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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Korean Cinema News (12/22-12/28, 2011)

Bit of a slow news week over Christmas but a few great features nonetheless and some interesting tidbits on Cloud Atlas and Lee Myung-se's new film, not to mention more trailers, posters, and box office.

To sum up Korean Cinema News for 2011, I will post a feature of what I felt were the top 10 Korean film stories of the year on New Year's Eve.


Bae Doo Na’s Hollywood Debut Piece Wraps Filming
After an 18-week shoot, Bae Doo-na has wrapped filming of the highly anticipated adaptation of David Mitchell's time-jumping opus Cloud Atlas.  The film is directoed by Tom Tykwer and the Wachowski Brothers and Bae stars in one of its six stories, set in a futuristic Seoul.  Tom Hanks, Hugh Grant and Halle Berry also appear as leads.  (eNewsWorld, December 27, 2011)

The English-language Arirang TV network has produced three works as part of its annual film project which were shot in Bucheon, Pohang, and Gwangju.  Each of the writer-directors, Kim In-sik, Lee Sang-woo, and Kim Young-bin, shot their pieces in just two weeks.  (The Korea Herald, December 22, 2011)

Film Therapy Institute Names Punch as Year’s Most Healing
Runaway hit Punch has been named the most healing motion picture of the year at the Korea Institute of Film Application (KIFA) annual Healing Cinema Best 10 event.  A relatively novel technique in the field of psychotherapy, cinema therapy involves therapists who prescribe films to their patients.  Advocates of the technique say that watching films with relatable life themes and subject matter can alleviate patients’ mental distress.  (Joong Ang Daily, December 23, 2011)

The Unlikely Survival Story of Korean Cinema
Korean cinema hasn’t always been as dynamic and acclaimed as it is today. Along the way, Korean filmmakers have had to overcome Japanese colonial oppression, wartime destruction, authoritarian censorship and competition with Hollywood blockbusters.   (10 Magazine, December 2011)

Top & Flop 2011
Ki Mun, the lead editor over at AsianMediaWiki guests posts on Wildgrounds with a look at the best and most disappointing films of 2011.  A lot of independent Korean films made the cut!  (Wildgrounds, December 23, 2011)

Local Films Foray Into Chinese Market
The past year has seen Korean cinema on an upward climb from the recession that hit the industry hard in the mid-2000s, particularly as homespun works made successful debuts in the Chinese box office and more experimental mid-budget films drew crowds domestically.  In the early 2000s, few Korean movies enjoyed wide releases in large neighboring Asian markets such as Japan. In September, however, The Man From Nowhere, a 2010 crime drama, made successful box office debuts not only in Japan but also in China, one of the world’s fastest growing markets.  (The Korea Times, December 26, 2011)

On December 15, new action-comedy Miss Conspirator wrapped shooting.  The film stars Ko Hyun-jung and is directed by Park Chul-kwan who previously brought the successful gangster comedy Hi Dharma (2001) to the screen.  The film, which has been presold by 9ers Entertainment to Thailand's STG is set to be released in the first half of 2012.  Next Entertainment World, better known as N.E.W., is releasing the film in South Korea.  (KOBIZ, December 26, 2011)

Witness the Seoul of the Future in New Cloud Atlas Concept Art
The upcoming big screen adaptation of David Mitchell's sprawling, time hopping novel Cloud Atlas has been much in the news over the last year thanks to its high profile cast, directing team and the unusual manner of its creation.  The picture is being shot simultaneously by two separate film crews – one directed by Tom Tykwer, the other by the Wachowskis - with cast members each playing multiple characters in multiple time periods.  (Twitch, December 27, 2011)

Palm Springs Fest to Screen The Front Line
The upcoming Palm Springs International Film Festival (PSIFF) will screen South Korea’s Oscar submission The Front Line in its Awards Buzz section.  The section will feature 40 of the 63 official submissions the Academy Awards’ Best Foreign Language Film category.  The 40 films were selected by festival programmers as the strongest entries in this year’s race.  The 2012 Palm Springs International Film Festival will run Jan. 5 – 16.  (KOBIZ, December 26, 2011)

Daniel Henney Will Play His First Villain in Lee Myeong-se's Mr. K
Daniel Henney's new challenge will be to make his debut as a terrorist villain in 'master of mise-en-scène' Lee Myeong-se's new film, Mr. K. The action blockbuster will also star Seol Kyeong-gu and Moon So-ri as a couple.  As associate of Henney told TV Report on December 26th, "Henney has been cast in a stylish role for famous director Lee Myeong-se's new film" and "He will appear as a terrorist that clashes with Seol Kyeong-gu over secret information, showing a side of himself we've never seen before".  (, December 26, 2011)

Busan calls For Submissions to Ties That Bind
The Busan International Film Festival (BIFF) / Asian Project Market (APM) has made a call for submissions for the 2012 Ties That Bind – Asia / Europe Producers Workshop.  In its fourth edition, the workshop is held in partnership with EAVE, the Udine Fareast Film Festival, and Friuli Venezia Giulia (FVG) Audiovisual Fund.  (KOBIZ, December 26, 2011)

Cinemart Selects Jang Cheol-soo’s Service for People
The Rotterdam film festival’s co-production market CineMart has selected Korean director Jang Cheol-soo’s project Service for People for its upcoming 29th edition.  CineMart ultimately chose a total of 36 projects from 465 entries.  The finalists will be presented to 850 potential co-financiers, Jan. 29 – Feb 1.  Director Jang Cheol-soo made his feature debut with the much-lauded thriller Bedevilled in 2010 at the Cannes Film Festival’s Critics’ Week.  The film won the Puchon Choice Award at the Puchon International Fantastic Film Festival (PiFan) as well as the Audience Award and the Best Actress Award at Fantastic Fest in Austin, Texas.  (KOBIZ, December 23, 2011)


Having recently appeared at several international festivals, Through Korean Cinema will appear on DVD in 2012.  Director Leonardo Cinieri Lombroso was kind enough to answer some questions about his work – to explain how and why he decided to explore this subject and what his future plans are for further examining the work of Korean filmmakers…  (New Korean Cinema, December 21, 2011)


Jesus Hospital

Love Fiction

Never Ending Story

Tarbosaurus 3D



Tom Cruise's MI4 Scales Over My Way for Surprise Top Spot
(Modern Korean Cinema, December 26, 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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