Born in 1970, Seoul, LEE graduated from the Seoul Institute of the Arts. He started his film career working with famed directors LEE Myeong-Se and PARK Jong-won. Later, he briefly worked as a TV producer, but, unable to quench his love for the cinema, he soon returned to the film scene. In 2004, he made his directorial debut with < The Guy Was Cool >.
[HanCinema's Hall of Fame] Bong Joon-ho's "Mother - 2009" 2013/10/26, In the Spotlight this Week:"Mother - 2009" by Bong Joon-ho
The mother-image invokes particularly powerful emotions within us all; they are the protecting and nurturing figures that we imagine to be compassionately eternal and lovingly steadfast. In "Mother - 2009" that ideal is given a cruel existence, a scratched filmind born from the collision of untouchable family values and modern Korea's fumbling with justice and reliability. How would a widowed mother react if her only son (of 28 years) were accused of cold-blooded murder? An interesting enough thought experiment, but all-star director Bong Joon-ho challenges us further by thinking the son as mentally handicapped, another cruel test of faith for his mother-image. 'Unconditional love' seems an appropriate tool from which to start from here, it's the romantic weapon that tells us all that a mother's love is always forthcoming - like the rise and fall of the sun. "Mother - 2009" is the tragic story of that unconditional love gone awry, lost somewhere in the vast and unforgiving social space that Bong places between mother and son, between their love and shared madness,...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
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
[HanCinema's Film Review] "Miracle in Cell No.7" 2013/06/15, Lee Hwan-gyeong's colossal hit "Miracle in Cell No.7" boasts an impressive cast, captivating cinematography, and a touching tale that Korean cinema will struggle to forget. Released late in January, this heart-felt drama managed to keep itself in Korea's top ten all the way to April! Its eleven weeks in that list saw it ease past the 12 million admissions mark, making it the fifth Korean film to do so since Lee Joon-ik 2005 drama "The King and the Clown". Standing proud as the third highest grossing Korean film, "Miracle in Cell No. 7" is definitely a must-see for all Korean cinephiles, but it's by no means perfect,...More
[HanCinema's Film Talk] Iron Man, Iron Curtain, and Christmas Cake. 2013/05/11,
Marvel's metal magician is in its third week in Korea and fans are still throwing money at the screen to catch Tony Stark's latest outing. The previous "Iron Man" films performed admirably at the Korean box office (each claiming around 4.5 million admissions), and this latest instalment is fast approaching 7 million admissions and has yet to see any challengers to its iron crown. It's no real surprise that the film has dominated proceedings, especially considering the massive success of "The Avengers" last year, which snatched 7 million tickets itself in Korea alone. "Iron Man 3" has also been heavily marketing and promoted in Korea. Its lone star, Robert Downey Jr., did some serious PR in Korea, the cinema houses have allocated an extremely large number of screenings to the film, even Korean franchises such as Paris Baguette have been getting in on the action with themed cakes and packaging!,...More
[HanCinema's Box Office Review] April 2013 2013/05/04,
April proved to be a slow month at the box office as local films gave way to foreign favourites. It wasn't until last weekend that things were given a shot in the arm as Marvel's blockbuster "Iron Man 3" sounded the horn that cause more than 2 million fans to stream in. Tom Cruise's latest efforts in "Oblivion" held down the top spot during the middle weeks, leaving Jo Dong-oh's "Running Man" to be the only Korean film to taste gold in week one. The release of both "Oblivion" and "Iron Man 3" denied Kang Woo-seok's eighth film "Fist of Legend" any traction, leaving to sit in second place spinning its tyres for much of the month,...More
[HanCinema's Box Office Review] 2013.04.05 ~ 2013.04.07 2013/04/08, Jo Dong-oh's action thriller "Running Man" is off to a good start as it snatched the top spot in its first weekend out. The film claimed 501,908 (30.89%) admissions over 568 screens, only just pushing outs its closest rival "G.I. Joe 2" which came close itself with 464,619 (30.49%). "Running Man" stars Sin Ha-gyoon as Cha Jong-woo, a young man who accidentally gets caught up in a murder case and soon finds himself on the run because of it. This week's chart saw a number of new entries both local and foreign, in addition to some regular faces that have made the top ten their own the last few months. But overall admissions were low, with only the top two films seeing much action in this quieter week at the movies,...More
Star Power Wanes at Box Office 2013/03/23, Source,
Arnold Schwarzenegger vehicle "The Last Stand", which was released in Korea on Feb. 21, has tanked at the box office and dropped off the list after attracting only 66,698 spectators in just under a month. The film is directed by Kim Jee-woon, who shot to fame with "The Good, the Bad and the Weird", but the combination of top director and star was unable to attract viewers. This appears to be part of a wider trend where star power is fading in favor of strong storylines. Film booking site Maxmovie asked 2,754 members of its website from Feb. 26 to March 6 what they consider when choosing a movie and found that a massive 74.2 percent said the plot is the most important factor,...More
[Hancinema's Box Office Review] 2013.03.08 ~ 2013.03.10 2013/03/11, HanCinema's Korean Box Office Review (2013.03.08 ~ 2013.03.10)Park Hoon-jeong-I's "The New World" enjoyed its third successive weekend as Korea's number one film. Park's action thriller added 508,889 (30.9%) stubs to move its total admissions count to 3.3 million. Park's second feature withstood the continuous pressure from Lee Hwan-gyeong's silver bullet hit "Miracle in Cell No.7", which itself is now standing in its eighth week. "Miracle in Cell No.7" has never slipped past second place, and its numbers continue to swell to record-breaking heights. Three other films came into the charts this past weekend that, although weren't able to cause much distress at the top of pile, did cause a shuffle in the upper echelons of Korea's top ten,...More
[HanCinema's Box Office Review] January 2013/02/02,
It was a hard month for foreign films here in Korea as January favoured three local films that, between them, held a tight grip on the ticket sales. Lee Hwan-gyeong's "Miracle in Cell No.7" may have stolen the show in the last weekend of the month, but it was Kim Ji-hoon's fiery epic "The Tower" and Jo Jin-kyoo's 5th comedy "Man on the Edge" that held that top position until then. In the foreign corner, two adaptations stood out in the form of the musical drama "Les Misérables" and "Life of Pi". The former has grossed $38.6 million over its six week run in Korean theatres, with "The Tower" close behind on $34.4 million,...More
[HanCinema's Film Review] "Miracle in Cell No.7" 2013/01/25,
The main characters are retarded father Yong-Goo (played by Ryoo Seung-ryong) and his adorable seven year old daughter Ye-Seung (played by Gal So-won). Circumstances conspire to keep them apart, but through sheer determination and the help of other prison inmates, they're able to find time to be happy together. This family changes the hardened people around them for better. But inevitably, for all these attempts at happiness, tragedy strikes and people left my theater crying. "Miracle in Cell No.7" is an extremely manipulative movie emotionally, and oftentimes feel like it's cheating by forcing the audience to identify with these overwrought situations,...More
[HanCinema's Film Review] "The Grand Heist": Catch it When you Can! 2013/01/12, Film: "The Grand Heist"" 바람과 함께 사라지다 (Ba-lam-gwa Ham-gge Sa-ra-ji-da)
Director: Kim Joo-hoStars:Cha Tae-hyun, Oh Ji-ho, Min Hyo-rin & Lee Chae-youngReview Score: 4 / 5
Kim Joo-ho's first major feature "The Grand Heist" came into the charts last year when "The Thieves" had just hit its stride. Despite coming up against the likes Choi Dong-hoon's record-breaking hit, along with a few other money-makers both foreign and domestic, the film pulled together 4,909,937 admissions without ever being number one. That's a tally worthy of forth place in the list of highest grossing Korea films of 2012. A list led by "The Thieves" (12,983,182), followed by "Masquerade" (12,319,390), and that places Kim's heist flick almost two million behind "A Werewolf Boy" (6,654,390).
The film is set during Korea's favoured Chosun period, and here the royal family have control over the production and distribution of ice. In Kim's telling ice becomes a highly sought-after commodity that represents the indulgence and decadence of the rich and powerful, as well as the hopes and needs of the weak and in need. Jo Myung-soo, a royal nobleman played by Nam Kyung-eup, decides to put in motion plans that would give him exclusive rights and power of the ice trade. However, to do this he needs to take care of the resourceful and reckless Deok-moo (Cha Tae-hyun), and his dutiful father, as well Dong-soo (Oh Ji-ho), a skilled and incorruptible public office who watches over the ice warehouse and its workers,...More
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