[HanCinema's Film Review] "With a Girl of Black Soil" + DVD Giveaway 2016/03/12,
The village of Kanwon is slowly dying. Once energized by the mining industry, those jobs are drying up, and its employees are getting old. Yet for all this, life isn't necessarily all that bad. An early scene depicts a family playing with snow. Does the backdrop look generally bleak and desolate? Sure, but it's kids playing in the snow. What kind of a heartless person can't see the joy in that? Although that's easy for me to say. I don't have to live in Kanwon after all,...More
[HanCinema's Film Review] "Love and..." 2015/11/07,
An old man (played by Ahn Seong-gi) is playing invisible instruments and musing over the merits of apples. An unexpected act of altruism spurs a peculiar retribution throughout the halls of the mental hospital, with an equally puzzling conclusion. Initially filmed in glorious black and white, "Love and..." never makes that much sense to begin with. Then writer/director Zhang Lu practically makes an aside to the audience where he says, if you really believe in love, then you'll understand film as being even more incomprehensible than this,...More
[HanCinema's Film Review] "Desert Dream" + DVD Giveaway 2015/09/19,
Hangai (played by Bat-Ulzii) is a Mongolian man who's living out his dream- to plant trees in the steppe in an effort to fight off the oncoming spread of desert. Hangai's dream is...not really a very good dream. He's pretty much fighting against inevitability, and it's little surprise that in the opening segment Hangai's wife is able to come up with a better way of using her time than to support Hangai's apparently hopeless battle against nature. From there, Hangai lounges and waits,...More
[HanCinema's Film Review] "Gyeongju" 2014/07/04,
A long time ago, Gyeongju was once the capital of the Silla empire, which eventually consumed the other ancient kingdoms on the Korean peninsula before inevitably falling into decline. Today it's a relatively sleepy tourist town, noteworthy mainly for an unusually large amount of greenery. The city has beautified since ancient times, mostly because ever since all that exciting stuff happed way back then, well, life has moved on,...More
[HanCinema's Box Office Review] 2014.06.13 ~ 2014.06.15 2014/06/16, "Edge of Tomorrow" pushes past 3 million to top the table once more…
Last weekend Doug Liman's science fiction adaptation "Edge of Tomorrow" snatched over 1.5M admissions to take gold, and while its haul was significantly less this time around, the 679K (40%) it pulled over the weekend was enough to secure a second reign. Cruise and his sci-fi flicks go down like a treat in Korea, and paired with the tale's Japanese origin, Liman's futuristic frenzy has thus far managed to amass over 3M admissions ($25M). And while Cruise and his co-star Emily Blunt were blazing at the top, two new local films made their entry into the top ten in the form of "Gyeongju" and "For The Emperor",...More
Gyeongju (2014) 2014/06/13, Source, "Gyeongju"
Genres: Drama and Romance
Running Time: 145 min.
Directed by: Zhang Lu
Starring: Park Hae-il, Sin Min-ah, Kim Tae-hoon, Shin So-yul
Synopsis: Choi Hyeon, a professor in Beijing, visits Korea to attend his friend's funeral where he encounters an old friend. Talking with him over drinks, Choi suddenly remembers an obscene painting they saw in a café during their trip to Gyeongju some seven years ago. He takes an impulsive trip to the historical city the next day to see the painting again. He searches the café only to find that the painting is no longer there. But he gets to know the new lady owner of the café, Yun-hui,...More
[HanCinema's Film News] New Korean Films Inbound... 2014/06/07, K-Films Coming Soon:
★★★★★ "The Stone": Min-su, an extremely talented Go player, is recruited by a local gang boss to be his personal tutor, but matters soon become serious when the game starts to have real-world consequences. (06/12)
★★★★ "You Are My Vampire": A struggling young writer wants to pen a vampire novel and in the process finds some strange real-world inspiration to fuel her curiosity. (06/12)
★★★★ "An American Friend": A Korean-American secret agent tries to sell high-priced artwork, and as he's being chased around encounters an intriguing woman interested in making a deal. (06/12)
★★★★ "Gyeongju": A man nostalgically travels back to the city of Gyeongju and finds new adventure in old places with fresh faces. (06/12)
★★★ "For The Emperor": A disgraced baseball player losses everything and then enters a crime ring that comes cloaked in both pleasure and pain. (06/12),...More
[HanCinema's Film Review] "Scenery" 2014/02/15,
This film is a documentary about those foreigners from across Asia who have ended up working as common laborers in South Korea. Director Zhang Lu doesn't dwell too much on the particulars of their situation, or interview exactly how they came to live in South Korea in the first place. Rather, he ends up going into more universal and peculiar territory by asking them about the content of their dreams as they sleep at night, images which evoke a sense of being far away from home that seems kind of bad but not seriously so.
The laborers have almost nothing in common. They're all working in low-class environments yes, but these people hail from entirely different countries and prefer speaking in separate languages,...More
Scenery 2013/12/13, Source, "Scenery"
Running Time: 95 min.
Directed by: Zhang Lu
Starring: Phillip Gonzalez, Augustino, Tarsilla
Synopsis: The film begins with stories about dreams,...More
[HanCinema's Film News] New Korean Films Inbound... 2013/12/07, K-Films Coming Soon:
★★★★ "The Secret Studio": Star-crossed lovers find each other again years later but don't recognise each other in their new roles.(12/11)
★★★★ "The Way Home": A woman gets deceived and caught with drugs in France and is sent to an island prison. Her husband then fights to bring her safely back home with him. (12/12)
★★★★ "Cats and Dogs": A cute love story of a young couple and the pets they each have that playfully mirror their own innocent ups and downs.(12/12)
★★★ "Campus S Couple": Campus romances, hook-ups, and crushes complicate life for a few young-blooded students.(12/12)
★★★★ "Over There": Zhang Lu's first documentary that sheds light on the lives of those living in the borderlands. (12/12),...More
[HanCinema at JIFF] Press Conference: Digital Project 2013/04/29,
Below is a paraphrase of the press conference held for the directors of the 2013 Jeonju Digital Project- directors Masahiro Kobayashi, Zhang Lu, and Edwin were all on hand to answer questions.
Q: How do you feel about the film you produced for this project:
Zhang Lu: Because "Over There" was commissioned only last year, I was really worried about the time constraints. Luckily, we were able to save a lot of time by filming an alternate scenario that really more on the thoughts of the migrant workers, a topic that's always interested me,...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
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
Honorary Busan fest chief Kim Dong-ho to make directorial debut 2011/11/16, Source,
Honorary Festival Director of the Busan International Film Festival (BIFF) Kim Dong-ho is set to make his short film directorial debut with the Opening Film for next year's Asiana International Film Festival (AISFF). Yonhap News Agency reports AISFF has revealed that Kim will be directing the short film for the festival's 10th anniversary edition,...More
Films probe experimentalism, human rights 2011/11/04, Source,
Korea has its fair share of thematic film festivals but a couple of upcoming events will offer moviegoers a unique opportunity to reflect on human rights in North Korea and the spirit of experimentalism in filmmaking.
The Off and Free International Film Festival (OAF) will hold its third edition from Nov. 17 to 23 in Seoul, offering fans zany alternatives to mainstream franchises,...More
Pusan Film Festival Expands Asian Cooperation 2011/02/17, Source,
The February 16 edition of Film Business Asia reports that Korea's Pusan International Film Festival and the Mumbai Film Festival in India have signed a memorandum of understanding on "artistic, financial and educational exchanges and mutual collaboration",...More
"Dooman River" awarded at Russian film festival 2010/12/14, Source,
Still image from film "Dooman River" [Courtesy of PIFF]
South Korean-French co-production "Dooman River" by Korean-Chinese auteur Zhang Lu won two awards at a film festival in Russia last week.
A press release by the film's distributor Indie Story said the film, Zhang's sixth feature, won the prizes for best director and best actress at the International Film Festival "East-West" held in Orenburg of Russia from December 1 to 5,...More
Most of the films are competing in the 'Asian Digital Competition' underlining Korea's growing strength in the digital film arena. The films competing in the section this year are the Pusan,...More
60th Berlinale Invites 9 Korean Films 2010/02/18, Source, Asian films will highlight the 60th anniversary of the Berlin International Film Festival, both bookending the main program and dominating the Forum section of the top-tier fest. While films from China and Japan open and close the fest (Feb 11 20), Korean films show a strong presence throughout w,...More
Eight Korean films to show at Berlin film fest 2010/02/10, Source,
Korean films "Actresses" (left) and "The Naked Kitchen" (Right)
Eight Korean films -- including "Actresses", "The Naked Kitchen" and "A Brand New Life" -- are up for presentation at the 60th Berlin International Film Festival, which kicks off in Germany on Thursday.
This year, the film festival -- which is considered one of the most prestigious film events in Europe alongside Cannes, Venice and Rotterdam -- will show more than 400 films from around the world.
In addition to the following Korean movies invited to the film fest, two Asian productions have also been selected for the opening and closing films; "Apart Together", directed by Chinese filmmaker Wang Quan'an to open the event while Japanese film "Younger Brother" by Yoji Yamada will close the festival on February 21.,...More
The past year was a fruitful one for local independent cinema, with Lee Chung-ryoul's documentary,...More
Wisconsin Film Fest Focuses on Korea 2009/04/16, Source, The 11th Wisconsin Film Festival, held annually at the University of Wisconsin in the U.S., presents a 'Focus on South Korea' for its 2009 edition running April 2 5. Five critically acclaimed Korean features will screen during the event along with one Canadian-Korean short film.
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
Jeonju Unveils Korean Competition Films 2009/04/09, Source, The 10th Jeonju International Film Festival (JIFF), one of Korea's three major cinema showcases along with PIFF and PiFan, has revealed a selection of 11 new films for its Korean Feature Competition section that will vie for the JJ Star Award for top film, a cash award of 10 million Won.
Outside of the Korean Peninsula, some 7 million ethnic Koreans ― labeled Joseon or Goryeo "saram", Corean or Korean depending on geography ― dot the globe. A film festival aims to bring the Korean Diaspora into scope and inspire communication and unders,...More
2nd CinDi Brings Digital Diversity to Seoul 2008/08/22, Source, The Cinema Digital Seoul festival, (CinDi), now in its second year, kicked off August 20th with a weeklong supply of diverse digital films to Seoul's trendy Apgujeong district. The 2nd CinDi screens 71 films from 18 countries, including an impressive opening title, 24 City, the latest by China's aw,...More
The Cinema Digital Seoul (CinDi), a weeklong celebration of digital films, opens Wednesday. Now in its second year, the event features 71 movies from 18 countries, including a competition for up and coming Asian directors, through Tuesday at CGV Apgujeong.
From the bleak wastelands of Mongolia come two heartwarming tales ― "Tuya's Marriage" and "Desert Dream" ― that speak about the incredible power of hope, courage and love in life. In the two,...More
12th PIFF Wraps with Awards 2007/10/16, Source, The 12th Pusan International Film Festival (PIFF) came to a close October 12 th after a 9 day run that drew a record-breaking attendance. An official tally of 198,603 admissions were taken during the event, up nearly 6000 from last year, while overall occupancy for screenings reached 75.8%. Both ope,...More
PPP Announces 2007 Film Projects 2007/08/20, Source, This year marks the 10th anniversary of the Pusan Promotion Plan (PPP), a project-support market that has been pivotal in the completion of award-winning films from major Asian directors. Now under the umbrella of the Asian Film Market, PPP will take place October 8th 11th, alongside the 12th Pusa,...More
Strong Korean Showing at Berlin Film Fest 2007/02/08, Source, The 57th Berlin Film Festival -- one of the world's three major film events along with those in Cannes and Venice -- opens Thursday and runs to Feb. 18. A total of 373 movies from around the world will be screened during the 10 day run.
ROME _ After a year when they were excluded from the three main international competitions _ Cannes, Venice, Berlin _ Korean films are set for a dramatic comeback on the international festival circuit in 2007. While new efforts by directors,...More
2nd Chance to See The Magicians, Host & Guest and More 2006/12/26, Source, Hypertech Nada's annual Nada's Final Proposal (Nada Majimak Peropojeu) aims to re-introduce to the audience films that in general only enjoyed a short cinema run, but arguably - deserve greater exposure. This year the line-up includes the independent Korean films: ",...More
KOFIC announces recipients of Art Film Support 2006/06/16, Source, The Korean Film Council has announced the recipients of the 2006 Production Support for Art Films fund. Applications were submitted for 32 live-action feature films and 2 animated feature films, and separate juries selected 4 live-action features and 1 animated feature to receive 400 million won ($4,...More
KOFIC awards marketing support for arthouse/digital films 2005/11/24, Source, The Korean Film Council has announced the recipients of the second phase of its 2005 Marketing Support for Arthouse and Digital Films fund. The fund provides financial support to arthouse works or digital features to promote diversity on the nation's screens and to help such films overcome the parti,...More
Zhang Lu is a respected author of prize-winning novels and short stories in his native land of China. A mainlander of Sino-Korean descent, Zhang ventured into filmmaking first as a screenplay writer and th,...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.
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