Showing posts with label oldboy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label oldboy. Show all posts

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Revenge Week: Reader's Top 10 Korean Revenge Films


Part of MKC's Revenge Week (July 8-14, 2013).

We began Revenge Week with the MKC's Top 10 Korean Revenge Films and now as the feature comes to an end, here is the Top 10, as voted by you! Thanks to all who took part and if you leave a comment with your favorites, we may still just include them in the list. ;)

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Revenge Week: Vengeance Trilogy DVD/Blu-ray Giveaway!


Part of MKC's Revenge Week (July 8-14, 2013).

Just a few days left in Revenge Week now and the very kind people from Palisades Tartan have reached out to us to give a few lucky readers the chance to win Park Chan-wook's entire Vengeance Trilogy on DVD or Blu-Ray!

Monday, July 8, 2013

Revenge Week: Introduction - Seeds of Revenge


Part of MKC's Revenge Week (July 8-14, 2013).

One of the most popular trends in cinema across the world, revenge is a powerful device that triggers audience empathy and can be a great excuse to indulge in exploitation on the screen. Far be it from merely being a contrivance to allow for bloody genre cinema, the why of revenge often stretches beyond the theater. Society and history, not to mention personal expression, have led to the construction of many revenge narratives in cinema. Vengeance can take on many forms and its depiction can be a force of good, evil or any shade of grey in between. 

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Get Ready for 'Revenge Week' on MKC!


UPDATE: Some unexpected plans have forced me to move REVENGE WEEK on MKC back two weeks. It will now take place July 8-14. Sorry for the delay but this does give everyone more time to contribute! We have already received some great stuff and plenty more is on the way. Please don't be shy and contact us if you would like to take part!

A while back we held a 'Jopok Week' on MKC, focusing on Korea's colorful output of gangster cinema. With reviews, features and guests galore, it was the most fun and engaging week we ever had. It's high time we put on a new event so I'm thrilled to announce that at the end of this month (June 24-30) it'll be 'Revenge Week' here on MKC.

Perhaps more than any other genre, the revenge thriller or drama is ubiquitous with Korean cinema, particularly in the eyes of foreign viewers, many of whom were introduced to the nation's output through classic vengeful fare such Oldboy (2003) and A Bittersweet Life (2005). From Park Chan-wook's highly stylized Vengeance Trilogy and commercial films such as The Man From Nowhere (2010) to independent films such as the austere Bedevilled (2010), there's never been a shortage of revenge-themed films in South Korean cinema.

So why does Korea produce so many revenge narratives? Many theories exist and we hope to explore these during 'Revenge Week' and maybe even throw in a few of our own.

Just like 'Jopok Week' I would like extend an invitation to anyone who would like to contribute a piece on Korean revenge films. Feel free to drop me a line at pierceconran [at] gmail [dot] com.


Reviews and features on Korean film appear regularly on Modern Korean Cinema.  For film news, external reviews, and box office analysis, take a look at the Korean Box Office UpdateKorean Cinema News and the Weekly Korean Reviews, which appear weekly on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday mornings (Korean Standard Time).

To keep up with the best in Korean film you can sign up to our RSS Feed, like us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

MKC Thought Leaders' Corner: April 2013


How well does Josh Brolin fit in the above picture? With Spike Lee's Oldboy almost upon us and the announcement of possible remakes of Confession of Murder, New World, A Bittersweet Life, Lady Vengeance and more, it seems a good time to ask the experts:

How do you feel about remakes of Korean films?

We would also love to know what you think about remakes of Korean films! Please leave a comment or start a discussion with us on facebook or twitter.

Many to thanks to all the contributors for their time and insightful comments. Responses listed alphabetically, followed by the thoughts of MKC's teammembers.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

KCN: The Thieves Cracks 10 Million and JIFF Gets a New Director (08/16-08/22, 2012)

The Thieves made history this week by becoming only the 6th Korean film to cross the 10 million admissions mark and is now bearing down on the all-time record. In other news, some important castings and appointments, not to mention some festival news, posters and box office.


KOREAN CINEMA NEWS


Samuel L. Jackson Steps Aboard Spike Lee's Oldboy
Veteran actor Samuel L. Jackson is the latest star to join the remake of Park Chan-wook's classic Oldboy (2003), which is being helmed by Spike Lee with Josh Brolin in the lead. Bruce Horsnby has also recently joined the cast. (Modern Korean Cinema, August 22, 2012)

The Thieves to Screen in Hong Kong from September
The summer blockbuster The Thieves will begin screening across Asia from next month. On Sept. 6, the movie will premiere in Hong Kong and Indonesia before opening in Singapore on the 13th, and Malaysia and Thailand in October and November. (Joong Ang Daily, August 22, 2012)

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

NYAFF 2012 Retrospective: A Legend in the Flesh - The Life and Career of Choi Min-sik


Part of MKC's coverage of the 11th New York Asian Film Festival.

Biography

In discussing the life and works of South Korea’s legendary actor Choi Min-sik, who is making a special appearance at this year’s New York Asian Film Festival, I feel the first thing that should be mentioned is how very lucky we are that he was given a chance to make any films at all. Choi was born in 1962 in Seoul and during his early childhood he was diagnosed with tuberculosis. His doctor’s prognosis was that he wouldn’t make it but following a lengthy convalescence in the mountains, he beat the disease. I know that I and many others are very glad that he did!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Korean Cinema News (03/01-03/07, 2012)

A very busy week for Korean cinema news with lots of big announcements, but first and foremost we are in the midst of the brilliant Korean Blogathon, the links of which can be found below.

In other news I also had the great fortune of bumping into Bong Joon-ho at London Luton Airport last Thursday on my way to the East Winds Symposium + Festival and he told me he was in town to meet some actors for Snow Piercer.  So things seem to be heating up for that very exciting project which is set to start production in a few weeks.

Enjoy!





KOREAN CINEMA NEWS

Outside of Josh Brolin the casting has not come particularly quick or easy for the Spike Lee directed remake of Oldboy.  For the female lead both Rooney Mara and Mia Wasikowska have been offered and rejected the part and Twitch has now learned that the role of Marie has been offered to Elizabeth Olsen.  (Twitch, February 28, 2012)

Korean Film Festival in Australia (KOFFIA) Expands to Brisbane in 2012
KOFFIA is heading to Brisbane this September, so spread the word!  3 years, 3 cities, 3 times the fun!  No word on the line-up yet, but Sydney can certainly look forward to a full calendar of Korean films in the meantime. The second season of the Korean Cultural Office’s Cinema on the Park has also launched.   (The Reel Bits, February 28, 2012)

Nameless Gangster Emerging as Hottest Korean Movie of the Year
Nameless Gangster has attracted over 4 million spectators in just 26 days of its release, emerging as the first film to sell so many tickets in such a short time this year. It achieved the feat on Monday.  The success of Nameless Gangster is even more notable as it was achieved in February, considered the low season for movies, and is rated R, excluding younger viewers and families.  (The Chosun Ilbo, February 29, 2012)

From the Makers of Chawz Comes New Korean Supernatural Thriller
In The Fortune Tellers, bespectacled cutie Kang Ye-won heads to a remote village where a grand exorcism is about to take place.  Chawz was a bit overly long but it did a great job balancing comedy, pathos, and wild creature sequences so we should expect great things from The Fortune Tellers.  From these pictures, it certainly looks like it’ll be a lot of fun. The film opens in South Korea later this year.  (City on Fire, March 2, 2012)

Gorilla to Play Baseball in Korean Sports Comedy Mr. Go
Filming has already begun for Mr Go 3D, a sports comedy based on a popular manhwa (Korean comic) by Heo Yeong-man - his other works has also been adapted for Le Grand Chef.  The story is about a gorilla from a Chinese circus that is trained to play professional baseball in Korea.  Budgeted at $20 million, the ambitious live action film is being shot in stereoscopic 3-D and will utilize a combination of motion capture performances and digital effects √† la Rise of the Planet of the Apes.  (Twitch, March 6, 2012)

So Ji-sub Stars in Korean Hitman Thriller A Company Man
Korean heartthrob So Ji-Sub turned heads around the world with his role in 2008's Rough Cut.  Already a star of television dramas, Rough Cut put So back on the map in Korea after a couple years away while he did his mandatory military service and he has been very selective with his roles since, appearing in big budget TV drama Cain and Abel and Chinese feature Sophie's Revenge.  And soon he will be back on the big screen at home thanks to his lead part in Lim Sang-yoon's A Company Man.  (Twitch, March 6, 2012)

Busan Plans for New Studio Complex
Busan, the South Korean city that is already home to one of Asia's leading film festivals, has moved forward with its plans to build a world-class film studio.  The KOFIC facility would be the second set of new studios to be built in the city, after the Busan Film Commission's on-going redevelopment project.  Late last month the city authorities signed an agreement with the Korean Film Council, (KOFIC) that is expected to see the two bodies jointly finance the new studios.  (Film Business Asia, March 7, 2012)


INTERVIEWS

Quirky New Film Makes the Most of a Hairy Mess
Love Fiction, the new film by Jeon Kye-su, has a quirky element that is generating a buzz on the Internet: armpit hair.  Since before the film’s release on Wednesday, the phrase has become one of the top searches on major Web portals.  But there’s more to this film than that.  The Korea JoongAng Daily recently caught up with Jeon and talked with him about his insightful and unconventional romantic comedy.  (The Joong Ang Daily, March 2, 2012)

Kim Min-hee Anything But Helpless in New Movie Role
Actress Kim Min-hee, who stars in the film Helpless, which is scheduled to be released next Thursday, fell in love with the movie as soon as she read the script.  "I love films about characters with checkered lives, so I thought this role would give me a chance to show what I am capable of as an actress because it fits my style," she said.  (The Chosun Ilbo, March 3, 2012)

Interview with Fox International Production Creative Executive Paul Huh
Will this be a source of new energy for the Korean film industry, or a new era in which it will have to compete with Hollywood’s studio system in making Korean-language films?  Fox International Production (FIP), part of the 20th Century Fox Entertainment group, has declared it is officially entering the Korean film production market.  Dohoon Kim met with FIP’s Korean Creative Executive Paul Huh to talk about their plans. After studying finance in New York, Huh started working in the Korean film industry first at MK Pictures's international sales team and later became a producer.  (KoBiZ, March 6, 2012)

TRAILERS

Doomsday Book


Over My Dead Body



BOX OFFICE

(Modern Korean Cinema, March 5, 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. 

To keep up with the best in Korean film you can sign up to our RSS Feed, like us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter.


Friday, December 23, 2011

Weekly Review Round-up (12/17-12/23, 2011)

A pair of reviews for the Kim Jong-il produced godzilla propaganda film Pulgasari (1985) this week and a huge amount of writeups from Hanguk Yeonghwa and Connor McMorran who recently wrapped up his fantastic Kim Ki-duk week.  A variety of other reviews for films, past and present, were also published this week.


CURRENT KOREAN RELEASES


(Film Journal, December 20, 2011)

(The Korea Times, December 22, 2011)


RECENT RELEASES


(Korean Class Massive, December 18, 2011)

(Otherwhere, December 23, 2011)

(Hanguk Yeonghwa, December 11, 2011)

(Modern Korean Cinema, December 20, 2011)

Poetry

(Modern Korean Cinema, December 22, 2011)

Suicide Forecast

(The One One Four, December 20, 2011)

(hancinema.net, December 17, 2011)

(Hanguk Yeonghwa, December 19, 2011)


PAST FILMS


3-Iron, 2004
(Rainy Day Movies, December 17, 2011)

Breath, 2007
(Rainy Day Movies, December 19, 2011)

(Hangul Celluloid, December 21, 2011)

Dream, 2008
(Rainy Day Movies, December 19, 2011)

(My Film Views, December 20, 2011)

(Subtitles Online, December 15, 2011)

Oldboy, 2003
(Hanguk Yeonghwa, December 12, 2011)

Pulgasari, 1985 - North Korean

(Rainy Day Movies, December 18, 2011)

The Bow, 2006
(Rainy Day Movies, December 18, 2011)

(Init_Scenes, December 21, 2011)

(Hanguk Yeonghwa, December 16, 2011)

The Host, 2006
(Hanguk Yeonghwa, December 10, 2011)

(Init_Scenes, December 20, 2011)

Time, 2006
(Rainy Day Movies, December 19, 2011)


The Weekly Review Round-up is a weekly feature which brings together all available reviews of Korean films in the English language (and sometimes French) that have recently appeared on the internet. It is by no means a comprehensive feature and additions are welcome (email pierceconran [at] gmail [dot] com). It appears every Friday morning (GMT+1) on Modern Korean Cinema. For other weekly features, take a look at Korean Cinema News, and the Korean Box Office UpdateReviews and features on Korean film also appear regularly on the site. 

To keep up with the best in Korean film you can sign up to our RSS Feed, like us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Jopok Week: Korean Gangster Films at the Box Office (1996-2003)

As part of Jopok Week, Modern Korean Cinema will be featuring reviews of three 1997 Korean gangster flicks (Beat, No. 3, and Green Fish), all of which ended up in top 10 of that year.  This prompted me to go back over the receipts of Korean gangster films over the last 16 years and see what I could find out.

There is no question that the Korean gangster film is one of the most prevalent and popular film genres in Korea and I would have been inclined to think that it was second only to melodrama but after a little research I find myself wondering whether gangster films are in fact the dominant genre in contemporary Korean cinema.


Korean Gangster Films at the Box Office (1996-2003)


1996


Shortly before the explosion of Korean cinema, gangster films already seemed to have a firm grasp on the box office charts.  In 1996 there were three ranked in the top 10:  Gangster Lessons (aka Hoodlum Lessons; No. 6, 176,757), Born to Kill (No. 8, 132,261), and Boss (No. 10, 101,078).  Born to Kill will be reviewed by Kieran Tully from KOFFIA a little later this week but I am not familiar with the other films, though I noticed that Gangster Lessons starred both Park Joon-hoon and Park Sang-min (Kim Doo-han in The General's Son, 1990).

1997


As already mentioned 1997 was a big year for gangster films in Korea.  Just as in 1996 there were three of them that wound up in the top 10, however they fared a little better and more importantly, played a significant role in the reshaping of Korean cinema.  I will explore what Beat (No. 4, 349,781), No. 3 (No. 6, 297,617), and Green Fish (No. 8, 163,655) brought to the industry in each of their reviews which will appear later this week.

1999


After a brief hiatus from the top 10 in 1998, three gangster films found their way back in in 1999, scaling new heights for the genre.  Kim Sang-jin's second feature (after Two Cops 3, 1998), the anarchic Attack the Gas Station (No. 2, 960,000), depicting a group of violently apathetic youths with a total disregard to authority was a huge success, was a fiercely original and enormously successful film that helped forge a new identity for Korean film abroad.  Similarly, Lee Myung-se's Nowhere to Hide (No. 4, 687,000), starring big names Park Joon-hoon, Anh Sung-ki, and future star Jang Dong-gun heralded a new, stylistically fresh epoch for the industry.  The third was City of the Rising Sun (No. 10, 329,778) starring Jung Woo-sung and Lee Jung-jae, a film I'm eager to discover.

2001


After another absence from the chart in the year 2000, though heist film Jakarta nearly qualifies, Korean gangster films came back with a vengeance the following year.  2001 was the biggest year for gang films at the Korean box office and this will likely never change.  They accounted for six out of the 10, not only that but My Sassy Girl was the only non-gang film in the top seven.  Four of those were released in the last four months in the year, a very mob-heavy season!

Leading the pack was Kwak Kyung-taek's Friend (No. 1, 8,134,500), a nostalgic look at the friendship through  the years of four boys from Busan.  It's tale of conflicting loyalties, and it's settings, from 80s schools to the modern criminal underbelly of Korea's major port city were huge drawing factors for the film, which became, at that point, the highest grossing Korean film of all time.  My Wife Is a Gangster (No. 2, 5,180,900) kicked off the gangster comedy melodrama trend and would spawn two sequels.  Kim Sang-jin's third film was even more successful than his last.  Kick the Moon (No. 4, 4,353,800) was the first of the year's many gangster comedies and was similar to Friend in that in mined school and gang conventions in a regional setting.  Hi Dharma (No. 5, 3,746,000), which features gangsters in hiding at a buddhist monastery, and My Boss, My Hero (No. 6, 3,302,000), in which a gang captain goes back to complete high school, were both high concept gang comedies which would be followed by successful sequels.  Last was Jang Jin's Guns and Talk (No. 7, 2,227,000) which featured a great script and strong performances from Shin Hyeon-Jun, Shin Ha-Kyun, Won Bin, and Jeong Jae-Young.

2001 was also the year that Korean films finally broke past the 50% market share and these six films accounted for 60% of that or 30% of all theater admissions throughout the year.  Making this hoodlum coup all the more impressive, perhaps gangsters are good for the economy?

2002


Gangster films took the top and bottom spot of the chart in 2002.  Marrying the Mafia (No.1, 5,021,001) paired My Boss, My Hero star Jeong Joon-ho with a gangster comedy melodrama concept similar to My Wife Is a Gangster to kick off its own franchise.  Ryoo Seung-beom made a name for himself away from his brother's films by starring in the uproarious, high school-set Conduct Zero (No. 10, 1,683,533), playing off the popular and socially prescient youth violence theme.  Though it only came in at No. 25 on the chart, Ryoo Seung-wan's (the aforementioned brother) No Blood No Tears would be considered by many to be the best gang film of this year.  Another big hit, Public Enemy doesn't quite fit the gangster mold but subsequent in the franchise would.

2003


2003 featured relatively few gangster themed pictures.  Oh! Brothers (No. 6, 3,125,256) had gangster elements but was more of a buddy comedy, the same could be said for Oldboy (No. 5, 3,326,000) which does feature gangsters in what is probably the most iconic scene of Korean cinema.  Kwak Kyung-taek's Mutt Boy was relatively successful but was not in the top 10.  The second entry in the My Wife Is a Gangster franchise also did well but paled in comparison to its predecessor.

Korean Gangster Films at the Box Office (2004-2011)


Reviews and features on Korean film appear regularly on Modern Korean Cinema.  For film news, external reviews, and box office analysis, take a look at the Korean Box Office UpdateKorean Cinema News and the Weekly Review Round-up, which appear weekly on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday mornings (GMT+1).

To keep up with the best in Korean film you can sign up to our RSS Feed, like us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Korean Cinema News (11/24-11/30, 2011)

Another big edition with lots of sales and Korean film festivals news this week with a number of great features and interviews to boot!


KOREAN CINEMA NEWS

Finecut Adds AFM Deals
Germany's Ascot Elite and Brazil's Conquest Filmes became the latest distributors to acquire rights to South Korean animation film Leafie.  Handled by Korean sales firm Finecut, the film has been widely sold following its breakout hit status in Korea.  The company say that international distributors are planning theatrical releases next year targeting a family audience.  (Film Business Asia, November 23, 2011)

Animation Leafie, a Hen into the Wild Wins Award Overseas
The animated feature film Leafie, a Hen into the Wild  has grabbed another award overseas.  The South Korean animation won the Best Animated Feature Film Award at the Fifth Asia-Pacific Screen Awards held in Australia on Thursday, beating other promising nominees, such as Eric Khoo’s Tatsumi and Makoto Shinkai’s Children Who Chase Lost Voices from Deep Below. (KBS, November 25, 2011)

Soft Content, Strong Messages
The film Wandeuk or Punch in English is about high school student Wandeuk, who lives with a hunchback father and a mentally-challenged uncle in Seoul.  Nothing about his life shines, and adding to his miserable existence is that his teacher lives right next door to his “oktapbang” or roof-top housing unit that is largely synonymous with poverty in Korea.  (The Korean Times, November 23, 2011)

A Teacher Finds Movie Stardom in South Korea
The best chance an English-language teacher in South Korea has of acquiring military experience, it appears – outside of creating an incident at a checkpoint near the border – is working for Kang Je-gyu, one of the country‘s top movie directors.  (Asia Sentinel, November 24, 2011)

Breaking a Taboo, First Major Film About the L-Word Opens in Korea
There have been many boy-meets-girl or boy-meets-boy love stories in mainstream cinema in Korea, but none about lesbians.  So when director Kim Su-hyeon’s Life is Peachy was screened for the press on Nov. 16, it certainly attracted attention.  (Joong Ang Daily, November 25, 2011)

Busan native Kwak Kyung-taek, who has directed such hits as Friend (2001), Typhoon (2005), A Love (2007), and most recently Pain (2011) chooses his five favorite films, you may be surprised by his choices.  (10asia.co.kr, November 25, 2011)

Beyond Extreme? The London Korean Film Festival
While the late Tartan Films’ successful ‘Asia Extreme’ sub-label gave many Western viewers in the Noughties their first – perhaps only – taste of the Korean New Wave, it also created an impression of the national cinema that was doubly narrow.  The sixth London Korean Film Festival went some way towards redressing this imbalance.   (Sight & Sound, November 2011)

Highest Grossing Korean Films of 2011
2011 has produced a range of successful Korean films that have captured the public's imagination, tugged at their heartstrings, caused a few laughs, and asked some serious questions.  Although the year is not quite done, the big films of the year have largely had their say at the box office.  This week I wanted to take a look at the top domestic films of 2011 and see just what type of films captured the public's interest in 2011.  (hancinema.net, November 26, 2011)

Martin Scorsese Gives a Thumbs Up to UCI Professor Kyung Hyun Kim's Cinema Book
It's not often that an academic tome--even one related to film--snags a forward written by legendary filmmaker Martin Scorsese.  But Kyung Hyun Kim, UC Irvine's associate professor of East Asian languages & literatures and film & media studies, won those bragging rights, and like else everything in Hollywood it all started with the right connections.  (OC Weekly, November 25, 2011)

Korean Film Festival: Islamabad Gets a Taste of Korean Cinema
A Barefoot Dream is high on emotions, but then Pakistanis love their drama.  And besides, the melodrama in the Korean 2010 entry for Oscars consideration is unmistakably East Asian, which is entirely different (if ever slightly so influenced) from Hollywood and Bollywood (sorry, no sappy love stories here).  The film played at the Korean Film Festival at Pakistan National Council of the Arts on Friday.  (The Express Tribune, November 27, 2011)

The Korean Movie Database runs down Korean cinema's box office record breakers, past and present.  A great feature on Korean film history.  (KMDB, November 27, 2011)

From Late Autumn to Countdown, This Year's Disappointing Top 3
Now that the Blue Dragon Film Awards are over, all the major award shows for 2011 are done.  Several movies were released in 2011.  While there were big office hits like Detective K, Sunny, Arrow, The Ultimate Weapon and Punch, there were also movies that just came and went without any sound but were just as strong in quality and lingering imagery.  (hancinema.net, November 28, 2011)

Korean Film Festival in Sri Lanka
The embassy is also in the process of organizing the 2011 Korean film festival which will be held from December 5 to 9 at the National Film Corporation Theatre.  All five movies selected for the festival are box office hits in Korea.  This would be a great opportunity for Sri Lankans to become familiar with the Korean culture and lifestyle in the 21st century while enjoying the benefits of a quality movie at the same time.  (Sri Lanka's Daily News, November 28, 2011)

Spike Lee’s Version of Oldboy Has New Elements Meant to ‘Throw Off’ Audiences Familiar With Original
The possibility of an American remake of South Korean revenge film Oldboy (2003) has been a worrisome thing for a few years now.  But this year Spike Lee was tapped to direct, which immediately made the new Oldboy a more attractive, or at least a more interesting proposition.  With Josh Brolin set to star and Colin Firth rumored to be playing the film’s revenge-seeking antagonist, things are looking petty damn good.  (slashfilm.com, November 28, 2011)

Canada's 108 Media to Distribute Korean Toon Leafie
Toronto-based 108 Media Group has picked up distribution rights for the Korean hit animated feature Leafie: A Hen Into the Wild for Canada, U.S., Australia, U.K., and New Zealand from Finecut.  Leafie also sold to German-speaking territories through Ascot Elit and Brazil’s Conquest Filmes.  (animation Magazine, November 28, 2011)

Korean Documentary Wins Top Prize at IDFA 2011
Korean documentary Planet of Snail won the top prize at the world’s largest documentary film festival in the Netherlands on Saturday, becoming the first Asian film to win the award.  (The Korea Herald, November 27, 2011)

Kim Starts Film Grad School at Dankook Univ.
Busan International Film Festival’s founding and honorary director Kim Dong-ho is launching a graduate school specializing in film contents at Dankook University in South Korea.  Starting in the first semester of 2012 which starts in March, the graduate school will admit 25 students to teach them in the fields of directing, producing, and screenwriting.  (KOBIZ, November 25, 2011)

Journals of Musan and Arirang Win at Tokyo Filmex
The 12th Tokyo Filmex awarded its Special Jury Prize and $8,000 of Kodak film stock to Park Jung-bum’s The Journals of Musan and the Agnes B Audience Award to Kim Ki-duk’s Arirang.  Park’s feature film debut The Journals of Musan has won a raft of awards since its world premiere at the Busan International Film Festival (BIFF) last year where it picked up the New Currents and International Federation of Film Critics (FIPRESCI) awards.  (KOBIZ, November 29, 2011) 

Hello Ghost Walks Through Walls, Opens in China
Korean comedy Hello Ghost became the third South Korean film this year to get a theatrical release behind the Great Wall of distribution barriers in China when it opened Nov. 24.  Mega Films, which is in charge of Hello Ghost’s Chinese distribution, released the film on about 4,000 screens in Shanghai, Beijing and other cities large and small.  (KOBIZ, November 29, 2011)

Korean Cinema on the Park in Sydney: Controversial Classics
Hey Sydney! You like free movies don’t you?  Yeah, you do.  If you also like Korean cinema, and listening to a series of guest speakers (including us!), then why not check out the KCO’s Cinema on the Park series?  On every Thursday night throughout the year, the current program is Controversial Classics. It’s a bit saucy!  (The Reel Bits, November 29, 2011)

Korean Film Week in Cape Town
The Cape Town leg of the Korean Film Week will take place at the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront Cinema Nouveau from 5 to 11 December.  Organised by the Embassy of the Republic of Korea, the Korean Film Week is currently running in Pretoria at Brooklyn Cinema Nouveau until 4 December.  Films shown at the festival include Scandal Makers (2008), Le Grand Chef (2007), Take Off (2009), Beyond The Years (2007), and A Barefoot Dream.  (Screen Africa, November 30, 2011)

Korean Film Archive: Theater, Museum, and Library
Long before Korean film developed its indie rep for extreme violence (Lady Vengeance, 2005), dark sexuality (The Housemaid, 2010) and swallowing live octopus (Oldboy, 2003), there was a golden era of bouffants and pensive romance that has since been forgotten.  Forgotten by everyone that is, except by cinematic treasure hunters combing the vaults of the Korean Film Archive (KOFA).  (CNN Go, November 30, 2011)

Funimation Adds Live-Action Korean Athena: Goddess of War Film
The North American distributor Funimation acquired the rights to distribute the movie spinoff of the South Korean espionage television series Athena: Goddess of War.  Distribution rights were also sold to China's New View TV & Media and Germany's Tiberius Films.  (Anime News Network, November 23, 2011)

Pioneering 'Personal' Documentary Attempts to Break Down Prejudice
On Nov. 19 at Art Space C in Jeju City roughly 40 people, mainly Westerners, were on hand to watch Miracle on Jongno Street, the first Korean documentary about homosexual men.  In his debut as director, Lee Hyuk-sang has created a film that shows the daily lives of four gay Korean men living in a society that has yet to accept them as equals.  (The Jeju Weekly, November 26, 2011)

Now Is The Time To Buy Oldboy, Sympathy For Mr. Vengeance And Sympathy For Lady Vengeance
Pallisades Tartan are selling Blu-rays of Chan Wook Park’s superb Vengeance Trilogy – Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance (2002), Oldboy (2003) and Sympathy For Lady Venegance (2005) – from their Amazon store at the wonderful price of $17.99 for the set. That’s less than $6 per film.  (Bleeding Cool, November 24, 2011)

Actor Jang Keun-suk Makes $1M Donation to Hanyang University
Actor Jang Keun-suk, 24, made an anonymous 1.2 billion won donation on Nov. 22 to Hanyang University, where he is currently enrolled.  The donation, which he did not announce to university officials, was revealed on Nov. 24 through the university website’s automated system that posts the name and donation amount.  Jang is currently a senior at Hanyang University, majoring in theater and film studies.  (The Hankyoreh, November 24, 2011)


INTERVIEWS

My Way Documents Korean Soldier in the Battle of Normandy
It all started with the photograph of a young Korean man.  Drafted into the Japanese army [under the Japanese Colonial Rule] and then dragged off by the Soviet military, he was captured again after being sent to fight in German uniform in the fierce Battle of Normandy during the Second World War in 1944.  Seeing a documentary about the photograph at the National Archives in the United States, Director Kang Je-gyu got goosebumps.  (The Hankyoreh, November 26, 2011)

Kim Hye-sun Ditches Innocent Image with Saucy New Role
Kim Hye-sun (42), once known for her innocent image, is heating up the silver screen with her new movie Perfect Partner.  She became a teen sensation after debuting as a model for TV ads but retired from show business after getting married.  As she periodically returned to acting in subsequent years, she opted for roles that suited her age, often portraying a middle-aged mother.  (The Chosun Ilbo, November 26, 2011)

Korean-American Director Rediscovers Roots
Tammy Chu was adopted by an American family at the age of nine and raised in rural New York state. She never saw another Korean until she went to college.  "I remember what my birth parents looked like, but I forgot how to speak Korean and memories of Korean culture also disappeared from my mind," she recalls.  (The Chosun Ilbo, November 28, 2011)

Director Explores My Father’s House
It took making a film for director Kang Yu Ga-ram to understand her father’s life.  The two did not share much in common to begin with.  Her father is a firm supporter of the conservative Grand National Party; KangYu has worked with progressive NGOs and film production houses.  He spent most of his life on construction sites; she obtained her master’s degree in women’s studies.  (The Korea Herald, November 28, 2011)

Doctor-Filmmaker Probes Capitalist Exploitation in Medical World
A doctor has stepped up as an ombudsman for patients who cannot afford proper treatment due to what she calls the “capitalist exploitation of the medical world” and has made a movie to make sure her voice is heard.  White Jungle by occupational environmental physician Song Yoon-hee has been creating a buzz online, even before its theatrical release Thursday, as it documents the darker side of the current healthcare system.   (The Korea Times, November 29, 2011)


TRAILERS

Life Is Peach (aka Ashamed - eng sub)






POSTERS








BOX OFFICE

(Modern Korean Cinema, November 28, 2011)


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. 

To keep up with the best in Korean film you can sign up to our RSS Feed, like us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Korean Cinema News (10/20-10/26, 2011)

Not quite last week's haul but nonetheless a lot of great features and interview (and a comprehensive academic thesis!) this week on a variety of topics.

Enjoy!


KOREAN CINEMA NEWS

Director's Cut of War of the Arrows Hits Theaters
An extended version of Korean action film War of the Arrows was released in Korea last thursday.  The new cut features an additional six minutes of footage, primarily in the action sequences.  (10 asia, October 20, 2011)

Filmmaker Im Kwon-taek: Master of Mirrors
At 75, the filmmaker continues to explore new ground.  “I don’t lie in my movies... I simply try to capture what we feel in our everyday lives.”  (The Korea Times, October 20, 2011)

Punch Pushes Actor Into Next Phase of His Career
The new film Punch does not have an exciting story line, a swirling climax nor a vengeful villain at its center.  But it does have the talents of an engaging young actor named Yoo Ah-in, who appears to have lost a bit of his boyish arrogance and is entering a new, more serious phase of his career.  (Joong Ang Daily, October 21, 2011)

A New Era for Asia’s Biggest Film Festival
When a small film festival opened at an outdoor market in Nampo-dong, Busan, during the mid-90s, few expected it to make a mark in the industry amid more prominent competition in Asia.  Back then, the Asian festival circuit was based mostly on two strongholds – the Tokyo International Film Festival, located in the second-biggest film market on the globe, and the Hong Kong International Film Festival, located in the world’s fastest-growing film market.  (Joong Ang Daily, October 21, 2011)

The Original Murder 2 Director in Town!
South Korean filmmaker Na Hong-Jin isn’t a big talker.  Maybe because he doesn’t speak English, and it was his translator who was doing all the chatting.  But uttering the key words ‘Murder 2’, ‘inspired from’ and ‘your debut film The Chaser (2008)’ immediately got us a response in the form of a visible nod.  (Hindustan Times, October 20, 2011)

New Council to Address Monopoly in Domestic Film Industry
A new council has been launched to resolve the issue of monopoly by large companies in the domestic film industry.  (KBS, October 21, 2011)

Korean Talent Agency Cuts IPO Size After Key Star’s Drug Scandal
Korean talent agency YG Entertainment, which manages the popular boy band Big Bang, has cut the size of its planned initial public offering, citing a drug scandal involving a key star as a risk factor.  (Joong Ang Daily, October 21, 2011)

Real-life Poongsan Dogs Deliver Items to Separated Families
The protagonist of Poongsan, a South Korean film released last summer and named after a breed of hunting dog from North Korea, is a person who goes between the two Koreas via China to transport things or people.  (The Dong-a Ilbo, October 21, 2011)

The Yellow Sea Playing at Philadelphia Film Festival
The Yellow Sea: South Korean director Hong-jin Na follows up his explosive debut, The Chaser (2008), with a crime drama about a cabbie who is forced to become a hit man to pay off his wife's debts.  An action film to match any of Hollywood's biggest blockbusters, The Yellow Sea "is a true epic," says Lerman. "It has huge set pieces, huge car chases, and amazing plot twists."  (philly.con, Ocotber 21, 2011)

Song Hye-kyo Returns with New Movie
After vanishing from the public's view for the last three years, actress Song Hye-kyo has returned to the silver screen with A Reason to Live, a story about a woman who forgives a boy for killing her fianc√©.  (The Chosun Ilbo, October 22, 2011)

Rooney Mara Says No to Oldboy
Variety's Justin Kroll tweeted yesterday that Mara has passed on the part, so producers will have to keep making their way down the wishlist to land someone opposite Josh Brolin.  (Twitch, October 20, 2011)

Planet of Snail to Compete at Amsterdam Doc Fest
Korea-Japan-Finland documentary Planet of Snail, directed by Yi Seung-Jun, will be in the prestigious International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA) Competition for Feature-Length Documentary.  (KOBIZ, October 23, 2011)

Lee Man-hee classic A Day Off + Mark Morris talk at KCC
Lee Man-hee’s classic film A Day Off (1969) will be screening as part of the London Korean Film Festival this year, with a talk by Dr Mark Morris.  A Day Off is part of the Lee Man-hee DVD box set which might be in your to-watch pile.  This is your opportunity to see it.  The screening and talk is on 11 November at the KCC at 7:30pm. Book your place via [email protected].  (London Korea Links, October 22, 2011)

Lee Seung-gi And Ha Ji-won Receive National Merit Awards
The multi-faceted entertainer Lee Seung-gi along with top actress Ha Ji-won both received national merit recognition at the 48th Savings Day event.  (KBS, October 25, 2011)

Political Ideology and Culture in Film
Movies are one of the most effective media for disseminating and propagating political ideologies to people.  In communist countries where propaganda is imperative, the government controls the movie industry in order to produce and promote movies filled with propaganda.  (The Korea Herald, October 25, 2011)

Museum of Fine Arts Houston to Host Series of Korean Films
The Museum of Fine Art Houston will screen a series of Korean films from Nov. 4 to Nov. 6 at the museum, located at 1001 Bissonnet.  The screenings are part of the museum's Spotlight on World Cinema program, which looks at films from different parts of the world.  The focus of the upcoming program is South Korea and will include The Housemaid, The Day He Arrives, Finding Mr. Destiny, and Secret Sunshine (2007). (ultimatewestu.com, October 24, 2011)

Well Go Takes Korean Oscar Contender, The Front Line
North American rights to South Korea’s entry for Best Foreign Language Oscar consideration, The Front Line have been picked up by Well Go USA Entertainment.  Directed by Jang Hun (Secret Reunion), Well Go plans a January release in major markets.  (indieWIRE, October 25, 2011)

Who's Afraid of Lady Vengeance?
This Halloween, take a break from your chainsaw massacres and nightmares on Elm Street and try some horror with an Asian flavour.  Horror movies from East Asia have a lot going for them.  Aside from offering a glimpse into unique cultural mythologies and traditions, you'll find a greater emphasis on supernatural forces in the real world, compared to western horror, and more fatalism where individual agency is concerned.  (The Vancouver Sun, October 25, 2011)


ACADEMIC ESSAY

In this study, See He Han analyzes how recent Korean cinema has responded to the forces of globalization by appropriating these influences both on and off screen. (University of Texas, 2011)


INTERVIEWS

BIFF - Q&A With Director Kang Hyung-Chul & Cast of Sunny
Q&A for Sunny took place after a screening of the movie at the 2011 Busan International Film Festival on October 7, 2011.  Appearing as speakers are (listed in order of picture above) director Kang Hyung-Chul and actresses Kang So-Ra, Jin Hee-Kyung, Yoo Ho-Jeong, Park Jin-Joo, Min Hyo-Rin, Kim Min-Young.  AsianMediaWiki editor Ki Mun was there and transcribed/translated the session.  (Asian Media Wiki, October 7, 2011)

Actress Jeon Do-youn - Part 1
Jeon plays Cha Ha-yeon, a femme fatale con artist who sneers at the world with her beauty and brains until she gets taught her lesson, in movie Countdown.  However, Jeon herself does not live her life so moderately.  Below is a record of her life, in no way moderate, where she pours the energy she will use to feel regret about her past or worry about her future, into what is most current.  (asiae.co.kr, October 21, 2011)

Q&A for Punch took place after a screening of the movie at the 2011 Busan International Film Festival on October 10, 2011.  Appearing as speaker is the movie's director Lee Han.  AsianMediaWiki editor Ki Mun was there and transcribed/translated the session.  (Asian Media Wiki, October 10, 2011)

Heo Jong-ho, director of Countdown
He has a mere 10 days. Ruthless debt collector Tae Geon-ho (Jung Jae-young) can only survive if he can get a liver transplant from compulsive scam artist Cha Ha-yeon (Jeon Do-youn).  This is the set-up of newcomer Heo Jong-ho’s crime thriller Countdown, a film that made its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival.  (KOBIZ, October 24, 2011)


TRAILERS



Spellbound - ENGLISH


POSTERS



Too Many Villains


(Modern Korean Cinema, October 24, 2011)


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. 

To keep up with the best in Korean film you can sign up to our RSS Feed, like us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Korean Cinema News (09/29-10/05, 2011)

Big news week for Korean cinema, a good portion of it for the incoming Busan Film Fest and the controversy surrounding new film The Crucible. A number of trailers this week as well as a brief new section to showcase new posters.


KOREAN CINEMA NEWS

Extreme-Short Film Festival Opens in Seoul
Last Thursday, the 3rd Seoul International Extreme-Short Image and Film Festival opened in Guro, Seoul. 387 short of about three minutes are being featured at this year's edition. 144 films are competing across the six categories . The festival openers were A Pale Purple Bird directed by actor Oh Kwang-rok, The Diner directed by Korean singer Horan, and Curse direct by Korean comedian Park Seong-gwang. (KBS.co.kr, September 29, 2011)

Always, which is opening the 16th edition of the Busan International Film Festival, sold out online in a staggering seven seconds. This marks an improvement over the already impressive 18 seconds achieved by Hawthorne Tree Forever, last year's opener. (enewsworld.net, September 27, 2011)
It's been a tough year for the folks running the Busan Intl. Film Festival. Following the retirement of former director Kim Dong-ho it has been a difficult year for those running the Busan International Film Festival. Some critics from within the domestic film industry and the international community wonder whether the fest can continue without Kim's leadership. However, the 16th edition of Asia's largest film festival is gearing up for change, with a new name and new headquarters. (Variety, October 3, 2011)

Arrow, the Ultimate Weapon – The Historical Background
Kim Han-min’s Arrow, the Ultimate Weapon historical action flick is set to get the London Korean Film Festival 2011 underway in a few weeks. Director Kim, whose previous features are Paradise Murdered (2006) and Handphone (2009), sought to attempt something more historical with his third film, and chose this interesting period in the early 17th century. Philip Gowan explains the background to the film. (London Korea Links, September 29 2011)

DMZ Docs 2011 Closes With Tiniest Place Top WinnerThe 3rd DMZ Korean International Documentary Film Festival (DMZ Docs 2011) closed with a screening of The Tiniest Place. Directed by Tatiana Huezo, the international competition top award winner. The Mexican film was the recipient of the White Goose Award which comes with KW15 million and the honor of screening as the festival’s Closing Film. The documentary film festival, which ran for seven days, took place around Paju City, led by co-festival directors Cho Jae-hyun and Yoo Ji-tae. (kobiz, September 30, 2011)

Sector 7 and Five Other Korean Films to Screen at Tokyo
Six Korean films have been invited to the upcoming 24th Tokyo International Film Festival (TIFF)  including the sci-fi film Sector 7 as a Special Screening. The other Korean films include Kong Quee-hyun’s mystery U.F.O. and Na Hong-jin’s thriller The Yellow Sea, which will both feature in the Winds of Asia section. The 3D underwater creature feature Sector 7 is due for release in Japan on Nov. 12, 2011. (kobiz, September 30, 2011)

The 16th Busan International Film Festival (BIFF)’s Asian Cinema Fund (ACF) will join the World Documentary Exchange (WDE), a documentary network between Europe, the Americas, and henceforth Asia. The expanded network aims to create more opportunities for documentaries around the world. (kobiz, September 30, 2011)

Stateless Things and The Day He Arrives Continue Fest Rounds
Kim Kyung-mook’s Stateless Things has been invited to the Vancouver International Film Festival (VIFF), which runs in Canada until Oct. 14. Kim’s independent film is in the Dragons and Tigers competition. Stateless Things has also been invited to the upcoming 55th BFI London Film Festival’s World Cinema section, along with Hong Sang-soo’s The Day He Arrives. The London Film Festival will run Oct. 12 – 27 this year. (kobiz, September 29, 2011)
The Busan Cinema Center, which features a huge roof shaped in a wavelike pattern, opened Thursday in Busan. It is propped up by a single pillar built to resemble a pair of ice-cream cones. The center will be the main venue of the annual Busan International Film Festival, previously known as the Pusan International Film Festival. With the completion of the center, the southern port city wants to be recognized not only as a regional cinematic hub but also as the home of key architectural landmarks. (The Chosun Ilbo, September 30, 2011)
A movie currently running in cinemas is sparking a growing call for the revision of laws governing sexual crimes against the disabled and minors. The Crucible, a film based on the true story about school staff sexually assaulting hearing impaired students, is adding mounting pressure on policymakers and politicians to change the laws on sexual assaults on children and welfare foundations. (The Korea Times, September 29, 2011)

Song Stars as Grieving Documentary Maker
After starring as the famous Joseon gisaeng - female entertainer - Hwang Jin-i and the mysterious daughter of a Korean shaman, Song Hye-kyo is returning to the big screen as a documentary filmmaker mourning the death of her fiance. "When I pick movies, I don't really think about whether the film I'm going to shoot is going to be a commercial one or an art house one," Song told reporters at a press conference promoting the film, A Reason to Live, on Monday. (asiaone.com, September 27, 2011)
Fans of Oldboy star Choi Min-sik have had to face rather a lot of downtime for the actor in recent days, Choi first withdrawing from the film industry entirely to protest proposed changes to the screen quota system in 2006 and then working only sparingly since his return. Kim Ji-Woon's 2010 effort I Saw The Devil was just Choi's second lead role since 2005 effort Crying Fist and his only work since that effort was to contribute his voice to an animated feature. But Choi will be back in 2012 in the lead role of Yun Jong-bin's The War Against Crime (aka Nameless Gangster) in which he will play opposite Ha Jung-woo as a government official in Busan during a very public and hard fought war against organized crime in the early 1990s. (Twitch, October 3, 2011)

Pan-Asian Youth Film School Opens in Busan
A film academy inviting young aspiring filmmakers from across Asia began last week ahead of the opening Thursday of the Busan International Film Festival (BIFF). The Asian Film Academy (AFA) opened for the seventh time Thursday as part of the country’s largest cinema event. This year’s installment has invited 24 men and women from 17 countries to take part in workshops, master classes, mentoring sessions and other educational initiatives. (The Korea Times, October 3, 2011)

How a New Cinema Center Could Change the Busan Film Festival
Organizers hope the $15 million Busan Cinema Center, designed by Coop Himmelblau, will dazzle festgoers arriving for one of Asia's most important film events. Destination architecture is hitting the film festival world with the opening of the Busan Cinema Center. Designed by influential contemporary architects Coop Himmelblau of Austria, the building will serve as the home of Asia's largest cinema event, the Busan International Film Festival, which opens Oct. 6 in South Korea's second-largest city after Seoul. (The Hollywood Reporter, Ocotber 1, 2011)

Korean Film Archive Showcases 'Radio Days'
Throughout October, the Korean Film Archive (KOFA) is holding a free VOD retrospective on films from the golden era of the 60s that were originally based on popular radio programs called “Radio Days”. The program will feature 10 films. In Korea, the 1950s and 60s were the heyday of not just films but of radio, too, and a lot of radio programs that were popular hits were then adapted into films and plays. The classic films A Romantic Papa, directed by Shin Sang-ok in 1960, and The Sea Knows (a.k.a. Hyunhaetan Knows), directed by Kim Kee-duk in 1961, were both based on radio serial shows. (kobiz, October 4, 2011)

Busan International Film Festival to Amuse Movie Fans With 307 Films
Busan is set to thrill movie lovers from around the world when the 16th Busan International Film Festival gets underway on October 6 for nine days. Over 300 films from 70 countries, as well as a plethora of famous movie stars from both Korea and overseas, will be featured at the festival this year. A number of films have already sold out their screenings in record times. (korea.net, October 5, 2011)

In the aftermath of the box-office hit Dogani (aka The Crucible/Silenced), depicting the true tale of sexual abuse in a school for hearing-impaired students, the Gwangju Metropolitan Office of Education determined Monday that it would force the Inhwa School to shut down. Gwangju officials convened an emergency meeting to discuss measures against the school for disabled students and will require all 22 students to be transferred to another establishment soon. (Joong Ang Daily, October 5, 2011)

Actress Kang Soo-yeon has been chosen as one of the judges of this year’s Asiana International Short Film Festival. Along with the actress, four other prominent film industry names, including Japanese director Isshin Inudo, chief director of the festival Seigo Tono, director of Guanajuato International Film Festival Sara Hoch and director Kim Tae-yong, have been selected as judges this year, according to the festival organizers. (Joong Ang Daily, October 5, 2011)
The 2nd Gwacheon International SF Festival in Korea opens today (Sept. 30) with the Japanese animation Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex – Solid State Society 3D directed by Kenji Kamiyama. The festival will run until Oct 16 at the Gwacheon National Science Museum. It aims to encourage creativity and imagination in children by combining "scientific imagination and filmic imagination". (kobiz, September 29, 2011)

Korean High-Schooler Wins Int'l Animation Award 
A Korean high school senior has won a prize at the 2011 Ottawa International Animation Festival. Kim Bo-won of Korea Animation High School in Hanam, Gyeonggi Province was given the 2011 Adobe Prize for Best High School Animation for her work titled I'm Sorry, beating about 2,000 entries from around the world. (The Chosun Ilbo, September 30, 2011)

Another Film Shows Sexual Abuse of the Disabled in N. Jeolla Area
With the hit Korean movie The Crucible fueling public outrage against sexual abuse of the disabled, another film about sexual violence against the disabled in Gimje, North Jeolla Province, is drawing keen attention. The Crucible, a 125-minute commercial feature, includes descriptions of sexual assault in Gwangju, but Sum, an 89-minute independent film, describes the pain and love of the heroine and the rape victims. Park Ji-won, a 30-year-old disabled woman, played the heroine in Sum and more than 20 other people with disabilities also performed as supporting cast. (The Dong-a Ilbo, October 1, 2011)

Korean Animation Waddles Into China
The first Korean animated film to play at Chinese theaters opened at 3,000 screens yesterday and is about the adventures of a hen who escapes a chicken farm to realize her dream of hatching her own egg. Leafie, A Hen Into The Wild is based on the hit teenage novel of the same name and has a running time of 93 minutes. The 3-billion-won ($2.5-million) film is currently showing nationwide in China with dubbing in mandarin. It earlier became the first Korean animation to draw 1 million viewers domestically, experts said, where it posted box-office receipts in excess of 2.2 million after it was released in July on 350 screens. (Joong Ang Daily, October 1, 2011)

Pres. Lee Calls for Measures to Prevent Sexual Crimes Against Disabled & Minors
President Lee Myung-bak recently got to watch the much-talked about Korean movie The Crucible which is based on a true story about school staff sexually assaulting hearing impaired students. After watching it, the President said that our society needs to be more conscious of sexual crimes against the disabled, and that he will work to better protect people with disabilities and minors from becoming victims of such crimes. (arirang.co.kr, October 4, 2011)

Film Picks for 2011 Busan Film Fest
The 16th annual Busan International Film festival, one of the world’s most prestigious, will once again kick off on the 1st Thursday of October. The sheer amount of film options can seem a bit overwhelming. Approximately 300 movies from 70 different countries with 135 world premiers will be screened in Haeundae, Centum City, and Namp-dong. Here is a "lockdown" list of picks. (The Vanguard Element, October 5, 2011)

IMAX Signs Revenue Share Deal in China With CJ CGV Holdings, Ltd
IMAX Corporation today announced that CJ CGV Holdings, LTD, a subsidiary of Korean media conglomerate CJ CGV Co. Ltd., has signed a revenue share agreement to add 15 new IMAX(R) digital theatre systems in the People's Republic of China. Under the terms of the agreement, CJ CGV Holdings, LTD is scheduled to install the first IMAX systems in 2011, with all remaining installations expected to be completed between 2013 and 2017. (Market Watch, October 4, 2011)
Spike Lee is set to direct an American version of the South Korean favorite Oldboy, withJosh Brolin looking like the guy to play the lead role. Brolin would be a man who is kidnapped one night and imprisoned for fifteen years for reasons unknown to him. Released back into society just as abruptly as he was snatched, he begins to look for the person or persons responsible for his incarceration. Along the way he meets a young chef who becomes his partner in the search. And now there’s a report that Rooney Mara, of The Social Network (2010) and The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (2011), is the choice to play that role. (/Film, September 28, 2011)


INTERVIEW

Metamorpheses Director Oh In-chun
Inchun Oh is a Korean filmmaker, director and screenwriter. Born on August 30, 1980, he studied filmmaking at Korea National University of Arts, where he wrote and directed A Moment - a collaboration between Korea National University of Arts and Beijing Film Academy, filmed entirely in Beijing. His latest short film Metamorphoses (2011) has been screened internationally at a number of film festivals. (Hangul Celluloid, October 3, 2011)


TRAILERS









POSTERS







You Pet


(Modern Korean Cinema, October 3, 2011)


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. 

To keep up with the best in Korean film you can sign up to our RSS Feed, like us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter.