Wednesday, September 26, 2012

KCN: A Bittersweet Life Gets US Remake, Pieta Sales and a Boatload of Posters (09/20-09/26, 2012)

It's been a very busy week here in Korea as I'm switching jobs, moving, preparing for Busan and have lost my phone so apologies for the slower pace of articles and this abbreviated version of Korean Cinema News. 


A Bittersweet Life to Be Remade, Albert Hughes Takes the Reigns
One half of the directing duo behing Menace II Society, From Hell and The Book of Eli, Albert Hughes, is set to direct a fast-tracked remake of the seminal Korean gangster film A Bittersweet Life. Anthony Peckham, recently behind Invictusand Sherlock Holmes, has been brought in to polish the script. No word yet on cast or possible release date.

There's been a awful lot of news surrounding Korean films being remade in Hollywood or Korean directors making their mark in Tinseltown lately but this is one development I can't get excited about. I'm generally not a fan of foreign films being remade (much less Korean ones) so I'm not one of the people who is excited for Spike Lee's take on Oldboy. However, I do recognize the potential that such an original premise has in a new market. The same goes for the upcoming remake of Castaway on the Moon, one of the very best films made in the last decade. Last I heard, Mark Waters (of Mr. Popper's Penguins fame) was at the helm, and while I don't think that'll amount to much I do concede that it is property with a fantastic premise, ripe for the remake treatment.

However, as great as Kim Jee-woon's A Bittersweet Life is, and it really is, it's not based on the most original of conceits. Were you to take away its magnetic star (Lee Byung-hun), flamboyant (and very Korean) mise-en-scene, and its auteur director, I'm not sure that a whole lot would be left behind. At least not enough to warrant a remake. Perhaps I'm wrong about this and they have an angle that will set it apart from the original, but I have my doubts. (Modern Korean Cinema, September 26, 2012/Twitchfilm, September 21, 2012)

Kim Ki-duk to Cut Pieta Run Short
As his award-winning movie Pieta reaches 500,000 in ticket sales, director Kim Ki-duk has vowed to pull the movie from cinemas on Oct. 3. Kim said that as a staunch promoter of independent, homegrown talent, he will forego any more profit generated by his movie. “Foremost, thank you so much to the Korean public for watching a movie that is neither a blockbuster nor an entertaining comedy,” said Kim through his movie’s distributor. (Joong Ang Daily, September 25, 2012)

Comedy Makes North Korean Film History
At the Pyongyang International Film Festival in North Korea history is being made with the screening of Comrade Kim Goes Flying - the country's first romantic comedy to be co-produced with Western partners. It has been described as a Disneyesque story of a young coal miner who dreams of becoming a trapeze artist. With its individualistic "girl-power" theme the film's British co-director, Nick Bonner, sees this fairytale as quite unlike a typical North Korean picture. (BBC, September 24, 2012)

Pietà continues sales success
Kim Ki-duk's Pietà has achieved further significant sales deals since its Golden Lion win at the Venice International Film Festival and its confirmation as South Korea's foreign-language Oscar contender. After receiving multiple bids for the rights in Toronto, sales agency Finecut Co Ltd licensed the drama to King Records Ltd for Japan. (Film Business Asia, September 19, 2012)

Darcy Paquet, Film Critic & Specialist in Korean Cinema
Among other cultural products, South Korean films have done particularly well both locally and abroad in recent years. Our guest today, Darcy Paquet, widely known as an “ambassador” of Korean films, has been involved with the Korean film industry for many years through various jobs including being a movie critic, a freelance author, a professor of film, and a part-time actor. (KBS World, September 15, 2012)




 Confession of Murder (Character Poster 1)

Confession of Murder (Character Poster 2)

Dangerous Liaisons (Character Poster 1)

Dangerous Liaisons (Character Poster 2)

Dangerous Liaisons (Character Poster 3)

Dangerous Liaisons (Chinese Poster)

Dangerous Liaisons (Main Poster)

Juvenile Offender

Mac Korea

Perfect Number (Poster 1)

Perfect Number (Poster 2)

Steel Dae-ho Saving the Country


(Modern Korean Cinema, September 24, 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 Korean ReviewsReviews and features on Korean film also appear regularly on the site. 

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