[HanCinema's Box Office Review] 2017.11.03 - 2017.11.05 2017/11/06,
"Ragnarok" still rules despite stiff competition from "The Bros"...
"Thor: Ragnarok" stood its ground against local writer/director Chang You-jeong's new comedy-drama, "The Bros". From 1,047 screens, down from 1,640, the seventeenth film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe added 833,949 admissions (38.31%), bringing its total tally in Korea to 3.7 million, or $28.8 million. Worldwide, from a production budget of $180 million, "Thor: Ragnarok" (starring a more comedic Chris Hemsworth) has grossed nearly half a billion dollars. Taika Waititi's "Thor" now needs another 256,000 admissions to overtake "The Fortress" (3.8 million) and enter this year's top ten,...More
[HanCinema's Box Office Review] 2017.07.28 - 2017.07.30 2017/07/31, "The Battleship Island" already the fifth highest grossing film of the year...
Director Ryoo Seung-wan ("Veteran", the third highest grossing Korean film of all time) captures life inside Japan's notorious WWII labour camp on Hashima Island in his latest, record-breaking blockbuster, "The Battleship Island". Before World War II broke out in Europe, Japan was mining underwater coal on a 16-acre island southwest of the city of Nagasaki and conscripting hundreds of Koreans, among others prisons of war, to toil away in treacherous conditions. "The Battleship Island" tells the story of a few hundred gritty Koreans who risked it all to escape what is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site,...More
[HanCinema's Film Review] "The Battleship Island" 2017/07/29,
The black and white opener of "The Battleship Island" focuses on a part of wartime economy rarely seen in film- the support staff. Specifically, the miners, who come up with the raw material that is later purposed into shiny toys for the military. The work is dangerous, especially under the stress of wartime quotas. But it's especially bad for the Korean characters of "The Battleship Island", who labor for the Japanese near the end of the doomed effort that was World War II in the Pacific,...More
Movie Audiences Dwindle for 1st Time in 7 Years 2017/01/20, Source,
Movie audiences have dwindled for the first time in seven years. The number of moviegoers hit 200 million for the first time in 2013 and had been rising steadily since, but the Korean Film Council on Thursday said they dwindled by 280,000 last year to 217 million,...More
[Guest Film Review] "The City of Violence" 2016/08/20,
Jeong Tae-soo returns to his hometown to attend Wang-jae's funeral, an old friend of his. While there, he meets his old friends, Seok-hwan, who is still a very strong fighter and Jang Pil-ho, who used to be the weakest member of the gang, but has now become a high-ranking officer of the local mob. Tae-su and Seok-hwan decide to investigate the murder of the old friend, in an enquiry that soon brings them against the whole town, among rumors that Pil-ho had something to do with it,...More
[HanCinema's Digest] Cinema Snippets 2015/11/22,
Check out Taste of Cinema's list of their top twenty-five "extreme" Asian films, KOBIZ reviews the fall festival circuit to keep us up to date, find out what director Ryoo Seung-wan had to say about his success this year, and is VR the future of South Korean cinema?,...More
[UK] Opening Gala Event of the New London East Asia Film Festival Friday 23 October 2015/10/16, Source,
Korean Blockbuster "Veteran" with Special Guest Director Ryoo Seung-wan. The inaugural London East Asia Film Festival (LEAFF) will be taking place from the 23rd to the 25th October 2015 . LEAFF's festival director, Hye-Jung Jeon (former director of the London Korean Film Festival) and Chris Fujiwara, former artistic director of the Edinburgh International Film Festival are delighted to launch this '0th' edition of LEAFF 2015. It will highlight the excitement, range, and achievement of major films from Korea, China, Japan and East Asian and the festival's mission will aim to take UK audiences on a continuously unfolding adventure of cinematic discovery,...More
[HanCinema's Box Office Review] 2015.10.09 ~ 2015.10.11 2015/10/12,
"The Martian" arrives and conquers...
After entering the fray last weekend in pole position, Nancy Meyers' "The Intern" had to take a step back in light of the next big space thriller to come out of Hollywood: "The Martian". Ridley Scott's adaptation of Andy Weir's novel was released in the States earlier this month, and has already grossed over $227 million worldwide, but arrived in Korea last Thursday and was given 1,132 screens to pool from. This epic space thriller has been well-received by critics and cinephiles alike (especially space junkies and science fans), and in Korea close to 1.5 million tickets were sold over its first weekend out,...More
[HanCinema's Box Office Review] 2015.10.02 ~ 2015.10.04 2015/10/05, "The Intern" rises to the top while Ryoo Seung-wan's "Veteran" breaks another record… Nancy Meyers' "The Intern" has dislodged Lee Joon-ik's popular period piece "The Throne" to become the country's new number one. Lee's latest has been sitting pretty at the top for three weeks now, and since its release mid-August it's managed to amass a total tally of 5.5 million admissions, 492 thousand of which came from this past weekend. But a second week in the charts has helped raised Meyer's film to the top in a tightly contested weekend where the podium placements could have gone either way,...More
'Veteran' Keeps Setting New Records 2015/10/05, Source,
The crime flick "Veteran", directed by Ryoo Seung-wan, climbed to third place in the all-time box office hit list here. Since its release in August, "Veteran" has attracted 13.31 million cinema-goers, surpassing the 13.3 million set by the Hollywood blockbuster "Avatar". The top three spots are all now filled by Korean films released between summer of 2014 and summer of 2015,...More
[BIFF] Stars talk in Haeundae, Busan 2015/10/04, Source,
In Busan, stars appear day and night. More and more stars have participated in this year's Busan International Film Festival which celebrates its 20th this year. How exciting, meeting the stars of movies in real life. The stars in Haeundae have been responding to fans' support in various ways.
The opening was hot. The opening ceremony of BIFF was held on the 1st. Although the weather was rough with gale warnings, fans gathered to see their favorite stars,...More
[HanCinema's Box Office Review] 2015.09.25 ~ 2015.09.27 2015/09/28, Lee Joon-ik's "The Throne" still reigns supreme…
For the second week in a row, Lee Joon-ik's timely period piece "The Throne" has claimed the top spot by adding another 1.2 million admissions to its total tally. Lee's depiction of the cruel fate of Prince Sado entered the charts on the 16th, and, with the Chuseok weekend included, now stands at 3.5 million admissions ($23.9 million). "The Throne" had to compete with a string of new releases leading up to Korea's harvest holiday but ultimately managed to capture 36.9% of the box office pie to remain in pole position,...More
Korean Box Office Hit 'Veteran' to Open across North America 2015/09/15, Source,
Asia's leading studio CJ Entertainment, the signature film division of major media and content company CJ E&M, says that "Veteran", its latest Korean box office hit, is set to open in major cities across North America, including New York City, Chicago, Washington D.C. on September 17th and Vancouver and Toronto on the following day,...More
[HanCinema's Box Office Review] 2015.09.11 ~ 2015.09.13 2015/09/14,
"Ant-man" enjoys a second weekend at the top...
For the second week in a row Marvel's "Ant-Man" topped the South Korea box office and has now moved its total tally to 2.3 million admissions ($16 million). Release in Korea on the third, "Ant-Man" continues the superhero trend by bringing international audiences another incredible character from the Marvel's inexhaustible universe of heroes. Last weekend the film opened in first by capturing over 45% of the box office pie, and week two for Marvel's mighty mini man saw it retain the top spot by claiming 40.8% of sales (695 thousand admissions). Although a foreign flick topped the weekend's list of top performers, the home team occupied positions two through sixth with a variety of compelling local features, some of which are still writing their names into the record books,...More
'Veteran' to Hit Theaters in North America 2015/09/14, Source,
The crime flick "Veteran" will hit 46 cinemas across the U.S. and Canada this Friday, according to the Hollywood Reporter last Thursday. Ahead of the release, it will be screened at a police station in Los Angeles on Wednesday and Thursday, followed by a Q&A session with director Ryoo Seung-wan. The film will be released in Boston, Chicago and New York as well as the Canadian cities of Toronto and Vancouver,...More
[HanCinema's Box Office Review] 2015.09.04 ~ 2015.09.06 2015/09/07,
Marvel's "Ant Man" makes a move on "Veteran"...
After weeks of local delights dominating, Marvel's latest superhero film, "Ant Man" by Peyton Reed, has managed to outperform the home team's frontrunners to top the chart. "Ant Man" was allocated 946 screens around the country, and from that pool it was able to attract an impressive 1.1 million filmgoers to its cause (45.7%). Peyton's effort made its debut in Los Angeles back in June, and has already grossed over $383 million, but only arrived in Korea last Thursday,...More
[HanCinema's Box Office Review] 2015.08.21 ~ 2015.08.23 2015/08/24, "Veteran" eyes 10 million…Ryoo Seung-wan's crime drama "Veteran" has once again emerged at the top of the pile as it enjoys a third week as Korea's number one. "Veteran" saw another sizeable weekend as it added 1.3 million admissions (43%) to move its total tally to just over 9 million ($59.1 million). Last weekend Ryoo's crime drama attracted a massive 2.2 million filmgoers, and the weekend before that saw 1.9 million flock to its screens, and now the films is poised to join an elite group of South Korea films that have claimed 10 million admissions,...More
[HanCinema's Film Review] "Veteran" 2015/08/15,
Do-cheol (played by Hwang Jung-min) is a cop that doesn't play by the rules. That makes him a good guy. Tae-oh (played by Yoo Ah-in) is a corporate heir who doesn't play by the rules. That makes him a bad guy. That's "Veteran" on the most basic level. Both of its lead characters want to have fun, often in equally pointless and gratuitously violent ways, but Do-cheol's antics are funny and Tae-oh's antics are evil because that's what it says in the script,...More
Veteran (2015) 2015/08/08, Source, "Veteran"
Genres: Action and Drama
Running Time: 124 min.
Directed by: Ryoo Seung-wan
Starring: Hwang Jung-min, Yoo Ah-in, Jang Yoon-ju
Synopsis: After an international auto theft sting, dimwitted detective Do-cheol is treated to a night at a club where he meets a conglomerate heir, Tae-oh, whose rude behavior rubs Do-cheol the wrong way. Convinced Tae-oh is a drug addict, Do-cheol tries to investigate, but is stopped by his boss. Meanwhile, Tae-oh runs into Mr. Bae, a truck driver who helped Do-cheol with his auto theft case, and his 9-year-old son, protesting to get his overdue wages. After being humiliated and beaten for Tae-oh's amusement, Bae is hospitalized but his son finds Do-cheol's business card and calls for help,...More
[HanCinema's Film Review] "Crying Fist" 2015/06/06,
Sang-hwan (played by Ryoo Seung-bum) 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
[HanCinema's Film Review] "MAD SAD BAD" 2014/05/10,
The first portion of "MAD SAD BAD" is a story about high school in the modern age. Seung-ho (played by Lee David) is a fairly lonely and pathetic teenage boy. He socializes mainly through a chatting cell phone function. The monotony of his life is given a sudden shock by a text message from Woo-bi (played by Son Soo-hyeon), who claims that she's suffering from abuse and singles Seung-ho out of the chatting group for aid.
This segment plays like a mystery, except there's not really any invesigation. Everyone just takes Woo-bi's claims at face value, eventually leading up to a final confrontation,...More
[HanCinema's Film News] New Korean Films Inbound... 2014/05/03, K-Films Coming Soon:
★★★ "MAD SAD BAD": A 3D omnibus movie about a man who becomes a zombie for no apparent reason and falls in love with a woman. (05/15)
★★★ "Sage Solutions": A documentary by Tae Jun-seek about the responsibility and questionable ethics of the Korean Press. (05/15)
★★★★★ "Obsessed": A Vietnam War hero returns home to praise and promotion but suffers PTSD as a result, affecting his marriage, career, and future. (05/15)
★★★ "Campus S Couple": A one-night stand turns awkward when a couple realise they're in the same college. Things get more complicated on campus when another confesses their childhood love. (05/15)
★★★ "The Groin": Set during the Joseon dynasty, three men who don't believe in love make a bet to woo a married woman known for her chasity. (05/15),...More
Jeonju Film Fest Opens on May 1 2014/04/25, Source,
The 15th Jeonju International Film Festival takes place throughout the city from May 1 to 10.
The JIFF has a reputation for featuring innovative and experimental movies rather than the mainstream fare,...More
[HanCinema's Afterwords] KOFIC Podcast Review - Ep. 5 2014/01/25, In this Episode: Pierce has a chat withfilm critic Jason Bechervaise about six period films coming in 2014…
KOFIC recently launched "Korean Cinema Today", a bimonthly podcast that's all about the wonderful world of Korean cinema. Hosted by Pierce Conran, the show features the latest Korean cinema news, features, discussions, and interviews with special guests from the industry.
In episode 5 Pierce has Korean film critic, journalist and academic Jason Bechervaise in studio to discuss the host of period films coming our way in 2014,...More
[HanCinema's Lists] The Top 5 Korean Thrillers of All-Time 2014/01/17,
One of the most popular trends we saw in 2013 was the rampant release of action-packed thrillers! It's a genre that Korean cinema favours and continues to return to, but in 2013 the industry really did pump out a number of successful hits that contributed to the record-breaking tickets sales last year enjoyed.
It's tricky to pinpoint films that are 'pure' thrillers because Korean films often blend and bend their genres in unique and creative ways. That being said, here is a quick look at the top 5 Korean thrillers that have stormed their way to box office glory,...More
[HanCinema's Afterwords] KOFIC Podcast Review - Special Episode 2014/01/04, In this Episode: Korean Cinema in 2013…
KOFIC recently launched "Korean Cinema Today", a bimonthly podcast that's all about the wonderful world of Korean cinema. Hosted by Pierce Conran, the show features the latest Korean cinema news, features, discussions, and interviews with special guests from the industry. In this special episode, Pierce has Darcy Paquet in studio to talk about the past year's big features, their top 5 films of the year, industry trends, as well as mention some of the big period films coming our way in 2014.
"Korean Cinema Today" is only four episodes in, and so while they are still finding their feet, the show is shaping up to be another fantastic new initiative by KOFIC. The show is hosted by Pierce Conran (editor of Modern Korean Cinema, Twitch Korean film correspondent, and writer for the Korean Film Council) and thus far he has already had interviews with Kwak Gyeong-taek ("Friend 2"), Lee Cheol-ha ("Hello Orchestra"), and has Darcy Paquet (one of Korea's leading and dedicated film critics) on the show to talk about 2003 (a landmark year for Korean cinema). In this special episode Darcy joins Pierce once again to discuss the incredible year that was 2013,...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-bum 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
Filmmakers and Highlights of the 5th Annual Terracotta Far East Film Festival
With 2 days to go to the Opening Night, it's time to reveal the guests of the 5th annual Terracotta Far East Film Festival and the Festival organisers are delighted to make a series of other announcements.
Highlights of this edition are the guest talent from Asia who will be attending the festival, the talent Masterclasses, the winner of the inaugural Terracotta Short-Film Competition, unveiling of the Official Trailer and the festival parties,...More
[UK] 5th Terracotta Festival 2013 Full Line-up Announcement 2013/05/08, Source,
Tickets are now on sale for the fifth edition of the annual Terracotta Far East Film Festival. Over the years the festival has seen the event go from strength to strength. This year is set to be the biggest yet, expanding to 27 films spread over 4 sections and 2 venues from 06 - 15 June 2013. The core of the festival will remain a hand-picked selection of the best CURRENT ASIAN CINEMA at The Prince Charles Cinema. This all UK Premieresectionreflects the vibrancy and energy in Asian filmmaking today. Ranging from realist dramas to romance, light comedies to spy action thrillers, swordfighting epics to gothic fairytales, the festival aims to balance the representation of Asian countries.
Terracotta Festival 2013 (TFEFF13) will open with Hong Kong action COLD WAR on Thursday 06 June 2013,...More
14th Jeonju International Film Festival Final Report 2013/05/07,
- Cinema Street crowded with various guests and filmmakers visiting from all around the world! - Tickets of all sections including FOCUS ON and STRANER THAN CINEMA had evenly sold out, organizing film programs was conservative - 5th Jeonju Project Market brought huge success within steady managements! -Special Attraction in JIFF 2013! On stage talk show and live performances had set on fire! On 25 Apr (Thu), 14th Jeonju International Film Festival that commenced at Sori Arts Center closed on 3 May (Fri) with visitors' attentions and involvements,...More
14th Jeonju International Film Festival Interim Report 2013/04/30,
- Increased seat occupancy of weekends and sold-out rate (comparing to the last year)
- Reached high scores of seat occupancy, especially in 'COMPETITION', 'FOCUS ON' and 'STRANGER THAN CINEMA'.
- Rapturous reaction on 'JIFF TALK' and 'JIFF CLASS'.
- Successful outdoor performances and stage greetings in a rainy day!,...More
[HanCinema Report] JIFF: Day Three 2013/04/27, "Garibong" by Park Ki-yong
I got the chance to see the 2013 Jeonju Digital Project. Every year, JIFF finds and funds three directors on a specific theme. This years- strangers. The only other requirement is that they must be over thirty minutes in length- not quite feature length, these pictures all capture a specific, interpolated idea,...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] 2013.03.15 ~ 2013.03.17 2013/03/18,
For the first time this year a foreign film has managed to claim the top spot in Korea's weekend box office. With 423,336 admissions, Jonathan Levine's "Warm Bodies" is the first outside entry to make it all the way to the top. However it does so with the lowest ticket count for first place this year. "Warm Bodies" is an adaptation from Isaac Marion's book of the same name; it's a paranormal romance that takes a zombie's perspective as he pursues his living love interest. "Warm Bodies" claimed 26.0% of the total ticket sales with the help of 475 screenings around the country. There were a string of new releases last week that caused a serious reshuffle in this weekend's top ten, including Yoon Jong-chan's "Paparoti", the Oscar winner "Lincoln", as well as the Italian animation "Gladiators of Rome" in 3D,...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-jung'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 Film Review] "The Berlin File" 2013/02/22,
Jong-Seong (played by Ha Jung-woo) is a ghost agent working for the North Korean government. When an illegal multinational weapons deal goes bad, he has to do clean-up. And part of that post-mortem involves figuring out who tipped off a third party to what was going on. This being a North Korean operation, the investigation is less genuine curiousity about what happened and more about finding an explanation that can be easily and succintly described to higher-ups in the North Korean government as quickly as possible,...More
U.S. Media Warms to 'The Berlin File' 2013/02/19, Source,
"The Berlin File", the latest movie by director Ryoo Seung-wan, has received positive reviews from major U.S. media since it was released in 21 cities in North America last Friday. The New York Times hailed its "exhilarating action set pieces", adding that Ryoo "brings his brand of muscular action and quicksilver agility to the shifting battleground of international espionage,...More
[HanCinema's Weekend Box Office Review] 2013.02.08 ~ 2013.02.10 2013/02/11, HanCinema's Korean Box Office Review (2013.02.08 ~ 2013.02.10)
It was another closely fought race at the box office this past weekend, but it was Lee Hwan-hyeong's "Miracle in Cell No.7" that reclaimed pole position with 1.3 million admissions (37.12%). Lee's latest had over 800 screenings to help its cause as it now moves to 6,279,229 admissions, making it the highest grossing Korean film of the year thus far. The Lunar New Year weekend saw the release of a number new films, including Kim Soon-rye's new comedy drama "Run to the South", an old Russian fairy tale retold in glorious 3D animation, as well the fifth instalment in the popular "Die Hard" franchise,...More
[Canada] The simultaneous North American and Korean release of "The Berlin File" (2013) 2013/02/05,
South Korea's mega action thriller by the masterful Ryoo Seung-wan Opens on Feb. 15, Cineplex Odeon Forum, Montreal CINEASIE Creatives is pleased to announce the simultaneous North American and Korean release of "The Berlin File" (2013), South Korea's mega action thriller written and directed by the masterful Ryoo Seung-wan. The film, by CJ Entertainment, centers on a battle between spies from North Korea and South Korea, with a tragic love triangle simmering beneath the surface. The Montreal public can discover the visual pyrotechnics of Korea's greatest action auteur on February 15th at Cineplex Forum,...More
'Berlin File' Off to a Roaring Start 2013/02/05, Source,
The movie "The Berlin File" by Ryoo Seung-wan ranked No. 1 at the box office by luring over 1.53 million moviegoers in the first weekend of its release on Jan. 30. The film has attracted more than 2.24 million viewers so far, hitting the 2 million mark in the shortest time of any films released in January or February, the low season for movies,...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
CJ Entertainment action thriller THE BERLIN FILE by RYOO Seung-Wan 2013/01/30, Source, Opens in Los Angeles (CGV Cinema), Fullerton (Regal La Habra) and Irvine (Edwards UTC) on Feb. 15 120 min, Korean, English, German spoken, 2013, North American premiere.
Director Ryoo Seung-wan is available for phone interviews. Screen International: "Arguably one of the most high profile South Korean releases of early 2013, Ryoo Seung-wan's "The Berlin File" continues to adopt Ryoo's visual trademark through pulsating and spectacular set-pieces".
Until now, Korean directors have been underrepresented in the Asian action genre dominated by Hong Kong masters (John Woo, Andrew Lau) and their most passionate American aficionado Quentin Tarantino. With "The Berlin File" - Korea's biggest release of 2013 - American audiences have the chance discover the visual pyrotechnics of Korea's only action auteur, Ryoo Seung-wan,...More
What Does 2013 Hold for Korean Film? 2013/01/04, Source,
Korean films drew more than 100 million viewers over the past year, but there are a number of concerns if they are to sustain their momentum. Here are five of the top issues for this year that have insiders speculating about the future of the movie industry. ◆ Can Korean Movies Break the 100 Million Mark Again,...More
[Weekender] Restoring classics 2012/03/15, Source,
A strip of 35-millimeter celluloid film, which has mostly been replaced by digital cinema / Korea Times file
Early works return to life at Korean Film Archive By Lee Hyo-won Moviegoers today are accustomed to glossy, high-definition images that indiscriminately reveal slight skin blemishes of actors known for flawless complexions. Bass-heavy, surround-sound audio has also become the norm. The cinematic experience is more than about whether the plotline is appealing. The technical aspects of the audiovisuals often determine the overall aesthetics, of how one perceives the content. Sometimes the film itself is deliberately produced to capture the nostalgia of the past. Michel Hazanavicius' "The Artist" (2011) pays direct homage to early 20th-century silent movies while Quentin Tarantino's signature visual style displays an adoration of old, dust-streaked images. In 2008, Ryoo Seung-wan experimented with old-fashioned dubbing for his retro action flick "Dachimawa Lee",...More
Korean Film Festival DC Marks 8th Year with Film, Video Art, and Director Na Hong-jin 2012/03/14, Source,
The Korean Film Festival DC, one of the largest showcases of Korean cinema in the United States, kicks off this week at the Smithsonian's Freer Gallery of Art in Washington DC. The 2012 edition of the festival, running throughout March, April, and into May, is spread over two months and combines 12 films, four video art exhibitions, two lecture events, and four post-film discussions with Korean director Na Hong-jin,...More
CINEMA ON THE PARK Season 2 Announced! 2012/01/22, Source,
The Korean Cultural Office in Sydney has just announced another exciting Season of Cinema on the Park, the film night that delighted audiences in 2011 will return once again in 2012. A surprise hit with more than 1,000 people attending, Thursday nights are now etched firmly on the Sydney cinema calendar as Korean night and will see 21 feature films and 14 guest speakers in the first half of the year alone, surely enough to satisfy anyone's appetite for Korean cinema!,...More
Korean Cinema 2011: The View from Here 2012/01/14, Source,
US-based author and curator of film at the Smithsonian's Freer and Sackler Galleries in Washington, DC, Tom VICK shares his views on recent trends he has noticed programming their Korean film festival.
How do you introduce new Korean films to an American audience? Since 2004, when I began programming the Korean Film Festival DC, the answer to this question has become more difficult to answer. This is not to say that it's harder to find good films. Quite the opposite. The problem (if it can be called a problem) is that there are so many films to choose from.The explosion of digital production and distribution in the last decade or so has made it easier than ever to make a film, but harder than ever find an audience for it,...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
Bittersweet Life: Korean cinema's secret popularity in the UK 2011/12/07, Source,
International distribution expert and analyst and former Screen International journalist Robert Mitchell looks at the gulf between artistic and business successes of Korean cinema in the UK.
Ask any cine-literate film-goer, critic, blogger or tweeter in the UK about Korean cinema and you'll be greeted with an enthusiastic response. They will talk of the Hallyu period of the past decade, a wealth of some of the most creative and interesting film-making in the world. They will speak with passion about Park Chan-wook, Kim Ki-duk and Bong Joon-ho.
International festivals like Cannes play a major role in building this awareness. "The route to the international market is through festivals", says Danny PERKINS, CEO of StudioCanal UK, which released Bong's "The Host" and Kim's "3-Iron" amongst other Korean titles. "If a director's film features in one of the bigger festivals it can put them and their work permanently on the map",...More
Four leading Korean directors working on overseas projects 2011/11/21, Source,
By JU Sung Chul
With leading Korean directors Park Chan-wook, Bong Joon-ho, Kim Jee-woon and Ryoo Seung-wan all working on overseas productions, journalist JU Sung Chul examines the details of their projects for "Korean Cinema Today"
The year 2012 looks like it will see an unprecedented rush of Korean directors working onforeign projects. This phenomenon seems similar to the situation back in the late 1990s when Hong Kong directors John WOO, Ringo LAM, TSUI Hark, Kirk WONG and Ronny YU all directed films produced in Hollywood.What's different is that whereas they were inclined to make films only in Hong Kong's specialty genre - the action film, their Korean counterparts are expected to make films that will retains the directors' varyingstyles and sensibilities. Park Chan-wook's "Stoker" and Kim Jee-woon's "The Last Stand" are produced by Hollywood-based companies while Bong Joon-ho's "Snowpiercer" and Ryoo Seung-wan's "The Berlin File" (working title) are to be co-productions,...More
CJ films to stream on Netflix 2011/10/22, Source, By KOFIC Staff
Major Korean entertainment company CJ E&M has announced a deal to stream 20 of its films on Netflix, leading internet subscription service for films and TV shows. Netflix members in the US will be able to watch these CJ films on multiple platforms including televisions, computer, tablets, gaming consoles, and mobile phones.
"CJ E&M is delighted to make our movies available through Netflix for the first time", said Joon CHOI, CEO of CJ E&M America. "Netflix has been a revolutionary force in entertainment, whose members have long enjoyed unparalleled access to a rich selection of films. This deal brings movie lovers iconic films from Asia's top entertainment company",...More
Yellow Sea and other Korean films win at Sitges 2011/10/19, Source, By KOFIC Staff
Korean director NA Hong-Jin Won the Best Director award for "The Yellow Sea" at the recently wrapped Sitges International Fantastic Film Festival. One of the world's leading fantastic (i.e., genre) film festivals, the 44th Sitges International Fantastic Film Festival of Catalonia ran Oct. 6 – 16 this year. The festival awarded Best Motion Picture to Red State, directed by Kevin Smith,...More
Busan's Asian Film Market opens at new venue 2011/10/11, Source,
The Busan International Film Festival (BIFF)'s Asian Film Market opened yesterday for the first time in its new venue at the Busan Exhibition Convention Center (BEXCO). The market has reported a 67% increase in sales booths and a 24% increase in participant registration since last year,...More
[HanCinema at the KOFFIA 2011] Director Ryoo Seung-Wan Talks Failure And Success To HanCinema 2011/08/28, Source, Ryoo Seung-wan can be called something of a veteran director, accumulating a ten-film repertoire over the last decade, but his style is still evolving amid a mixture of success and failure. Soldiering on, Seung-wan has kept his eye trained to the future – and rolling in the success of his latest feature, "The Unjust", has only strengthened his footing on the international film scene.
The Korean Film Festival in Australia (KOFFIA) saw the filmmaker modestly take stage at the helm and direct packed audiences at his latest filmic venture, "The Unjust", and the nostalgic look at his fledgling career back in 2000 with "No Blood, No Tears". We caught up with the director in Sydney to find out more about the man behind the kicks, punches, blood and gore of the screen,...More
KOFFIA: Korean Screen Hits The International Scene Down Under 2011/08/23, Source,
Korean cinema is revived this August as the Korean Film Festival In Australia (or KOFFIA, for brevity's sake) rolls onto the Aussie red carpet for a week-long foray into the world of Korea in pictures.
The festival sees a clash of east and western cultures as Korean films hit Sydney shores at Dendy Cinemas, sitting on a backdrop of the iconic Harbour Bridge and Opera House.
The fever's spread further south this year too, with the festival expanding into Melbourne after the Sydney-exclusive's success last year,...More
KOFFIA 2011 Film Line-up announced! 2011/07/27, Source,
KOFFIA 2011 is coming! HOLD ON TIGHT! For immediate release The KOFFIA Korean Film Festival is back in Sydney for the second time this August, bigger and better than ever, and it all begins here! KOFFIA 2011 will present 13 feature films and 7 shorts that showcase the great diversity of Korean cinema today, as well as providing a true Korean cultural experience with industry forums, cultural performances, food tastings and so much more. HOLD ON TIGHT!
The festival will take place from 24th – 29th August at Dendy Cinemas in Circular Quay, Sydney. In this Australia-Korea Year of Friendship, we are very excited to announce that KOFFIA will also travel down to the beautiful city of Melbourne! The festival will run from 10th – 13th September at ACMI Cinemas, Australian Centre for the Moving Image, Federation Square, Melbourne. This is an extra special date, as 12th September marks the important Korean Thanksgiving Holiday of Chuseok, join us in this celebration,...More
Sitges International Fantastic Film Festival to sail with "The Yellow Sea" 2011/07/07, Source,
One of the world's leading genre film festivals, the 44th Sitges International Fantastic Film Festival of Catalonia has made an early selection announcement which includes Korean director Na Hong-jin's action thriller "The Yellow Sea".
The Sitges festival previously screened Na's debut feature The Chaser in 2008. The serial killer thriller was a much-lauded film that made Na's second feature, "The Yellow Sea "(a.k.a. The Murderer), one of the most highly anticipated films of 2010,...More
KOFIC attends 2011 Shanghai International Film Festival 2011/06/10, Source, by PARK Hee-sung / Jun 10, 2011
Korean Film Council (KOFIC, Chairman Kim Eui-suk) opens Korean Film Center at 2011 SIFF Film Mart (June 13-15) to promote Korean films and support international sales for Korean films and Korean post-production company's advancing to the Chinese market. 2011 Shanghai Film Mart
KOFIC opens Korean Film Center at 2011 SIFF Film Mart to intensively promote Korean films, support sales business, and build a network by attending Shanghai International Film Festival and CO-FPC,...More
[HanCinema's Film Review] The Unjust 2011/04/16, Ryoo Seung-wan's "The Unjust" came in at number seven among the top grossing Korean films of 2010, with a worthy 2,751,185 admissions. Its intricate plot and morally unchecked urban reality is infested with manipulative power players in a contemporary crime thriller where justice is ironically served and forcefully consumed.,...More
Berlin "Korean Film Night": Record-breaking number of people attend 2011/02/16, Source,
by Berlin = KIM Hong-chun (KOFIC International Promotion Center, East Europe Manager)
On the night of Valentine's Day – when the 61st Berlin International Film Festival began – the 'Korean Film Night' hosted by the Korea Cultural Center in Berlin, was in full swing. The 'Korean Film Night', co-hosted by the Korean Film Council, Pusan International Film Festival, and Women's Film Festival in Seoul, actively supported the promotion of Korean films as this year's Berlin International Film Festival was the first to feature ten Korean films with the night's other function being to promote substantial exchange between Korea and overseas' film businesses. 300 participants were expected at this event, but almost 500 movie movers-and-shakers attended, making it absolutely clear that there was a higher-than-expected interest and very welcome response towards Korean film,...More
Cineaste's picks at cinematheque 2011/01/10, Source,
From left, directors Kim Tae-yong, Lee Joon-ik and Lee Hae-yeong and programmer Kim Sung-wook speak during a press event for the 6th Cinematheque Friends Film Festival on Jan. 5 at Seoul Art Cinema, Jong-no. /Courtesy of Seoul Art Cinema
By Lee Hyo-won
Ever wondered what kind of works inspire famous filmmakers?
Fans will have a chance to find out through the Cinematheque Friends Film Festival, featuring 44 domestic and foreign works including those that were handpicked by directors who have paved new possibilities in Korean cinema. The 6th edition of the annual event kicks off on Jan. 18 at Seoul Art Cinema, Jongno, and will continue through Feb. 27,...More
Korean Film – The Unjust | Headed to the Berlin Festival in Feb. 2011 2010/12/15, Source,
"The Unjust", the recent Korean film of director Ryoo Seung-wan, is about entangled relationships between police, prosecutor and sponsor in congested society. These three characters are foes to each other, but are comrades at the same time. In other words, they can live by killing each other, but, in order for them to live all together, they need to help each other out. In this Korean film, everyone tries to hide themselves behind the fake characters that are made by what other people think of them. The ugly truths are all hidden under "The Unjust" deal they make,...More
[INTERVIEW] Director Ryoo Seung-wan - Part 1 2010/11/18, Source,
Director Ryoo Seung-wan [Chae Ki-won/10Asia]
It has already been ten years since director Ryoo Seung-wan, whom we thought would always be the 'action kid', showed up in the film industry with "Die Bad". And while having shot ten movies during that time, he has been on a break over movies that have flopped, agonized over people not liking his scripts, and is now old enough to look back in embarrassment on childish remarks he made a long time ago. However, his movie "The Unjust" is the result of what he describes as having "lived through and felt". And it presents us with a form of shock that is different to what the audience has felt from his previous films -- a sense of reality so vivid that is weighs down us as very much the Republic of Korea that we live in today. What happened to him? In his interview with 10Asia, Ryoo Seung-wan talks about "what hasn't changed but has changed". * This article may contain spoilers. 10: The response to "The Unjust" had been extremely positive even ahead of its premiere, securing the highest number of advance ticket reservations and seeing many favorable articles on the movie. You must be happy doing this interview. Ryoo Seung-wan: I should be modest but it's true that I'm happy,...More
[INTERVIEW] Director Ryoo Seung-wan - Part 2 2010/11/18, Source,
Director Ryoo Seung-wan [Chae Ki-won/10Asia]10: But the empathy felt toward the characters or organizations within the movie is almost at a national level ? to the extent that it seems almost surprising that the actors felt the script doesn't make sense. Don't you believe discord and conflict between prosecutors and the police, and corruption within public organizations exists everywhere quite openly? Ryoo Seung-wan: But it wasn't the incidents within the movie or the structure of the story that drew me to the script. I wasn't even No. 1 on the list of directors the production company had in mind for the film. What I was interested in was the individuals who get caught up in the incident. Many people who bow their heads and go on their knees in front of others to make a living but wait for the time that the situation will turn around. Including myself. (laugh) That's why I wasn't too worried when something that occurs in the movie happened in reality. The movie focused more on the individuals. 10: What left a strong impression was that nobody had absolute power when it comes to their relationships. It was a pandemonium, with no entrance nor exit, where the power structure and the winner and loser constantly changes. Ryoo Seung-wan: Of them, I think Jooyang (Ryoo Seung-bum) in particular was similar to me because a movie director is allowed to exercise dictatorship,...More
Sul Kyung-gu's latest screen persona coincidentally shares the same name and a similar profile as,...More
Stars light up opening day of Puchon film fest 2010/07/16, Source,
Actor Gong Hyung-jin and actress Choi Jung-won host the opening ceremony of the 14th Puchon International Fantastic Film Festival held in the city of Bucheon in Gyeonggi Province, South Korea on July 15, 2010. [Chae Ki-won/10Asia]
"Only humans can enjoy festivals and films are at the center of those festivals". The opening ceremony for the 14th Puchon International Fantastic Film Festival (PiFan) took place at Bucheon Citizen's Hall on Thursday evening. But the atmosphere, which had been dampened by the approach of the rainy season, lightened up as an array of stars, from near and far, took to the red carpet of the 11-day event,...More
[10LINE] Korean actress Jeon Do-yeon 2010/05/28, Source,
Clockwise from top center: actress Lee Hye-yeong, actress Moon So-ri,director Lee Chang-dong, actor Song Kang-ho, and director Im Sang-soo [10Asia]
Jeon Do-yeon "A friend who says she wants to become like me so badly that she will seal the deal at the risk of her future has only seen the pretty and fancy side to me. It's not difficult to become like me. It's just hard for someone to want to become like you". - Jeon Do-yeon's line from her cameo appearance on SBS TV series "On Air". About life as an actress. About life as Jeon Do-yeon. Kang Shin-hye A reporter who worked for teenage magazine Hi-teen in 1990. She encouraged Jeon, who during her senior year in high school went to the magazine to receive a prize from a postcard contest, to become a cover model,...More
Hwang Jung-min: 'I Acted Comfortably with My Eyes Closed' 2010/04/22, Source,
"I did not just want to act the role of a blind man; instead, I wanted to act comfortably while I just closed my eyes", said actor Hwang Jung-min, who appeared in the movie "Blades of Blood" and demonstrated realistic acting as a blind character. He played the legendary blind swordsman Hwang Jung Hak in the movie, which was filmed against the backdrop of the middle of the Chosun dynasty. The character is a friend of Lee Mong Hak (Cha Seung-won), who has been dreaming of creating a whole new world and instigating a rebellion, but in the end they end up going their separate ways due to different ideologies regarding the uprising.
In a recent interview held in a café located in Gangnam, Hwang Jung-min said, "Instead of trying to be a blind man, I tried my best to act as natural as possible suitable to the storyline and the character. To prepare for the role, I went to a school for the blind, participated in a class and talked a lot with classmates. But basically, I thought that just trying to imitate those blind people was not important. The character Hwang Jung Hak is a blind man, but the more important point was to understand the inner side of the character, and I tried to approach this internal perspective when I acted",...More
The festival in its 5th year will continue until February 28 at Seoul Art Cinema in Jongno-gu, Seoul.Movie directors, actors and industry representatives will choose the movies to screen duri,...More
Ryoo Seung-bum: 'Every Work is a Process' 2009/12/30, Source, Actor Ryoo Seung-bum (29) has been building a considerable filmography for the last 10 years. It includes various genres from noir to comedy, unknown short films, animation voice work, and impressive works in which he was acting as a special guest.
It also includes director Lee Moo-young's "Everlasting Husband" which could be considered Ryoo's first romantic movie, the original cartoon of Kang Full"29 Years" which could not be filmed to completion, and the omnibus movie "Mankind Fall Report" which was filmed but never released.
Ryoo Seung-bum, who was interviewed on Dec. 28 in a cafe located in Kangnam, expressed that this whole work is a "process".
Ryoo said, " I choose a work based on the impression I get from it. I will probably be able to tell if the work has outstanding artistic merit only on my dying day, or I may never know about that. I always consider every role and am upset when the role does not go well. However, every step is a part of the process". "No Mercy", which will open soon, is also a part of the process, as well as one of Ryoo's inflection-painted works.,...More
The 8th Mise-en-Scene Short Film Festival Opens this Week 2009/06/26, Source, This year's Mise-en-scene Short Film festival will showcase a total of 120 films. The film festival whose focus is genre short films will feature films genres normally associated with feature length films. These genres include horror, fantasy, love and even action. It features 57 films in the offi,...More
Jeonju Int'l Film Fest Announces Line-up 2009/04/09, Source, One of Korea's top three annual cinema events, the Jeonju International Film Festival (JIFF), is celebrating its tenth edition this month. Running April 30 – May 9, JIFF will screen 200 films from 42 countries. Among them are 12 feature film World Premieres mainly from the Korean Feature Competiti,...More
That special time of the year has come around, when South Korea's top filmmakers and actors turn into film festival programmers. The 4th Cinematheque Friends Film Festival will take place Jan. 29-March 1 in Seoul, and director,...More
Korean Movie to be Remade in Hollywood 2008/11/06, Source, Korean film "Die Bad" directed by Ryoo Seung-wan will be remade in Hollywood by Universal Studios. Released in 2000, "Die Bad" earned critical acclaim for director Ryoo with its incomparable atmosphere and realistic action sequences.
Every summer, Bucheon, the small city sandwiched between Seoul and Incheon, turns into Asia's ultimate paradise for fantastic cinema. From July 18 to 27, the 12th Puchon (Bucheon) International Fantastic Film Festival (PiFan) invites 205 fantasy flicks from 35 coun,...More
No Wave, just a Korean breeze in Poland 2008/04/28, Source, The Korean Wave has been spreading Korean pop culture across Asia and beyond for more than a decade, although it has barely reached Poland, in the centre of Europe. It is sad to admit, but Korean culture (traditional as well as the "new wave") does not exist in Polish minds as a distinctive identity,...More
Independent Film Fest Offers an Alternative Take 2007/11/13, Source, Seoul Independent Film Festival's (SIFF) 33rd edition will open on November 22 and run until the 30th. The festival will highlight independent films from around the world and awards several awards to support independent filmmakers financially.
SIFF's opening ceremony will feature short films by K,...More
Seoul Independent Film Festival Opens 2007/11/09, Source, The 33rd Seoul Independent Film Festival will be held Nov. 22-30 at Indie Space. Living up to its slogan, "Other Films Also Possible", the festival will highlight non-mainstream movies.
6th Mise-en-scene's Genre Film Festival 2007/06/26, Source, Opening June 27th at Yongsan CGV in central Seoul, the 6th edition of the Mise-en-scene's Genre Film Festival (MGFF) will run until July 3rd, screening over 60 short films. This year's slogan is "Beyond the Barrier of Genres", the event will celebrate films that challenge conventional genres.
Though running as briefly as six minutes, short films show that size is not a factor for capturing the limitless power of imagination. Andre Bazin, film critic and founding father of the French New Wave, called short films "the film of the future".
Korean Films in NY Asian Film Fest 2007/06/22, Source, This year's New York Asian Film Festival (NYAFF) features a spate of prominent Korean films and runs from June 22nd to July 8th. Now in its 6th year, the festival selects 30 top Asian films to screen along with three programs of award winning shorts taken from Korea's very own Mise-en-Scene's Genre,...More
Korean cinema will take a big bite of the Big Apple as the 2007 New York Asian Film Festival (NYAFF) begins Friday. The festival will feature more than 30 works from the East, of which almost a third are Korean. The event will take place at the IFC Center until July,...More
New York film festival showcases Korean shorts 2007/06/12, Source, Award-winning short films of various genres from Korea's Mise-en-scene's Genre Film Festival (MGFF) will be invited to the 6th annual New York Asian Film Festival (NYAFF) from June 22 to July 8 in New York City.
Launched by the Subway Cinema in 2002, the New York Asian Film Festival is a widely a,...More
44th Grand Bell Award Nominations 2007/06/05, Source, One of South Korea's top two annual film awards ceremonies will take place June 8th in the city of Daejeon. The 44th Grand Bell Awards, which is televised nationally, will be accompanied by the week long Daejeon Film Festival which will showcase 66 domestic films including last year's sensational <,...More
Korean Projects Awarded at PIFF (PPP) 2006/11/03, Source, A number of Korean feature film projects were awarded production support and cash awards at the Asian Film Market (AFM) which ran for four days during this year's 11th Pusan International Film Festival (PIFF). The main event at AFM is the Pusan Promotion Plan (PPP), a project market where selected A,...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
Top star invests in domestic films 2006/05/25, Source, Keyeast, a media contents investor co-established by actor Bae Yong-joon, recently signed a contract with CJ Entertainment to invest 700 million won ($730,000) in four movies produced by one of the most established movie producer/distributors,...More
"On April 26, The Host was been invited to the Director's Fortnight at the 59th Cannes Film Fest,...More
Korean Film Directors series published by KOFIC 2006/04/04, Source, To increase the international standing of Korean film directors and to promote the international circulation of Korean films, KOFIC announces the publication of the first three books in the Korean Film Directors series. By publishing this series, KOFIC aims to help Korean films and Korean film direc,...More
CANNES, France - Registering a record presence of six full-length features invited to all official selections and one short competing in the Cinefondation, Korean cinema was set to fete another great year at the outset of the 58 th Cannes Film Festival.
Eight local films will be among the Asian films heading to the 58th Cannes Film Festival, taking part in competition and non-competition categories from May 11-22 and presents 53 films from 28 countries.
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
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
Wide spectrum of Korean films invited to Vancouver 2004/08/30, Source, The 23rd edition of the Vancouver International Film Festival in Canada will feature a wide selection of Korean films in their "Dragons & Tigers: The Cinemas of East Asia" program, including two features in competition.
The two films that will compete for the Dragons & Tigers Award are Fade Into,...More
The Story of One City 9404 ("Han Dosi Iyagi 9404"), which gathers together photographs, video footage, and sounds recorded on June 9,,...More
Untold Scandal to close Edinburgh festival 2004/08/17, Source, Untold Scandal, a film adaptation of French novel Les Liaisons dangereuses set in 18th-century Korea, has been selected as the closing film of the 2004 Edinburgh International Film Festival.
One of Great Britain's most prominent festivals, Edinburgh was originally scheduled to screen Hong Kong d,...More
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