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[HanCinema's Film News] New Korean Films Inbound...

2013/07/13 | 501 views | Permalink

K-Films Coming Soon:

★★★ "Mr. Go".: A young chinese girl's circus-trained gorilla gets drafted into Korea's professional baseball league. (07/17)

★★★ "We Were There" (aka "We Were There"): This story follows a Korean climbing expedition that endured physical and emotional trials to the summit of Pakistan's Gasherbrum IV- the 17th highest mountain on Earth. (07/18)

Title: "Mr. Go"

Genre: Comedy, Drama

Length: 132min

Release Date: 2013/07/17

Director: Kim Yong-hwa ("200 Pounds Beauty", "Take Off", "Oh! Brothers")

Screenplay: Kim Yong-hwa

Stars: Jiao Xu, Sung Dong-il, and Ling Ling the Gorilla

What if... a young girl's circus-trained gorilla got drafted into South Korea's professional baseball league?

It is a bizarre direction for Korea's first fully shot stereoscopic 3D film to take. Adapted from Huh Young-man's comic "7th Baseball Club" (1985~1987) the film marks Kim Yong-hwa's third swing in the director/writer's chair. Yong-hwa wrote the screenplay and directed his debut "Oh! Brothers" in 2003 and his 2009 comedy "Take Off" claimed 8 million admissions at the local box office. Yong-hwa successes also include the popular romantic comedy "200 Pounds Beauty".

The film stars the young Chinese actress Jiao Xu as Wei Wei, the human companion of a family owned circus gorilla named Ling Ling. Ling Ling is a bat-swinging circus animal who gets drafted in dark times by Seong Choong-soo (Sung Dong-il), a materialist baseball scout who brings them both back to Korea with him.

This $20 million production promises to be truly fantastical with its landmark technical achievements and imaginative storytelling. The film's premise does invoke a rather sceptical knee-jerk reaction, but I suspect that behind all the CGI and farcical features the film will have some surprisingly emotional strings to play.

★★★

Title: "We Were There" (aka "We Were There")

Genre: Documentary

Length: 82min

Release Date: 2013/07/18

Director: June Park (Park Jun-ki)

Narrator: Yoo Hak-jae

The Story: This tale follows a Korean climbing expedition that endured physical and emotional trials to the summit of Pakistan's Gasherbrum IV- the 17th highest mountain on Earth.

June Park's documentary is a real-life drama about the Korean Alpine Club's 1995 expedition to Gasherbrum IV, and their relationship with the Slovene team that they climbed it with. The story revolves around the Korean team and their relationship with, in particular, the Slovene climber Slavko Svetičič. Both parties failed to conquer the mountain on their first expedition, but in 1997 the Korean team went for it again and successfully reached the top. The story turns classic when the South Korean team discovers the frozen body of Slavko. They remove a piece of rope from his gear as a token to give to his family in his honor. It was said that the piece of rope helped 'guide' the Korean team to safety as they descended the life-taking slops of Gasherbrum IV for the last time.

★★★

- C.J. Wheeler (@KoreaOnTheCouch)

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