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Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Korean Cinema News (07/12-07/18, 2012)

PiFan is upon us and once it gets underway tomorrow I dare say I won't have time for anything else. This means that there will be no Korean Cinema News next week but don't worry I'll double the week after the fest!


Final two previews from James Marsh and I over at Twitch:


Shooting Wraps on Bong Joon-ho's Snow Piercer
Principal photography has wrapped on Bong Joon-ho's upcoming sci-fi spectacle Snow Piercer. Baring a few budget issues when some Hollywood financiers jumped ship recently, the shoot seems to have gone very smoothly and it's wonderful to see this project, which has been in the works for seven years, finally becoming realized.

CJ has the international rights to this pic, which was budgeted at $39.2 million, making it the most expensive Korean production ever made, topping last year's $24.5 million for My Way. However, most of the cast is international and the dialogue will mainly be English, not to mention it was almost entirely shot in Prague. Lest we forget, CJ has also bankrolled a $100 million Korean War being helmed by Rob Cohen.

In any case Bong Joon-ho's film, which is also produced by Park Chan-wook and features such thesps as Song Kang-ho, John Hurt and Tildo Swinton in its cast, should be barreling to theaters next year once Bong completes post-production back in Korea. For my money's worth this is the most exciting film project on the horizon! (Modern Korean Cinema, July 18, 2012/Twitch, July 17, 2012)

Korean Erotic Period Flick The Emperor's Concubine Sells to 8 Countries
Recent Korean hit The Emperor's Concubine from production house Hwang Ki Sun has been sold for distribution to eight territories, including Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Japan, Malaysia and Brunei. Kim Dae-sung fifth feature, following films like Bungee Jumping on Their Own (1998) and Blood Rain (2005), is a erotic period film detailing a steamy love triangle, starring Jo Yeo-jeon (The Servant, 2010), Kim Dong-wuk (Take Off, 2008) and Kim Min-joon (Pained, 2011).

Kim's feature enjoyed a great run in its native Korea which began in early June and is just now winding down after attracting over 2.6 million spectators. The film was screened at the Cannes Film Market earlier this year. (Modern Korean Cinema, July 18, 2012/Twitch, July 18, 2012)

Movie Industry Signs Pact on Shared Growth
A trilateral commission of the government, movie industry executives and associations of industry people on Monday signed an agreement calling for their best efforts to carry out “shared growth” within the industry. The parties agreed to launch a center for monitoring unfair acts by large conglomerates as part of efforts to lessen their monopoly on the market, according to the commission. (The Korea Herald, July 16, 2012)

CJ Entertainment Brings Sci-fi Thriller Deranged to North America
CJ Entertainment brings the highly anticipated science fiction thriller Deranged to North America on July 27, 2012. Upon its release in South Korea, Deranged  quickly beat out Hollywood blockbuster Amazing Spiderman in the box office and sold more than 1.3 million tickets in 4 days. (, July 13, 2012)

Animation Festival Opens Today, Offering Both Light, Heavy
Cartoons and animations hold a special place in every child’s heart, and an event next week will give children and young-hearted adults an opportunity to stretch their imaginations through some of the world’s finest works. The 16th Seoul International Cartoon and Animation Festival (SICAF) will screen over 150 animated films from 30 countries at two central Seoul cinemas from July 18 to 22. It will also hold exhibitions and a film market concurrently. (The Korea Times, July 4, 2012)


Yeun Sang-ho, Director of the Animated King of Pigs
The 2012 New York Asian Film Festival comes to a close this evening. And we have one more interview for you. It's with rising Korean Animator Yeun Sang-ho, the man behind King of Pigs – a brutal look at school bullying and class in Korean Society. Our correspondent, the Lady Miz Diva was fortunate enough to sit down with Yeun last weekend for a chat. (Twitch, July 15, 2012)

Action Trailblazer Chung Chang-wha
For those not knee deep in action and martial arts cinema, the name Chung Chang-wha may not ring a bell, but some of the Korean director's films (working in Hong Kong at Shaw Brothers and Golden Harvest) will most certainly cause some kind of mind-clang. Chung brought kung fu to the international stage with the likes of King Boxer (Five Fingers of Death), The Skyhawk, and Broken Oath. Though he hasn't had an active role in cinema for decades, his contributions have clearly been great -- Five Fingers' influence and popularity alone is worthy of this statement. (Twitch, July 14, 2012)

Korean Film Legend and International Star
On Saturday June 30th, I had the opportunity to attend the Korean Press Conference at the Walter Reade Theater, site of the New York Asian Film Festival. Participating in the press conference was Korean actor Choi Min-sik, who had a four-film mini retrospective of his work, including his latest film Nameless Gangster (2012) and the classic cult film Oldboy (2003). In attendance were press people from both Korea and the U.S. and Choi was genial and seemed quite relaxed while fielding questions about his career. (VCinema, July 14, 2012)


Ukelele Love Together


Soar Into the Sun (Main Poster)


(Modern Korean Cinema, July 15, 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 (Korean Standard Time) 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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