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Cyborg and Hyazgar To Compete in Berlin

2007/02/02 Source

Director Park Chan-wook's latest feature I'm a Cyborg, But That's OK will be screened at the 57th Berlin International Film Festival in the main Competition section, vying for one of the coveted Bears, which ranks among the top international film prizes. PARK achieved worldwide recognition when his revenge-thriller Old Boy took home the Grand prize at Cannes in 2004.

Berlinale director, Dieter Kosslick, sent an official invitation for the offbeat romantic comedy, which will screen during the festival's run February 8th to 18th. Director PARK is expected to attend along with the film's main stars, Lim Soo-jung and pop-sensation Rain, making his big screen debut.

Cyborg is the story of a relationship between two mental patients, Young-goon, a young woman admitted to a psychiatric ward for believing she is a cyborg, and fellow inmate, Il-soon, a young man who befriends and falls in love with her.

PARK's film will compete alongside Korean-Chinese filmmaker Zhang Lu's third feature, Hyazgar ("Desert Dream"), a late addition to the main competition section. ZHANG's sophomore work, "Grain in Ear" (2005) travelled to numerous film festivals, including Cannes, winning the top award at the Pusan International Film Festival in 2005. Hyazgar is set in a small, drought threatened village on the Chinese-Mongolian border where the lives of a farmer, a woman refugee from North Korea, and a soldier cross paths.

Other Korean films at the Berlinale include "Like A Virgin", directed by debut-duo Lee Hae-yeong and Lee Hae-joon, in the Generation 14-Plus section; Yeo In-kwang's childhood tale "Ice Bar" in the Generation K-Plus section;

Hong Sang-soo's "Woman on the Beach" and E. J-yong (Lee Jae-yong)'s Dasepo Naughty Girls ("Dasepo Girl") in the Panorama section; and director Lee Yoon-ki's third feature, "Ad-Lib Night" in the Young Forum section.

Director PARK was a special guest at the 2006 Berlinale where he sat on the panel of the Berlin Talent Campus to discuss his filmmaking approach with an eager audience. PARK's vengeance trilogy, Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance (2002), Old Boy (2003) and Sympathy for Lady Vengeance (2005) have developed a cult following in Europe. His breakthrough 2000 feature JSA - Joint Security Area was invited to the competition section of the Berlinale in 2001.

Cyborg was released locally on December 7th and opened at number one, driven largely by the director's renowned status and the main casting of K-pop-star Rain in his feature debut. Critics at home praised it for its innovative storytelling style, although local box-office receipts were less than expected.

Nigel D'Sa (KOFIC)

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