Monday, April 25, 2011

Korean Cinema News (04/18-04/24, 2011)

A varied selection of articles this week which highlight Korean films at worldwide festivals and upcoming releases which will open throughout the spring.  Also featured is a great article from The Atlantic about the digital underground in North Korea.


The Rise of North Korea's Digital Underground
Robert S. Boynton explores the rise of digital media as a way to proliferate information in North Korea in a new article for The Atlantic.  North Korea ranks dead last in the Freedom House's Freedom of the Press index but a small group of media organizations have popped up and are utilizing ever method at their disposal to get news into and out of the country. (The Atlantic, April 2011)

Lee Myung-se Recruits Seol Keong-gu for New Film
After a four year absence, Lee Myung-se (Nowhere to Hide) is prepping his next directorial effort.  Mister K is the story of a secret agent who must solve a big case to save his country.  Seol Kyung-gu has been cast in the title role. (Hancinema, April 17, 2011)

The Journals of Musan Wins Top Ward at Polish Film Festival
The Off Plus Camera Festival in Krakow, Poland has handed its top prize to The Journals of Musan which keeps adding to its bevy of awards.  It was the only Asian film in competition.  (The Chosun Ilbo, April 18, 2011)

Korean Date Movie Recommendations
Korean cinema is famed for its melodrama and well-made romance films.  Screen Junkies takes the time to pick a few of the best date movies from the country. (Screen Junkies, April 18, 2011)

Brussels International Fantastic Film Festival Awards I Saw the Devil Top Prize
Kim Jee-woon's hard-hitting fan favorite I Saw the Devil was awarded the top prize at the Brussels International Fantastic Film Festival.  Kim's film is the third Korean work to receive the Golden Raven after Save the Green Planet in 2004 and The Isle in 2003. (The Korea Times, April 20, 2011).

Study Names Hyeon Bin and Kim Tae-hee as Korea's Most Popular Stars
Following a survey last week which declared Won Bin and Ha Ji-won to be the most popular male and female actresses in Korea, a new, contrarian study has been carried out which states that Hyeon Bin and Kim Tae-hee are the nation's most beloved screen icons.   (Hancinema, April 20, 2011)

Korean Short Film Selected for Cannes Film Festival
Ghost, a short film from director Lee Jung-jin, will be competing in the short film section of the Cannes Film Festival.  The competition features 9 shorts and the jury will be presided over by Michel Gondry.  (The Korea Herald, April 21, 2011)

New Film Focuses on Small Village During the Korean War
Korea's JoonAng Daily has profiled upcoming wartime movie In Love and the War, which is slated to open in theaters April 28.   The film tells the story of a small village which welcomes North Korean soldiers in order to survive.   (JoogAng Daily, April 22, 2011)

More Asian Movies to Shoot in Seoul
Following the success of a Thai film which is set and filmed in the Korean capital, two new projects, this time from Malaysia, are currently filming in Seoul.   This growing trend could attract more tourism to the country.   (Yonhap News Agency, April, 22, 2011)

Spring Features Chronicle the Lives of Korea's Past Religious Leaders
Both Cardinal Stephen Kim Sou-hwan and the Venerable Beopjeon will be commemorated in films hitting screens in Korea this spring.   The documentary Babo is already on release and Monk Byeopjeon's Chair will be released in May.   (, April 22, 2011)


Fast Five Outshines Korean Releases at Domestic Box Office
Fast Five is Hollywood's first major summer release and has taken over at the Korean Box Office with a strong 396,071 admissions in its first weekend.  Last week's champ, Suicide Forecast exhibited a good hold with a slight 17% drop, while recent hit Clash of the Families is still going strong, having accumulated well over 2 millions admissions to date.  Min Gyoo-dong's The Most Beautiful Goodbye also opened this week with a solid 100,094 tickets sold.  (Hancinema, April 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. 

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