[Guest Film Review] "Taegukgi" 2016/06/04,
The fourth-in-a-row blockbuster regarding the relations between North and South Korea (after "Shiri", "JSA - Joint Security Area" and "Silmido"), broke the records of both budget, with $12,8 millions, and admissions, with 11.74 million spectators in the country's cinemas, while its earnings bordered on $70 million. Furthermore, it was a success in Japan earning $9,7 million, and it was also released in the United Stated, earning $1,1 million. Testament to the scale of the production are the years of research spent to ensure historic validity, the huge sets, and the number of supernumeraries used, who exceeded 25,000, in order to achieve absolute realism in the war scenes,...More
[France] Seoul Hypnotique, Cycle de Cinema Coreen au Forum des images a Paris 2015/09/12, Source,
Du 15 septembre au 1 novembre 2015
Des pionniers d'hier à la génération d'aujourd'hui, Séoul hypnotique reflète, à travers près de 80 films inédits ou rarement présentés en France, une cinématographie entre tradition et modernité, entre Asie et Occident. Films intimistes et films de genre, mélodrames et thrillers percutants : le cinéma coréen n'a pas fini de nous surprendre !,...More
[HanCinema's Box Office Review] 2013.11.15 ~ 2013.11.17 2013/11/18, Kwak Gyeong-taek's "Friends 2" blew the God of Thunder away in its first weekend out. Kwak's latest is the sequel to his iconic debut "Friends" (2001) – a landmark feature which earned 8.1 million admissions to became the highest grossing Korean film since the nation's first real blockbuster "Shiri" in 1999. "Friends 2" broke the million admissions mark with the help of 968 screenings around the country, coverage that befriended 50.5% of all the filmgoers active over the weekend. Marvel's "Thor: The Dark World" was grounded due to unfavourable local conditions, dropping 47% from last week to just 346,931 (15.8%). Jeong Yeon-sik's webcomic adaptation "The Five" and the documentary "Black Gospel" were the new Korean releases that managed to crack a top ten finish, while Ridley Scott's "The Counsellor" was the only new foreign feature that was competitive,...More
[HanCinema's Hall of Fame Review] "Shiri" 2013/10/19, In the Spotlight this Week: "Shiri" (1999) by Kang Je-gyuKang Je-gyu's "Shiri" was a landmark feature that stands as Korea's first real blockbuster. The film sold over 6.2 million admissions during its run in 1999, an astonishing feat that broke the shackles on big-budget Korean films and represents a critical moment in Korea's film history. Kang made his debut three years before "Shiri" with "The Gingko Bed" (1996), a fantasy romantic epic that was heralded for its special effects and was also one of country's most successful films at the time. Since "Shiri", Kang has chosen to remain in the filmic fog of war, directing both the acclaimed "Taegukgi" (2004 - 11.7 million admissions) as well as the less successful "My Way" (2011 – 2.1 million). Kang may have fallen from grace somewhat with his last film "My Way" (which failed to make a profit on its $24 million production costs; the film made only $16M) and with this year's fantastical flop "Mr. Go" (which he produced), however Kang's filmography still remains an impressive one that has helped challenge and re-define the conditions and profitable potential of the once illusive Korean blockbuster,...More
[Canada] The simultaneous North American and Korean release of "The Berlin File" (2013) 2013/02/05,
South Korea's mega action thriller by the masterful Ryoo Seung-wan Opens on Feb. 15, Cineplex Odeon Forum, Montreal CINEASIE Creatives is pleased to announce the simultaneous North American and Korean release of "The Berlin File" (2013), South Korea's mega action thriller written and directed by the masterful Ryoo Seung-wan. The film, by CJ Entertainment, centers on a battle between spies from North Korea and South Korea, with a tragic love triangle simmering beneath the surface. The Montreal public can discover the visual pyrotechnics of Korea's greatest action auteur on February 15th at Cineplex Forum,...More
[Guest Post] Daniel Tudor on Korean cinema 2012/11/09, Source,
I'm not a true cinephile by any stretch of the imagination. I've always been the archetypal casual fan, who knows what he likes, but doesn't really like it enough to remember every line of the script. People ask, "have you seen [insert name of genius film here]?" and I honestly reply "yeah, I saw it a few years back, it was great". But then I'll be unable to back that up with any enlightened commentary on that scene with the uninterrupted shot that goes all the way around the bar and back again when all the mobsters are being introduced. Or even who was in it, sometimes.
But when I first moved to Seoul in 2004, Korean cinema got to me. In some way it was a stroke of luck to be here while a golden era was still in swing,...More
Korean films, dramas helped 'hallyu' take root in Japan, China: sources 2012/08/17, Source,
"Shiri", a 1999 Korean action film, played the role of having "hallyu", or Korean wave take root in Japan, industry sources said Tuesday. The film's producer exported "Shiri" to Japan for $1.2 million in 1999. At that time, it was unthinkable for Japan to import a Korean motion picture, the sources said, adding that only erotic Korean videos were exported to the neighboring country for tens of thousands of dollars each,...More
(42) Park Chan-wook: Director with blood-coated lens 2012/07/04, Source,
Director Park Chan-wook, left, waves as he is awarded with actor Choi Min-shik for the grand prix for the film "Old Boy" during the award ceremony of the 57th Cannes Film Festival in Cannes on May 24, 2004. / Korea Times file
By Andrew Salmon Tension and violence sell, but this may not be apparent to the vast majority of fans of "hallyu", the much-discussed "Korean Wave" of pop culture that has swept outward from the shores of the peninsula since, roughly, the turn of the millennium. The two standout genres of hallyu, in sales terms, are clearly K-pop and K-soaps. Of the former, Korean management companies have come up with a winning formula, churning out a range of cute, well-trained and above all wholesome boy- and girl-bands whose appeal is very different from the rebellious, opinionated, drug-spattered figures who stagger across the stage of Western rock 'n roll. Soap is similarly sugar-coated: Most dramas are centered upon pretty boys and pretty girls in pretty clothes and pretty houses/landscapes engaging in genteel, "no-sex-please-we're-Korean" romances,...More
New York Special Screening, Old Boy on July 1st 2012/06/25, Source,
The Korea Society presents a retrospective of the work of Choi Min-sik, one of Korea's most recognizable contemporary actors, as part of our ongoing "Korean Cinema Now" program with MoMI (the Museum of Moving Image).
Choi Min-sik had numerous television roles, but his big break came in 1999 when he played a cold-blooded North Korean soldier in "Shiri" (Dir. Kang Je-gyu) and suddenly gained a reputation as one of Korea's finest actors. His acting dominates the silver screen, but his characters have more than charisma,...More
Retrospective of the work of Choi Min-sik 2012/05/31, Source, The Korea Society presents a retrospective of the work of Choi Min-sik, one of Korea's most recognizable contemporary actors, as part of our ongoing "Korean Cinema Now" program with MoMI (the Museum of Moving Image). Choi Min-sik had numerous television roles, but his big break came in 1999 when he played a cold-blooded North Korean soldier in "Shiri" (Dir. Kang Je-gyu) and suddenly gained a reputation as one of Korea's finest actors. His acting dominates the silver screen, but his characters have more than charisma,...More
(37) 'Yonsama': Korean love god captures Japanese hearts 2012/05/30, Source,
Actor Bae Yong-joon waves upon his arrival as Japanese fans gather at Tokyo International Airport in Narita on Nov. 25, 2004. Bae, a main actor of the mega-hit Korean soap opera "Winter Sonata", was on a promotion tour of Japan. / Korea Times file
Actor Bae Yong-joon leads 'hallyu' (Korea wave)
Some years ago, this writer climbed into a taxi in Seoul. As is commonly the case, the driver asked where I was from. On hearing "the United Kingdom" he responded, "Aha! Beckham!" Then, in excellent Konglish, he continued, "U.K. ― David Beckham! Korea ― Bae Yong-joon!",...More
"Nameless Gangster" released in North America 2012/03/28, Source, PREFACE
"My reason for wanting to tell a story from the '80s is because I feel that the current societal climate is very similar. About 3 years ago I got a feeling that the era of my deceased father was suddenly coming back, an era in which everyone's good will is only reserved for their own survival and well being. But like my own father, I did not see these people as selfish fools, but sympathized with them. I wanted to portray these characters not as criminals who were on the wrong side of the law, but as people who tried their best to survive and thrive despite the conditions they were in. People innately follow the times they live in and those who ride it architect the next generation. The '80s in South Korea were an incredibly volatile decade in which a single person's decision could change the direction of an entire era. Following men who lived through that decade, I wanted to show that the eighties had more dramatic appeal than any other decade. I wanted to inquire whether it was the times that were changing the people, or if it was the people that were changing the times. Most of all, I hope that the audience can laugh and identify with these men who lived like kings in the face of loyalty, betrayal, and ambition".,...More
Kanryu Currents in Japan, Past and Present 2012/03/11, Source,
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
Terracotta Far East Film Festival opening and closing film 2012/02/21, Source,
Terracotta is London's premier celebration of the film and culture of the Far East. With a stunning line-up of films hand-picked from the best of the region, encompassing diverse genres from comedy to drama to horror and everything in between, an unbeatable programme of exclusive cast and crew Q&As, intro's and masterclasses and fabulous public parties the Terracotta Far East Film Festival really does have something for everybody,...More
Interview with critic and Beijing Film Academy professor HAO Jian 2012/02/20, Source,
Film critic and Beijing Film Academy professor HAO Jian has written and talked about what he considers the little-known, real start of the Korean Wave in China. At the International Film Festival Rotterdam while serving on the Network for the Promotion of Asian Cinema (NETPAC) award jury, he spoke to Jean NOH about it and his thoughts on Korea-China cooperation.
KOBIZ: You've written and talked about how you think a certain Korean film festival at the Beijing Film Academy was really what started the popularity of Korean films in China. Tell us about that festival,...More
Feature profile - My Way 2012/02/10, Source, Headed for the Berlinale Panorama section, director Kang Je-gyu's "My Way"is a historic film is more ways than one. KANG Byeong-jin goes over the details.
World War II film "My Way" is Kang Je-gyu's fourth film as a director, following "The Gingko Bed", "Shiri" and "Taegukgi". "Shiri" was the first Korean film to bring in over 2 million admissions in Seoul (back when nationwide figures were unavailable and the capital's statistics were used as rule-of thumb). On its release, "Taegukgi" along with "Silmido" opened the era of Korean films with admissions of 10 million and more.
Even from the outside, "My Way" seems like an extension of the challenges Kang's work took on before. The film's stage spans Korea to China through the former Soviet Union to Normandy, and it stars Jang Dong-gun and Joe Odagiri, the top stars of Korea and Japan respectively. More than anything, the film's budget of about KW28 billion (US$24.8 million) is the highest ever in Korean cinema history,...More
CINEMA ON THE PARK Season 2 Announced! 2012/01/22, Source,
The Korean Cultural Office in Sydney has just announced another exciting Season of Cinema on the Park, the film night that delighted audiences in 2011 will return once again in 2012. A surprise hit with more than 1,000 people attending, Thursday nights are now etched firmly on the Sydney cinema calendar as Korean night and will see 21 feature films and 14 guest speakers in the first half of the year alone, surely enough to satisfy anyone's appetite for Korean cinema!,...More
South Korean Box Office in 2011 2012/01/14, Source, Korean cinema expert Darcy Paquet looks back at the results of 2011's box office with some unexpected hits and misses, the rise of independent features, and how audiences confirmed they value story over spectacle.
Although the number crunchers in Hollywood estimate that US theatrical admissions sank to their lowest level since 1995, things were not so gloomy in Korea. With an estimated 160 million tickets sold (more precise figures will become available at a later date), it appears that Korea has approached or broken the modern-day record for admissions. In 2010, total admissions stopped at 146.8 million. In monetary terms, 2011 was certainly the best year ever, given the 3D surcharge and rising average ticket prices. Americans may be growing tired of the theatrical movie-going experience, but young Koreans still crowd the multiplexes,...More
Going My Way with KANG Je-gyu 2012/01/14, Source,
The dramatization of a true war-time story that spans years, continents, and changing friendships and enmities, "My Way" is director Kang Je-gyu's comeback after seven years. KANG Byeong-jin looks at what went into the making of the film.
"My Way" deals with a true story that is practically legend. In the late 1930s, a man from Joseon ends up going to China and the Soviet Union towards Germany and finally ends up on the beaches of Normandy on D-Day. Amongst the US National Archives' records of the invasion of Normandy was found a photograph of an Asian man in a German uniform at Normandy. American historian Stephen Ambrose wrote in his book "D-Day", "At the beach called Utah on the day of the invasion, Lt. Robert Brewer of the 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division, U.S. Army, captured four Asians in Wehrmacht uniforms. No one could speak their language; eventually it was learned that they were Koreans",...More
Year of Black Dragon 2011/12/30, Source,
The year 2012 is the Year of the Dragon and the mythical animal, seen in this "Hwangnyonggi", symbolizes power and wealth.(Courtesy of National Palace Museum of Korea)
The animal has a head resembling a camel, eyes of a rabbit, the nose of a pig, ears like an ox, antlers similar to a buck, a snake-like neck, fists as fierce as those of a tiger, the sharp talons of a hawk and scales no different from a carp. There are long whiskers decorating the mouth and a bump in the middle of the head, which allow the animal to fly in the air. In this manner the mythical dragon creature is described in "Boncho Gangmok" (Classified Records of Chinese Medical Botany) originally published in 1596,...More
Kang Je-gyu: 'I Devoted My Passion to 'My Way" 2011/12/16, Source,
The director Kang Je-gyu who has written the history of Korean movies, said during the interview with News Y (news channel by Yonhap News) on December 15, "I gave my best effort and passion that I have spared for the past seven years while taking a break to produce the movie "My Way"." He led the boom of Korean movies with his hit movies such as "The Gingko Bed" (1996) and "Shiri" (1998), and his previous movie "Taegukgi" (2004) recorded the largest number of audience members, which was 11.7 million,...More
Korean Movies Go Global 2011/10/28, Source, On October 21st, a meaningful gathering among members of the Korean movie industry took place.
[SOV] [Interview : ] "I hereby declare the launch of the Council for Development of Korean Movies, which will create ideal conditions needed to develop Korean cinema".
High-ranking officials from the government and the industry gathered to launch a council to further promote Korean movies around the world,...More
[HanCinema's Film Review] The Unjust 2011/04/16, Ryoo Seung-wan's "The Unjust" came in at number seven among the top grossing Korean films of 2010, with a worthy 2,751,185 admissions. Its intricate plot and morally unchecked urban reality is infested with manipulative power players in a contemporary crime thriller where justice is ironically served and forcefully consumed.,...More
"I made my first album after 20 years of movie music" 2011/03/15, Source, Director Lee Dong-joon is having a concert this coming 18th. For 17 years Lee Dong-joon has been making music for Korean blockbuster movies like "Shiri", "The Gingko Bed", "Green Fish", "Taegukgi" and more. His music is created by an orchestra of 80 to 100 people and at times it is grand and sometimes is delicate and soft, moving the hearts of those who hear it. Sometimes it is strong like the tango and captivates the listener's ears.
Movie music takes about 8 weeks to go through editing while looking at the video. It could be from 35 songs to 50. Dramas are different. Music is made until the last episode with only 1 or 2 episodes of the highlight scenes and scripts. The same goes for musicals. There are times when imagination is mostly it.,...More
Park Hae-il: 'I Want to Present Diverse Acting' 2011/01/04, Source,
Actor Park Hae-il, who will play a character named Hui Do in the movie "Heartbeat", said, "My first goal is to act naturally. I might not be able to satisfy every audience, but I might need to try my best to satisfy more audiences".
Actor Park Hae-il debuted with his appearance in the movie "Waikiki Brothers" (2001), which was directed by Lim Soon-rye, and ten years have already passed since his debut. He appeared in more than twenty movies, including those works that he had appeared in as a supporting actor. He HAS ALSO transformed into various characters in those movies,...More
Korean Movies – Secret Union 2010/12/20, Source,
This movie was awarded the "Best Film" prize at the 2010 Blue Dragon Film Awards in Korea theatrical admissions totaled some 5,460,00.
It is about how a South Korean NIS agent comes to understand and become a brother to a derelict spy from North Korea,...More
[PIFF] PIFF jury has eyes set on challenge takers 2010/10/09, Source,
Japanese costume designer Wada Emi speaks at the press conference at the Haeundae Grand Hotel in Busan, South Korea on October 8, 2010. [PIFF]
The Pusan International Film Festival's main competition New Currents section may only recognize new Asian directors but its jury has its eyes set on the more challenging films.
"How challenging the films are given the long history of movies will be the main focus since they'll influence later works", said Emmy-award winning costume designer Wada Emi, also heading the jury, at a press conference in Korea's second largest city Busan on Friday,...More
In 1990, the American academic Joseph Nye coined the term "soft power". This referred to nations winning friends and influencing people through the attraction,...More
"The Housemaid" sold to 15 countries at Cannes 2010/05/25, Source,
Korean erotic thriller "The Housemaid - 2010" [Sidus F&H]
Korean film "The Housemaid - 2010" caught the attention of numerous foreign buyers at the Cannes Film Market, selling to a total 15 countries at the event held in time with the Cannes Film Festival.
A press release by Sidus F&H announced that at the Film Market held during the film fest into its 63rd year, the erotic thriller was sold to France, Italy, Germany, Greece, Russia, Israel, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, New Zealand, Australia, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore and Thailand,...More
Korean Cinema Taking Root in World Academia 2010/04/28, Source,
By Lee Hyo-won Staff Reporter In recent years, South Korean cin ema has established a notable place on the world map ― two local titles will be competing at the Cannes Film Festival next month. Moreover, the recognition is beginning to branch out of the festival circuit into underground youth culture, and finally, academia. Before examining the phenomenon, it is interesting to note Japan’s example: cultural content such as manga (comic books) and anime have long become mainstream entertainment while many institutes of higher education place importance on Japanese studies. This can be seen as partially the result of when people who discover the magic of manga as kids grow up to become specialists in Japanese history and culture, according to John Duncan, professor and director of the Center for Korean Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA),...More
Kim Yoon-jin to arrive in Korea today 2010/04/21, Source,
Picture of Korean actress Kim Yoon-jin [L'Oreal]
Actress Kim Yoon-jin will be arriving in Korea today, attending an event later in the week which will mark her first public appearance since getting married last month.
"Kim will be flying in today to attend a function on Sunday held by L'Oreal for which she currently is the spokesmodel", said an official at her agency Zion Entertainment, adding that she will also greet her fans for a short time during the event,...More
Famed director James Cameron to visit Korea in May 2010/04/01, Source,
World famous director James Cameron [SBS]
World famous director James Cameron will be visiting Korea for the first time ever in May for the 7th annual Seoul Digital Forum (SDF), according to the forum's organizer SBS on Thursday.
Cameron, well known for his blockbusters "Terminator", "Aliens", "Titanic" and "Avatar", will be one of the guest speakers at the forum titled "Renaissance Now... Shaping Another Breakthrough" and will be giving his lecture entitled "Renaissance Now in Imagination and Technology".
His speech, followed by a press conference, will be broadcast live on SBS at 8:30 p.m. May 13,...More
Kim Yoon-jin weds movie producer in Hawaii 2010/03/29, Source,
Korean actress Kim Yoon-jin [Zion Entertainment]
Korean actress Kim Yoon-jin married movie producer in a surprise wedding ceremony in Hawaii today, according to her agency Zion Entertainment.
An official at Zion told Asia Economic Daily over the phone Monday that the actress "will hold a small wedding with only the bride and groom's immediate family in attendance".
The nuptials reportedly took place on a privately owned beach this morning around 8 a.m. (Seoul time) and the "Lost" actress did not even wear a wedding dress,...More
major events in Korea's modern history from 1884 till now. The project is part of the 60th anniversary of The Korea Times, which falls on Nov.1.
For South Korea, the last three years of the millennium,...More
Actress Kim Yoon-jin's Movie Picks 2010/03/05, Source,
Actress Kim Yoon-jin [Chae Ki-won/10Asia]
Kim Yoon-jin spent her childhood in the United States and made her first step into the world of acting on Broadway. Hence, English was the language she acted in and also used for over 20 years to speak her mind. But 10Asia's interview with the actress revealed that her Korean was just as accurate and rich in expression. Whatever the question, she gave clear answers while appropriately adding in adjectives which would embellish her sentences. Her style of speech was just like her acting -- on point yet elaborate. Many people associated Kim with the term 'female soldier' for a long time after she made her film debut playing a North Korean spy in "Shiri". The audience was unfamiliar with this actress who till then had made a few unnoted appearances in Korean dramas, but she left her mark with "Shiri", standing strong with her role opposite top Korean actor Han Suk-kyu who played the South Korean agent she loves. She then took on "Gingko Bed 2: Danjeobiyeonsu" where her piercing eyes reached beyond the camera to the audience. And just when it seemed she would forever trap herself in the image of a female soldier, Kim started expanding on her scope of acting. In "Ardor", she suffered just like her character Mi-heun did until she found hope in her life. And she may have ended up being the stereotypical Asian woman and finicky lawyer with her roles in the "Lost" series and Korean pic "Seven Days" but with her belief that "it is up to the actor to fill in the empty spaces", her characters became individuals with something more than empty hearts.,...More
[INTERVIEW] Actor Song Kang-ho - Part 2 2010/03/04, Source,
Actor Song Kang-ho [photographed by Beck Una/10Asia]
Beck: What did you find likeable and entertaining about the script for "Secret Reunion"? Song: Ten years ago, I did the films "Shiri" and "JSA - Joint Security Area" which are both about South Korea, North Korea and men. So, "Secret Reunion" was similar to them in a way, a similar story, but the overall outline of the movie is completely different from the previous films. The film doesn't treat the South-North division as its theme but rather takes an incredibly soft, light and sophisticated approach to it. I thought that was closer to how the audience currently feels about the division and there was something lovely about a North Korean spy and a former South Korean intelligence service agent living together. I don't think I would have done the movie if it dealt seriously about the division at times like now.
Beck:But didn't you choose to do the film because of the character or the role you would get to take on?,...More
"Avatar" becomes biggest blockbuster in Korea 2010/03/02, Source,
Korean official movie poster of "Avatar" [20th Century Fox]
James Cameron's Hollywood blockbuster "Avatar" has become the most-watched film in Korean box office history, according to estimates by the official Korean Film Council over the weekend.
Statistics showed that the animated picture, which opened in theaters mid-December, had garnered over a total 13.04 million admissions by Saturday to rise above former record holder "The Host" with around 13.02 million viewers.,...More
Son Ye-jin hops aboard new Kang Je-gyu pic 2010/02/18, Source,
Actress Son Ye-jin [Barunson Entertainment]
Actress Son Ye-jin has joined the cast of top South Korean director Kang Je-gyu's Hollywood debut pic, according to the film's producer on Thursday.
The critically acclaimed actress will play the main female role opposite Hallyu star Jang Dong-gun in the film tentatively titled "My Way", based on the Invasion of Normandy during World War II.
Son will play the role of a woman who agonizes over her love for a Korean man and a Japanese man who both fight in the war.,...More
Kim Yoon-jin to grace cover of U.S. entertainment magazine 2010/02/11, Source,
Korean actress Kim Yoon-jin [Asia Economic Daily]
Korean actress Kim Yoon-jin will be featured on the cover of Entertainment Weekly, one of the top entertainment magazines in the United States, according to Kim's agency Zion Entertainment.
The actress, who is currently in shooting for the final season of ABC's hit series "Lost", posed for the cover of the magazine alone for the first time. She had appeared on the front of the publication over several occasions alongside other members of the show but never by herself.,...More
Kim Yoon-jin sets up entertainment firm 2010/01/28, Source,
Korean actress Kim Yoon-jin [Asia Economic Daily]
Korean actress Kim Yoon-jin has set up her own talenthouse called Zion Entertainment.
Zion announced in a press release that the agency, established by Kim, will work in affiliation with William Morris Endeavor Entertainment (WME Entertainment), maintaining a system similar to its U.S. counterpart.,...More
Kang and Song say bonded like brothers in "Secret Reunion" 2010/01/21, Source,
Director Jang Hoon (center) poses with his lead actors Song Kang-ho (left) and Gang Dong-won attend a press conference for film "Secret Reunion" held at the COEX Megabox Multiplex theater in Seoul, South Korea on January 19, 2010. [Creative Film Marketing]
Press conference for film "Secret Reunion"Song Kang-ho keeps throwing verbal jabs which makes the audience burst out in laughter. Gang Dong-won wears a complex, multi-layered look in his eyes that has not been seen in any of his previous films. From what has been revealed at the press conference for "Secret Reunion", held at Seoul's Megabox Multiplex on Tuesday, "Secret Reunion""Secret Reunion" not only maximized the strengths of the two actors but also took an unexpected turn. The character Han-gyu, a former NIS (National Intelligence Service) agent who now runs a detective agency, appears to be a mixture of Song's two previous characters -- the NIS agent in "Shiri" and the middle-aged mobster in "The Show Must Go on". But his remarks in the movie go far beyond just being funny lines spoken by a character -- it's as if the actor and the character have become one. And one can see in the close-up shots that Gang Dong-won -- who looks as slick as a deer even when he's wearing suits that have long gone out of fashion -- carries in his eyes the intensity of a North Korean spy who is immensely conflicted between his ideology and his emotions.,...More
Korea doesn't seem to spark the imagination of North Americans, and this partly explains why Korean films are not popular there, observed an award-winning filmmak,...More
Gang Dong-won says envies Song Kang-ho's animal instincts 2010/01/06, Source,
From left, actor Song Kang-ho, director Jang Hoon and actor Kang Dong-won pose during a photo session of a press conference for film "Secret Reunion" held at the Plaza Hotel in Seoul, South Korea on January 5, 2009. [Lee Ji-hyuk/10Asia] A former South Korean intelligence agency official and a North Korean spy sent to South Korea. In most films, such a setting would end as a tragedy or result in a clash of ideologies as was the case in films "Shiri" or "JSA - Joint Security Area". These characters, who have been trained for the good of their country, will confront each other brutally or will have to face numerous conspiracies as was the case with the NSS agents in KBS TV series "IRIS". But "Secret Reunion" is a film which seems to be set on providing a new form of enjoyment through its characters. Unlike its poster showing a resolutely determined Song Kang-ho and Gang Dong-won, a preview video revealed at a press conference for the film on Tuesday at the Plaza Hotel drew frequent bursts of laughter from the audience. Lee Han-gyu (played by Song) who looks better as the owner of a detective agency than the national intelligence service from which he has been expelled, and North Korean spy Song Ji-won (played by Kang) who still flaunts his outstanding looks on screen despite the director's efforts to do his best to "make him not look like a model", start living together for different purposes. Lee employes Song to win a prize money given for catching spies and Song starts working at Lee's agency to make money to return to the North. Each character, both of whom have been ousted by their organizations, will try to use the other as a tool to reclaim their original positions but the wall between them starts collapsing. "Secret Reunion", which focused on the individual changes the two characters go through regardless of their different ideologies, is set for release on February 4. Below are excerpts from the press conference attended by Song, Kang and director Jang.
Actor Song Kang-ho [Lee Jin-hyuk/10Asia]
Q: What sort of film is "Secret Reunion"? Jang Hun (Jang): A South Korean man in the National Intelligence Service meets with a North Korean man sent to the South as a spy. The film is about the two men who start out as enemies but change after seeing the humane sides to each other while living together.,...More
Amid the ongoing search for catchy, stylish, attractive ideas for local dramas, many drama-makers have turned to themes that have already been seen to be popular. Movie-based dramas are no longer new, but the,...More
Special Effects Makeup Artist Wows Filmgoers 2007/10/24, Source, The difference between a blockbuster film and a flop has a lot to do with the plot, the acting or even the marketing.
But one crucial factor that's easily overlooked is what makes films look believable.
Nam Kiyung has this story.
Movies bring our imaginations to life on the silver screen, and the,...More
The story said Asian genre films, especially those from Korea, have built a steady following in the West since Hong Kong cinema broke o,...More
Takeover of Korea's MK Pictures 2007/07/12, Source, The founders of major Korean film industry player MK Pictures, director Kang Je-gyu, CEO LEE Eun and president SHIM Jae-myeong, announced that they have sold their shares, worth 29% of the company, to a group of five investors. The group, head,...More
The Top Korean Movies by Box Office Takings 2007/06/08, Source, 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, S,...More
'Korean Wave' now testing U.S. waters 2006/11/09, Source, There is no question that a Korean Wave is sweeping Asia. Sophisticated and trendy Korean movies, television dramas and music are widely loved throughout the region. But skeptics have long doubted the regional wave would ever cross the Pacific Ocean to hit North America, much less become significant,...More
Korean movies turning heads in Hollywood: LA Times 2006/11/07, Source, The Los Angeles Times has reported that Korea's burgeoning movie industry is penetrating the international movie market, enjoying a creative surge reminiscent of 1970s Hollywood when the films of Martin Scorsese and Hal Ashby first burst onto the big screen.
The new movie "Hanbando" (the Korean Peninsula) begins with the hypothetical premise that Japan will emerg,...More
Weekend Screenings Korean War Films at KOFA 2006/06/09, Source, The Korean Film Archive (KOFA) programmed Korean films dealing with the Korean War and the division of Korea with English subtitles. The films will be screened on weekend afternoons in the month June. The program is titled "War and Society: 1950-2000" ( http://www.koreafilm.org/theatre/screening_mai,...More
MK Pictures, headed by Lee Eun, said it has signed a,...More
Korean Film Sets Sights on the World 2006/03/28, Source, In 1988 the Korean film industry was on the verge of failing. In accordance with trade liberalization, United International Pictures (UIP) announced the direct distribution of films in Korea. Due to the direct distribution, Hollywood films in Korea have increased twice as much as the previous year (,...More
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.
The cable movie channel OCN, along with the portal site Naver and cable music channel MTV Korea, surveyed 18,366 people from June 7 to 30 to compile a list of,...More
Movie Theme Park Opens in Seoul 2005/02/23, Source, There's a new tourist hot spot smack in the heart of Seoul. It's a mock studio where visitors can experience scenes from some of Korea's recently acclaimed films and TV dramas.
It began with the hit 1998 action film "Shiri". "JSA - Joint Security Area", followed two years later, delving into new,...More
Pusan film fest gains growing influence 2004/10/16, Source, The Pusan International Film Festival wrapped up its nine-day run yesterday, confirming its growing popularity among movie buffs in Korea and Asia.
The much-celebrated annual film festival featured 266 movies from 63 countries, a lineup that has set a new record in its nine-year history. A horde o,...More
Fans of Han Suk-kyu, star of local hit movies such as "Shiri" and "Christmas in August" will be able to see him in his upcoming movie ",...More
Pusan film fest pursues cinema diversity 2004/10/05, Source, The Pusan International Film Festival will kick off its much-touted nine-day run Thursday, featuring 266 films from 63 countries - the most in the festival's nine-year history.
Organizers said they have put much emphasis on the diversity in international cinema, screening more works from Africa, L,...More
In a year when major European festivals have gone Hollywood in a big way, the Pusan International Film Festival (PIFF), Asia's biggest cinema event, will continue to go the other direction, emphasizing the diversity in international cinema more than in previous years,...More
Kim Yoon-jin to Play Major Role in ABC's New Series 2004/06/22, Source, By Han Eun-jung
Among ABC's fall season lineup is a new adventure drama by the creator of "Alias," J.J. Abram, which follows the aftermath of a devastating plane crash. Appropriately titled "Lost," the survivors of the ill-fated flight are left to survive on a deserted island where,...More
One of the most widely talked about cultural phenomena of the last decade or so is the renaissance of the Korean cinema and TV. Korean cinema has become a major success story both commercially and artistically, and both in domestic and international markets. Just in recent months,,...More
The money is flowing in, but there is no one to act.
This is the current atmosphere at Choong Moo Ro (film district). According to the Bank of Korea, the movie industry's 2003 sales were some 3.7780 trillion won. This is a rapid growth with sales more than triple 1997's 1.257,...More
Unable to gain access to investors by traditional means, Korean filmmakers are rewriting the script to give stock traders and cyber fans starring roles.
The industry currently generates an estimated 700 billion won ($605 million),...More
'Korean Culture' According to Foreigners <1> - Mr. Sanae (Japan) 2004/03/15, Source, Korean cultural products such as TV series, movies, music and games are entering market abroad one by one. Korean Wave, popularity of Korean popular culture, which started in China and Southeast Asia, is continued in Japan, and Korea has become a contents exporter. We should be proud of our cultural,...More
It was Friday when "My Beautiful Girl, Mari", a Korean animation of watercolors, opened in theaters in January 2002 in a multiplex theater. The animation was cross-played after a Hollywood movie the nex,...More
The long-awaited domestic film "Taegukgi" has finally arrived in theaters, and in many ways it doesn't disappoint. Costing nearly 15 billion won to make, the film, about two brothers caught up in the Korean War, is visually as,...More
In the movie "Waving Taeguek Flag", which is scheduled to be released on February 6, the largest ever amount of production cost, 14.7 billion won, has been pitched in, the two top stars of the Korean movie world,,...More
Merger unites makers of 'Shiri', 'JSA' movies 2004/01/28, Source, 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.
'Silmido' powers past 6 million viewers 2004/01/20, Source, The Korean film "Silmido" has attracted 6 million viewers in the shortest time in Korean cinema history, sparking speculation that it may break the all-time attendance record held by "Friend", which drew 8.2 million viewers in 2001.
The new domestic film "Silmido" mines a reliable source for high-powered domestic dramas in recent years _ how Cold-War politics turned individual lives into tragedies. But unlike the blockbusters ",...More
The Korean Film Commission (KFC) said Thursday that of the 3.35 million moviegoers in October, approximately 2.35 million went to watch local films, recording a 70.2 percent market share. The percentage would be considered high in any country, although Korean films did report an e,...More
Kim has signed a contract with U.S. television,...More
Movie exports equal 1,420 car sales abroad 2003/09/26, Source, Korea exported 18.1 billion won ($15.7 million) worth of movies during the first half, generating as much added value as the sale of 1,419 passenger cars abroad, a central bank report showed yesterday.
The nation's movie exports in the six-month period were nearly equivalent to last year's annua,...More
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