[HanCinema's Digest] Cinema Snippets 2017/10/02,
KoBiz's infographic reveals the history of Korean stars who have moved behind the camera, Netflix signs its first deal for a Korean variety show, Song Soon-jin tracks the rise of Korea's push towards web content, and veteran actor Kim Yun-seok talks about his role in the much-anticipated period film "The Fortress",...More
The reason why these celebrities are not on SNS 2017/06/23, Source,
There are many stars who have active SNS accounts and rain us with pics of their daily life and in some lucky cases, communicate with the fans as they comment and share the love. Though, today, we are going to take a look at the stars who refused to get public SNS account, or rather, no account at all. These are their reasoning behind such decision,...More
[Guest Film Review] "Breath" 2017/06/17, Kim Ki-duk's fourteenth film screened in festivals all over the world, found distribution in a number of countries and was nominated for the Palme d'Or.
Joo-yeon is an unhappily married sculptor and mother, who finds out that her husband has an affair,...More
You can do it Kim Woo-bin and Moon So-ri, "The Juror" 2017/06/06, Source, Kim Woo-bin has been diagnosed with nasopharyngeal carcinoma. His management reported this news. To get proper treatments, he had to put a stop to all work such as director Choi Dong-hoon's "Wiretap" and more. He also announced his illness so that no speculations and unnecessary misunderstandings were created. "Wiretap" will be put on hold until as long as it takes for Kim Woo-bin to get his treatment. If the circumstances require it, the role may be changed or the production itself may be stopped altogether. Kim Woo-bin's health comes first at any chance,...More
[HanCinema's Film Review] "Suh-Suh Pyoung, Slowly and Peacefully" 2017/05/06,
Elizabeth Johanna Shepping's mother came to the United States in search of opportunity. That did not end well. After a disaffected childhood where she was used to having no friends, Shepping eventually moved back in with her mother and stepfather, only to have a falling out over religious differences. In her quest for salvation, Shepping eventually settles upon colonial Korea as the outlet for her work, adopting the Korean name Suh Pyoung in order to better fit in,...More
[HanCinema's Digest] Cinema Snippets 2017/04/22,
Note the Korean films that will be competing at the prestigious Cannes Film Festival, the Evening Standard reviews Park Chan-wook's "masterpiece", explore Korea's various bro films, and KoBiz's latest infographic documents the different Korean presidents that have appeared in film,...More
[Guest Film Review] "My Dear Enemy" 2017/03/04,
Kim Hee-soo, a single, jobless woman in her thirties sets out to find her ex-boyfriend, Jo Byeong-woon, who owes her $3,500. However, it turns out that he is also broke at the moment, although he assures her that he can get the money by the end of the day. Not sure about his honesty, since he has been owing her the money for more than a year, she decides to follow him in his quest to find it from a series of friends and acquaintances, most of which turn out to be women. As the story becomes a road trip through Seoul's streets and neighborhoods, the duo's past and present is revealed,...More
Movie Audiences Dwindle for 1st Time in 7 Years 2017/01/20, Source,
Movie audiences have dwindled for the first time in seven years. The number of moviegoers hit 200 million for the first time in 2013 and had been rising steadily since, but the Korean Film Council on Thursday said they dwindled by 280,000 last year to 217 million,...More
'Tunnel' Continues Box Office Reign 2016/09/07, Source,
The disaster flick "Tunnel" hit the 7 million mark in cinema attendance on Tuesday, according to the film's distributor Showbox. The film has maintained the top spot at the box office since its release on Aug. 10, the longest record this year,...More
[HanCinema's Box Office Review] 2016.08.12 ~ 2016.08.14 2016/08/15, "Tunnel" dethrones "The Last Princess" and takes the crown...
Kim Seong-hun's action thriller "Tunnel" arrived last week and managed to capture 40% of box office pie and dislodge "The Last Princess" at the top of the pile. Last weekend Heo Jin-ho's historical melodrama (aka "Princess Deokhye") attracted 1.1 million filmgoers across 964 screens to take pole position; despite following that good opening with another 966,862 admissions here (21%), which moved its total tally now to 3.5 million ($25.6 million), Heo's latest was forced into second place after the "Tunnel" arrived on the scene and attracted 1.8 million admissions ($13.8 million) from 1,091 screens,...More
[HanCinema's Film Review] "Tunnel" 2016/08/13,
Jeong-soo (played by Ha Jung-woo) is a normal husband and father who briefly gets waylaid by bad service at a gas station. Little does Jeong-soo realize that he is in a movie called "Tunnel", and that irony of ironies, bad service at the gas station probably ended up saving Jeong-soo's life in the form of an extra free bottle of water. Once trapped in the "Tunnel", all of a sudden every random object that happened to be in Jeong-soo's car takes on disproportionate importance,...More
[Orion's Drama News] From Rags to Mega-Riches 2016/06/25,
This week I talk KCON New York and HanCinema's attendance there. I also take a look at the super rich, super smart, super talented and all around perfect character of Lee Jong-suk in "W" and what he might mean in terms of how we write and experience fiction and Korean dramas. Before my upcoming drama goodies and personal watch list, I talk Dramaland ladies and introduce upcoming drama "Woman of Dignity",...More
[HanCinema's Film Review] "The Handmaiden" 2016/06/25,
The time is the Japanese Occupation. Sook-hee (played by Kim Tae-ri) is a street-level thief and con artist who like anyone else is just trying to get by. Opportunity arises in the form of the Count (played by Ha Jung-woo) who needs assistance as part of an elaborate scheme to gain access to the family fortune of Hideko (played by Kim Min-hee). All is not as it seems. Although in the movies, when is it ever?,...More
Moviegoers Prefer Older Stars, Watching Alone 2016/06/19, Source, Hwang Jung-min and Kim Hye-soo have been named the most popular actor and actress in an email survey of 10,286 people by the Chosun Ilbo and ticketing site Max Movie. Kim was also voted best actress, while best actor went to Song Kang-ho. All three are all in their 40s, while only a few stars in their 20s made it into the top 10. The results clearly reflect the changing demographic of moviegoers in Korea,...More
[HanCinema's Box Office Review] 2016.06.03 ~ 2016.06.05 2016/06/06, Park Chan-wook's "The Handmaiden" suppresses Marvel's mutants...
Park Chan-wook's latest film, "The Handmaiden", starring Kim Min-hee, Kim Tae-ri, and Ha Jung-woo, was officially released last Wednesday and dislodged Marvel's "X-Men: Apocalypse" at the top of the pile. Last weekend the latest "X-Men" film entered the chart and occupied first place with 1.1 million admissions going its way (51%). Park's much-anticipated thriller, however, shot to the top in its first weekend out by capturing 47% of the box office pie. From 1,167 screens, and fresh after its successful run at the Cannes Film Festival, where it received favourable reviews from critics and filmgoers alike, "The Handmaiden" attracted 1.2 million admissions to top the chart during its first weekend out on home soil,...More
Lee Jung-jae is busy for the rest of the year 2016/05/12, Source,
Actor Lee Jung-jae is attempting at being a multi-player. He stands alone ever since he finished contract time with his company and is now at the busiest time of his entire career.
Lee Jung-jae's year is fully booked. He is starring in various numbers in Korea and China. Not only is he acting, he's also thinking about various projects too,...More
[HanCinema's Digest] Cinema Snippets 2016/04/23, Park Chan-wook is back in the spotlight as "The Handmaiden" heads to Cannes, Inverse has a compelling take on the relationship between South Korean cinema and the country's socio-political reality, KOBIZ shares an infographic showing the locations of Hong Sang-soo's films, and Pierce Conran asks if there is still space in multiplexes for romantic dramas,...More
Ha Jung-woo Says He Can't Keep Away from Painting 2016/01/29, Source,
Actor Ha Jung-woo has been holding an exhibition of his paintings at a gallery in Cheongdam-dong, Seoul since last week. The exhibition, which runs until the end of this month, displays his latest works including some 50 drawings he sketched while staying in Hawaii in October and November last year. At his previous exhibition in Los Angles in February last year, he said he wouldn't have time to paint for a while, because he would be busy working on films for the next three years,...More
What Movie Ticket Sales Say About Tastes Across the Country 2015/12/18, Source,
Seoul citizens made up 24 percent of cinemagoers in the country this year. Films which see a flood of advance ticket sales tend to have a high percentage of audiences from Seoul, mainly due to a more established culture of booking tickets. Films with a high percentage of audiences from the provinces tended to stay at the top of the box office for longer,...More
Yoo Ah-in Voted Most Impressive Actor of the Year 2015/12/16, Source, Yoo Ah-in was voted as the most impressive actor of the year, according to a recent poll by Gallup Korea. Gallup surveyed 1,700 men and women across the country for three weeks from Oct. 29 to Nov. 21, asking respondents to choose their two favorite movies stars,...More
Red Faces at Daejong Film Awards as Stars Stay Home 2015/11/23, Source,
What was touted as Korea's most prestigious movie awards turned into a farce Friday evening as none of the nominees for best actor and actress turned up. The nine nominated stars cited a variety of reasons for their absence from the annual Daejong Film Awards, from prior engagements to being out of the country, but it looked suspiciously like an organized boycott,...More
Ha Jung-woo heads for Hawaii to recharge 2015/10/29, Source, Ha Jung-woo headed for Hawaii once again. He's taking some time off to re-energize and revitalize prior to his upcoming movie.
It is a known fact, Ha Jung-woo's attachment to Hawaii. He spends most of his time in Hawaii when he's not working. He preaches about Hawaii to others and even said he wanted to be the promotional ambassador of Hawaii,...More
[HanCinema's Film Review] "The Assassination" 2015/08/15,
South Korean media doesn't deal much with the Japanese Occupation. The main reason for this is historical awkwardness. The resistance wasn't all that effective. And after the war most major figures involved in it either joined North Korea, or they ended up in a losing political battle with the US-backed South Korean dictatorship, which was managed almost entirely by Koreans who had collaborated with the Japanese. "The Assassination", amazingly enough, actually addresses this directly. The framing device is in 1949 and the main villain in 1933 isn't a hardened Japanese soldier, but a Korean collaborator,...More
The Assassination (2015) 2015/07/25, Source, "The Assassination"
Genres: Action and Drama
Running Time: 140 min.
Directed by: Choi Dong-hoon
Starring: Jun Ji-hyun, Lee Jung-jae, Ha Jung-woo
Synopsis: In the early 1900s Korea was under Japanese occupation and many Korean resistance activists were based in China, hiding from the Japanese authorities. The year 1933 in Shanghai, a command to covertly assassinate the Japanese Army's commander is given to Ahn Ok-yun, a top-notch sniper serving her time on death row. For this task, Yeom Seok-jin, an agent of the interim government extricates Ahn and her comrades from the prison. But the grand plan is exposed to Japan by an internal spy, and a hit man, Hawaii-Pistol is being hired to get rid of her. The assassination squad arrives in Korea without knowing hit-man's chase. Can she make the impossible mission completed?,...More
Why Kim Hye-soo and Jeon Do-yeon are so precious 2015/06/08, Source, Kim Hye-soo and Jeon Do-yeon are actresses in their 40s. In the Korean movie industry, for an actress to be in her 40s means she's no longer the main act. Movies take up a big part of the culture but it's also an industry where one can only survive if profits are made from investments. Therefore, cinematic quality, completion, influence on the public and cultural values are outweighed by the success of the movie.
Choi Min-sik, Kim Yun-seok, Ryu Seung-ryong, Lee Byung-hun, Ha Jung-woo and other actors in their 40s have been successful with their movies. Screenplays are focused on them and actresses didn't get as much attention as they did before,...More
Veteran actors shine in 'The Deal' 2015/03/04, Source,
The stellar performances of three veteran actors take center stage in upcoming film "The Deal". The plot is hardly groundbreaking - the subject matter is a serial killer being chased by a detective and a victim's husband plotting his revenge,...More
[HanCinema's Box Office Review] 2015.01.30 ~ 2015.02.01 2015/02/02, Disney's Oscar delight comes right… Last week Yoo Ha's "Gangnam Blues" entered the fray and scored a narrow victory during a highly competitive weekend. "Gangnam Blues", "Big Hero 6", and JK Youn's "Ode to My Father" were all in the running for gold, but its was Yoo's action noir that the public championed. This weekend, however, saw Walt Disney's "Big Hero 6" gain momentum and claim the week's top spot with over 611K admissions going its way (29%), bumping its total tally in Korea now to 1.7M ($12M). To date, Disney's, Marvel-inspired, Oscar nominee has already banked $484M worldwide, more than double its production budget of around $165M,...More
[HanCinema's Box Office Review] 2015.01.23 - 2015.01.25 2015/01/26, Yoo's "Blues" shakes things up…Yoo Ha's action noir "Gangnam Blues" (aka "Gangnam 1970") was the number one player at box office over the weekend, pocketing over $5.5M (27%) and coming out on top in what was the most closely-contested tussle at the top we've seen thus far. The 709K filmgoers Yoo persuade into his caves (830) was narrowly enough to spoil Disney's big animated entrance into the game. "Big Hero 6" was, like Yoo's "Blues", released in Korea last Wednesday, and competed over 822 screens to claimed 662K stubs ($5M - 25%). It was an awesome photo finish that ultimately favoured homemade Han over foreign fantasy, but only just,...More
[HanCinema's Film Review] "Chronicle of a Blood Merchant" 2015/01/24,
Sam-gwan (played by Ha Jung-woo) is an average guy hanging out in the streets at the end of the Korean War. He becomes thoroughly smitten by the winsome Ok-ran (played by Ha Ji-won), and after an apparently successful first date is unintimidated by the fact that she a boyfriend. Sam-gwan doesn't actually...win her over or anything. He ultimately gains Ok-ran's hand in marriage by approaching her father, who is evidently more impressed by Sam-gwan's plucky earnestness than Ok-ran was,...More
Chronicle of a Blood Merchant (2014) 2015/01/18, Source,
Running Time: 124 min.
Directed by: Ha Jung-woo
Starring: Ha Jung-woo, Ha Ji-won, Kim Sung-kyun
Synopsis: Heo Sam-gwan works in a factory. In the village where he lives, the men can't get married until they are able to sell their own blood. By selling blood, it proves they are in healthy condition. Heo is eventually able to marry Heo Ok-ran, the most beautiful woman in the village,...More
[HanCinema's Film News] New Korean Films Inbound... 2015/01/10, K-Films Coming Soon: ★★★★ "Today's Love": An unlikely and delicate romance blooms when a tough weather caster and hopeless romantic cross paths. (01/15) ★★★★★ "Lost Flower: Eo Woo-dong": A love triangle unfolds within Joseon's upper class that exposes the hypocrisy of high society. (01/15) ★★★★ "The Cat Funeral": A broken-up couple reunite for the funeral of their cat and are then confronted with past passions. (01/15) ★★★★★ "Chronicle of a Blood Merchant": A factory worker wants to marry the most beautiful woman in the village but first has to sell his blood as a sign of good health. (01/15) ★★★★★ "Mira Story": A documentary that follows a young woman, Mira, as she heads to Gangjung village to help hand out books to the community. (01/15),...More
[HanCinema's Feature] Korea's Top Five Favorite Films of 2014 2014/12/20,
2015 is nigh upon us, a fresh year with its own host of hits waiting to entertain and be enjoyed. There is still a little time before 2014 passes us by, and before it does I wanted to glance back and take stock of this year's most successful spectacles and see what rose to top in terms of ticket tallies.
Last year Korean cinephiles were treated to an array of awesome attractions ("The Face Reader", "Snowpiercer", "The Attorney", "Miracle in Cell No.7"), but still Bong Joon-ho's 2003 hit "The Host" remained the nation's cash king with over 13M admissions. It would take something supremely special (historic) to rally such record-breaking support and slay this iconic stub-guzzler,...More
Choi Min-sik, Yoo Hae-jin, Park Yoo-chun in Chungmuro 2014/12/08, Source,
Chungmuro was a male party. From successful movies to rookies, the event focused on actors who contributed to the film industry throughout the year. The best movies were awarded and rookies were introduced. It was disappointing that actresses didn't have much space to stand in.
# Acting God: Choi Min-sik
It's not an overstatement to say that it was Choi Min-sik's year with his greatest hit being "The Admiral: Roaring Currents". He took on the role of Admiral Yi Sun-shin and 17.6 million people have watched it. The movie re-wrote Korean movie history. This syndrome brought about historical movies once more and there was even debate about the social role of these kinds of generation movies. Choi Min-sik has a record breaking movie on his hands,...More
[HanCinema's Box Office Review] 2014.08.08 ~ 2014.08.10 2014/08/12, Kim's "Admiral" surpasses 10M in record time…Kim Han-min's cinematic celebration of the legendary Korean admiral Yi Sun-sin continued its record-breaking form as it powered past the 10 million admissions mark with ease. Over this past weekend Kim's period epic claimed over 2.5M stubs (58.8%) over 1,335 screens to become the fastest Korean film to reach that milestone, and now stands as the tenth highest grossing Korean film of all time. The film depicts Yi Sun-sin's famous victory at the Battle of Myeongnyang where, against all odds, he defeated the Japanese navy on the Myeongnyang Strait by forcing the Japanese fleet into the narrow pass and made strategic use of the straights strong and shifting currents. "The Admiral: Roaring Currents" now has a total tally of 10.7M admissions ($81.1M); an incredible achievement considering the film was only released on the 30th of last month,...More
KUNDO : Age of the Rampant (2014) 2014/07/26, Source,
"KUNDO : Age of the Rampant"
Genres: Action and Epics
Running Time: 137 min.
Directed by: Yoon Jong-bin
Starring: Ha Jung-woo, Gang Dong-won, Lee Sung-min, Cho Jin-woong
Synopsis: Set in the 19th century. Dol Mu-chi, who works as butcher, joins a righteous group of thieves. Jo Yun is the son of wealthy nobleman, but his mother is a concubine. Even though he excels in martial arts, he isn't recognized for his talents because of his lineage. Jo then joins the group of thieves. The thieves steal from corrupt public officials and gives to the poor. The band of thieves then goes up against a powerful figure,...More
Song Kang-ho vs. Ha Jung-woo vs. Sul Kyung-gu 2014/05/26, Source,
There's going to be competition at the 50th Baeksang Arts Awards.
The 50th annual BAA is going to be held on the 27th at 6:30PM at Kyeonghee University to reward the stars who have shined throughout the year. It is expected that there's going to be tough competition amongst the leading actors and actresses of Chungmuro,...More
Blockbusters coming soon this spring 2014/03/10, Source,
The formality of Korean blockbuster movies is breaking up.
It starts off with Hyun Bin. With the release of "The King's Wrath" in April, other movies such as Son Ye-jin's "Pirates" and other blockbusters fill up the line. These blockbusters cost more than 10 billion won each and the atmosphere seems completely different from that of movies that usually come out into the open in July ~ August,...More
[HanCinema's Lists] The Top 5 Korean Thrillers of All-Time 2014/01/17,
One of the most popular trends we saw in 2013 was the rampant release of action-packed thrillers! It's a genre that Korean cinema favours and continues to return to, but in 2013 the industry really did pump out a number of successful hits that contributed to the record-breaking tickets sales last year enjoyed.
It's tricky to pinpoint films that are 'pure' thrillers because Korean films often blend and bend their genres in unique and creative ways. That being said, here is a quick look at the top 5 Korean thrillers that have stormed their way to box office glory,...More
[HanCinema Feature] Historical Hysteria: Korean period films coming in 2014 2014/01/11, Joseon pirates, legends, swordsmen, angels and more coming our way in 2014...
Cinematic journeys back to Joseon and beyond have rewarded the Korean film industry with a string of profitable historical yarns, a trend that has got producers drooling with the prospect of tapping deeper into this regenerative cash cow. Recently, it's been Han Jae-rim's "The Face Reader" (9.1M admissions) that has had locals flustered and, in 2005, it was Lee Joon-ik's "The King and the Clown" that became the first Joseon-era flick to pass the 10 million admissions mark. It's big business with a cultural twist that locals enjoy supporting, international audiences love lapping up, and a trend that 2014 is keen to take advance of as a host of new retrospectives are getting raring to go,...More
[HanCinema's Hall of Fame] "The Chaser" 2013/11/09, In the Spotlight this Week:"The Chaser" by Na Hong-jin
In 2005, self-confessed cannibal and serial killer Yoo Young-chul was sentenced to death for twenty counts of murder by the Seoul Central District Court. His victims included mostly prostitutes and the wealthy, stating, in front of the cameras, that: "Women shouldn't be sluts, and the rich should know what they've done". Three years after his sentences was carried out, Na Hong-jin made his directing debut with the intense and disturbing "The Chaser", a psychological thriller that drew inspiration from Yoo's grizzly and blood-soaked story and remains one of the most gripping and spell-binding entries into the genre. Over five million local filmgoers gorged themselves on Na's terrifying cinematic imagining at the time, and it wasn't just the real-world horrors that lured them in. The film employed the prestigious acting talents of both Ha Jung-woo ("The Terror Live", "The Berlin File") and Kim Yun-seok ("Hwayi : A Monster Boy", "Haemoo"), both of whom were recalled by Na for his sophomore feature "The Yellow Sea" in 2010. These two silver screen stars at the heart of Na's urban thriller, bringing to life Na's cruel and unusual collision of an ex-cop pimp and his cannibalistic counter,...More
[HanCinema's Film News] New Korean Films Inbound... 2013/10/12, K-Films Coming Soon:
★★★★ "Fasten Your Seatbelt": A plane headed to Tokyo from Gimpo with a Hallyu star on board flies into an unexpected storm and becomes in danger of crashing. (10/17)
★★★★ "Queen of the Night": A romantic comedy about a timid husband named Yeong-soo discovering the eventful past of his beautiful and perfect wife Hee-joo. (10/17)
★★★ "Neverdie Butterfly": Life starts getting better for a bullied boy when he meets his old middle school friend, but the school bully has other plans for them. (10/17)
★★ "Vacation": Three glamorous and privileged women go on a seductive vacation with three men they've targeted. (10/17)
★★★ "Silk Flower": A documentary that follows national shaman Kim Keum-hwa through various performances around the world as an artist. (10/17),...More
'Top Stars' Discuss Switch Over to Directing at BIFF 2013/10/07, Source, Ha Jung-woo (left) and Park Joong-hoon
Two Korean actors made their directorial debuts at the 18th Busan International Film Festival, which opened last Thursday -- Park Joong-hoon with "Top Star" and Ha Jung-woo with "Fasten Your Seatbelt". At an open talk session for his film held at Haeundae Beach in the southern port city on Saturday, Park said, "I've been an actor for 28 years, having started out at the age of 20. In that time I received a lot of love and attention from movie fans, and I suppose in a way it made me more of a narcissist". He added that he has seen many actors lose their way and turn into different people after starting to believe their own hype, which is an issue he wanted to deal with in his first film as director,...More
[HanCinema's Box Office Review] 2013.08.02 ~ 2013.08.04 2013/08/05,
The first week of August brought some exciting news from Korea as the box office enjoyed its biggest weekend haul in history! Around 4.5 millions tickets were sold with Korea's summer films (led by "The Terror Live" and "Snowpiercer") snatching 80% of the market share. Perhaps it was the perfect storm as residents in Korea felt both the pull of two local blockbusters, as well as the push from the unrelenting summer heat.
Bong Joon-ho's much anticipated sci-fi action film "Snowpiercer" spearheaded this recording-breaking weekend, claiming 2.2 million admissions over 1127 screens. Its sales were electric, making its impressive three day haul the second highest in history; only "Transformer 3"'s 2.3 million can claim to have one up on Bong Joon-ho's latest,...More
The Terror Live 2013/08/02, Source,
Genres: Drama and Crime
Running Time: 98 min
Directed by: Kim Byeong-woo
Starring: Ha Jung-woo, Lee Kyung-young, Jeon Hye-jin-II
Synopsis: The morning radio show is always peaceful airing everyday life stories from the listeners. But one day, this peace is disturbed when one listener leaves a message that he would explode Mapo Bridge. As the bridge is blown away exactly as he says, the whole broadcasting company turns into a total chaos to get a scoop,...More
[HanCinema's Box Office Review] 2013.07.26 ~ 2013.07.28 2013/07/29,
Despite the release of DreamWorks Animation's "Turbo" and the latest comic book film "The Wolverine", it was "Red 2" that managed to remain Korea's film of choice. Director Dean Parisot's "Red 2" claimed 666,048 admissions (25.9%) in its second weekend out, holding off a host of challengers to round out the month of July in good condition. In addition to these two Hollywood features getting stuck in, this week will also see two mammoth Korean films go head-to-head for the summer crowds and crown.
Bong Joon-ho's "Snowpiercer" and Kim Byeong-woo's "The Terror Live" are both officially released on August 1st, with the latter having already scored a sneaky 122,762 (4.9%) admissions. "The Terror Live" stars the popular Korean actor Ha Jung-woo ("The Berlin File", "Nameless Gangster", "The Client") as a T.V. anchor that has to get back into the game when a bomb-blasting terrorist threatens Korea's capital city,...More
[HanCinema's Film Review] "The Terror Live" 2013/07/28,
Throughout this film an effective, gradually mounting sense of escalation endures. For the sake of movie spectacle, this is most obvious in the terrorism. The Mapo bridge blows up. People die. And the tension only gets worse and more frantic as time goes on. "The Terror Live" expertly manages to keep scary situations getting even scarier, as even when the degree of danger hasn't changed, the personal visceral level is ratcheting up.
But "The Terror Live" also succeeds in escalating something even more important- cynicism. Former TV anchorman Yoon Yeong-Hwa (played by Ha Jung-woo) has a strange immediate reaction to the terror attack,...More
[HanCinema's Film News] New Korean Films Inbound... 2013/07/27, K-Films Coming Soon:
★★★★ "The Terror Live" (aka "90 Minutes of Terror"): A former T.V. anchorman gets an anonymous call from a bomb-blasting terrorist and has to get back in front of the camera to cover the story. (08/01)
★★★★★ "Snowpiercer": In a post-apocalyptic future mankind is forced to live on a constantly moving train that circles the Earth at great speeds. Within the train, social order is enforced through a harsh tyrannical system that is challenged by an organised revolution.(08/01),...More
Film Fest to Offer Exciting Respite from Rain in Bucheon 2013/07/21, Source,
The 17th Puchon International Fantastic Film Festival will take place from Thursday to July 28 in the city that also goes by the spelling Bucheon in Gyeonggi Province, providing an escapist diversion from the searing heat and monsoon rains. On the themes of love, fantasy and adventure, a total of 230 films -- 135 features and 95 shorts -- from 44 countries will be screened this year.
"The Terror Live", a Korean thriller directed by Kim Byeong-woo and starring Ha Jung-woo, will close the festival. It focuses on a radio show host who takes a call from a terrorist threatening to blow up a part of the city. The movie will hit local theaters on Aug. 1,...More
[HanCinema's Film Talk] Siblings in Cinema: The RYOO Brothers 2013/07/06,
Siblings don't always get along. Even when working within the same field family members often choose to keep their personal and professional lives separate to keep the peace. Personal histories, grudges, and just knowing one another as well as they do can cause friction and frustration in the workplace. Not so though with renowned South Korean actor Ryoo Seung-bum and his moviemaking brother Ryoo Seung-wan. The brothers' most recent effort, "The Berlin File" (2013), marks another successful family collaboration that rocked Korean cinemas earlier this year.
The brothers both came into the spotlight with their 2000 début feature "Die Bad"; a collection of four hard-boiled short stories that follows two teenagers and their descent into the violent world of organised crime. The film was written and directed by Seung-wan and stars himself and his younger brother Seung-beom. Seung-wan has sometimes been described as the Korean Tarantino, while his talent younger brother has been likened too the American-Canadian comedy actor Jim Carrey,...More
'Secretly and Greatly' Blazes Trail at Box Office by Tapping Teen Audience 2013/06/10, Source,
Director Jang Cheol-soo's "Secretly and Greatly" hit the 3-million mark in terms of cinema attendance on Sunday, just five days after it was released. The hit movie attracted 1 million moviegoers in 36 hours and 2 million in 72 hours as it continues to set a series of new records in the history of Korean cinema. It attracted a record number of daily spectators (919,000) on Thursday, saw the most tickets booked before its release, and reached the 1-million mark faster than any other Korean film to date. The film is a light-hearted comedy revolving around three North Korean agents who disguise themselves, respectively, as a village idiot, a rock star and a high school student while they await their orders from Pyongyang. When their mission turns out to be an order to commit suicide, due to a sudden power shift in the North, none are best pleased,...More
[UK] 5th Terracotta Festival 2013 Full Line-up Announcement 2013/05/08, Source,
Tickets are now on sale for the fifth edition of the annual Terracotta Far East Film Festival. Over the years the festival has seen the event go from strength to strength. This year is set to be the biggest yet, expanding to 27 films spread over 4 sections and 2 venues from 06 - 15 June 2013. The core of the festival will remain a hand-picked selection of the best CURRENT ASIAN CINEMA at The Prince Charles Cinema. This all UK Premieresectionreflects the vibrancy and energy in Asian filmmaking today. Ranging from realist dramas to romance, light comedies to spy action thrillers, swordfighting epics to gothic fairytales, the festival aims to balance the representation of Asian countries.
Terracotta Festival 2013 (TFEFF13) will open with Hong Kong action COLD WAR on Thursday 06 June 2013,...More
Film Audiences Favor Grown-Up Experience 2013/04/30, Source, Ha Jung-woo and Kim Hye-soo have been voted the most popular actor and actress in Korea in a poll by the Chosun Ilbo and the country's biggest ticketing site Maxmovie. But Hwang Jung-min and Jeon Do-yeon were named as the best actor and actress. ◆ Mature Actors, Mature Audiences Remarkably, most of the top 10 most popular actors and actresses are in their 30s to 50s, the only exception being Han Hyo-joo, who is in her 20s. The average age for male and female actors is 42.7 and 34.1. Of the actors, only four are in their 30s, including Ha, Gang Dong-won and Won Bin. A large proportion of the entrants on the popularity list starred in hit movies over the past two years, but Won, Kang, Lee Na-young and Kim Tae-hee managed to stay popular by only appearing in commercials,...More
[HanCinema's Film Review] "Time" 2013/03/29,
Sae-hee, having turned paranoid and psychotic regarding her boyfriend's interactions with other women, decides to use plastic surgery as a tool to guarantee that their love will transcend time. Strangely, Sae-hee is perfectly attractive and young. Her deeper concerns are simply that her boyfriend Ji-woo has grown bored with her. Ji-woo is himself a young, attractive man who has little trouble getting dates if he wants to, and Sae-hee feels as their relationship is cheating him of his chance to have a varied, interesting sex life,...More
Star Power Wanes at Box Office 2013/03/23, Source,
Arnold Schwarzenegger vehicle "The Last Stand", which was released in Korea on Feb. 21, has tanked at the box office and dropped off the list after attracting only 66,698 spectators in just under a month. The film is directed by Kim Jee-woon, who shot to fame with "The Good, the Bad and the Weird", but the combination of top director and star was unable to attract viewers. This appears to be part of a wider trend where star power is fading in favor of strong storylines. Film booking site Maxmovie asked 2,754 members of its website from Feb. 26 to March 6 what they consider when choosing a movie and found that a massive 74.2 percent said the plot is the most important factor,...More
[HanCinema's Film Review] "The Berlin File" 2013/02/22,
Jong-Seong (played by Ha Jung-woo) is a ghost agent working for the North Korean government. When an illegal multinational weapons deal goes bad, he has to do clean-up. And part of that post-mortem involves figuring out who tipped off a third party to what was going on. This being a North Korean operation, the investigation is less genuine curiousity about what happened and more about finding an explanation that can be easily and succintly described to higher-ups in the North Korean government as quickly as possible,...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
'Berlin File' Off to a Roaring Start 2013/02/05, Source,
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
[HanCinema's Box Office Review] January 2013/02/02,
It was a hard month for foreign films here in Korea as January favoured three local films that, between them, held a tight grip on the ticket sales. Lee Hwan-gyeong's "Miracle in Cell No.7" may have stolen the show in the last weekend of the month, but it was Kim Ji-hoon's fiery epic "The Tower" and Jo Jin-kyoo's 5th comedy "Man on the Edge" that held that top position until then. In the foreign corner, two adaptations stood out in the form of the musical drama "Les Misérables" and "Life of Pi". The former has grossed $38.6 million over its six week run in Korean theatres, with "The Tower" close behind on $34.4 million,...More
CJ Entertainment action thriller THE BERLIN FILE by RYOO Seung-Wan 2013/01/30, Source, Opens in Los Angeles (CGV Cinema), Fullerton (Regal La Habra) and Irvine (Edwards UTC) on Feb. 15 120 min, Korean, English, German spoken, 2013, North American premiere.
Director Ryoo Seung-wan is available for phone interviews. 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
Pieta Wins Top Prize at 33rd Blue Dragon Film Awards 2012/12/01, Source,
South Korean director Kim Ki-duk's "Pieta" won the award for best film of the year at the 33rd Blue Dragon Film Awards in Seoul on Friday night. While accepting the grand prix at the Sejong Center for the Performing Arts, Kim described his film as a reflection of extreme capitalism where money rules over all. He also expressed his hopes that the South Korean society would become one that's centered around people and not money,...More
Ha Jung-woo Prepares to Direct Comedy 2012/10/26, Source,
Actor Ha Jung-woo has written a comedy about passengers on a plane who survive a violent storm during a flight from Tokyo to Gimpo. Ha will also direct the movie, which as of yet has no official title, marking his first foray behind the camera,...More
[HanCinema's Film Review] "Love Fiction": Like Armpit Hair on a Gorgeous Woman... 2012/10/13, Film: "Love Fiction"
Director/Writer:Jeon Gye-sooStars:Ha Jung-woo & Gong Hyo-jinReview Score: 3.5 / 5
Also Try:"Characters" and "Shotgun Love"
Admittedly I find myself drawn to dramas and romantic comedies that dabble in the self-reflexivity of characters and their fates. What's the conflict? Where is the drama? What would these characters do in a particular situation? And "Love Fiction" just happens to be one of those films as director Jeon Gye-soo gives us a front row seat into a struggling novelists personal journey into life, love, and story's that run crooked between them.
Let me just say that I am writing this review with fat and slow fingers. I found the film to be rather a mixed bag of well-polished moments and scenes, but was also reeked of clichés and, ironically, rather poor character development. I caught myself taking a deep breath before I pressed start on this one, dreading another plain, yet palatable, Korean romantic comedy. I was surprised, at intially, to find the humour sharp, original, and very well captured on screen. That said, much of laughs I enjoy while watching the film weren't, perhaps, the regular Korean slapstick and screwball affairs. Which I honestly don't mind as much as it might sound, but still the prospect of 'more of the same' warranted some more oxygen,...More
'Project 577' wraps truth in laughter 2012/08/30, Source,
Actors Ha Jung-woo, front left, and Gong Hyo-jin, front right, star in "Project 577", an uncategorizable film masterminded by Ha and directed by Yi Keun-Woo. While these two bare just their feet and not much else personally, the film delivers a critique of the state of Korea's film industry. / Courtesy of Dasepo Club
By Kwaak Je-yup Categorizing this film is a perplexing job; the promoters are describing it as a "real variety movie", which does not help. "Project 577", masterminded by Korea's most in-demand actor Ha Jung-woo and directed by relative newcomer Lee Keun-woo, claims to be a documentary about Ha and his friend trekking for 577 kilometers, from Seoul to Haenam, South Jeolla Province, the peninsula's southernmost point,...More
Loner child, bird friend to open youth film fest 2012/08/20, Source,
This film image released by the Seoul International Youth Film Festival shows Rick Lens as Jojo in Dutch director Boudewijn Koole's film "Kauwboy" (2012), Dutch for "jackdaw boy". The festival, which opens Thursday and closes after a week, is in its 14th annual edition. This year, there are 140 films from 40 nations./ Courtesy of Seoul International Youth Film Festival
Northeastern Seoul will play host to 140 films from 40 nations when the curtain rises on the 14th Seoul International Youth Film Festival on Thursday. The week-long event brings some of the finest youth-themed works in world cinema to three venues in the Seongbuk district, an area with several premier universities teeming with young people but a cultural hinterland in comparison to the western Seoul zones around Hongdae, or Hongik University. There will be 16 world premieres and eight first-time showings outside the respective films' country of origin,...More
Ha Jung-woo, Ha Ji-won Voted Most Popular Movie Stars 2012/05/21, Source, Ha Jung-woo and Ha Ji-won have been voted the most popular actor and actress in Korea in an email poll by the Chosun Ilbo and the nation's largest film ticketing site MaxMovie.
Some 25,784 people voted from April 18 to May 5. The two drew 10.1 and 13.7 percent of the votes respectively. But Song Kang-ho and Jeon Do-yeon were chosen as the best -- as opposed to most popular -- actor and actress, with 18 and 23.3 percent.
Since the poll targeted online users of MaxMovie who had been to the cinema at least once last year, it probably reflects moviegoers' preferences more accurately than other surveys,...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
Art and Culture 3 2012/03/06, Source, An exhibition at an abandoned train station sounds very artistic.
[Reporter : Michelle Kim] I completely agree. And it is also interesting to see how things that have been left at the train station could be re-used and mixed with new artworks to portray the emptiness and loneliness of an abandoned train station For instance you can see sculptures of stray cats looking down at the deserted railroad.
This just shows us again that nothing goes to waste. Well, Michelle, I'm excited to hear about the next exhibition. What will it be about,...More
"Gabi" Kim So-yeon "I like mixed coffee. I smoke for 3 days" 2012/03/04, Source,
Actress Kim So-yeon (32) from the movie "Gabi" she starred in for the first time in 15 years since "Change" said, "I used to enjoy coffee shop-styled coffee and I still do" when she was asked if she liked coffee. She was very honest and didn't know how to wrap herself up as she could've said she prefers espresso although she liked instant coffee.
"Gabi" is a mystery thriller about the plot against the Emperor Gojong who liked coffee. Kim So-yeon is the first barista of the Chosun times who served him coffee. She has revengeful thoughts towards the emperor but at the same time pities the man who lives in fear of being killed at any time,...More
'Love Fiction' rises above all hype 2012/03/02, Source, Ha Jung-woo, left photo, shines as the lovesick writer Goo Joo-wol. Best-known for his ruthless killer roles, Ha proves his versatility in Jeon Gye-soo's genre-bending film "Love Fiction", currently in theaters nationwide.
The marketing drive for "Love Fiction" was systematic and fierce. Backed by four of today's hottest stars in the credits and inflating for more than a month, the hype was ripe. And it was effective, attracting more than 450,000 moviegoers in two days, since its release Wednesday,...More
'Nameless Gangster' Emerging as Hottest Korean Movie of the Year 2012/02/29, Source,
"Nameless Gangster" has attracted over 4 million spectators in just 26 days of its release, emerging as the first film to sell so many tickets in such a short time this year. It achieved the feat on Monday.
The film about gangsters in Busan in the 1980s drew 1 million moviegoers in four days, 2.5 million in 11 days, 3 million in 17 days and 3.5 million in 20 days. It also beat "Dancing Queen" in terms of viewing numbers on Friday, and reclaimed the top spot last weekend at the expense of "Howling", which had kept a firm grip at the top of the local box office since it opened on Feb. 16,...More
K-celebrities now 2 2012/02/23, Source,
Introducing the greatest love story of our time
If you're expecting a typical lovey-dovey story between Ha Jung-woo and Gong Hyo-jin, you're in for a real surprise.
This is no ordinary love story!
"Love Fiction" presents the audience with the good and bad of love and relationships in the real world,...More
The Era of Smartphone Directors 2012/02/20, Source,
Nowadays, anybody can make a movie, become a cultural artist, and turn his or her imagination into reality.
This indispensable communication device has ushered in the era of smartphone directors.
In Korea, the global IT powerhouse, smartphones mean so much more than just a tool for communication. They play a central role in reinventing culture, as attested by today's smartphone movies,...More
Finecut announces new KIM Ki-duk film 2012/02/13, Source,
Seoul-based sales company Finecut has announced the well-known Korean director Kim Ki-duk's next film, tentatively titled "Pieta", is set to start shooting this month.
The film is about a brutal man who works for a cruel loan shark. Without any family or loved ones to worry about, he has no fear or hesitation when it comes to carrying out his evil deeds. One day, a mysterious woman shows up in his life, saying she is his mother. At first, he doesn't believe her, having no memories of a mother. But as his attachment to her grows, he discovers her gruesome yet sad secret,...More
Mistaken identity 2012/02/11, Source,
I've been planning to write on this topic for a long, long time. Somehow other things got in a way and this was postponed. Finally, I had some time to spare and collect my (scarce) thoughts and write a post.
My affair with Korean entertainment developed into serious relationship, this is why so many things amuse me now. Fangirls are one thing, but illusions that fangirls have, are infecting, oops, I mean, influencing the journalism in Korea. And this is not about 'we-all-know-which-website' articles. This is about the trend that has roots in fangirls' perception of their bubble world and how it affect the real world,...More
This Week's Cultural News 2012/02/02, Source, Choi Min-sik and Ha Jung-woo, two of Korea's best actors, come together in an action-packed thriller called "Nameless Gangster". The combination of these two actors alone has everyone looking forward to the movie.
[Interview : Ha Jung-woo, Role of "Choi Hyeong-bae"] "My character believes that loyalty is the most important thing of all. When he trusts someone, he trusts in them until the end, but once that trust is broken, he coldly turns away",...More
K-Celebrities now VCR1 2012/01/26, Source,
We go wherever the stars go! Here's the hottest entertainment news of the week! Let's go!
We start off this week with photos of stars bowing on Lunar New Year's Day.
Hallyu stars dressed up in traditional hanbok to bow to their fans and wish them all a prosperous new year in observation of Lunar New Year's Day,...More
Who's the busiest actor of 2012? 2012/01/02, Source,
Who is going to be the busiest actress or actor in 2012?
Looking at the movies that are being released or are planning to go into production this year, we can see several names that appear often,...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
[HanCinema's Film Review] Highest Grossing Korean Films of 2011 2011/11/26, Highest Grossing Korean Films of 2011
2011 has produced a range of successful Korean films that have captured the public's imagination, tugged at their heartstrings, caused a few laughs, and asked some serious questions. Although the year is not quite done, the big films of the year have largely had their say at the box office. This week I wanted to take a look at the top domestic films of 2011 and see just what type of films captured the public's interest in 2011,...More
The Front Line wins big at Korean Critics Awards 2011/11/14, Source,
Director JANG Hun's "The Front Line" was the big winner at the 31st Korean Association of Film Critics (KAFC) Awards. The ceremony was held at the Seoul Press Center on the evening of Friday, Nov. 11.
South Korea's submission to the Academy Awards best foreign language film nominations, The Front Line snapped up a total of four KAFC awards - Best Picture, Best Director, Best Screenplay, and Best New Actor,...More
Finecut sells Leafie to Italy, launches new films at AFM 2011/11/03, Source,
Major South Korean sales company Finecut has sold hit animation "Leafie, A Hen Into The Wild" to Mediterranea Productions for Italian-speaking territories at the Rome Film Festival's Business Street market. Mediterranea Productions plans to release the film in Italy on 50 screens with Italian dubbing.
South Korea's highest-grossing theatrical animation, "Leafie, A Hen Into The Wild" took in over 2.2 million admissions on release this summer in Korea. The film previously sold to Ex-USSR excluding Baltic States (CP Digital), Portugal (Lanterna De Pedra Filmes), Turkey (Horizon), Middle East (TDH), and Indonesia (Pratama). Finecut expects more sales to France and Germany during the American Film Market (AFM) which started yesterday,...More
Yellow Sea and other Korean films win at Sitges 2011/10/19, Source, By KOFIC Staff
Korean director NA Hong-Jin Won the Best Director award for "The Yellow Sea" at the recently wrapped Sitges International Fantastic Film Festival. One of the world's leading fantastic (i.e., genre) film festivals, the 44th Sitges International Fantastic Film Festival of Catalonia ran Oct. 6 – 16 this year. The festival awarded Best Motion Picture to Red State, directed by Kevin Smith,...More
Box office, Sept. 22 - Oct. 4 2011/10/07, Source,
- "Silenced" tops the charts and raises voices of protest
The two weeks lasting from Sept. 22 to Oct. 4 were witness to a remarkable box office phenomenon in the form of the film "Silenced". Based on a shocking real-life incident in which young students at a school for the deaf were sexually assaulted by their teacher and principal, the film has outraged and mobilized viewers, who are demanding that justice be served and new laws be passed to protect vulnerable children. The popular phenomenon surrounding the film, including extensive coverage by the news media, has caused many to take note of the power and influence of the film medium,...More
Interview with SOHN Young-sung, director of The Client 2011/10/07, Source,
Director Sohn Young-sung has already been in the spotlight once before when he made his feature debut with "The Pit and The Pendulum" in 2008. This film, which was invited to Cannes Critics' Week, is the furthest kind of work from a genre film. So when we heard he had directed a proper courtroom thriller, we were curious about how this came about. Reporter JUNG Han Seok met with Sohn and asked him about how he started the project, selected the cast, and what it was like directing "The Client",...More
A Wild Fugitive 2011/07/30, Source, By UNA Beck
Whoosh. What can it be? It sure isn't a 4D movie in front of my eyes but as the man appears on screen a thick fog surrounds me. The scent of testosterone and perspiration and the feverish air rising from the mid-summer city asphalt, was not yet discomforting at all. From his first appearance, an Asian man wearing a sweat-soaked shirt with greasy hair that was probably never washed for quite a few days captures our eyes and nose, no!, our entire senses. In the film "Never Forever" (2007) co-starring Vera Farmiga, and Ha Jung-woo, who plays Ji-ha, an illegal immigrant living in New York, who's willing to sell his sperm for 300 dollars to a white woman named Sophie, a rich woman who wants to give birth to an Asian baby,...More
Sitges International Fantastic Film Festival to sail with "The Yellow Sea" 2011/07/07, Source,
One of the world's leading genre film festivals, the 44th Sitges International Fantastic Film Festival of Catalonia has made an early selection announcement which includes Korean director Na Hong-jin's action thriller "The Yellow Sea".
The Sitges festival previously screened Na's debut feature The Chaser in 2008. The serial killer thriller was a much-lauded film that made Na's second feature, "The Yellow Sea "(a.k.a. The Murderer), one of the most highly anticipated films of 2010,...More
Interview with NA Hong-jin 2011/06/18, Source, You started to prepare the production of "The Yellow Sea" right after "The Chaser".
I was thinking of having a rest for a while, but one of my seniors told me, "keep working, you are young". So, I felt to do something. But, I didn't have a special interest in the matter of Yanbian or the ethnic Koreans. Using A Murderer as its working title and as a research process went on, I realized the atmosphere and reality of the society over there,...More
Weekly Star Scene 2011/05/25, Source, Show transcript
: It's time for "weekly star scene" a look back at the top entertainment news of the past week!
: We have our own energizer bunny in the studio, Dami here with us! Hello Dami!
[Reporter : ] : Hello 건영 and Sean! Today for weekly star scene, the 64th Cannes film festival was held recently to celebrate the highest standard of cinematic art in the world today. The festival came to a satisfying end on the 22nd with many Korean movies receiving attention and international acclaim. There was even one that won much coveted prize! Let's find out which movie it was right away!,...More
Korean Cinema Series for May: The Chaser 2011/05/25, Source,
Korean film enthusiasts will be pleased to know that the next film in the embassy's free Korean Cinema Series will be "The Chaser", screening on Friday May 27 at the Korean Cultural Center (RSVP required; see below). "The Chaser", a 2008 box office hit in South Korea, is gritty a police action thriller about a run-down former detective named Joongho, played by Kim Yun-seok, who now runs a small prostitution ring. Recently, his girls have started to go missing,...More
'On The Border 2' to Be Aired Monday to Wednesday 2011/05/02, Source,
"On The Border 2", a follow-up to a documentary produced as a cross-media program by the Chosun Ilbo on the plight of North Korean refugees, will be aired on EBS TV's "DocuPrime" program at 9:50 p.m. on Monday-Wednesday,...More
'On The Border 2' to Be Shown Worldwide 2011/04/12, Source,
An activist helping North Korean defectors stands on a boat carrying his wife's North Korean family as it approaches another vessel from South Korea in the West Sea in December 2009.
"On The Border 2", a follow-up to a documentary produced by the Chosun Ilbo on the plight of North Korean refugees, will be broadcasted in Japan on NHK TV at midnight Wednesday.
The film was made with the support of the Korea Creative Content Agency, Foundation for Broadcast Culture, and Center for Asian American Media. Korean actors Jeon Do-yeon, Ji Jin-hee, and Ha Jung-woo, and Hollywood actors of Korean descent John Cho, Moon Bloodgood, and Daniel Henney did the voiceover in Korean and English for free,...More
Korean cineastes sweep Asian Film Awards 2011/03/22, Source,
From left, actor Ha Jung-woo, the winner of Best Actor award, Youn Yuh-jung, the winner of Best Supporting Actress award, and director Lee Chang-dong, the winner of Best Director award, pose with their trophies at the Asian Film Awards in Hong Kong, Monday. / AP-Yonhap By Lee Hyo-won
HONG KONG ― South Korean cineastes shone at the Asian Film Awards Monday, winning Best Director, Best Screenplay, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actress and Best Editing.
The fifth edition of the awards, held in conjunction with the Hong Kong International Film Festival, featured a tough competition among some of the most renowned Asian cineastes and the red carpet event beamed brighter than ever with the attendance of top stars. Yet it was marked by many absences in the aftermath of the disastrous earthquakes in Japan, and ovations were respectful rather than enthusiastic,...More
Strong Korean Representation among Asian Film Awards Nominations 2011/02/19, Source, "Poetry" Nominated for Best Film, Best Director & Best Screenplay
The 5th Asian Film Awards, to be presented March 21 in Hong Kong, is already starting to create buzz around its nominees.
The Awards' website explains: "Launched in 2007, the Asian Film Awards (AFA) is a pioneering program honoring filmmakers with outstanding achievements in the field of Asian cinema. The AFA is the only platform in the world that brings together the best cinematic talents of Asia, drawing film fans and professionals from all across the globe. The AFA Presentation Ceremony takes place as part of the Entertainment Expo Hong Kong Opening Gala,...More
Cinema rides yuletide wave 2010/12/27, Source,
A scene from the new thriller "The Yellow Sea"
By Lee Hyo-won
Thousands of movie-goers filled theaters across the country last weekend for a rather noir Christmas treat, to see the dark thriller "The Yellow Sea" instead of the much anticipated, latest Harry Potter film.
The film featuring the hit-making cast and crew of "The Chaser" - director Na Hong-jin and acting duo Ha Jung-woo and Kim Yun-seok - hit the 1 million audience mark as of Monday after a five-day run in theaters since opening Dec. 22. Despite being limited to viewers aged 18 and over, it sold a whopping number of,...More
This Week's Cultural News 2010/12/23, Source, Christmas is a time of fluttering hearts! For those who are planning to spend this year's Christmas with someone they love, these great performances will surely catch the eye.
[REVIEW] "The Yellow Sea" 2010/12/22, Source,
A scene from the film "The Yellow Sea"
Goo-nam (Ha Jung-woo) is heavy in debt yet he can't get his hands off mah-jong. He is then approached by Myun-ga (Kim Yun-seok) who tells him he can start everything anew if he does her the favor of killing a certain person in Seoul. So that is how he takes off from Yanbian to the capital city of Korea, all to just accomplish that task. Meanwhile Tae-won (Jo Sung-ha) feels uneasy over the murder he requested as it did not end quite as clean-cut as he expected,...More
[INTERVIEW] Actor Lee Sun-kyun - Part 2 2010/12/09, Source,
Actor Lee Sun-kyun [Lee Jin-hyuk/10Asia]10: We talked about your wife just now but it doesn't seem weird when we see you dating women in dramas. At the same time, such acting could start to come off as weird if the fact that you're married and have a child gets too well-known. Lee Sun-kyun: That's what people say but it's the truth even if I don't talk about it. And everybody knows anyway. There's no need to go around asking people not to talk about it nor any need for me to bring it up on purpose. I'll just answer questions on them when people ask about them. But I do think it's unfair when an article on me focuses solely on them -- when I've been talking for an hour about my movie but the article will turn out to be about my family which I talked about on the side. I sometimes wonder what's the use talking about my movies for four days and six hours each day, until I'm practically burnt out, (laugh) when that's what ends up getting written about me. I understand that reporters need to draw attention but I wish they would write about my family on the side. 10: It could be because you're a star. They're curious to know what you the real Lee Sun-kyun is like, outside the person we see on screen. Lee Sun-kyun: And of course I should be thankful about that. It's great but… Even right now, we're talking about so many things… (laugh),...More
N.O.A Entertainment signs M.O.U. with Chinese company 2010/06/07, Source,
M.O.U signing between Korean agency N.O.A. Entertainment and China Guoan Culture & Media Investment Co., Ltd. [N.O.A. Entertainment]
Korean entertainment agency N.O.A Entertainment, which represents top actors Ha Jung-woo and Jeon Do-yeon, has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with China Guoan Culture & Media Investment Co., Ltd.
According to an official at N.O.A., the agency signed with the Chinese company on Sunday, establishing a strategic partnership through which both parties will cooperate in producing various cultural contents such as films and television dramas, as well as managing entertainment businesses in Korea and China,...More
Ha Jung-woo's paintings shown at Seoul art fair 2010/04/27, Source,
Painting by Korean actor Ha Jung-woo [Seoul Open Art Fair]
Korean actor Ha Jung-woo is currently showing three of his paintings at the Seoul Open Art Fair 2010 (SOAF), the biggest art event in Korea.
The actor, who held his first individual art exhibition last month, is featured in a special exhibit titled "With ☆ Invitation" along with several Korean celebrities such as actors Uhm Tae-woong, Go Ah-sung, pop artist Nancy Lang and singer Bbaek Ga of K-pop group Koyote,...More
It somehow feels like doing math homework using a history book, with rock music blasting in the background. The seed idea of ",...More
"Old Partner" wins Best Picture at Max Movie Awards 2010/02/10, Source, "Old Partner" director Lee Chung-ryoul (left) and producer Ko Young-jae at the 7th Max Movie Awards on February 9, 2010. [Asia Economic Daily]
Korean documentary "Old Partner" won the trophy for best picture at the 7th Max Movie Awards on Tuesday.
"Partner" also took the prize for best movie poster at the annual event, which hands out its awards based on a survey on movie fans. A total 753,277 people participated in the survey conducted from January 5 through February 2 this year.
The acclaimed indie film -- which attracted over three million viewers in Korea during its limited theatrical release -- is about an old farmer couple and their lifelong friendship with an old partner, a 40-year-old ox.,...More
Ji Jin-hee feels bad for making Ha Jung-woo murderer again 2010/02/04, Source,
Actors Lee Jong-hyuk (left) and Ji Jin-hee of "Parallel Life" [Lee Jin-hyuk/10Asia]
If your life was exactly the same as someone else's from the past, what would you do? Is it a blessing or a curse -- without having to ride a time machine back in time -- to be able to know what your future holds for you by looking at someone else's life? The film "Parallel Life" begins with an anecdote about U.S. presidents Lincoln and Kennedy. Like the two presidents who lived very similar lives but existed 100 years apart, character Kim Seok-hyun (played by Ji Jin-hee) -- who is the youngest person to be appointed chief prosecuting attorney -- becomes increasingly aware that he is caught up in the whirlwind of the parallel theory. Every circumstance surrounding him runs exactly the same as they did for judge Han Sang-joon, whose entire family was murdered thirty years ago, and hence begins the mind games of Kim Seok-hyun who tries to protect his family.,...More
Na Hong-jin pic "The Yellow Sea" signs investment deal with Fox 2010/01/19, Source, "The Yellow Sea" director Na Hong-jin
Korean film "The Yellow Sea" has signed on major Hollywood studio 20th Century Fox as one of its co-investors, according to the film's distributor Showbox Mediaplex Co. on Tuesday.
Showbox announced in a press release that the Na Hong-jin helmed pic -- which already has Korean entertainment agency Wellmade Star M as its main investor -- will receive additional funding from Fox, making "The Yellow Sea" the first Korean movie to receive direct investment from the Hollywood studio.
The new business partnership, Showbox explained, will further expand into diverse business opportunities. Fox -- which is owned by media mogul Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation -- will reportedly take part in producing sequels and remakes of the film. In case of a Hollywood remake, Na will be contractually guaranteed to direct the film with original Korean producer Popcorn Films on board as well.,...More
[INTERVIEW] Actor Kim Soo-hyun 2010/01/12, Source, Interview with the actor who appeared in SBS TV series "Father's House" and played the actor Go Soo's younger part in SBS TV series "Will It Snow for Christmas??"
Actor Kim Soo-hyeon-I [Lee Jin-hyuk/10Asia]
My name isKim Soo-hyun. Some people are curious to know why I didn't make a stage name since my name is the same as that of the great scenarist Kim Su-hyun...... What would be good? Kim Soo-gyum? Kim... Carley? Hahahaha. I was born on February 16, 1988. I major in acting at Joongang University. I'm an only child but a brusque son at home. I still do call out for my mom though when I get startled. My first part-time job was at a fastfood restaurant when I was in high school. But I got fired in the first three days because I couldn't get there on time after school. I still got paid for those three days though and how I was happy when I saw the money wired into my account. I heard that you're supposed to buy a pair of socks for your parents when you get paid for the first time so that's what I did... My mom never wore them though. I think I should've bought her socks with lace on it instead. I once learned how to do mountain climbing. It was back when I was in high school and I used to climb boulders and even took part in competitions. I didn't win because I fell during the second course...... But I've also learned how to scuba dive. I put in an effort to learn sports that aren't usually easy to learn.,...More
[ChanMi's movie news] "Red Sea" brings Ha Jung-woo 10kg lighter! 2010/01/08, Source,
He was known as the dandy guy with stylish clothes and cute body! Now, in the new movie "Red Sea" he is changed into a new man! Ha Jung-woo started filming the new movie on December 16th with shaved head and a skinny look wearing a jumper!
Ha Jung-woo is in a movie where a man has paid all his debts and looks for his wife. The man Koonam becomes a criminal to find his wife and is faced with a dil,...More
Popular actress Ha Ji-won collected her first Best Actress award at the 5th University Film Festival of,...More
[ChanMi's star news] Congratulations to Ha Ji-won! 2009/11/30, Source, Ha Ji-won, 11 years after her debut has been nominated for her first Best Actress Award!
She has been at the 5th Korean University Films Festival where she has been awarded the Best Actress Award in the specific ceremony titled, "This Year's Movie Star".
Her debut film has been "Truth of Dare" in 1998.
Ha has been highly praise,...More
[ChanMi's movie news] "Take Off" will it succeed? 2009/07/07, Source, "Take Off" is definitely a sports film that has cost the most to produce and its coming this summer! This film will definitely cool you hot summer days with ski jumps off the snowy mountains.
This movie has already been Choonmooro's hot film because it is directed by Kim Yong-hwa who also directed "200 Pounds Beauty" and the hot actor Ha Jung-woo is the main character!
It has cost 11,000,000,000 Won (~$US 10 millions) to produce this movie!
However, this film has a very new story different from other sports films. We can see how the national atheletes have worked so hard with their jumpsuits for ski jumps with all the equipment used for this sport. The motive is to show how these atheletes work hard.
Many film producers try hard to use less money however, this film has taken a bold step in using all that money fiming for 2 years and 7 months! The film has filmed 101 different times with 200 staffs!,...More
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,...More
CJ to Expand Art House Film Screenings 2009/06/05, Source, Korea's exhibition major CJ-CGV will expand the number of screens its multiplex franchise has devoted to art house and independent films from seven to ten. Under a program entitled Movie Collage, CJ-CGV's specialty films team plans to expand the base for diversity films and support the discovery of,...More
[ChanMi's movie news] "Like You Know It All" 2009/06/04, Source, Last May 14th, this film, "Like You Know It All" has been released and has hit 30,424 viewers around the nation.
It has only hit 25 movie theaters around nation but receiving this many viewers is a miracle!
This artistic film is an entertaining film with wit and humor that has been popular verbally among fans. Many are planning to see this film even a month after its quiet release! There is a never ending laughter for the audience in the theater for this film.,...More
[ChanMi's star news] Ha Jung-woo in a relationship with a model! 2009/04/07, Source, Movie star, Ha Jung-woo is in a relationship with the model Goo Eun-ae who is 8 years younger.
Ha has met this young lady while she was in college and have been friends until he pursued her as a girlfriend since mid last year.
So, who is this lucky lady? She is a tall and attractive young lady who has graduated with Dance major at the prestigious womens university, Ehwa! She has been active as a fashion model. She has also been in Kim Gun-mo's music video last year.
Ha has been careful in revealing their relationship because she was not a celebrity that it might affect her private life. Even through Ha's busy schedule they have kept up their relationship through phone calls.
Their relationship has not even been 1 year, so they are not concerned with getting married, just yet.,...More
Korean Master and 12 Features in Hong Kong 2009/03/06, Source, One of Korean cinema's early masters and one of the most important directors of the 60s and 70s, YU Hyun-mok, 84, will receive a retrospective at the 33rd Hong Kong International Film Festival (HKIFF). The event, which opens March 22, will feature four of the director's finest films under the title,...More
Berlinale Invites Seven Korean Films 2009/01/23, Source, A total of seven Korean films are selected to screen at the 59th Berlin International Film Festival, running February 5 -15 in the German capital. Korean films will dominate this year's Forum section. The sidebar consists of five Korean titles: ",...More
That special time of the year has come around, when South Korea's top filmmakers and actors turn into film festival programmers. The 4th Cinematheque Friends Film Festival will take place Jan. 29-March 1 in Seoul, and director,...More
Korean directors picked actor Ha Jung-woo and actress Gong Hyo-jin as the Best Actor and Best Actress for the 11th Director's CUT Awards 2008. ,...More
2008 packed surprises 2008/12/11, Source, Data released by the Korean Film Council (KOFIC) on December 2, revealed a number of modest budgeted films in the top five of most successful films in 2008. However, the list is lead by the big budget blockbuster ",...More
Korean Films at the 12th PiFan 2008/07/18, Source, The 12th Puchon International Fantastic Film Festival (PiFan) kicks off this July 18 – 27 with the biggest line-up of genre films in Asia. Best of all are the return of high-profile Korean films to the fest and a warmer interaction with the local film industry after setbacks in previous years. KOF,...More
South Korea's esteemed 45th Daejong (Grand Bell) Film Festival held in southern Seoul, showcased the latest local box office trends, with its stronghold of original thrillers, stylistic period pieces and experimental projects. While superstars grabbed the limelight,...More
[ChanMi's movie news] The 45th Daejong Film Festival 2008/06/26, Source, One of the masterpiece films "The Chaser" has been nominated for 11 different awards for the 45th annual Daejong Film Festival that will be on the 27th at Seoul Samsungdong Coex Convention Hall. The festival will be aired in the SBS channel live.
Last year, actress Kim Ah-joong and announcer Choi Ki-hwan received the highest award. Wondergirls who's "So Hot" song is a big hit performed "Tell Me" and Ok Joo-hyun performed a song from the musical "Chicago". We anticipate which performers will be performing in the festival this year.,...More
The movie entertainment weekly magazine Movie Week held its annual 'Wonderful Face 25', and the tw,...More
Five Korean films join Cannes fest 2008/05/15, Source, 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 competiti,...More
Body Exposure of Actors – how much? 2008/04/10, Source, The exposure of actresses in Korean movies has been a hot issue. Everyone wondered how much women expose themselves and if they acted without fear according to their role.
Now, the interest is to the exposure of actors. As much as the female body is beautiful, the male body is too. In promotions,...More
Time 2006/08/19, Source, Many ordinary moviegoers have often found themselves somewhat uneasy with director Kim Ki-duk's movies for their unique violent, anti-feminism qualities. However, director Kim's new movie,...More
Renowned film director Kim Ki-duk has always been considered a maverick in the local film industry. Maverick in the sense that his films, while winning acclaim abroad, failed here. But even in that context, the,...More
“Time” to Be Released Domestically 2006/07/26, Source, Director Kim Ki-duk's latest film "Time" will be released on Aug. 24. The distributor, Sponge, said Tuesday that they are planning to show the film in 10 to 15 theaters nationwide, although the number of theaters may change.
Kim Ki-duk's film to open Karlovy Vary fest 2006/05/29, Source, "Time", director Kim Ki-duk's new feature film, will have its official world premiere as the opening movie of the 41st Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, which begins in the Bohemian spa town of Karlovy Vary, Czech Republic, Tuesday.