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Korean-American Director to Promote Korea Through Unique Film Project

2010/08/09 | Permalink | Source

Korean-American director Benson Lee won acclaim from foreign media and a number of film festivals for his documentary "Planet B-Boy", which was released here last year. A Hollywood remake of the documentary with a budget of US$35 million is being planned, with Lee at the helm.

Lee is currently in Korea to work on an ambitious project tentatively titled "Obangsaek" or "five directional colors", which is a traditional color philosophy based on the five directions: north, south, east, west and center. It will combine three-dimensional images and music in an attempt to portray Korea's past and present on stage.

"I learned about the five directional colors while studying about the traditional Korean costume, hanbok. I saw the colors as symbols of Korean culture", Lee said. "Right now I'm interviewing foreigners who are experts on Korea, and I plan to meet more people from diverse backgrounds such as politicians, historians, food experts, and designers".

Born to parents who immigrated to Canada, Lee moved to the U.S. with his family when he was nine. He finished his university education in Hawaii, and lived in Paris and London where he immersed himself in the world of movies.

His 1998 debut "Miss Monday", which he wrote, directed and produced, was the result of ideas he developed while working at a sandwich shop. The movie won the Special Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival, and the award launched him into international film circles despite his lack of formal education in cinema.

Lee calls his "Obangsaek" project a "user-generated documentary". It will be assembled in part from video clips which anyone will be able to upload to a website that will open next month (Open the link). He hopes to finish the project by the end of next year.

"Korea is truly a globally cutting-edge country", he said. "I think this is thanks to Korea's propensity for mixing things together and transforming any type of foreign culture into a Korean style. And I want to show this artistic spirit to the rest of the world".

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