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Wednesday, September 5, 2012

KCN: Park Chan-wook takes on Western, Pieta at Venice and Busan Heats Up! (08/30-09/05, 2012)

The bis news this week is a new Park Chan-wook project, Pieta premiering at Venice and numerous Busan Film Fest announcements

BIFF 2012

The 17th Busan International Film Festival is exactly one month away and the news is starting to come in thick and fast. MKC will be on site for the entire event:

Flash Forward Jury Unveiled for Busan Film Fest
The 17th BIFF's Flash Forward selection has chosen famed Mexican director Arturo Ripstein (Deep Crimson, 1996) to head its jury. Joining him on the panel will be Toronto Film Fest co-director Cameron Bailey, Korean filmmaker Byun Young-joo (Helpless), Harvard's Haden Guest and filmmaker Sergei Loznista. (Modern Korean Cinema, September 5, 2012)
Koji Wakamatsu to Be Awarded Filmmaker of the Year
Next month's 17th Busan International Film Festival will awards its annual Asian Filmmaker of the Year' award to Koji Wakamatsu, one of Japan's most controversial and consistent independent filmmakers. Previous recipients include Iran’s Mohsen Makhmalbaf, Taiwan’s Hou Hsiao Hsien, Hong Kong’s Andy Lau and Hong Kong’s Tsui Hark. (Modern Korean Cinema, September 5, 2012)

BIFF's Flash Forward Reveals Competition Lineup
This year 8 titles will vie for the top prize in the Flash Forward section of the Busan Film Festival. Similar to the New Currents section, Flash Forward programs first or second works from non-Asian filmmakers. The year's entries are: All Musicians Are Bastards (Estonia); Annelie (Germany, Switzerland); The Crack (Argentina); Flower Buds (Czech Republic); Fuer Elise (Germany); The Scar (Canada); State of Emergency (Russia); and Steel (Italy). (Modern Korean Cinema, September 5, 2012)

Ten Titles Announced for New Currents Section
Featuring 6 world premieres and 4 international ones, the New Currents section of this year's Busan Film Festival has announced its 10 competition titles. This program throws the spotlight on emerging Asian talent one their first or second works. The full lineup is as follows: 111 Girls (Iraq); 36 (Thailand); Apparition (Philippines); Fatal (South Korea); Filmstaan (India); Kayan (Canada, Lebanon); The Town Of Whales (Japan); Together (Taiwan); Touch Of The Light (Taiwan); and Your Time Is Up (South Korea). (Modern Korean Cinema, September 5, 2012)

Arturo Ripstein Gets BIFF Retro
The famed Mexican director Arturo Ripstein is to receive a retrospective at the Busan in October. He is also the jury head of the Flash Forward section. Four of his films will be screened at the fest, all of which focuis on obsessive love. The titles include: The Castle of Purity (1973); Life Sentence (1979); The Realm of Fortune (1986); and The Beginning and the End (1993). (Modern Korean Cinema, September 5, 2012)

New Currents Section Jury Revealed
BIFF's New Currents section, which takes a look at promising Asian talent, has announced a stellar jury which will be presided over by none other than Bela Tarr, the master Hungarian cineaste behind Satantango (1994), The Werckmeister Harmonies (2000) and last year's The Turin Horse. Other members Jung Woo-sung, one of Korea's most popular actors (Beat, 1997; The Good, the Bad and the Weird, 2008), revered Japanese filmmakers Kawase Naomi (The Morning Forest, 2007), nobel laureate Jean-Marie Gustave Le Clezio and Canadian critic David Gilmour. (Modern Korean Cinema, September 5, 2012)


Park Chan-wook Picks Western as Next Project
Following the completion of his first major Hollywood feature, Park Chan-wook, the famed Korean cineaste behind the Vengeance trilogy (Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance, 2002; Oldboy, 2003; Lady Vengeance, 2005) and Thirst (2009), has signed on to his second tinseltown production. It's another blacklist screenplay which toped the famed industry poll in 2006 but has had trouble securing backers due to its violent content.

The Brigands of Rattleborge, which will be financed by Red Granite Pictures and co-produced by Mythology Entertainment, follows a sheriff and a doctor out for revenge following the attack on a small town by a group of bandits. No word on a possible start date or any other talent attached at this stage but Variety speculates that due to the film's violent nature, a major star will be needed to come onboard. The idea of Park Chan-wook directing a violent western is certainly a tantalizing one.

Meanwhile Park's latest Stoker is gearing up for a March 1, 2013 bow. Penned by Wentworth Miller and starring Nicole Kidman, Mia Masikowska and Matthew Goode, the film is about a mysterious uncle who comes to stay with a girl and her unstable mother following her father's death. (Modern Korean Cinema, September 5, 2012/Twitch, August 30, 2012)

Fundraising for New Korean Film Draws Large Response
The number of participants in a rare fundraising campaign for a local film project has topped the 10,000 mark, the movie’s production company said Monday. The project to make 26 Years, a new film based on a famous Webtoon by Kang Pool featuring the 1980 Gwangju people’s uprising for democracy, has drifted for years due to financial problems. (The Korean Herald, September 4, 2012)

Robots and Technology: What Does Kim Ji-woon Fear For the Future of Korea?
"All these stories originate from the earth. From the very earth you live on". That is the final line of the official description of the omnibus film Doomsday Book. The film contains three stories of how mankind would perhaps bring about its own apocalypse. In Kim Ji-woon's "Creation of Heaven" this theme of self-destruction is placed against the backdrop of technological advancement as a product of human effort and imagination. In Kim's version, mankind's fall seems to share its destiny with technological advancement, all the while asking hard questions on issues of morality, spirituality, and being in the near future. (, September 1, 2012)

Maturing Movie Industry Outgrows Supporting Role
It used to be that Korean film production companies adjusted the release dates to avoid coinciding with Hollywood movies. However, that has changed with the soaring popularity of Korean films. As of last Sunday, The Thieves ticket sales topped 12 million and are expected to surpass The Host, which holds the record for Korean movie with 13.1 million. (Joong Ang Daily, August 31, 2012)

Finecut Sells Pieta to Italy's Good Films
It was announced by Korean sales company Finecut that Kim Ki-duk’s Pieta has sold to Good Films for Italian distribution. It tells of a loan shark who meets a woman claiming to be his mother. He finds becomes attached to her but other motives are in play.  Pieta is now screening in competition at the Venice Film Festival. (Screen Daily, August 30, 2012)


Too Old Hiphop Kid

A Company Man (Teaser)

Ghost Sweepers

Jinsuk and Me


A Company Man (Main Poster)

Ghost Sweepers (Poster 1)

Ghost Sweepers (Poster 2)

Ghost Sweepers (Character Poster 1)

Ghost Sweepers (Character Poster 2)

Ghost Sweepers (Character Poster 3)

Ghost Sweepers (Character Poster 4)

Masquerade (Main Poster)


(Modern Korean Cinema, September 3, 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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