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Monday, July 25, 2011

Korean Cinema News (07/18-07/24, 2011)

Lots of news this week including some interviews with directors Jang Hoon and Lee Joon-ik, casting news, festival items, and english-language home market release announcements.


KOREAN CINEMA NEWS

After recently blasting past the 7 million viewer mark, Sunny is set to reappear in cinemas with a special director's cut on the 28th. It will feature 10 minutes of additional footage and will screen in roughly 30 theaters around the country. (hancinema.net, July 24, 2011)

A number of sports film are set to hit Korean screens throughout the remainder of the year, including Fight, Pacemaker, Champ, Korea, and The Perfect Game. (Joong Ang Daily, July 18, 2011)

Popular Korean actress Bae Doona, of Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance (2002) and The Host (2006) fame, has been cast in the hotly anticipated adaptation of Cloud Atlas. (slashfilm.com, July 18, 2011)

After recently acquiring a Vietnamese exhibition chain, CJ has also inherited the company's legal troubles as many companies sued it for allegedly setting minimum prices and other conditions. (The Hollywood Reporter, July 19, 2011)

Eros International, the Indian film producer and exhibitor, is planning to release Endhiran in South Korea on 50 screens. (Media Mughals, July 19, 2011)

Moon Si-hyun, one of Kim Ki-duk's former assistant directors, has just revealed her debut film at PiFan. The film, Sins of Fathers deals with broken families and the disillusioned middle class. (The Hollywood Reporter, July 20, 2011)

The world's first QR Code Film Festival will make content available online and accessible through the use of QR codes, a new form of digital bar codes that can be scanned by smartphones. (PC Advisor, July 21, 2011)

The Korean Film Council (KOFIC) recently suggested a contract for cinemas and distributors that aims to ensure a minimum screening period for films and alter the proportion of profit shares. It is not a recommendation and sanctions will not be imposed. (The Korea Times, July 21, 2011)

Kwak Kyung-taek (Friend, 2001; Typhoon, 2005) cast Kwon Sang-woo in a new melodrama which is due to hit screens in September. Kwak is normally known for action films but admits a soft side for melodrama which he wishes to explore in his new film Painted. (The Korea Times, July 21, 2011)

Korea has been selected as the guest country for the Guanajuato International Film Festival in Mexico, which will be held July 22 – 31. A whopping 76 Korea films will be on display, including retrospectives on Bong Joon-ho and Kim Dong-won. (hancinema.net, July 21, 2011)

Hong Sang-soo's recent Cannes entry The Day He Arrives is set to open the 5th Cinema Digital Seoul Film Festival. The festival will screen 98 films from 32 countries. (hancinema.net, July 21, 2011)

Elizabeth Shim reflects on the Sea of Revenge spotlight at the recent New York Asian Film Festival. In particular she discusses closing night film The Yellow Sea. (Korean Culture Service NY, July 21, 2011)

Terracotta, a great distributor for Asian films in the UK, is launching a new sub-label that will focus exclusively on horror. Terror-cotta will release the Korean Death Bell (2008) as its first title. (Twitch, July 22, 2011)

Winners were announced for the 15th Pucheon International Fantastic Film Festival and included: Best Film for Rubber, Best Korean Independent Film and Best Asian Genre Film for Bloody Fight in Iron-Rock Valley, and Best Director for Na Hong-jin. (Twitch, July 22, 2011)

Kim Jee-won's revered A Bittersweet Life  (2005) will be coming to Blu-ray on August 30th, courtesy of Korean distributor Content Zone. This English-subbed version has faced numerous problems before finally seeing the light of day. (Twitch, July 22, 2011)

Recently it is no longer marquee names that are attracting audiences in South Korea. Ensemble films and relatively low-budget have been competitive in securing a large share of the market. (The Hankyoreh, July 23, 2011)

After movies, TV, and pop, comics may be the next hook in the Korean Wave. Various comic book source materials have been made into films and TV shows and with the support of festivals and trade associations they seem to be on the rise again. (Arirang, July 23, 2011)


INTERVIEWS

Closer Look at The Front Line
The Joon Ang Daily provides more info on new War drama The Front Line and interviews its director Jang Hoon. (Joong Ang Daily, July 22, 2011)

Conversation with Lee Joon-ik
Lee Joon-ik discusses his retirement, his latest film Battlefield Heroes, and planting trees in the desert in Mongolia. (Twitch, July 22, 2011)


TRAILERS

A pair of new trailers this week including one for the director's cut of the enormously popular Sunny.




BOX OFFICE

Harry Potter held its lead in a crowded marketplace and has now accumulated close to 3 million admissions. Meanwhile The Front Line (550,000) and Quick (430,000) opened strongly even if they were unable to unseat the bespectacled wizard, look to them to perform strongly in coming weeks. Sunny is dying down after reaching the 7 million mark but still added 70,000 viewers this weekend to its tally. (hancinema.net, July 24, 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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