[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
[HanCinema's Lists] The Top 5 Korean Period Films of All-Time 2014/01/10,
Korean period features are big business that, when done right, really do bring in the big bucks. The past few years, in particular, have yielded some stellar titles that have seriously resonated with local audiences. This trend is set to continue in 2014 as a host of new historical dramas and action flicks are lining up to try and capture the public's imagination by re-framing the past in unique and exciting ways. Some of the historical films to look out for in 2014 include: "KUNDO : Age of the Rampant", "A Touch of Zen", "Pirates", "The Huntresses", and "Battle Of Myeongryang"; but before we usher in these new historical yarns, here's a quick look at the five highest grossing Korean period films of all-time that this year's entries will hope to challenge,...More
[HanCinema's Hall Of Fame Review] "Masquerade" 2013/10/12, In the Spotlight this Week:"Masquerade" (2012) by Choo Chang-min
Trips to Korea's Hermit Kingdom have proven particularly lucrative these past few years, none more so that Choo Chang-min's fourth feature "Masquerade" (2012). Set during Korea's exclusive Joseon Dynasty (1392 ~ 1910), "Masquerade" is a cinematic imagining of the fifteen missing days from King Gwanghae royal journals. Choo's film spent an impressive fourteen weeks in Korea's top ten and attracted 12.3 million viewers during the last quarter of 2012, making it the highest grossing Korean historical drama of all time. "Masquerade" was also honoured at Korea's 2012 Grand Bell Awards (its most prestigious award ceremony), claiming fifteen awards including Best Film, Best Actor, Best Director, Best Screenplay, and the Popularity Award. The film almost walked away as the highest grossing film released that year, but was narrowly outdone by Choi Dong-hoon's "The Thieves" (12.9M), a modern heist flick that dominated proceedings over Korea's sticky summer,...More
[HanCinema's Box Office Review] 2013.09.13 - 2013.09.15 2013/09/16, Han Jae-rim's "The Face Reader" dominated Korean cinemas this past weekend, walking away with one of the highest opening weekend hauls of the year. Han's historical drama stole 1.8M admissions (63%) from over 1,190 screens, and has now claimed nearly 2.6 million admissions ($17.1M) in just under a week. Last week's number one, Lee Seung-joon-I's action comedy "The Spy", floundered in second with just 377,861 (12.5%), less than half of what it received the week before. It wasn't just Lee's film that suffered though, a number of foreign entries also found it hard going with even popular animations such as "Monsters University" (5.3%) and "Despicable Me 2" (4.6%) caught blushing in the face of another local showstopper,...More
The Korean Film Festival comes to Montreal 2013/06/26, Source, In celebration of the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Canada and Korea, a selection of 10 outstanding Korean films will be showcased in Montreal from July 4th to 10th, 2013.
Ciné-Asie, along with the major support of the Embassy of the Republic of Korea, presents the first edition of the Korean Film Festival in Canada – KFF – which will be launched in five Canadian cities, highlighting Montreal in partnership with the Cineplex Odeon Forum and Mosaicultures Internationales Montréal at the Montreal Botanical Garden (an event that expects nearly two million visitors this summer), the KFF anticipates to receive a large number of visitors for its first edition. For the first time, the KFF website is composed in three different languages: English, French, and Korean.
The KFF will present ten full length feature films and five short films.
The feature films are either the highest grossing movies in recent years, totalling 7 to 13 million admissions in South Korea, or have gained international critical acclaims, winning significant awards. Among them include Kim Ki-duk's "Pieta" (Le grand prix at Venice 2012), "Miracle in Cell No.7" (over 12 million admissions in Korea, 2013), and "Masquerade" starring actor Lee Byung-hun (over 12 million admissions in Korea, 2012),...More
Film Audiences Favor Grown-Up Experience 2013/04/30, Source, Ha Jung-woo and Kim Hye-soo have been voted the most popular actor and actress in Korea in a poll by the Chosun Ilbo and the country's biggest ticketing site Maxmovie. But Hwang Jung-min and Jeon Do-yeon were named as the best actor and actress. ◆ Mature Actors, Mature Audiences Remarkably, most of the top 10 most popular actors and actresses are in their 30s to 50s, the only exception being Han Hyo-joo, who is in her 20s. The average age for male and female actors is 42.7 and 34.1. Of the actors, only four are in their 30s, including Ha, Gang Dong-won and Won Bin. A large proportion of the entrants on the popularity list starred in hit movies over the past two years, but Won, Kang, Lee Na-young and Kim Tae-hee managed to stay popular by only appearing in commercials,...More
Best 5 Issues to Wrap up the Entertainment Industry in 2012 2013/01/01, Source,
The year 2012 in the Korean entertainment industry was a delightful one, filled with the stars' actions and words which made the public laugh and cry. It is now time to check out the Korean entertainment world and what took place in 2012. Lets check out the best 5 hot issue makers right this minute! The weddings of the stars are in the spotlight every year and the press competition is extremely fierce. In 2012, Hyun Young, comedian Jung Joon-ha and many other celebrities tied the knot. In particular, we could meet the top star guests at celebrity weddings, and they are always in the spotlight. And on November 30th! Multi-entertainer Ha Ha and singer Byul tied the knot,...More
[HanCinema's Film Review] Korean Weekend Box Office 2012.12.07 ~ 2012.12.09 2012/12/10, HanCinema's Korean Box Office Review (2012.12.07 ~ 2012.12.09)Jo Geun-hyeon's drama "26 Years" managed to hold onto another first place position at the box office this past weekend. Heun-hyeon's latest entered the chart at the end of last month where it was the choice film with almost 700,000 admissions. Its second week almost matched that performance with 606,882, putting it on a total admission count of 1,815,882. In addition to Geun-hyeon's "26 Years", the romantic comedy "Whatcha Wearin'?" was released along with the new and improved "Dredd 3D",...More
[HanCinema's Film Review] Korean Weekend Box Office 2012.11.16 ~ 2012.11.18
2012/11/18, HanCinema's Korean Box Office Review (2012.11.16 ~ 2012.11.18)
Despite its fanatical global following the much anticipated "Breaking Dawn: Part II" was not able to outdo Jo Sung-hee's "A Werewolf Boy" as the top seed this past weekend. An extremely tight race saw Sung-hee earn its third weekend at the top with 901,841 admissions (34.4%), helped along with 678 screenings around the country. Bill Condon's vampire and werewolf sensation was tantalizingly close to jumping straight to the top, but was forced to settle for second as it entered the chart with 880,696 (34.6%) admissions. In addition to this clash of mythological love tales, this week saw the start of another Korean film in the form of Bae Hyeong-joon's "Jackal is Coming", as well as an interesting new horror called "Sinister" by the American director Scott Derrickson,...More
MASQUERADE sweeps with record-breaking 15 wins at Korea's Oscars! 2012/11/01, Source,
Film takes the 49th Daejong Film Awards by storm, taking top prizes for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor and others. Beats out "Golden Lion" winner "Pieta" and domestic all-time box office champ "The Thieves".
"Masquerade" experienced sweeping success at this year's 49th Daejong Film Awards (Grand Bell Awards) on October 30th in Seoul, Korea. The awards ceremony is the oldest film awards ceremony in South Korea and is presented annually by the Motion Pictures Association of Korea, making it the equivalent of the American Academy Awards,...More
[HanCinema's Film Review] Korean Weekend Box Office 2012.10.26 ~ 2012.10.28
2012/10/29, HanCinema's Korean Box Office Review (2012.10.26 ~ 2012.10.28)
After six weeks as Korea's number one film and nearly eleven million admissions, Choo Chang-min's "Masquerade" is finally overthrown by Britian's favourite secret agent. "Skyfall" is 007's latest adventure that sees Daniel Craig star along side Helen McCrory and Javier Bardem as Bond's loyalties are put the test as M16 comes under attack. The film opened in Korea this past weekend and claimed 871,819 (45.6%) admissions with the help of some 749 screens around the country,...More
'Masquerade', 7th film to reach 10 million viewers 2012/10/22, Source, Poster for "Masquerade"
By Rachel Lee The film "Masquerade" has surpassed the 10 million-milestone attendance, the film's distributor said Saturday. According to the Korean Film Council, the movie has drawn 10,041,566 viewers as of Sunday, becoming the 7th Korean film to reach the barometer of what defines a blockbuster here. It is also the second to reach the mark in 2012 after "The Thieves", which set the all-time attendance record earlier this month. The heist film directed by Choi Dong-hoon has attracted about 13.02 million people, beating out "The Host" (2006) that drew 13.01 million,...More
[HanCinema's Film Review] Korean Weekend Box Office 2012.10.05 ~ 2012.10.07
2012/10/08, HanCinema's Korean Box Office Review (2012.10.05~ 2012.10.07)Choo Chang-min's "Masquerade" is living a privileged life as it enjoys its fourth week as Korea's number one. "Masquerade" came into the fray as the top film mid-September and has not looked back since, stubbornly holding on to that position over the rest of the month and now into October. The total admission counts were lower than previous weeks, with "Masquerade" taking gold with less than a million admissions. Kim Ki-duk's "Peita" was also ejected from the top ten, leaving just three other Korean films to compete with international features,...More
[HanCinema's Box Office Review] September and the Aftermath of the Summer Hits
2012/10/06, HanCinema's Korean Box Office Review (2012.09)
It took ten long weeks at the weekend box office to see off Choi Dong-hoon's "The Thieves", a monumental run that earned the film a recording-breaking 13 million admissions during that time. August was indeed the month its sales caught fire, and the month of September was just a glory lap as it gracefully bows out of the limelight and into the history books.
In addition to the re-writing of the history books, September showed a wavering level of enthusiasm for some of this month's foreign inclusions. Although, "The Bourne Legacy" was able to enter the second weekend on top, snatching 29.3% of the ticket sales in the process. This was the first time a foreign film had held the weekend number one since "The Dark Knight Rises" some seven weeks earlier. In fact, the shelf life for foreign films was on average 2~3 weeks in the top ten,...More
Lee Byung-hun stops in to say thanks 2012/09/26,
In between shooting his upcoming Hollywood blockbuster "Red 2", Lee Byung-hun has returned home to express his thanks to Korean fans. Lee's agency announced yesterday that the Hallyu star wants to take part in next week's Busan International Film Festival "to say thank you to all those who watched 'Masquerade,...More
Prince-pauper tale gets election-year twist in 'Masquerade' 2012/08/14, Source,
This film image released by CJ E&M shows actor Lee Byung-hun as king Gwanghaegun, right, and his commoner double Ha-sun in "Masquerade". The movie by Choo Chang-min is slated for a late September release. / Courtesy of CJ E&M
By Kwaak Je-yup With the presidential election only a few months away, "Masquerade" could not be released at a better time. Inspired by Mark Twain's "The Prince and the Pauper", the historical drama about switched royal identities challenges the audience to think about the system of the government today, specifically the way we see the role of the nation's top job, according to Lee Byung-hun, the lead actor who plays the two protagonists,...More
Korea's most anticipated films of 2012 2012/02/10, Source, With the start of the new year, the Korean film industry looks to its brightest prospects. Kang Byung-jin profiles eight highly anticipated films of 2012.
"The Fortune Tellers"In production. Directed by Sin Jeong-won. Starring Kim Soo-ro, Lee Je-hoon, Kang Ye-won. Produced by Dasepo Club, Saram Entertainment. Distributed by N.E.W.Release planned for the first half of 2012.
Korean fortune-tellers not only tell the future, but they also chase away ghosts. The background of "The Fortune Tellers" is Uljinri where a decades-old evil spirit rules. When mysterious accidents and events keep happening without avail, fortune-tellers from all over the country gather to hold a shaman ritual,...More
[HanCinema's Film Review] "Late Blossom": Ageless Beauty with Cinematic Sensibilities 2011/10/22,
Over the past couple months I've watched a fair number of Korean films but few of them had much of an impact on me beyond their duration. This week I watch a little film called "Late Blossom" by Choo Chang-min, a film that reminded me of how emotive and beautiful Korean cinema can be.
During the first half of this year I was keeping an eye on the Korean weekly box office. Each week I would do my write-up on it and this little film was always lingering in the charts. Out for a weekend and then back again, "Late Blossom" is endearing and clearly touched the Korean public as it did for me when I finally sat down and watched it. I knew roughly what I was in for, so far as the plot goes, but what I wasn't prepared for was everything else this fantastic piece had to say,...More
Korean Box Office - Domestic quartet in top 10 2011/03/18, Source, 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,...More
[HanCinema's Film Review] Korean Weekend Box Office (2011.02.11~2011.02.13) 2011/02/14, Source, Korean Weekend Box Office (2011.02.11~2011.02.13)"Detective K" isn't going anywhere; Kim Seok-yoon's period comedy has even broken into the international box office top ten in its second week. An impressive accomplishment indeed seeing as it is only showing in Korea at the moment. The film will begin its international showing in March in the US. Detective K has almost double the earnings of its closest rival "Tangled". Keep an eye on this one as it continues to draw in the masses.,...More
Love, loss and lucid cinematic silence 2006/05/16, Source, "Lost in Love" is a confession of fear, be it fear of love, of regret, of loss or of saying the wrong things out of indifference or ignorance.
The film follows the emotional paths of two college friends, Yeon-su and Woo-jae, over their,...More
'Lost in Love' depicts lovers lacking courage to tell truth 2006/01/26, Source, She has a crush on him. But she cannot ask him out because she's timid and shy. Worse, she helplessly observes how he suffers from a broken relationship with another woman. She is always close by him, but he thinks of her as just a good friend, not a woman for a deeper relationship. After all, love,...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
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