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Wednesday, May 9, 2012

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.


KOREAN CINEMA NEWS

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!

Mister K Update: Lee Myeong-se Out, New Studio Hand In
Following Lee Myeong-se's sudden dismissal from the upcoming project Mister K, starring Sol Kyung-go and Moon So-ri, production company JK film has announced that Lee Seung-joon has stepped in to fill his shoes.  Since the film was already in production it makes sense to quickly fill the void but Lee Myeong-se's replacement couldn't be any further away from the auteur's idiosyncratic style.  Lee Seung-joon is a debut director who has previously worked as an assistant director or in other production capacities for blockbusters such as Haeundae (2009) and Quick (2011).  

Personally I don't think this sudden reversal bodes well for the project and it gives me the impression that the studio has slotted someone into the director's chair who will follow their directives to the letter and deliver the project on time, within the budget and without any hassle.  This also means that the product could suffer, likely yielding a far more conventional and routine thriller.  (Modern Korean Cinema, May 9, 2012)

Remember O Goddess Secures Funding and is Indiewire's Project of the Week!
Lee Yoon-jung's Kickstarter crowdsourcing project for the upcoming Remember O Goddess independent feature has successfully raised its minimum amount ($30,000).  There is still a little under a day left in the campaign to pledge additional funds which would go towards cast and crew payment, all of whom are currently undertaking the project pro bono.

Additionally Lee's feature was named one of Indiewire's Project of the Day entries last week and was voted its Project of the Week yesterday which comes with a digital distribution consultation from SnagFilms.  Later in May it will vie for Project of the Month for a chance at a Sundance Institute consultation.  (Modern Korean Cinema, May 9, 2012)

Free SOAS Seminar Tomorrow on - Korean Film: Years of Radical Change
University of London's School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) will be hosting a free seminar on May 10 (tomorrow) on 'Korean Film: Years of Radical Change'.  The day-long event will feature discussions from some of the most important voices on Korean film from the UK, including Colette Balmain, Julian Stringer, Jinhee Choi, Chi-yun Shin and Mark Morris, as well as various SOAS faculty members. Make sure to register before attending by following this link, which also provides more details on the event.  (Modern Korean Cinema, May 9, 2012)

Following numerous attempts to get the project funded, 26 Years is now attempting to secure its budget through crowdsourcing.  The film, which follows a group of people bent on punishing the person they deem responsible for the 1980 Gwangju Massacre, is based on a Kang Pool internet comic.  The project is hoping to secure roughly a million dollars before going into production.  (kobiz, May 2, 2012)

Lotte Picks Up Worldwide Rights to Code Name: Jackal
Korea’s Lotte Entertainment has picked up worldwide rights to Code Name: Jackal (working title), starring Jaejoong from Korean pop group JYJ.  Produced by Nomad Films, the comic thriller tells the story of a K-pop star (Jaejoong) who develops a relationship with a mysterious female assassin who has been hired to kill him by driving him crazy.  (Screen Daily, May 8, 2012)

South Korean Movie Unbowed to Open FIFF
Unbowed, a South Korean movie directed by Chung Ji-young, has been selected as the opening film of the Focus on Asia, Fukuoka International Film Festival (FIFF) to be held in Fukuoka, Japan from July 6-15, movie industry sources said Tuesday.  Unbowed is a box-office hit that has drawn 3.5 million viewers since it first screened in Korea in January.  Veteran actor Ahn Seong-gi, who played the title role, will attend the opening ceremony.  (Yonhap News Agency, May 8, 2012)


INTERVIEWS

Director Aims To Overcome Prejudice With His Stirring War Drama
South Korean film director Je-kyu Kang returns from a seven-year hiatus with My Way, a stirring war drama about two rivals and their descent into World War II.  Kang’s previous works center around spies, battles, and heists, so the man is no stranger to fight scenes.  While speaking with Izumi Hasegawa, Kang remarks on translating the film, the relationship between Japan and Korea, and working with his complex cast.  (Buzzine, April 30, 2012)

Jung Ji-woo Talks On His New Film, New Muse
Director Jung Ji-woo’s latest film Eungyo once again shows his keen eye for actresses.  Sure, leading actor Park Hae-il proved to be a real trouper, enduring eight hours of makeup and stop-and-go filming every day for his character, a man in his 70s.  But since the film’s release last week, all eyes have been on young actress Kim Go-eun, who plays a reckless 17-year-old who captures an old poet’s heart.  (The Korea Herald, May 2, 2012)

Bae Doo-Na Interview
Bae Doo-na is currently in theaters in the film As One.   It is the story of the first time South and North Korea united their athletes to particiapte in an international event.  The Korean title of this film is simply Korea which is what the unified team was called but the English name was changed to As One since most non-Koreans take Korea to refer to South Korea.  In the movie, Bae plays the North Korean table tennis athlete Lee Boon-hee.  (Seen in Jeonju, May 4, 2012)


TRAILERS

U.F.O.



POSTERS

As One


Don't Click (Character Posters)



Runway Cop (Main Poster)

The Emperor's Concubine (Main Poster)


BOX OFFICE

(Modern Korean Cinema, May 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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