Showing posts with label toronto. Show all posts
Showing posts with label toronto. Show all posts

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Busan 2014 Review: Epic And Austere, ALIVE Depicts Dark Days For Korean Laborers

Part of MKC's coverage of the 19th Busan International Film Festival

By Pierce Conran

Incessantly grim and pushing the three-hour mark, indie helmer Park Jung-bum's Alive is about as challenging a sophomore work as anyone could have dreamt up. And this from a man who debuted with the ferociously bleak The Journals of Musan (2011), a tale of a socially awkward North Korean defector unable to fit into his new surroundings, and whose sole companion, a stray dog, meets a untimely end, leaving his helpless master to fend for himself. Yet, just as that was a devastatingly effective silent wail, this latest work harnesses Park's boiling anger at the injustices that riddle Korean society to create an imposing and austere call to arms.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Busan 2014 Review: CART, Women's Rights Take Center Stage In Social Drama

Part of MKC's coverage of the 19th Busan International Film Festival

By Pierce Conran

Following hot on the trail of recent Korean dramas seeking to depict the plight of Korea's common class is Cart, a David vs. Goliath, based-on-fact tale detailing the injustices of Korea's labor system and the harsh treatment of women in Korean society. With her latest film, Boo Ji-young returns to the director's chair five years after her indie feature Sisters on the Road, with a bigger cast and a far more pointed social agenda.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Busan 2013 Review: Cold Eyes Looks to the Best for Inspiration

Part of MKC's coverage of the 18th Busan International Film Festival.

Korean thrillers have earned a reputation for consistency over the years and though there may only be a few great ones, the majority of them are solid efforts. However, we’ve come to expect a lot of the same tropes as a result of this consistency, so much so that they have begun to feel too familiar over time. One of the latest offerings from the genre is Cold Eyes, which set the stage for a summer full of Korean thrillers (others included Snowpiercer, The Terror Live, The Flu and Hide and Seek). With an innovative approach to location filming in Seoul and by featuring three stars playing against type, Cold Eyes may seem familiar but it’s also a fresh and exciting addition to the genre.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Busan 2013 Review: Moebius Is Insane and Brilliant

Part of MKC's coverage of the 18th Busan International Film Festival.

Kim Ki-duk has shocked many a festival/arthouse audience over the years, ever since he used fishhooks to terrible effect in The Isle (2000). Watching his films can be an uncomfortable experience and while he has perhaps gone overboard in the past, he's never been outrageous just for the sake of it. Spectators, for their part, have steadily become more drawn to his works. With his new feature Moebius, never has he so deliberately sought to shock them. His message, framed in a terrifying and morbidly humorous narrative that recalls the tropes and themes of Greek tragedy, is clearer than it's ever been. It's also never been quite this powerful.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

KCN: Korean Films to TIFF, Thieves Still King (08/09-08/15, 2012)

Not an enormous amount of news this week. Toronto has announced some Korean films in its lineup, The Thieves continues its extraordinary box office run and a number of trailers and posters this week.


Three Korean Films Set for Toronto
The Toronto International Film Festival, arguably the world's biggest film event (if not quite as glitzy as Cannes), returns next month and this year a trio of Korean films have been invited. The sophomore effort from Jo Sung-hee (End of Animal; 2010), A Werewolf Boy will screen in the Contemporary World Cinema section along with Juvenile Offender by Kang Ji-kwan and current blockbuster The Thieves from Choi Dong-hun. (Modern Korean Cinema, August 15, 2012)

R2B Presells to 30 Markets
The Rain-starring aviation blockbuster R2B: Return to Base, has presold to 30 territories, including: England, Germany, France, Switzerland, Belgium, Austria, Canada, Thailand, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Brunei, Monaco, India, Turkey & Mongolia. The film is a remake of the Korean classic Red Scarf (1964) but by all accounts it seems to fall far more in line with Top Gun (1986). (Modern Korean Cinema, August 15, 2012)

Monday, August 8, 2011

Korean Cinema News (08/01-08/07, 2011)

A large amount of trailers this week and lots of news to boot, including a number of box office milestones.


The Unjust Picks Up Award at Fantasia
Scribe Park Joon-hung won the best screenplay award for The Unjust at the close of the 2011 Fantasia International Film Festival which also featured a master class with award-winning director Ryoo Seung-wan. (, August 7, 2011)

South Korean Cinema Overview
Korean cinema is once again making waves on the international scene and Richard Gray briefly brings us through its evolution and where it currently stands. (Tresspass Magazine, August 7, 2011)

Fashion Trends in Ten Korean Films
An examination of ten korean films that display forward-thinking or versatile fashion sense. (, August 7, 2011)

Video Review of Terracotta Far East Film Festival
A video recap of this year's Terracotta Far East Film Festival which featured a number of Korean films and a special guest appearance by Breathless (2009) star Kim Khobbi. (, August 6, 2011)

The Rise of Korean B-Movie
With the recent polarization of big-budget and independent cinema in Korea, B-Movies are now also gaining favor. Invasion of Alien Bikini, which was shot for less than $5,000 is leading the fray. (Joong Ang Daily, August 5, 2011)

Rain and Richard Gere to Collaborate on Project
Rain met with Richard Gere last week and announced on Twitter that they would be collaborating on an upcoming project. The results will likely not be seen for over three years as Rain must complete his compulsory military service. (, August 5, 2011)

Leafie Breaks Animation Box Office Record
After attracting 500,000 spectators in 8 days, Leafie, A Hen Into the Wild is now officially the quickest selling animation in Korean history. (The Chosun Ilbo, August 4, 2011)

Sector 7 Bursts Out of the Gate
Summer blockbuster Sector 7 got off to a strong start with 230,000 viewers on its first day. It has benefited from the buzz of being the first Korean 3D action film. (, August 4, 2011)

Nicole Kidman Boards Park Chan-wook's Stoker
Park Chan-wook's hollywood debut Stoker is quickly assembling its high profile cast and the latest addition is screen siren Nicole Kidman. (, August 4, 2011)

Arirang Confirmed for TIFF
Kim Ki-duk's new film Arirang, which premiered at Cannes earlier this year, has been confirmed in the masters section of this year's Toronto International Film Festival. (indieWIRE, August 3, 2011)

Korean Indie Animation Fest to Present in Australia
In the lead to KOFFIA 2011, the Indie-Anifest will present a special showcase of independent animation from Korea on August 16th. (, August 3, 2011)

Normalization for Online Film Distribution Demanded by Chungmoro
On July 27, 108 companies and organizations, led by the Korean Film Council announced the Declaration for the Normalization for Online Film Distribution. The declaration calls for putting a stop to the illegal circulation of films online. (, August 2, 2011)

Hollywood DMZ Movie in Pre-Production
CJ has partnered with Di Bonaventura Pictures to produce a multi-million dollar blockbuster about Korea's De-Militarized Zone (DMZ). (, August 2, 2011)

New Casting Announcements for Stoker
More casting news for Park Chan-wook's Stoker as Alden Ehrenreich joins the feature. (Variety, August 1, 2011)

The Thieves Completes Location Shoot in Macau
Choi Dong-hoon's fourth feature has wrapped up its location filming in Macau. The Thieves, which stars Kim Yoon-seok, Gianna Jun, Kim Hye-soo, Lee Jeong-jae and Oh Dal-suis set to be released in the summer of 2012. (Film Business Asia, August 1, 2011)

Hollywood Studios Funding and Producing Asian Films
Recently, various Asian films have been partially funded or produced by Hollywood studios. They include Na Hong-jin's The Yellow Sea. (Wildgrounds, August 1, 2011)

Indian Marial Artist to Train in Korea
Salman Khan will be training in martial arts in Korea for his upcoming film Kick, which wil be shot on the peninsula. (, August 1, 2011)


PiFan Q&A for Invasion of Alien Bikini

Transcription of a Q&A session following a screening of Invasion of Alien Bikini at this year's PiFan. (Asian Media Wiki, August 1, 2011)


Lots of trailers this week for upcoming Korean films and various touring independent films.

Ghastly (clip, no dialogue) 

Winter Smells


Sector 7 Posts Cracks 1 Million in Opening Weekend
As expected Sector 7 dominated the box office with an opening of 1.154 million admissions. Quick and The Front Line dipped slightly from last week and are in great shape with 368,000 and 329,000 respectively. With 250,000 Leafie, A Hen Into the Wild is edging closer to its 1.5 million break-even point, currently stands at 880,000. Horror film Ghastly opened poorly with just over 50,000 while Sunny begins to wind up its run with 25,000 in its first week out of the top 10. (, August 7, 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. 

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