Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Korean Cinema News (08/29-09/04, 2011)

Lots of great features and trailers this week, as well as some strong interviews. I have changed the format slightly, as always I welcome feedback.


Summer is the season for horror. Among many Korean ways to beat the heat, a favorite method is to break out in a cold sweat by scaring oneself silly. As a result, many horror movies are released in the summer and horror specials are broadcast on TV. So why are long-haired girls in white hanbok the stars of summer horror? (The Korea Blog, August 22, 2011)

The Curious Case of Korean Cinema
A feature on violence against women in the native Korean cinema scene. Violence against females is either a major plot device, or is at least featured in some capacity in a large amount of Korean films. (Scroozle's Sanctuary, August 28, 2011)

Kang Woo Suk, Master of Modern Korean Cinema
Frequently noted as one of the most powerful men in the Korean film industry, Kang Woo-suk has been an important force in the shaping of the peninsula's national cinema, not only as a director, but also as a producer and financier. (yesasia.com, August 29, 2011)

Korean Film Content Needs Global Perspective: Visual Effects Expert
The Korean film industry’s production capabilities are extraordinary, but it is unfortunate that the content is still being made for Korean people, an American visual effects expert said at a forum Tuesday. Scott Ross, co-chairman of inDSP USA, a company specializing in converting 2-D motion pictures to 3-D, said content business is the future of all economies, including Korea. (The Korea Herald, August 30, 2011)

Won Bin Attends Press Conference in Japan for The Man from Nowhere Premiere 
Actor Won Bin recently attended a press conference in Japan for his film The Man from Nowhere. A video entitled ‘Won Bin during his introduction in Japan’ was posted online, showing the actor alongside young actress Kim Sae-ron and director Lee Jong-bum. (allkpop, August 31, 2011)

Huge Debt Stifles Last Godfather Director Shim
The director of The Last Godfather and D-War (2007), Shim Hyung-rae, is drowning in enormous debt. Industry insiders say his production firm Younggu-Art Entertainment is on the verge of going under. (The Korea Times, August 31, 2011)

Sky's the Limit for Kwon Sang-woo as He Targets China, Hollywood
While Kwon Sang-woo has been overlooked in the past he thinks his latest role in the movie Pain may change all that. The film is directed by Busan-born Kwak Kyung-taek, whose blockbuster Friend (2001) was a smash hit 10 years ago. Kwon is expecting a positive reaction to his 10th movie when it comes out on Sept. 8. (The Chosun Ilbo, August 31, 2011)

Stoker Begins Principal Photography
Scott Free Productions, Fox Searchlight Pictures and Indian Paintbrush announced today that principal photography for the psychological thriller Stoker has begun in Nashville, Tennessee. The film stars Mia Wasikowska, Matthew Goode and Oscar ® winner Nicole Kidman with Dermot Mulroney and Oscar nominee Jacki Weaver. (Movie City News, September 1, 2011)

The First Theatrical Feature Documentary Made by a Korean in New Zealand
The New Zealand International Film Festival has recently screened the first theatrical feature documentary made by a Korean in the country. Moving focuses on a Korean couple and the struggles they faced before, during and after the infamous series of earthquakes which systematically devastated Christchurch houses, schools, business and its entire central business district. (Korean Film Biz Zone, September 1, 2011)

Kim Jong-il "Lee Young-ae Is a Great Actress"
North Korean leader Kim Jong-il spoke very highly of actress Lee Young-ae.It seems that he has ordered North Korean artists to watch Lee Young-ae's Dae Jang Geum and learn acting. A North Korean radio channel reported that Kim said, "Don't say you've watched a movie when you haven't seen Dae Jang Geum or Rambo". (Han Cinema, September 1, 2011)

My Sassy Girl Director Takes the Helm of a Chinese Film
The next project for My Sassy Girl director Kwak Jae Yong is a Chinese historical film starring Fan Bing Bing. The will make him the first Korean director to do so. Kwak will begin shooting Yang Guifei in October with a 30-man strong Korean staff. The film is scheduled for release early 2012. (Soompi, September 3, 2011)

An Anonymous Island by Yi Mun-yol
Yi Mun-yul's classic short story An Anonymous Island appears in this week's New Yorker magazine. (The New Yorker, September 5, 2011 - Paid Subscription Required)

Crossroads of Youth: Korea’s Oldest Silent Film Comes to Stage at the Thames Festival
This year the KCCUK and Korean Film Archive are proud to present Crossroads of Youth. This film is the oldest surviving cinematic Korean release which premiered in 1934. This print which will be screening has been fully restored by KOFA. The screening time is 8pm on Saturday 10 September 2011. (London Korea Links, September 5, 2011)

Yeonghwa: Korea Film Today @ MOMA
Yeonghwa, or “film” in Korean, is a good word for cinĂ©astes to know, given the Korean film industry’s success at festivals and among critics and audiences worldwide. This second season of Yeonghwa includes eight feature films, opening with Rolling Home with a Bull, by Lee Soon-rye, and Jean Kyu-hwan’s remarkable Town Trilogy. (The Korea Society, September 2011)


Director Ryoo Seung-Wan Talks Failure And Success To Han Cinema
Having accumulated a ten-film filmography over the last decade, Ryoo Seung-wan can be considered a veteran director, but his style is still evolving amid a mixture of success and failure. But Seung-wan has kept his eye trained to the future and is now basking in the success of his latest feature, The Unjust, which has strengthened his footing on the international film scene. (Han Cinema, August 28, 2011)

Ha Jung-woo Confident About Korean-Style Legal Thriller
Actor Ha Jung-woo and the other makers of The Client are certain that their film will offer something new to local audiences as the country’s first legal thriller. (The Korea Times, August 31, 2011)

Jeju Filmmaker Captures Local Quirks
O Muel, a Jeju native, has been igniting the local indie scene with a pair of films showing in theaters. Both works capture the spirit of the region, though with a contemporary, modern and humorous edge that won him a jury award at the Jecheon International Music Film Festival. (The Korea Times, September 5, 2011)


Painted (music video)


Arrow Crosses the 5 Million Mark
For a fourth straight week, Arrow has clinched the no. 1 spot of the Korean box office and although it was off slightly from last week's take, it has now amassed over 5 million admissions and looks poised to cross more milestones in the near future. Meanwhile, the new Song Kang-ho film Hindsight opened with 259,000 tickets sold over the weekend. A decent start, but it will need to make a lot more to be considered a success. Both Blind and Leafie performed well again and they now each have crossed the two million mark. Next week, Marrying the Mafia IV is likely to unseat this past month's champ and dominate the marketplace. (Han Cinema, September 4, 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. 

To keep up with the best in Korean film you can sign up to our RSS Feed, like us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the shout-out!

    Great blog, too. Definitely gonna follow!