the post.  Both this and last weekend's box office are covered this time around.


Park Jung-bum, director of much-lauded The Journals of Musan, talks about the difficulties of a low-budget production and his personal reasons for making a risky film about the lives of North Korean defectors in the South.  (JoonAng Daily, April 12, 2011)

The Busan International Film Festival is set to expand funding opportunities for documentary filmmakers.  A new fund is available for documentaries depicting conflict areas and the Busan FIlm Commission Fund has been set up to contribute to post-production costs on high-quality works with meager means.  (Film Business Asia, April 13, 2011)

Entering its 13th year, the Udine Far East Film Festival has announced the films which will be screening at this edition.  The program includes 12 new Korean films, including favorites BedevilledThe Man From Nowhere, and The Unjust, but also many world festival premieres such as Cyrano Agency.  In addition a pair of Korean comedies form 1961 will be screened as part of the festival's Asia Laughs section.  (Udine Far East Film Festival, April 13, 2011)

As part of its 2011 plan to support local filmmaking, the Korean Film Council will: make funds available to foreign co-productions filming in Korea; subsidize labour costs on low-budget films; act as guarantor for films with overseas potential; and invest in contents fund.  The KFC will also work to retrain films crews, develop 3D technology, fight piracy, and more.  (Screen Daily, April 14, 2011)

While none were selected for the main competition vying for the Palme d'Or, three much-anticipated Korean films will screen in the Un Certain Regard section of the Cannes Film Festival.  These include: The Day He Arrives, the new Hong Sang-soo; Na Hong-jin's follow-up the The ChaserThe Yellow Sea, which has been recut for the festival; and Arirang, Kim Ki-duk's first film in three years.  (The Chosun Ilbo, April 15, 2011)

Park Jung-bum's The Journals of Musan is the newest in a long line of Korean films dealing with the North in an increasingly more direct manner.  This Washington Post article briefly analyzes the change of North Korea's depiction in South Korean cinema since censorship was relaxed enough to allow it in the late 1990s.  (The Washington Post, April 17, 2011)


Going against powerhouse Clash of the Families, hot off two first place finishes at the Korean box office, Suicide Forecast managed to clinch the weekend crown in a close finish with 279,636 admissions.  Clash of the Families took a big hit but nonetheless gained 265,795 admissions, its has sold 1,827,051 ticket to date.  Also opening this week were I Am a Dad, which had a so-so showing with 70,860 entries, and critical hit The Journals of Musan, which mustered barely over a thousand spectators in limited release.  (Hancinema, April 17, 2011)

Korean Cinema News is a weekly feature which provides wide-ranging news coverage on Korean cinema, including but not limited to: features; festival news; interviews; industry news; trailers; posters; and box office. It appears every Wednesday morning (GMT+1) on Modern Korean Cinema. For other weekly features, take a look at the Korean Box Office Update and the Weekly Review Round-upReviews and features on Korean film also appear regularly on the site. 

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