Writer and director Lee Han graduated from Hanyang University’s film program. He worked as an assistant director for veteran filmmaker Bae Chang-ho before making his first feature, "Lover’s Concerto" (2002). In his career, Lee has quickly become noted for his keen insights into modern romance. "Punch" is his forth feature film. Lee’s filmography includes the box office hit "Almost Love" (2006), and "My Love" (2007).
[HanCinema's Film Review] "Elegant Lies": The Life(s) Left Behind 2014/09/20, In the spotlight this week: Lee Han's "Elegant Lies"...
Suicide, particularly that of Korea's youth, is a troubling thread woven deep into the South's cinema; a zealous zeitgeist of modern Korean cinema that reflects a troubling truth. This sensitive (and statistically significant) subject matter has been present in a remarkable number of modern films, and earlier this year director Lee Han treated us to perhaps the most cathartic and cinematic daydream of suicide and bullying this side of the Korean wave,...More
[HanCinema's Image Gallery] Lee Han's "Elegant Lies" 2014/09/20, A selection of stills from Lee Han's "Elegant Lies"...
"Despite the sincerity and dramatic delight of the film's story and structure, it was the film's technical brilliance that would eventually come steal the show...It's well balanced, complex, and beautifully realised; a powerful story well told that shouldn't be missed"....Enjoy!,...More
[HanCinema's Box Office Review] 2014.04.04 ~ 2014.04.06 2014/04/07, "Captain America" strikes again…
After weeks of cycling the crown the Korean box office has finally awarded a second term at the top. Marvel's "Captain America: The Winter Soldier" stormed onto the scene last weekend and has managed to retain the number one position with over 760K admissions. The film, which recently broke the April ticket tally in the States, now moves onto 2.6M admissions in Korea and has grossed over $303M worldwide. Its nearest rival came in the form of the French-American thriller "3 Days to Kill", directed by Joseph McGinty Nichol (aka "McG") with the story itself by Luc Besson, which managed second place with only 117,175 admissions to its name,...More
[HanCinema's Box Office Review] 2014.03.28 ~ 2014.03.30 2014/03/31, "Captain America" strikes, "Noah" sinks...
Darren Aronofsky's "Noah" sunk to second as Marvel's "Captain America: The Winter Soldier" rallied 1.1M admissions to its cause. The American superhero opened to a massive 1,106 screens to capture 61% of the market and dislodge the biblical epic from pole position. Last weekend "Noah" opened its account with 950K, but was unable to see out the storm and managed just 326,746 (16.6%) stubs here in week two. Only three local films featured in the top ten ("Elegant Lies", "Miss Granny", and "Monster - Movie") as Korea's volatile box office continued its fickle favouring of new entries,...More
[HanCinema's Box Office Review] 2014.03.14 ~ 2014.03.16 2014/03/17, "300" falls to "Elegant Lies"…
"300: Rise of an Empire" fell from grace this past weekend as "Elegant Lies" opened strong with 447,454 admissions (26.5%). Lee Han's last film, "Punch", attracted over 5 million filmgoers back in 2011, and now his latest has made the most of its 555 allocated screens to claim the top spot in week one. Last week the fantasy war epic "300: Rise of an Empire" took gold with over 6K admissions, however after that initial excitement the adaptation fell one place with just 303,280 (20.4%) to its name. Murro's hyper-stylised retelling of the Battle of Salamis now sits on an admissions stack 1.3 million high after two weeks in the chart,...More
[HanCinema's Film Review] "Elegant Lies" 2014/03/08,
Cheon-ji (played by Kim Hwang-ki) is a middle school student, who lives with her mother and older sister. Cheon-ji is in that awkward period of life where everything around her seems to be changing but Cheon-ji, personally, has no idea what to do and is feeling very ambivalent, often even hostile to the people who appear interested in being her friend. Given the way events play out, it's hard to fault her for this. Then Cheon-ji goes and kills herself.
...That last sentence kind of came out of nowhere didn't it? One of the taglines for most suicide prevention groups is that it can happen to anyone, even someone who's apparently doing very well in life,...More
Feature profile – Punch, directed by LEE Han 2012/02/10, Source,
Set to compete in the Berlinale's Generation 14plus section, director Lee Han's stars up-and-coming actor Yoo Ah-in. KIM Haery profiles the film and young actor who personified the much-loved character of a bestselling novel.
- Photograph by Baek Jong-Heon
When the film adaptation of Kim Ryeo-ryeong's bestselling novel (which sold 500,000 copies in Korea) was announced, the public responded approvingly to the casting of the title role. So who was this fictional boy Wandeug (or Wan-deuk), and what about this actor Yoo Ah-in who played him in the film ?
Wan-deuk is a poor 17-year-old boy who lives in a single-room home with his father who is teased because of his dwarfism and a mentally challenged 'uncle' to whom he has no blood relation,...More
Korean Films in the Berlinale 2012/02/10, Source,
This month, Korean films will have a strong showing in the 62nd Berlin International Film Festival. Of these, "Korean Cinema Today" profiles five titles - Jeon Kyu-hwan's re-edited melodrama "From Seoul to Varanasi",...More
'Anesthesia' invited to Berlin Film Festival 2012/02/02, Source,
A poster of film "Anesthesia"
By Ko Tae-young
The second film by 28-year-old Kim Souk-young, a student at the Korea National University of Arts, has been invited to this year's Berlin International Film Festival, the university announced Tuesday.
"Anesthesia" was made last year during the filmmaking department's intermediate-level workshop and received a positive response from the audience at the 16th Busan International Film Festival last October. It entered the Korean Short Film Competition 2 in the Wide Angle category as well as at the 37th Seoul Independent Film Festival last December,...More
KoreanFilm.org's Top Korean films of 2011 by Darcy Paquet 2012/01/14, Source,
Each year I assemble my top 10 list out of the Korean films that have been released in theaters over the previous 12 months. The small independent films that I catch at the Busan or Jeonju film festivals may not be released by December, but they generally do get a small commercial release within a year or two, so I can include them in a later list.This year, however, I came across a great film that may end up not getting a commercial release, so I squeezed it in where #10 would normally go. I was racking my brain over that #10 slot anyway,...More
South Korean Box Office in 2011 2012/01/14, Source, Korean cinema expert Darcy Paquet looks back at the results of 2011's box office with some unexpected hits and misses, the rise of independent features, and how audiences confirmed they value story over spectacle.
Although the number crunchers in Hollywood estimate that US theatrical admissions sank to their lowest level since 1995, things were not so gloomy in Korea. With an estimated 160 million tickets sold (more precise figures will become available at a later date), it appears that Korea has approached or broken the modern-day record for admissions. In 2010, total admissions stopped at 146.8 million. In monetary terms, 2011 was certainly the best year ever, given the 3D surcharge and rising average ticket prices. Americans may be growing tired of the theatrical movie-going experience, but young Koreans still crowd the multiplexes,...More
Multiculturalism a New Theme in Korean Movies 2012/01/13, Source,
More and more Korean movies, including "Pacemaker" by director Kim Dal-joong that opens next Thursday, are taking on the theme of multiculturalism that is changing the face of Korean society. In 2010, one out of every 10 marriages involved a foreign spouse, while the number of children from multicultural families has grown seven-fold from 25,000 in 2006 to 160,000 in 2010. And this trend is being portrayed more frequently on the silver screen.
It was TV dramas that first dealt with the issue. The SBS dramas "Hanoi Bride" (2005) and "Golden Bride" (2007) featured a Korean man who married a Vietnamese woman. But the main focus of those soaps was mostly about the love between a man and a woman that transcended borders. They avoided dealing with the complex issues facing multicultural families. However, recent movies have shown more interest in depicting how families from different social and cultural backgrounds manage in Korean society,...More
[HanCinema's Film Review] Korea's Highest Grossing Foreign Films of 2011 2011/12/31, Source, Korea's Highest Grossing Foreign Films of 2011
We have seen Korean cinema succeed both locally and internationally this year, but which foreign films made it big in Korea in 2011? Besides the few international films from Asia and Europe it has been Hollywood that has dominated Korea's consumption of foreign films. "Arrow, The Ultimate Weapon" stood out as Korea's highest grossing domestic film of the year but even that was trumped by over 400,000 admissions to the third "Transformers" film,...More
[HanCinema's Film Review] Korean Weekend Box Office 2011.12.16 ~ 2011.12.18 2011/12/18, HanCinema's Korean Box Office Review(2011.12.16 ~ 2011.12.18)
It's just under a week to go now until Christmas is upon us and without a great Christmas film to capture the spirit Brad Birds "Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol" has stolen the show. This is the latest film in the "Mission Impossible" series and it opened in Korea with a bang, standing head and shoulders above all with 1,079,510 admissions,...More
Berlinale Generation takes "Punch" 2011/12/16, Source,
South Korean hit film "Punch", directed by Lee Han, is set to go to the 62nd Berlin International Film Festival's Generation section this coming February. The film made it onto a list of 14 early selections announced yesterday (Dec. 14).
In its 35th year, the Generation section is programmedwith films for young people and teenagers. The section is divided into Generation Kplus and Generational 14plus competitions, and "Punch" will be in the latter,...More
Korean film "Punch" invited to Berlin Film Festival 2011/12/15, Source,
Korean film "Punch" (Wandeukyi) by director Lee Han has been invited to next year's Berlin International Film Festival, the film's local distributor said Thursday.
The movie will be screened in the "My Generation" section of the 62nd festival for featuring movies for younger children and teens, CJ Entertainment and Media Co. said,...More
[HanCinema's Film Review] Korean Weekend Box Office 2011.12.02 ~ 2011.12.04 2011/12/04, HanCinema's Korean Box Office Review(2011.12.02 ~ 2011.12.04)
The holiday season is in full swing here in Korea and the numbers for December's first week are in. With a healthy 482,384 admissions, "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1" is standing tall as fans of the popular series gather to get their latest fix of the vampire and werewolf action. It's probably not going to win any Oscars but its popularity cannot be denied as the series marches forward,...More
[HanCinema's Film Review] "Punch" 2011/12/03, Lee Han's "Punch" is based on Kim Ryeo-ryeong novel entitled "Wan-Deuk Yi" which was published in March 2008. The film is said to have largely stayed true the popular novel and its success on the big screen has placed it currently as Korea's forth highest grossing film of 2011. This comedy drama deals with a range of sociocultural issues currently being experienced in Korea, but this is not what defines the film as a whole. With its excellent screenplay and captivating acting performances, "Punch" is a truly character-driven story that paints a silver lining around its characters' misfortunes as they discover the impact others can have on their own lives,...More
[HanCinema's Film Review] Highest Grossing Korean Films of 2011 2011/11/26, Highest Grossing Korean Films of 2011
2011 has produced a range of successful Korean films that have captured the public's imagination, tugged at their heartstrings, caused a few laughs, and asked some serious questions. Although the year is not quite done, the big films of the year have largely had their say at the box office. This week I wanted to take a look at the top domestic films of 2011 and see just what type of films captured the public's interest in 2011,...More
[HanCinema's Film Review] Korean Weekend Box Office 2011.10.14 ~ 2011.10.16 2011/10/16, Source, HanCinema's Korean Box Office Review(2011.10.14 ~ 2011.10.16)
As the dust of public criticism settles, spurred on by "The Crucible", the foreign film "Reel Steel" now sits on top. With 590,043 admissions, Shawn Levy's "Reel Steel" captures the top spot away from the local flicks in its second week at the theatres. The film stars Hugh Jackman, Evangeline Lilly, and Dakota Goyo. It's not another Ironman film, but its likeness is enough to beg the question and score some curious moviegoers' interest,...More
Korean Movies – Secret Union 2010/12/20, Source,
This movie was awarded the "Best Film" prize at the 2010 Blue Dragon Film Awards in Korea theatrical admissions totaled some 5,460,00.
It is about how a South Korean NIS agent comes to understand and become a brother to a derelict spy from North Korea,...More
Park Sang-myeon "I Am Glad for Success of 'Bread, Love, and Dreams'" 2010/09/09, Source,
Actor Park Sang-myeon, who plays the captain named In Mok in the KBS drama "Bread, Love, and Dreams", said, "At first, I was agonized about playing the character In Mok. He is a quiet and decent person in the drama, and so I thought that I had to act totally differently from my real personality. But now I think that I made a very good decision" (laugh).
Park has been receiving the spotlight lately by presenting decent acting in the KBS 2TV drama "Bread, Love, and Dreams" as a naively honest head chef of the Palbong bakery whose name is Yang In Mok,...More
[STAR DIARY] Lee Min-ho - Part 3 2010/04/28, Source,
Korean actor Lee Min-ho [Starhaus Entertainment]
Early in his career, there was a time when Lee Min-ho was working under a stage name although not many people know about it.
"After I had finished shooting 'Secret Campus', I worked under a stage name for about two years I think because my real name Lee Min-ho seemed too ordinary. So I talked with the president of my agency and we decided to change my name. A lot of names came up, like very cheesy ones that sounded like comic book characters. Haha",...More
Hollywood Adventure & Korean Romantic Movies 2007/12/21, Source, Time now to check on the week's new movies.
From Hollywood comes a fantasy based on a bestselling novel and as for domestic fare we have a cheeky story about a very confident woman.
Here is Lee Jeewon.
We begin this week with "The Golden Compass", based on a bestselling and award-winning book of,...More
[MOVIE REVIEW] 'My Love' nowhere near 'Love Actually' 2007/12/13, Source, "My Love" attempts to mimic the famous romantic comedy formula set by "Love Actually" (2003), and the effort itself deserves some attention because the Christmas holiday season is just around the corner, and young Korean couples are keen to watch sweet, feel-good films with the snow falling.
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