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Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Korean Cinema News (09/05-09/13, 2011)

I'm away in Dublin for a few days so this update is a little lighter than usual. Some features on the rising popularity of Korean literature and a lot of acquisitions of Korean films for international distribution.


KOREAN CINEMA NEWS

Top 6 Art Cinemas in Seoul
For anyone sick of watching the same 10 movie stars go through the same motions in every blockbuster, these six art cinemas around Seoul offer less commercial, more experimental films on their screens. Keep in mind that most of the movies are shown in their original language with Korean subtitles, unless otherwise noted by the theater: 1. Cinecube; 2. Arthouse Momo; 3. Spongehouse; 4. Sangsang Madang Cinema; 5. Seoul Art Cinema; and 6. Media Theater i-Gong. (CNN, September 5, 2011)

Korean director Kim Ki-duk Retrospective at Busan
The 16th Busan International Film Festival, which will be held from October 6-14, 2011 will present a Retrospective of Korean director Kim Ki-duk. Ki-duk made his debut with Five Marines in 1961 and went on to make 66 films in his career. His last film was Yeonggwangui 9 hoimal in 1977. Eight of his works will be screened at the festival: Five Marines (1961); The Barefooted Young (1964); The North and South (1965); Buy My Fist (1966); Horse-year Bride (1966); I Will Be a King for the Day (1966); Monster Yonggari (1967) and; Until That Day (1969). (dearcinema.com, September 6, 2011)

The Day He Arrives Invited to England, Brazil, Austria Film Fests
Korean film The Day He Arrives has been invited to films festivals in England, Austria and Brazil, adding to the fast-growing list of international film events that have called on critically acclaimed director Hong Sang-soo's newest movie. (10asia.co.kr, September 7, 2011)

It’s BIFF Now, The P Is Out
South Korea’s largest and most star-studded film festival – and one of the largest in Asia – is getting a new home and a new acronym. It’s now the Busan International Film Festival, instead of the Pusan International Film Festival. BIFF, not PIFF. Organizers of the festival, which this year runs from Oct. 6 to 14, held news conferences in both Seoul and Busan on Thursday to announce the opening and closing films and some of the winners of various prizes. (The Wall Street Journal, September 8, 2011)

Song Il-gon's romance Always will open next month's Busan International Film Festival (6-14 Oct 2011). Always stars So Ji-sup as a former boxing champ traumatised by the death of an opponent who died during a match. After falling in love with a blind girl, played by Han Hyo-ju, he returns to the ring. The event will close with Harada Masato's drama Chronicle of My Mother. Based on Inoue Yasushi's autobiographical novel, the Japanese film was awarded the Special Grand Prize at the recent Montreal World Film Festival. (Film Business Asia, September 8, 2011)

Finecut's New Deals Include Arirang to Italy, Day He Arrives to France
Korean sales company Finecut has announced a raft of deals as the Toronto International Film Festival kicks off. Kim Ki-duk’s documentary Arirang has sold to Italy (Punto Zero), German-speaking Europe (Rapid Eye Movies), and Poland (New Horizons) in addition to Japan and Taiwan. Hong Sang-soo’s The Day He Arrives has sold to France (Les Acacias) and Israel (Nachoshon). Night Fishing, directed by brothers Park Chan-wook and Park Chan-kyong, also sold to Italy (Tucker Film) and German-speaking Europe (Rapid Eye Movies). (Screen Daily, September 9, 2011)

Fueled by Need for Fresh Material, Best-sellers Become Box Office Hits
The soon-to-be released Korean film The Crucible has a sure-fire selling point: the film is based on the novel of the same name by Gong Ji-young, one of a few star authors in Korea whose novels have sold more than a million copies. Although cinematic adaptations of best-sellers do not always guarantee success at the box office, they are providing rich fodder for film production companies looking for fresh material. The formula seems to be working, with theaters reporting record attendance numbers. (Joon Ang Daily, September 9, 2011)

Can Literature be Next 'Hallyu' Hit?
After prominent novelist Shin Kyung-sook rose to international fame with her landmark book Please Look After Mom, global interest in Korean literature began to grow. Shin said that Korean literature seems fresh to readers in other countries and its status is bigger than Koreans think. “They seem to be looking for an alternative in humanity and community spirit, which is richly expressed in Korean literature,” she said in a recent press conference. (The Korea Times, September 9, 2011)

Cine Asia/Showbox Pick up Arrow, the Ultimate Weapon and More for UK Release
Cine Asia/Showbox are just unstoppable, it seems. In the shadow of their losses from the Sony fire last month, they have announced several new acquisitions for the fourth quarter of 2011, including recent South Korean action hit, Arrow The Ultimate Weapon. Also included in their plans are Spanish freak-out Neon Flesh, British horror Panic Button, and Korea's selection for the 2012 Oscars, The Front Line. (Twitch, September 10, 2011)

Modern Korean Literature: Searching for Identity at Home and in the World
If you only listen to one nearly two-hour podcast on Korean modern literature, it has to be this one by Ann Choi Wan. Wan takes you from the start of modern literature (Yi Kwang-su, more or less, and she talks about his relationship with modernity and romance and how that doesn’t work out quite that way it does in the west) all the way up to the recent successes of post-modern Korean fiction. (klit.com, September 10, 2011)

The Host in 3D Will Premiere at the 2011 Pusan International Film Festival
The Host is set to be shown in 3D for the first time at the 2011 Pusan International Film Festival. The original version was released in 2006 and set a box-office record in a very short amount of time. Even though the original version was released five years ago, the 3D version is expected to give its viewers a whole new experience. It is also expected to be a great hit in the whole Asian film market. (soompi.com, September 11, 2011)

Well Go Lands Rights To Two Korean Pics
Well Go USA has acquired North American TV, DVD, digital, and VOD rights to the South Korean war drama My Way from CJ Entertainment. Well Go also bought from CJ all North American rights including theatrical to the 3D-animated actioner Tarbosaurus. (Deadline, September 12, 2011)
Arrow, The Ultimate Weapon with Park Hae-il, Ryoo Seung-yong and Moon Chae-won has maintained its success during the Chuseok holiday as it crossed 6 million admissions. According to the Korean Film Commission, Arrow, The Ultimate Weapon was released on August 10th and has so far recorded 6,172,643 audiences. (hancinema.net, September 13, 2011)


INTERVIEW

Director Hong Sang-soo: Part 1
(10asia.co.kr, September 7, 2011)


TRAILERS






(Modern Korean Cinema, September 12, 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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