Shim Hyung-rae playing Young-gu in 1983
Korean director Shim Hyung-rae's new movie "The Last Godfather" came out in Korea on 12/29. Within the first week, it ranked in thefirst place in the box office in Korea. It seems like the reason for this result is because the Director Shim himself played a main character Young-gu, in the movie. Actually the Character Young-gu is considered as director Shim's mascot since 1986, when he was a comedian instead of director.
Shim Hyung Rae debuted in 1982 as a comedian. He got popular by playing a character Young-gu. Within many shows he showed up, the most noticeable program was "Young-gu ya, Young-gu ya" which was a parody of a Young-gu character in Korean old pop drama "YeoRo". In the drama, Young-gu was mentally challenged but very charming due to his naivety and unbiased attitudes. T Shim Hyung-rae advanced the character through parodying and made it to a perfect comical character by adding slapstick comedy. Now, the most people remember Young-gu as a funny character that was played by Shim Hyung-rae rather than a character in a drama. Thus, Shim Hyung-rae is considered as Korean Charles Chaplin or Mr. Bean. Through this character, Shim Hyung-rae got KBS Comedy Awards once in 1988 and once in 1990.
From 1984, Shim Hyung-rae started to act in the movies. Although there were many movies that he came out, the movie that got the most attention from audience was also related to Young-gu character. The series movie about Young-gu was made since 1986. Nineteen series were made within more than 10 years; mostly they were all about Young-gu and his unordinary friends. The first and most popular series was "Young-gu and Ddaeng Chi Ri".
His passion toward the directing and producing movie finally bloomed in 1993 by establishing a Young-gu Art. He is very into SF movies and he has been and is continuously trying to advance Korean SF movies as comparable to Hollywood SF Movies. His three representative movies are "Yonggary" (1999), "D-War" (2007) and "The Last Godfather" (2010). They have shown dramatic technological improvements and opened a possibility of Korean SF movies.
Now Shim Hyung-rae is known as a former comedian, a director and producer of movie, a Korean CEO Grandpre honorary ambassador, and emeritus professor for Art and Culture selected by MEST, and MCST. Also, the government of Korea recognized his as one of the most vital Korean thinkers of our time.
Through his new movie "The Last Godfather", many Koreans say they had a time to recall back to those times in 80s and 90s. It is exciting to see people's responds in the states. It's working on to distribute in the states now and will be coming out very soon.
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53rd Baeksang Arts Awards 2017