Monday, December 31, 2012

KBO: The Tower Rises to First in Powerful Xmas Weekend (12/28-12/30, 2013)

The Tower Rises to First in Powerful Xmas Weekend

Title Release Date Market Share Weekend Total Screens
1 Tower 12/25/12 30.70% 873,155 1,694,650 617
2 Les Miserables (uk/us) 12/19/12 26.70% 751,684 2,955,910 621
3 Love 911 12/19/12 13.00% 370,787 1,596,902 427
4 The Hobbit (us) 12/13/12 8.40% 204,958 2,533,231 383
5 Marrying the Mafia 5 12/19/12 5.00% 144,316 961,275 338
6 Wreck-It Ralph (us) 12/13/12 3.90% 113,083 570,142 320
7 Niko 2: Little Brother (de) 12/25/12 3.20% 95,513 207,057 284
8 Zambezi (us) 12/25/12 3.00% 86,922 205,150 273
9 My P.S. Partner 12/6/12 2.20% 57,345 1,767,310 157
10 Pokemon (jp) 12/19/12 0.70% 38,781 316,515 164

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

500 Articles + Holiday Posting Schedule

Xmas at MKC's HQ ;)
I hope everyone's been enjoying the holidays and as 2012 winds down I just wanted to let you know what to expect on the site during the festivities.

We'll be taking a break on regular posting until shortly after New Year's but in the meantime you can expect some end-of-year wrap-ups such as the year's Top 10 films and news stories. Perhaps even a brief post of my time in Korea six months in to make up for slacking off on the 'Korea Blog' posts.

Remarkably this is the 500th post to appear on MKC so along with season's greetings I'd also like to extend my sincere thanks for allowing the site the grow and continue for so long. With new contributors and more plans for 2013, there's also plenty more to come.

Here's to the next 500!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

KBO: Les Miserables Tunes Into First Place (12/21-12/23, 2012)

Les Miserables Tunes Into First Place

Title Release Date Market Share Weekend Total Screens
1 Les Miserables (uk/us) 12/19/12 30.80% 788,836 1,265,703 670
2 Love 911 12/19/12 16.00% 416,818 703,159 426
3 The Hobbit (us) 12/13/12 17.40% 396,913 1,988,600 585
4 Marrying the Mafia 5 12/19/12 12.00% 312,681 528,802 447
5 Wreck-It Ralph (us) 12/13/12 5.70% 148,804 289,468 361
6 My P.S. Partner 12/6/12 5.70% 134,911 1,584,404 245
7 26 Years 11/29/12 4.20% 110,130 2,874,679 293
8 Pokemon (jp) 12/19/12 1.90% 93,510 191,011 273
9 Pokemon (jp) 12/19/12 1.40% 79,331 159,450 227
10 Rise of the Guardians (us) 11/29/12 1.70% 48,584 1,001,379 175

Friday, December 21, 2012

WKR: Jiseul, Masquerade and Melo Lead the Pack (12/15-12/21, 2012)

With Christmas upon us things are slowly winding down on the review front but still plenty to check out this week.


(Film Business Asia, December 15, 2012)

(Film Business Asia, December 17, 2012)

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

KCN: Korean Cinema to Invade Berlin and Rotterdam (12/13-12/19, 2012)

Numerous festival announcements this week as Korean films pick up more prizes at international film festivals and a number of prestigious events gorge on Korean cinema.

In addition to everything below, a few more fresh festival selections lacking full writeups:

Jiseul, Sleepless Night, The Russian Novel and Sunshine Boys heading to the Rotterdam International

Behind the Camera and Jury to officially take part in Berlin's Panorama section


Berlin Invites Pluto to Generation Section
Next February’s Berlin International Film Festival is taking shape as a major discovery grounds for Korean cinema as a fourth Korean film has been invited to the prestigious event. Shin Su-won’s Pluto, one of the most talked about films at this year’s Busan International Film Festival, will have its international premiere during Berlin’s Generation programme. (KoBiz, December 18, 2012)

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Whose Lie is it Anyway: Ad-lib Night (아주 특별한 손님, Aju Teukbyeolhan Sonnim) 2006

Part of Rex Baylon's ongoing feature on director Lee Yoon-ki.

The expectations placed upon us by our family can be emotionally and mentally crippling. Parents have no way to predict how there actions, no matter how well intentioned they are, will scar their kids, and children are ultimately at the mercy of circumstances outside their control or understanding. Because of this the relationship between parents and children seem to always suffer from some form of dysfunction. Be it from things said in anger or things left unsaid one doesn’t leave childhood without some scarring.

Opening on a bright summer day in Seoul, Lee Yoon-ki’s third feature Ad–lib Night (Aju Teukbyeolhan Sonnim, 2006) begins with two men arguing over the facial features of a woman standing innocently across from them. Watching them stare at her one can’t help thinking of the innumerable scenes in film of men and boys spying on women. Are they playboys, predators, or harmless peeping Toms? We soon get our answer as the two men corner the woman and begin having a conversation with her media res. They call her Myung-eun and we discover that they knew each other since grade school. She rebuffs their attempts to get close though and corrects their assumption that she is Myung-eun.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

KBO: The Hobbit Stands Tall at No.1 (12/14-12/16, 2012)

The Hobbit Stands Tall at No.1

Title Release Date Market Share Weekend Total Screens
1 The Hobbit (us) 12/13/12 45.20% 921,177 1,080,351 1,028
2 26 Years 11/29/12 17.10% 409,708 2,557,122 474
3 My P.S. Partner 12/6/12 15.90% 353,277 1,223,873 420
4 Rise of the Guardians (us) 11/29/12 6.70% 165,984 899,826 361
5 Werewolf Boy 10/31/12 4.10% 102,475 372,017 233
6 One Day (us) 12/13/12 3.50% 79,190 102,936 236
7 Power Rangers (jp) 11/29/12 1.90% 48,317 63,041 229
8 Confession of Murder 11/8/12 1.00% 22,544 2,720,064 114
9 Masquerade 9/13/12 0.90% 20,635 12,274,047 88
10 Wreck-it Ralph (us) 12/13/12 0.80% 19,179 33,623 118

Friday, December 14, 2012

WKR: Confession of Murder, Pieta and More (12/08-12/14, 2012)

A trove of past Korean films reviewed in this week's roundup, along with a pair of writeups on Kim Ki-duk's Pieta and more.


(Modern Korean Cinema, December 13, 2012)

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Confession of Murder (내가 살인범이다, Naega Salinbeomida) 2012

The sound of torrential rain beating down during a pitch black night can be heard along with the heavy footfalls of boots stamping on the wet ground. The atmosphere is pregnant with a sense of unease; menace and frustration linger in the air. A weary and despondent detective chases after a despicable man: a monster with the blood of young women on his hands. But the lawman’s pursuit will prove fruitless, as this faceless ghost will vanish into thin air and into the forgotten recesses of history.

Such a passage could easily describe any number of narratives that have cropped up in all kinds of mediums across the world. As far as Korean cinema is concerned, it quickly brings to mind a handful of powerful works whose import cannot be dismissed in any serious consideration of the nation’s cinematic output. Chief among them is Bong Joon-ho’s Memories of Murder (2003), a transcendent genre piece that captured the anxiety and trauma of an entire nation and which is for many, including myself, the single greatest work that the country has ever produced. Another would be Na Hong-jin’s blistering The Chaser (2008), which deliberately trampled over every generic convention it could find and forged a new direction for one of the world’s most dynamic film industries in the process.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

KCN: New Projects from Park Chan-wook, Kim Jee-woon and Hong Sang-soo (12/06-12/12, 2012)

Lots of new projects or details of upcoming films announced this week, including the latest on Park Chan-wook, Hong Sang-soo and Kim Jee-woon's cinematic endeavors. The first teaser for Ryoo Seung-wan hotly anticipated spy thriller The Berlin File was also released today.


Kim Jee-woon Plans Live Action Jin Roh: The Wolf Brigade
Get ready for something spectacular. Korea's Kim Jee-woon - soon to make his English language debut with Arnold Schwarzenegger starring The Last Stand - has big plans for his next Korean film and it's something that should leave anime fans very, very happy. (Twitch, December 11, 2012)

Director Hong Sangsoo’s Next Film Gets 19 Rating
Director Hong Sangsoo’s next film, Nobody’s Daughter Haewon, was given the 19 or above rating on December 6. The film finished shooting this past spring and is in the post production stage, awaiting a release date. The film stars Lee Sun-kyun who appeared in Hong Lost in the Mountains and Oki’s Movie. This will be the actor’s third collaboration with Hong. (KoBiz, December 11, 2012)

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Love in the Time of Debt: My Dear Enemy (멋진 하루, Meotjin Haru) 2008

Part of Rex Baylon's ongoing feature on director Lee Yoon-ki.

To speak about love in a contemporary real world setting and ignore the logistics of survival has been the bane of the romance genre. In order to sidestep these problems filmmakers in the past have either focused their eye to the upstairs-downstairs drama of the 1% or offered up sentimental stories of shopgirls being wooed by nebbish young suitors. Modern day romantic comedies haven’t fared any better since most are concerned with merely finding one’s true love and quickly fading out once our two lovers are finally together. The romance genre’s evolution through the years has ignored the economics of love in favor of offering up quirky characters in contrived situations.

In Lee Yoon-ki’s My Dear Enemy money is the impetus for the two ex-lovers reuniting and the reason why they spend the entire day together. Instead of cloying attempts to tell a story about two people falling in love again while draped on all sides by a scenic urban backdrop we get tense scenes where petty grudges are rehashed and even the happier moments of the past are remembered through a cloudy veneer of regret and nostalgia. Far from offering up an affected view of modern day relationships My Dear Enemy is a realistic character study of the ways that hate and love are used to mask one’s insecurities, it’s a travelogue, a visual and aural document, of Seoul at the cusp of a worldwide economic recession, and a charming romantic comedy.

Monday, December 10, 2012

KBO: 26 Years Steady at No.1 (12/07-12/09, 2012)

26 Years Steady at No.1

Title Release Date Market Share Weekend Total Screens
1 26 Years 11/29/12 31.10% 606,877 1,815,877 610
2 My P.S. Partner 12/6/12 25.40% 473,527 565,557 553
3 Rise of the Guardians (us) 11/29/12 13.60% 258,352 677,900 430
4 Werewolf Boy (Director's Cut) 10/31/12 8.10% 164,554 183,029 278
5 Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 2 (us) 11/15/12 5.20% 104,602 2,578,609 305
6 Confession of Murder 11/8/12 5.10% 95,262 2,648,477 281
7 Tone Deaf Clinic 11/29/12 2.00% 42,000 303,714 212
8 Masquerade 9/13/12 1.60% 32,353 12,227,303 97
9 Don't Cry Mommy 11/22/12 1.30% 26,550 956,740 201
10 Judge Dredd (us) 12/6/12 1.40% 26,402 34,731 184