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Monday, August 1, 2011

Korean Cinema News (07/25-07/31, 2011)

A wealth of Korean cinema news this week with KOFFIA getting ready to go, many interviews, some great features, and trailers for eagerly-anticipated films.


Bong Joon-ho to Direct Japan Quake Short
Korean filmmaker Bong Joon-ho will take part in an omnibus film which will commemorate the March earthquake in Japan. He will be part of a group of 60 directors (40 of which from Japan) who will contribute to the project. (The Korea Herald, July 29, 2011)

'History of Korean Cinema' from KOFFIA
The upcoming Korean Film Festival in Australia has released a video featuring clips form Korean cinema through the ages as a warm-up to its event. (, July 29, 2011)

Rob Cohen to Direct Korean War Film Produced by CJ
Hollywood action director has signed on to direct 1950, a CJ-produced korean war film that is said to be the most expensive Korean film ever made with a budget of $100 million. While CJ is producing, the filmmakers and source material are all American, so I would debate that claim. (indieWIRE, July 29, 2011)

New Book Examines Spread and Influence of Hallyu
A new collection of academic essays on the Korean New Wave has appeared which focusely on transnational identity. Hallyu: Influence of Korean Popular Culture in Asia and Beyond is edited by Kim Do-kyun and Kim Min-sun and published by Seoul National University Press. (The Korea Times, July 29, 2011)

Yoon Je-kyun's Dueling Summer Blockbusters
Producer Yoon Je-kyun, who previously conquered the Korean box office with Haeundae (2009), is back with two films in this summer season which are vying for box office glory. Quick, which opened last week has been performing well and upcoming Sector 7 is expected to do very well. (Jong And Daily, July 29, 2011)

KOFIC-Funded Stateless Things to Screen at Venice
The Orizzonti section of the upcoming 68th Venice Film Festival will featured Stateless Things, a film produced by the Korean Film Council. (, July 29, 2011)

Film Business Asia to Launch Film Database
On August 1, Film Business Asia will launch its Asian Film Database which will track information on 45,000 films, 80,000 people and 10,000 companies & organisations and grow over time. It will only be available to paying subscribers. (Film Business Asia, July 28, 2011)

Sunny Holding its Own Against Summer Titles
Homegrown success Sunny has managed to hold fierce Hollywood summer competition at bay as it has remained a force to be reckoned for 12 weeks at the local box office. A new director's cut with 10 additional minutes of footage was released on Thursday. (Film Business Asia, June 28, 2011)

Sector 7 Offers Technical Thrills but Little Else
The first Koran 3D IMAX film Sector 7 breaks ground with it's dazzling digital effects but offers little in terms of story and characters. (The Korea Times, June 28, 2011)

The Day He Arrives Gets Korean Release Date
Hong Sang-soo's latest film, The Day He Arrives, which screened at Cannes earlier this year has secured a Korean release date, it is slated to open on September 8. The above link also features a new poster for the film. (, July 28, 2011)

Provocative North Korea Doc Opens in Seoul
A documentary about North Korean defectors from American filmmaker N.C. Heikin called Kimjongilia (The Flower of Ki Jong-il) has opened in Seoul. (Christian Science Monitor, July 28, 2011)

Korean Service Provider Encourages Smartphone Filmmaking
KT, a Korean carrier which was the first to carry the iPhone, is promoting filmmaking with handheld devices through film competitions and other promotions. (, July 28, 2011)

KOFFIA Announces Lineup
The Korean Film Festival in Australia has announced its lineup for its 2011 edition which will take place in both Sydney and Melbourne. The program is built around 6 themes and will include, among others. The Unjust, The Man From Nowhere, The Journals of Musan, Bedevilled, and The Show Must Go On (2007). (Twitch, July 27, 2011)

Korean Animation to Be Focus of Brazilian Documentary
Producers in Brazil have made a documentary on Korean animation which will screen on Brazilian television early next year. (Arirang, July 27, 2011)

Toronto to Showcase Countdown
The hotly anticipated Countdown, which stars Jeon Do-yeon and Jeong Jae-yeong will screen at the upcoming Toronto International Film Festival. (Film Business Asia, July 27, 2011)

Park Chan-wook's Stoker Adds Jacki Weaver
The immensely talented Jacki Weaver will join Mia Masikowsa, Matthew Goode, and Nicole Kidman in Park Chan-wook's English-language debut Stoker. (, July 27, 2011)

Sunny Showing in America
After scoring over 7 million viewers and still going strong in Korea, Sunny has opened in select theaters in most major metro areas in America. These include LA, New York, Chicago, Washington D.C., San Francisco, Seattle, Texas, Virginia, New Jersey, and Hawaii. (The Chosun Ilbo, July 27, 2011)

Leafie Invited to Sitges Fantastic Film Fest
Leafie, A Hen Into the Wild, the eagerly awaited Korean animation, will screen as part of the 44th Sitges International Fantastic Film Festival of Catalonia's Sitges Kids section(, July 27, 2011)

Old Partner to Open Kerala Documentary and Short Film Fest
Breakout Korean documentary Old Partner (2008) will be the opening film for the fourth International Documentary and Short Film Festival of Kerala. The documentary about the relationship between an old farmer and his ox was one of 2008's top grossing films. (, July 26, 2011)

British Producers Tackling New Film Featuring Kim Jong-il
Jeremy Thomas, the British producer behind films such as Crash (2004) and The Last Emperor (1987) is embarking on a project focussed on Kim Jong-il. Details are light on the project but he has said that the climax will take place in Vienna. (Screen Daily, July 25, 2011)

The Films of Park Nou-shik
Adam Hartzell brings us on a journey through the delirious cinema of action star of the 1970s Park Nou-shik. He discusses Suspended Sentence (1973), Why? (1974), and A Mad Woman (1975). (VCinema, July 24, 2011)


Interview with Dai Sil Kim-Gibson
Senses of Cinema conducts an interview with documentarian Dai Sil Kim-Gibson on reality and imagination. (Senses of Cinema, July 30, 2011)

Q&A For Beat at PiFan
Transcription of a Q&A for Beat after its screening at the 2011 Puchon International Fantastic Film Festival on July 16, 2011. (Asian Media Wiki, July 30, 2011)

Time Out Interview With Lee Chang-dong
Revered Korean director Lee Chang-dong discusses is latest film Poetry, which was just released in the UK, and his inspiration for it. (Time Out, July 29, 2011)

A Few Words with Seoul Art Cinema’s program director
Seoul Art Cinema's program director Ki Seong-uk discusses the importance of watching classic films and the difficulty to keep the habit alive in modern Korea. (The Korea Herald, July 26, 2011)

Sunny Director Reaches Milestone
Kang Hyung-chul, who recently became the first Korean director to have two films cross the 7 million viewer mark, discusses his reasons for making his latest smash Sunny. (The Chosun Ilbo, July 25, 2011)


Lots of new trailers this week, including one for a new Song Kang-ho film (Hindsight) and subbed one for Jang Hoon's latest (The Front Line)

The Front Line (eng subs)


Front Line Wins Weekend in Close Three-Way Battle
Jang Hoon's war pic The Front Line prevailed over  Quick and Harry Potter with 474,000 admissions versus their 466,000 and 434,000 respectively in a close battle for the top spot. New animation Leafie, A Hen Into the Wild had a decent opening with 228,000. Sunny added another 58,000 to its coffers while its director's cut opened with 25,000. (, July 31, 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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