Thursday, May 31, 2012

6th Annual Korean American Film Festival Preview

Next week, from June 5th to 10th, the 6th Annual Korean American Film Festival, which boasts a lineup of nine features and 20 shorts will take place in New York.  One of the highlights in the lineup is Magic and Loss, a feature that premiered at the Busan Film Festival in 2010 and features Korean indie stars Yang Ik-june (Breathless, 2009) and Kim Kkobbi (Life Is Peachy, 2011).

Given the changing landscape of cross-cultural cinema, events such as these, especially those that take a broad view on a diaspora's influence on global culture, are becoming increasingly important.  As such, the 6th KAFFNY, just as in previous years, promises to highlight the connections between very different cinematic global communities by showcasing a broad and eclectic array of independent cinema.  Only wish I was in New York myself to take part!

Below is a full press release on the event:

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Korean Cinema News (05/24-05/30, 2012)

Aside from a new trailer, poster and the Box Office recap, all of this week's news in Cannes-related.  The big films were sold to the major markets but left high and dry at the awards ceremony, though a short did pick up a prize for Korea!

The big news with MKC this week is that the site and I are relocating to Seoul this Sunday, a very exciting devlopment!  Below is yesterday's post about the move:

IFC Midnight to Give US Viewers a Taste of Money With Im Sang-soo's Latest
Im Sang-soo's new film The Taste of Money, which competed in Cannes last week, has been picked up by IFC Midnight for US distribution.  Im's previous film The Housemaid (2010), which also vied in competition at Cannes, was also distributed in North America by IFC Midnight and benefited from a decent amount of exposure.  I recall being surprised when I noticed its availability on Time Warner's On Demand service when I lived in LA.  I'm not sure if a theatrical release will follow and it must be said that it has not received glowing reviews from the Mediterranean fest but this is not always a good indicator for the greater public.

The Taste of Money, which stars Kim Kang-woo (A Better Tomorrow, 2009), Yoon Yuh-jung (Actresses, 2009), Baek Yoon-shik (Save the Green Planet, 2003) and Kim Hyo-jin (Woochi, 2009), brings us inside the lives of one of the richest families in Korea and their tale of greed, lust and violence.  (Modern Korean Cinema, May 30, 2012/Twitch, May 29, 2012)

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

MKC to Touch Down in Seoul in 5 Days

Part of an ongoing series about my trip to and discovery of Seoul...

The big day is almost here.  Last week I received my issuance number from Korean immigration and made my way to the local embassy in Bern, the Swiss capital.  I'll get my passport back with its new visa stamp in the next day or two and this morning I received my e-ticket which departs from Zurich this Sunday (June 3rd) with a layover in Doha, Qatar before arriving at Incheon airport Monday evening.  I'll be flying with Qatar Airways which I've only heard great things about, however I am sad that it won't be with Korean Air as naturally I would have liked to catch some new releases on the plane!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Korean Box Office Update (05/25-05/27)

The Men in Black Score Big After Long Absence

Title Release Date Market Share Weekend Total Screens
1 Men in Black 3 (us) 5/24/12 47.50% 1,064,549 1,210,197 767
2 All About My Wife 5/17/12 24.50% 610,994 1,819,491 537
3 The Avengers (us) 4/26/12 10.30% 260,686 6,741,216 367
4 The Taste of Money 5/17/12 7.80% 193,197 951,420 412
5 As One 5/3/12 3.20% 86,339 1,775,535 277
6 Snow White and the Huntsmen (us) 5/30/12 2.90% 71,840 71,840 284
7 Inazuma Eleven Go (jp) 5/24/12 1.50% 40,393 41,668 242
8 Machine Gun Preacher (us) 5/24/12 0.40% 10,771 17,847 140
9 Mirror Mirror (us) 5/3/12 0.40% 10,443 574,969 57
10 A Muse 4/25/12 0.20% 5,498 1,337,811 52

Friday, May 25, 2012

Weekly Review Round-up (05/19-05/25, 2012)

A bevvy of reviews this week for Hong Sang-soo's latest as it vies for the Palme d'Or at this year's Cannes Film Festival.  Also a lot of great pieces on current Korean films and for Helpless which recently opened on limited in the US.


In Another Country - Out 03/31

(The Korea Times, May 22, 2012)

Punch (완득이, Wandeuki) 2011

On the surface Lee Han’s new feature may not seem like much as it treads well-worn territory such of the coming-of-age drama and the sports film.  Even as it unspools it doesn’t seem to break any new ground as we are introduced to a very familiar plot and a fairly typical coterie of characters.  What sets it apart is the skill in its staging.  Though a standard narrative, it is so well executed that it beckons you into its story with a gesture that, like from an old friend, is both welcoming and comforting.  Once you’re nestled into Punch’s world, which hardly takes a moment, subtle and sometimes surprising elements flutter into the film and the outwardly simplistic characters slowly become more fleshed out.  Though it takes some time to realize that you are watching a film that is much more complex than its easygoing exterior lets on.  Lee, who has previously made a name for himself with a series of well-crafted romance films such as Lover’s Concerto (2002), Almost Love (2006) and Love, First (2007), deftly and almost imperceptibly handles the narrative’s many cogs.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Korean Cinema News (05/17-05/23, 2012)

Some sales in Cannes this week but not too much else to report though there are some great interviews and a new trailer for incoming summer zombie feature Deranged.  Next week should yield some more Cannes news and hopefully a Korean film will pick up a prize though at this point I don't think they'll get anything in the main competition unless The Taste of Money suddenly received a better welcome than in Korea where it opened last week.


Korean Movies Sell at Cannes
A number of high-profile pics have sold at Cannes, including the hotly anticipated The Thieves which was bought by firms in China, Hong Kong and Thailand.  The year's biggest local hit to date, Nameless Gangster, also secured distribution in some territories such as Japan, China and Hong Kong in Asia as well as Eastern Europe, Spain and the French-speaking portion of Europe.  So Ji-sub's hitman film A Company Man, which is scheduled to open next month, was sold to Japan, Indonesia, Thailand, and French and German-speaking Europe.  The Scent was also taken by a few Asian markets, including Thailand, Hong Kong and Singapore.  Lastly, Love On-Air, the first wide Korean release of 2012, was sold to Thailand.  (Modern Korean Cinema, May 23, 2012)

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Korean Box Office Update (05/18-05/20, 2012)

All About My Wife Takes First Place in Close Finish

Title Release Date Market Share Weekend Total Screens
1 All About My Wife 5/17/12 28.70% 593,341 778,430 561
2 The Avengers (us) 4/26/12 28.70% 564,923 6,341,504 573
3 The Taste of Money 5/17/12 21.80% 444,859 568,327 641
4 As One 5/3/12 9.00% 200,091 1,619,089 387
5 Dark Shadows (us) 5/10/12 3.10% 66,722 549,733 270
6 Cold Light of Day (us) 5/17/12 2.20% 49,217 61,552 238
7 Mirror Mirror (us) 5/3/12 1.80% 40,355 557,229 164
8 Architecture 101 3/22/12 1.10% 23,916 4,078,012 124
9 The Lorax (us) 5/3/12 1.00% 23,262 290,162 134
10 A Muse 4/25/12 1.10% 22,065 1,319,085 160

Friday, May 18, 2012

Weekly Review Round-up (05/12-05/18, 2012)

A lot of reviews this week and many of them for a trio of action/war film which are currently making the rounds in North America, either in theatres or on the home video market.  I'm thrilled to see such interest in these titles but the fact that they all stem from the same genre doesn't really give me high hopes for expanding English-language consumers interest in the broader Korean film industry.  THese titles just confirm that Korean cinema, at present, is still viewed as a niche genre industry abroad, which couldn't be further from the truth.  Sigh...

Also from now on you may notice a few more Twitch reviews as I have been taken on as their Korean correspondent.



(Twitch, May 12, 2012)

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Korean Cinema News (05/10-05/16, 2012)

Not a huge news week, the main item being that Snow Piercer is finally underway but some interesting features and tidbits nonetheless, including and a couple of trailers with English subtitles.

In other news I have become the Twitchfilm's Korea correspondent, a position I'm thrilled to take on but no need to worry as nothing will change regarding the day-to-day running of MKC.


Production Begins on Bong Joon-ho's Snow Piercer
Likely the most anticipated project on the horizon from a Korean cineaste, Bong Joon-ho's Snow Piercer has finally begun production, having first been floated as a project back in 2007.  New additions to the cast have been made, which now features Song Kang-ho, Ko Ah-sung, Ewen Bremner, Octavia Spencer, John Hurt, Chris Evans, Tilda Swinton, Jamie Bell, Kenny Doughty and Emma Levie.

Some location photography on a glacier in Austria has already wrapped and no they are underway with the main segment of filming which is happening at the Barrandov studios in Prague, Czech Republic.  It's wonderful to see this exciting project finally coming to life and hopefully the production will be smooth sailing from here on in.  (Modern Korean Cinema, May 16, 2012)

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Unbowed (부러진 화살, Bureojin Hwasal) 2012

In June of this year, two Korean actors will be feted at the famed Grauman’s Chinese theatre on Hollywood Blvd., where they will have their hand and footprints cast in the pavement; the first Asian performers to be honoured in such a way. One is Lee Byung-hyun who, rather than being one of the nation’s best or most long-standing thespians, is the one with the highest international profile. He is making a name for himself in the US industry and will soon be seen in G.I. Joe 2 and then the sequel to Red (2011). In fact, the former will be opening mere days following the aforementioned ceremony so his selection does smack of opportunism.

However, the second star has all the hallmarks of greatness that such a distinction would indicate, and then some. Ahn Sung-ki is a legend in the Korean film industry and is probably its most respected star. One of his earliest roles was in Kim Ki-young’s The Housemaid (1960) and he starred in a series of classics starting in the 1980s, such as A Fine, Windy Day (1980), Im Kwon-taek’s Mandala (1981), Whale Hunting (1984), Park Kwang-su’s Chilsu and Mansu (1988), The Taebaeck Mountains (1994, also Im Kwon-taek), Lee Myeong-se’s Nowhere to Hide (1999) and many, many more. Even now he is still one of the country’s top working actors and earlier this year he proved that he could still draw in the crowds just as well as anybody. He has won the Grand Bell Award (the Korean Oscar equivalent) no less than six times but he seems almost certain to pick up his seventh accolade later this year for his latest performance.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Korean Box Office Update (05/11-05/13, 2012)

The Avengers Easily Threepeats

Title Release Date Market Share Weekend Total Screens
1 The Avengers (us) 4/26/12 47.80% 994,319 5,446,891 734
2 As One 5/3/12 16.90% 393,323 1,227,411 512
3 Dark Shadows (us) 5/10/12 13.80% 314,355 372,745 386
4 Snow White (us) 5/3/12 5.00% 123,381 477,859 305
5 Eungyo 4/25/12 4.50% 99,840 1,226,704 310
6 All About My Wife 5/17/12 4.20% 91,426 96,751 277
7 Architecture 101 3/22/12 2.90% 67,365 4,007,674 244
8 The Lorax (us) 5/3/12 1.80% 46,562 261,893 240
9 Crayon Shin-chan (jp) 4/26/12 1.00% 26,667 259,718 130
10 The Scent 4/11/12 0.40% 10,214 1,234,209 70

Friday, May 11, 2012

Weekly Review Round-up (05/05-05/11, 2012)

Many reviews for a wide variety of films this week and I've rejigged the subsections to reflect films that have already been released in Korea and those that have played at international festivals but have, as of yet, not secured a Korean release date.

Over on the VCinema Show website, which I am a contributor for, Adam Hartzell has embarked on a week-long consideration of Hong Sang-soo's The Day He Arrives as he posts his thoughts after seeing it every day during its week long engagement in San Francisco.  Below are the links to his special feature with only the final day outstanding, which will likely be posted this evening:

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Dangerously Excited (나는 공무원이다, Naneun Gongmoowonida) 2012

After being in the doldrums for a few years, Korean cinema seems to have regained its stride as it rebuilds its reputation abroad.  However, as much as I’m thrilled to see new Korean film festivals, on-demand ventures and a free classic Korean film youtube channel, when it comes to Korean entertainment, the word on everyone’s lips these days is k-pop. 

Hollywood’s Rihanna, Beyonce, Jay-Z, Usher and co. are getting some serious challenges from the likes of 2NE1, Girls Generation, Big Bang and BoA with their sharp moves, fresh threads and slick videos.  The industry has featured in many recent Korean films, like the k-pop themed drama Mr. Idol (2011) and horror White:The Melody of the Curse (2011) and its stars are also making strides to the silver screen, such as Big Bang’s Top in 71: Into the Fire (2010).  Personally I don’t really listen to pop music so k-pop tends to fall just outside my radar though even I am aware when someone like Rain goes to do his military duty!  The sector is so big that it’s hard to ignore it.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

KOFA's 'Classic Korean Film Theatre' Youtube Channel Goes Live!

The Korean Film Archive has launched its much anticipated "Korean Classic Film Theater" Youtube channel which features 70 different hard to find titles, all free and with English subtitles.  The films range from 1949's A Hometown in My Heart to Hong Sang-soo's 1996 debut The Day a Pig Fell Into the Well.  Numerous classic Im Kwon-taek, Kim Ki-young and Shin Sang-ok films are featured as well as many of the most important Korean classics of the past decades, including Yu Hyun-mok's Aimless Bullet (aka Obaltan, 1961), Park Kwang-su's Chilsu and Mansu (1988), or the original hostess film, Yeongja's Heyday (1976).

I'm dying to get stuck into the many I haven't seen but I highly recommend Im Kwon-taek's Sopyonje (1993), Kim Ki-young' Ieoh Island (aka Iodo, 1977) and the aforementioned Aimless Bullet.  Truly a phenomenal resource from KOFA and cause for celebration for all Korean film fans!


Full list of films after the jump:

Korean Cinema News (05/03-05/09, 2012)

UPDATE 1:50pm (GMT+1) - The KOFA Classic Korean Film youtube channel goes live!  More details below.

More developments on upcoming features Mister K and Remember O Goddess this week as well as a strong selection of interviews and a free one-day Korean film seminar in London.


KOFA's Classic Korean Film Youtube channel goes live!
The Korean Film Archive has launched its much anticipated "Korean Classic Film Theater" Youtube channel which features 70 different hard to find titles, all free and with English subtitles.  The films range from 1949's A Hometown in My Heart to Hong Sang-soo's 1996 debut The Day a Pig Fell Into the Well. Numerous classic Im Kwon-taek, Kim Ki-young and Shin Sang-ok films are featured as well as many of the most important Korean films of the past decades, including Yu Hyun-mok's Aimless Bullet (aka Obaltan, 1961), Park Kwang-su's Chilsu and Mansu (1988), or the original hostess film, Yeongja's Heyday (1976).

I'm dying to get stuck into the many I haven't seen but I highly recommend Im Kwon-taek's Sopyonje (1993), Kim Ki-young' Ieoh Island (aka Iodo, 1977) and the aforementioned Aimless Bullet.  Truly a phenomenal resource from KOFA and cause for celebration for all Korean film fans!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Korean Box Office Update (05/04-05/06, 2012)

The Avengers Grows, Korean Releases Lag

Title Release Date Market Share Weekend Total Screens
1 The Avengers (us) 4/26/12 53.50% 1,430,595 4,001,858 918
2 As One 5/3/12 16.80% 509,444 596,793 535
3 Snow White (us) 5/3/12 7.80% 248,377 285,620 385
4 The Lorax (us) 5/3/12 6.50% 194,935 202,348 462
5 A Muse 4/25/12 6.30% 182,261 1,021,437 402
6 Crayon Shin-chan (jp) 4/26/12 3.60% 121,192 230,929 293
7 Architecture 101 3/22/12 3.30% 102,765 3,879,029 248
8 The Scent 4/11/12 0.90% 27,044 1,206,640 120
9 Battleship (us) 4/11/12 0.30% 10,779 2,230,317 62
10 Untouchable (fr) 3/22/12 0.20% 5,102 1,709,560 19

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Korean Cinema News (04/26-05/02, 2012)

I had a lot of news in my mailbox when I returned from Italy this week so there's plenty of big announcement in this Korean Cinema News update!  Also a huge amount of exciting trailers below, including As One, In Another Country, Taste of Money and The Thieves.  Remember if you have any news relating to Korean film feel free to email me and I'll be happy to include it in the nest update.



Ahn Sung-ki and Lee Byung-hun to Cast Handprints in Hollywood
The inaugural Look East: Korean Film Festival will be taking place this June, on the weekend of the 23-24, at the famed Grauman's Chinese film theatre in the heart of Hollywood.  Numerous Korean films, old and new, will be showcased but the focal point of the event will the casting of the hand and foot prints of two major Korean actors.  This marks the first time that any Asian performers have been honoured in such a fashion in Los Angeles.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Udine Far East Film Festival - Final Thoughts, Top 10 and Awards

Ongoing reports on the 14th Udine International Film Festival which Modern Korean Cinema will be covering onsite.

Last week was my first time at the Udine Far East Film Festival and straight off the bat the only negative point I can think of was that I wasn't there earlier to participate in the entire event.  Regardless it was still a packed week during which I saw nearly 30 films, ate some great food and made a lot of new friends.  I look forward to coming back soon but I'm sure it won't be in 2013 as I'll be making my way to Seoul next month.  That said I do hope to meet up with many of the same people later this year at the Busan International Film Festival.

The highlight for me during the week was the opportunity to soak in the 'Darkest Decade' retrospective on 1970s Korean film.  Darcy Paquet did an incredible job to bring these films, in good condition and many with brand new subtitles, to Italy and furthermore his picks were phenomenal, yielding some of the best Korean films I've seen.  It was a pleasure to see rarer Im Kwon-taek, Kim Ki-young and Yu Hyun-mok films as well as to discover the works of Kim So-young, Ha Kil-young and Kim Ho-sun.  I was particularly drawn to the many island dramas which have added new dimensions to an essay I have been planing on rural spaces as a site of horror in Korean cinema.  Darcy's monograph (pictured) is another wonderful resource and a great complement to the retrospective.

Just like last month's Fribourg International Film Festival (which was also covered by MKC) one of the prevailing themes of the festival's program was filmmaking itself.  Romancing in Thin Air (2011), The Woodsman and the Rain (2011), Vulgaria (2012) and The Woman in the Septic Tank (2011) all featured films within a film and each had their own novel take on the industry.  Despite the global glut of awards bestowed on The Artist (2011), and to a lesser extent on Hugo (2011), I'm still finding that the past year's best films that cast an eye on the medium are those that sadly won't be seen by many.  Although considering the cinephile-ready content, perhaps it's just as well that they feature strongly on the festival circuit above all else.

The great thing about the FEFF was its atmosphere: it's accessible, centralized, friendly and a lot of fun.  There was lots of events and special deals in restaurants for anyone attending the festival.  The Teatro Nuovo Giovanni, the single theater of the festival, was a wonderful venue with four levels.  I stayed down in the pit for all of my screenings and I don't think I would have liked to be seated too high up (some seats were above the screen) but the projections were all top notch.  Udine is also a wonderful little town with numerous restaurants, historic architecture, beautiful squares and everyone's favorite, gelato!  I didn't have much opportunity to visit beyond the town's centre but what I saw was very charming.

Anyone interested in Asian cinema should definitely make their way to Udine at some point in the future and if you do, hopefully I'll see you there!

Below are my favorites of the festival and the FEFF 2012 award winners.

Festival Picks

Top 10

1. Iodo (South Korea, 1977) - Day IV
=2. Punch (South Korea, 2011) - Day V
=2. Sunny (South Korea, 2011) - Day I
=2. The Woodsman and the Rain (Japan, 2011) - Day VI
=2. Unbowed (South Korea, 2012) - Day IX
6. Pollen (South Korea, 1972) - Day IV
7. Splendid Outing (South Korea, 1978) - Day VIII
8. One Mile Above (China, 2011) - Day VI
9. The Woman in the Septic Tank (Philippines, 2011) - Day IX
10. Vulgaria (Hong Kong, 2012) - Day VII

14th FEFF Awards

Audience Award

1. Silenced 4.4
2. One Mile Above 4.2
3. The Front Line 4.16

Black Dragon Award

Silenced 4.24

My Movie (Online) Award

Thermae Romae

FEFF Preview
Day IV Report
Day V Report
Day VI Report
Day VII Report
Day VIII Report
Day IX Report
Blind (블라인드, Beulraindeu) 2011
Dangerously Excited (나는 공무원이다, Naneun Gongmoowonida) 2012
Disney, Nostalgia, and Politics in Sunny (써니, Sseo-ni) 2011
Moby Dick (모비딕, Mo-bi-dik) 2011
Penny Pinchers (티끌모아 로맨스, Ti-kkeul-mo-a Ro-maen-seu) 2011
The Front Line (고지전, Gojijeon) 2011
Unbowed (부러진 화살, Bureojin Hwasal) 2012

Reviews and features on Korean film appear regularly on Modern Korean Cinema.  For film news, external reviews, and box office analysis, take a look at the Korean Box Office UpdateKorean Cinema News and the Weekly Review Round-up, which appear weekly on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday mornings (GMT+1).

To keep up with the best in Korean film you can sign up to our RSS Feed, like us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter.

May 2012 Korean Releases

This monthly features previews the coming month's attractions in Korean cinema.  All of these monthly posts are available in an archive on the Upcoming Releases page.

May 3

As One (aka Korea)
Just Friends

May 10

Du-re Sori Story
I Am
The Strangers

May 17

All About My Wife
Granny Is in 1st Grade
The Taste of Money

May 24

Children of Heaven

May 31

Don't Click
In Another Country
Runway Cop
Still Strange



As One (aka Korea)

Director:  Moon Hyun-sung
Cast:  Ha Ji-won, Bae Doo-na
Synopsis:  As One chronicles the victory of the first inter-Korean team at the 1991 Chiba Worldwide Table Tennis Championships.
Release date:  May 3

There's a lot of buzz surrounding this project, especially with its two big female stars and theme of rapprochement of the divided Korean nations.  It the film clicks with audiences it may be one of the highest-grossing films of the year. 

Just Friends

Director:  Ahn Cheol-ho
Cast:  Oh Yeon-so, Lee Young-hoon
Synopsis:  Just Friends is a romance about an unemployed art school graduate who has recently been dumped but meets an aspiring musician at a concert
Release date:  May 3

I Am.

Director:  Choi Jin-sung
Synopsis:  A documentary of SM Entertainment's recent Madison Square Garden concert.
Release date:  May 10

Du-re Sori Story

Director:  Cho Jung-rae
Screenplay:  Baek Jong-min
Cast:  Kim Seul-gi, Jo Ah-reum, Ham Hyeong-sang, Choi Eun-yeong
Synopsis:  Two friends at the National High School of the Traditional Arts take a special class taught by a teacher with conflicting western influences. The class will compete as a chorus in contest.
Release date: May 10

The Strangers

Director:  Choi Yong-seok
Cast:  Yeo Hyeon-soo, Han Soo-yeon, Kim Joong-ki
Synopsis:  Yeon-hee returns to her hometown following the death of her mother in a fire and there she meets Seok who has lost in father in the same accident.  They bond and attempt to overcome their grief while Yeon-hee revisits the reason she left in the first place.
Release date:  May 10

All About My Wife

Director:  Min Gyoo-dong
Screenplay:  Min Gyoo-dong
Cast:  Im Soo-jeong, Lee Seon-gyoon, Ryoo Seung-yong
Synopsis:  A romantic comedy about a man who, in a bid to cleanly divorce his wife, hires a playboy to seduce his spouse.
Release date:  May 17

The Taste of Money

Director:  Im Sang-soo
Screenwriter:  Im Sang-soo
Cast:  Kim Kang-woo, Kim Hyo-jin, Baek Yoon-shik, Yoon Yeo-joong
Synopsis:  A woman divorces a salaryman and becomes wealthy.  A tale of greed and sex in the upper strata of Korean society
Release date:  May 17

Im Sang-soo's new film wrapped in January and looks to be another fascinating exposé of our darkest desires.  The film will have its world premier at Cannes where it is in the main competition vying for the Palm d'Or.  The Taste of Money will also feature a small role for the founder of and MKC contributor Darcy Paquet.

Granny Is in 1st Grade

Director:  Jin Kwang-gyo
Cast:  Kim Jin-goo, Shin Chae-yeon
Synopsis:  A 70-year-old woman loses her son but she can't read the final letter he sent her so her 7-year-old granddaughter teaches her how to read.
Release date:  May 17

Children of Heaven

Director:  Park Heung-shik
Cast:  You Da-in, Park Ji-bin, Kim Bo-ra
Synopsis:  A new teacher begins a three month stint at a school for troubled children.  She hopes to involve some of new students in a talent contest by staging a musical.
Release date:  May 24


Director:  Kong Quee-hyun
Screenwriter:  Kong Quee-hyun
Cast:  Lee Joo-seung, Kim Chang-hwan, Kim Tae-yoon
Synopsis:  A group of students catch sight of an alien spacecraft and decide to travel to UFO mountain but on the way there they are warned to turn back.
Release date:  May 24

This sci-fi comedy opened last July at the Puchon International Film Festival and has since played at the Digital Seoul Film Festival and Tokyo International Film Festival.


Director:  Lim Tae-hyeong
Cast:  Lee Sang-bong
Synopsis:  Documentary chronicling the lives of 14 blind schoolchildren
Release date:  May 24

In Another Country

Director:  Hong Sang-soo
Screenwriter:  Hong Sang-soo
Cast:  Isabelle Huppert, Yoo Joon-sang, Jeong Yu-mi, Yoon Yeo-jeong, Moon Seong-gun, Kwon Hae-hyo
Release date:  May 31

The new Hong Sang-soo film stars a major French actress and will be premiering in Cannes ahead of its Korean release, not to be missed.

Don't Click

Director:  Kim Tae-kyeong
Screenwriter:  Kim Tae-kyeong
Cast:  Park Bo-young, Joo Won, Kang Byul
Synopsis:  Bizarre events occur after a pair watch a mysterious video.
Release date:  May 31

This sounds like a blatant ripoff of The Ring (1998), given the poor quality of last summer's horrors, I'm not expecting much from this one.  Also, as you'll notice on the poster, Don't Click was scheduled for release last August but got pushed back, never a good sign.

Runway Cop

Director:  Sin Tae-ra
Cast:  Kang Ji-hwan, Sung Yu-ri, Kim Young-kwang, Lee Soo-hyuk
Synopsis:  In order to break a case, a determined detective goes undercover in the fashion world.
Release date:  May 31

Still Strange

Director:  Lee Hong-jae
Screenwriter:  Kim Tae-kyeong
Cast:  Jang Si-won, Kim Soo-woong, Lee So-hee
Synopsis:  An old couple and their grown up children gather during the first New Year's Day following their only son's death.
Release date:  May 31


Director:  Maeng Gwan-pyo
Cast:  Ruzmetova Dayana, Jo Ha-seok
Synopsis:  16-year-old Uzbeki ballet dancer Diana loses her chance at a scholarship as the iron curtain rolls back.  She then goes to Korea with a stranger in the hope of following her dreams.
Release date:  May


Director:  Park Bo-sang
Cast:  Cheon Ho-jin, Lee Mi-sook, Seo Yoon, Ye Hak-yeong
Synopsis:  A sex comedy about a family's romantic entanglements.
Release date:  May

This film was made in 2008 and is finally seeing the light of day.


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