CJ Entertainment, Asia's leading studio and signature film division of major media and content company CJ E&M, is releasing the South Korean war drama, "A Melody to Remember" on January 29 at the CGV Cinemas in Los Angeles and nationwide on February 5. The film is directed by Lee Han ("Punch", "Thread of Lies"), and stars three of Korean cinema's brightest young stars, Si Wan, Ko Ah-seong, Lee Hee-joon, and child actors Jeong Joon-won, and Lee Re...More
"The Piper", provides a gruesome retelling of the legendary Brothers Grimm classic of a village plagued by rats and a man who uses his magical flute to lure them out and rid the small town of the grotesque infestation forever...More
From the Creators of "Haeundae" and "Ode to My Father" Comes an Unforgettable Film about a Band of Men's Perilous Journey to the Peak of Mount Everest
"The Himalayas", an inspiring and heart-wrenching South Korean film based on true events, is premiering in Los Angeles (at CGV Cinemas in L.A. and La Habra) on Friday, December 18, 2015, followed by a wider North American release on January 1, 2016 in New York, Chicago, Denver, San Francisco, Vancouver, Toronto and more. The film is presented by CJ Entertainment...More
CJ Entertainment's latest thriller "The Priests" makes its North American debut beginning Thanksgiving Day, November 26, 2015 in Los Angeles and Dallas, followed by a wider release on December 4, 2015 in San Francisco, New Jersey, Honolulu, Seattle, Vancouver, Toronto and more...More
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
Actor Lee Joon revealed his toned muscles achieved through his organic diet.
CJ Entertainment said on June 23rd on their official Facebook, "You can't make this in a fitness center! First time to reveal muscles of organic life style, prepared for the fantasy thriller, "The Piper". Get women's hearts pumping. Scary, cool". The photos show Lee Joon on the set of movie, "The Piper"...More
"Twenty" makes it way to America, Fabien presents three new Korean releases for Modern Korean Cinema, CJ Entertainment reaches out to fans on Facebook with new initiative, and reservations for "Avengers: Age of Ultron" start flooding in...More
The enthusiasm for a melodrama about a man's sacrifices during modern Korean history is winging its way across the pond to the U.S.
Distributor CJ Entertainment on Wednesday said "Ode to My Father" drew over 6,000 viewers just four days into its Christmas-Day release at the CGV in Los Angeles, which is home to a large Korean community...More
The movie "The Admiral: Roaring Currents" is poised to top 10 million in box office sales on Sunday, 12th day after its release. This represents nine days shorter than the record set by "The Host" (Goemul), which hit the mark in the shortest period of time (21 days in 2006) in the history of Korean movies...More
Choi Min-sik ("Old Boy", Lucy) Takes on Epic Historical War Action Film About the Naval Battle of Myeong-Nyang
July 30, 2014 – "The Admiral: Roaring Currents", will make its North America debut in major market cinemas on August 15, 2014. The film follows the events of a legendary Korean naval battle, Myeong-Nyang, and the Korean Admiral Yi Sun-shin (Choi Min-sik) who leads only 12 battleships to victory against 330 Japanese ones...More
PROLOGUE Veteran hitman Gon (Jang Dong-gun) receives a mission, which is to target Mogyeong (Kim Min-hee). The trouble is, he falls in love with her.
SYNOPSIS Abandoned by his mother shortly after immigrating to America, Gon is raised by the mafia and grows up to become a cold-blooded hitman. Though usually flawless in taking out his targets, Gon makes a terrible mistake of killing an innocent young girl. A flood of guilt takes over his life and the situation becomes worse when his boss assigns him the job of killing the young girl's mother. Gon's new target, Mogyeong, is a risk manager at an investment firm and has buried herself in work to bury her grief. She is completely unaware of her role at the heart of a dangerous conspiracy. Finally, she meets the man who wants to tell her the truth behind the death of her child...More
Prologue "The Fatal Encounter" is focusing on the story of politically embattled King Jeong-Jo (nicknamed the King of Misfortune), his dedicated servant Sang-chaek, and nefarious courtiers and assassins.
Synopsis As the year 1777 opens, King Jeong-jo enters the second year of his reign, which is consistently under threat from the opposing Noron and Soron factions. To successfully defend his royal power, Jeong-jo draws upon his stores of courage and relies heavily on his loyal servant Sang-chaek. In a shocking twist, Sang-chaek turns out to be an assassin who was sent into service in order to kill Jeong-jo. After witnessing King Jeong-jo's capacity to justly rule the people, however, Sang-chaek comes clean about his true identity, and is banished from the court. As he leaves the palace, however, his eye catches sight of Sal-soo, the deadliest assassin in Joseon. Sang-chaek frantically returns to the court, only to find Sal-soo locked in combat with Jeong-jo...More
"The Spy" will be released on the 5th of September.
"The Spy" is a comedy action movie about the greatest spy in Korea carrying out a secret mission until his wife, who doesn't know his true career, gets involved with it as well. While he has to succeed in this mission, he also has to be discreet to his wife. Seol Kyeong-gu and Moon So-ri are coming together as a married couple again for the first time in 10 years. Other casts include, Daniel Henney, Ko Chang-seok, Han Ye-ri, Ra Mi-ran and more...More
Some Instincts Can Never Be Tamed ... Is It Possible He Continues to Wait for Her?
Romantic Fantasy Comes to Life on DVD Aug. 13th
Sometimes love can wait a lifetime in the romantic fantasy "A Werewolf Boy", captivating DVD Aug. 13 from CJ Entertainment America.
An unexpected phone call summons an elderly woman, who has lost interest in life, back to Korea and the remote cottage in the countryside where she spent a tumultuous time in her youth. Memories overwhelm Suni (Park Bo-yeong) of a feral and mute orphan (Song Joong-ki) who the family took in ... only to discover that he was a creature never meant to exist...More
"Snowpiercer" hits Korean cinemas August 1st and will make Bong Joon-ho the third Korean director to be showcasing a Hollywood feature this year. The film has an interesting and exciting cluster of Korean talent and studios on board - all of which have worked together successfully in the past. Here though I wanted to draw the eye through some of that prestigious Korean talent and showcase the keen 'eye' behind "Snowpiercer".
Korean Film Festival in Canada promises its bright continuation in receiving the public's heartfelt welcoming
Montreal, July 12, 2013 – The 1st edition of the Korean Film Festival (KFF) in Canada closed with tremendous success on Wednesday July 10, 2013. In partnership with the Embassy of the Republic of Korea in Ottawa, the KFF, as a touring film festival, made its mark in five Canadian cities this summer: Calgary, Edmonton, and Regina, and settling in Ottawa and Montreal for its major events with a total of 15 films. The invited films were comprised of a selection of remarkable blockbusters and critically acclaimed films, including five award-winning short films specially chosen from the Mise-en-Scene Short Film Festival (MSFF). There were also complimentary cultural events that were open to the general public, including: a specialfilm screening, seminars on Korean language and culture, and special performances highlighting Korean culture and creative arts as a part of the celebrations for 'Korean Week'...More
Bong Joon-ho's futuristic action epic "Snowpiercer" recently released a spectacular trailer to keep the saliva thick and wanting before the film's Korean release on August 1st. Here I'm going to take you through three sequences from that amazing trailer, and share some thoughts on what to expect from one of the most antcipated films of the year.
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
Legendary Korean Director Kang Woo-seok will be in Los Angeles for a special presentation of his highly anticipated upcoming release "Fist of Legend". This film will be the first Korean film to have a same weekend theatrical release in Korea and N. America! Director Kang is in Los Angeles for just 2 days, before rushing back just in time to see the film open in Seoul on April 10! "Fist of Legend" will open in 20 cities across N. America on April 12.
SCHEDULE OF EVENTS:
Dir. Kang will be participating in 2 special screening events both taking place at CGV Cinemas during his short Los Angeles visit...More
Verizon Wireless Presents APAHM Concert Tour 2013: B.A.P Live on Earth
Mnet America will Produce the Four City Tour Coming to New York, Los Angeles, Washington D.C., and San Francisco during
Asian Pacific American Heritage Month
This Spring, Verizon Wireless will team up with Mnet America (www.mnetamerica.com), a youth entertainment brand for all things Asian cool, to present this year's Asian Pacific American Heritage Month (APAHM) Tour – B.A.P "Live on Earth". The four city tour, headlined by one of the most popular up and coming K-pop groups in the world, B.A.P, will take place in the first half of May traveling to Los Angeles (5/7), San Francisco (5/10), Washington D.C. (5/14) and New York (5/17). Mnet America is producing the tour which will include concerts and also fan meet-ups in each city. Tickets to what will be a highly anticipated concert will go on sale April 6 at 12 p.m. local time...More
Internet Stars Ryan Higa and D-Trix Appear in Custom "My Color" Videos
Now Available Exclusively on Mnet America's YouTube Channel Featuring the 2013 Toyota Corolla
Mnet America (www.mnetamerica.com), a youth entertainment brand for all things Asian cool, and Toyota have partnered to bring music fans an interactive experience as part of a campaign for the 2013 Toyota Corolla. The campaign features a new music video shot in Los Angeles starring Hyuna, a K-Pop artist known for appearing in PSY's "Gangnam Style" video and for being a member of popular group 4Minute. The Corolla is integrated into the video, which features Hyuna's new song "My Color"...More
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
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
Action-Packed Drama Starring Rain, Flying Onto DVD March 12th
"... high-octane finale ..." - Los Angeles Times
"... pretty swell entertainment". - Film Journal International
Two pilots must set aside their differences and lead the way to rescue a comrade and prevent war in the action-packed drama "R2B: Return to Base", flying onto DVD March 12 from CJ Entertainment America...More
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
Action auteur Ryoo Seung-wan's most ambitious project to date comes to North America
"It's said that during the Cold War, 6 out of 10 people walking the streets of Berlin were spies. Although that crushing period has passed, I sense that tragic history still hanging in the air. I wanted to tell a story about human beings who are defined by dangerous secrets bigger than their own lives".
- Director RYOO Seung-wan-
Action auteur Ryoo Seung-wan comes back to the genre with his most ambitious project yet, pitting Korea's most charismatic actors Ha Jeong-woo, Ryoo Seung-beom and Han Seok-Kyu against each other in the twisty tale of political intrigue and personal redemption, "The Berlin File". The action thriller is scheduled to hit select theaters in North America on February 15, 2013...More
"It will fulfill and dazzle you to the very end" – Anderson Le, HIFF
South Korean box office champion "A Werewolf Boy" has truly captured the hearts of females young and old, surpassing 6 million in admissions within 26 days of release and becoming the film with the 3rd highest box office in 2012. With its captivating storyline and lead actor Song Joong-ki bringing audiences to the theater for second and third doses of the movie, the film's distributor, CJ Entertainment, announced that they would be releasing an exclusive alternate ending version of "A Werewolf Boy" in December 2012...More
"A Werewolf Boy" surpasses 4 million in admissions and still tops the box office
Fantasy romance film holds #1 in advance sales even with the upcoming release of Twilight: Breaking Dawn – Part 2
Coming soon to North American theaters! Full list of theaters below.
""A Werewolf Boy" is continually fascinating" – Maggie Lee, Variety "It will fulfill and dazzle you to the very end" – Anderson Le, HIFF
Despite the upcoming international release of billion dollar franchise and supernatural counterpart Twilight: Breaking Dawn – Part 2, CJ Entertainment's latest film "A Werewolf Boy" shows little sign of slowing down in the box office. The enchanting fantasy romance still remains at #1 in the box office and #1 in advance sales, with 28.91% of all advances sales in the box office...More
Mnet America to Stream the 2012 Mnet Asian Music Awards, Asia's Biggest Music Festival, LIVE from Hong Kong on November, 30
K-Pop Megastars PSY, Super Junior, Big Bang, SISTAR Slated to Perform, Jackie Chan to present.
Exclusive Video Diary of Verizon Wireless and Mnet's "Share the Love of K-Pop" Contest Winner's Experience in Hong Kong and at MAMA 2012 to be Live Streamed on MCube
Mnet America, a youth entertainment brand for all things Asian cool, which includes the only national, English-language lifestyle network in the U.S. for fans of Asian pop culture, will stream the highly anticipated 2012 Mnet Asian Music Awards (MAMA) through their new digital port, MCube (www.mnetamerica.com) on November 30 at 1 a.m. EST / November 29 10 p.m. PST. The award show will be simulcast on the network and be replayed the next day in primetime...More
"A Werewolf Boy" grabs #1 at Korean box office on opening night and logs 1.3 million admissions over the first weekend!
Coming to North American theaters in late November!
South Korean theaters scared up more than candy and costumes on October 31st – a supernatural buzz filled the air as audiences were enchanted by "A Werewolf Boy", CJ Entertainment's fantasy romance starring up-and-coming stars Song Joong-ki and Park Bo-yeong...More
Since its South Korean release on September 13th and its North American release in select cities on September 21st, historical drama "Masquerade" has experienced sweeping success in both countries. In South Korea, "Masquerade" has been topping the weekend box office for six consecutive weeks, reaching 10 million in admissions and becoming the 7th movie in Korean film history to surpass the number. Following a Red Carpet Premiere at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art with Lee Byung-hun and a limited U.S. release, "Masquerade" is now expanding to six more cities, including the brand new Angelika Mosaic in Washington D.C. See added list of theaters and release dates below:...More
The film "Masquerade" has surpassed the 10 million-milestone attendance, the film's distributor said Saturday. According to the Korean Film Council, the movie has drawn 10,041,566 viewers as of Sunday, becoming the 7th Korean film to reach the barometer of what defines a blockbuster here.
It is also the second to reach the mark in 2012 after "The Thieves", which set the all-time attendance record earlier this month. The heist film directed by Choi Dong-hoon has attracted about 13.02 million people, beating out "The Host" (2006) that drew 13.01 million...More
October 13 Event in Irvine, California will be the First North American K-Pop Convention
LOS ANGELES, CA, September 19, 2012 – Mnet, a youth entertainment brand for all things Asian cool, is teaming up with Anime Expo, North America's largest annual anime and manga celebration, to co-create the inaugural K-Pop Cosplay Masquerade at KCON, the first ever large scale convention dedicated to the hottest entertainment coming out of Asia.
"There is an increasing popularity of K-pop among J-pop and anime fans", said Marc Perez, CEO of Anime Expo and the Society for the Promotion of Japanese Animation. "It is only natural to be working with KCON to create this major partnership"...More
The OST and music video for "R2B: Return to Base" were released in South Korea on August 21. Titled "Close to the Sun (태양 가까이)" the song features the lyrical voice of singer and former "Voice of Korea" contestant Heo Gyu as well as electric guitar and base arrangements. The actual OST album will also include an acoustic-pop version of "Close to the Sun", performed by Cho Hyun-ah of indie band Urban Zakapa...More
Coming this fall with the first ever day-and-date Korea and U.S. theatrical release for a Korean film is the hotly anticipated historical drama "Masquerade", starring Korea's world star Lee Byung-hun and written by "Old Boy" co-writer, Hwang Jo-yoon. The versatile actor LEE (G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra and A Bittersweet Life) plays the dual lead as both the tragic King Gwanghae and that of the commoner who shares a fatefully remarkable resemblance to the ruler, Ha-Seon...More
They have 7 minutes to pull off the most critical airborne mission in history.
South Korean elite Air Force pilot Tae-hun is kicked out of his flying team and demoted into a combat unit after a cocky and dangerous air show demonstration. On the first day of his transfer to F15K, he has a run-in with Cheol-hui, the unit's leader. Tae-hun's rebellious swagger and Cheol-hui's buttoned down discipline come into conflict almost immediately...More
Korean blockbuster movie "Deranged" (directed by Park Jwong-woo) has been doing well in North American box office since its release on 27 July. In an exclusive update from CJ Entertainment America on 31 July, it was confirmed that most of the theaters will extend the screening to another week! So if you havent't seen the movie yet, check it out at a theater near you!...More
LOS ANGELES, CA (July 23, 2012) – Despite the Korean release of billion dollar blockbuster The Dark Knight Rises on July 19, CJ Entertainment's sci-fi thriller "Deranged" shows little sign of slowing down at the box office. In its 3rd week of release, "Deranged" dropped by a mere 20% decrease in Korean box office admissions from July 18 and made a beeline towards crossing the 4 million total admissions mark this past weekend, the fastest Korean film to do so this year...More
LOS ANGELES, CA (July 12, 2012) – CJ Entertainment brings the highly anticipated science fiction thriller "Deranged" to North America on July 27, 2012. Upon its release in South Korea, "Deranged" quickly beat out Hollywood blockbuster Amazing Spiderman in the box office and sold more than 1.3 million tickets in 4 days.
There must be something in the water.
Just before dawn, skeletal bodies surface on the Han River in Seoul, Korea...More
Concert film about SMTOWN artists hits CGV Cinemas in Los Angeles
LOS ANGELES, CA (July 9, 2012) – CJ Entertainment America brings the much anticipated biographical concert film "I AM." to Los Angeles on July 13, 2012. The film experienced explosive success during its Asia release, ranking #1 in the Japanese box office on opening weekend and selling out at theaters in Hong Kong, Singapore, and Indonesia...More
CJ Entertainment launches the hilarious comedy about fashion, "Runway Cop", for a limited engagement at CGV Cinemas in Los Angeles on June 29, 2012. The film is Director Sin Tae-ra's second action comedy flick, following his 2009 hit, "My Girlfriend is an Agent".
He's about the get the biggest makeover of his life. Detective Cha has a belly about to burst and unbelievably bad hygiene. He's no model, but Cha's only interest is to get the bad guys, no matter what it takes. Then comes the mission to infiltrate drug deals taking place in the fashion industry, and he is assigned the impossible: transform into a runway model… in 2 weeks! With the pressure on, Detective Cha is about to undergo the biggest makeover of his life...More
Sexy romantic comedy opens in North America on June 22, 2012
LOS ANGELES, CA (June 11, 2012) – CJ Entertainment brings the unconventional romantic comedy "Everything about my Wife" to North American screens on June 22, 2012, just weeks after it's South Korean debut where it swept to the top of the box office with over 2 million audience admissions in its first 2 weeks.
Mr. Casanova… Please Seduce My Wife!
After seven years of marriage, Doo-hyun (Lee Seon-gyoon) is at the end of his rope. Jung-in (Im Soo-jeong), his wife, is beautiful, sexy, and a fantastic cook, but drives her husband crazy with her endless nagging and complaining...More
If the last time you checked, Korean filmmaking was all about horror ... It may be time to check again! While pan-Asian filmmakers still know how to produce a superior scarefest (and do!), American movie-goers – and critics – are also taking note of the regions' dramas, romantic fare, comedies and music.
G&A is now working with CJ Entertainment America, the U.S. arm of Asia's premier entertainment company and Korea's #1 filmmaker and distributor, CJ Entertainment & Media (CJ E&M). Since 1995, CJ E&M has provided original, award-winning content; is a prominent investor in entertainment co-ventures with such U.S. companies as 1492 Pictures, DreamWorks and IMAX; and has been a key force in popularizing Korean and Pan-Asian cinema around the world...More
Looks like we are going to see "Deranged" very soon!
CJ Entertainment, the production company of the disaster-horror movie confirmed that "Deranged" will premiere in South Korean cinemas on 5 July. The new date is one week ahead of its original release date of 12 July, which was earlier confirmed by Ozone Film. The advanced release will also avoid the clash with Hollywood movies "The Amazing Spiderman" and "Cabin in the Woods" due to hit theaters on 12 July....More
Los Angeles auditions to take place on June 9; New York auditions June 10
Season Four will air LIVE on Mnet America for the first time
NEW YORK – May 30, 2012 –Mnet (www.mnetamerica.com), the first and leading national, 24/7 English-language television network in the U.S. for all things Asian cool, has announced the ultra popular singing competition show, SUPERSTAR K(SSK)will again hold auditions in America for their upcoming fourth season. The show will scour the earth for the best talent to bring back to Korea to compete for the chance to win 500,000,000 Korean Won or approximately 500,000 US Dollars along with an opportunity to perform at the Mnet Asian Music Awards and many more prizes...More
Sports film based on a true story hits North American theatres on June 1, 2012
CJ Entertainment brings "As One" (aka Korea, original title) to North American theatres this summer on June 1, 2012. The film, based on a true story about the first ever united North and South Korean sports team, will be releasing in New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, Vancouver, Toronto, and Los Angeles (L.A. release on June 8, 2012).
A touching true story about the historic first Team Korea
"As One" recounts the dramatic tale of the first unified Korean team that competed at the 1991 World Table Tennis Championships in Chiba, Japan. South Korea's ping-pong star Hyeon Jeong-hwa and North Korea's LI Bun-hee have each suffered humbling defeats at the hands of China's formidable "Ping-Pong Witch" every time they reach the tournament's final rounds. Forced by politicians to suddenly team up as the first united team Korea, HYEON and LI experience only conflict and mistrust, and face the loss of their championship dreams. But game-by-game, the two begin to build teamwork and find a budding friendship. When political winds change again and just as suddenly an announcement is made to disband team Korea, the two young women must prove to their people and the world that teamwork can outshine the dark shadows of a painful history...More
CJ Entertainment has released the teaser trailer of Korea's first ever viral-disaster movie, "Deranged", which opens in South Korean theaters nationwide on 12 July. Official synopsis follows after the video...More
Upcoming disaster flick "Deranged" will be screened at the Cannes!
CJ Entertainment, international distributor of "Deranged" will present the promo reel of the blockbuster film at Cannes' Marché du Film, the film market held parallel to the prestigious Cannes International Film Festival that runs from 16 to 27 May 2012 in Cannes, France....More
"Han River has turned into a cemetery with dead bodies floating everywhere. " This is depicted in the newly released teaser poster of CJ Entertainment and Ozone Film's blockbuster summer flick "Deranged". The movie, dubbed as Korea's first ever zombie-cum-disaster film stars Kim Myeong-min in the lead role, and supported by Kim Dong-wan, Moon Jeong-hee and Lee Honey...More
"Yeongasi", the summer movie offering of CJ Entertainment and Ozone Films Co., Ltd. finally gets its official international title - "Deranged". By definition, "derange" relates to insanity, craziness or psychological disturbance.
The title "Deranged" describes the mental state of a victim of the strange and rapidly spreading infection. The disease, which is transmitted by mutated parasitic horsehair worms called "yeongasi", is caused by a virus that takes control of the human brain...More
LOS ANGELES, CA (April 9, 2012) – CJ Entertainment America is launching the moody Korean thriller "Helpless" on April 20, 2012 as an exclusive engagement for Los Angeles at the CGV Cinemas, with national dates expected for early May. The film was a critical darling and unexpected box office champion for two consecutive weeks when it was released in Korea earlier this year.
- Russell Edwards, Variety
"...The film never ceases to compel. As the layers of deceit are peeled back, Byeon seems in complete command of her material. A key demonstration of her narrative dexterity is the way she flaunts an audacious 'Chinatown'-like clue to the missing woman's whereabouts without pre-empting the climax"...More
It was the beginning of 1991, when the South and North Korean governments made an unprecedented attempt to warm relations by fusing their national sports teams together. After a couple of months, the unified Korean table tennis team broke the Chinese stranglehold on the highest podium of the world championships...More
Tokyo-based journalist, translator and filmmaker Jason GRAY examines the ebb and flow of the Korean Wave in Japan over the past ten years, pinpointing the highs and lows.
The Korean wave of popular culture in Japan, referred to as "kanryu" or "hanryu" in Japanese, has had an interesting ebb and flow over the past decade. There were earlier booms here including traditional Korean ballads ("enka") in the late 70s, the Seoul Olympics in 1988 and the South Korea-Japan co-hosted World Cup in 2002. Japanese cinema exhibitors saw their first genuine Korean smash with Kang Je-gyu's "Shiri" (2000), which earned JPY1.8 billion (US$22.1 million) - an impressive result to this day. As we'll see, KANG is unique in that he figures into pre, peak and post kanryu cinema...More
Four Korean women CEOs have found their way onto a list of "Asia's 50 Power Businesswomen" released by Forbes Asia last Thursday.
The list is limited "to those actively engaged in profit-seeking businesses" in Asia, "excluding notable figures... who simply exercise influence, such as through public or NGO service", the magazine reported...More
Top stars and veteran directors attempt at another leap hand in hand
Blockbusters are still in depression ever since 2009 movie "Haeundae". A failure in a large scale blockbuster can sometimes lead to a change in the investing environment. Still, the challenge continues. Top stars and veteran directors dream of another rebirth in Korean blockbusters...More
Top Korean actor Kim Myeong-min has finished filming his latest movie, "Yeongasi" on 16 February, three days ahead of the original schedule of 19 February. The final scenes were shot at Seoul Land amusement park in Gyeonggi Province, according to a representative from MM Entertainment, Kim Myeong-min's management agency...More
The Korea Society presents the 10th New York Korean Film Festival with new releases showcasing the popular and prolific in Korean film. In cooperation with partners BAM Cinématek and CJ Entertainment, this 10th festival features blockbusters, cutting-edge action, drama, and comedy at BAM Rose Cinema.
New York Korean Film Festival will present the following films...More
On January 19th, which is the verge of the New Year holiday, a brother and sister will go head to head as Eom Tae-woong and Uhm Jung-hwa's movies will be released at the same time on the same day.
Uhm Jung-hwa's "Dancing Queen" and Eom Tae-woong's "Never Ending Story" will be released on January 19th at the same time. Distributed by CJ Entertainment and Hwa and Dam, the two movies differ in genre as they are a human comedy and romantic melodrama, but they will bump into each other with the New Year's coming up...More
Leading South Korean investor/distributor CJ Entertainment has announced that sci-fi thriller "Sector 7" has become the highest grossing Korean film in China. Released Dec. 6 on approximately 4,000 screens, the sea creature feature took in CNY20 million (US$3.1 million) by Dec. 14.
The film opened at no. 2 in its first week. Amongst foreign film releases, it was no. 1 at the box office. Released in China with the title "Shen Hai Zhi Zhan", the film is the first large-scale 3D film from Korea to open in the country...More
Kang Je-gyu's new pan-Asian movie "My Way" premieres on Dec. 22. Kang, who drew over 10 million spectators with the clunking history epic "Taegukgi" in 2004, is now hoping for Asia-wide success with the biggest budget and the most ambitious scale in many years.
The movie portrays the tragic destiny of two young men, one from Korea and the other from Japan, who are drafted into the Japanese Army during World War II and later have to fight in Soviet and German uniform. The movie is very loosely based on a true story...More
It starts out promising: a young man falls for a beautiful woman, who turns out to not only be able to see ghosts but causes them to haunt those around her. Creepy lost souls keep interrupting the consummation of what should have been a heart fluttering rather than heart attack-inducing first kiss...More
Korean actor Lee Hyeong-cheol has been cast to play the bad guy in highly anticipated movie, "Yeongasi". Lee, who often portrays villain roles in TV dramas, will play Jason Kim, the guy who will go against lead actor Kim Myeong-min...More
The Korean film industry is strongly represented at the Tokyo International Film Festival's content market TIFFCOM, which opened yesterday to run until Oct 26 in the Roppongi Hills complex. The Korean Film Council (KOFIC) has opened an umbrella stand with seven sales companies - CJ Entertainment, Showbox / Mediaplex, Finecut,M-Line Distribution, 9ers Entertainment, Lotte Entertainment, and Mirovision.
"Last year, the KOFIC umbrella stand only had four companies, but this year we have a large-scale stand with seven companies. They are doing well with meetings results already on the first day. The companies were able to schedule ahead from Busan's Asian Film Market", said Jiwon CHOI, Japan & Europe Regional Manager on KOFIC's International Co-production Team...More
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
The 6th Asian Film Market 2011 closed last night after four days at its new venue, the BEXCO (the Busan Exhibition Convention Center). The market combined sales companies and BIFCOM locations and post-production services this year and saw an increase of 113% in exhibitors' booths and 38% more participants than last year...More
Asian Film Market 2011 showed distinct growth this year with its relocation to BEXCO. Opening on October 10, the number of participants increased 39% from last year and the number of sales booths jumped 67%. As of the second day, there were 1,100 registrants, up from 789 the year before. "This year, the number of market screenings increased from 47 to 64, with 60 films on show up from 39 in six theaters as opposed to four", said Art Film Market organizers...More
This is his third BIFF in a row. His attendance was due to his movie "My Way". At the opening ceremony, Jang Dong-gun stepped on the red carpet with fellow actor Joe Odagiri from Japan. There were many stars who appeared alone or in male-female pairs, but these two appeared as male-male...More
LOS ANGELES – October 6, 2011 – CJ E&M today announced an agreement to feature twenty of its acclaimed Asian movies on Netflix, the world's leading Internet subscription service for enjoying movies and TV shows. Beginning in October 2011, Netflix members in the US will be able to instantly watch the twenty titles multiple platforms, including TVs, popular tablets, key gaming consoles, computers and mobile phones. All the titles will be available from October 1.
"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 movies from around the globe. This deal brings movie lovers iconic films from Asia's top entertainment company, CJ E&M"...More
"The Crucible" is a film based on the true story of hearing-impaired children being sexually abused by their teachers. / Yonhap
By Lee Hyo-won
Life is often stranger than fiction, and both director Hwang Dong-hyeok and actor Gong Yoo were shocked to discover that Gong Ji-young's bestselling online novel about child sex abuse was based on a true story.
The "Coffee Prince" actor, who read a hard copy of the book while serving in the military, proactively sought a way to turn "Dogani" into a film. Hwang on the other hand greatly hesitated about adapting the 2000-2004 case in which the teachers and principal sexually abused students at a Gwangju school for the hearing impaired...More
A multi-million-dollar blockbuster is being produced featuring Seoul and the demilitarized zone that separates the two Koreas. The Seoul city government said on Monday that CJ Entertainment and Di Bonaventura Pictures have agreed to work jointly on a science fiction movie called "DMZ Project" and are now in the second stage of writing the scenario for the flick.
Di Bonaventura Pictures is run by Lorenzo di Bonaventura, who developed the Matrix series at Warner Brothers in the 1990s. Di Bonaventura also purchased the rights to th...More
Korea's box office in the first half of 2011 has dipped 2.3%. From January to June, theaters took in 68.3 million admissions and KW536.4bn (US$507.2m), down from the 69.76 million admissions and KW549.3bn (US$519.4m) in the same period of time in 2010.
Last year, 3D films with higher ticket prices led by "Avatar" brought about an increase in box office gross despite a decrease in admissions. This year's 3D tentpoles such as "Kung Fu Panda 2" and "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides" did well at the box office but were not enough to make up for decreasing admissions...More
Idol girl group, Pink Dolls, struggle to make their name in the Kpop music industry. The group consist of lead singers Jenny (Jin Se-yeon) and Ah Rang (Choi Ah-ra), Eun Ju (Ham Eun-jeong) and rapper, Shin Ji (Maydoni). One day the group agency moves into a new office...More
In 2010, the Korean film industry witnessed several significant changes, many of which were directly related to the worldwide success of the Hollywood blockbuster "Avatar". The box office gross increased by 6.5% as compared to last year, largely due to the increased ticket prices of 3D films, which boomed in popularity following "Avatar". However, the number of admissions actually decreased by 5.2%, scoring a total of only 146 million admissions. The number of times the average Korean went to the movie theater also dropped from 3.15 per individual in 2009 to 2.92 in 2010...More
Independent directing duo Kim Gok and Kim Sun are in production on their first commercial project, a horror movie titled "White's Curse". The twin brothers have established themselves at the avant-garde of Korean independent art cinema. Their previous collaboration "Anti Gas Skin" (2010) was screened in the 67th Ve...More
South Korea's hit movie "Detective K" will be screened at the Hawaii International Film Festival's 2011 Spring Showcase, which runs from April 1 to 7 in Honolulu.
The comedy-mystery filmed helmed by veteran comedy director Kim Seok-yoon will be shown on April 2 and 7, at the Regal Dole Cannery Stadium 18 Theatres & IMAX. "Detective K" is one of the four Korean films at the festival, that will feature 30 films from over 10 countries.The final movie line-up can be viewed here...More
Several Korean comedy films have made their way to Hollywood recently, either as remakes or in the original Korean version. Either way, it will be interesting to see how much Korean-style comedy can impress American audiences.
"Detective K", which attracted 4.58 million viewers in the month since its release in Korea, will hit screens in the U.S. and Canada this month. Distributor Showbox said Thursday the film will be released in 10 cities in North America starting with Los Angeles on Friday, and in San Francisco, Atlanta, Seattle, Chicago, Dallas, Hawaii and Vancouver a week later...More
Korean hit movie "Detective K" will invade the shores of America! According to Showbox, the film's international distributor, the comedy-mystery movie will premiere in Los Angeles on March 4. On March 11, it will be screened in selected CGV and AMC theaters in the following cities: San Francisco, New Jersey, Atlanta, Seattle, Chicago, Washington, North Wales, Dallas and Hawaii...More
Featuring four fashionistas strutting through the streets of Seoul, "My Black Mini Dress" seems like a Korean spinoff of "Sex and the City". But the makers say it's about growing pains that real women in their 20s can easily relate to.
Yoon Eun-hye, Park Han-byeol, Yoo In-na and Cha Ye-ryeon play disillusioned 24-year-olds who realize that, though they majored in theater and film at an elite university, life is not like a movie. The four best friends nevertheless persevere through mediocre jobs and failed auditions, but their strong bond is put to the test when one of them, Hye-ji (Park), becomes a celebrity...More
As the subhead to Robert Abele's review of the Korean movie "GLove" in the Los Angeles Times states: "There's an undeniable Mudville joy and thrill-of-competition seriousness to director Woo-seok Kang's bright, crisp handling of this sentimental material".
Opening today at the CGV Cinemas in Los Angeles, "GLove" - starring Jeong Jae-yeong - is a "heart-tugging, family-friendly Korean sports drama" about a disgraced major league player who coaches a struggling baseball team at a school for hearing-impaired kids...More
After its premiere in Los Angeles, USA on March 4, Korean blockbuster "Detective K" will head to Vancouver, Canada on March 11.
The comedy-mystery period movie that stars Kim Myeong-min in the title role, will be shown at the SilverCity Coquitlam Cinemas in Vancouver. The screening is sponsored by the City of Vancouver, JoongAng Ilbo and CJ Entertainment...More
Hyb (Jeon) was born in Seoul, South Korea, and studied in the Department of Theater and Film at Dongguk University. She began her career as a fashion model for Echo Magazine in 1997 at the age of 16...More
Chinese actress Tang Wei appears in a scene from Kim Tae-yong's "Late Autumn - 2010". The film, co-starring Korean hearrthrob Hyeon Bin, is now showing in local theaters and the Berlin International Film Festival. / Courtesy of CJ Entertainment
By Lee Hyo-won
Heart-stopping and transcending sentimentality, Kim Tae-yong's "Late Autumn - 2010" is a remake with a greater purpose than simply pairing superstars in a new setting...More
The hit movie "GLove", directed by Kang Woo-seok, will be making its way into American and Japanese theatres!
CJ Entertainment announced on the 17th that "GLove" will open in theatres in the US on February 25th, followed by its opening in Japan slated for this summer. More specifically, the movie will start playing in LA's CGV theatres on the 25th, with AMC theatres in New Jersey, New York, Maryland, Atlanta, Chicago, San Jose, and Seattle.
A rep from CGV LA theatres said that the last movie directed by Kang Woo-seok, ...More
Rain and Sin Se-kyeong have confirmed to star in the upcoming movie "Live In The Sky" (Directed by Kim Dong-weon, produced by Joo Money Entertainment, CJ Entertainment) and will start shooting in February....More
Derek Hough, the champion of an American dance competition, will appear as BoA's counterpart in a Hollywood movie "Make Your Move".
SM Entertainment (hereafter refer to SM) said on January 28 that the counterpart to BoA (25), who delivered the news about her debut in Hollywood last August, has been decided. SM said, "The champion of the famous American ...More
Also an exclusive in Deadline, Dancing With The Stars' Derek Hough will star in "Cobu 3D" ("Make Your Move") with top Korean recording artist and performer BoA. Duane Adler, who wrote "Step Up", will direct from his own script. Deaadline reports that Korea's CJ Entertainment and SM Entertainment will start principal photography in Toronto and New York this spring, while Hough is on hiat...More
Shim Hyung-rae's (also known as Ray Shim) latest film "The Last Godfather" will be released in North American theaters in April, the film's domestic distributer CJ Entertainment announced Wednesday.
The slapstick, starring producer-director Shim in the lead role opposite Harvey Keitel, will initially open in 12 cities across the United States and Canada on April 1, via Roadside Attractions LLC, before hitting European and Asian theaters.
"We are very interested in films that bridge cultures, and Ray Shim's hilarious Korean Young-gu character will ...More
CJ Entertainment, Showbox Mediaplex, Lotte Shopping Lotte Entertainment are known to be the 'Big 3' distributors in Korean movies. Every one in the movie business wait to hear what movie line ups they have, and what holiday specials will be put to competition...More
"My Way", starring Korean superstar Jang Dong-gun and Japanese heartthrob Joe Odagiri, will be released simultaneously in Korea and Japan this year, the film's local distributors CJ Entertainment and SK Telecom announced Tuesday.
The film is set to make a wide release in more than 250 theaters in the neighboring Asian countries via Doei Entertainment and CJ Entertainment Japan...More
Korean drama "Mother - 2009" was honored by the Kansas City Film Critics Circle (KCFCC), adding another award to the string of both domestic and international acclamations the film has received since its release in 2009.
The announcement was made last week on the official KCFCC website, stating that "Mother - 2009" was chosen as the best foreign language film alongside some of the biggest pictures in 2010...More
Director-actor Shim Hyung-rae stars in a scene from "The Last Godfather", a parody of the Francis Ford Coppola film that is now shwoing in theaters. /Courtesy of CJ Entertainment
By Lee Hyo-won
Shim Hyung-rae puts aside his CG dragons for a trip down memory lane, resurrecting his trademark screen persona Younggu in his latest Hollywood endeavor. Since debuting in 1989, Shim's Younggu has featured in 19 comedy films, becoming a sort of "godfather" to borderline simpleton characters here. The director seems to have made a lifelong dream come true, starring opposite the likes of Harvey Keitel in "The Last Godfather"...More
Korean Cultural Industry Recognizes Outstanding Achievement for Growing New Korean and American Business Relationships
NEW YORK, NY (December 14, 2010) – The Korea Creative Content Agency (KOCCA), a branch of the Korean Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, in conjunction with the Korean Cultural Center of Los Angeles (KCCLA) awarded DramaFever.com with the prestigious “2010 Best Business Award” as part of the annual 2010 DARI Awards. Named after the Korean word for “bridge”, the DARI Awards recognize companies and individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the introduction of Korean culture in the American marketplace...More
Korean drama "Mother - 2009", helmed by famed director Bong Joon-ho, was honored by the film critics association in Boston and Toronto after competing against some of the biggest pictures in 2010.
"Mother - 2009", starring Korean actors Kim Hye-ja and Won Bin, won the title of best foreign-language film and was the runner-up in the same category, according to the official Boston Society Film Critics (BSFC) and Toronto Film Critics (TFC) website, respectively...More
Korean actress Yoon Eun-hye will be making her first big screen comeback in four years as the female lead in an upcoming movie.
A press release from the film's distributor CJ Entertainment on Tuesday announced that Yoon will play the role of main female character Yoo-min in the movie tentatively titled "My Black Mini Dress"...More
First loves last forever, and a new romantic comedy delightfully captures that tingly, fuzzy, and oftentimes heartrending, experience and how it tends to map out the blue print for people's romantic patterns.
"Finding Mr. Destiny" offers the audience precisely what is expected of the genre — charming oddball characters, plenty of good laughs and a touch of poignant drama...More
Korean actor Song Seung-hun has said he wanted to show something new through the Asian remake of Hollywood film "Ghost" rather than trying to outdo the original.
The remark came during a press conference for Song starrer "Ghost : In Your Arms Again", a Japanese remake of the 1990 pic " Ghost " on Tuesday while responding to a reporter's question on how he felt working on the movie...More
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
An official related to the film announced today that actress will visit Korea for a day on November 23 to promote the film in which she co-stars with actor Song Seung-heon, a well-established actor in Korea who is famous for his numerous lead roles in romantic dramas...More
CJ Entertainment, along with the Singapore Media Development Authority, have announced their participation in a $50 million film fund at this year's AFM. Bang Singapore and Asia Media & Technology Capital have also invested in the fund. The new fund represents a strategic move for CJ, as many of the films to receive the go-ahead will be sourced and produced by the company. has already made a head start after collaborating on two projects with Bang Singapore.
The move by CJ comes amidst a growing push into in...More
In film "The Unjust", detective Dae-ho (Ma Dong-seok) calls his boss Choi Cheol-gi (Hwang Jeong-min) 'big brother'. Dae-ho's son too addresses Choi as 'uncle'. Some may regard it as being courteous to an older person (according to Korean manners) but it is an entirely different story when one who graduated from the Korea National Police University refers to someone from another school as his senior. One of the excuses that Choi's superior Gang (Cheon Ho-jin) uses to persuade Choi to join in the big scam of the movie is his promise to help Choi's own 'little brothers' advance in society. It is this family-like loyalty and friendship within the organization that fuels Choi's team. Furthermore, Cheol-gi does have the ability and charisma fit to be called a 'big brother'. Thanks to Cheol-gi's competency and the hard efforts of his perfectly loyal 'brothers', his team rises as the ace among the metropolitan investigation unit...More
'My Black Mini Dress' is based on the novel with the same name, which was nominated for the finals of the 5th International Literary Award and is about women's reality in their 20's through the 24 year-old character Yoo-min....More
Theatrics is not limited to show business ― a scriptwriting prosecutor, a police officer with a knack for producing a convincing mise-en-scene and a sponsor with acting skills can team up to stage the perfect conspiracy.
"The Unjust" takes the red-hot issue of sponsored prosecutors and spins it into solid, star-powered entertainment.
While devoid of the usual hip action that defined his earlier works, Ryoo Seung-wan's new film keeps the intrigue alive. It retains a critical view of social ills but does not drown in zealous preaching; rather it gives the noir subject matter an incisively witty and at times humorous ― though never light ― treatment, which is rendered all the more compelling by its talented cast.
Korean action picture "A Better Tomorrow" will open in theaters in Japan early next year.
A press release from the movie's producer Fingerprint announced that the Song Seung-heon starrer has been sold to Japanese distributors Toei Company, Ltd. and TV Asahi and will hit Japan's big screen on February 19 next year...More
'Superstar K', which is rewriting a history of cable program, will be made into a film. On September 20th, an official from the movie industry said that CJ Entertainment, Korea's biggest Film Investing Company, is planning and developing an auditionfor a film based on 'Superstar K'...More
The 4th Cinema Digital Seoul Film Festival, known as CinDi, wrapped up August 23 with an awards ceremony that saw its top prize, the Red Chameleon Award going to Chinese director Li Hongqi's Winter Vacation, an honor worth $16,700 in cash.
The fest, which opened August 18th with the Korean premiere of 2010 Cannes Palme D'Or winner Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives, by Thai master Apichatpong WEERASETHAKUL, ran for 7 days presenting105 films from 27 countries.
The Red Chameleon jury consisted of WEERASETHAKUL, Raya Martin, Zhang Xian Min and Korean actress Moon Sori. A jury of international film critics gave out the second place Blue Chameleon Award to Japanese film Miyoko by Yoshifumi Tsubota, while Korean c...More
John Woo's "A Better Tomorrow, 1986" showed the world what Hong Kong noir was all about, and the Korean remake of the 1986 classic is now awaiting release on Chuseok next month, with the support of Woo as a producer.
Through a video clip released by the film's publicist, Woo said he decided to participate in the project because of the confidence he had in director Song Hae-seong and the cast members.
And indeed "A Better Tomorrow", the new "Tomorrow" has caught the attention of even those who didn't grow up watching the original film, as it brings together four of the most sought-after stars — Joo Jin-mo, Song Seung-heon, Kim Kang-woo and Jo Han-seon — under the helm of director Song, whose critically acclaimed films include "Failan" and "Maundy Thursday " ("Our Happy Time").
"The movie's appeal has been strengthened by the power of the actors", director Song told reporters Tuesday in S...More
Actress Moon Geun-young speaks during a press call for play "Closer" held at the Art One Theater in Seoul, South Korea on August 10, 2010. [Lee Ki-bum/Asia Economic Daily]
Korean actress Moon Geun-young has confessed that she has been in love before.
Speaking to reporters on Tuesday during a press call for play "Closer" in which she takes on the role of strip dancer Alice, the former 'nation's little sister' remarked, "It's not like I haven't ever loved someone before, it's just that I haven't talked about it"...More
Asian superstar Rain is highly likely to play the main character of film "Red Scarf", a remake of the Korean movie of the same name from 1964.
"The details have yet to be set but there is a very high possibility", an official with the film remarked regarding Rain's casting which would mark the singer and actor's second local big screen role...More
An old Korean proverb says that even mountains evolve over time ― 10 years to be exact. But in this digital age, trends seem to change in the blink of an eye.
For the fourth year now, Cinema Digital Seoul (CinDi) has taken note of a paradigm shift in cinema with the rise of accessible digital technology, and the annual digital film festival will take place from Aug. 18 to 24 to capture the charms of the new medium.
A total of 105 digital films from 27 countries will be shown at CGV Apgujeong, southern Seoul. "By presenting the latest quality fiction, animation and documentary films rendered in digital medium, we hope to highlight current trends and explore future possibilities of this new cinematic language", CinDi festival director Lee Kwang-mo said.
The festival caught the attention of local film buffs earlier this year when it was announced that Apichatpong Weerasethakul, the grand prize winning director of the 63rd Cannes Film Festival, will be taking part as a judge. Naturally, the Thai auteur's Palme d'Or-winning film "Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives" will open the event on...More
Korean film major CJ Entertainment has boarded the Japanese remake of Jerry Zucker's 1990 Hollywood hit Ghost, a supernatural romance which starred Demi Moore. The remake, "Ghost : In Your Arms Again" (previously titled "Love and Soul"), is directed by Japan's Tarô Ohtani and stars Japanese actress MATSUSHIMA Nanako (The Ring) in what was Moore's role, opposite Korean wave star ...More
Korean actor Cheon Jeong-myeong has joined the cast of a film noir drama film also starring top actor Song Kang-ho and actress Sin Se-gyeong, his first time to take on a big screen role since being discharged from the military late last year.
The film's distributor CJ Entertainment announced in a press release on Wednesday that Cheon...More
A scene from the play "Take Care of My Mom", presented by the Seensee Musical Company, which was put on stage earlier this yea
By Chung Ah-young Staff reporter
Since the smashing success of "The Phantom of the Opera" prompted the rise of local musical productions both in quality and quantity in 2001, the lavish shows have been dominating the theater industry. Plays have been overshadowed by the decade-long musical boom...More
Lee Sang-yong-I, Senior Vice President of the Film Production Planning Team at CJ Entertainment, speaks at a forum on "Solution for the Improvement of Korean Film Industry - In Matters of Investment and Distribution" held at Koryo Hotel in the city of Bucheon in Gyeonggi Province, South Korea on July 21, 2010, during the ongoing Puchon International Fantastic Film Festival. [PiFan]
The Korean film industry is increasingly recognizing the need for big screen productions to be targeted toward the global audience as a way of helping the currently struggling industry revive and keep alive the "Hallyu", or Korean Wave.
At a forum titled "Solution for the Improvement of Korean Film Industry - In Matters of Investment and Distribution", part of the industry specialized program Network of Asian Fantastic Films (NAFF) of the ongoing Puchon International Fantastic Film Festival (PiFan), numerous Korean film producers and investors gathered to discuss on the current state of the domestic film industry and ways to bring developments...More
Won Bin has cast off his pretty boy image to show off his knack for high kicks and dagger-swinging skirmishes in "The Man From Nowhere".
It's yet another testosterone-packed film by "Cruel Winter Blues" director Lee Jeong-beom, and made headlines for casting the heartthrob, who is better known for melodramatic roles that jab at women's maternal instincts.
"The media has mostly portrayed (Won) Bin's sensitive side and I thought his conventional image would work well in depicting the bond with a child. But Bin is very stoic and scary in the action sequences, and I think these two contrasting sides complement each...More
The Korean box office set a new record during the first half of 2010 with ticket sales hitting an all-time high, according to data by the Korean Film Council (KOFIC).
KOFIC's official report on the local film industry, released Tuesday, stated that Korean moviegoers paid out approximately 547 billion won for theater tickets during the first six months of the year, up 14.6 percent from the same period last year...More
CJ Entertainment, Korea's largest film distributor, has teamed up with 1492 Pictures of the United States to co-produce three upcoming Hollywood fantasy movies.
Led by Chris Columbus, 1492 Pictures has produced numerous mega-hits such as 'Harry Potter' and 'A Night at the Museum'.
Their collaboration would enable the Korean movie giant to expand its market internationally while helping 1492 Pictures to increase its foothold in Asia.
[Interview : ] "We wanted to partner with someone we felt had similar artistic ideas and similar concepts on how to make movies and how to reach a global audience".
And the ways of cooperation are diversifying.
Korean movie producers have worked with local actresses on foreign soil especially in Japan with positive results.
And some Korean cast and crew have even tea...More
"You should live like moss, you know, quietly, almost invisibly, stuck underneath a stone", a character snarls to his archenemy.
But the movie, curiously titled "Moss", is unlikely to slip into oblivion. Kang Woo-seok, the first director here to realize the 10-million audience miracle _ which is, mind you, nearly a quarter of the local population _ with "Silmido" makes a comeback with a story based on a cartoon strip with a cult following.
In spite of some details that go amiss as Kang tries to pack in too much, the long running time of two-and-a-half hours goes by in no time _ which says a lot about the high quality of the suspense this film aims to offer. But it also inspires a lot of laughter through some ingenious comic relief in between the thrills.
The cast list had been under much scrutiny among fans of the original cartoon, and Kang may well forever silence those who vehemently opposed choosing the 39-year-old...More
At the press conference for CJE and 1492 Pictures from left to right: 1492 Pictures CEO Chris Columbus, CJE CEO Katharine Kim and film producer Michael Barnathan [CJ Entertainment]
Korea's major film distribution and production company CJ Entertainment (CJE) will be co-producing three films with Hollywood's 1492 Pictures, the producer of the "Harry Potter" series.
At a press conference on Friday, CJE's CEO Katharine Kim and 1492 CEO Chris Columbus announced plans regarding their joint production of the films and development of future development strategies...More
The film's production company CJ Entertainment on Wednesday announced, "Ghost, probably the best romantic fantasy of the 20th century, will be revived 20 years after the original was made. The roles originally played by Demi Moore and Patrick Swayze will be reinte...More
Fuji TV's program "Hallyu Alpha" (Mon-Fri 2:07~3:00), which started airing on January 11 in hopes of creating 'a new Hallyu generation', has been receiving positive feedback. Back in 2004, Fuji TV had arranged a program called "Saturday Hallyu Wide Hour", airing dramas such as "Stairway to Heaven" and "Sad Love Story" but had cancelled it due to low ratings. This time, "Hallyu Alpha" tried to differentiate itself from other programs by playing uncensored versions of dramas, providing bilingual broadcast (in Japanese and Korean) and adding special features such as exclusive interviews with the cast and behind-the-scenes footage. MBC TV series "My Name is Kim Sam-soon" kicked off the program, followed by KBS' "Women in the Sun" in February...More
We've seen sentimental robots and other such non-human characters teach us lessons about humanity. Now a sex toy comes to life in a film which ― despite the rather "decadent" origins of its subject matter ― ultimately brims with childlike innocence and leaves a poignant sting.
Directed by Hirokazu Koreeda, the film had been invited to prestigious film festivals including Cannes and Pusan (Busan) last year. It drew rave reviews from Japanese critics and the audience alike, and South Korea's quirky actress Bae Doona picked up several Best Actress awards for the title role.
In her second Japanese project after "Linda Linda Linda" (2006), Bae captivates the viewer as a life-size doll that develops a soul ― as is with solid fantasy tales, the implausible "why" and "how" bits are of little importance.
Members at the CJEJ launch event [CJ Entertainment]
Korea's largest film investment, production and distribution company CJ Entertainment has expanded its business into Japan, setting up a branch under the name CJ Entertainment JAPAN (CJEJ).
CJEJ, jointly established by CJ Entertainment and movie theater chain T-JOY, a subsidiary of Japan's major studio TOEI, held a ceremony in Shinjuku on Tuesday marking its registration as a corporation.
CJ Entertainment CEO Katharine Kim, T-JOY executive director Naoshi Yoda and CJEJ CEO Bae Hyung-chan were present at the event attended by some 400 film industry officials...More
Korean powerhouse CJ Entertainment is set to launch a major joint venture with Japanese studio Toei's exhibition chain T-Joy this month. The initiative will cover investment and distribution with ambitions to become one of the top five distributors in Japan by 2014.
CJ, which holds 60% of the joint venture capital, will brand itself CJ Japan and aims to distribute at least five Korean films a year through T-Joy's 142 screens across Japan. It also plans to produce and distribute 3 to 5 Japanese f...More
Korean films "Mother - 2009" and "Thirst" scored multiple wins including the prize for Best Picture at the 4th Asian Film Awards held Monday at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre.
"Mother - 2009", helmed by noted Korean filmmaker Bong Joon-ho, claimed the top honor of the night, beating out five other Asian films including Hong Kong/China's "Bodyguards and Assassins" and Japan's "Parade".
The Korean director was also named Best Screenwriter for the critically acclaimed pic, which he co-wrote with Park Eun-kyo...More
Some of the biggest names in the South Korean film industry, as well as its most noted productions, have been nominated in multiple categories at this year's Hollywood-based Green Globe Film Awards.
According to the event's official webpage, a number of Korea's top movie stars and films will compete in this year's "International Film Awards Theme: Asia" segment of the event which recognizes movies, actors and directors in the Eastern region of the globe.
Korean film "Mother - 2009" will open in five U.S. cities today including Los Angeles and New York and expand its showing next week throughout the country.
The thriller film, directed by noted Korean filmmaker Bong Joon-ho, will start with a limited theatrical release and gradually increase its number of screens; the film will open in 15 cities including Berkeley and Dallas on March 19, and in 18 cities including Honolulu and New Haven the following weekend....More
South Korean director Bong Joon-ho's film "Mother - 2009" received the Best East Meets West Cinema Award at the annual Santa Barbara International Film Festival held in California over the weekend.
The movie, about a mother's search for a killer who framed her disabled son for a murder, was first screened at the Cannes Film Festival last year. The pic stars veteran actress Kim Hye-ja and Hallyu star Won Bin....More
It somehow feels like doing math homework using a history book, with rock music blasting in the background. The seed idea of "Parallel Life" was catchy but the tree that grew from it ended up being a tangled mess.
First-time director Kwon Ho-young draws on the idea that history repeats itself. Case in point: former U.S. Presidents Abraham Lincoln and John F. Kennedy were elected to the senate in 1846 and 1946, respectively, and then the presidency in 1860 and 1960. Their assassinations both took place on a Friday, in a Ford Theater and a century later in a Ford car. Their assassins were born a century apart, in 1839 and 1939.
The film is set in modern-day Korea, and opens with a cancer-stricken academic (Oh Hyeon-kyeong) vehemently arguing in favor of the parallel lives theory....More
Kim Yun-jin starrer "Harmony" attracted the most moviegoers on Thursday, making it the first Korean film to place atop the local box office in 78 days.
According to the statistics from the Korean Film Council (KOFIC), "Harmony" attracted 103,196 viewers on the day of its release, topping daily admissions to become the first local film to rank above an overseas production.
The film pushed down 43-day winner "Avatar" to second place with admissions of 95,637 for Thursday. The James Cameron sci-fi action flick has brought in a total 10,721,615 viewers since its release mid-December, making it the sixth most-watched film in Korea's box office history....More
The Korea Film Reporters Association (KOFRA) held the 1st Korean Film Award on Wednesday, naming Song best actor for his role in film "Thirst" and Kim as best actress for her role in "Mother - 2009".
Song, 43, is considered one of Korea's most successful actors who has starred in a handful of hit films including "Memories of Murder", "The Host" and "Thirst", which won the Jury Prize at Cannes earlier last year....More
The Korean box office reached a new record in 2009 with ticket sales hitting an all-time high, according to data by the Korean Film Council (KOFIC).
The KOFIC's annual report on the local film industry released Monday, reported that Korean moviegoers paid out approximately KRW 1.928 trillion for theater tickets last year. The sales total is about a 11.6 percent jump from the previous year and surpasses the previous record of KRW 991.8 billion won set in 2007.
Admissions clocked in at over 156.79 million, up four percent year-on-year and ranking second behind the record set in 2007. The surge in sales despite the declined number of moviegoers was attributed to increases in ticket prices, raised by most theaters by KRW 500 to 1,000 starting June last year....More
A representative from the Pusan International Film Festival (PIFF) announced that the film has been nominated for best picture, best director, best actress, best supporting actor, best screenplay and best editor. It will be competing up against Hong Kong film "Bodyguards and Assassins" in some of the categories....More
Not long after "The Executioner", the first movie to be filmed in a real prison, and "Actresses", featuring a rare all-female cast, comes "Harmony", about women living behind bars in tune to a different synchronization.
Kim Yoon-jin returns to the local screen two years after starring in the hit thriller "Seven Days". The "Lost" star has shed her serious image to wear an unfading smile and a blue jail uniform in the tearjerker family drama.
"It's a movie for which we had to reshoot scenes because we cried too much", the actress said Monday in Seoul following the film's press preview. Produced by "Haeundae" director Yoon Je-kyoon and directed by newcomer ...More
He might be offended if you call him the Korean Harry Potter, and pull a Taoist magic trick on you.
Jeon U-chi's genealogy can be traced back to the Joseon Kingdom (1392-1910) but he comes to life onscreen, with a modern edge, as "Woochi" ("JEON WOO CHI : The Taoist Wizard")― an exciting new superhero everyone's been waiting for.
Novel character-driven films have recently made their mark in South Korean cinema such as "Private Eye" starring an accidental Joseon-style Sherlock Holmes or "Descendants of Hong Gil-dong" featuring modern-day descendants of the Korean Robin Hood, Hong Gil-dong.
Director Choi Dong-hoon, who demonstrated a knack for creating lively characters in "Tazza: The High Rollers" ("The War Of Flower"), brings a superhero who, though quintessentially Korean, can inspire laughter ...More
There's no such thing as a secret, especially a big bad one, that's bound to come out in the end and slap you in the face. Mix in some Agatha Christie-style suspense, and you get an unconventional whodunit film where the detective is trying to cover-up clues rather than find them.
The writer-director humbly said he would be happy if "Secret - 2009" does as well as "Seven Days", which was sold to American buyers for a record price at the time among local thrillers. And he's right.
KOFIC Korean films showcase in Tokyo, will be held this year from November the 21st to the 30th as an official section of FILMEX. The annual event, designed to promote a diversity of Korean films to Japanese audiences will show everything from more commercial fare such as the current box office number one "Good Morning President" to art house films including the international film festival hit "...More
South Korean studio major, CJ Entertainment, has signed a pact with art house and indie specialists, Fortissimo Films – a multi-national sales and financing company known for representing and often producing top-tier quality Asian films such as WONG Kar-wai's In the Mood for Love.
The new partnership will allow CJ access to Fortissimo's high profile catalogue for distribution on CJ's varied digital media platforms and television networks. CJ will also get first-look rights to distribute upcoming Fortissimo projects in its theaters and ancillary outlets.
In his first feature film, "White Night"' ("Baekyahaeng" translation Walking the White Night), director Park Shin-woo does a compelling job of condensing Keigo Higashino's best-selling Japanese mystery novel ("Byakuyako" in Japanese) into a solid two-hour melodramatic thriller. And the noteworthy cast, including Son Ye-jin, Ko Soo and Han Seok-Kyu, keeps things highly intriguing.
The film explores some classic themes ― the loss of innocence, traumas that haunt one for life like a phantom limb and how self-sacrifice weighs in when it comes to love. The movie invites some comparison to the indie flick "LaLa Sunshine" as it poses some ethical questio...More
CJ Entertainment, the distributor of South Korea's hit vampire film "Thirst", moved quickly to control the damage after the movie was leaked online earlier this week. But by publicizing the illegal activity, the company only exacerbated the situation.
The financial loss of the latest leak hasn't been assessed yet, but Internet experts and file-sharing analysts say damages could have been minimized if the distributor had simply kept quiet until the illegal copies floating online had been deleted.
"More people found out about the pirate release after CJ kindly made the leak official", said Woo Ji-soo, an offic...More
Korea's Biggest Story Competition ? A First Step to Advance into the Global Market
KRW12.5 Billion to be Invested for Support of Story Development, Production, and Distribution
▲ The Korea New Story Creation Project presentation. From Left: Chairman Geum Kang of the Korea Popular Culture Writers Association, Chairman Jeong Seon-eon of the Korea Independent Productions Association, CEO Kim Jeong-ah of CJ Entertainment, CEO Song Seung-hwan of PMC, President Kim Ok-young of the Korean TV & Radio Writers Association, President Lee Jae-woong of the Korea Creative Content Agency, Actor Park Yong-woo, Executive Director Yoo Hae-young of the Korea Creative Content Agency, Director Pyo Min-soo, and Chairman Choi Jong-il of the Korea Animation Producers Association.
Korea's contents-related industries have come together to develop new stories and turn them into high-quality content that has appeal on the global market.
The Korea Creative Content Agency (KOCCA, President & CEO Lee Jae-woong) hosted the Korea New Story Creation Project presentation with some 200 producers, investors and distributors, and writers at the Contents Hall, 2nd floor of...More
"Breathless"'s international momentum is taking it to the Reel Asian International Film Festival in Toronto. Yang Ik-joon's low budget HD feature which has played at film festivals all over the globe including the Barcelona Asian Film Festival, the Deauville Asian Film festival and won awards at the Vladivostok International Film Festival, the Fantastic Fest 2009 and at Rotterdam, is the closing night film at the Reel Asia IFF. Fish Story, a Ja...More
The Pusan International Film Festival's Pusan Promotion Plan (PPP) – an Asian feature project financing platform – announced the winners of various awards handed-out to six of the 30 projects pitched during the event. PPP ran Oct 11 – 14 during the festival and its attendant Asian Film Market.
The top winner was Decadent Sisters, a new project by Japanese director-producer AOYAMA Shinji (Eureka, Sad Vacation). It won the Pusan Award of US $20,000 presented by Busan Metropolitan City.
The Asian Film Market, an all-round business hub for the Asian film industry, wrapped up October 14 after a four-day run during Korea's Pusan International Film Festival (Oct. 8 – 16). Korean sales companies reported a number of deals during the market, though sales were fewer than in previous years.
M-Line Distribution sold its titles "A Frozen Flower" and "Le Grand Chef 2: Kimchi Battle" to Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore. Mirovision sold last year's horror hit "Deathbell" to Thailand, Japan, and France, and "Loner" to Thailand. Indiestory sold Korea's surprise documentary smash hit ...More
Korea's giant CJ Entertainment has just announced a deal that will increase its already substantial international out reach. The investment/distribution deal is with Japan's T-Joy a 142 screen theatre chain in Japan affiliated with media company Toei Group. The deal will significantly boost CJ's international presence who have already been distributing Paramount/Dreamworks films and have had international success with Korean films such as Haeundae and international co-productions such as "...More
BUSAN ― Choosing Jang Jin's "Good Morning President" ost morale for South Korean film industry, festival director Kim Dong-ho said. The film is a feel good, albeit blemished, drama that lightheartedly throws in ethical questions and personal dilemmas into state affairs.
But choosing "President" seemed to be a more nominal choice for opening Asia's largest cinema event. The film skims the surface of Northeast Asia geopolitics, including some red-hot North Korea issues, but laughter and emotional reactions that it aims to draw from viewers are easy to miss for non-Koreans (though Jang Dong-gun's hallyu power will certainly draw attention from fans scattered around the globe, from Japan to Mexico).
In "Hello My Love", girl falls in love with boy, but boy falls in love with boy, breaking girl's heart. The movie adds an exotic twist with things Parisian as well as a touch of something trendy with wine lessons to sugarcoat the sensitive subject matter of homosexuality in South Korea.
One may think of the sexually explicit epic "A Frozen Flower", but this feature film debut by Kim Aaron is more akin to Hong Ji-young's trendspotting romance "The Naked Kitchen". It is essentially a romantic comedy with a rather unconventional love triangle strewn into strictly mainstream themes of heartbreak, loss and growing pains.
Everything seems rosy for popular radio personality Ho-jeong (Jo An). She is about to be promoted...More
There has been an increasing amount of Japanese Korean cinematic business happening of late and new adaption of novel "White Night" adds another notch to the belt. Written by novelist Higashino Keigo the original dark tale of two children who commit murder through self defense was also made into a successful Japanese TV drama. The Korean movie stars actors Son Ye-jin ("My Wife Got Married" 2008) and marks the return of heart throb Ko Soo after serving in the army. In addition, playing the pursuing detective is Korean stalwart actor Han Seok-Kyu, who, starring in "...More
The film's press event in southern Seoul Tuesday morning buzzed with reporters, particularly since it is slated to open the 13th Pusan (Busan) International Film Festival, Oct. 8. The latest comedy by prolific director Jang Jin is about three fictional South Korean presidents.
Jang returns to the local silver screen four years after "Typhoon" as the youngest ever head-of-state who's equipped with not only charismatic diplomatic skills but also handsome looks.
The 37-year-old indeed appeared suave in a clean cut suit and tie. Reporters mischievously asked about his screen persona being dubbed "pretty-boy president" like his actual moniker, "the original p...More
Korea and China has cemented its cinematic relations with the about to be released "Season of Good Rain". The film directed by Heo Jin-ho brings together the biggest actors of both countries Gao Yuanyuan (Beijing Bicycle 2001) and Jeong Woo-seong ("Daisy" 2006) and blends them into a multi lingual, trans-cultural melodrama. The shoot...More
Director Park Jin-pyo had moviegoers reaching for the Kleenex in the romantic tearjerker "You are my Sunshine", in which love prevails over AIDS, and the family drama "Voice of Murderer", in which a couple does not give up hope for their kidnapped child.
In his latest feature, "Closer to Heaven", he aims to mix heartbreaking melodrama with sympathy-provoking family bonds, buttressed by crowd-pleasing insurances ― charismatic screen personality Kim Myeong-min shedding 20 kilograms to portray a dying man and unfailing actress Ha Ji-won sticking by his side as his devoted, doting wife.
Disaster film "Haeundae"'s wave of success has just been tempered by electronic pirates. The film was briefly leaked across peer to peer sites with 100,000 copies downloaded over the weekend. Significantly the film that sold over 10,000,000 tickets and was seen by some as the mark of the reversal of the Korean film slump is still playing in theatres.
This comes at a time when new laws put in place by the government last year to stop such illegal downloading have had success. "Haeundae" is the first major film to be illegally downloaded, ...More
The Korean film industry is seething after a copy of the blockbuster "Haeundae" was found being illegally distributed over the internet last weekend, especially since the film had galvanized the industry by becoming the fifth Korean film ever to draw over 10 million viewers. Public calls for strong legal action against piracy are gaining support, but it might be too late to stop the spread of the bootleg overseas as it is already circulating on Chinese websites.
The massive popularity of the disaster movie "Haeundae", which has drawn more than 10 million viewers so far, has ramifications that reach beyond the film's producers and investors. After falling into a rut since the success of the monster film "The Host" three years ago, the Korean movie industry has finally scored another unequivocal hit. The industry believes that the success of "Haeundae" also shows that the solid box office performances of "Speedy Scandal" (8.3 million viewers) and "My Girlfriend is an Agent" (4.04 million viewers) were not temporary phenomena.
The opening day box-office numbers of "Haeundae" were not impressive, but on the first weekend following its release 1.24 million people flocked to see it, leading to projections that it would break the 10-million milestone. That...More
"Sophie's Revenge", which marks Zhang Ziyi's first romantic comedy role and stint as a producer, can be likened to a protein shake. It offers all the expected ingredients ― romance, slapstick and melodrama ― as well as the easy, genre-approved characters and plotline, and even a wrap-around opening story that foretells the fairytale ending.
Mix those up with heavy doses of influence from peers "Bridget Jones's Diary" and "My Sassy Girl", and add in some "Amelie"-style live-action-meets-animation and New York chick-lit dialogue in Mandarin. Director Eva Jin shapes the cliched mess into something edible with a sweet aftertaste ― but like most artificial sources of protein it is not completely filling.
The "pan-Asian" production, however, tactfully serves its magical purpose, as diet drinks do for those eager to become slim. Featuring so...More
The Korean disaster film "Haeundae" has attracted more than 9 million spectators in the 26 days since its release and is about to surpass the 10 million mark. Dstributor CJ Entertainment on Monday said the film drew a total of 9.07 million viewers by Sunday. And as of Saturday, with an accumulated number of 8.8 million spectators, it already surpassed "D-War" to take the fifth place in the all-time box office hit parade for Korean films.
"Haeundae" is also the second fastest of four Korean films that attracted over 10 million spectators, topped only by "The Host", which drew 9 million viewers in just 18 days. "Taegukgi: The Brotherhood of War" took 31 days, "...More
The 31-year-old's first Chinese language film comes not long after completing the mandatory two-year military service and making a strong rebound with the 2008 box office success "Rough Cut" and hit TV series "Cain and Abel".
"After getting out of the military I wanted to challenge myself as an actor with new projects, and China is a new start", So told a packed press conference room in Seoul, Thursday.
"A lot of Korean actors are debuting overseas, but I hope people won't judge them by their debut piece, since it is a stepping stone", he said. "People say that my role is smaller than they expected but I'm ...More
Local summer blockbuster "Haeundae", directed by Yoon Je-kyoon, has been seen by 7 million viewers in 18 days since its premiere July 22.
The film is expected to break the 10-million-viewer mark soon with its present pace. Currently, only four domestic movies ― "Silmido" (2003), "Taegukgi: The Brotherhood of War" (2004), "The King and the Clown" (2005) and "The Host" (2006) ― have drawn more than...More
Ticket sales for "Haeundae", a mega-hit disaster movie, are expected to surpass 7 million Sunday.
The big-budget action film, portraying a fictional tsunami that hits a famous beach in South Korea's southern port city of Busan, drew about 6.8 million viewers as of Saturday.
"About 300,000 on weekdays and 500,000 on weekends watch the blockbuster. If the current pace continues, the number of viewers is certain to top 7 million Sunday", an official from CJ Entertainment, the movie's distribution company, said.
It will have taken 19 days for "Haeundae" to break the 7-million mark if it surpasses the mark on Sunday.
The film community is looking forward to seeing the m...More
Hollywood and hallyu star power reigned in Seoul Wednesday with the arrival of the main cast and crew of "G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra".
A group of middle-aged Japanese women waited outside the hotel ballroom for the South Korean premiere of the action-packed film ― to catch a glimpse of "All In" star Lee Byung-hun, who makes his Tinsletown debut opposite Sienna Miller, Channing Tatum and Dennis Quaid.
Based on the G.I. Joe Real American Hero toy franchise, the film is about an elite American military squad that must stop the evil terrorist group Cobra from destroying the planet.
"Naneun baboda (I am dumb)", director Stephen Sommers proudly told reporters, and the venue broke into a rumble of laughter ― Lee had mischievously taught Sommers the wrong phrase to greet Koreans. Tatum, the heartthrob of "Step U...More
The anticipated summer blockbuster "Haeundae" is like a blushing bride, wearing something new, something old and something blue. While the tsunami film rides upon tides of Korean cliches and brims with disappointing computer graphics, it manages to smartly evade some Hollywood disaster film conventions.
The film stays afloat on the strength of a talented, star-studded cast that shines through the artifice and the less-than-sophisticated mise-en-scene. And despite a hefty dose of mainstream superficiality ― or perhaps because of it ― box office favorite director Yoon Je-kyoon demonstrates his knack for communicating with the audience.
Every summer, Busan's most popular beach, Haeundae, transforms into something of an overpacked, outdoor public bath catering to hordes of vacationers from all over the country.
Park Joong-hoon stars as Kim, a workaholic professor from Seoul who tries to warn that a mega tsunami will swallow up the southern po...More
The director and main cast of "G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra", including British screen beauty Sienna Miller and hallyu star Lee Byung-hun, will visit Korea later this month to promote the Hollywood action flick, domestic distributor CJ Entertainment announced Monday.
Stephen Sommers, best known as the director of "The Mummy", Miller and lead actor Channing Tatum will arrive in Seoul July 28 ahead of the film's release here Aug. 6.
Lee, the heartthrob of hit TV soap "All In", will join the co-stars of his Hollywood debut piece in a press conference the following morning at Shilla Hotel.
Every summer, big budget Hollywood movies flow in, and many worry about the potential threat to homegrown films. Recent trends, however, suggest that competition is healthy.
"The fact that such a comparison (between national and international franchises) is even possible is unique; there aren't so many countries around the world where domestic films can compete with American ones", Han Seung-hee, researcher at the Korean Film Council, told The Korea Times.
After the turn of the new millennium, the Korean film industry enjoyed rapid growth, with blockbusters rewriting box office history each year. But the market plummeted for the first time last year, and investment and production hit an all time low. Moviegoers even criticized films that fared well at the box office as being formulaic.
So far, 2009 looks better. The success of "A Frozen Flower" and "Scandal Makers" ("Speedy Scandal") opened up a promising new year. Although February and March were rather lukewarm months _ viewership was split among three crime thrillers, "The Scam", "Marine Boy" and "Hand Phone" _ "Private Eye" picked things up and was widely loved for its unique themes.
After success at home, last year's Cannes Film Festival and at festivals around the world, Kim Jee-woon's "The Good, the Bad, the Weird" is finally opening in Japan. The film, released almost a year ago in Korea July 17 2008 will open in Japan August 29. In Japan it will play on 100 screens including the high profile Toho Cinemas Chanter in Ginza and T-Joy Shinjuku Wald 9. Distribution is being handled jointly by CJ Entertainment and Japan's Show Gate, the first time a co...More
"Mother - 2009", the latest film by Bong Joon-ho, drew over 2 million viewers in the 10 days since the release, the record for the shortest period it took a Korean Korean film released this year to reach the benchmark.
Distributor CJ Entertainment said the film had drawn 2.013 million viewers between May 28, th...More
Korea's own super hero movie "JEON WOO CHI : The Taoist Wizard" is set for release this summer. The movie is highly anticipated not just because of its colloquial superhero themes but its super star cast and director. Choi Dong-hoon known for the colourfully large "War of the Flower" (2006) and "The Big Swindle" (2004) helms this ambitious Taoist action film feat. Equally as well known as Choi are its actors who are mainstays in Korean cinema. ...More
Is hallyu, or Korean Wave, waning or still booming? There has been lots of talk about the sustainability of hallyu among industry insiders as the overseas success of some of Korea's TV dramas and movies seemed to have declined in recent years.
Freelance writer Mark James Russell, however, dismisses the term, hallyu. He once jokingly called it "Zombie Wave" for these worriers, arguing that there never was a Korean Wave in the first place, so it couldn't really be said to be dying or anything.
Then, what is the Korean Wave? Korean pop culture crosses many media, demographics and regions and it means very different things to different people.
"I don't like the term, Korean Wave, because it is like a black box. It doesn't really explain anything. Why is something popular with older women in Japan and with younger kids in Southeast Asia and middle-aged men in America? These are very different trends and forces that are happening", Russell said in an interview with The Korea Times.
Russell, author of the new book "Pop Goes Korea", said that there are a lot of negative connotations associated with Korean Wave ― shortsighted fad, poor financing and crude nationalism.
"Korea was at the forefront in Asia supplying this kind of lessons from the entertainment industries. Hong Kong is getting very aggressive in its movies, making its movies pan-Asia's blockbusters. Taiwan is trying very hard to emulate the Korean movie industries. Korea was very fortunate to be at the forefront of this change. … You have to fight and struggle to keep that cutting-edge trend", he said.
The journalist came to Korea from Canada to teach English in 1996, and worked as a correspondent for the Hollywood Reporter and Billboa...More
"Mother - 2009", coming to theaters May 28, had its world premiere at the 62nd Cannes International Film Festival. Variety magazine was not kidding when it said the Bong Joon-ho film was "unjustly denied a competition berth" in the prestigious French event.
But, featuring South Korea's symbolic Kim Hye-ja as a mom with a formidable mission and heartthrob Won Bin in the improbable role of her vulnerable "baby", Bong brings an arresting tale that is at once quintessentially Korean yet universally classic, and uniquely visionary.
Director Bong Joon-ho's new film "Mother - 2009" has been sold to four countries at the Cannes Film Market. An official of film company CJ Entertainment has reported that "Mother - 2009", starring venerable actress Kim Hye-ja and actor Won Bin, was sold to Portugal, former Yugoslavia, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. The number of buyers is expected to r...More
Filmmaker Bong Joon-ho promises something "hotter" for his upcoming film "Mother - 2009", which will premiere at the Cannes Film Festival next month before its local theater release May 28.
"If movies could be measured by temperature, then I imagine that `Mother' is much hotter than my previous works", the director of the blockbuster "The Host" and modern classic "Memories of Murder" told reporters at a Seoul theater, Monday.
When asked if he felt disheartened about not being in Cannes' competition pool alongside countryman Park Chan-wook, he said it was too early for him to compete against big names like the "Thirst" director and Quentin Tarantino. "But I am greatly confident about the movie's solidity and artistry. Once it's revealed to the world at the festival, where I've had experience with `The Host', I am looking forward to people's reactions", s...More
Park Chan-wook's latest work "Thirst", like other great movies, makes you forget you're watching one, and you won't be able to stop it from shaking up every cell in your body unless you dart for the exit. Park-brand films are undoubtedly an acquired taste, and this vampire-priest story, slated to compete in Cannes next month, is certainly not for those with weak stomachs. Nor is it, despite being replete with tasteful humor only Song Kang-ho ("Secret Sunshine") can pull off and being the first South Korean film to be co-produced by a major Hollywood studio, for those seeking light-hearted entertainment.
This reporter admits having had to close her eyes and plug her ears for some of the extreme scenes, but still had the ultimate audiovisual experience discovering ironic amusement and empathizing with the protagonist's frenetic actions, disillusionment and despair, listless surrender and dissipation, and, finally, spiritual transformation.
In this story inspired by Emile Zola's "Therese Raquin", Park creates a sinister parallel universe where 19th-century French realism and the Western vampire myth melt naturally into modern South Korea. Visually, things are familiar yet exotic, with local Catholic churches evoking a European flair; gaudy, outdated boutiques that are set in a Japanese colonial-era style home; and striking claustrophobic spaces a la Stanley Kubrick.
Studios are best advised to ride the crest of 'freeconomics' that is Korea
Jean K. Min (jean)
"The Phantom of the Opera", "Spiderman 3", "Transformers", "Iron Man", and "Star Trek".
These are just a few of the big budget Hollywood summer flicks that premiered in Seoul in the last couple of years, well ahead of their American openings.
Asia press junkets, usually thrown by the studios either in Tokyo or Hong Kong just a few years ago, are now being held in Seoul, bringing in scores of Hollywood stars to the country. The private jets of Hollywood stars are touching down on the tarmac of local airports sometimes almost every week and it is not considered news anymore among the local press. Just last week, Hugh Jackman, who starred in the latest installment of "X-Men" franchise, was seen on a couple of Korean television shows.
Korean theatergoers, long accustomed to watching big American films usually one or two months after the US theatrical release, are now scratching their heads, asking why they are suddenly being given the unexpected bragging rights of viewing global premieres.
The reason for this recent turn of the events is seemingly obvious: Korea is now one of the fastest growing film markets for Hollywood studios. The country is the 6th largest market as measured by the number of theatergoers and the 7th in terms of total revenue, according to Korean Film Council. Korean movie fans on average watched 3.1 films a year in 2006, the 3rd ...More
The film sales arm of Korean major CJ Entertainment did brisk business at the Hong Kong FIILMART, closing deals on a slew of titles including pre-sales for its big-budget disaster film "Haeundae" going to Indonesia's VSG for rights over Malaysia, Singapore and home territory.
The Busan-set CGI driven film about a tsunami that hits the popular Korean beach resort of Haeundae, boasts a top cast of Seol Kyeong-gu ("Oasis"), ...More
It was indeed novel to see the all-too-familiar, yet distinctly foreign, theme of Universal Pictures opening the impressionable clip. "Thirst" is the first South Korean film to be co-produced and distributed by a major Hollywood studio.
"I'm not so sure how it happened", Park told the crowded press room regarding Korean giant CJ Entertainment's partnership with Universal. In a video clip provided by organizers, Universal's Focus Features CEO James Shamus said he was "desperate to in some small way be part of this incredible filmmaking genius' work".
"I don't expect big results like grossing high in the American box office or winning an Academy nomination. I think this is the first endeavor for a Korean film to be treated seriously in the U.S. market", said Park. "But personally, I've always admired and was greatly inspired by the foreign movies that Focus Features distributed in Korea, and I wondered if one day my movies could be ...More
Debutant director Park Dae-min brings a delicious mix of drama, comedy and adventure in "Private Eye", which, moreover, paints rosy prospects for South Korean cinema as it signals the potential of homegrown detective films.
Set against the Japanese colonial period (1910-45), the movie invites viewers to hop on coolie-drawn carts and join an accidental Sherlock Holmes (Hwang Jeong-min) in tracking down a serial killer on the loose.
If 2007's "Shadows in the Palace" hinted at the possibility for an Agatha Christie-style suspense, "Private Eye" promises something more solid, and perhaps even a serial franchise. It keeps things smart and intriguing rather than mind boggling or cryptic, and leads the audience half a step ahead in the cat and mouse game. The movie also manages to be entertaining without being too light ...More
Korean company Fine Cut as well as CJ Entertainment can both claim success at this years EFM in the Berlin Film Festival. Fine Cut leads the pack selling 11 films alone to one company, Scandinavia's Non Stop Television. It also sold gay themed "Antique" (Min Gyoo-dong) to Thailand's Rose Media, and surprise hit thriller "The Chaser" (Na Hong-jin)to Latin America, several Eastern Block countries including Yugloslavia, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Bulgaria. Both films have already sold well in other territories.
CJ Entertainment on the other hand have sold ...More
Last week, Katherine KIM was appointed the new CEO of CJ Entertainment. She is the first female CEO of the company and will replace outgoing CEO KIM Joo-sung who will go on to head CJ's cable television company CJ Media. KIM comes with a range of international experiences sought after by the Korean film industry after starting at CJ in 2005 coordinating its US/Korean co productions. In addition to this substantial role she also oversaw the marketing and distribution of Dreamworks and Paramount Film releases.
These days, the importance of international co productions in terms of increasing funds in Korea's tightly squeezed film industry is rising. One such international co production overseen by Kim was the U.S/Korea fi...More
Local Internet protocol television (IPTV) is expected to change lives to the fullest, according to IPTV operators KT, SK Broadband and LG Dacom.
KT's Mega TV, the first provider here, and SK Broad & TV by SK Broadband, both have 780,000 subscribers, while LG Dacom's myLGtv currently has 80,000.
While the telecommunications industry is looking forward to a jump in subscribers and increased interest this year, viewers and potential subscribers are leaning in for the fun and educational factors.
Min Jin-ah, 40, is a housewife with two daughters. She has always been a big fan of television, but by subscribing to IPTV, her life and her family's have changed for the better.
"I enjoy watching television, and I think IPTV is an interesting tool for entertainment. It's fun and easier to use than I thought. I think it will help my family in all areas, including education and getting information quickly and easily", she told The Korea Times.
Her younger daughter is seven years old and will start school this year. Just to make sure she has learned her basic math and English, Min turns on the children's education channel, which her daughter can watch, rewind and fast-forward whenever she likes.
It's about time the Korean Peninsula saw a maritime action flick. "Marine Boy" indeed features the most water treading sequences in South Korean cinema ― something only a fearless newcomer like Yoon Jong-seok can brave ― but it keeps afloat with classic premises like dramatic tension and great supporting characters.
An ocean-crossing drug mule the movie has named "Marine Boy" calls for extensive oceanic shoots that make up about 20 percent of the film, yet this is no big budget version of drug mule stories like "Maria Full of Grace" nor is it a raw crime thriller like "The Chaser". A complex "trust no one" formula fuels the seaside story, but the main dramatic tension lies in an obscure love triangle rather than underwater skirmishes. While the two-hour running time could have been cut shorter, Cho Jae-hyun and other bona fide actors keep the film from complet...More
The upcoming film "Marine Boy" involves treading water, but it has nothing to do with the nickname Koreans affectionately give to swimming star Park Tae-hwan.
Written and directed by newcomer Yoon Jong-seok, this crime movie is about a former swimming athlete (Kim Kang-woo) who, desperately in debt, becomes employed as a "body packing" drug mule by a heartless drug lord (Jo Jae-hyeon). After swallowing a 10-meter-long drug package, this "Marine Boy" must swim across waters between Korea and Japan. Among the many things that beckon death, an alluring beauty (Park Si-yeon) tries to seduce him.
"Marine Boy", helmed by Yoon Jong-seok, is bound to stand out in terms of genre in the lineup of Korean films hitting theaters early this year.
Instead of treading the proven path, it dives into the relatively unknown world of the sea. That's why the film is now categorized as a "marine" thriller.
For most Koreans, however, the title of the movie evokes either an old Japanese comic series or Park Tae-hwan, the Olympic gold medalist swimmer dubbed "Marine Boy". The movie, though featuring plenty of under-the-sea scenes, is neither a rehash of the animation nor a biopic of the hugely popular swimmer. It is basically about drug trafficking which takes place, mostly, at sea.
"We went through many trials and errors because there's not much filmmaking know-ho...More
Competition is heating up at the box office for the New Year's weekend starting today, with the attention focused on whether "A Frozen Flower", a drama of homosexuality and betrayal, can knock "Speedy Scandal" off its perch.
"Ssanghwajeom", whose English title is "A Frozen Flower", dominated 71 percent of the ticket reservations on Wednesday, according to the Korean Film Council, while "Speed Scandaly" lost its momentum to stand at No. 3.
The strong ticket sales of "A Frozen Flower" were widely expected because it not only deals with highly sensational topics, including homosexuality during the late period of Goryeo Dynasty, but also features two of ...More
"Speed Scandaly", a comedy starring Cha Tae-hyeon, remained No. 1 at the Korean box office for the third week in a row, showing no signs of bowing out despite attacks from new releases.
The film portrays a 30-something radio host (played by Cha) who has to confront his long-forgotten past in a situational comedy format. Although the plot is nothing special, Cha pulls off an admirable performance by wisely staying low-key in a way that allows other characters to shine. A host of clever laughter-enducing dialog...More
Since debuting in 2003, the sweet, wistful online comics by Kang Full have become a pop culture phenomenon in South Korea, generating countless Internet hits and message board discussions. Their incredible online following, however, failed to translate into box office success, as the first two attempts at bringing the comics to the big screen ("A.P.T" and "BA:BO") resulted in commercial flops.
But the third time may be the charm for the popular Internet cartoon. Opening on November 27, "Soonjeong Manhwa" ("Hello Schoolgirl"), based on ...More
"The lecture rooms are 'So Hot' due to active trade of cultural business between Korean and the U.S".
An American branch office ( Head Chief: Hee-Seon Seo )of Korea Culture & Contents Agency has conducted education three times (Monday, Wednesday, Friday) for 4 weeks from November 3rd to 24th to train special marketers of cultural industry between Korea and America.
It has been conducted in a lecture room in LA Korean Cultural Center. It gave a good chance that people can understand cultural industries of Korean and America. The main purpose of this course is training specialists for cultural industry between Korea and America in the future.
This lecture has been conducted for Korean students and Americans (around 25 people) who have big possibilities to work for cultural businesses. It has been conducted with 10 topics including the present conditions of Korean and American cultural industries with Korean cultural enterprises' strategies in ...More
Jeon Yoon-soo's "Portrait of a Beauty" is attracting great interest globally; first, it will be exported to Japan, Singapore, and Thailand. Yedang Entertainment closed these deals with the three countries at this month's American Film Market (AFM) in Los Angeles.
Europe also expressed much interest in the Korean blockbuster. It is expected that the European deals will take place at 2009's Berlin Market in February.
"Portrait of a Beauty" has topped the box office since its release, beating international blockbusters Quantum of Solace and Max Payne. The somewhat controversial take on Joseon dynasty painter SHIN Yoon-bok reached the...More
The movie "Portrait of a Beauty", which is drawing attention for its sensual exposure of heroine Kim Gyoo-ri-I, reached the one-million-viewer mark, just nine days after its release on Nov. 13, according to CJ Entertainment distribution.
Shin Yun-bok, the famed folk painter of the late Joseon Kingdom (1392-1910), has received much attention in recent months. It all started last year when a best-selling novel described the male artist as secretly being a woman.
In truth, there is little historical documentation of Shin's life, and none that questions his gender. Nevertheless, the fictional work was popular and provocative enough that it was made into the successful television drama, "The Painter of Wind", as well a new feature film.
So Ji-sub has been cast alongside major Chinese stars Zhang Ziyi and Fan Bingbing. In the Chinese film Sophie's Revenge, Zhang's character will fall head over heels in love from the first time she meets a doctor, played by SO, only to find him stolen away by a famous actress (Fan). Zhang's character then sets out for revenge.
Korea's major film studio CJ Entertainment is coproducing the film together with Chinese Perfectworld. The romantic comedy is in the hands of director Jin Yimeng and the film is scheduled to be released in Chinese cinemas late next year.
SO established his silver screen presence in the recent film ...More
CJ Entertainment made two major deals at the American Film Market (AFM), signing presales on upcoming films by Korea's top directors Park Chan-wook and Bong Joon-ho. AFM was held in Santa Monica, California, November 5 -12 and is one of the world's largest film trade events.
CJ Ent. sold PARK's "Thirst", starring Song Kang-ho, to Palisades Tartan U.K. for release in Great Britain. The erotically charged thriller about a priest-turned-vampire, wrapped shooting last month and is scheduled for release next spring.
Unfinished Park Chan-wook vampire film "Thirst" will be backed by Korean CJ Entertainment and major U.S. studios Universal and Focus. Focus will handle the cinematic release in North America under high expectations.
Both Korean titles are scheduled for a release in the beginning of 2009 on an initial scale of 100 screens.
Following the footsteps of "Radio Dayz", "Once Upon a Time" and "The Good, the Bad, the Weird" comes "Modern Boy", another purely entertainment-driven movie set during the Japanese colonial era (1910-45). Gyeongseong, the name of Seoul at the time, is home to flamboyant flappers (so-called "modern boys and girls"), radio stars and charming bandits who aren't necessarily working for Korea's independence.
The symbolic power of cinema is extensive, as it often showcases a given country's aesthetics, technical achievements and entertainment factors, and moreover portrays to varying degrees its cultural, historical and social values. Period pieces in particular become the subject of scrutiny as they speak for the shared history of a people.
A Japanese newspaper made a misleading report about "Modern Boy" and the above-mentioned Gyeongseong movies in January this year. Katsuhiro Kuroda, managing editor of Sankei Shimbu...More
"Roommates - 4 Horror Tales" directly delves into probably the most important subject for the K-horror, the evils of education system, specifically a setup in which one shot of college entrance examination basically formalizes and entrenches one's status (economic, social, martial, you name it) for the rest of his or her life (or so everyone in Korea believes).
The now-famous and high-quality "Whispering Corridors" series started out in late '90s as a then-extremely frank critique of the oppressive high school experience, before running toward their own quirky, artistic directions.
This debut feature by director Kim Eun-kyeong ups the ante by basing her movie on an actual incident, a fire in a "boot camp"-style exam-prep center that resulted in the deaths of many high school girls. Bo-ram, the narrator, rooms with the bespectacled, timid Da-young (Heo Jin-yong), beautiful and smart Eun-joo (Kim Ri-na) and rebellious Yu-jin (...More
Universal Pictures (UPI) and London-based Focus Features will invest in and co-produce director Park Chan-wook's latest film, "Thirst", currently in production. They will join chief investor CJ Entertainment, which has so far driven the project.
The deal, announced Sept. 11th by UPI president Christian Grass, Focus CEO James Schamus and CJ CEO KIM Soo-jung, marks the first time a USstudio has backed a Korean film in production. UPI will also ha...More
Last weekend Korean Historical action drama "The Divine Weapon" took the lead at the box office. And the fall looks set to be dominated by historical films. The historical drama Miindo (English translation: "Portrait of a Beauty") came out on top as 'the most anticipated film of the fall' according to an online survey of the major Korean film website Movist.
Kim Yoo-jin's "The Divine Weapon" played on 676 screens and drew 627,845 visitors in its first week, according to KOFIC box office figures. Because of the film's screenings prior to the official release, the film already reached a million viewers, earning the film US$ 3.9 million. The C...More
Although its official release date is Sept. 4, Korea's latest blockbuster, "The Divine Weapon", took second place on last weekend's box office charts, after 2 days of paid-preview screenings organized by distributor CJ Entertainment. The Chosun-set epic targeted 405 screens, capturing US$ 1.4 million, coming in a close second behind Hollywood heavyweight, The Dark Knight.
Weapon is expected to reign over the upcoming Chuseok (Korean t...More
After six years in the making and a release date postponed by months, Jeong Ji-woo's ambitious period drama "Modern Boy", starring hot actors Park Hae-il and Kim Hye-soo, will open in theaters in October. The press gathered to catch the film's first promotional event held Wednesday in a Seoul theater.
Director Choi Dong-hoon, who made a splash in the local film industry with his high stakes thrillers, "The Big Swindle" (2004) and "Tazza: The High Rollers" ("The War Of Flower", 2006), is currently in pre-production on his latest project, tentatively titled "...More
In time for the nation's biggest holiday comes "The Divine Weapon", a highly anticipated epic dramatization of the world's first multi-launch rocket system invented during the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910). Historical fiction is risky business, particularly in a country bound by deep cultural and historical homogeneity, and this film shows both the triumphs and perils of venturing into this genre.
The faction film employs anachronism to set a Tom and Jerry-type power struggle (since the Sino-Korean conflict occurred a century earlier), where China is becoming increasingly hostile in controlling the internal affairs of its small tributary state, Joseon. King Sejong (Ahn Seong-gi) is determined to strengthen the country's autonomy and has been secretly funding the development of a sophisticated weapon. But as the Chinese authority closes in on the project, the weapons designer commits suicide. All is not lost, however, as the scientist's daughter Hong-ri (Han Eung...More
The number of movie-goers in July jumped more than 21 percent compared to the previous month to 17-and-a-half million.
Korean movies in particular accounted for half of total screenings nationwide last weekend.
That's a rebound from their record low of 7 percent in May.
Korean-style Western movie "The Good, the Bad, the Weird" is the box-office hit with 5-point-4 million viewers so far.
As for director Kwak Gyeong-taek's action flick "Eye for an Eye" more than a million people watched it in its opening week. "Sunny" a movie set during the Vietnam War attracted more than 1-and-a-half million theater-goers.
When you hit rock bottom, there's no other way but up.
After hitting a record low in May, Korean cinema is slowly emerging from the slump with a string of box office hits like "The Good, the Bad, the Weird". An alternative version of this "kimchi Western" ― the one that awed viewers at the 2008 Cannes Film Festival ― is now in theaters. The buoyant mood for homegrown flicks is expected to continue throughout the latter half of the year.
Since its release July, the spaghetti Western-inspired film starring three top actors drew in 5.17 million viewers, Barunson Film Division announced Sunday. This beats the ticket sales record set by "The Chaser", which sold 5.13 million, and continues the good standing of domestic flicks like June's "Public Enemy Returns".
It held the top box office ranking despite the screening of star-studded Hollywood imports like "Wanted". The $1.7 billion action flick, however, conceded its spot on the box office to $18 billion venture "The Mumm...More
CJ Entertainment announced that the kimchi western accumulated 4.13 million admissions in just eleven days. "Public Enemy Returns" was in 2008 the second fastest to reach the 4 million mark in 25 da...More
The edited version of "The Good, the Bad, the Weird" that screened at the Cannes International Film Festival will be coming to Korean theaters on August 6th.
"We received a lot of requests from the public regarding the Cannes cut of 'The Good, the Bad, the Weird'. That is why we will be releasing that version of the movie to ten CGV theaters on the 6th", explain...More
Some 1,700 Chinese fans of the Korean Wave packed seats of a concert co-produced by Korea's CJ Entertainment and Chinese CCTV, as part of the "Meet in Beijing" cultural event recently organized by Beijing authorities.
Gracing the concert were five Korean teams, including balladeer Shin Seung-hun, sexy Chae Yeon, pop idols Battle and nine Chinese teams, including national singer Sun Nan and Taiwanese vocalist Zhou Huajian. The event climaxed when singers and the audience sang the 1988 Seoul Olympic theme song "Hand in Hand" and "Beijing Huan Yin Ni (Beijing Welcomes You)", written to mark D-100 of the Beijing Olympics.
Experts predict the concert could rekindle the Korean pop culture wave in China, which has recently lost momentum. Since the start of the year, pop stars from around the globe, in...More
The fight and race over what is believed to be a valuable map - titled "The Good, the Bad, the Weird" (Joheun Nom, Nappeun Nom, Isanghan Nom) - entered cinemas with its guns drawn and left its competition behind in clouds of gunfire. The kimchi western dug up treasure when it surpassed the 2 million landmark in its opening weekend. Its distributor CJ Entertainment announced on Monday morning a total of 2,186 million viewers since its release on Thursday July 17.
"The Good, the Bad, the Weird", a $17-million oriental Western by veteran filmmaker Kim Jee-woon, topped the domestic box office in its opening weekend, selling a record 2.19 million tickets in four days since its release on Thursday.
What's notable is that the movie has also signed on for a rare deal: English subtitles. Although only CGV Yongsan theater provides the Korean movie in English subtitles, it seemed a welcome change for a growing expat community in Korea.
Korean film industry leader CJ Entertainment has paired with America's biggest independent studio, Lionsgate, and Asian re-make king, Roy Lee's Vertigo Entertainment for a marriage made in heaven. They will co-produce "Korean Wedding", a project pitched and penned by Jason Filardi (Bringing Down the House).
The comedy is the first to feature miscegenation between an American man and a Korean woman as its main theme. The story is about a young American guy who falls in love with a Korean woman while teaching En...More
Kim Jee-woon's latest film "The Good, the Bad, and the Weird" (Joheun Nom, Nappeun Nom, Isanghan Nom) will open in the U.S. in the first half of 2009, according to its distributor CJ Entertainment. The Korean flavoured western will play in Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, and three more major U.S. cities.
New York's Independent Film Channel agreed a deal with CJ Entertainment about Korea's most expensive film (US$ 17 million). Previously, "...More
Public Enemy 3 reached the landmark in less time than his predecessors, only 25 days. CJ Entertainment – the producer of the film – expects that the film will go on to reach 5 million viewers; so ...More
CJ Entertainment ended the contract with IFC Entertainment about exporting the movie to the States this 15th. The movie will be released in 5 theaters in the U.S such as New York, LA, and...more....More
KOFIC is hosting a 4-day business campus for Japanese and Korean producers at a resort on the balmy island of Jeju, south of the Korean mainland. Taking place July 8 – 11, the campus brings together 5 Korean and 5 Japanese producers each with projects in development.
Highlights of the itinerary include intensive seminars for the producers on Korea-Japanese co-productions, along with expert guest speakers, such as CJ Entertainment's foreign investment manager who will speak on co-production financing.
Among the 5 Korean participants are Jonathan KIM, a leading producer in the industry with films such as "Lies", "Silmido", ...More
Director Kim Jee-woon ("A Bittersweet Life", 2005) finally brings home what had judges in awe at 2008 Cannes in its out-of-competition section. While inspired by Sergio Leone's spaghetti Western "The Good, the Bad, the Ugly", 1966, "kimchi" Western (as the Toronto International Film Festival calls it) "The Good, the Bad, the Weird" achieves, with finesse, the creative struggle of transforming self and heritage into something new.
"Good" is seductively entertaining in the way you expect a Western movie to be: three of Korea's most endearing actors ride around with guns on horseback and engage in a pulsating train robbery, cross-country treasure hunt and three-way shootout. But the films has that inherent Koreanness; it capitalizes on heritage in a new playing field. Exceeding all domestic records in ter...More
The first Korean blockbuster of the summer, "Public Enemy Returns", opens June 19th, just in time to shake up a national box office that has been dominated by Hollywood fare for several weeks. Director Kang Woo-seok brings forth his third installment in the successful franchise that began with "Public Enemy" in 2002.
This year has so far marked the return of many screen heroes, such as Indiana Jones and Rambo - and the antihero Kang Cheol-jung. In "Public Enemy Returns", Seol Kyeong-gu ("Public Enemy", 2002; "Another Public Enemy" - "Public Enemy 2" 2005) brazenly exhibits his sixth sense for acting as the diehard detective. Cheol-jung does not let his boss - or the audience - down in this funny, street-smart sequel, which also raises some critical social issues.
With disheveled hair, an unwashed windbreaker and a scar here and there, Cheol-jung is always diving headfirst into crime scenes. After 15 years of close calls with death, he's seen and done it all. The most notorious criminals sheepishly surrender to this thug of a man, who recklessly beats men twice his size, referees duels between schoolboys and openly accepts small bribes.
And of course, when a situation calls for good cop, bad cop tactics, we can guess the role Cheol-jung takes. But it's hard not to develop an affinity for this flawed man, who's seen getting seriously offended by a third grader's joke and submitting to his li...More
A robust, grisly horror film boosted by excellent performances
Kyu Hyun Kim (qhyunkim)
A meek but kind insurance salesman Jeon Jun-O (Hwang Jeong-min, "Happiness") is handpicked by a creepy metalworker, Park Choong-Bae (Kang Shin-il, "Silmido"), for renewal of the policies on the his family. Visiting Park's spectacularly decrepit adobe, Jun-O ends up discovering the body of Park's young son, apparently a suicide.
Meeting Choong-Bae's wife Yi-Hwa (Yoo Seon, "The Wig" - "Scary Hair"), a pale beauty who has seemingly exhausted her capacity for grief, Jun-O begins to suspect that the boy's death was in fact a murder, and that she is next in line.
What Jun-O does not understand is that his small act of kindness (and breach of professional ethics) over a phone consultation has already ensnared him in a web of deceit, mutilation and murder, spun by a psychopath who makes Norman Bates in "Psycho" look like SpongeBob SquarePants.
A Japan-Korea coproduction, "Black House" is based on Japanese writer Yűsuke Kishi's award-winning early novel, having been filmed once in 1999 by Morita Yoshimitsu ("Family Game"), also scheduled to debut this summer on Region 1 DVD. Unfortunately, it emulates the strategy of Hollywood remakes of the J-horror, by boosting up volume and scare tactics but largely abandons the kind of phlegmatic, deliberately paced terror expected in the high-end Japanese genre literature or film, not to mention the original's superb characterizations.
"Kung Fu Panda", a new animated feature from DreamWorks, thrives on its sophisticated cinematography. When the main character named Po suffers a punch, the screen shifts into slow-motion for greater effect. When Po provides a slapstick gag, the camera does not move, allowing the audiences to enjoy the scene as it is.
The enhanced techniques have been spearheaded by Jhun Yong-duk, head of layout at DreamWorks -- equivalent to cinematographer or director of photography in conventional filmmaking.
It was Jeffrey Katzenberg, chief executive officer of DreamWorks, who asked Jhun to revamp the cinematography to give "Kung Fu Panda" its seamless and uninterrupted visuals.
"One day, I had a breakfast with Mr. Katzenberg, and he told me that 'Kung Fu Panda' should be made as a really cinematic film, so I did my homework, for about two months, and then gave a presentation to him about the cinematic camera technique, and he liked it", Jhun said in an interview with The Korea Herald on Wednesday.
Innovative director Kim Jee-woon presented with "The Good, the Bad, the Weird" one of the most anticipated and applauded films at Festival de Cannes, which is reflected in the slate of international distribution right sales at the Cannes market by CJ Entertainment.
The kimchi western – a reference to the influence of Sergio Leone's spaghetti western The Good, the Ugly, the Bad – stars Lee Byung-hun, Song Kang-ho and Jeong Woo-seong, three star actors with international appeal.
So far, most interest was expressed by European and Asian buyers. Icon Film obtained the UK rights and Huayi Brothers bought the rights for the Chinese market. Innoform (Singapor...More
Director Choe Ik-hwan ("Whispering Corridors 4: 'Voice Letter"') brings "Life is Cool", South Korea's first rotoscoped film. In this HD film project by CJ Entertainment, local production company DNA, which whipped up animation and graphics for "The Animatrix", creates hip visuals for a friendly love story.
Rotoscoping is a process in which animators trace over a live action sequence, frame by frame. It goes beyond computer-generated imagery for larger than life effects. By utilizing what's only possible in animation, it gives 3D action added dimension ― it's tech savvy and digital but breathes life into the film.
"Life" took only a month of actual shooting but almost two years and 140 artists for rotoscoping. One may wonder, why go through the trouble, as leading lady ...More
It's been a long, long time since Dr. Henry "Indiana" Jones Jr. rode off into the sunset. Or, to be more specific, it's been 19 years. Yet it is still too early to discount this Hollywood adventure film franchise. In fact, the newest Indiana installment seems likely to snatch up many, if not most, of the crystallized box-office skulls in Korea.
After a press preview on Tuesday, initial reaction from theater operators and critics about "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull" seemed largely positive, especially concerning its potential as a box-office frontrunner. The film, released nationwide yesterday, is widely expected to outsmart other Korean and foreign competitors easily.
The film had already scooped up a record 86 percent in ticket reservation rates across the nation as of Wednesday according to the Korean Film Council, sparking speculation that Indiana might ride off to the biggest hit in Korean cinema this yea...More
The 61st Cannes Film Festival has kicked off with fanfare, spicing up the festive mood for moviegoers all around the world. The ebullient mood remains largely the same here in Korea, but one thing is palpably different: There's no chance for a Korean movie or actor grabbing an award in the competition section this year.
Last year was special for the Korean film industry. Jeon Do-yeon won the prestigious best actress award for her impassioned role in the heart-wrenching flick "Secret Sunshine". This year, however, such dramatic development is unlikely to occur because no Korean film has been invited to the competition section.
But it is too early to shift attention from Korean filmmakers toward Hollywood stars. After all, five Korean movies are to be screened in various sections at Cannes, and all of them have a potential to charm foreign filmmakers, critics and media in various ways.
Local film weekly magazine, Cine 21, provided its annual list of the most powerful players in the Korean film industry, with CJ Entertainment president KIM Joo-seong at the top for the first time. With the industry taking a downturn last year, CJ Ent. has grown to become the key investor and distributor for many of the biggest projects expected out this year, including "Modern Boy" and "The Good, the Bad, the Weird".
In second place was Cha Seung-jae of SIDUS FNH, switching from the top spot last year and the year before. In third was Cinema Service founder and director Kang Woo-seok, ("Silmido", "...More
The Korean airwaves will soon be alive with "My Fair Lady", when a TV reality show begins auditions to cast the role of Eliza Doolittle in an upcoming Seoul production of the beloved Broadway musical.
OD Musical Company, joining hands with ON media, one of local cable TV channels, is producing the first Korean version of TV reality shows selecting new musical stars. It follows a similar format that the hit BBC series "How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria?" took two years ago.
The British TV production enjoyed incredible popularity and made Connie Fisher, a telephone operator, a new-born star chosen by the public to play Maria in the musical "The Sound of Music". The BBC program won the 2007 International Emmy Award for best non-scripted entertainment program.
A much-lauded Korean movie is to be remade in the U.S. with a big star headlining in it.
According to the Boston Globe, Park Chan-wook's "Sympathy for Lady Vengeance" (sometimes called "Lady Vengeance) is to be remade and Oscar-winning actress Charlize Theron will star as the leading role, originally played by ...More
"Stepping out of the comfort zones"
Literally, an actor makes their living through their outer image. Thus they undergo an endless changes and transformation in order to unfold their hidden charms. Recently, the female actors who had been hidden under the tag of being 'sexy' or 'innocent' took a critical counterattack to bring out their true charms.
Korea's No.1 sexy beauties Jeon Ji-hyeon and Kim Jeong-eun transformed themselves into free and easy-going characters without any make-ups; and the No. 1 innocent beauties, Son Ye-jin and Lee Bo-yeong brought out their strong femme fatale sexiness. The following is the stories of HOT ladies' transformations in their HOT movies.
European and Asian buyers closed deals on several Korean films' rights at the Berlin Film festival's market. Jeon Ji-hyeon's star power in Asia resulted in "A Man Who Was Superman" being sold to Hong Kong (Golden Scene), Thailand (J-Bics), and Singapore (Festive Films) by CJ Entertainment. The human interest drama was directed by Jeong Yoon-cheol and stars Hwang Jeong-min as a traumatised man.
A Seoul cop, Tae-su (Korea's top action choreographer/stunt artist Jeong Doo-hong), receives the shocking news that his childhood friend Wang-jae (a Ryoo Seung-wan regular, Ahn Kil-gang), a retired wise guy, has been stabbed to death by a handful of punks. Tae-su goes back to his hometown, On-sung, to attend Wang-jae's funeral. He immediately smells a rat.
The town is under the thumb of their old buddy Pil-ho (Lee Beom-soo, "Oh! Brothers", "Superstar Mr. Gam"), now a big shot gangster and involved in a citywide real estate development scheme. Tae-su reluctantly teams up with the short-tempered Seok-hwan (director Ryoo Seung-wan) to avenge Wang-jae's murder.
Ryoo Seung-wan, one of the most talented Korean directors and an action film maven, hit the jackpot last time by branching out into the sports drama in "Crying Fist". For the latest endeavor, he consciously returned to his cinema geek roots and put together a self-consciously generic Asian action film evoking great classics of yesteryears.
Even though lazy "Western" critics perpetually drag out Quentin Tarantino when referring to Ryoo's works, the superficial similarities of "The City of Violence" to Tarantino's "Kill Bill" really result from both filmmakers drawing upon common sources: Shaw Brothers martial arts blockbusters, John Woo's HK film noir, classic "samurai" films and spaghetti Westerns with morose, twanging guitar scores. Other than that, Ryoo's swea...More
CJ-CGV, one of the top three exhibition chains in Korea, will devote a screen at its central-Seoul multiplex in the Yongsan Station shopping center to the exclusive showing of domestic films with English subtitles. The long-term project is a team strategy between CGV and local powerhouse studio CJ Entertainment in a bid to provide the growing foreign community with equal access to popular Korean film culture.
The first film to screen at the new foreigner-friendly venue will be CJ's star vehicle "...More
Starting this week foreigners in Seoul will be able to enjoy Korean movies with English subtitles in theaters as soon as they are released.
CJ Entertainment, one of the country's top film distributors and producers, says it will premier select Korean movies with subtitles at CGV Yongsan, the multiplex nearest to the U.S. military base in the capital.
The first to be screened will be "...More
Acclaimed director Hong Sang-soo will return to the Berlin International Film Festival with his eighth film "Night and Day", which screens in the festival's competition section. This will be the first time that a film by HONG competes at Berlin, after his previous works "Woman is the Future of Man" (2004) and "Tale of Cinema" (2005) competed at Cannes.
The film, recipient of 2005 KOFIC Production Support for Art Films, which was 90% shot in Paris, stars Kim Yeong-ho as an artist who runs off to France and leaves behind his wife played by Hwang Soo-jeong....More
CGV Yongsan in central Seoul will devote a screen to the exclusive showing of popular domestic movies with English-language subtitles, an unprecedented move by a movie theater.
"It's to serve the many foreigners in Korea who want to watch Korean films. They won't have to wait for DVDs with English-language subtitles anymore", Chong Choe from CJ Entermatinment's International Strategy team told The Korea Times.
CJ Entertainment and CGV have announced that they will begin providing current Korean movies with English-language subtitles, starting with director Jeong Yoon-cheol's "A Man Who Was Superman", reflecting the increasing demand from foreigners here.
"Initially, the selected movies will show on one screen at Yongsan CGV theaters for the duration of the films' domestic theatrical run", CJ said in a statement. "The lineup ...More
Director Lim Pil-seong is back with his second feature, Hansel and Gretel, a fantasy-horror loosely based on the famous Brothers Grimm's fairy tale and updated to modern day Korea. While his debut feature "Antarctic Journal" (2005) placed a group of men in an icy, barren polar landscape, where the human psyche preys on itself,...More
The second installment in the You Il-han and Ahn Byeong-ki team-up horror series concerns a young working mother Min-young (Kim Seo-hyeong, the victimized teacher in "Voice Letter"), who moves into an "office-tel" room (a studio flat that doubles as a workplace) with a kindergarten-age daughter (Kim Yoo-jeong). Of course, the office-tel turns out to be spooked by the spirit of another young mother, whose attacks are responsible for a series of mysterious deaths. Soon it is uncovered that the building originally had another floor (the "fourth floor", which, like the thirteenth floor in the West, is considered bad luck and usually absent in Korean buildings). When the vengeful spirit seeks to possess Min-young's daughter, she decides to uncover the sordid past of the office-tel building.
Written and directed by Kwon Il-soon, who received notice due to his short "Hide and Seek" (2001) that, not coincidentally, explores a young child's feelings of loss of her mother, "Forbidden Floor - 4 Horror Tales" unfortunately suffers from overly familiar setups. As I have been lamenting on these and other pages, Korean and Japanese horror films have long been infested by the pointless Sadako clones (PSC), which in ironic ways have fulfilled the fictional promise of Suzuki Koji's o...More
Sex comedy is not a familiar genre with Korean audiences, many of whom regard themselves as somewhat conservative, or deadly super-duper conservative. But "Sex is Zero", released in 2002, changed that conventional wisdom.
The toilet-humor-filled sex-or-die comedy pulled in a respectable 4.2 million viewers in 2002 and even ranked fourth at the box-office for the year. Since then, a handful of imitations have come out, but none of them have hit a jackpot -- yet.
All of this has apparently encouraged the production house which made the original "Sex is Zero" to forge ahead with a sequel. The logic, of course, is that people remembering the unabashed sex comedy will return to the theater, and, for the filmmakers of "Sex Is Zero 2", there seems to be nothing wrong with repeating the same formula -- plot, characters, sex-oriented scenes, and all that -- as long as a minimum box-office return is guaranteed.
[DVD Review] You Il-han's horror short given a lackluster adaptation
Kyu Hyun Kim (qhyunkim)
"4 Horror Tales" was the 2006 summer season's top-line experiment of producing four horror movies based on Yoo Il-han's short stories on the cheap in high definition video. The tab was picked up by CJ Entertainment and TV station SBS. Yoo himself was involved as executive producer, teaming up with Korea's resident horror specialist Ahn Byeong-ki ("Phone", "A.P.T", among others) and giving opportunities to four young directors to scare up the audience in theaters as well as on TV screens.
The first installment "February 29 - 4 Horror Tales" might be of interest to the fans of "Dae Jang Geum" ("Jewel in the Palace"), a mega-hit Korean TV drama, since two among its main cast members, Im Ho (who played the Choseon monarch Joongjong) and Park Eun-hye (Jang-geum's friend Yeon-saeng), star in the movie.
Park plays Ji-yeon, who we first see in a padded cell claiming to a skeptical journalist that a ghost of a female serial killer is responsible for a slew of killings on February 29, four years ago. In the main story, we find her working as a tollgate attendant. First she encounters a cryptic driver who keeps giving her blood-soaked tickets, and then someone who is dressed just like her be...More
Korean films are struggling to maintain their market share, as a dearth of major hits undercuts their competitiveness, latest data released by the Korean Film Council (KOFIC) showed.
The number of Korean moviegoers who watched local films plunged 29.1 percent year-on-year in the January-October period this year. In contrast, foreign films witnessed a 35.3 percent growth in ticket sales during the same period.
The market share of Korean movies also tumbled from 62.3 percent last year to 46.4 percent this year, while foreign films rallied to achieve the remaining 53.6 percent, sharply up from 37.7 percent.
What's worse, while viewership slid significantly, the number of Korean films released in the first 10 months was 89, three more than the same period a year ago, further worsening profitability.
Hostile market conditions are dealing a harsh blow to major film distributors here. Heavyweight producers like CJ Entertainment, Showbox and ...More
Park Chan-wook once said he felt destined to make a vampire film ("Thirst"). The director of the famed 'vengeance trilogy' is busy developing precisely that, and buyers at the American Film Market (AFM) are excited. The project is titled Bakjwi in Korean and was formerly known as "Evil Live" in English, although a new title is now being sought. The story revolves around a priest who, while undergoing a strange medical experiment, is transformed into a bloodthirs...More
The Asian Film Market was again bustling in its second year although buyers tended to window-shop and take notes for later. A number of Korean films were picked up mainly for TV/DVD rights. Korean sales agent Cineclick Asia sealed a number of deals, selling all rights to Kim Ki-duk's "Breath" to Saudi Arabia-based Ghassan Production and Distribution for the Middle Eastern territories.
Industry heavyweight CJ Entertainment's President KIM Joo-sung has unveiled the first film project partnership with China Film Group Corp (CFGC), easily the largest movie group in China. The announcement follows on the heels of memorandum of understanding between the two companies, signed in June of 2007. The Korea-China co-production will be a martial arts epic called Thangka, based on a Tibetan Buddhist painting of the same name.
The film is about a Tang Dynasty princess who was married to a Tibetan king and introduced Chinese culture in Tibet. It will be directed by Jacob Chang ("A Battle of Wits)" from a script by Liu Heng, whose Assembly is o...More
Jeon Ji-hyeon next project will be director Jeong Yoon-cheol's film Syoopeomaenieotteon Sanai (English translation: "A Man Who Was Superman"). Jeon will play an opportunistic documentary maker who decides to make a documentary about a man who believes that he is superhero. ...More
CJ Entertainment has agreed to launch a joint project with China.
The president of CJ says that he signed a memorandum of understanding in Beijing with the chief of China's largest film agency, the China Film Group, on the jointly invested production of the film 'Thangka' and another project aimed at fostering young Chinese filmmakers.
The film is about a historical Tang dynasty princess married to a Tibetan king who introduced Chinese culture to Tibet.
Also known as Gianna Jeon, the heroine of "My Sassy Girl" (2001) will play the role of a small production company head who tries, using coercive measures, to document the life of a heartless Superman (Hwang).
"The unique script was very appealing and I am looking forward to working with Hwang Jeong-min", she ...More
According to the latest box office, historical-tragedy "May 18", has surpassed 7 million ticket sales as of September 3, making it the highest grossing Korean-language film of the year. The Korean-produced but English-language D-War is thus far the overall box office champion of 2007. "May 18" is directed by Kim Ji-hoon, previously responsible for "Mokpo, Gangster's Paradise" (2005).
Showbox blockbuster "D-War" was unleashed Wednesday August 1st on 530 screens, taking in 417,000 admissions which makes it the biggest Wednesday opening on local record. The English-language but Korean produced film went on to capture 2.95 million ticket sales by the close of Sunday, surpassing the year's previous opening week record-holder Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End and just falling short of the all-time record of 3.17 million set by last year's Showbox release, ...More
"May 18" opened strong, taking in US$ 10.1 million in its first weekend. The CJ Entertainment title took the top spot at the box office with 1.45 million viewers. "May 18" also broke another deadlock by becoming the first Korean film to lead the pre-sales in thirteen weeks. In its first few days – ahead of the opening weekend – the film attracted already 126,000 viewers. All these factors together cause hopefuls to speculate about whether "May 18" may achieve the most successful opening week fo...More
A sequel of the 2002 comedy "Sex Is Zero" is planned to be released at the end of the year. Im Chang-jeong will return as the male protagonist, but Ha Ji-won won't feature in the follow-up, the female lead will be played by Song Ji-hyo. YOON Tae-yoon will direct.
The summer season has been dominated by Hollywood blockbusters, but a wide collection of Korean films are lining up for a release during the Chuseok holiday in September.
The holiday, which will effectively last from September 22 to 26, is traditionally one of the busiest times of the year at the local box office. With many big hits having been launched during Chuseok in past years, attention is focusing on which of this year's films may have the potential to break out.
Local distributors CJ Entertainment, Lotte Entertainment, Showbox, and Cinema Service have each lined up a film for release, while Hollywood branch office Fox will also distribute one Korean title.
The memories flash back in a rush of images: kids flinging rocks at policemen in a typical antigovernment display that I witnessed one sunny May day in 1980 in Kwangju, the restive center of the Cholla region in southwestern Korea. When I returned two weeks later, the city was cut off by soldiers, and students were careening through the streets as helicopters dropped leaflets imploring "Sons and Daughters, return home".
For the next 10 days, after Gen. Chun Doo Hwan declared martial law on May 18, rebels held sway over a historically hostile regional center in revolt against national leaders.
That atmosphere is revived in a new film, "May 18" (화려한 휴가 in Korean), about a rustic enclave soon to assume a tragic place in history. Above the title, the words, "The Day a Nation's Conscience Died", recall the assault by special forces ordered to retake Kwangju in retribution not just for the rebels' insolence but for that of mentors seen as "leftist" or "communist" foes almost as bad as the leaders of North Korea.
The revolt was the bloodiest event in the sequence that culminated in the rise of democracy – and also of an anti-Americanism fostered by the claim that the US had gone along with Chun's pulling troops under Roh's command from the line with North Korea to send them south.
"Black House" (Geomeun Jib) is currently a hit in Korean cinemas and will next attempt to woe Japanese audiences. The horror film will open in October in 250 Japanese cinemas, a number equaling Bong Joon-ho's The Host' Japanese release.
Monster and horror films take an important place in the Japanese film culture and they are worldwide considered as masters of those genres. The wide-releases and the great anticipation of the horror film "Black House" and the monster film The Host in Japan is regarded as a significant feat.
Director Kim Jee-woon's big budget 'oriental western', "The Good, the Bad, the Weird" witnessed a weird change of financial hands while in the midst of production. Investor and distributor Showbox made a strange last-minute decision to pull out of the almost US$11 million project, while powerhouse competitor CJ Entertainment seems quite content to fill its place.
A new deal is currently underway for CJ to takeover chief financing and distribution of both KIM's film and the US$4.5 million fairy-tale-horror "...More
Biographical film "Hwangjin-y - Movie - 2007"'s Japanese distribution rights were bought by Pony Canyon. CJ Entertainment's lavish period costume drama starring Song Hye-kyo in the titular role was previously attained by Festive for release in Singapore and Malaysia.
Dealing with the events leading up to one of the tragedies in Korean history known as the Gwangju Massacre, "May 18th", directed by Kim Ji-hoon, will be the second big-budget historical film released this year following "Hwangjin-y - Movie - 2007", released earlier this month.
On May 18th, 1980 the government under then military general CHUN Doo-hwan, sent in troops to put down a civilian uprising. The repressive policies of general CHUN, who had ordered the shut down of universities, outlawed protests, censored the press, and arrested his political opposition, resulted in the Gwangju ...More
CJ Entertainment announced that they signed a memorandum of understanding with China Film Group Corp, a state owned company, at the Shanghai Film Festival. CJ explained that the agreement encompasses combining their knowledge and resources in numerous areas, including: financing, actors, directors and remakes.
The two parties plan to co-produce both Korean and Chinese la...More
With Korea's summer horror season now in full swing, a local film reclaimed the nation's number one box office spot after 8 weeks of Hollywood dominance. "Black House", directed by SIN Te-ra, debuted on June 21st and took 377,195 admissions over the June 22-24th weekend, beating out the previous week's champion, Ocean's Thirteen, according to the official KOBIS report. The only other local release was US – Korea co-production, "Never Forever", directed by ...More
The Korean Film Council(KOFIC) has recently completed the second round of its Asian Film Professionals Training Program.
Designed to promote exhanges and increased understanding in the Asian region, the program places selected Asian film professionals into internship positions at KOFIC. During their stay in Korea, participants study Korean language, visit local film festivals, and make contacts with other professionals in the Korean film industry. In the long term, the program aims to promote increas...More
SK Telecom, one of Korea's leading telecoms firms, is strongly considering a move into the Korean film industry.
The company announced on June 14 that it is considering setting up a film investment and distribution arm in 2008. Although SKT has already participated in film investment funds and owns a significant share of talent/production houses iHQ and Chungeorahm, the establishment of its own distribution arm would be expected to cause a considerable shakeup in the film industry.
"If we enter the film industry, we will unveil our new businesses from next year, however we have not yet determined the scale of the endeavor", the firm said. "We are also not ruling out the possibility of importing foreign titles in order to establish a distribution lineup".
Nonetheless, SKT stated that it is not consideri...More
The nation's oldest film awards ceremony, the Grand Bell Awards, gave its top prize to low-key hybrid-family-drama "Family Ties" ("The Birth of a Family") , directed by Kim Tae-yong. The film, which has toured a number of international film festivals winning the top prize at the International Thessaloniki Film Festival in Greece, also picked up a Grand Bell Best Screenplay award. The win was a happy surprise after many expected last summer's
blockbuster The Host to take top honors. "The Host" did however snatch up a Best Director award for Bong Joon-ho and Best Editing for ...More
As big Hollywood blockbusters start flooding our screens this summer, with every one claiming some box office record or other, the Chosun Ilbo for the first time rates the ticket sales of Korean movies, as opposed to audience numbers. The numbers come from movie distributors like CJ Entertainment, Showbox and Cinema Service, and the results are sometimes surprising.
When we rated the top 10 according to box office takings, the first to fifth were all overturned (chart 1). Thus "The Host" by Bong Joon-ho, which was seen by 13.02 million people, only comes second with a total income of W79.1 billion (US$1=938). Instead, "The King and the Clown" by Lee Joon-ik, which was seen by 12.3 million people, came first with a total income of W80.5 billion. "...More
Like Koreans enjoy specific dishes and activities in particular seasons, young Koreans have the tradition of being chilled down during the hot summer season by horror films; which compete with the spectacular blockbusters lined-up by Hollywood each summer. Early horror titles include "Black House" (Geomeun Jib) and "Evil Twin" (Jeonseolui Gohyang).
March, a slow month for ticket sales generally in Korea, marked one of the weakest months for Korean box office share since December of 2004. The domestic market share dropped to 21.6% last month, raising concerns in the wake of last year's reduction of the Screen Quota system which guarantees screen time for local fare. March saw tough competition from Hollywood with films 300, Music and Lyrics and Perfume: The Story of a Murderer dominating screens.
After a stand-out premiere at the 11th Pusan International Film Festival last fall, Kim Tae-sik's observational comedy "Driving With My Wife's Lover" has traveled around the world, screening at top festivals such as the Berlinale, Sundance and Rotterdam. Now it is scheduled to have its local release this month via CJ Entertainment.
The tale of a cuckolded husband seeking revenge but finding friendship is the feature debut by KIM, who also co-scripted the film. In the black-comed...More
Rivalry is a double-edged sword: It can be a bitter yet healthy pill to accelerate sound competition, or it can cut into a formerly amicable relationship, driving a wedge between friends.
Either way, rivalry is an interesting theme for filmmakers, and director Jang Gyoo-seong has attempted to dissect what underlies a bittersweet competition between close friends in his latest flick "Small Town Rivals (Yijanggwa gunsu)".
The Korean title offers a clue about the film's structure. "Yijang" refers to the head of a small town, a nominal title that does not carry much public authority. "Gunsu", meaning magistrate, is one of the highest positions in a provincial government. Their gap is as wide as, well, the stylistic discrepancy between Cha Seung-won and Yoo Hae-jin.
Cha is widely recognized as Korea's fashion icon. In fact, he used to be a top-rated fashion model. Yoo does not have such fashionable credentials because his strength lies in comic roles that do not require g...More
Industry should try to focus on producing more creative 'Made in Korea' musicals
This is the second in an eight-part series of articles that looks into the country's cultural and entertainment sectors and explores ways to help sharpen their competitive edge. - Ed.
By Cho Chung-un
On the first day of March, Independence Day, the production company of the blockbuster musical "The Last Empress" announced that the show's total audience exceeded 1 million.
The record was quite significant as it was the first time a homegrown musical production drew over 1 million viewers and because it reassured the struggling local stage industry.
Mostly reproduced by local musical companies, foreign musicals have achieved enormous success so far, as exemplified by "Miss Saigon", "Mamma Mia", "Jekyll and Hyde" and "Evita". A number of French musicals, such as "Don Juan", "Notre Dame de Paris" and "Les Dix Commandements", hit the stage with remarkable success despite high ticket prices. The dramatic increase in the number of musicals is matched with a continuing rise in the number of musical fans. About 2.6 million people or nearly half of the number of all theater-goers went to see musicals last year, according to a survey conducted by Ticketlink, a local promoter.
The increase in the number of foreign productions has helped enlarge the size of the local market, although critics warned it would negatively affect efforts to nurture creative Korean musical productions.
"The inflow of foreign musicals in recent years has largely caused local audiences to increase their expectations of upcoming musical productions. There should be more new creations including blockbuster projects which could break the existing record, just like the smash-hit film 'Swiri' opened a new phas...More
The mother-daughter relationship is complicated for most women. It is often fraught with hurt, disappointment, anger or conflict and love.
But undoubtedly, most women cannot deny that mother is synonymous with sacrifice and devotion, at least in the traditional way of Korean thinking.
It is often thought that the relationship between a mother and daughter solidifies and deepens when the daughter goes off to get married and learns for herself the sacrifices and demands of motherhood.
It is this long-twined relationship between mother and daughter that is the theme of the essay-turned-play, "My Mom". The play will open in Taehangno, central Seoul, on April 12 throughout March 6.
The Korean title is "Chinjong Omma", or daughter's mother.
The play is based on the best-selling essay written by author ...More
Director Lee Joon-ik has announced his next project, reprising themes from his previous film "Radio Star" (2006). He is currently preparing to shoot "Joyful Life", a nostalgic tale about three unhappy middle-agers who, some 20 years ago, had a room-salon-touring rock band along with a fourth member. Reunited after the funeral of the fourth, they meet the son of their Dead Friend, and together form a new rock band to escape from their daily doldrums....More
Korean all-time box office champion "The Host" is set to open in China on 250 screens. Beijing recently approved the film in a deliberation process that began last September. The film will be the widest release thus far granted to a Korean film and will open in early March under the title "The Host" of the Han River.
The story of a ravenous monster – spawned from chemicals dumped by the US army into Seoul's central river – is expected to be a big draw among Chinese audiences seeking an effects heavy thriller produced outside of Hollywood, with its uniquely Korean narrative.
Huaxia, the film's Chinese distributor, intends to invite director Bong Joon-ho to the premiere. China's censor board rec...More
Rising Korean-wave star Lee Joon-ki has completed shooting a Korean-Japanese joint production, "Virgin Snow", in which he plays the male lead opposite one of Japan's rising stars, actress MIYAZAKI Aoi (Nana). LEE became an overnight sensation at home after starring as the gender-bending Konggil in "The King and the Clown".
In "Virgin Snow", LEE plays Min, a Korean university student who is transferred to Japan when his father, a professor, gets posted to Kyoto in an exchange position at a university. There, Min meets Nanae (MIYA...More
Ahn Seong-gi stars opposite Hong Kong star Andy Lau in the epic "A Battle of Wits". The film was released in China about a month before the end of 2006, but still managed to become the most successful film at the box office in the second part of the year. The film also enjoys commercial and critical success in Hong Kong and Taiwan.
Battle of Wits is a co-production between Korea, Hong Kong, China and Japan. Besides AHN, Korean contributions to the project are made by the actor Choi Si-won and the studio Boram Entertainment. CJ Entertainment distributes the film in Korea from January 11.
"CSI", "24" and "Lost" -- if a show's a hit in the U.S., it will likely be a hit in Korea, too. Korean dramas are trying to make the formula work in reverse but still are unable to replicate Hollywood's success -- for now.
Major hits in the U.S. cost studios about 3-4 billion won per episode. In Korea, that amount is more in line with movie production and is astronomical for TV.
Hallyu, or Korean Wave, once produced hits like "Winter Sonata" but is being shaken to its roots. Both at home and abroad, viewers want more than a celebrity face and the typical Cinderella plot lines.
Against this backdrop a new trend is rising. Big domestic companies like CJ Entertainment are showing interest in K-drama projects intended for worldwide release.
Big corporations out to make big K-drama hits
CJ Entertainment, Korea's biggest producer, investor and distributor of movies has officially embarked on its first joint production of a home drama, "When It's Spring Again", which will begin airing on Monday, January 15.
This isn't the first time CJ Entertainment has shown interest in dramas. The company has been a major backer for drama producer Eight Peaks Co. Ltd. and has been directly investing in other d...More
Low-Budget Films Suffer From Unfair Market Practices of Three Big Companies
By Kim Tae-jong
The local film industry last year produced two mega hits _ the historical piece "The King and the Clown" and the monster film "The Host" _ which sold more than 12 million and 13 million tickets, respectively.
The films' most remarkable feat, however, was their dominance of the market.
While the two films were showing last year, almost half the screens in the country were devoted to them. Small-budget films were nudged out of theaters, and audiences didn't have much choice in which films to watch.
A bill has been proposed in the National Assembly to reduce the dominance of large companies.
The bill's main purpose is to regulate how multiplex theaters allocate screens to films. It aims to protect small films and offer audiences a chance to enjoy more diverse movies by preventing one from dominating screens.
"Our basic idea is to keep cultural diversity for the audience's right to choose", said Kim Sang-chul, secretary to Rep. Chun Young-se of the Democratic Labor Party. Chun proposed the bill.
Kim agreed that popular films tend to play on more screens but said it is film distributors and theater owners' job to decide which films ...More
CJ Entertainment Vice Chairwoman Lee Mi-kyeong has been cited as the most influential figure in Korean popular culture, according to the results of the Herald Business Daily's survey of the country's top 30 pop icons released on Thursday.
The business daily said that the survey was conducted on a professional group of 30 film producers and distributors, management company chiefs, broadcasting producers, music producers and film directors, and its own culture and entertainment reporters.
Orion Group President Lee Hwa-kyung dropped from her top spot last year to second place this year. Ge...More
Dieter Kosslick, director of the prestigious European film festival, recently sent an official invitation for the offbeat romantic comedy film, according to All That Cinema, a public relations company for films in Seoul.
Director Park will likely visit the German capital during the festival in February along with actor Jung Ji-hoon, also known as singer Rain, and actress Im Soo-jeong, who starred in the film.
It is the second invitation for Park, who enjoys wide popularity among non-Korean audiences as well...More
The fantasy blockbuster "The Restless" will be shown in as many as 450 theaters across the nation on Friday. CJ Entertainment, the film's distributor, said Wednesday that the exact number of theaters has yet to be decided, but it has secured some 400 theaters now, with the possibility of reaching 450.
CJ Entertainment is trying its best to secure as many theaters as possible so that it can attract more viewers not only because it is a major investor in ...More
Singer Rain is likely to make his name known to the world once again, but not as singer this time but rather as an actor.
A source from CJ Entertainment, the distributor of the film "I'm a Cyborg, but That's OK" starring Rain and Im Soo-jeong, said Friday that they plan to submit the film to an international film festival. "Given the time, it will likely be the Cannes International Festival to be held in May of next year", he added.
A film about a romance taking place at a mental hospital, "I'm a Cyborg, but That's OK" is director Park Chan-wook's latest work after his vengeance trilogy--"...More
The new James Bond movie "Casino Royale" to be released on Dec. 21 is distributed here by Sony Pictures Releasing Buena Vista International. The mouthful of a company name was created by a Nov. 30 merger between the Korean operations of Sony and Buena Vista, which entered the domestic market in 1990 and 1993. The two say the merger deal aims to create "synergy", but the real reason was a need to restructure due to difficulties they face in the Korean market.
As the market share of foreign movies declines due to the popularity of Korean movies, Hollywood distributors here are scaling down or restructuring their business here. Overseas, by contrast, demand for Korean movies is falling dramatically after a peak last year. In short, Korean moviegoers don't watch foreign movies and foreigners no longer watch ...More
Newspapers have published reports about the recent Korean culture boom, or hallyu, sweeping over East Asian countries. Though some critics claim hallyu works only in Asia, such phenomenon, however, is not solely based on the similarity or common feelings that Asians share.
Recently, growing interest in Korean culture, television dramas and movies have been seen in Central and South America where cultural exchanges only recently began. "Winter Sonata", a famous Korean drama starring Bae Yong-joon and Choi Ji-woo, began winning recognition from Venezuelan viewers in October of this year.
Likewise, Korean dramas and films are televised in Central and South America and gradually attracting Mexican, Chilean and Paraguayan viewers, dispersing Korean culture in the region.
Despite the different culture, geography and temperaments, "The Way Home", a movie that shows the relationship between a boy and his grandmother in rural Korea, touched Argentineans' hearts. Another Korean film "Old Boy"...More
Director Lee Joon-ik's King and the Clown (Produced by Eagle Pictures ? Cineworld) bagged the Best Picture and Best Screenplay awards at the 2006 Cape Town World Cinema Festival last November 20 in the Republic of South Africa.
This is the first time ever that a Korean film was invited to participate in the competition category of the Cape Town World Cinema Festival, the largest film festival in Africa. Director Kim, Ki-Duk's 3-Iron was invited to participate in the festival's non-competition category last year, and another film by Director Kim Jee-woon, A Bittersweet Life, this year.
Park Chan-wook's meditation on the meaning of revenge and its spiritual cost
Kyu Hyun Kim (qhyunkim)
"Lady Vengeance" ("Sympathy for Lady Vengeance") is marketed as the concluding chapter in Park Chan-wook's "vengeance" trilogy, a follow-up to "Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance" and "Old Boy". The truth of the matter is that Director Park never intended the latter two films to be connected in any way, and indeed they are quite different in tone and content from one another. "Sympathy" is in my opinion one of the most terrifying and darkest films ever made in the history of cinema. It tanked at the Korean box office, despite rave reviews by many critics. The viciously dazzling "Old Boy", however, not only turned out to be a smash box office success but also went on to garner stellar international reputation, winning the Grand Prix at the 2005 Cannes Film Festival. Now comes "Lady Vengeance", which in interesting but not always successful ways addresses some of the criticisms levelled at these two. As a work of art conceived and realized within the perimeters of the film noir-crime thriller genre, or as a showcase of the masterly control Park exerts on the cinematic medium, "Lady Vengeance" has few peers among its contemporaries, Korean or non-Korean. As a follow-up to "Sympathy" and "Old Boy", however, it leaves something to be desired. Still, we have no reason to doubt that this was exactly the movie Park wanted to make, a product of his personal vision.
"Lady Vengeance" begins with a startlingly beautiful 30-ish woman, Geum-ja (the Asian superstar Lee Young-ae and heroine of the mega-hit TV drama "Daejanggeum"), being released from prison, having completed 13 years of prison sentence for the kidnapping and murder of a young boy. Nicknamed "Kindly Miss Geum-ja" for being a model prisoner, going as far as donating one of her kidneys to a cellmate, she is welcomed by a singing church chorus dressed in Santa uniforms. Following a Korean custom, the Protestant minister who had aided her "spiritual rehabilitation" offers her a cube of tofu, so that "she can live pure and white like tofu, discarding her sinful past". Splat! Geum-ja nonchalantly drops it on the ground. To the minister and his brethren gasping with shock, she snaps: "Mind your own business, Jack".
As it turns out, Geum-ja's "kindly" demeanor was a camouflage hiding her true motive: to get back at the real murderer, her former schoolteacher Mr. Baek (Choi Min-sik, from "Old Boy"). To accomplish this, she recruits her former prison-mates and eventually the detective who ha...More
This year's Pusan International Film Festival witnessed the opening of the inaugural Asian Film Market, a comprehensive film industry hub which covers many aspects of filmmaking from pre-sales, sales, and financing to production and post facilities as well as a casting network for up-and-coming stars.
In terms of deal-making, sales companies reported that not many deals were signed, however agreements and project advancement took place. The absence of many European buyers due largely to the opening of the Rome International Film Festival during the same period, was also noted, however those from Europe who did come had first pick and were pleased with their findings.
Among Korean deals made, CJ's martial arts fantasy The Restless and box office record-breaker The Host were bought from Cineclick Asia by Singapore's Queen Imperial for rights in Indonesia's growing market. Queen also picked up iHQ's ...More
Director Noh Kyeong-tae's "The Last Dining Table" was awarded the NETPAC award for best Korean film at the 2006 Pusan International Film Festival. The NETPAC jury of the festival's 11th edition praised the film's unique style, humane portrayal of the lower class and the acting. The Network for the Promotion of Asian Cinema (NETPAC) seeks to promote and distribute Asian cinema internationally.
The Wide Angel section of the Pusan International Film Festival presented a wide variety of documentaries, short films, animations and experimental film...More
Since its opening September 28, the film had drawn 5.68 million viewers as of October 22, according to its distributor, CJ Entertainment, surpassing the number of viewers drawn by "Marrying the Mafia" (5.66 million). If the film's popularity remains as high, it will likely even outperform "JSA - Joint Security Area", which is currently ranked ninth at 5.83 million viewers.
CJ Entertainment, one the nation's largest investors in, and distributors of, films is being criticized for a failure to screen a local movie at an international film festival last week and handle the situation.
"The King and the Clown", the 2005 Korean box-office hit, was supposed to be shown at the London Film Festival as part of the event's "Film on the Square" selection on Oct. 19. However, when the film failed to arrive at the festival headquarters on time, organizers were forced to cancel the two scheduled screenings.
In a statement issued by CJ Entertainment on Oct. 20, the company said that the international courier company had delivered the film and it had arrived in London on 5:49 p.m. on Oct. 19 but was not screened because of a mix-up by the festival organizers.
According to a report by Yonhap News Agency, the film that had arrived on Oct. ...More
CJ Group vice chairwoman Lee Mi-kyung, known as "Miky Lee" abroad, was given the World Business Award 2006 by World Award chief and former Soviet president Mikhail Gorbachev in New York on Saturday.
The World Women's Awards are presented to women who make outstanding performance in a variety of fields.
The older sister of CJ chairman Lee Jae-hyun, she joined CJ Entertainment when it was established in 1995 and has led the group's entertainment sector. Lee played a decisive role in CJ's investment in DreamWorks, the Hollywood studio co-founded by Steven Spielberg and Jeffrey Katzenberg.
The award "will help CJ Entertainment find its way into the global market", Lee said. "I will do my best to create a good production environment where talented directors and actors can produce excellent work. My final goal is to help Korea gain influence in the Asian film industry".
Film distributor CJ Entertainment along with multiplex operators Primus Cinema and CJ CGV have signed up as lead sponsors of the Pusan International Film Festival.
Earlier in the day, officials of the three companies signed a contract with festival director Kim Dong-ho in Seoul.
The three h...More
This year's Chuseok or Korean Thanksgiving holiday will be the longest ever since it comes right after the Foundation Day holiday. Theaters will not miss this golden opportunity to draw as many viewers as possible by showing the best movies. Competition will be fiercer than ever.
Most film distributors estimate that they will draw some 10-12 million viewers for the 11 days from Sept. 28 until Oct. 8 when a host of interesting movies are released. Although the period accounts for 3 percent of total screening days, the number of viewers during the period will take up 7.5 percent of the estimated total of 160 million viewers for the year. Last year, 3.9 mil...More
KOFIC has announced that Lee Joon-ik's King and the Clown will be Korea's submission for the Foreign Language Film category of the 79th Academy Awards.
The film was selected by a KOFIC-appointed committee after considering factors such as the film's overall aesthetic and commercial quality, its potential to be selected for the final five nominations, the director's reputation, the film's overseas potential, etc.
Only two other films were submitted for consideration: Bong Joon-ho's record-breaking film ...More
Actor Lee Joon-ki has been cast in the Korea-Japan joint production "Virgin Snow" directed by Han Sang-hee, who earned a reputation for producing music videos by working with famous singers including Rain and Ivy.
The Japanese Sponichi Shimbun reported Wednesday that Lee had participated in the movie's first shoot in Kyoto on Monday, with rising Japanese actress Aoi Miyazaki playing opposite his character.
Lee plays a Korean university student who moves to Japan when his father gets a job there as an exchange professor. He has a brief but romantic fling with a high school girl (Miyazaki) with a complicated and difficult family background.
"The Host" and "King and the Clown" -- the two most popular movies in Korea this year -- have emerged as rivals in Korean, Japanese and American box-offices.
Last weekend, "The Host" broke the box-office record of "King and the Clown", and now the two movies are poised to compete at the Academy Awards slated for February next year in the United States in the category of foreign-language films.
The production companies of the two films have already decided to apply for the nomination. The CEO of the production firm of "The Host" says he believes that the jury will take into account the film's popularity abroad.
While Bong Joon-ho's "The Host" was effortlessly munching one record after another at the domestic box office, the Korean film world has been badly hit by two consecutive blows on the foreign front.
First, figures of Korean films exported registered a drop of 58 percent in the first half of the year from a year ago, according to the Korean Film Council.
Second, for the first time since 1998 no Korean film made it to the Grand Slam of competitive film festivals, for example Berlin, Cannes and Venice.
"Is the world falling out of love with Korean films?" many are now asking. Such questions are especially disquieting, as they are rising at a point when national production has reached new heights in both output and expenditures.
Certainly, there is a connection between decreased sales and lack of festival exposure. Such linkage obviously does not affect core markets such as Japan and East Asia, where Korea mostly caters to mainstream entertainment. Yet, participation (and possibly prizes) at A-list festivals still remain the best picklock to unhinge the doors of Western markets.
Unfortunately, this year Korean films failed to impress selecting committees. Director Kim Ki-duk, who two years ago collected Best Director nods in both Venice and Berlin with "...More
The film "Lump sugar" starring Im Soo-jung has been released to compete with The Host, which has drawn more than 7 million viewers in just 12 days after its release on July 27, breaking the record of the most number of viewers drawn in the shortest period of time.
"Lump oSugar" opened in 270 theaters nationwide on Thursday, when the number of theaters showing The Host started to be reduced. Some 700 theaters had wanted to show ...More
Musical "A Story of Pyonggang, Princess Mirror" will be staged at CGV Apkujong, a movie theater in southern Seoul.
Movie theaters have started a transformation. They are presenting live performances in screening rooms.
CJ CGV, one of the nation's two leading multiplex cinemas, presented veteran actress Seong Byeong-sook's mono-drama "Outrageous Widow" (Palchikhan Mimangin) as morning shows at its Mok-dong branch from March to April, and ran magic shows at Kangbyon CGV, eastern Seoul, for five days around Valentine's Day.
They were CGV's pilot programs in establishing a new dual identity _ movie theatre/performing arts center. The company will also present the a capella-based musical "A Story of Pyonggang, Princess Mirror" (Koul Kongju Pyonggang Iyagi) at a 450-seat hall of its Apkujong branch multiplex, southern Seoul, Aug. 11-Sept.10.
Other movie theaters and multiplexes have similar plans to host hot-selling plays and performances.
Cinecore in Chongno, central Seoul, is remodeling one of its five screening rooms into a 370-seat hall for performing arts. From September, the nonverbal martial art-based comedy "Jump" will be staged there.
Cinema Oz in southern Seoul, moreover, has recently gained a whole new identity as an art hall of 270 se...More
Production company Nabi Pictures and the Seoul Action School are teaming up to launch a new "brand" of low-budget action pics shot on HD.
The films will be targeted at both domestic and international audiences, given worldwide interest in the Asian action genre, and will be budgeted at 1 billion won ($1.1 million) each. CJ Entertainment will participate as the investor and international sales agent for the films.
Director Kim Seong-soo, who directed the action films "Beat" (1997) and "Musa" (2001) will oversee...More
"A Dirty Carnival" directed by Yoo Ha drew the most viewers at the box office on Tuesday, with some 80,000 viewers at 390 theaters nationwide, leaving U.S. blockbuster "X-Men: The Last Stand" behind, which tallied some 75,000 viewers at 428 theaters.
"A Dirty Carnival" has become the first Korean movie in seven weeks to beat Hollywood blockbusters that had topped the box office here since "Mission: Impossible 3" was released on May 3. The top spot has since been occupied by "The Da Vinci Code", "Poseidon", and "X-Men" before "A Dirty Carnival" captured it on Tuesday.
The news particularly pleased the Korean film industry, although it is just a daily tally. CJ Entertainment...More
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 in Korea.
An official from CJ Entertainment, the domestic distribution agency of "Typhoon", said, "A preview of the film will be held in Los Angeles for three days from May 18 to 20. The number of theaters and the screening period at each theater will be decided after the pre...More
The growing local musical industry is attracting major film production companies, which are deemed to be the highest profit makers in cultural industries.
CineLine-II, the production company of "Running Boy" ("Marathon") (2005) and Friend (2002) will stage "Fall in Love", a new musical of their own creation, at Yonkang Hall, downtown Seoul, from June 2 to Aug. 27. "With so many foreign-licensed musicals dominating major venues, the local musical market has become a league of its own", said Seok Myung-hong, president of the film production company in explaining the background of his decision to join the theatrical production.
"The Story of Pyeonggang, the Princess of Mirror"
Seok's company has invested 800 million won in the Romantic Comedy, which will mark its stage debut. Sung Jae-joon, the producer of musical "Music in My Heart", has been leading the cast including rising musical star Kim Da-hyun ("Hedwig") and comedian Lee Jae-hoon, as director, while 2004 Jonathan Larson Award-wining Lee Gi-hieh is working on the original scores of the mu...More
Actor Lee Joon-ki, who played the lead role in the recent hit movie "The King and the Clown", will visit Taiwan to promote the film ahead of its release there on May 12.
CJ Entertainment, the distributor of the movie, said Tuesday that Lee will make a two-day trip to Taiwan during the weekend. He will give interviews with local media outlets and attend the preview of the movie on Sunday, where he will hold a session to express his gratitude to local fans.
Lee was invited to the country by Group Power, the Taiwanese distributor of the movie. Gam Woo-sung and Chung Jae-young, the other two protagonists of the movie, were also invited, but they reportedly could not accept the invitati...More
The tragic May 1980 Gwangju massacre is one of the most significant incidents in South Korea's modern history. The citizens of the city Gwangju protested en masse against the military junta of CHUN Doo-hwan. CHUN responded by sending ta...More
The City of Violence (Jjakpae) will be the next action packed - film for director Ryoo Seung-wan. Ryoo's recent films were the critically acclaimed boxing drama Crying Fist (2005) and the popular martial arts comedy Arahan (2004).
City of Violence will be a HD film produced by CJ Entertainment. CJ Entertainment started a low-budget HD film project to explore the cost-efficient digital filmmaking and assigned some of South Korea's main directors. The first announced film of the HD project is Park Chan-wook's next film I'm a Cyborg, But That's OK.
Director Ryoo himself will play the lead character. The protagonist returns to his hometown fo...More
KOFIC has announced the recipients of the first round of the 2006 Subtitle Translation and Print Production support program. Six feature films and five short films were selected out of 27 total submissions (15 feature films, 12 short and independent films). The program provides funding for the production of a subtitled print, with specific arrangements to be made by the film's producer or international sales agent.
A second round of applicants will be considered in late 2006.
Song Il-gon's latest film an intricate mystery with an art house style
Kim Kyu Hyun (internews)
Kang Min (Kam Woo-seong), a TV reporter, stumbles onto a horrific scene of double murder in an isolated cabin. His colleague and newscaster, Soo Young (Jang Hyeon-seong), is one of the victims. She whispers, "Spiders ... it's so scary" before breathing her last. Kang notices a mysterious figure and gives him chase, only to be upstaged and beaten unconscious. Dazed, he walks into a highway tunnel and spies a familiar looking shadow, just before being crushed by a speeding SUV.
An Oak Film Production. Distributed by CJ Entertainment, in association with Egg Film Productions.
Written and Directed by Song Il-gon. Music by Yoon Min-hwa. Edited by Choi Jae-geun. Production Design by Jun Hye Sung. Make-up Effects by Lee Eun Ah. Costume design by Kim Eun Sook. Cinematography by Kim Chil-joo. Executive Producer Kim Dae-hyeon.
International distribution by CJ Entertainment. 120 minutes.
Kang somehow survives a harrowing brain operation but becomes a major suspect in the double-murder case. Encouraged by his cop friend assigned to the case (Jang Hyeon-seong), Kang retraces his steps leading to his discovery of the murder victims. He cannot shake the feeling, however, that there are strange gaps in his memory ... and they have something to do with the beautiful and kind studio photographer Soo Jin (Seo Jeong) whom he interviewed for a TV program, as well as her stories about that darned forest crawling with those creepy spiders.
"Spider Forest" is the second feature film made by Song Il-gon, who, along with Moon Seung-wook ("Nabi: The Butterfly", a Tarkovskian science fiction film and a debut for the rising star Kang Hye-jeong), is notable among Korean filmmakers for having been educated in the Polish National Academy of Cinema in Lodz. Song's films eschew linear narrative and Hollywood-style characterizations in bold strokes, partaking of the dreamy, evocative stylistics of easte...More
New omnibus film "3 In 3 Saek (Three People Three Colors): A Love Story" is screened only on a Web site without opening at theaters.
Directed by three well-known local directors, the film "3 In 3 Saek (Three People Three Colors): A Love Story", opened on Feb. 14., not in theatres, but freely available on the Internet ( http://www.ktfilms.co.kr ).
Like many other forms of media, this film joins the work of those who seek various other distribution platforms such as mobile phones, Internet and other portable multi-media devices instead of the traditional big screen.
Thanks to the fast-developing new media which appeals to new generations used to mobility and easy accessibility, it may be argued that joining a long line to buy tickets and sitting cramped together at a cinema is a relic of the past. So experts say the film industry has to keep in step with the latest technologies and survive in an era where various of opportunity windows are offered for films.
The Berlin Film Festival has hosted an event to promote Korean cinema and the Asian film market.
Some 400 people including the chief of the festival's organizing committee attended Sunday the event hosted by South Korea's Busan International Film Festival and the Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency.
In the opening ceremony, Busan festival president ...More
Lee Byung-hun plays Seon Woo, an owner of a bar (named "La Dolce Vita") and a lieutenant to a gangster boss (Kim Young Chul). He is entrusted with a job of looking after the boss's very young girlfriend Hee Soo (Shin Min-ah). To Seon Woo's consternation, however, the boss also orders him to kill her (and her lover) if she ever "strays". When Seon Woo catches her red-handed, though, he cannot quite bring himself to carry out his job. He lets her go... a decision with which he now puts his own life at risk.
The first half of the film advances with a languorous rhythm of a sleepy-eyed cat prowling his haunts. The cinematography by Kim Ji-Yong, gorgeously jade and golden (and later hellfire orange and scarlet) in night scenes and punctuated by silver rays of sunlight in day scenes, Ryoo Seong-Hee's sets, with its mixture of chrome-and-glass glitz of the bars and restaurants and dark muddy pools of the abandoned warehouses, and the flamenco-inflected sassy score by Jang Yeong-Gyoo and Dal Pa Ran, are skillfully orchestrated by Director Kim Jee-woon in order to illustrate Seon Woo's routines, glamorous on the surface but empty inside.
In the second half, Seon Woo's escape from an impromptu muddy grave, using a cell phone battery, of all things, as a weapon of deadly assault, launches the fireworks of frantic action set pieces, culminating in the final confrontation between Seon Woo and his boss inside "La Dolce Vita:" "Why?" He berates his former boss. "Why did you try to kill me? After working like a dog for you for seven years?" For Seon Woo really did not mean to challenge the boss, or subvert his loyalty, by saving Hee Soo's life. Unlike an American noir hero's struggle with the weighty issues of morality and redemption, Seon Woo's choice to save Hee Soo is more of a gesture of recognition toward the impossible or the unattainable. As the quasi-Zen Buddhist fable that opens and closes the film hints at us, he is like a novice fakir, presented with a momentary glimpse of the enlightenment, but knows, to his ultimate sorrow, that he cannot attain it within this life.
Kim Jee-woon is an underrated actor's director and adept at eliciting wonderful performances from his stars and supporting players, and "A Bittersweet Life" is no exception. Shin Mina (all grown up since showing up in Kim's debut film "The Quiet Family" ), Kim Young-Cheol, Kim Roi-Ha (memorable as a dumb cop in the murder mystery "Memories of...More
A local proverb says, "Things which are Korean in every way are most fit for global adaptation". The film "The King and The Clown" is expected to prove this proverb true once again.
Since its release, "The King and The Clown" (directed by Lee Joon-ik and produced by Eagle Pictures/Cine World) has already attracted more than 2 million viewers nationwide. The producers of the movie are now targeting the overseas film market and are also pushing ...More
The film "Typhoon" directed by Kwak Gyeong-taek will be distributed to North America next year through DreamWorks SKG, a major American distributor.
An official from CJ Entertainment, a distribution agency, said on Dec. 20, "We reached an agreement last week with DreamWorks SKG, a major distributor in Hollywood, on the distribution of 'Typhoon' in the American market. Acc...More
The movie 'Invisible Waves' has been selected to compete at the 56th Berlin Film Festival in Germany on February 9 in 2006. The movie features the actor Kang Hye-jeong famed in Korea.
'Invisible Waves' features Kang Hye-jeong and Japanese Actor Asano Dadanobu and is directed by Pen-Ek Ratanaruang. Funding was provided in part by Korean CJ Entertainment. 'Invisible Waves' was also selected as the movie for opening ceremony in the Thai Bangkok Film Festival which wil...More
The public is continuing to lend their support to domestic films. According to a survey conducted by CJ CGV from Jan. 1 to Dec. 11 this year, the market share of domestic films was found to have exceeded 50 percent for the third year in a row. The number of moviegoers has also exceeded 100 million nationwide for the fourth straight year.
The CJ CGV's survey released on Dec. 13 shows that domestic films' market share was 59.1 percent nationwide, with the domestic market share in Seoul being 54.6 percent.
As it recorded a 7.4 percent decrease year-on-year during the first half of the year, the market share of domestic films was expected to spiral downward this year. But after August, it showed a rapi...More
A promotion of Korean films will be launched at the American Film Market (AFM) in early November. The AFM, the world's largest trade fair for films, will be held in Santa Monica in the U.S. on Nov. 2-9.
Public and private Korean agencies will proactively engage in the promotion of Korean films at the event by jointly opening a PR hall for Korean films. Such agencies include the Korean Film Council (KOFIC) and the Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA), as well as nine private film distribution agencies.
The AFM is the world's largest trade fair for independent films, where about 500 million dollars' worth of films and TV products are produced and distributed annually. It is held under the sponsorship of the ITFA, a global agency of independent film and TV program producers and distributors. About 7,000 independent film producers from around ...More
Directed by Min Gyoo-dong, "My Lovely Week", where she does a wonderful comic turn as a 30-something divorced psychiatrist with a penchant for designer clothes, is a comedy also starring Hwang Jeong-min as a macho detective. It has attracted 2 million moviegoers so far after breaking the 1 million mark in just ten days since its Oct. 7 release.
South Korea and its export-oriented economy seem to have found new bestsellers, thanks to "hallyu", the wave of enthusiasm for Korean pop culture sweeping Asia. Korea's cultural contents such as films, TV dramas and K-pop, have emerged as hot export commodities.
Singer BoA's economic value is estimated to be 1 trillion won. Singer Rain has just begun charming women in Asia with his metrosexual look and dynamic dance music.
The drama "Jewel in the Palace", - "Dae Jang Geum" featuring actress Lee Young-ae, has been exported to 35 nations up until last month, earning around $4 million. Actor Bae Yong-joon's latest film "April Snow" has earned over 2.3 billion yen in just a month after its opening to become the most successful South Korean film that ever opened in Japan, thanks largely to Bae's phenomenal fame there.
However, not all pop culture products are all the rage. For the performing arts, enthusiastic fans and gifts from abroad are not to be found.
"It has been some less than five years since the performing arts started being perceived as an industry here. It has not fully developed as an industry nor established a solid foundation to do so yet", said Lee Seung-hoon, manager of the Performing Arts division in CJ Entertainment, one of the nation's largest investors in performing arts. The company has invested in some 18 local musicals.
He said there even has been no thorough research of the performing arts, and its size is not accurately known. He said the Samsung Economic Research Institute estimated the size of the industry in 2003 at 470 billion won, which is the best study he has been able to find. When it comes to market size based on ticket sales, it was 156 billion won in that year, he added.
The 8th Pusan Promotion Plan (PPP) wrapped up its three-day schedule yesterday by handing out awards in Pusan (Busan).
Among 33 official projects _ 27 PPP projects from 19 countries and six New Directors in Focus (NDIF) projects by promising Korean directors _ eight projects were announced at the closing ceremony at the Paradise Hotel in Haeundae.
Both "Fairy Tale of a Picture Tree" by Lee Kwang-mo from South Korea and "Heartbreak Pavilion" by Thunska Pansittivorakul and Sompot Chidgasornpongse from Thailand won the Busan Award, the largest prize bestowed by the Pusan city government with $20,000 in prize money.
The 8th Pusan Promotion Plan (PPP) started its three-day schedule on Monday (Oct. 10) with a total of 33 official projects at Paradise Hotel in Haeundae.
This year, 27 PPP projects from 19 countries and six New Directors in Focus (NDIF) projects by promising young Korean directors will be introduced to potential investors.
Some 550 meetings between local and international directors and investors have been booked for this year's PPP, which runs Oct. 10-12, the organizing committee said.
Among 27 projects, which have been chosen out of some 150 applicants, South Korean director Kim Ki-duk has drawn keen attention with his third PPP project tentatively named "Beautiful". His two previous projects are "Address Unknown", and "...More
The Pusan International Film Festival will kick off with the final version of Chinese director Hou Hsiao Hsien's "Three Times" on Oct. 6 in a gala event that features 307 films from 73 countries.
PIFF, the biggest film festival in Asia, will focus on solidifying its position in the fast-growing Asian movie industry while celebrating its 10th anniversary this year and close with Korean director Hwang Byeong-gook's "Wedding Campaign" on Oct. 14, organizers said in a news conference Tuesday.
"This year, PIFF will concentrate on showing its gratitude for Korean and Asian fans who support the film festival, and we have duly increased the number of world premieres to 61 this year, up from 40 last year", festival director Kim Dong-ho told reporters.
Hou's "Three Times" was first screened at the Cannes film festival this year and has since gone through extensive editing. The final 135-minute version will be shown to the public at the southeastern port city of Busan for the first time. Director Hou is also known to have strongly expressed his willingness to get his finished film screened first at PIFF as he has long maintained amicable relationships with the festival and its organizers.
"Three Times" introduces three love stories that use epochal moments in Taiwanese history as a touchstone. It follows a couple in love, as acted by the same performers (Shu Qi and Chang Chen), with the couple undertaking different identities in three time-related episodes.
Two Korean movies, 'SYMPATHY FOR LADY VENGEANCE' and 'WELCOME TO DONGMAKGOL' have a bursting showdown each other while Hollywood blockbusters such as 'War of the Worlds', and 'The Island' sweep over Seoul movie street.
First of all, the two movies unroll the offensive of the amount of materials to release in screens over 350 theaters.
In addition to this, the two Korean films greet the audience confidently with shining idea, characteristic traits and their compact film plot etc.
Therefore, a number of movie goers are expecting that the two movies would aspirate vitality to Korean movie world which b...More
As the nation's only horror film series, "Yogo Kwedam", which literally translates into "High School Ghost Story", has brought a chill to the summer seasons for teens and adults alike.
The series began with "Whispering Corridors" in 1998, which sparked the rush of local teen horror films, and followed it up with two other commercially successful scream fests.
Equan Choe (Choi Ik-hwan) is the director for the fourth installment of the series, "Voice Letter" (Yogo Kwedam: Moksori), due out Friday. He admits the most difficult part was how to make his work different from previous movies without losing basic elements of the original.
"Of course, I found it really hard to make a film for the series as I had to be able to put my own characteristics and my own style within the limitations of the traditions of the original", Choe told The Korea Times on Monday. "So this film also revolves around students at a girl's high school in the genre of a horror movie, but I focused more on a narrative and used ...More
A few days short of the debut of "Sympathy for Lady Vengeance", the much-hyped third and final installment of his revenge trilogy, Park Chan-wook is afraid. This prodigy of Korean film, a man with so much confidence he is often perceived as arrogant, recently told the Chosun Ilbo of the strain the "excessive" expectation the film has aroused is putting him under.
It's natural that opinions will differ about a film by any skilled director, but if people criticize you even in online comments, it feels like they are being buried. The expectations really are tremendous.
Normally, I'd be delighted and tell you that it's the kind of marketing money can't buy, but to be frank, the expectations are burdensome. And I don't read the Internet. Especially since people disappointed by 'Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance' said they would punish me.
It seems you issued a gag order to your entire staff. Nothing is known about the film other than what we've seen in the two-minute trailer.
No matter what the film, even if I do a romantic flick in the future, I don't want to release the scenario ahead of time. I will use this time to reveal some for the first time. There will be none of the reversals that you saw in 'Oldboy'. Somebody seems to be starting a rumor that ...More
A total of 5 Asia Indie cinemas is screened in CGV Gangbyon, CGV Sangam and Seomyeon Indie cinema house on July 8-21.
Movie 'Dual' directed by Ahmad Reza DARVISH
'CJ Collection' prepared by CJ CGV, is a film festival in which CJ Entertainment and CJ CGV screen by buying copyright among movies which won New Current Award and among Asia cinemas which were invited to the Pusan Internationnal Film Festival respectively.
These movies are Asia's unique indie cinemas such as Taiwan, China and Malaysia with which the audience can't come in contact in general cinema house.
First off, 'Beautiful Washing Machine,The' directed by James Lee is portraying a story in which Teoh's second hand washing mac...More
DreamWorks chief executive Jeffrey Katzenberg said Korea's movie industry is one of the most important markets for the studio which produced such blockbuster animation features as "Shrek" and will look to strengthen cooperative ties with local animators.
"It is extraordinary that a single film can sell 10 to 11 million admissions in a nation of 45 million people", Katzenberg told reporters at a news conference Wednesday. He visited Seoul to promote his new animation film "Madagascar", a computer-animated comedy, with Tom McGrath, one of the film's directors.
Katzenberg said DreamWorks is talking with its Korean partner CJ Entertainment to work on a locally produced animation project in the longer term, a move that is fi...More
The warning lights are flashing on Chungmu-ro, the center of Korea's film industry as public funding runs out. The liquidation date for most of the W260 billion (US$260 million) movie fund for film production between 2000 and 2002 comes up at the end of this year, and the Small and Medium Business Agency's anticipated first-round contribution of W250 billion to the film fund has come out to no more than W7 billion.
The movie fund was an idea hatched by the film world following the Asian financial crisis of 1997, when the Small and Medium Business Agency, Korean Film Council and other government agencies and private investors came together to set up a fund to boost film production. Under the Kim Dae-jung administration, W260 billion were raise...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.
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
"How to Keep My Love" starring Kim Jeong-eun
CJ Entertainment, which is propelling all sorts of oversea inroads projects briskly this year, sounds potential possibility of Korean cinema as well as its market scale via a partnership with SPTI (Sony Pictures Television International).
As part of such partnership, CJ Entertainment agreed to distribute through SPTI regarding Asia TV copyright of the company's two investment distribution cinemas.
Cinema 'Sympathy for Lady Vengeance' starring Lee Young-ae entered into a distribution contract with Hong Kong Panorama company recently on the spot.
A person concerned responsible for this cinema's oversea affairs said he can't confirm about this movie's bargaining money exactly, but it is certain that cinema 'Sympathy For Lady Vengeance' received a satisfactory bargaining money corresponding to a high rank among Korean cinemas exported...More
As movie 'A Bittersweet Life' starring Lee Byung-hun entered into its copy-right contract with 10 nations in the European Film Market of the 55th Berlin International Film Market, Lee Byung-hun is hitting the daily permissible ceiling in Europe.
CJ Entertainment responsible for the movie's oversea copy-right affairs, said movie 'Sweet Life' made a contract with 10 countries in Europe currently.
In addition to movie director Kim Jee-woon who is well known with movie '...More
As movie 'Sympathy for Lady Vengeance' starring Lee Young-ae is sold to Japan with an amount of money of $3 million in the 55th Berlin International Film Festival Film Market, Korean movie's high price sale march is being continued.
According to The Variety, a movie-special magazine, CJ Entertainment, the investment distribution firm of 'Sympathy for Lady Vengeance', has entered into a copy right contract regarding the movie's Japan distribution with Toshiba Entertainment, a Japanese disbribution firm with an amount of money over $3 million.
Toshiba Entertainment is the movie distribution firm that had bought 'JSA - Joint...More
Korean films saw their box-office performance decline in January, reflecting a dearth of blockbusters that can beat Hollywood rivals amid a slowdown in overall ticket sales.
According to the movie industry data compiled by CJ CGV, a major multiplex chain in Korea, Korean movies accounted for a 24 percent share in Seoul and 29.6 percent nationwide in January.
Although the figure for Seoul is up from 16.5 percent in December 2004, year-on-year comparison demonstrates a significant turnaround for Korean flicks. Last January, the portion of Korean films in box office sales reached a record 64.5 percent, helped largely by two blockbusters, "Simildo" and "...More
The U.S'. popular movie site www.aintitcool.com has chosen Director Park Chan-wook's new film 'Sympathy for Lady Vengeance' from South Korea as the second rank among 'Harry's Top 20 Films To Watch For In 2005!!!'.
The movie site has also selected director Peter Jackson's 'King Kong' as the first rank among 'Harry's Top 20 Films To Watch For in 2005!!!.
Mr. Harry Knowles who operates this site, said director Park's movie will be the final film in Park's thematically linked trilogy of revenge flicks that started with Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance and continued with the massively acclaimed Old Boy.
According to Mr. Harry Knowles, he has become an enthusiastic fan for director Park after he saw 'Old Boy' and the site operator has become a top...More
Director Park Chan-wook's 'Sympathy for Lady Vengeance' is receiving love calls from Japan one after another before the movie is released.
However, the director stated his standpoint that the movie will receive assessment grandly in the Berlin International Film Festival to be held in Germany on Feb, next year.
Love calls of a huge amount of several million dollars from Japan
An official of CJ Entertainment responsible for the movie's distribution, said, "Japanese side has presented a huge amount of several million dollar on the news that drama 'Daejanggeum's Lee Yeong-ae plus Canne Film Festival's hero director Park Chan-wook performs.
Yet, this official said that to receive an assessment as it should, the distribution firm is scheduled to present it to the film market of the Berlin International Film Fest...More
An official responsible for oversea marketing at CJ Entertainment said that movie 'Sweet Life' was sold recently to England's Metro Tartan with $200,000 following $3.2 million in Japanese market.
Metro Tartan is a production that introduces chiefly Asia movies such as '2046' on the spot. Metro Tartan has attracted interest recently by receiving the most excellent foreign language award of the Briti...More
CGV theater chain listed their stocks on the Korea stock Exchange.
CJ CGV's public subscription price was 25,000 won. Experts say that with CGV's listing on the stock market as a momentum, at home also, an era opened that a theater chain was listed on the stock market.
As the largest multiplex theater chain at home, CJ CGV is securing 24 theaters in the country and 193 screens as an affiliate of CJ Group.
In terms of annual audience number, CJ CGV held the first rank with a market share of 21.5% last year, showing a difference of two-fold with Megabox, the seond rank (10.8%).
CJ CGV plans to multiply the chain's theater numbers to 37 theaters by 2007 in the nation and is considering to advance overseas also such as China and Southeast Asia.
The company said that a stable product investment and distribution would be possible by CJ Entertainment, its investment distribution firm.
"We`ve received favorable response from market participants so fa...More
According to a report by the Korean Film Council (KOFIC) and Maxmovie.com, Korean films earned a 61.95% market share in the month of October, up from a 57.83% share in September. In total 1,802,361 tickets out of a total 2,909,380 were sold for Korean films. However the level cannot match the 70.5% market share amassed in the highly successful month of October 2003, which was led by Untold Scandal and Once Upon A Time In A Battlefield. Total admissions for all films this month were 14.22% below the totals for October 2003.
Japanese films took an impressive 6.7% of the market in October, led by dramas Crying Out Love ...More
The role of the Pusan International Film Festival in the local and international film markets has been growing in its size and scope since its inception in 1996. The director of the festival, who has led it from the very beginning, is still as passionate about his work as when he first started and continues to strive to promote the festival at home and abroad.
"As you can see from the films shown in this year's festival, not only the number of total movies but also the number of world premieres has increased, which I think indicates the rising significance of PIFF internationally". said ...More
Veteran director IM Kwon-taek's 99th film Raging Years ("Haryu Insaeng") has been invited to screen in the competition section of the Venice International Film Festival.
This marks the first trip to Venice by director IM since 1987, when his film Surrogate Woman was awarded with a Best Actress citation for KANG Su-yeon. In recent years, IM's works Chunhyang and Chihwaseon have screened in the competition section at the Cannes International Film Festival, with Chihwaseon sharing the festival's Best Director award in 2002.
Raging Years, which stars CHO Seung-woo and KIM Min-seon, tells the story of a youth who gets involved in organized crime during the turb...More
Lee Young-jun, 33, is a film marketer working with the first overseas marketing division at CJ entertainment.
She is in charge of film markets in the European Union, Japan, China and Hong Kong. If films completely pursue the world of fantasy, film marketers sell films based on thoroughly realistic calculations.
Lee is busier than ever, as Korean films have recently been praised in world markets. She faced hectic days during the Cannes Film Festival in May. Thousands of film marketers who came from all over the world fiercely competed in the film market of the festival, while renowned actors, actresses and directors stood in the spotlight on the red carpet.
Lee exchanged about 500 name cards and sold US$6.5 million worth of Korean films for 10 days in a booth measuring 12 pyeong. She succeeded in exporting 15 Korean films including director Kwak Kyeong-taek's new work, "...More
Korean filmmakers are winning big at the box office, leaving Seoul to reconsider protectionism
Todd Thacker (internews)
It was an abrupt about-face for the staunch film industry ally.
On Friday the Minister of Culture and Tourism and former film director, Lee Chang Dong, announced to a film industry civic group that the state of Korea's film industry is strong enough to merit the examination of a "reduction, alteration and change" of Seoul's policy of screen quotas in the domestic market.
It has always been a thorny issue. At stake are the implications of going head-to-head with the "cultural imperialism" of Hollywood, a heavy-handed entertainment juggernaut that has every nation's film industry quaking in its boots.
Lee was quick to point out that if any changes to the system result in harm to the industry, his Ministry would promptly reinstate the quotas. Later, a Cheong Wa Dae spokesperson took pains to clarify that the Ministry of Culture and Tourism is examining changes based on "the promotion of diversity in the local film world" rather than any ongoing trade negotiations with the United States.
Supporters of screen quotas have long cited the danger Hollywood poses to cultural diversity. For decades Korean films had an uphill battle when competing with higher-quality, big-budget Hollywood productions.
Actors, directors and producers staged loud demonstrations advocating the need for the preservation of Korea's national cultural identity in its comparatively fledgling film industry.
Yet with domestic blockbusters like "Silimdo" (2003) and "Taeguki" (2004) cleaning up at the box office, and Korean films like Im Kwon Taek's "Chihwaseon" (2002) and Park Chan Wook's "Old Boy" (2003) winning at Cannes, Kim Ki Duk's Samaria (2004) winning at Berlin, and Lee Chang Dong taking the best director's prize for "Oasis" (2002) at the Venice Film Festival in 2002, this argument is rapidly losing its luste...More
"Memories of Murder", directed by Bong Joon-ho, opened on April 11 in France and won four awards at the Festival de Film Policier de Cognac, CJ Entertainment said on Wednesday.
The awards received were the Grand Prix Cognac 2004, the Prix Special Police given by an awarding committee composed of police officers, the Prix Premiere giv...More
Two of the biggest names in Korean film production are set to combine forces with a major corporation to launch a new entertainment company likely to emerge as a key player in the local film industry.
KangJeGyu Films, the maker of "Shiri" (1999), and Myung Films, the maker of "JSA" (2000), announced plans Monday to merge with Seshin Buffalo, the nation's largest manufacturer of hand tools, to create a cultural contents company to be called MK Buffalo.
The move is expected to provide Seshin Buffalo an opportunity to enter the entertainment business while securing a stable source of financing for the two film production companies.
MK Buffalo will be the first film production company in Korea to be ...More
Reflecting a year in which Korean films reached new heights, CJ Entertainment CEO Park Dong-ho was named the pop culture "power leader" of 2003 by The Herald Business, a sister newspaper of The Korea Herald.
CJ Entertainment, a film investment and distribution company, claimed 20.6 percent of the domestic distribution market this year to take the number one slot, delivering such box office hits as "My Tutor Friend" and "Memories of Murder".
Korean films wracked up $25 million in exports and grabbed a market share of nearly 50 percent this ye...More
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