[HanCinema's Film Review] "The Tiger: An Old Hunter's Tale" 2016/01/23,
The year is 1925, the place Jiri Mountain, in the deep Southern part of Korea. The Japanese are pushing through on their plan to eradicate tigers and all other wild carnivores from the Korean countryside. Why? Well, officially because tigers are dangerous. Unofficially, the Japanese seek to defeat the tigers to prove once and for all that their new modern ways are superior to the old traditional ones. In this way "The Tiger: An Old Hunter's Tale" proves itself as backstory to the age-old question- why doesn't South Korea have any wild animals?,...More
21 years of acting Hwang Jeong-min 2016/01/10, Source,
It's Hwang Jeong-min's generation. He's a hit with whatever he comes out with. Not that success decides the quality of the actor but success is important for an actor who is in a commercial movie. That doesn't mean the actor gets denigrated. It's fine for the actor to enjoy his rewards once he's achieved 200% of the effort he's made.
"The Himalayas" has currently broken through 7 million audiences. The competition he had with Choi Min-sik however, ended quite easily. Hwang Jeong-min's hard work came to light,...More
[HanCinema's Box Office Review] 2015.12.18 ~ 2015.12.20 2015/12/21,
"The Force Awakens" in Korea to a lukewarm reception as "The Himalayas" comes out on top...
J. J. Abrams' "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" has been shattering box office records as millions flocked to catch the latest in this billion-dollar franchise. Already the film has made over half-a-billion dollars worldwide ($517 million), but how strong was the force in South Korea? Surprisingly, it was not Abrams saber-spangled spectacle that captured the hearts and minds of Koreans this past weekend; instead, it was Lee Seok-hoon's down-to-earth drama "The Himalayas" with Hwang Jeong-min,...More
[HanCinema's Industry Interview] 10 Questions for Actor Kahlid Elijah Tapia 2015/09/05,
HanCinema recently met up with actor Kahlid Elijah Tapia to find out about his experience working in South Korea's television and film industry.
You came to South Korea back in 2009 to teach English. What was it about the country and culture that inspired you to explore its film and television industry?
This is a funny one actually because it wasn't the country or the culture. I was living in Florida taking acting classes before I came to Korea and I actually was just wanting to live in this country for one year and go home. A fellow actress and now close friend recommended that I put my headshot and resume on Craigslist. I thought to myself, "For what?" "This is Korea, I can't get anything done here". But I did it and 28 credits on IMDb later, I'm still here. What I learned after posting my information is that I can be an actor anywhere. Especially in this internet driven age,...More
[HanCinema's Film Review] "Crying Fist" 2015/06/06,
Sang-hwan (played by Ryoo Seung-beom) is a young man with rather poor decision-making abilities. He's the kind of guy who thinks that sticking it to the cops is proof of his street cred. In reality, no one actually cares about street cred. They just know that Sang-hwan is a jerk who's not really worth sticking up for. Tae-shik (played by Choi Min-sik) has the opposite problem. The older man cares so little about the way other people see him that he straight up publically humiliates himself for...what exactly?,...More
The 9th Asian Film Awards to be held on the 25th 2015/03/24, Source,
Korean movies have gone beyond Korea and all over to Asia.
The 9th Asian Film Awards is being held at the Venesian Theater in Macao, China. Every category has the name of a Korean star or film, increasing anticipation for the number of trophies won by one of them,...More
[HanCinema's Image Gallery] "The Admiral: Roaring Currents" @ 24fps 2015/01/17, Kim Han-min's "The Admiral: Roaring Currents" @ 24fps…
There are so many films flashing furiously past our eyes nowadays that it's hard to remember some of the devilish details, moments, and ideas from our favourite features. Add to that all the music videos, T.V. series, news broadcasts, digital advertisements, YouTube playlists and gaming, and it might well start to feel like there's an insurmountable backlog of compelling content, and you'd be right (sooner or later). Our lifetime is slowly being replaced by digital dream streams that if we were to watch all the classics, the critically acclaimed, personal recommendations and cultural must-sees, our lives would no longer have a convincing anchor in reality, and screen-time would be our only time,...More
[HanCinema's Film Review] "The Admiral: Roaring Currents": A Lionhearted Legend 2015/01/03, In the spotlight this week: Kim Han-min's "The Admiral: Roaring Currents"...
Admiral Yi Sun-shin was an astonishing naval commander who, despite political persecution, personal tragedy, illness, and imprisonment, managed to successfully halt the Japan's invasion of Korea during the end of the 16th century. Toyotomi Hideyoshi's (Japan's 'great unifier') dreamt of expanding Japan's empire and needed Joseon to secure a solid foothold to mount an attack against the mighty Ming.
Hideyoshi was denied free passage for his forces across the Korean mainland (King Seonjo and his cabinet thought that allowing the Japanese to cross unmolested would result in Korea being bloody battleground between their powerful neighbours), and so amassed a force and fleet and began their Invasion of Korea (1592-1598),...More
Son Ye-jin says she is lucky as actress and will stay close to audience 2014/12/19, Source,
Actress, Son Ye-jin expressed her emotion in her acceptance speech when receiving Korean Top Star Award at the 2014 Actors' Night Awards by The Korea Film Actors Association, which took place on Floating Island, Seoul on December 19th.
This is the second award for Son Ye-jin this year following the Best Lead Actress Award she received from Deajong Awards for her role as Yeo-wol in the movie, ' Pirates' this year,...More
Choi Min-sik, Yoo Hae-jin, Park Yoo-chun in Chungmuro 2014/12/08, Source,
Chungmuro was a male party. From successful movies to rookies, the event focused on actors who contributed to the film industry throughout the year. The best movies were awarded and rookies were introduced. It was disappointing that actresses didn't have much space to stand in.
# Acting God: Choi Min-sik
It's not an overstatement to say that it was Choi Min-sik's year with his greatest hit being "The Admiral: Roaring Currents". He took on the role of Admiral Yi Sun-shin and 17.6 million people have watched it. The movie re-wrote Korean movie history. This syndrome brought about historical movies once more and there was even debate about the social role of these kinds of generation movies. Choi Min-sik has a record breaking movie on his hands,...More
[HanCinema's Take] The "Admiral" and his Impossible Fleet 2014/08/23,
I'm always intrigued when patterns emerge in space-time; plausible improbabilities that speak to universal truths, or magically mirror the collective's consciousness. These uncanny alignments aren't always meaningful, or random, but there's a persistent allure to be found in such synchronicity; as if, when aligned, a precious pinhole appears, a vague vantage point awaiting some some golden thread to pierce and grab the message in bottle before it's too late.
Last week a new Korea box office champion was crowned as Kim Han-min's "The Admiral: Roaring Currents" (2014) cruised past Bong Joon-ho's hybrid hit "The Host" (2006), becoming the peninsula's highest grossing film of all time,...More
Choi Min-sik to commune in CGV Cinema Class 2014/08/19, Source,
Actor Choi Min-sik is going to commune with movie makers at the Cinema Class hosted by CGV on the 12th of September at 5PM at the Sinchon Artreon.
Cinema Class is a free movie lecture program for university students who dream of becoming movie makers. The first lecture was successful in early 2014 and the second one takes place on the 12th of September. The recruitment finished on the 13th of August and the competition ratio resulted in 9:1,...More
[HanCinema's Film Review] "The Admiral: Roaring Currents" 2014/08/09,
Admiral Yi Sun-shin (played by Choi Min-sik) has a reputation as one of the greatest tactical geniuses in world history, a fact recognized even by his contemporaries. Consequently, his portrayal in "The Admiral: Roaring Currents" may initially come off as a bit of a shock. Far from the all-powerful Übermensch who single-handedly saves the world, Yi Sun-shin lacks confidence, charisma, or even much in the way of political support. He just stubbornly adheres to the most strategically sound plan even as troop morale is hopelessly plummeting,...More
[HanCinema's Film News] New Korean Films Inbound... 2014/07/26, K-Films Coming Soon:★★★★★ "Roaring Currents": A historical epic that depicts the legendary exploits of one of the world's greatest navel strategists, Admiral Yi Sun-Shin. (07/30)
★★★★"HARU": A psychiatrists whose marriage is waning has to treat his wife's daughter and begins to fantasise about about their relationship. (07/31)
★★★★"The Suffered": A woman visiting her sick father gets to close to a mysterious man with dangerous consequences. (07/31),...More
[Guest Post] Must-watch Korean movies of 2013 2014/05/23,
If you thought that Hollywood and Bollywood were the only two major film making giants on the planet, you ought to think over again. The film industry has grown far and wide and today it is not just these two major film making phenomenon creating blockbusters every passing year. One such remarkable film industry is the Korean film industry. In recent years, the Korean film industry has grown by leaps and bounds in terms of the acting potential of the actors, the meticulously crafted scripts that make the movie going experience a fascinating one. To top it off, visual effects are essentially gaining an upper hand in almost every movie making them increasingly appealing to not just the Korean audiences but audiences worldwide. Given below is a list of the top Korean films released in 2013 that you cannot give a miss,...More
Blockbusters coming soon this spring 2014/03/10, Source,
The formality of Korean blockbuster movies is breaking up.
It starts off with Hyeon Bin. With the release of "The King's Wrath" in April, other movies such as Son Ye-jin's "Pirates" and other blockbusters fill up the line. These blockbusters cost more than 10 billion won each and the atmosphere seems completely different from that of movies that usually come out into the open in July ~ August,...More
[HanCinema Feature] Historical Hysteria: Korean period films coming in 2014 2014/01/11, Joseon pirates, legends, swordsmen, angels and more coming our way in 2014...
Cinematic journeys back to Joseon and beyond have rewarded the Korean film industry with a string of profitable historical yarns, a trend that has got producers drooling with the prospect of tapping deeper into this regenerative cash cow. Recently, it's been Han Jae-rim's "The Face Reader" (9.1M admissions) that has had locals flustered and, in 2005, it was Lee Joon-ik's "The King and the Clown" that became the first Joseon-era flick to pass the 10 million admissions mark. It's big business with a cultural twist that locals enjoy supporting, international audiences love lapping up, and a trend that 2014 is keen to take advance of as a host of new retrospectives are getting raring to go,...More
Buzz Builds Around Choi Min-sik's Upcoming Sci-Fi Flick 2013/12/27, Source, Choi Min-sik's first foreign film project was named on a list of the 10 most highly-anticipated sci-fi flicks of next year by British paper The Guardian on Monday. Choi, who received offers from numerous foreign directors in the wake of the global success of "Old Boy" in 2003, chose "Leon" director Luc Besson's action-thriller "Lucy" as his first project outside of Korea,...More
[HanCinema's Hall of Fame] "Sympathy for Lady Vengeance" 2013/11/16, In the Spotlight this Week: "Sympathy for Lady Vengeance" by Park Chan-wook
Revenge is a deeply personal affliction, a stubborn demon that relentlessly haunts and hinders until it is suitably exorcised from our fleshly casings. Usually such a drive has just one corrupted driver, a single soul who sets out to rebalance the scales against those who infected their world. In Park Chan-wook's award-winning "Sympathy for Lady Vengeance" (2005), that model of revenge was given an edgy feminine salting as Park mused over mob justice in the most intimate fashion imaginable. The film forms the final bloody act in Park's, critically acclaimed and labelled, 'Vengeance Trilogy'. It's a gut-wrenching cinematic series of revengeful events that pushed the boundaries of the thriller genre – the unofficial pirate ship of modern Korean cinema,...More
"Old Boy" 10th anniversary poster 2013/11/13, Source,
The movie "Old Boy" which was released on November 21st just 10 years before today, is being re-released as a re-mastered version.
Being released on the same date it did 10 years ago, "Old Boy" came out with a new poster. The two men's act of revenge on the 10 year-old poster is nowhere to be seen and the L in 'old' is replaced with a hammer that is to be remembered from the movie. The font for 'old' has also been encrypted with '10' instead,...More
[HanCinema's Hall of Fame Review] "Shiri" 2013/10/19, In the Spotlight this Week: "Shiri" (1999) by Kang Je-gyuKang Je-gyu's "Shiri" was a landmark feature that stands as Korea's first real blockbuster. The film sold over 6.2 million admissions during its run in 1999, an astonishing feat that broke the shackles on big-budget Korean films and represents a critical moment in Korea's film history. Kang made his debut three years before "Shiri" with "The Gingko Bed" (1996), a fantasy romantic epic that was heralded for its special effects and was also one of country's most successful films at the time. Since "Shiri", Kang has chosen to remain in the filmic fog of war, directing both the acclaimed "Taegukgi" (2004 - 11.7 million admissions) as well as the less successful "My Way" (2011 – 2.1 million). Kang may have fallen from grace somewhat with his last film "My Way" (which failed to make a profit on its $24 million production costs; the film made only $16M) and with this year's fantastical flop "Mr. Go" (which he produced), however Kang's filmography still remains an impressive one that has helped challenge and re-define the conditions and profitable potential of the once illusive Korean blockbuster,...More
[HanCinema's Hall of Fame Review] "Leafie, A Hen Into The Wild" 2013/10/05, In the Spotlight this Week: "Leafie, A Hen Into The Wild" (2011) by Oh Seong-yoon
Before 2011 no Korean animation had attracted more than a million admissions. It's a number that, according to director Oh Seong-yoon, has "symbolic meaning", a figure that his first feature animation "Leafie, A Hen Into The Wild" eventually more than doubled. "Leafie" spent seven weeks in the top ten last summer, never rising higher than fourth or claiming more than 250,433 admissions at a time. It lingered for weeks and was supported by a steady flow of curious filmgoers, all while competing with the likes of "Arrow, The Ultimate Weapon" (7.4M), "The Front Line" (2.9M), "Quick" (3.1M), and many others that were on show during its impressive spell. This popular adaptation went on to entertain more than 2.2 million filmgoers, making it the most commercially successful Korean animation in history. "Leafie" was a polished, beautiful story that was well voiced, and unashamedly touched on the selfless trials of modern motherhood,...More
[HanCinema's Film Review] "The New World" 2013/09/28,
Ja-Seong (played by Lee Jeong-jae) has taken the notion of a deep-undercover police assignment to ridiculous lengths. He's been imbedded with a high-level criminal organization for so long that he's the trusted right-hand lieutenant of a man with a very serious claim to the overall leadership. Ja-Seong has a strong reputation as a tough, competent enforcer. He has a wife and deep personal friendships with other people inside the gang. And as an undercover cop, Ja-Seong has had about all he can take insofar as living his life as a lie.
"The New World" is an extremely emotional film. Not in terms of rage or anger, the typical gangster emotions, but rather love, loss, and wanderlust. In practical terms this movie is pretty much a melodrama,...More
[HanCinema's Film Review] Returning to the Sunny side of Love. 2013/07/27,
Korean films are particularly intrigued by the tragic tests time and memory can place on love. This fascination extends across genres and the results are often not the Hollywood fairy tale viewers might come to expect. We see this in recent films like "The Servant", where Choon-hyang (Korea's 'Juliet' played by Jo Yeo-jeong) suffers a devasting physical trauma that leaves her mentally and emotionally incapacitated, no longer able to remember the love and passion she once had for her forbidden lover Bang-ja (Kim Joo-hyeok). In Park Chan-wook's cult classic "Old Boy" Oh Dae-su (Choi Min-sik) is confronted with an impossible decision at the end, one that cruelly pits the love for his daughter against his own sanity. (I think it will be highly interesting to see how Spike Lee's version of the story's ending differs to Park's). There are other examples of how time and love collide in Korea cinema, often with truly memorable results, and recently I returned to one of the most successful dramas in recent years: Kang Hyeong-cheol's "Sunny - 2010",...More
'Old Boy' Remake to Premiere in October 2013/07/10, Source,
A poster for the U.S. remake of "Old Boy" featuring lead actor Josh Brolin was unveiled on Monday. Spike Lee has stepped into the director's chair to show audiences his take on Park Chan-wook's 2003 thriller. As Lee suggested his remake will be "even darker" than Park's version, the poster shows Brolin, who assumes the starring role previously inhabited by Choi Min-sik, emerging from a traveling chest -- after spending 20 years locked in a private cell for reasons unknown to him,...More
[HanCinema's Film Talk] Siblings in Cinema: The RYOO Brothers 2013/07/06,
Siblings don't always get along. Even when working within the same field family members often choose to keep their personal and professional lives separate to keep the peace. Personal histories, grudges, and just knowing one another as well as they do can cause friction and frustration in the workplace. Not so though with renowned South Korean actor Ryoo Seung-beom and his moviemaking brother Ryoo Seung-wan. The brothers' most recent effort, "The Berlin File" (2013), marks another successful family collaboration that rocked Korean cinemas earlier this year.
The brothers both came into the spotlight with their 2000 début feature "Die Bad"; a collection of four hard-boiled short stories that follows two teenagers and their descent into the violent world of organised crime. The film was written and directed by Seung-wan and stars himself and his younger brother Seung-beom. Seung-wan has sometimes been described as the Korean Tarantino, while his talent younger brother has been likened too the American-Canadian comedy actor Jim Carrey,...More
[HanCinema at Jiff] Q&A with director Park Hoon-jeong-I of "The New World" 2013/05/01,
Earlier in the festival I had a chance to attend a Q&A session with Park Hoon-jeong-I the director of "The New World". Audience reaction to the film was very favorable, and it was by far the longest Q&A session I attended, even though the film ended late in the night. Park Hoon-jeong-I discussed a wide variety of topics, including not just this film but the prospects of others in the future using the same characters.
Q: I really liked the way this film used cigarettes.
A: Yes, for the detective Chief Kang (played by Choi Min-sik) they represent his humanity. Even though, as many characters point out, he really should quit.
Q: I liked how, from the beginning Lee Ja-Sung (played by Lee Jeong-jae) is really paranoid about fakes,...More
[HanCinema's Film Talk] Is Spike Lee out of his depth with "Old Boy"? 2013/04/27,
Although its official release date is still a long way off (early October 2013), Spike Lee's "Oldboy" has finally given us something to look at. A poster teaser was recently released that shows little more that twenty red scratches, along with the controversial titling: "A Spike Lee joint" (whatever that means). Indeed, since it was announced that Park Chan-wook's award winning film was to be given the Hollywood 'bump', fans and critics alike have been very vocal in asking the very simple and obvious question-Why?,...More
Park Chan-wook Retrospective at MoMI - Friday, March 1 Sunday, March 3 2013/02/19, Source, Park Chan-wook, director, screenwriter, and producer, is one of the most acclaimed filmmakers on the international film festival circuit. To celebrate the release of "Stoker", his major directorial debut in Hollywood, The Korea Society and MoMI co-present a retrospective of his work. The special screening of "Stoker" (starring Nicole Kidman, Mia Wasikowska, and Matthew Goode) will play on February 28 at 7PM at MoMI.
Park Chan-wook, a director, screenwriter, and producer, is one of the most acclaimed filmmakers on the international film circuit. To Celebrate the release of "Stoker", his major directorial debut in Hollywood, The Korea Society and MoMI co present a retrospective of his work. He debuted with 'The Moon is What the Sun Dreams of' in 1992, but he started to gain international recognition from the sensational movie 'JSA - Joint Security Area' in 2000 which The Guardian praised it as "airy, subtle and playful, and showcases the best elements of modern Asian cinema",...More
Pieta Wins Top Prize at 33rd Blue Dragon Film Awards 2012/12/01, Source,
South Korean director Kim Ki-duk's "Pieta" won the award for best film of the year at the 33rd Blue Dragon Film Awards in Seoul on Friday night. While accepting the grand prix at the Sejong Center for the Performing Arts, Kim described his film as a reflection of extreme capitalism where money rules over all. He also expressed his hopes that the South Korean society would become one that's centered around people and not money,...More
[Hancinema's Film Corner] Fighting?! Korean Cinema and the 'Mock Charge' 2012/11/10,
The 'mock charge' is indeed a curious phenomenon in Korean cinema. This "threat of violence" is usually used when there is a real, or perceived, power difference between two parties; as well as a strong desire to express it. In modern Korean cinema it can be seen in almost all genres, and performed by, well, anyone really. This simulated act of aggression is now an iconic element performed by Korean actors, and actresses, and has become a hallmark of Korean cinema's power relations onscreen. But what is a 'mock charge' and how exactly is it used in Korean cinema?
The term is more commonly associated with large land mammals, and has been observed in the behaviour of elephants, lions, hippopotamuses, and rhinos. The idea is that when an animal feels threaten they will often perform a simulated action designed to ward off that threat,...More
[Guest Post] Daniel Tudor on Korean cinema 2012/11/09, Source,
I'm not a true cinephile by any stretch of the imagination. I've always been the archetypal casual fan, who knows what he likes, but doesn't really like it enough to remember every line of the script. People ask, "have you seen [insert name of genius film here]?" and I honestly reply "yeah, I saw it a few years back, it was great". But then I'll be unable to back that up with any enlightened commentary on that scene with the uninterrupted shot that goes all the way around the bar and back again when all the mobsters are being introduced. Or even who was in it, sometimes.
But when I first moved to Seoul in 2004, Korean cinema got to me. In some way it was a stroke of luck to be here while a golden era was still in swing,...More
(42) Park Chan-wook: Director with blood-coated lens 2012/07/04, Source,
Director Park Chan-wook, left, waves as he is awarded with actor Choi Min-shik for the grand prix for the film "Old Boy" during the award ceremony of the 57th Cannes Film Festival in Cannes on May 24, 2004. / Korea Times file
By Andrew Salmon Tension and violence sell, but this may not be apparent to the vast majority of fans of "hallyu", the much-discussed "Korean Wave" of pop culture that has swept outward from the shores of the peninsula since, roughly, the turn of the millennium. The two standout genres of hallyu, in sales terms, are clearly K-pop and K-soaps. Of the former, Korean management companies have come up with a winning formula, churning out a range of cute, well-trained and above all wholesome boy- and girl-bands whose appeal is very different from the rebellious, opinionated, drug-spattered figures who stagger across the stage of Western rock 'n roll. Soap is similarly sugar-coated: Most dramas are centered upon pretty boys and pretty girls in pretty clothes and pretty houses/landscapes engaging in genteel, "no-sex-please-we're-Korean" romances,...More
New York Special Screening, Old Boy on July 1st 2012/06/25, Source,
The Korea Society presents a retrospective of the work of Choi Min-sik, one of Korea's most recognizable contemporary actors, as part of our ongoing "Korean Cinema Now" program with MoMI (the Museum of Moving Image).
Choi Min-sik had numerous television roles, but his big break came in 1999 when he played a cold-blooded North Korean soldier in "Shiri" (Dir. Kang Je-gyu) and suddenly gained a reputation as one of Korea's finest actors. His acting dominates the silver screen, but his characters have more than charisma,...More
[Review] I Saw The Devil: revenge at any cost 2012/06/01, Source,
Soo-hyeon unaware at the cannibal's home
Choi Min-sik is back as the psycho killer in the murder-thriller "I Saw the Devil". Min-sik's character, Kyung-chul is cold, ruthless and deceptive. In the opening scene Kyung-chul is seen assisting a young woman with a flat tire. Soo-hyeon, the fiancé of the woman in the car talks with her on the phone as she waits for a tow truck. She begins to get suspicious when Kyung-chul ominously hangs outside her car window. He strikes with brutal swiftness with a hammer, knocking her out. Later he drags her back to his kill-house where he hacks her up despite her calls for mercy,...More
Retrospective of the work of Choi Min-sik 2012/05/31, Source, The Korea Society presents a retrospective of the work of Choi Min-sik, one of Korea's most recognizable contemporary actors, as part of our ongoing "Korean Cinema Now" program with MoMI (the Museum of Moving Image). Choi Min-sik had numerous television roles, but his big break came in 1999 when he played a cold-blooded North Korean soldier in "Shiri" (Dir. Kang Je-gyu) and suddenly gained a reputation as one of Korea's finest actors. His acting dominates the silver screen, but his characters have more than charisma,...More
Ha Jeong-woo, Ha Ji-won Voted Most Popular Movie Stars 2012/05/21, Source, Ha Jeong-woo and Ha Ji-won have been voted the most popular actor and actress in Korea in an email poll by the Chosun Ilbo and the nation's largest film ticketing site MaxMovie.
Some 25,784 people voted from April 18 to May 5. The two drew 10.1 and 13.7 percent of the votes respectively. But Song Kang-ho and Jeon Do-yeon were chosen as the best -- as opposed to most popular -- actor and actress, with 18 and 23.3 percent.
Since the poll targeted online users of MaxMovie who had been to the cinema at least once last year, it probably reflects moviegoers' preferences more accurately than other surveys,...More
The New York Asian Film Festival (June 29 - July 15) returns - and this year we're bringing crazy back! 2012/05/09, Source,
The opening night film is Pang Ho-cheung's astonishingly filthy, extremely hilarious VULGARIA, a movie about making movies, shot in just 12 days, all about gangsters named Brother Tyrannosaur, sleazy lawyers, The Sex Film industry, and men who love donkeys a little too much. The Hollywood Reporter calls it a "...laugh-out-loud, aptly titled comedy". Pang himself, Hong Kong's hottest young director, will be a guest of the festival and we'll be presenting his new romantic comedy, LOVE IN THE BUFF, about a couple who meet in the smoke break alley outside their office building and try to make their romance work despite cell phones dropped in toilets, friends who have the death touch, and corporate moves to Beijing,...More
Will Smith Premieres 'MIB 3' in Korea 2012/05/08, Source,
Director Barry Sonnenfeld and actors Will Smith and Josh Brolin (from left) pose at a press conference in Seoul on Monday. /AP-Newsis
Hollywood stars Will Smith and Josh Brolin and director Barry Sonnenfeld gave a press conference in Seoul on Monday morning to promote their film "Men in Black 3", which has its world premiere in Korea. Smith said Korea, as a growing market for U.S. films, "seems like the perfect place to begin",...More
"Nameless Gangster" released in North America 2012/03/28, Source, PREFACE
"My reason for wanting to tell a story from the '80s is because I feel that the current societal climate is very similar. About 3 years ago I got a feeling that the era of my deceased father was suddenly coming back, an era in which everyone's good will is only reserved for their own survival and well being. But like my own father, I did not see these people as selfish fools, but sympathized with them. I wanted to portray these characters not as criminals who were on the wrong side of the law, but as people who tried their best to survive and thrive despite the conditions they were in. People innately follow the times they live in and those who ride it architect the next generation. The '80s in South Korea were an incredibly volatile decade in which a single person's decision could change the direction of an entire era. Following men who lived through that decade, I wanted to show that the eighties had more dramatic appeal than any other decade. I wanted to inquire whether it was the times that were changing the people, or if it was the people that were changing the times. Most of all, I hope that the audience can laugh and identify with these men who lived like kings in the face of loyalty, betrayal, and ambition".,...More
This Week's Cultural News 2012/02/02, Source, Choi Min-sik and Ha Jeong-woo, two of Korea's best actors, come together in an action-packed thriller called "Nameless Gangster". The combination of these two actors alone has everyone looking forward to the movie.
[Interview : Ha Jeong-woo, Role of "Choi Hyeong-bae"] "My character believes that loyalty is the most important thing of all. When he trusts someone, he trusts in them until the end, but once that trust is broken, he coldly turns away",...More
K-Celebrities now VCR1 2012/01/26, Source,
We go wherever the stars go! Here's the hottest entertainment news of the week! Let's go!
We start off this week with photos of stars bowing on Lunar New Year's Day.
Hallyu stars dressed up in traditional hanbok to bow to their fans and wish them all a prosperous new year in observation of Lunar New Year's Day,...More
Who's the busiest actor of 2012? 2012/01/02, Source,
Who is going to be the busiest actress or actor in 2012?
Looking at the movies that are being released or are planning to go into production this year, we can see several names that appear often,...More
"Flower Boys" color fall 2011/11/02, Source,
Actors in their 20s are here!
There was once shortage of actors in Chungmuro. There was worry that there wasn't going to be anyone in the next generation to follow Song Kang-ho, Kim Yoon-seok, Choi Min-sik and other established actors in their 40s. However, nowadays moviemakers are smiling. Young and fresh actors in their 20s are shaking up Chungmuro with their feisty spirit,...More
[20 Korean Films to Look Out for Second Half of 2011] "Leafie, A Hen Into The Wild" 2011/07/16, Source,
Myung Film Makes Challenge for Animated Films
"Leafie, A Hen Into The Wild"
Directed by Oh Seong-yoon
By BAI K Seung Chan
Leafie is a hen, laying eggs every day. But it has never got the chance to care for the eggs it laid. Little by little Leafie starts to long for the yard seen through the doors of chicken farm building and soon dreams of going out into the yard to care for the eggs there. Since the dreaming begins, Leafie does not lay anymore eggs, and the farm couple throws Leafie away into a pit. The little hen begins its new life under a vicious watch from a weasel. Leafie tries to return to the yard, only to be illtreated and pushed away. Then it finds an egg in the woods, which it decides to care for while a duck friend stays around to protect Leafie,...More
This Week's Cultural News1 2010/12/29, Source, In 2010, the audience met with a swarm of great Korean movies of every genre and style that was able to satisfy moviegoers of all types! Let's take a look at the characteristics of the popular Korean films of 2010.
[Interview : ] "I liked 2010 because more movies came out than in 2009".
[INTERVIEW] Child actress Kim Yoo-jeong - Part 2 2010/12/22, Source,
Actress Kim Yoo-jeong [Lee Jin-hyuk/10Asia]
10: You recently played a middle school student in "Happy Maker Soonjung". How was that? Kim Yoo-jeong: It was fun because I got to wear a uniform but I don't think there's much difference in terms of the acting. 10: What do you think it'll be like when you go to middle school? Kim Yoo-jeong: I think I'll have a lot of fun. People say it's when you have the most fun. Oh, except for the studying. (laugh) Middle schools these days have snack bars, right? But not in Ilsan! And they study more than kids do in Seoul. Elementary schools in Seoul only test you in Korean language, math, social studies and science, and although it may differ depending on your principal, in the city of Goyang you get tested in English and the arts and physical education as well,...More
Book on Korean Wave adopted as textbook for universities abroad 2010/12/09, Source,
Cover of "Korean Masculinities and Transcultural Consumption:Yonsama, Rain, Old Boy, K-Pop Idols" [Hong Kong University Press]
A new book on the 'Hallyu', or Korean Wave, has been adopted as a textbook for universities abroad.
The English book titled "Korean Masculinities and Transcultural Consumption: Yonsama, Rain, Old Boy, K-Pop Idols" was selected as one of the main textbooks for the media classes at Goldsmiths, University of London in England and the University of Melbourne in Australia,...More
Lee Byung-hun named tourism ambassador for California 2010/09/14, Source,
Korean actor Lee Byung-hun [Official Lee Byung-hun website]
Top Korean actor Lee Byung-hun has been named the U.S. state of California's ambassador for tourism, according to a press release from his agency BH Entertainment on Tuesday.
BH announced in a press release Lee will be appointed the tourism ambassador for the California Travel & Tourism Commission tomorrow at a commissioning ceremony to be held at the JW Marriott Hotel,...More
"I Saw the Devil" to compete at San Sebastian film fest 2010/08/24, Source,
Movie poster of thriller "I Saw the Devil" [Showbox]
Korean thriller "I Saw the Devil" has been invited to compete under the Official Selection category at the 58th Edition of the San Sebastian International Film Festival next month, according to official website of the fest on Tuesday.
"I Saw the Devil", helmed by famed Korean director Kim Jee-woon, will be competing against 16 other movies by internationally recognized directors for the Golden Shell and Silver Shell awards at the fest to be held at San Sebastian, Spain from September 17 to 25,...More
Lee Byung-hun says "'I Saw the Devil' makes you think of what you get out of revenge" 2010/08/19, Source,
Korean actor Lee Byung-hun [Chae Ki-won/10Asia]
The latest movie "I Saw the Devil" is not this year's best picture. However, it is certain that "I Saw the Devil” is the year's most controversial picture. Throughout the movie there are many brutal scenes combined with director Kim Jee-woon's unique sense of humor, which has been receiving mixed reviews from the Korean film industry. Along with the results of the movie, one may wonder why actor Lee Byung-hun chose this project. Why would Lee, who has successfully made his debut into Hollywood, make a choice that is dangerous as a commercial film? 10Asia sat with Lee to ask him that question. 10: What is your thoughts on "I Saw the Devil?" I heard you were quite shocked after seeing the final production of the movie during the screening. Lee Byung-hun (Lee): It's not to the point where I was shocked. (laugh) I did feel that it was different from when I had first read the scenario because the film doesn't reveal all of the cruelty and violence. I thought that this project was unlike any other revenge film and I felt this powerful strength from just reading the script,...More
"The Man From Nowhere" tops local box office once again 2010/08/15, Source,
Korean action movie "The Man From Nowhere" [CJ Entertainment]
Korean action film "The Man From Nowhere" maintained its title as the most-watched movie in the country during the weekend of August 13 to 15, scoring its second win on the local box office.
According to the Korean Box Office System (KOBIS) on Monday, "Man", which opened in theaters in early August, attracted more moviegoers this weekend than the previous three-day period, selling,...More
In 1990, the American academic Joseph Nye coined the term "soft power". This referred to nations winning friends and influencing people through the attraction,...More
Lee Byung-hun to appear on ABC "Good Morning America" 2010/06/23, Source,
Korean actor Lee Byung-hun in a scene from the film "I Saw the Devil" [Showbox]
Top Korean actor Lee Byung-hun will appear on ABC's "Good Morning America", one of the most popular programs broadcast on the American public network, according to the actor's agency BH Entertainment on Wednesday.
BH announced in a press release that Lee will represent Korea as a cultural figure on the morning show featuring a special segment commemorating the 60-year anniversary of the Korean War titled "Long War", set to air at the end of this month,...More
Korean pic "Mother - 2009", stars win big at Green Planet Movie Awards 2010/03/25, Source,
Korean filmmaker Bong Joon-ho wins Best International Director award at Green Planet Movie Awards held in Los Angeles, California on March 23, 2010 [Korea Green Foundation]
Korean film "Mother - 2009" and a handful of Korean actors picked up multiple awards including the prize for Best Foreign Culture Film of the Year at the 2nd Green Planet Movie Awards held in California, according to event sponsor Korea Green Foundation (KGF) on Thursday.
KGF announced in a press release that film "Mother - 2009" and Korean movie stars were handed a total of 12 awards in nine different categories at the event, which took place at the Westin Bonaventure Hotel & Suites in Los Angeles on March 23 (local time),...More
[INTERVIEW] Actor Song Kang-ho - Part 3 2010/03/04, Source,
Korean actor Song Kang-ho [photographed by Beck Una/10Asia]
Beck: That's actually what I wanted to ask you. Do you think it's possible to become an artist, or an actor, by pure effort and no natural talent? Song: The concept behind the word 'effort' is a bit vague. There is no such thing as putting in an effort to act well. Effort could be another word for your determination to work hard but not the secret to good acting. If you are shooting an action scene, you can make effort at improving on your physique and working better with your co-stars. And I put in an effort to play the recorder in "Thirst". But I don't think one can act based solely on effort. 90 percent of it comes from natural talent and 10 percent from experience. The experience that you gain from countless acting roles.
Beck:You've already been an actor for very long -- ten years since the public recognized you as 'actor Song Kang-ho' and even much longer counting your career in theater. Don't you go through a slump or have less fun having to repeat the same job over and over again?,...More
Lee Byung-hun wins best jewellery wearer award in Japan 2010/01/29, Source,
Korean actor Lee Byung-hun and Madame Miyuki at the International Jewelry Tokyo event [BH Entertainment]
Hallyu star Lee Byung-hun has won an award for being the best jewellery wearer alongside Japan's First Lady at a jewellery event in Tokyo held Wednesday.
According to his agency BH Entertainment, the actor attended the opening ceremony of the International Jewellery Tokyo 2010 and jointly won a special award in the category with Miyuki Hatoyama.,...More
[INTERVIEW] Actor Seol Kyeong-gu (Part 2) 2010/01/11, Source,
Actor Seol Kyeong-gu [Beck Una/10Asia]
Beck Una (Beck): And that is when you decided to take the civil service examination. Seol Kyeong-gu (Seol): Haha. Let me explain that to you. I was dying to leave the Hanyang Repertory. I'd already graduated but that place was an extension of school while I wanted to meet a larger variety of people. I didn't think they'd let me go for no reason so I lied that I'm going to take the civil service exam. (laugh) But what's so spontaneous about me is that although I had left because I didn't like it, I didn't have anything to do right away. And I needed money but I didn't want to ask my parents for it so I ended up asking a senior of mine to give me a part-time job putting up posters. The interesting thing is that I ended up staying in the industry. Of course, if I had really taken off, I might have ended up becoming human trash. (laugh) Anyway, I had been at the job for about a month and a half? I was suddenly asked if I would want to take part in the musical "Line 1". Mr. Kim Min-ki had seen me about, putting up the posters and asked me if I would want to take part thinking that I'm hardworking. That had been my audition for it. Me and actors from all walks of life with all sorts of experience rehearsed for three months and wow, it was so much fun. That was the start of "Line 1". It also did very well. Before I took on film "Girls' Night Out", I was making two million won per month and drove a Sephia. (laugh) But after "Line 1", I had no work at all. That's when scenarist Lee Seon-mi, who used to do plays, recommended me to writer Jeong Seong-joo. And that is how I got to become part of the cast for morning TV series "Sisters". I think I'm a very person when it comes to human relationships. Beck: Did you not think of taking on dramas after "Sisters"? Seol: Why wouldn't I have? I was also asked to quite a lot. Not official auditions but one-on-one. But you know how you get glanced at from head to toe? I really hated the look they gave me when they do that. So after "Girls' Night Out" and then "Rainbow Trout", a man called Lee Chang-dong called me. Beck: After he watched "Girls' Night Out"?,...More
"Old Boy" selected top 100 films of the decade by The Guardian 2010/01/06, Source,
Movie poster for Korean film "Old Boy" [Show East]
Korean film "Old Boy" has been selected as one of the top 100 films of the past decade -- from the year 2000 thru 2009 -- by U.K. daily newspaper The Guardian.
The Park Chan-wook-helmed pic was ranked at No. 38 on the "100 best films of the noughties" list by the Guardian. The top three movies on the list were "There Will Be Blood" (2007, starring Daniel Day-Lewis), "Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan" (2006, starring Sacha Baron Cohen) and "Mulholland Drive" (2001, directed by David Lynch).,...More
Korean World Premieres at PIFF 2008 2008/09/30, Source, The Pusan International Film Festival (PIFF) is putting its weight behind local films this year, and, under the catch-phrase 'Way to Go, Korea!' will host the World Premier of 15 Korean features. Headlining is closing film "I Am Happy" by,...More
Star siblings, different as sun and shade 2008/04/10, Source, If there is shade, there is also a sunny spot. The entertainment industry also has its share of light and shade. It is especially prominent where siblings are both in the industry.
Stars circle back to theater spotlight 2008/02/18, Source, Last year, a number of successful male actors returned to the stage after spending years on both the small and big screens. The list of actors who returned to the theater includes Choi Min-sik, a veteran actor who garnered international acclai,...More
'Lost' Star Still Looking for Love 2007/06/25, Source, "We immigrated to the U.S. when I was 10, and my parents sold things from a trailer. We lived in it, too. These days stars ride and move in trailers. They rest, do their makeup and change their clothe,...More
Stars return home, take to the stage 2007/02/22, Source, Some 20 years ago, long before the country's entertainment industry was creating beautiful though look-alike celebrities, small theaters in Daehangno, Seoul were schools for amateur actors who trained to cultivate their undiscovered talents.
There were no paychecks or apartments offered for young,...More
Pusan Film Fest Going Strong on 3rd Day 2006/10/14, Source, Let's go south to the scenic port city of Busan for one of the most prestigious film events in Asia.
The eleventh Pusan International Film Festival is offering plenty of cultural events in addition to screening more than 200 films including dozens of world premieres.
Haeundae Beach, the city's hot,...More
Korean films 06 in London 2006/10/02, Source, London will host the free Korean film 06 from September 27 till October 1. The programmed films range from animations for children to comedies to dramas. The venue is the Odeon Covent Garden at Shaftsbury Avenue in the heart of London.
Among the selected films are popular films like the feel-good,...More
Screen Quota Cut in Effect July 1st 2006/07/03, Source, The controversial reduction of South Korea's screen quota system goes into effect Saturday July 1st, halving the mandatory days for the screening of domestic movies in theaters from 146 to 73. The quota had been a sticking-point in concluding a Free Trade Agreement with the United States.
In January the Korean government announced plans to halve the long-standing quota which imposes the screening of Korean films 146 days per year in cinemas, and thus significantly reduces the number,...More
CANNES, France ㅡ Films from South Korea may not be as prominently featured in the program of the 59th Cannes Film Festival as in recent years, yet Korean cinema is garnering attention, thanks to the struggle by industry people to defend the screen quo,...More
The film festival, which kicked off yesterday, will show 192 films from 42 countries with its main focus on innovative and experimental films through digital media. The festival consists of two main competiti,...More
Female cast of "Offside", an uplifting Iranian movie about soccer and the divide between the sexes, won cheers at the Berlin Film Festival as one of two features from the Islamic republic vying for the top prizes.
Korean Wave Crosses the Pacific 2006/03/22, Source, The Korean Wave is hitting hard the shores of American West coast. Many cities such as Los Angeles have shown that Korean movies and dramas are currently receiving more attention from not only ethnic minorities, but also Americans.
As a result of the growing interest in the Korean culture shown b,...More
This year began on an upbeat note for Korea's movie industry. "Running Boy" (Marathon), directed by Jeong Yoon-cheol, fe,...More
Director Park Kwang-hyeon, 'Welcome to my movies' 2005/12/07, Source, The 2005 award ceremony of the Blue Dragon Awards was held at the KBS Hall in Yeouido on November 29. It was truly a festival of high flying stars. Every movie star and director representing Korea gathered together at the event. Although the award ceremony lasted for only a short while, viewers had,...More
The first six months of this year saw the share o,...More
Kang Woo-seok, Park Chan-wook and Choi Min-sik to Appear on TV 2005/08/08, Source, Prominent Korean actors, film directors and producers will appear on TV to discuss the past, present and future of Korean movies. Entitled "60 Years of Korean Movies through the Eyes of 60 Culture Figures", the program was prepared by KBS TV1's "TV Culture Zone" to mark the 60th anniversary of the n,...More
The character Keum-ja that she plays in "Sympathy for Lady Vengeance" (to be released on July 29) is a vicious woman who plans revenge for 13 years on the man who betrayed her. There was a time,...More
Director Park Chan-wook has been acclaimed for his previous films about revenge, but he says he believes revenge is meaningless and his coming film, the last in his revenge trilogy, takes a new look at the,...More
Media Market Barriers Breaking Down 2005/07/08, Source, By Kim Ki-tae
The fast changing media contents market is destroying longstanding barriers between filmmakers, broadcasters, talent management firms and mobile carriers.
Film companies are beginning to make television dramas, while broadcasters are producing films. Talent manageme,...More
Film industry suffers from stars' fee dispute 2005/07/05, Source, A dramatic dispute between film directors and film stars highlights how soaring guaranteed payments for actors could cripple Korea's film industry -already struggling with a shrinking share of the domestic market - and taint the image of the Korean Wave, an Asia-wide surge in the popularity of Korea,...More
Rival film fests compete for fantasy buffs 2005/07/01, Source, Two film festivals dedicated to the fantasy genre - the Puchon International Film Festival and the Real Fantastic Film Festival - will take place on July 14-23 in Seoul and Bucheon, Gyeonggi Province, and online ticket sales for both events start today.
Fantasy films, which embrace bizarre, unrea,...More
"Night Watch", the opening film for the Puchon International Fantastic Film Festival
Two rival film festivals specializing in unusual and bizarre films announced the detailed descriptions of their events. Now it is up to audiences to judge which is more fantastic.,...More
The actor Park Joong-hoon has turned forty this year. Despite his youthful vigor, he's now over the hill. In the virtual history movie "Heaven's Soldiers" set to premiere on July 15, he will play Admiral Yi Sun-shin. More
Former staff members of the Puchon International Fantastic Film Festival (PiFan) said Wednesday that holding their own film festival at the same time as PiFan is a move not against PiFan, but against the fundamental problems it has.
I was riding home in a cab in Gangnam, Seoul at 2:00 a.m. when a face appeared outside my window. The face had a hairstyle like cotton candy. The figure taking the back seat of a motorcycle passed by at high speed. I heard a voice shouting a queer sound, something like "Kkiyo!,...More
Choi Min-sik to Act in Theater Play 2005/03/22, Source, Actor Choi Min-sik will act in a theater play sometime late this year. "I would like to play on stage at the end of this year if I have such an opportunity. I am thinking of just some small theater play -- nothing grandiose", said Choi. The ac,...More
An upcoming local film tells a story about two men who have every desperate reason to win a boxing tournament. Although only one will win the final, its director and actors say the movie is more about living with a hope rather than about someone becoming a champion,...More
In the midst of a Korean cinema boom, full of candy-fluff movies and over-stylized action movies, comes a poignant sentimental drama about life and human nature rooted in the everyday man. Hot on the heels of his,...More
The organizing committee of one of the major domestic film festivals on Thursday decided to dismiss its festival director despite strong opposition from the event's programmers and threats from members of the film industry to boycott next year's event.
The Chusok holidays are when family-oriented films tend to dominate local theaters, and this year looks to be no different. Putting in its bid for the Chusok crown is "Kkotpinun Pomi Omyon (Springtime)", a se,...More
Government to decorate 'Old Boy' makers 2004/07/26, Source, The Ministry of Culture and Tourism said yesterday it will bestow decorations on the director, lead actor and producer of "Old Boy", a hit movie that grabbed the runner-up Grand Prize of the Jury at the Cannes Film Festival in May.
The local film "Old Boy" won the grand prize of the jury at the 57th Cannes Film Festival in May. Now, the makers behind the film are set to be honored by the government for their achievement.
Chung Dong-chae, minister of Culture and Tourism, will present,...More
Dramatic impact of 'Old Boy' 2004/07/01, Source, With the media frenzy over "Old Boy"'s Grand Prize of the Jury triumph at the Cannes Film Festival finally beginning to die down, it should come as no surprise that this week's DVD review features - yes, you guessed it - "Old Boy" (2003). After all, how often does a psychological drama as good as More
Rotten Dumplings Inspire 'Oldboy' Parody Pictures 2004/06/08, Source, As the "garbage dumpling" scandal sends shockwaves throughout our society, parody pictures based on the movie "Oldboy" have been rapidly making their way around the Internet, and Korean Internet users have been making their fury known on the dumpling companies' homepages.
Police booked on Sunday f,...More
The Dong-A Ilbo movie team gave a survey to 13 filmmakers and critics with question categories such a,...More
'Old Boy' Remake to Hit Hollywood 2004/03/11, Source, The Park Chan-wook film "Old boy" will be reborn as a Hollywood movie. Cineclick Asia, the overseas marketer for the film, announced Tuesday that in the American Film Festival, it concluded a deal with the U.S movie company Universal Picture,...More
Rising to the challenge 2003/12/23, Source, Kang Hye-jeong, 23, won the prestigious Blue Dragon award for Best Supporting Actress earlier this month, for her role as Mido in "Oldboy", joining the ranks of the stars in Korea.
Mido is a young Japanese seafood chef and the love inter,...More
In the Korean movie industry, dominated by comedies, Kim Dong-joo, the CEO of Showist and the executive producer of a movie "Old boy", is making waves.
Kim thought that "Old boy", a 1997 series of comic books by Nobuaki,...More
Surprise winner for best picture 2003/12/13, Source, Director Kim Ki-duk's "Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter and Spring", a quiet meditation on a Buddhist monk's quest for truth, was named the best picture of the year at the Blue Dragon Film Awards on Thursday.
'Oldboy' shows off new tricks 2003/11/19, Source, In director Park Chan-wook's latest brooding opus, the theme of vengeance is back with ... well, a vengeance. In a departure from his hauntingly restrained "Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance", his new film "Oldboy" opening this Friday thrashes wild,...More
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