Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Korean Cinema News (05/23-05/29, 2011)

Lots of news this week, including, festival news, castings, features, and much more.


Director Jang Hun Preps Upcoming War Film The Frontline
Following on from his brilliant debut Rough Cut (2008) and his extremely successful sophomore effort Secret Reunion (2010), Kim Di-duk's former protege Jang Hun is readying The Frontline for release this summer. The big budget blockbuster stars Sin Ha-kyun and tells the story of the final jockeying over final borders in the closing moments of the Korean war, after a truce had been agreed upon. The film is set to hit multiplexes in July. (Twitch Film, May 23, 2011)

Kim Ki-duk picks up award at Cannes
After competing in the Un Certain Regard section at the Cannes Film Festival, Arirang, Kim Ki-duk's first directorial effort in three years has earned him the best film prize which he will share with German helmer Andreas Dresen whose film Stopped on Track was also in competition. (Joong Ang Daily, May 23, 2011)

Details and Poster Released for New K-Horror Ghastly
Plot details have emerged regarding Yang Yun-ho's follow-up to Grand Prix (2010), the horror film Ghastly. has a look at the poster. (, May 23, 2011)

The Journals of Musan Triumphs at Tribeca
Park Jung-bum's The Journals of Musan has won yet another award, this time at the illustrious Tribeca Film Festival in New York. It was named the winner in the best new narrative competition and was awarded a $25,000 cash prize as well as a further $50,000 towards post-production costs. (KOBIZ, May 24, 2011)

Final Details from the Cannes Film Market
As the Cannes Film Festival packed up last week, details emerged regarding the final sales from the film market, which included more international sales of Na Hong-jin's The Yellow Sea this time to Scandinavia and the Baltic region. (Film Business Asia, May 25, 2011)

Joint Venture Between Korean and Japanese High School Students
A new project, funded by the Processing Together Charity, will bring eight Japanese students to Seoul where they will collaborate with eight Korean students to make a film dealing with their cultures and histories. (The Korea Herald, May 25, 2011)

Korean Entertainment Dictates Fashion Trends in China
Korean entertainment is massively popular across Asia. In China, as well as other countries, hallyu has become so pervasive that it has begun to influence local fashion trends. Many young Chinese consumers who are hooked on Korean TV drama and movies are keen to adapt their lifestyle and consumption choices in order to emulate their Korean idols. (The Korea Times, May 25, 2011)
A new film dealing with the North is set to open domestically in June. Poongsan is produced by Kim Ki-duk and directed by Juhn Jai-hong. It tells the story of a mysterious man whose job is to transport goods across the border in three hours. (The Korea Times, May 26, 2011)

SIFF Launches Mobile Film Competition
50 films shot on smartphones will compete in the first ever Mobile Film Competition as part of the Shanghai International Film Festival. Park Chan-yu's Lofty Waves will be in competition. (CNN, May 26, 2011)

Sector 7 Presold to 46 Countries
CJ's much anticipated 3D monster film Sector 7 has presold its distribution rights to 46 countries. The film is Kim Ji-hoon's follow-up to May 18 (2007). (, May 26, 2011)

Korean Film Emerging in US Market
A great article about how Korean cinema and filmmakers are becoming more prominent in the United States. The new CGV cinemas were packed for screenings during the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival of Late Autumn and others. Korea auteurs Park Chan-wook and Kim Jee-woon are prepping their Hollywood debuts while others, such as Jennifer Yuh, have already gained a foothold. (The Korea Herald, May 27, 2011)

Winners Announced for Baeksang Awards
Last Thursday, Lee Byun-hun won the prestigious Daesang grand prize at the 47th Baeksang awards. The Man From Nowhere came way with best film while Ha Jung-woo of The Yellow Sea and Tang Wei of Late Autumn walked away with the best actor and actress prizes respectively. Lee Chang-dong was also awarded best Director for Poetry. (Manila Bulletin, May 27, 2011)

Kim Ki-young's First Film Discovered
After being thought lost for more than half a century, Kim Ki-young's debut feature The Boxes of Death (1955) has been found. It was discovered in a US archive and screened in Seoul last Thursday. (The Korea Times, May 27, 2011)

Korean-American at the Helm of Kung Fu Panda 2
Hollywood latest blockbuster animation, the much-anticipated Kung Fu Panda 2, was shepherded to the screen by Korean-American filmmaker Jennifer Yuh. She started out as an assistant at Dreamworks in 2003 and she is the first Asian woman to direct at the studio. (Joong Ang Daily, May 27, 2011)

Kwon Sang-woo Set for Chinese Debut
Korean heartthrob Kwon Sang-woo is currently filmin Repeat, I Love You with Cecilia Cheung in China and will next be seen in Jackie Chan's Chinese Zodiac. (The Washington Post, May 27, 2011)

Seven Films to Get You Well Versed in Korean Cinema presents seven films that should get you well acquainted with Korean cinema. The list spans from 1999-2006 and includes, multiplex (The Host, 2006), arthouse (Peppermint Candy, 1999), and cult fare (Oldboy, 2003). (, May 28, 2011)

Next Hollywood Role for Lee Byung-hun
Lee Byung-hun is set to reprise his role in the sequel to G.I. Joe (2009) which will begin filming later this year. (, May 29 2011)

New 3DTV Breakthrough from LG
Korea's electronics manufacturer LG is set to heighten the 3-dimensional home entertainment experience with a new innovation which does not require the purchase of bulky and expensive 3D glasses. (Inquirer Technology, May 29, 2011)


A couple of new trailers this week, sadly with no subtitles. Quick doesn't really need them however.

Hoichori (no subs)

Quick (no subs)


Kung Fu Panda Knocks Out the Competition
The weekend was won by Kung Fu Panda 2 which amassed an enormous 1.5 million admissions, no doubt spurred by the fact that it was directed by Korean-American Jennifer Yuh. Pirates 4 saw half its loot disappear in its sophomore stint at the Korean box office but still managed nearly 600,000 admissions, it has 2.4 million to date. Meanwhile, Sunny didn't let up with nearly half a million tickets sold, bringing its total close to 3.5 million. Head opened small with 33,000 admissions and all other local fare was relegated to the bottom of the chart. (, May 29, 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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