Showing posts with label poster. Show all posts
Showing posts with label poster. Show all posts

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Korean Cinema News (03/15-03/21, 2012)

Lots of big sales at the HK Film Market and some interesting casting news.  Also many new trailers and posters this week, including one for the hotly anticipated As One.


'Movie Director' Park Joong-hoon is Now a Writer Too
Park Joong-hoon is currently writing the scenario for his director-debut movie with a professional writer.  He has been officially announcing his debut as a director and the preparation process on his Twitter regularly.  He said on his Twitter, "I have officially started filming. I will put my heart into it".  Previously, he revealed that he was working with a professional writer on the scenario and truthfully revealed the pain and joy in writing out the story.  (, March 14, 20120

Early Works Return to Life at Korean Film Archive
Moviegoers today are accustomed to glossy, high-definition images that indiscriminately reveal slight skin blemishes of actors known for flawless complexions. Bass-heavy, surround-sound audio has also become the norm.  (The Korea Times, March 15, 2012)

Jane Birkin Wants to Work with Director Hong Sang-soo
French actress and singer Jane Birkin talked to Yonhap News ahead of her Korean concert at AX-Korea on March 22.  During the email interview, the chanteuse wondered if she was too old to give acting a go in Korea.  “There’s always a bit of a risk when you start something new, but I think working on a Korean movie would be worth it. The question is though, would Hong Sang-soo want to hire me?” joked Birkin. (Joong Ang Daily, March 16, 2012)

Lost’s Yunjin Kim Gets A Lead In ABC’s Mistresses
Lost alumna Yunjin Kim has landed a lead opposite Rochelle Aytes and Jes Macallan in Mistresses, ABC’s drama recently greenlighted straight to series for a summer 2013 launch.  The soap, written by KJ Steinberg and based on the British format, is described as a provocative drama about four women — three of them played by Kim, Aytes and Macallan — with scandalous romantic lives, caught in storms of excitement and self-discovery, secrecy and betrayal.  (Deadline Hollywood, March 16, 2012)

Buyers Run Off With Showbox's Thieves
The Thieves, a big-budget heist movie, has been a strong seller for integrated South Korean film giant Showbox/Mediaplex Inc.  The company has pre-sold the film to Dream Movie Entertainment Overseas Ltd for Singapore and Malaysia, Queen International Pictures Pte Ltd for Indonesia and Catchplay Inc for Taiwan.  (Film Business Asia, March 18, 2012)

KOFIC Eyes Global Market at H.K. FILMART
Korean Film Council (KOFIC) announced on Monday that it is currently participating in Hong Kong International Film & TV Market (FILMART), to promote local films worldwide and launch more foreign projects in Korea.  The Hong Kong-based event, which kicked off Monday and runs through Thursday, is considered one of the biggest film markets in Asia.  KOFIC said they will have their own lounge, titled “Korean Film Center,” during the event.  (The Korea Herald, March 19, 2012)

Start Date Set and The Host Stars join Bong Joon-ho’s Snow Piercer
A-list director Bong Joon-ho (Mother, 2009) is bringing back a couple of stars from one of his biggest hits, The Host (2006), for his newest project, Snow Piercer, which sounds like quite the large-scale sci-fi/thriller/action venture.  In it, Go Ah-sung (God of Study) and Song Kang-ho team up to play a father-daughter duo, as they did six years ago in The Host.  The film is set to begin shooting on March 26 and expected to run through to July 1.  (dramabeans, March 19, 2012)

5 Points to Do Right by CJ
US-based Asian entertainment group Right Stuf Inc has struck a deal to handle seven titles from South Korea's CJ Entertainment Inc in North American home entertainment markets.  Titles include Bleak Night (2010), Finding Mr Destiny (2010), Moss (2010), Penny Pinchers, Punch, The Suicide Forecast and Tazza: The High Rollers (2006).  (Film Business Asia, March 19, 2012)

Will Park Chan-wook Go to Cannes With Nicole Kidman?
Will director Park Chan-wook step on the red carpet at Cannes with Hollywood actress Nicole Kidman?  Director Park Chan-wook's Hollywood project Stalker is likely to be submitted in the 65th Cannes International Film Festival that is opening on the 16th of May.  Recent Hollywood reports and movie expert media have been looking positively at the possibilities of Stalker entering Cannes, along with the coming together of a Korean director and famous Hollywood actress.  (, March 20, 2012)


Heartthrob Determined to Go Beyond His Image
More than a decade into his career, Joo Jin-mo, 37, is still considered one of the best-looking faces in Korean cinema. He is also a victim of that image, however, incarnating one virile leading man after another.  Even in his newest film Gabi that opens today, he plays that tough-guy role again.  (The Korea Times, March 13, 2012)


As One (via Naver)



The Scent


Doomsday Book



The Scent

The Thieves


Helpless Repeats at the Expense of Russian Coffee
(Modern Korean Cinema, March 18, 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.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Korean Cinema News (01/12-01/18, 2012)

Lots of great features this week and a few more 2011 wrap-ups.  Also some casting news for Bong Joon-ho's hotly anticipated Snow Piercer, I certainly the Tilda Swinton piece materializes!  Some great trailers and more also featured featured this week.


Korean Cinema 2011: the View from Here
How do you introduce new Korean films to an American audience?  US-based author and curator of film at the Smithsonian’s Freer and Sackler Galleries in Washington, DC, Tom VICK shares his views on recent trends he has noticed programming their Korean film festival.  Korea’s film industry produces a deluge of commercial and independent releases.  But recent years have brought a proliferation of young, talented filmmakers with only a film or two under their belts.  (Korean Cinema Today, January 5, 2012)

Director of My Sassy Girl to Take on a More Serious Movie
Korean director Kwak Jae-yong is perhaps best known for his romantic-comedy My Sassy Girl (2001), but he’s decided to try his hand at a more somber story and will take on a film about the so-called “comfort women” of World War II.  The movie, to be called Flower Shoes, will be set from 1930 to 1945 and will detail the experiences of the Korean women forced into sexual slavery by the Japanese during that time period.  (Joong Ang Daily, January 12, 2012)

New Stills for Ha Ji-won/Bae Doo-na Pic Korea
The first publicity stills have emerged for the upcoming film Korea (aka As One) which pairs Ha Ji-won and Bae Doo-na.  Based on the true story of the victory of the South and North Korean teams at the Chiba International Table Tennis Championships in 1991, Ha Ji-won represents Hyeon Jeong-hwa and Bae Doona represents Lee Boon-hee from the North.  (, January 12, 2012)

Cinema of Embodied Unpleasures
Rowena Santos Aquino takes an in depth look at the body of work of Korean auteur Kim Ki-duk in an engaging three part discussion called 'Spotlight on Contemporary Korean Cinema: Kim Ki-duk' over at Next Projection.

Part I - Filmmaker  (Next Projection, January 11, 2012)
Part II - Mentor  (Next Projection, January 12, 2012)
Part III - Subject: Arirang  (Next Projection, January 13, 2012)

Chris Evans in Negotiations to Star in Bong Joon-ho's Snow Piercer
Bong Joon-ho, one of South Korea's top directors, has not made one bad film so far in his career. In fact, at least two of his feature films, namely Memories of Murder (2003) and The Host (2006), are in my opinion masterpieces of modern cinema.  His last film was the 2009 critical hit Mother.  (Twitch, January 14, 2012)

Multiculturalism a New Theme in Korean Movies
More and more Korean movies, including Pacemaker by director Kim Dal-joong that opens next Thursday, are taking on the theme of multiculturalism that is changing the face of Korean society.  In 2010, one out of every 10 marriages involved a foreign spouse, while the number of children from multicultural families has grown seven-fold from 25,000 in 2006 to 160,000 in 2010.  And this trend is being portrayed more frequently on the silver screen.  (The Chosun Ilbo, January 13, 2012)

The History of Korean Cinema .... on screen
The fact of the matter is, outside of Korea, Korean cinema is still a very 'new' thing. Generally most people may have seen your Oldboy's and My Sassy Girl's but outside of that the earliest film that those in the West will have likely seen would probably be JSA (2000) or Shiri (1999).  This puts Korean cinema in an interesting position of only being around 14 years old (15 using the Korean birthday system!).  For a national cinema so young, it really has come along leaps and bounds, but the more interesting thing is what was it like before this point.  (Tully's Recall, January 14, 2012)

V-I-C-T-O-R-Y! Korean Sports Movies
Anyone who has seen the millions of Koreans flocking to the streets and plazas to cheer on the National Team during World Cup season would probably be aware how much Koreans love sports.  Korea is a highly competitive society where focus, diligent attitude, eagerness for hard work, and teamwork is highly valued; all elements that can be found in sports.  Add pursuit of honor to that mix and you’ve got a perfect combination for grabbing people’s attention.  (The Korea Blog, January 11, 2012)

A Class Apart: Why Im Sang-soo Loses to Kim Ki-young in the Battle of The Housemaids
Hong Nguyen takes a look at the two versions of The Housemaid.  The original from 1960 by Kim Ki-young and the remake which cam 50 years later at the hands of Im Sang-soo.  (London Korea Links, January 16, 2012)

Lee Chang-dong’s Poetry Set for Release in Japan
Korean auteur director Lee Chang-dong’s film Poetry is set for release in Japan on Feb. 11, 2012.  The Cannes Best Screenplay Award-winning film will be distributed by KinoEye Japan and Siglo, which released the film’s Japanese poster and trailer today.  The film’s Japanese title translates to “Poetry: Agnes’ Song”.  (KoBiz, January 16, 2012)

CJ CGV Opens Two More Vietnam Multiplexes
Leading South Korean exhibitor CJ CGV has opened two more multiplexes in Vietnam, bringing their total to nine cinemas with 69 screens in the country.   The two multiplexes are in the center of Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi with two 3D screens each.  The Ho Chi Minh City cinema has eight screens while the Hanoi cinema has seven.   (KoBiz, January 16, 2012)

Romance Joe to Compete at Rotterdam Tiger Awards
This year’s International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR) has announced the complete line-up for its Tiger Awards Competition.   The 15-film selection includes Korean director Lee Kwang-kuk’s Romance Joe, which will make its international premiere.   Park Hong-min’s A Fish was announced earlier on as the competition’s first 3D film ever.   (KoBiz, January 12, 2012)

Tilda Swinton to Join Snow Piercer
Tilda Swinton is in talks to join post-apocalyptic thriller Snow Piercer.  The feature is based on the French comic Le Transperceneige created by Jean-Marc Rochette and is South Korean director Bong Joon-ho’s first foray into English language film.  Snow Piercer’s plot follows a group that is traveling by train together in a future ice age.  (, January 18, 2012)

New Thai Film Fest Set to Open with Always
The first edition of Thailand's Hua Hin Film Fest is set to bow Jan. 26 with the screening of South Korean pic Always, followed by the unspooling of 50 movies over four days.   (Chicago Tribune, January 17, 2012)

The director of Treeless Mountain is back with her third feature, an American independent produciton starring Paul Dano as a young rock musician whose divorce from his wife (Jena Malone) triggers a desire to bond with the 6-year-old daughter he's never really known.  (The Wall Street Journal, January 18, 2012)


Interview With Director Kim Kyung-mook
One of the Korean independent film community’s most remarkable young directors, Kim Kyung-mook made his feature debut with the unconventional Faceless Things (2005). He broadened his sights with A Cheonggyecheon Dog (2008) and has most recently been doing the film festival rounds with his third feature Stateless Things. The film debuted at the Venice Film Festival’s Orrizonti competition and is set to screen in the upcoming Rotterdam film festival’s Spectrum section.  The film is about people who have no place to stay.  How did Kim come to take such an interest in these people? He met with Korean Cinema Today to tell us.  (KoBiz, January 16, 2012)

Park Hee-gon was in his last year of high school in May 1987 when he, like thousands of other South Koreans, watched a baseball game that became legendary.  The game between the Lotte Giants and Haitai Tigers was a pitchers’ duel that lasted for 15 innings before officials called it a draw.  The pitchers – Lotte’s Choi Dong-won and Haitai’s Sun Dong-yeol – had squared off before but both were near the end of their careers and fans knew it would be the last time they faced each other.  (The Wall Street Journal, January 17, 2012)


2 Lines

Introduction of Architecture

Love Fiction

War of the Arrows



(Modern Korean Cinema, January 15, 2012)

Although the number crunchers in Hollywood estimate that US theatrical admissions sank to their lowest level since 1995, things were not so gloomy in Korea.  With an estimated 160 million tickets sold (more precise figures will become available at a later date), it appears that Korea has approached or broken the modern-day record for admissions.  (Korean Cinema Today, January 14, 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.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Korean Cinema News (11/17-11/23, 2011)

A wealth of fantastic interviews this week and a variety of trailers, features, and festival news items to boot.



Big Budget Movie Yeongasi Begins Filming
Filming for big-budget disaster movie Yeongasi commenced on Sunday, November 13th in Gyeongbuk province in eastern Korea.  The film, inspired by real-life parasites called Yeongasi or "horsehair worms", is top-billed by award-winning actor Kim Myeong-min (Detective K, 2011; Beethoven Virus, 2008), who plays Jae Hyuk, a pharmaceutical agent who struggles to save his family from the epidemic caused by the mutated worms.  (, November 16, 2011)

Veteran Actor Kim Chu-ryeon Found Dead
Actor Kim Chu-ryeon, who starred in classic films including Lovers in the Rain (1976) and Winter Woman (1977), was found dead in his apartment on Tuesday 8th November in an apparent suicide.  (Hanguk Yeonghwa, November 13, 2011)

Two Different Gay Films to Arrive on K-Film Scene
After this year’s success of Miracle of Jongno Street, the nation’s first gay-themed documentary, Korea’s film scene sees the arrival of two very different queer films.  One is the feature debut of So Joon-moon, one of the four gay men featured in director Lee Hyuk-sang’s documentary released in June.  (The Korea Herald, November 17, 2011)

Korean Film Festival Kicks Off at Alhamra
A two-day Korean Film Festival kicked off at Alhamra here on Thursday. The event was organised by Embassy of the Republic of Korea and Lahore Arts Council (Alhamra). A large number of citizens were present at the occasion.  (The Daily Times, November 18, 2011)

Spotlight on Contemporary Korean Cinema: Part 1
Strategically coinciding with the American Film Market and AFI Fest this year, the Korean Cultural Center of Los Angeles (KOFFLA) organized a three-day spotlight on contemporary Korean cinema, sponsored by the Korean Film Council (KOFIC).  The spotlight consisted of a retrospective of young filmmaker-on-the-rise Jang Hun, who now has three feature films under his belt; two debut feature films, Ordinary Days (2010, Inan) and Re-encounter (2010, Min Yong-geun); and one of Lee Chang-dong’s more recent films, the award-winning Secret Sunshine (2007).  (Next Projection, November 17, 2011)

Korea Film Awards Cancelled
Holiday season means awards season, but this year will have one less ceremony with the cancellation of the Korea Film Awards.  Hosted by MBC, the show would have been in its ninth year after being established in 2002, but ran into issues with “sponsorship and other complicated problems.”  (dramabeans, November 13, 2011)

Mark Morris on Lee Man-hee and the Flowering of Korean Film in the 1960s
In order to get a Western perspective on Korean cinema, I visited the Korean Cultural Centre in London in an event which was part of the 2011 London Korean Film Festival, to listen to Dr. Mark Morris speak on the subject (Friday, November 11).  Dr. Morris is from the Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies at Cambridge University.  He normally lectures on Japanese Cultural History, so I was interested in what he thought about Korean cinema.  (London Korea Links, November 21, 2011)

Korean film PUNCH heading for the US
If you’re Stateside, and perhaps just in the mood for something other than gore and things that go bump in the night (you know, those odd occasions) then news that the popular Korean comedy movie Punch, will be punching its way to a U.S theatre near you....may appeal.  CJ entertainment is set to drop it into a nationwide release from Dec 2nd and all the release dates/locations are on the flicks official site.  (, November 18, 2011)

The Crucible sets official English title as Silenced
Korean movie The Crucible has decided on its English title and is being released in North America.
Distributor CJ Entertainment revealed, The Crucible has been released as Silenced in 15 cinemas in major cities in North America.  (, November 20, 2011)

Korean Cinema Today’s November Issue
The Korean Film Council (KOFIC) has launched the November issue of the Korean Cinema Today webzine at and it set to launch the iPad version on Nov. 28.  In the November issue, Korean Cinema Today’s top featurelooks at the overseas projects of four leading Korean directors – Park Chan-wook’s Stoker , Bong Joon-ho’s Snowpiercer, Kim Jee-woon’s The Last Stand, and Ryoo Seung-wan’s The Berlin File.  (KOBIZ, November 21, 2011)

A Mixed Review for Lee Man-hee, the Classic Film Director for LKFF 2011
Most years, the London Korean Film Festival aims to include some classic films, usually from the 1960s, within its schedule.  This is a valuable feature for UK cinemagoers, some of whom may be of the impression that Korean film started with Shiri. This year Lee Man-hee was featured, with two films: A Day Off (1968) and Assassin (1969).  (London Korean Links, November 20, 2011)

Colin Firth Acknowledges Being 'Approached' for Oldboy
Academy Award-winning actor Colin Firth (The King's Speech, 2010; A Single Man, 2008; Love Actually, 2005) acknowledged in an interview with the Moviefone website that he was "approached" to star in Spike Lee's remake of Park Chan-Wook's live-action film Oldboy (2003).  However, he stayed mum on whether he agreed to the role or even if he and the producers are in active discussions.  (animenewsnetwork, November 19, 2011)
With eight feature films and a fair few shorts under his belt, Park has established himself as a force to be reckoned with on the world cinema stage.  He’s a risk-taker, confident enough to throw himself to the wolves knowing that he’ll come out unscathed.  This is, after all, the man whose Berlin Golden Bear-winning short, Night Fishing (2011), was filmed entirely on an iPhone.  Eager to scramble out of his comfort zone, he’s recently launched himself across to Pacific to direct his first English-language film, Stoker, starring Nicole Kidman.  (, November 18, 2011)

Recorder Exam wins DGA Student Filmmaker Award
Korean filmmaker Bora Kim-s The Recorder Exam won the Directors Guild of America (DGA) award for Best Woman Student Filmmaker in the East Region.  A 28-minute short film, The Recorder Exam follows a nine-year-old girl as she learns to play the recorder for a test.  The film portrays the contradictions in Korean society in 1988, conflict between family members, and the girl’s inner development.  (KOBIZ, November 16, 2011)

Rotterdam Claims Asian Trio
A trio of Asian films are among the first five films announced for competition at the upcoming International Film Festival Rotterdam (25 Jan – 5 Feb 2012).  It includes the festival's first 3-D film in competition, A Fish, also a first feature, by South Korea's Park Hong-min.  The film, an absurdist tale about a man seeking his shaman wife, first played in last month's Busan International Film Festival.
 (Film Business Asia, November 21, 2011)

CGV has recently opened two brand new multiplexes equipped with IOSONO’s 3D sound systems.  CGV Cheongdam Cinecity and CGV Yeongdeungpo become the flagship theaters for CGV’s 3D cinema sound.  (Iosono Sound, November 15, 2011)

Opening Gala + K-pop Concert, London Korean Film Festival 2011
A video of the opening proceedings of the recently wrapped London Korean Film Festival, which included a SHINee concert and a War of the Arrows screening. (, November 18, 2011)

Kim Ki-duk's Arirang and Amen Both to Come Out Soon
Kim Ki-duk's Arirang and Amen are being released side by side.  This special event, which is being held at Cinecube in Seoul, will go on for two weeks from December 8th to the 21st.  (, November 22, 2011)

Cinema Nouveau Welcomes the Korean Film Festival
As the only dedicated ‘Art House’ movie complex in South Africa, Cinema Nouveau will screen independent, alternative and art cinema content from cultures all across the world. As such, Cinema Nouveau presents the 'Korean Film Festival', releasing exclusively at the Brooklyn Cinema Nouveau on 28 November and the V&A Cinema Nouveau on 5 December.  (, November 22, 2011)

South Korea’s Silenced Speak
South Korea’s patriarchal society has often pressured victims of sexual crimes to keep quiet.  But a blockbuster movie revealing the abuse of children could help change this.  (The Diplomat, November 22, 2011)


LKFF: Ryoo Seung-wan Interview
Since the release of his first feature film, Die Bad, in 2000, Ryoo Seung-wan has regularly been referred to as the "Action Kid" of Korean Cinema.  However, though a number of his subsequent features could generally be described as action films, that description ultimately does the director and his work rather a dis-service.  (Hangul Celluloid, November 18, 2011)

Listening to Korean Cinema: Podcast Without Honor and Humanity
Launched in early 2011 Podcast Without Honor and Humanity hasn’t even celebrated its first anniversary but having reached its 39th episode has managed to spawn more episodes than some podcasts produce in two or three years.  A consistently entertaining show which has the occasional guest-host but is often helmed solely by self-effacing host Jake Feltner (aka Jake McHugeLarge), Podcast Without Honor and Humanity provides a knowledgeable perspective on Asian cinema in a manner which manages to be both accessible and – on occasion – is unashamedly geeky.  (New Korean Cinema, November 21, 2011)
In just a little over a decade, Korean filmmaker Bong Joon-ho has achieved no mean feat: with the most minimal filmography among his filmmaker colleagues – only four feature films – he has made his mark as one of the most exciting, articulate, and multifaceted directors, not only of his generation but of contemporary world filmmakers today. (asia pacific arts, November 18, 2011)

Yunjeong Kim, Director of International Sales, Finecut
It’s been 11 years since Yunjeong Kim at Finecut, a Seoul-based film company specializing in overseas sales and financing, has joined the Korean film industry.  From her earlier days at Cineclick Asia to her current title as the Director of International Sales, Kim still enjoys every bit of her job discovering new films.  KOBIZ caught up with Kim after her recent trip to the American Film Market(AFM).  (KOBIZ, November 18, 2011)

Animation Is the Future: Yeun Sang-ho
It is a bright Wednesday morning in Seoul, and a man wearing a pair of thick-framed glasses walks into the quiet cafe near Hongdae.  In spite of his toned-down manner and geek-like vibe, director Yeun Sang-ho cannot hide the twinkle of excitement in his eyes.  (The Korea Herald, November 21, 2011)

Honorary BIFF Chief Awaits His Film Debut
He is soft-spoken, extremely polite and remembers your name only after a quick phone call.  Meet Kim Dong-ho, the founding director of Busan International Film Festival and one of the pioneer figures in the Korean film industry.  (The Korea Herald, November 23, 2011)




(Modern Korean Cinema, November 21, 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.


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. (, 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. (, 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. (, 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. (, 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. (, 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)


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)



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(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. 

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