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Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Korean Cinema News (03/08-03/14, 2012)

Lots of interesting news this week, including reports of a Korean director being fired from a Chinese produciton, numerous great interviews, a new Lee Hae-jun (Castaway on the Moon) film, and the great fortunes of the Korean box office.  Loads more trailers, posters and other tidbits to boot.

But first, the final round-up of the Korean Cinema Blogathon which was an enormous success and accumulated almost 200 posts.  A treasure trove of Korean cinema content!





KOREAN CINEMA NEWS

Mixed Reaction for Fox’s Foray Into Local Market
Following Fox International Productions’ announcement of its foray into the Korean film market as a distributor and investor last month, there are mixed reactions here to the possible changes to be brought to the scene.  An international production umbrella unit of America’s major film production house Fox Filmed Entertainment, FIP produces and distributes local language films around the globe.  (The Korea Herald, March 6, 2012)

Kanryu Currents in Japan, Past and Present
Tokyo-based journalist, translator and filmmaker Jason Gray examines the ebb and flow of the Korean Wave (Kanryu in Japanese) in Japan over the past ten years, pinpointing the highs and lows.  (Korean Cinema Today, March 6, 2012)

Why Can't Korean Films Ever Break Into the Academy Awards?
On February 27, The Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film went to an Iranian film, A Separation.  The Academy Awards started giving out Best Foreign Language Film awards in 1956.  South Korea has been submitting films for nomination every year since 1963.  Korea's first submission was Mother and the Houseguest by director Shin Sang Ok.  However, Korea has been unlucky all those years as no Korean films have ever been a final nominee for the Academy awards.  (soompi.com, March 7, 2012)

Cha Tae-hyeon Attempts at Historical Gone With the Wind
Cha Tae-hyeon has completed 5 months or so of making the movie The Grand Heist, the film will be released within the year.  The Grand Heist is the story of thieves who get together to plot and break into an ice storeroom in the Chosun times.  The cast of this movie includes: Cheon Bo-geun, Kim Hyang-ki, Min Hyo-rin, Lee Chae-yeong, Oh Ji-ho, Seong Dong-il, Ko Chang-seok and more.  (hancinema.com/daum.net, March 8, 2012)

New Lee Hae-jun, Jeon Soo-il and Kim Baek-jun projects get Financing in Hong Kong
Carrying on a tradition that includes directors such as Bong Joon-ho, Park Chan-wook and Im Sang-soo, this year three Korean projects will be participating in the 10th Hong Kong - Asia Film Financing Forum (HAF).  The three Korean projects - Jeon Soo-il’s Another Country, Kim Baek-jun’s Monsters and Lee Hae-jun’s My Dictator, will be at HAF looking for co-producers, financiers, sales agents and pre-sales.  (Korean Cinema Today, March 8, 2012)

Kwak Jae-yong Fired From Yang Gui Fei
The film production team of Yang Gui Fei has fired South Korean director Kwak Jae-yong (My Sassy Girl, 2001), confirming earlier media speculation about his departure during the filming of the historical drama, Sina Entertainment reports.  (china.org.cn, March 9, 2012)

Korean Film The Man From Nowhere To Get American Remake
Remaking foreign films for the American market is no new dance, and it continues with the announcement by Dimension Films that they will be remaking the South Korean hit The Man From Nowhere (2010).  The movie tells the story of a quiet, reclusive pawn shop owner with a dark, painful past.  (Geeks of Doom, March 10, 2012)

Korean Indie Films Beckon Fans
Local independent cinema has not seen many blockbuster hits like 2009’s Old Partner lately but smaller films have slowly yet surely been receiving wider exposure.  This month sees a particularly strong lineup of low-budget movies in theaters across the country, including international film fest-verified pictures.  Indie flick enthusiasts and moviegoers looking for alternatives to mainstream fare can appreciate this genre, not only in local arthouses, but also at larger venues.  (The Korea Times, March 12, 2012)

Out of Jail, Ex-Professor and His Crossbow Fight South Korea’s Judiciary
On Monday, Kim Myung-ho, holding his book, revisited the scene of the 2007 crossbow shooting that landed him in prison: the judge’s apartment building.  Judge Park Hong-woo emerged from the elevator, and the two shared eye contact for a second.  Mr. Kim’s outrage has resonated with South Koreans, with a movie about his dispute with the South Korean judicial system selling more than 3.5 million tickets since it was released in January.  (The New York Times, March 12, 2012)

Silent Film Narrator Returns to Modern Stage
What would it have been like to watch a silent film with live narration and music?  Today’s moviegoers were given an opportunity to watch Korea’s oldest surviving silent film, Crossroads of Youth, last week, accompanied by live music and narration – all in the 1930s style.  Just like the “silent era” in the 20s and 30s, they saw and heard a “byeonsa” – Korean term for silent-film narrator – “performing” each and every action of the histrionic piece first released in 1934.  (The Korea Herald, March 12, 2012)

Emma Watson Picks a Korean Film Among Her Favorites
Harry Potter actress Emma Watson recently named a 2008 Korean film as one of her favorite movies.  According to reports from local news agencies, the actress best known for playing Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter films picked Breathless as one of her favorites in an interview with Vogue Magazine.  (soompi.com, March 13, 2012)

Tribeca Film Festival Takes Planet of Snail
The 8th Tribeca Film Festival has announced its upcoming selection to include South Korean director Yi Seung-jun’s Planet of Snail, a documentary about a deaf and blind man, his wife with a spinal disability, and their unique story.  Planet of Snail has been selected to Tribeca’s World Documentary Feature Competition.  The film will be making its North American premiere there.  The festival will be held in New York City, April 18 – 29, 2012.  (KoBiZ, March 14, 2012)

Finecut Dials Up Love 911
Seoul-based sales company Finecut has announced it will be selling the upcoming film Love 911 starting at the Hong Kong Filmart next week.  Starring Ko Soo and Han Hyo-joo, the film is about an unlikely romance between a dedicated firefighter with a painful past and a cold-hearted emergency room (ER) doctor who is solely focused on her career.  (KoBiZ, March 14, 2012)

Kang Woo-suk Returns with Legend Punch
Director Kang Woo-suk is prepping a new film, his first since last year's GLove.   Legend Punch is based on a webcomic and follows a man who enters a reality fighting show. Him and other conttestants vie for the 20 million won prize.  Filming is scheduled to commence in July and this likely means that the next installment in the Public Enemy franchise will be delayed until 2014 unless Kang hands the reigns of the franchise to someone else.  In any case Sol Kyeong-gu is busy shooting Lee Myung-se's new film Mister K. (Asian Wiki, March 2012)


INTERVIEWS

Planet of Snail Director Yi Seung-jun
Top prize winner at the 24th International Documentary Festival Amsterdam (IDFA), director Yi Seung-jun’s Planet of Snail is a documentary about deaf and blind husband Cho Young-chan and his wife Kim Soon-ho, who has a spinal impediment.  The film will soon be screened at the Tribeca Film Festival and head of its March 22 release in Korea, Kim Seong-hoon met with Yi to talk about Planet of Snail for Korean Cinema Today (KCT).  (Korean Cinema Today, March 7, 2012)

HAF Feature Interview with Lee Hae-jun, My Dictator
Set to participate in the 10th Hong Kong – Asian Film Financing Forum (HAF), director Lee Hae-jun’s My Dictator is about three dictators.  One is Park Chung-hee in the South and the other is Kim Il-sung in the North – the two dictators who ruled the split Korean peninsula in the 1970s; the other dictator is a father and the main character of this film.  Lee's previous film was Castaway on the Moon (2009).  (Korean Cinema Today, March 8, 2012)

HAF Feature Interview with Jeon Soo-il, Another Country
Director Jeon Soo-il is due to participate in the upcoming Hong Kong – Asia Film Financing Forum (HAF) with the project Another Country.  At the time of writing, he was shooting his latest film El Condor Pasa in Busan and Peru.  Another Country will be his next film after El Condor Pasa.  Produced by Dongnyuk Film, Jeon’s Another Country has a budget of KW1 billion (US$889,000), with plans for half of that to come from Korea and half from a foreign partner.  (Korean Cinema Today, March 8, 2012)

HAF Feature Interview with Kim Baek-jun, Monsters
Director Kim Baek-jun (born in 1970) is preparing his third film Monsters with production company JK Film (Haeundae).  The project’s budget is set at about KW 800 million (US$711,000).  He made his directorial debut with My Dear Diary, which was invited to the Jeonju International Film Festival (JIFF) competition.  Monsters will be taking part in the 10th Hong Kong - Asia Film Financing Forum (HAF) this month.  (Korean Cinema Today, March 8, 2012)


TRAILERS

Home Sweet Home


My Way


The Scent



POSTERS

As One

Home Sweet Home


My Way

The Grand Heist

The Scent


BOX OFFICE


(Modern Korean Cinema, March 11, 2012)

Domestic movies dominated the South Korean box office last month.  The Korean Film Council said domestically produced films captured a 75-point-nine percent market share in February, up 26-point-four percentage points from 49-point-five percent in January.  (KBS, March 7, 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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2 comments:

  1. They're going to remake Man from Nowhere? I feel like Hollywood's made more than enough rescue/revenge the kid films already that this is just going to be redundant. Anyway, it's the action that makes MfN. What are they going to do, copy the choreography?

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    Replies
    1. I feel the same way, it's a very thin and pretty unoriginal concept (that in itself is already a hash of Leon and Taken) so a remake doesn't make a whole lot of sense.

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