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Highs, Lows for Korean Films at Cannes Fest

Source | 2005/05/24 | | Permalink

By Paolo Bertolin
Contributing Writer

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.

However, the response from the juries, as well as from international critics, buyers and audiences proved not to match with the great expectations created by sheer numbers and the many renowned names involved.

Hong Sang-soo's " Tale of Cinema (Kukjangjon)", Korea's lone entry to the competition section of the event, failed to raise enthusiasm among international critics, and even his hardcore supporters, the French, did not stand up in his defense, as they did last year for " Woman Is the Future of Man ". The newspaper Lib eration went so far as to call the film " unworthy of the Korean filmmaker".

Regardless of the achievement of his latest work, Hong's sincere commitment to filmmaking was without question. "I am convinced that every man needs a passion", he said during the news conference. "To me cinema is a motor, but also an addiction. It helps me to live".

Earlier in the festival, which ended Saturday, ...More

"Hello Brother": Finding Family Affection through Tears

Source | 2005/05/19 | | Permalink

by Dong-Yong Min

Family movies are movies that the whole family can watch together, or movies that are meant to explore the meaning of family. If a movie satisfies both criteria, it will be a movie that fits perfectly into the category. Some examples from recent Korean family movies include "Family", which took family itself as a title, and "Marathon", which was watched by over five million moviegoers. However, "Family" had a few violent scenes inappropriate for the whole family to watch and "Marathon",' although fit to be called a family movie, did not first start as a one.

In this respect, "Hello Brother", opening on May 27, is a challenge. It is the first movie since the production company, MK Pictures, announced, "We will set family movies as one of our main genres and continue making such movies". MK Pictures said that it benchmarked perennial family movie maker Disney. This is another challenge for "...More

'Taegukgi, The Brotherhood of War' to release on an extensive scale across France

Source | 2005/05/11 | | Permalink

Film director Kang Je-gyu's 'Taegukgi, The Brotherhood of War' releases on an extensive scale across France.

According to MK Pictures, this cinema's production firm, 'Taegukgi, The Brotherhood of War', which is distributed by UIP, a worldwide distribution firm, releases on May 11 in France in a total of 110 screens, the largest scale since 'The Warrior Princess' among all successive Korean cinemas.

Starting from France, '...More

A new start, shadowed by history

Source | 2005/02/17 | | Permalink

Singer Sim Soo-bong, who witnessed the assassination of Park Chung Hee, has a new album, and other

February 17, 2005 ㅡ When Sim Soo-bong witnessed the assassination of President Park Chung Hee in 1979, she was a 24-year-old new face on the pop music scene. Following a successful debut with her first album the year before, Ms. Sim was invited to perform for the president at a small private dinner.
Attendees said it was the president's special request to have Ms. Sim sing for the night. With delicacies and Chivas Regal on the table, the president looked happy, enjoying the dinner and listening to Ms. Sim perform his favorite songs. That is, before Kim Jae-gyu, the head of the national intelligence service, abruptly stood up and shot the president, who soon collapsed toward Ms. Sim's seat, blood pouring from his body.
The bullet penetrated the president's chest, ending a military regime that took power in a 1961 coup d'etat. Receiving mixed reviews as either a dictator who held democracy hostage to economic growth or a great ruler who saved Korea from a destiny of poverty, the former president, who stayed in power for almost two decades, remains a divisive figure. What has again triggered controversy is the film "The President's Last Bang", directed by Lim Sang-soo, which opened early this month.
Production of the film, which has been described as a black comedy, was veiled in secrecy, and caused turmoil even before its release. Mr. Park's son, Park Ji-man, applied for a court injunction to bar distribution of the film, claiming it defames the former president.
The film did open, after producers obeyed the court's ruling to excise docu...More

"The People - The President's Last Bang" Opens without 3 Scenes

Source | 2005/02/01 | | Permalink

MK Pictures, which produced the movie "The People - The President's Last Bang", has accepted a court order to delete three scenes from the movie, and will release the edited movie on schedule on Feb. 3. "The court's decision was harsh, but we have decided to open the movie as scheduled on Feb. 3 to keep our promise with the audience, and abide by our contracts with theaters, advertisement and PR companies...More
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