Monday, June 6, 2011

Korean Cinema News (05/30-06/05, 2011)

Another big week for Korean film news. Some great interviews and lots of (unsubtitled) trailers and a number of great features including a fascinating expose on the supposed liberal stranglehold over Korean cinema and an opinion piece on imagination in Korean film (can't say I agree with it). Box office at the bottom as always.


Hollywood Inundated with Korean Animators
Korean animators are all over the Hollywood these days, with many taking on coveted roles, such as Jennifer Yuh, director of the current blockbuster Kung Fu Panda 2.  Other prominent figures include Kim Sang-jin, the first Korean head designer to work at Walt Disney Studios.  (, May 30, 2011)

The Journals of Musan Wins Yet Another Award
Park Jung-bom's highly revered film has added to its trophy collection again by winning the top prize at the Andrei Tarkovsky Film Festival. The jury was presided over by English thesp Ralph Fiennes. (The Voice of Russia, May 30, 2011)

The Melbourne International Film Festival isn't until July 21st but a few early selections have been announced and they include the popular Korean action film The Unjust.  (Film Business Asia, May 30, 2011) 

The Seoul Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender/sexual Film Festival is underway in the Korean capital and will continue through June 8.  The festival, with the tagline "isn't it time to color yourself?" will present 24 international and domestic feature films.  (The Korea Times, May 31, 2011)

Opening Lineup for New York Asian Film Festival Announced
The New York Asian Film Festival, which will take place from July 1-14, has announced its opening lineup. There will be a special section entitled Sea of Revenge, which will feature: The Chaser (2008), The Unjust , The Yellow Sea, Bedevilled, Haunters, The Man From Nowhere, and Troubleshooters.  (Unseen Films, May 31, 2011)

Program for Cinema Seoul Power Unveiled
The Honolulu Academy of Arts will present its Korean Film Festival, Cinema Seoul Power from June 11-26. Included in the program are Blades of Blood, The Housemaid, and Secret Sunshine (2007). (Honolulu Art Academy, May 31, 2011)

North Korean defector Kim Gyoo-min is set to release his first feature film after having previously worked on films such as South of the Border (2006), Crossing (2008), and 71: Into the Fire (2010). Winter Butterfly is based on his own experiences and tells the story of a mother and son who suffered form severe food shortage in North Korea. (The Korea Herald, June 1, 2011)

Ambassadors Named for Seoul International Youth Film Festival
Actors Lee Chun-hee and Kim Sae-ron have been named as the ambassadors for the 13th Seoul International Youth Festival, which begins on July 7th The festival will present 143 films from 37 countries. (The Korea Herald, June 1, 2011)

After her successful turn in Late Autumn, Tang Wei has landed a commercial in Korea but she is hoping to get more roles in Korean films, which she admires very much. (Arirang, June 1, 2011)

Oh Jung-hun writes that Korean films pale in comparison with Hollywood as far as imagination is concerned. He cites how local will flock to new installments of franchises such as Pirates of the Caribbean to devour their creative worlds. (The Korea Times, June 2, 2011)

The 4th Network of Asian Fantastic Films has announced its 23 projects which include new offerings from Kim Seong-ho (A Girl With Sushi Knife), Moon Seung-wook (Elysium), and Lim Tae-hyeong (Two Rabbits in Osaka). (, June 2, 2011)

Review for New Thriller Moby Dick
The Korea Times takes a look at the new conspiracy drama Moby Dick, which is set to open domestically on June 9th. They praise the picture, from first-time director Kim In-je, for being painstakingly real. (The Korea Times, June 2, 2011)

Liberal Bias in Korean Cinema
Yu In-chon, Lee Myung-bak's first culture minister, is attempting to oust left-leaning figures in the culture office. Yu has been met with resistance but he is not the only one who believes that the left has gained too much control of the industry and may even be using it to promote it agenda. (The Dong-a Ilbo, June 3, 2011)

2011 Becoming Banner Year for Korean Animation
Many animated films have sprung up in Korea this year, including The Houses and Earth Rep Rolling Stars, and others are on the way, Leafie, A Hen Into the Wild and King of Pigs. However, the most likely to find international success is Green Days, to be released June 16. (Animation Insider, June 3, 2011)

More to Korean Cinema Than Meets the Eye
Abhimanyu Das writes that Korean cinema should be seen on an equal footing as the juggernauts of cinema like India and the US. He examines Memories of Murder (2003) to highlight his point. (The Sunday Guardian, May 2011)


The director of the acclaimed I Saw the Devil sits down for an interview with Asian Movie Pulse in which he discusses the pressures of outside influences on films in the 21st century.  (Asian Movie Pulse, May 30, 2011)

Kim Kkobbi Interview at Terracotta Film Festival
Paul Quinn sat down with Kim Kkobbi, star of Breathless (2008), at the Terracotta Film Festival to discuss her career, acting style, theatre, and upcoming projects.  (Hangul Celluloid, June 5, 2011)


Lots of trailers this week but no subtitles to go with them.

Poongsan (no subs)

Play (no subs)

Blind (no subs)

Head (no subs)

Mama (no subs)

Moby Dick (no subs)


Pandas and Mutants Pack in the Crowds
Kung Fu Panda 2 remained No. 1 this weekend with a decent hold and has accumulated nearly 3 million admissions to date. Meanwhile X-Men: First Class opened with a solid 630,000. Sunny continues to do well at No. 3 with 385,000, it has now topped 4 million admissions and is within striking distance of first place among 2011 releases in Korea. (, June 5, 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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1 comment:

  1. Thanks for aggregating this! NY people have a great line up at the NYAFF.