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Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Korean Cinema News (03/01-03/07, 2012)

A very busy week for Korean cinema news with lots of big announcements, but first and foremost we are in the midst of the brilliant Korean Blogathon, the links of which can be found below.

In other news I also had the great fortune of bumping into Bong Joon-ho at London Luton Airport last Thursday on my way to the East Winds Symposium + Festival and he told me he was in town to meet some actors for Snow Piercer.  So things seem to be heating up for that very exciting project which is set to start production in a few weeks.



Outside of Josh Brolin the casting has not come particularly quick or easy for the Spike Lee directed remake of Oldboy.  For the female lead both Rooney Mara and Mia Wasikowska have been offered and rejected the part and Twitch has now learned that the role of Marie has been offered to Elizabeth Olsen.  (Twitch, February 28, 2012)

Korean Film Festival in Australia (KOFFIA) Expands to Brisbane in 2012
KOFFIA is heading to Brisbane this September, so spread the word!  3 years, 3 cities, 3 times the fun!  No word on the line-up yet, but Sydney can certainly look forward to a full calendar of Korean films in the meantime. The second season of the Korean Cultural Office’s Cinema on the Park has also launched.   (The Reel Bits, February 28, 2012)

Nameless Gangster Emerging as Hottest Korean Movie of the Year
Nameless Gangster has attracted over 4 million spectators in just 26 days of its release, emerging as the first film to sell so many tickets in such a short time this year. It achieved the feat on Monday.  The success of Nameless Gangster is even more notable as it was achieved in February, considered the low season for movies, and is rated R, excluding younger viewers and families.  (The Chosun Ilbo, February 29, 2012)

From the Makers of Chawz Comes New Korean Supernatural Thriller
In The Fortune Tellers, bespectacled cutie Kang Ye-won heads to a remote village where a grand exorcism is about to take place.  Chawz was a bit overly long but it did a great job balancing comedy, pathos, and wild creature sequences so we should expect great things from The Fortune Tellers.  From these pictures, it certainly looks like it’ll be a lot of fun. The film opens in South Korea later this year.  (City on Fire, March 2, 2012)

Gorilla to Play Baseball in Korean Sports Comedy Mr. Go
Filming has already begun for Mr Go 3D, a sports comedy based on a popular manhwa (Korean comic) by Heo Yeong-man - his other works has also been adapted for Le Grand Chef.  The story is about a gorilla from a Chinese circus that is trained to play professional baseball in Korea.  Budgeted at $20 million, the ambitious live action film is being shot in stereoscopic 3-D and will utilize a combination of motion capture performances and digital effects à la Rise of the Planet of the Apes.  (Twitch, March 6, 2012)

So Ji-sub Stars in Korean Hitman Thriller A Company Man
Korean heartthrob So Ji-Sub turned heads around the world with his role in 2008's Rough Cut.  Already a star of television dramas, Rough Cut put So back on the map in Korea after a couple years away while he did his mandatory military service and he has been very selective with his roles since, appearing in big budget TV drama Cain and Abel and Chinese feature Sophie's Revenge.  And soon he will be back on the big screen at home thanks to his lead part in Lim Sang-yoon's A Company Man.  (Twitch, March 6, 2012)

Busan Plans for New Studio Complex
Busan, the South Korean city that is already home to one of Asia's leading film festivals, has moved forward with its plans to build a world-class film studio.  The KOFIC facility would be the second set of new studios to be built in the city, after the Busan Film Commission's on-going redevelopment project.  Late last month the city authorities signed an agreement with the Korean Film Council, (KOFIC) that is expected to see the two bodies jointly finance the new studios.  (Film Business Asia, March 7, 2012)


Quirky New Film Makes the Most of a Hairy Mess
Love Fiction, the new film by Jeon Kye-su, has a quirky element that is generating a buzz on the Internet: armpit hair.  Since before the film’s release on Wednesday, the phrase has become one of the top searches on major Web portals.  But there’s more to this film than that.  The Korea JoongAng Daily recently caught up with Jeon and talked with him about his insightful and unconventional romantic comedy.  (The Joong Ang Daily, March 2, 2012)

Kim Min-hee Anything But Helpless in New Movie Role
Actress Kim Min-hee, who stars in the film Helpless, which is scheduled to be released next Thursday, fell in love with the movie as soon as she read the script.  "I love films about characters with checkered lives, so I thought this role would give me a chance to show what I am capable of as an actress because it fits my style," she said.  (The Chosun Ilbo, March 3, 2012)

Interview with Fox International Production Creative Executive Paul Huh
Will this be a source of new energy for the Korean film industry, or a new era in which it will have to compete with Hollywood’s studio system in making Korean-language films?  Fox International Production (FIP), part of the 20th Century Fox Entertainment group, has declared it is officially entering the Korean film production market.  Dohoon Kim met with FIP’s Korean Creative Executive Paul Huh to talk about their plans. After studying finance in New York, Huh started working in the Korean film industry first at MK Pictures's international sales team and later became a producer.  (KoBiZ, March 6, 2012)


Doomsday Book

Over My Dead Body


(Modern Korean Cinema, March 5, 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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