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Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Korean Cinema News (12/01-12/07, 2011)

Not a huge amount of news this week but a lot of fantastic interviews to make up for it, including from veteran actor Anh Sung-ki and director Im Kwon-taek's, whose The General's Son trilogy is being reviewed as part of Jopok Week.  Also numerous interesting trailers this week and a long clip from the upcoming My Way.

I'm experimenting with the format of the feature by adding some pictures here and there, let me know what you think!


Get Behind the Scenes of Kang Je-gyu's My Way
The biggest Korean film of the year is unmistakably Kang Je-gyu's upcoming WWII film My Way and it really shows in the latest making-of video.  Every aspect about the production, from the large sets to the all-star cast of Jang Dong-gun (The Warrior's Way), Joe Odagiri (Air Doll) and Fan Bingbing (Shaolin, Bodyguards and Assassins), loudly screams blockbuster.   (Twitch, November 30, 2011)

Movie About N. Korean Defector Wins Award at Tokyo Film Fest
Director and lead actor Park Jung-bum's The Journals of Musan won the Special Jury Prize at the Tokyo Filmex Festival that ended on Sunday.  The movie deals with the harsh reality of adjusting to life in South Korea from the point of view of a North Korean defector, and serves as a bitter portrayal of the prejudices he faces in his newly adopted home.  (The Chosun Ilbo, December 1, 2011)

North Korean DVDs
The eternal problem for any North Korean movie enthusiast is how to track the films down.  From sites like Wikipedia and IMDb, and North Korean Films, it’s possible to find out information about a huge number of North Korean titles.  But with mistranslations, inaccuracies about dates it’s not always possible to get an definitive idea about what’s out there.  (North Korean Films, December 1, 2011)

Busan Critics Name Tang Wei Best Actress
The Busan Film Critics Association (BCFA) has named Tang Wei best actress for her role in the local melodrama “Late Autumn.” This marks the Chinese star’s third honorable mention in Korea.  (The Korea Times, December 1, 2011)

You're My Pet Set for Wide Release in Japan, China
The South Korean romantic comedy You're My Pet has sold to nine Asian regions including Japan and China, its local co-distributors KJ-net and Lotte Entertainment said Thursday.  The film, based on a Japanese comic series and directed by Kim Byeong-gon, is slated to show on more than 100 screens in Japan beginning on Jan. 21, 2012 via Toho Co., before getting a wide release in China between February and March.  (The Hollywood Reporter, December 1, 2011)

Actress Kim So-eun Seeking New Challenges
Kim So-eun has expanded her fan base to include older Koreans with the weekend drama A Thousand Kisses. She said she feels she has marked a new stage in her career by broadening her appeal to viewers aged 30 to 70, whereas before she was followed mainly by teenagers and people in their 20s.  (The Chosun Ilbo, December 3, 2011)


It’s hard to believe the talk about actor Ahn Sung-ki, 59, the man who is often cited as a living legend of Korean cinema.  After having been in the public eye for more than 50 years, Ahn has built a reputation for kindness and charity through his work with organizations such as the Korean Committee for Unicef, where he has served as a goodwill ambassador for the past 19 years.  (Joong Ang Daily, December 2, 2011)

Probably the first English-language podcast dedicated to Asian cinema, Podcast On Fire has grown from an untitled one-man recording into a fully blown network of shows covering a wide range of Asian films:  from big-budget Hong Kong and Korean blockbusters and the beauty of Studio Ghibli down to the darker, lesser known and seedier corners of Category III film.  (New Korean Cinema, December 5, 2011)

Choi Equan, the film director who was recently appointed as the head of the Korean Academy of Film Arts (KAFA), is caught between the idea of turning the school into an academic house or a breeding ground of filmmakers who could adapt to the field quickly.  KOBIZ caught up with Choi before his admissions interviews with students for the next semester.  (KOBIZ, December 2, 2011)

Demand for the services of overseas Korean centers is increasing, particularly in light of the sweeping success of “hallyu” or the Korean wave.  A key ingredient in the successful overseas promotion of Korea is the creative mindset and active involvement of people who run such centers, according to a veteran culture official and film expert.  Kim Dong-ho, the founding director the Busan International Film Festival (BIFF), is one of the most familiar faces in the Korean film industry.  (The Korea Times, December 1, 2011)

The Master of Korean National Cinema: An Interview with Im Kwon-taek
Renowned Korean filmmaker Im Kwon-taek made his third visit to USC this month for a panel discussion about Korean cinema and his films.  Korean cinema cannot be discussed without mentioning renowned film director Im Kwon-taek.  His films deal with a time period that spans about 500 years – from the Chosun Dynasty, through the colonial period and the Korean War, to the present – and he has persistently probed what it feels like to be a Korean, or more precisely, the pain of being a Korean, surviving each era.  (Asia Pacific Arts, November 28, 2011)


My Way (8 minute clip)



(Modern Korean Cinema, December 5, 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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