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Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Korean Cinema News (01/05-01/11, 2012)

Still not too much news at the beginning of the year but there a few pieces looking at the year ahead and the one just past as well as a brand new English trailer for The Front Line as it gets ready to bow in the US courtesy of Well Go Entertainment.  


KOREAN CINEMA NEWS

Big-Budget Films to Open in 2012
While 2011 saw the release of some novel, genre-defying works, not many local films aside from Sunny and War of the Arrows (a.k.a. Arrow, The Ultimate Weapon) managed to draw crowds at the box office.  This year, a lineup of big-budget films featuring the return of big stars await moviegoers.  (The Korea Times, January 5, 2012)

Best News Stories of the Year
Twitch, in its annual best news stories feature, ranked the Spike Lee directed Oldboy reboot as one of 2011's best film news stories.  The project has had a few setbacks with both Colin Firth, Clive Owen, and Mara Rooney all turning down lead roles but is still scheduled to start shooting in the next few months with star Josh Brolin in the main role.  (Twitch, January 10, 2012)

Which Way, My Way?
The dramatization of a true war-time story that spans years, continents, and changing friendships and enmities, My Way is director Kang Je-kyu’s comeback after seven years.  My Way deals with a true story that is practically legend.  In the late 1930s, a man from Joseon ends up going to China and the Soviet Union towards Germany and finally ends up on the beaches of Normandy on D-Day.  (Korean Cinema Today, January 8, 2012)

Three Korean Projects Selected to HAF
Hong Kong - Asia Film Financing Forum (HAF) is set to celebrate its 10th anniversary this March with a record 32 selections, including three from South Korea.  These are director Jeon Soo-il’s Another Country, Kim Baek-jun’s Monsters and Lee Hae-jun’s My Dictator.  The festival chose these from more than 200 submissions from over 45 countries and regions.  The final selection represents 20 different territories including Australia, China, India, Japan, and Malaysia.  (KoBiz, January 6, 2012)

Crossing the Streams...
Up until this point in time the only real option for streaming a large amount of content in theUK has been through LoveFilm.  Yesterday the big US company Netflix launched their service in the UK and they’ve undercut LoveFilm on the cost of their service (that’s on the standard price, LoveFilm are understandably offering promotional prices for the next few months) and, again, while the Netflix offering is limited to some degree there’s also a lot of good content on there – some of it in HD.  (New Korean Cinema, January 10, 2012)

Martin Cleary takes a look at the frustrating state of the availability of Korean fils in the UK over on his new blog.  (New Korean Cinema, January 6, 2012)

Rotterdam Takes Three More Korean Films
The International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR) has announced its line-up to include three more Korean films in addition to the previously announced A Fish, the Tiger Awards Competition’s first 3D film.  The film by Park Hong-min will be joined by Roh Gyeong-tae’s Black Dove, Kim Kyung-mook’s Stateless Things and Hong Sang-soo’s The Day He Arrives.  The latter three films will be in the festival’s Spectrum section.  The section will show 72 features and documentaries from 32 countries.  (KoBiz, January 10, 2012)

Foreign Koreanness Captured in the Movies
With the recent release of the first two trailers for Papa, it looks like mainstream Korean cinema will continue to wrestle with the issue of immigration and multiculturalism into the new year. As new as this theme may seem for Korean film, Papa actually follows in the footsteps of last year’s very successful Punch and 2010’s almost equally successful He's on Duty, as well as a string of independent films that addressed the same theme.  (The Korea Herald, January 5, 2012)

Michael Stipe Produces Gay Korean-American Film
Former REM frontman Michael Stipe is the executive producer behind a new short film of a gay Korean man who yearns for a family, which the director used to come out to his own parents.  The short, entitled Dol, will be shown at the Sundance Film Festival this year, Indie music news site Electric Banana reports. (pinknews.co.uk January 10, 2012)

My Sassy Girl to Be Made Into a Drama
On January 11 it was announced that the drama production company “Lemon Rain” would produce a TV drama version of My Sassy Girl with “Shincine Communication Co.”  In order to find a charming and perfect script they are holding a script contest starting from February 1 to March 30.  The original film My Sassy Girl is a classic Korean romantic comedy that jumpstarted Cha Tae Hyun andJeon Ji Hyun’s acting careers.  (soompi.com, January 10, 2012)

Oldboy Production Delayed Until May; Clive Owen Passes on Villain Role
The inability to cast, plus Brolin’s press commitments to MIB 3, has forced production of Oldboy to be pushed back to May of this year.  Colin Firth was the biggest name to be attached to play as the villain, but he passed on the role, which was then offered to Clive Owen.  But according to a report from Jeff Snieder over at Variety, “don’t expect Clive Owen to play the villain.”  (Fused Film, January 7, 2012)


INTERVIEW

Director Park Hong-min
Director Park Hong-min’s A Fish is about a professor who searches for his runaway wife.  It compares this life to the afterlife, and humans on land to souls in the sea.  A Fish was revealed to the world at the 16th Busan International Film Festival and has also been invited to compete at the 41st International Film Festival Rotterdam’s annual Tiger Awards Competition.  Director Park is now making final adjustments to the film’s sound effects and computer graphics before he heads off to Rotterdam.  (Korean Cinema Today, January 5, 2012)


TRAILERS

Nameless Gangster


Pacemaker


The Front Line (eng sub)



BOX OFFICE


(Modern Korean Cinema, January 9, 2012)


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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