By Lukas Schwarzacher
Amidst the latest piece of good news that the Korean movie "The Journals of Musan" had won the Jury Prize ex-aequo at the 13th Deauville Asian Film Festival (March 9-13) in France, domestic films continued to hold their own at home the weekend of March 11-13.
Opening in number three position on the box office charts was "Shotgun Love", distributed by Lotte. Directed by Jeong Woo-cheol, the romantic comedy is about a man spending a night with his dream girl, a lingerie model – with an unexpected outcome.
Continuing in a stable fourth place is the February 17 release, "Late Blossom", from N.E.W. The picture – directed by Choo Chang-min – has attracted a cumulative 840,890 admissions. It's about two elderly couples on a journey, and late-life romance.
In eighth position is Lotte's "Children...", the crime thriller from Lee Kyoo-man, which was also released in Korea on February 17. The motion picture is based on the so-called "frog boys" incident in 1991 when five boys disappeared during a trip to catch frogs at a mountain near their home, their bodies subsequently found in 2002, and the case closed in March 2006 without an arrest. "Children..." has to date registered 1,842,284 total admissions.
But it is the current #9, "Detective K", which has had the strongest run recently at the box office. Up until now (March 13) it had 4,761,300 visitors and it had been number one for many weeks. It is also number one in the yearly box office of the Korean Film Council (KOFIC), and is currently also playing at the CGV Cinemas in Los Angeles.
Distributed by Showbox, "Detective K" is the story of a master detective in the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1897), who is living in the 18th Century and uncovers a major political scandal. The film has everything: drama, thriller and eroticism, all in the Korea of 300 years ago.
Going back to "The Journals of Musan", this moving drama about a North Korean defector who struggles to adapt after his flight to the South, also won awards and high praise to date at the Pusan International Film Festival, International Film Festival Rotterdam and the Marrakech International Film Festival. It is the first feature film by Park Jung-bum, who directed and plays the lead role.
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