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Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Korean Cinema News (11/10-11/16, 2011)

Another huge amount of news this week including some great features from Korean Cinema Today which among other things broke news regarding the start of production on Bong Joon-ho's much anticipated Snow Piercer.  Lots of great features but also a perplexing one from The Guardian which I discussed in the comments with its author.  Also lots of new trailers including a bombastic one for the upcoming My Way.


KOREAN CINEMA NEWS

Arirang and The Yellow Sea play at Mar del Plata
Argentina’s Mar del Plata International Film Festival is screening Korean films Arirang, directed by Kim Ki-duk, and The Yellow Sea, directed by Na Hong-jin during its 26th edition, Nov. 5 – 13.  (KOBIZ, November 8, 2011)

Asiana International Short Film Festival closes with Promise
The 9th Asiana International Short Film Festival closed Monday, Nov. 7 after a six-day run with Jero Yun’s fiction short Promise winning the best film award.  At the Closing ceremony, Festival Director Ahn Sung-ki and jury head Kang Soo-yeon, both veteran Korean actors, were joined by jury members director Inudo Isshin from Japan, director Kim Tae-yong from Korea, Sarah Hoch Delong, founder and Executive Director of the Guanajuato International Film Festival, and Tono Seigo, Festival Director of the Short Shorts Film Festival & Asia.  (KOBIZ, November 8, 2011)

YesAsia Sponsors the Fantastic Asia Film Festival in Australia
Leading online retailer YesAsia.com is a premier sponsor of the Fantastic Asia Film Festival (FAFF) which runs from November 10 to 13 at the Cinema Nova in Melbourne, Australia.  In cooperation with distribution and production company Monster Pictures, the inaugural event brings a diverse and interesting mix of Asian genre films from Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, China and the Philippines to film enthusiasts in Australia.  (prurgent.com, November 9, 2011)

Korean Agent Gets Remake Treatment From UTV
Indian entertainment giant UTV Motion Pictures is to make an official Hindi-language remake of South Korean hit My Girlfriend is an Agent (2009).  The new film, which will retain the English title, will be produced by director Imtiaz Ali and his wife Preety Ali under their new PI Films label. Choreographer Bosco will direct.  (Film Business Asia, November 10, 2011)

Punch VS A Reason to Live - Why did Yoo Ah-in laugh and Song Hye-kyo cry?
Song Hye-kyo's movie A Reason to Live is on the verge of disappearing.  The accumulated number of admissions as of today November 9th is 58,877, showing very slow progress.  This movie was greatly looked forward to as it was being directed by Lee Jeong-hyang, who returned nine years after the 4 million-plus admission box office hit The Way Home (2002) and the cast included Song Hye-kyo.  However, as soon as it came out, it was ignored by audiences and isn't showing any signs of doing better even after two weeks in release.  (hancinema.net, November 9, 2011)

First Images From Choi Min-sik Starring Thriller Nameless Gangster
The simple fact that Choi stars in this is reason to pay attention.  Not only is he a fabulously talented actor but he is also extremely selective about his roles, making very few missteps along the way.  And when the first images look as good as those in the gallery below ... well, all the better.  (Twitch, November 9, 2011)

New Stills for the Upcoming Korean Movie My Way
My Way, directed by Jang Je-gyu and starring Jang Dong-gun, was formerly known as D-Day.  My Way is a co-production between South Korea and the USA.  (hancinema.net, November 9, 2011)

Actress Son Ye-jin is planning on debuting in the Chinese film market...before it gets too late!  After making her big screen comeback with Lee Min-gi in the movie Chilling Romance, Son revealed on a recent interview with OSEN that she's currently eyeing out the Chinese movie scene.  (KBS, November 9, 2011)

Four Leading Korean Directors Working on Overseas Projects
The year 2012 looks like it will see an unprecedented rush of Korean directors working on foreign projects.  This phenomenon seems similar to the situation back in the late 1990s when Hong Kong directors John Woo, Ringo Lam, Tsui Hark, Kirk Wong and Ronny Yu all directed films produced in Hollywood.  What’s different is that whereas they were inclined to make films only in Hong Kong’s specialty genre – the action film, their Korean counterparts are expected to make films that will retains the directors’ varying styles and sensibilities.  (Korean Cinema Today, November 9, 2011)

Korean Wave Rises to China Challenge
Very little is known of the personal life of Chinese President Hu Jintao, but we do know that he likes paper-cutting and cycling.  And that he is a fan of Korean costume dramas. China's deeply private head of state has gone on record to say that he is a fan of the blockbuster soap opera Jewel in the Palace, and is one of millions of fans of Korean movies and TV in the world's most populous nation.  (Korean Cinema Today, November 1, 2011)

Korean Crews in China
Films from Greater China increasingly employ technical specialists from Korea - Kim Seong-hoon reports.  For a long time, the film industry has evolved according to emergences of new technology and this has meant new opportunities for those working in the field.  We all know how when “talkies” were invented, many silent movie actors lost their jobs and at the same time, many other people found work as synchronized sound technicians and post-sync supervisors. (Korean Cinema Today, November 8, 2011)

South Korean Documentary Arirang Wins BIFFDOCS
Renowned South Korean arthouse filmmaker Kim Ki-duk has won BIFFDOCS, Australia’s richest documentary award.  Ki-duk’s entry Arirang beat 19 films from around the world to win the top prize of $25 000, including Queensland-produced documentary, The Trouble With St Mary’s, which received a $35 000 documentary production investment from Screen Queensland in 2009-10.  (if.com.au, November 11, 2011)

Bong Joon-ho Opens Busan West Festival at Chapman University with 3D Version of The Host
Growing up in South Korea, Bong Joon-ho developed a love of American science fiction movies thanks to the Armed Forces Network.  Now, the acclaimed filmmaker and the new 3D version of The Host (2006), Bong's 2006 valentine to American creature features, come to Orange Friday to open the Busan West Asian Film Festival at Chapman University.  (OC Weekly, November 9, 2011)

Korean Films at the 13th Cinemanila International Film Festival
Another special Cinemanila section this year is “Focus on Korea,” which highlights the movies of acclaimed Korean filmmakers like Boo Ji-Young.  Mr. Aguiluz said Mr. Young will arrive in the country to present his film A Time to Love during the festival.  (Business World, November 10, 2011)

Filmmakers Lynn Lee and James Leong of Lianain Films gained unprecedented access to the Pyongyang’s main film academy for an exceptionally well observed documentary piece.  (North Korean Films, November 2, 2011)

The fine folks at Koryo Tours have given us a bit of advanced notice about the Pyongyang International Film Festival 2012.   It’ll be a great chance to not only see some of the best North Korean films of recent years but also a chance for North Koreans to experience some Western releases.   (North Korean Films, October 22, 2011)

Buyers Take Aim for Lotte's War of the Arrows
Korean box-office hit has sold to US, UK, German-Speaking Europe, Taiwan, Singapore and elsewhere.  Korean studio Lotte Entertainment has closed a number of deals on its local box-office smash The War of the Arrows.  (Screen Daily, November 4, 2011)

North Korean propaganda website Uriminzokkiri has lambasted the inaugural two-day North Korean Human Rights International Film Festival, scheduled to be held this Thursday and Friday at a Seoul university theater.  (Daily NK, November 7, 2011)

An Up-to-Date Look at the Korean 3D Content Industry and 3D Imaging Technology!
To briefly talk about the present condition of the Korean 3D industry, much of the content is produced under the support of government-affiliated organizations related to cultural contents, and there are not many that are being produced by actual media content producers.  However, the fact that there is education regarding 3D image available for people, along with the support for production, presents much better conditions than neighboring Japan, where there is no government support for the 3D content industry.   (Advanced Technology Korea, October 4, 2011)

War of the Arrows – Causing Death and Saving Lives
The opening gala of the London Korean Film Festival was a more rambunctious affair than I remember even last year’s being, due in no small part to the sudden and unexpected entrance of SHINee (I was lucky enough to be two rows behind them, but many who had specially booked seats I gather were incandescent to have been re-seated!).   (London Korea Links, November 14, 2011)

Injunction to Ban You Pet Dismissed
The male solidarity's injunction to ban the movie You Pet has been dismissed.  The male solidarity requested the banning of the movie You Pet, saying it was insulting to men.  (hancinema.net, November 13, 2011)

S. Korean Film Festival Begins in Kathmandu
The Korean craze amongst the Nepalis, especially the youngsters, is a common scenario these days.  Films are one way to express the culture, life, human relations, religion and values of a particular country.  One can get an idea about a particular country from a film, which one may not get from reading dozens of books.  (The Seoul Times, November 13, 2011)

Top star Lee Byeong-Heon is attempting a historical drama for the fist time in his acting career.  He has recently confirmed as a cast member for King of Chosun.  This will be directed by Choo Chang-min and not Kang Woo-seok, who was initially supposed to direct this movie.  (hancinema.net, November 13, 2011)

Korean Cinema: Local Film Industry Goes Global
Korea is the 10th largest movie market in the world and is endeavoring to meet global standards.  Not only have veterans such as Im Kwon-taek, Kim Ki-duk and Hong Sang-soo made a name in arthouse films, but blockbuster hits appearing from Park Chan-wook, Bong Joon-ho and more.  (Korea Magazine, November 2011)

Bong Joon-ho's Snow Piercer Rumbles to Life
It was all the way back in 2006 when Korea's Bong Joon-ho first spoke about his planned big screen adaptation of French graphic novel Snow Piercer (Le Transperceneige).  With Bong riding high from the massive success of the The Host (2006) and with Oldboy (2003) director Park Chan-wook on board as a producer it seemed certain that this one would be up and running quickly.  That proved not to be the case. (Twitch, November 15, 2011)

Do South Koreans Actually Love Film?
In the noughties, South Korea earned itself a reputation as the new hotspot for cinephiles.  A cultural explosion followed the end of military rule in 1987: on the cinema front, film festivals and magazines sprung up to feed the new curiosity.  Attendance more than doubled between 2000 and 2006, when it stood at 153m admissions a year (comparable to Britain's, with a smaller population). (The Guardian, November 15, 2011)
Actors Ha Jeong-woo, Han Seok-Kyu and Ryoo Seung-beom will meet in director Ryoo Seung-hwan's 10-billion won project.  The Berlin File, by director Ryoo Seung-hwan, is a spy story based in Berlin, Germany about a man who infiltrates a South Korean organization and gets left behind in North Korea.  (hancinema.net, November 15, 2011)
In conjunction with the exhibition “Korean Eye”, the Museum of Arts and Design in New York presents “Unbridled Energy: Korean Animation”, a program that showcases the breadth and diversity of contemporary creativity in this Asian nation.  The series runs from December 2 to December 16, 2011 at MAD (2 Columbus Circle, New York, NY 10019).  (scifijapan.com, November 13, 2011)

LKFF: Why Dachimawa Lee is Thoroughly Groovy, and Why I’m Becoming a Fan of Ryu Seung-wan
I have to confess that when I heard that Ryu Seung-wan was to be the featured director, my reaction was lukewarm.  Of the films I had already seen, the silliness of Arahan (2004) did not endear the film to me, while seeing Jeon Do-yeon and Lee Hye-hyoung severely thrashed turned me off No Blood No Tears (2002). I had tried hard to like City of Violence (2006) and only succeeded on the third watching.  (London Korea Links, November 15, 2011)

Honorary Busan Fest Chief Kim Dong-ho to Make Directorial Debut
Honorary Festival Director of the Busan International Film Festival (BIFF) Kim Dong-ho is set to make his short film directorial debut with the Opening Film for next year’s Asiana International Film Festival (AISFF).  Yonhap News Agency reports AISFF has revealed that Kim will be directing the short film for the festival’s 10th anniversary edition.  (KOBIZ, November 15, 2011)

Jeonju to Meet Increased Demand with New Soundstage
Yonhap News Agency reports that the home city of the Jeonju International Film Festival (JIFF) is planning to build more special studio space in the Jeonju Cinema Studio by July 2012.  The new space will be comprised of a 795㎡ soundstage along with 560㎡ of attached facilities including a make-up room.  (KOBIZ, November 11, 2011)

Choi Equan Appointed Head of KAFA
Chairman KIM Eui-suk of the Korean Film Council (KOFIC) appointed film director Choi Equan as the new head of the Korean Academy of Film Arts (KAFA) on Nov. 10 in Seoul.  Established in 1984, KAFA has played a leading role in producing some of contemporary Korean cinema’s major filmmakers. Kim Eui-suk was actually one of the first graduates of KAFA before he directed the seminal hit Marriage Story (1992).   (KOBIZ, November 10, 2011)

After holding special screenings in support of The Front Line, South Korea’s submission to the Academy Awards best foreign language film category nominations, the Korean Film Council (KOFIC) has announced it saw a strong turnout and positive reactions.  About 500 industry professionals including members of the press from LA Times, Variety and the Hollywood Foreign Press attended the screenings. (KOBIZ, November 10, 2011)

Bong Joon-ho Gives Lecture at Chapman University
Film director Bong Joon-ho appeared at Chapman University in Orange County, California on Saturday (local time) to give a master class as part of the Busan West Asian Film Festival hosted by the university's Dodge College of Film and Media Arts.  (The Chosun Ilbo, November 15, 2011)

Only Second Time Around, but Korean Cinema is Definitely Down Under
South Korea and Australia are celebrating the last stretch of their Year of Friendship, with this year marking the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations, bringing more attention to the second annual Korean Film Festival in Australia (KOFFIA).  (Yonhap News Agency, November 7, 2011)

Poetry UK Blu-ray Detailed
Independent British distributors Arrow Films have officially announced that they will release on Blu-ray Korean director Lee Chang-dong's Shi a.k.a Poetry (2010), starring Yun Jung-hee and Lee David.  Last year, the film won Best Screenplay Award at the Cannes Film Festival. Street date is Novemver 28th.  (Blu-ray.com, November 12, 2011)

Ryoo Seung-hwan Speaks About his New Movie The Berlin File
Director Ryoo Seung-hwan spoke about his next coming movie The Berlin File known to be a 10 billion won blockbuster.  He appeared as the final lecturer in a lecturing event that was held in the LIG Art Hall on the 11th.  His upcoming movie The Berlin File has been an issue and movie fans have been very interested.  (hancinema.net, November 11, 2011)


INTERVIEWS

KOFIC Chairman Kim Eui-suk
Korean Film Council (KOFIC) Chairman Kim Eui-suk talks to Kim Seong-hoon about promoting Korean cinema internationally.  With his background as a filmmaker whose credits include the seminal hit Marriage Story (1992) and the period martial arts film Sword in the Moon (2003), Kim Eui-suk also spent seven years nurturing the next generation of filmmakers as a professor at the Korean Film Academy of Arts (KAFA), five years as a member the organizing committee of the Jeonju International Film Festival (JIFF), and then time as KOFIC Vice Chairman and Acting Chairman before he was name Chairman in March 2011.  (Korean Cinema Today, November 4, 2011)

Acclaimed Director Pushing Back NKHR Envelope
The North Korea Human Rights International Film Festival (NKHRIFF), which opens this afternoon, is attracting domestic attention for its attempt to blend North Korean human rights-and film.  Optimists hope that the festival can turn North Korean human rights into a real social issue, using the silver screen to nag at viewer consciences.  (Daily NK, November 10, 2011)



TRAILERS



Punch (eng sub)



POSTERS 











BOX OFFICE


(Modern Korean Cinema, November 14, 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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