Showing posts with label ahn sung-ki. Show all posts
Showing posts with label ahn sung-ki. Show all posts

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Review: BETWEEN THE KNEES Lies Korea's Sexual Awakening

By Pierce Conran

While eastern and western sensibilities co-exist somewhat happily in Korea these days, this wasn't always the case. Faced with independence after a long spell of colonial rule in 1945, albeit divided from the Soviet-controlled North, South Korea, through the presence of the US military, was presented with the trappings of the West for the very first time. Ever since then, there has been an uneasy relationship between respect for established local tradition and cravings for imported comforts.

Many films have examined this dichotomy, including Early Rain (1966). However few have done so as aggressively as Lee Jang-ho's Between the Knees (1984), a fascinating and frustratingly paradoxical work from the Korean New Wave. Both progressive and surprisingly conservative, it's a little hard to peg exactly what director Lee's angle is at different points of his film.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Korean Cinema News (06/21-06/27, 2012)

Lots of great news pieces this week, chief among them the fantastic lineup for next month's PiFan!


PiFan Unveils Lineup!

Far too much to go through here but upcoming Korean omnibus Horror Stories will be opening the proceedings and the week will close with Takashi Miike's latest, For Love's Sake. Lots of interesting films in competition and plenty of Korean films will be screened over the 11 days. James and Marsh and I will be breaking down the program over the coming days over at Twitch and we will both be onsite, providing the most comprehensive coverage you're likely to find! (Modern Korean Cinema, June 27, 2012)

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Unbowed (부러진 화살, Bureojin Hwasal) 2012

In June of this year, two Korean actors will be feted at the famed Grauman’s Chinese theatre on Hollywood Blvd., where they will have their hand and footprints cast in the pavement; the first Asian performers to be honoured in such a way. One is Lee Byung-hyun who, rather than being one of the nation’s best or most long-standing thespians, is the one with the highest international profile. He is making a name for himself in the US industry and will soon be seen in G.I. Joe 2 and then the sequel to Red (2011). In fact, the former will be opening mere days following the aforementioned ceremony so his selection does smack of opportunism.

However, the second star has all the hallmarks of greatness that such a distinction would indicate, and then some. Ahn Sung-ki is a legend in the Korean film industry and is probably its most respected star. One of his earliest roles was in Kim Ki-young’s The Housemaid (1960) and he starred in a series of classics starting in the 1980s, such as A Fine, Windy Day (1980), Im Kwon-taek’s Mandala (1981), Whale Hunting (1984), Park Kwang-su’s Chilsu and Mansu (1988), The Taebaeck Mountains (1994, also Im Kwon-taek), Lee Myeong-se’s Nowhere to Hide (1999) and many, many more. Even now he is still one of the country’s top working actors and earlier this year he proved that he could still draw in the crowds just as well as anybody. He has won the Grand Bell Award (the Korean Oscar equivalent) no less than six times but he seems almost certain to pick up his seventh accolade later this year for his latest performance.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Korean Cinema News (04/05-04/11, 2012)

A fair amount of news this week and a handful of major announcements.  A short while ago, Darcy Paquet mentioned on his twitter that Jeon Do-yeon may be starring in Lee Chang-dong's next picture.  This would reunite them for the first time since Secret Sunshine (2007) which won Jeon a best actress prize at Cannes.  Darcy also revealed that Jeon may be collaborating with Lee Yoon-ki (This Charming Girl, 2004; My Dear Enemy, 2008; Come Rain, Come Shine, 2011) following that.  If these materialize they will projects to be very excited about!

Another major announcement is the unveiling of the 14th Udine Far East Film Festival (20-28 April, 2012) lineup.  The press conference was streamed yesterday and MKC live-tweeted as much as it could understand (the broadcast was in Italian).  The program looks great and I'm really looking forward to the event which I will covering on site.  Particularly interesting is the European premiere of Dangerously Excited and of course Darcy Paquet's 1970s cinema retrospective.  Lineup is available below:

The other big news this week is the upcoming Terracotta Far East Film Festival in London which will open with a presentation of Kang Je-gyu's My Way.  Below are some great previews of the event, wish I could be there!


Third Time With Director Lee Myeong-se
Ahn Seong-ki will make an appearance as the senior of Cheol-soo (Seol Kyeong-gu), a National Intelligence agent, in the new Lee Myeong-se film.  He won't appear much but it's a key role that will add weight to the overall film.  It seems that Ahn Seong-ki decided to star in this movie for his friendship with the director.  The two met on the 1999 movie Nowhere To Hide and also in the 2005 movie Duelist.  (, April 4, 2012)

Lectures on Local Films for Foreigners
The Korea Foundation will hold a series of six lectures on Korean films this month. "Open Lectures on Korean Culture for Foreigners: Treasures of Korean Cinema".  The Foundation was established in 1991 by the Korean National Assembly with the aim of enhancing the image of Korea to people around the world who have Internet Explorer and Adobe Flash Player version 10.1.0 or greater installed on their computers.  (The Dokdo Times, April 4, 2012)

Actress Im’s Upcoming Film Revealed to Be Argentinean Remake
Upcoming romantic comedy Everything about My Wife, starring stars Im Soo-jung and Lee Sun-kyun, was belatedly found to be a remake of an Argentinean movie released in 2008.  The production house has never mentioned the flick being an adaptation of Un novio para mi mujer (A Boyfriend for My Wife) by director Juan Taratuto. Some websites have even credited director Min Kyu-dong as the screenwriter.  Zip Cinema, the producer of the film, confirmed the fact Wednesday only when asked by The Korea Herald.  (The Korea Herald, April 5, 2012)

South Korean Company Wants You to Feel, Smell, and Taste Titanic as it Sinks. Have They Gone Overboard?
One South Korean company is taking movie-going…to the next level.  The company: CJ 4DPlex Co., which almost certainly boasts an all-robot staff.  The movie: Titanic, of course.  As millions of Americans drink in the sights and sounds of James Cameron’s masterpiece in just three lousy Ds, their thrill-seeking brethren in South Korea, Mexico, China, and Thailand will be enjoying Titanic in 4DX.  (Entertainment Weekly, April 5, 2012)

Emirates Korean Film Fest Begins
The second Emirates Korean Film Festival got underway in Abu Dhabi under the patronage of Shaikh Sultan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President’s Representative and Chairman of the Sultan bin Zayed Centre for Culture and Information.  The festival, which will run until Sunday at the Abu Dhabi Theatre, features a remarkably rich lineup of recent Korean films.  Seven feature films are being shown, providing an opportunity for the UAE’s film audience to experience some of South Korea’s dynamic film culture.  (Khaleej Times, April 7, 2012)

Sports Flick As One Targets Patriots
It was the beginning of 1991, when the South and North Korean governments made an unprecedented attempt to warm relations by fusing their national sports teams together.  After a couple of months, the unified Korean table tennis team broke the Chinese stranglehold on the highest podium of the world championships.  Coming to theaters in May is a film that tries to recreate the gold-medal-winning chemistry, titled As One.  (The Korea Times, April 10, 2012)


Vengeance Violence and the Sentimental in Korean Film - Part I
A man holding a hatchet chases a car full of gangsters down an empty, wide boulevard. He looks down and sees blood pouring from a bullet wound in his abdomen. He approaches the first car he sees. A man on a phone screams and flees. He continues to chase the car of gangsters. But he is bleeding heavily. He must find something to stem the tide of blood before he passes out. He needs to find the girl. But first he needs to get the bullet out. Darkness is closing in. Fade out.  (Heso Magazine, April 9, 2012)


Dangerously Excited

Don't Click


All About My Wife

A Muse

Dangerously Excited

Forest of Time

Red Maria

Taste of Money


(Modern Korean Cinema, April 8, 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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