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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.

The two thesps in question are Lee Byung-hun, a major contemporary star (A Bittersweet Life, 2005; I Saw the Devil, 2010) who is currently making his mark on Hollywood (G.I. Joe, 2009; G.I. Joe: Retaliation; 2012), and celebrated legend Ahn Sung-ki who made his debut in the seminal Kim Ki-young feature The Housemaid (1960) over 50 years ago and after being the face of the industry throughout the 60s is still very active, having just won Best Actor at the PaekSang Awards for his turn in the recent Unbowed.

Lee Myeong-se Fired From Mister K
I was very sad when Daniel Martin related on his twitter account that Korean auteur Lee Myeung-se (Nowhere to Hide, 1999; Duelist, 2005) had been fired from the upcoming production Mister K, starring Seol Kyeong-gu and Moon So-ri.  Lee had shot some test footage in Thailand but apparently the investors did not appreciate his particular style.  It's understandable that a commercial production may not suit his style but then why hire him in the first place?  I think it's a great shame as this was one of the most exciting projects on the horizon.  I hope the film gets back on track with a good director and doesn't become a bog-standard high-budget thriller.  More than anything I hope we do get to see a new Lee Myeong-se project soon as it has already been 5 years since M (2007).

Silenced Wins Top Award at Udine Far East Fest
It was a long week with a lot of great film at the 14th Udine Far East Film Festival but all good things have to come to an end.  Just before the closing film, Dante Lam's Viral Factor, festival director Sabrina Baracetti announced the audience award winners and Silenced came up trumps by winning the audience award with a 4.4 out of 5 score and also walking away with the Black Dragon award.  The Front Line came in third in the Audience scores with 4.16 and I'm told that Sunny and Punch weren't far behind.

Remember O Goddess Reaches 85% of Funding Goal
Lee Yoon-jung's Remember O Goddess has been gaining traction and has now reached the 85% mark of its Kickstarter campaign with a week to go.  Things are looking good but it would be a shame for it to fall through in the 11th hour.  Please consider funding this worthy project and if you already have, you can always add more.  Personally I'm going to double my contribution today because I really want to see my name in the credits...  I mean I really want to see this exciting film made.  Seriously though, it's a worthy cause and a rare chance to get in on a Korean film!

Remember O Goddess Kickstarter Project

No Mercy Coming Out on DVD
CJ America has announced that it will be releasing the Seol Kyeong-gu and Ryoo Seung-beom starring thriller No Mercy (2010) on DVD in the United States on July 31. The release will feature a behind-the-scenes doc, interviews, a music video and trailers.

The synopsis is as follows (from press release): Noted pathologist Professor Kang Min-ho is retiring to spend more time with his beloved daughter. But when a beautiful, young woman turns up mutilated, he is drawn into one last case.

Moss to Be Released on DVD
5 Point Pictures has scheduled a two-disc DVD release of Korean thriller Moss (starring Jeong Jae-yeong and Park Hae-il) for August 21 in North America.  This is the second of a series of Korean release from the company, following Finding Mr. Destiny (2010).

Moss tell the story of (from press release) Hae-guk, who receives word that his estranged father has passed away, so he travels to the remote village where the older man lived to attend the funeral.  However, when Hae-guk starts asking questions about his father’s life – and unexplained death – the residents and their charismatic Chief exchange mysterious looks and seem anxious to rush him out of their village.

Dangerous Liaisons Heads to Cannes
Korean director Hur Jin-ho’s latest work Dangerous Liaisons, which features Hallyu actor Jang Dong-gun, has become the fifth Korean movie invited to the 65th annual Cannes Film Festival.  The film is based on a French novel of the same title authored by Pierre Choderlos de Laclos and stars Chinese actresses Zhang Ziyi and Cecilia Cheung.  (Joong Ang Daily, April 26, 2012)

2012 (48th) PaekSang Arts Awards
The 48th annual PaekSang Arts Awards were held last Thursday and Nameless Gangster and Unbowed won the most awards.  Click through for AsianWiki's full breakdown of the nominees and winners. (AsianWiki, April 26, 2012)


CUEAFS Interview Director Koo Ja-hong at Udine FEFF 14
During Day 3 of the Udine Far East Film Festival, CUEAFS‘s Antoniya Petkova sat down with Korean director Koo Ja-hong, whose feature, Dangerously Excited was screened as part of yesterday’s festival programme.  (CUEAFS, April 22, 2012)

Interview With Director Song Il-gon
Director and script-writer Song Il-gon is one of those filmmakers that you’ve probably heard of but some of whose work you've almost certainly never seen.  Born in 1971, Song studied Fine Arts in Seoul before relocating to Poland to train at the National Film Academy in Lodz and, after making award-winning short films, Song moved on to full features.   (Hangul Celluloid, April 26, 2012)


As One (eng sub)

Granny Is in 1st Grade

In Another Country

Just Friends

Runway Cop

Taste of Money

The Emperor's Concubine

The Strangers

The Thieves



In Another Country

Miss Conspirator

Runway Cop

Taste of Money

The Strangers


(Modern Korean Cinema, April 30, 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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