Sunday, December 24, 2006

Park Chan-wook's new movie 'Cyborg' fails to appeal at box office


SEOUL, Dec. 21 (Yonhap) -- Acclaimed South Korean director Park Chan-wook's new movie will be pulled from most local screens before the lucrative Christmas holiday due to disappointing box office results in its first two weeks, its distributor said Thursday.

The romantic comedy "I'm a Cyborg But That's Okay" has so far drawn only 780,000 viewers, a marked disappointment for the internationally-renowned director whose previous works topped well over 3 million. The film will be removed from about 280 screens nationwide and on most screens will be replaced by "The Restless," a martial arts epic set to be released this evening, CJ Entertainment said.

"Cyborg" had drawn international attention with the combination of a director who received the Grand Prize at Cannes in 2004 with "Old Boy" and Asian heartthrob Rain as its lead."Usually, when we have an audience rating like this so far, it certainly won't pass one million," CJ Entertainment publicist Kim Yun-jeong said. "And there are many new movies being released this week."

CJ distributes both "Cyborg" and "The Restless."Park himself said the film was the "kindest" movie he has ever produced, with the star casting and simple plot. Set in a psychiatric ward, it tells the story of two patients -- a girl who believes she is a cyborg and a boy who falls in love with her. Critics praised his experimental storytelling and stylish presentation, but audiences considered it too abstract and unapproachable to follow. In light of Park's fame, "Cyborg" topped box office charts for the first weekend, but it was now not even among the top 10 on Internet reservation sites. Hollywood blockbuster "Night at the Museum" led the box office chart, followed by "Holiday" and Korean epic "The Restless" according to
Interpark.com.hkim@yna.co.kr(END)
source yonhap news

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

The fantasy blockbuster “The Restless” will be shown in as many as 450 theaters across the nation on Friday. CJ Entertainment, the film’s distributor, said Wednesday that the exact number of theaters has yet to be decided, but it has secured some 400 theaters now, with the possibility of reaching 450.

CJ Entertainment is trying its best to secure as many theaters as possible so that it can attract more viewers not only because it is a major investor in the film but also because it must compete with its rival distributor Showbox, which has already released “200 Pound Beauty” and will release “My Wife is a Gangster 3” on Dec. 28.

In addition, the distributor expects the number of theaters will increase to some 500 after the first week of its release considering the movie’s relatively short running time of 105 minutes and viewers’ high expectations for the movie.

“200 Pound Beauty,” which topped the box office for the first week after its release on Dec. 14, is being shown in 480 theaters and “My Wife is a Gangster 3” is expected to be released in some 500 theaters. On addition, Hollywood blockbusters such as “007 Casino Royal” and “Night at the Museum” are waiting to be released in 300-400 theaters, making the competition to secure theaters even fiercer.

In terms of the number of theaters screened, “The Host” ranked first with 620, followed by “The Typhoon” with 540 and “Our Happy Time” with 520. “The War of Flower,” which garnered the most viewers in the second half of the year, was released in 410 theaters, but the number increased to 580 theaters thereafter.
source: kbs grobal

My Wife is a Gangster 3” to Be Released in Hong Kong in February


The Korean comic action film “My Wife is a Gangster 3” will be shown at theaters in Hong Kong next February.

The film’s producer Hyunjin Cinema said Tuesday that it has decided to release the film in Hong Kong right before Chinese New Year in February considering the high expectations for the film there. It had planned to release it as soon as in January, but concerns over illegal copying made it decide on February, it added.

“My Wife is a Gangster,” the first in the series released in 2001 in Korea, garnered some 5.3 million viewers locally, and topped the box offices of Asian nations including Hong Kong and Vietnam upon its overseas release in 2002. In Hong Kong particularly, it ranked fourth among all the movies released in 2002.

Shu Qi and Lung Ti, who starred in the movie, are very curious because they have not seen the completed film yet,” Hyunjin Cinema president Lee Sun-yeol said. “They viewed the trailers when they came to Korea to promote the film and expressed satisfaction. They are now looking forward to the film’s release in Hong Kong.

” The third installment of the series has already attracted much attention from Asian nations such as Hong Kong, China, Thailand, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and Vietnam as well as Germany by being sold for a total of 660,000 US dollars (620 million won) at the American Film Market held in L.A. in early November.


The producer said that because the series has high brand recognition in Asian nations and Shu Qi is popular in Hong Kong, Taiwan and Malaysia (her birthplace), it expects that the third installment will also become successful in those countries.

“My Wife is a Gangster 3” deals with events involving Aryeong (Shu Qi), the daughter of the most powerful mafia boss in Hong Kong who escapes to Korea due to a power struggle, and a group from the Korean gangster organization Dongbangpa, who try to protect her.
source:kbs grobal

Saturday, December 16, 2006

The 27th Blue Dragon Film Awards



Best Picture:
The Host

Best Director:
Kim Tae Yong : Family Ties

Best Actor :
Ahn Sung Gi, Park Joong Hoon : Radio Star

Best Actress :
Kim Hye Soo : War of Flower

Best Supporting Actor:
Bun Hee Bong : The Host

Best Supporting Actress :
Jung Yoo Mi : Family Ties

Best New Actor :
Ryu Duk Hwan : Like a Virgin

Best New Actress :
Go Ah Sung : The Host

Best Cinematography :
Choi Young Hwan : War of Flower

Best Screenplay :
Lee Hae Young, Lee Hae Joon : Like a Virgin

Best New Director :
Lee Hae Young, Lee Hae Joon : Like a Virgin

Best Music :
Lee Byung Woo : King and the Clown

Best Art :
Jo Geun Hyun, Hong Joo Hee : Forbidden Quest

Best Lighting :
Lee Gang San, Jung Young Min : The Host

Best Couple :
Gam Woo Sung, Lee Joon Gi : King and the Clown

Movie attracting most audiences Award :
The Host

Most Popular Actor and Actress :
Shin Hyun Joon, Lee Joon Gi, Kim Hye Soo, Kang Sung Yun

Source:
http://sports.hankooki.com/lpage/entv/200612/sp2006121522361458390.htm
CindyW88 soompi

Friday, December 15, 2006


The Korean film “Like a Virgin” directed by Lee Hae-young was officially invited to the Generation Section of the 57th Berlin International Film Festival, according to the film’s production company on Thursday.

“Like a Virgin” was invited to the prestigious festival because of its appeal to teen moviegoers, who compose the jury for the Generation Section, as well as its unique subject matter and solid plot. The film selected in the Generation Section will receive the Crystal Bear Prize.
Released in August, “Like a Virgin” is about a chubby high school boy who decides to compete in traditional Korean wrestling to earn money for a transgender operation.

Slated to open on February 8th of next year, the 57th Berlin International Film Festival will see a host of other Korean films, such as director Lee Yoon-ki’s “Ad Lib Night” for the Young Forum section and Hong Sang-soo’s “Woman on the Beach” and Lee Jae-yong’s “Dasepo Naughty Girl” for the Panorama section.


source:kbs grobal


A Korean film has been exported to Egypt for 10,000 dollars for the first time in Korea’s film history. Egyptian film distributor Good News Group held a preview of “Duelist” directed by Lee Myung-se in the country’s capital of Cairo on Wednesday, with some 100 invited film reporters attending. “Duelist” is the first Korean movie to be sold to an Egyptian film distributor for commercial viewing, although some Korean movies have been introduced to the Cairo International Film Festival.

The distributor will show the movie in four theaters in Cairo for two weeks from Thursday. An executive at the company expressed his confidence in the movie’s success there. “I think the movie will capture Egyptians’ interest with its spectacular martial arts performances,” he said. The Egyptian daily Al-Gomhuria said that the country has shown interest in Korean dramas and movies since the Korean hit dramaWinter Sonata” was aired on its national TV. Meanwhile, the Korean Embassy in Egypt used the preview to promote Korea by distributing its promotional booklet entitled “Dynamic Korea.” It also played a videotape introducing the city of Pyeongchang as a candidate city for the 2014 Winter Olympics.
source:kbs grobal

Jang, Han Top Actors of 2nd Half


Actor Jang Dong-gun and actress Han Ga-in have earned the most votes in a recent popularity survey. Rain and Lee Hyo-lee topped the singers' list and Yoo Jae-suk and Cho Hye-lyun took the comedian vote.

The results come from a September survey conducted by a marketing research firm on 1,400 Korean men and women in five major cities.

Among actors, Jang, with 23 percent of the votes, again ranked atop the poll as he did in the year's first half. Trailing behind was Ahn Seong-gi (9.5%), Song Il-guk (8.9%), Lee Joon-ki (5.3%) and Han Seok-gyu (5.2%). Kwon Sang-woo, Kang Dong-won, Bae Yong-jun, Choi Soo-jong and Won Bin rounded out the top ten.

In the actress category, Han Ga-in led the group with 9.5 percent followed by Kim Tae-hee (8%), Lee Young-ae (7.9%), Kim Hye-soo (7.0%), Song Hye-kyo and Jeon Ji-hyeon with a tie, Lee Na-young, Lee Mi-yeon, Han Hye-jin and Jeon Do-yeon.

Among male singers, Rain garnered 20 percent of the votes trailed by trot singers Tae Jin-a (8.7%) and Song Dae-gwan (6.8%), the boy band Super Junior, SG Wannabe (6.2%) and rocker Yoon Do-hyeon (6.0%).

For female singers, Lee Hyo-lee with 22 percent beat Boa at 12.6 percent. Jang Yoon-jeong (11.4%), Chae Yeon (10.0%) and Lee Soo-young (6.3%) followed.
Yoo Jae-seok was the most popular male comedian with an impressive 41 percent of the votes. Gang Ho-dong followed with 20 percent and Lee Kyung-kyu 11 percent. Others in the top ten were Jeong Jong-cheol, Sin Dong-yeop, Park Jun-hyeong, Kim Yong-man, Kim Je-dong, Seo Kyeong-seok and Park Soo-hong.

Ranking first among female comedians was Cho Hye-lyung at 24 percent, followed by Lee Kyoung-sil (19.6%), Jeong Seon-hee (17.7%), Kang Yoo-mi (14.2%), Kim Mi-hwa (12.9%), Park Kyeong-rim, Kim Mi-ryeo, Song Euni, Park Mi-seon and Kim Sin-young.

The most popular sportsman was soccer player Park Ji-sung with a whopping 45 percent. Overseas-based players were the next most popular. Slugger Lee Seung-yeop (25.7%), pitcher Park Chan-ho (14.3%) and soccer stars Lee Young-pyo (12.8%) and Seol Ki-hyeon (12.2%) followed.

Among female athletes, golfer Park Seri was number with close to 60 percent of the votes. Golfers Michelle Wie (32%) and Kim Mi-hyun (29%) were next. They were followed by Park Chan-sook (6.6%), Hyun Jung-hwa (5.6%), Janet Lee (3.5%) and Jang Jeong (2.9%).
source:kbs grobal

Monday, December 11, 2006

Rain Set to Make His Name As Actor



Singer Rain is likely to make his name known to the world once again, but not as singer this time but rather as an actor.

A source from CJ Entertainment, the distributor of the film “I’m a Cyborg but That’s OK” starring Rain and Lim Soo-jung, said Friday that they plan to submit the film to an international film festival. “Given the time, it will likely be the Cannes International Festival to be held in May of next year,” he added.

A film about a romance taking place at a mental hospital, “I’m a Cyborg but That’s OK” is director Park Chan-wook's latest work after his vengeance trilogy--“Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance,” “Old Boy,” and “Sympathy for Lady Vengeance.”

There is a high possibility that the film will be invited to the competition category of the French film festival because the director has established quite a reputation in the global film world and because the film itself presents a different view of the world with unique cinematography. Park received the Grand Prix Du Jury with his “Old Boy” at the Cannes in 2004.

If it is invited, the movie will provide Rain with an opportunity to attend the world’s leading film festival and be in the spotlight of the world media. As singer, he held a concert in New York amid much attention from the U.S. media early this year and was chosen one of the world’s 100 most influential people by the U.S. magazine Time.
source:kbs grobal

Thursday, December 07, 2006

kim rae won new movie"sunflower"



Starring:Kim Rae WonKim
Hae-sook Heo In-jae
Release Date: November 23, 2006
Synopsis:
Tae-shik wants nothing more than to forget about his checkered past and live the rest of his life quietly and at peace with the world. However, the world is not quite yet ready to let him do that. Tae-shik is played by Kim Rae-won (Mr Socrates, My Little Bride) and he is joined in the cast by veteran actress Kim Hae-sook (The Ghost, My Brother) and Heo In-jae (A Dirty Carnival). Writing and directing the film is Kang Seok-beom who also wrote and directed Mr Handy. His writing credits also included last year's financial success My Boss My Teacher. This Eye Vision Entertainment action-drama will be ready to hit the theaters via Showbox on November
CREDITS TO: kfccinema & koreanfilm.org
source:asianfanatics forum



For Rain, 'Cyborg' may prove a stepping stone to world fame


By Kim HyunSEOUL, Dec. 6 (Yonhap) -- Rain may be taking a gamble playing a psychiatric patient for his big-screen debut, but the Korean singer-actor, currently on a world tour, is steadily reinventing himself as he prepares to flood the world stage.

"This will be a new image of me," he told Yonhap News Agency at a downtown cafe in Seoul."If I had to pick one, the image of me in the movie is closer to who I really am than the Rain you see on the singing stage."Rain will debut in "I'm a Cyborg, But That's Okay," directed by Park Chan-wook and set for local release on Thursday.

In light of Park's success with "Old Boy," which picked up the Grand Prix at Cannes two years ago, the movie is almost certain to get a worldwide release, something Rain hopes will raise his standing in global terms."Now I feel that I have taken the first step," he said. "To me, the issue was that the director was Park Chan-wook. He was the director I liked as a fan, and with whom so many actors wanted to work.

I thought there would definitely be things he could teach me (as an actor)."Ranked among Time's 100 most influential figures this year, Rain has been a superstar in Asia with four albums and three hit TV dramas under his belt, but his star quality hasn't translated into global appeal.

HK Actress Shu Qi 'I'm More Than Sexy'


The post-filming presentation of "My Wife is a Gangster 3" (directed by Jo Jin-gyu, produced by Hyunjin Cinema) was held in Seoul Wednesday. The third in a series of Korean comic action movies stars sexy Hong Kong actress Shu Qi as the female lead.
Hong Kong actor Ti Lung, who graced the late '80s Chinese noir films including the "True Colors of the Heroes," also made a special apperance in the film.

Shu Qi clinched the heroine role this time following Korean actress Shin Eun-kyung. She will show off daring action stunts while playing Aryung, an heiress to Hong Kong's number one gang. Ti Lung plays her father, the gang boss.

The story begins when Aryung takes refuge in Korea from a gang spat in Hong Kong and receives the protection of Korean gangster Gichul played by Lee Bum-soo.
To communicate with Aryung, Gichul hires Chinese Korean interpreter Yunhee played by comical actress Hyeon Yeong. Hilarious misinterpretation episodes comprise a large part of the comic flick.

Set to be released on December 28th, the film was sold to eight Asian countries at a total 660,000 dollars at last month's American Film Market.
Director Jo and cast members Shu Qi, Lee Bum-soo, Ti Lung, Hyeon Yeong and Oh Ji-ho attended the Wednesday event.

Ti Lung said "thank you" in Korean and presented a martial arts demonstration saying he was pleased to attend such a noteworthy event. Well-known for his martial arts talent, the actor humbly said that he only learned bits and pieces while shooting films.
source:kbs grobal

The film 'April Snow' starring Bae Yong-Joon and Son Ye-jin will be screened in Japan for the third time.

On Wednesday, the online edition of Japan's Nikkan Sports daily reported the decision to rerun the Korean melodrama starring heartthrob Bae, whom Japanese fans adore as "Yonsama."
Since its September premiere, a director's cut of the movie was screened during the following two months, and that same version will be shown again this month. Three runs of the same film is considered highly unusual.

A director's cut is usually only found on a DVD release, which points to the Korean actor's runaway popularity in Japan.
Bae on Tuesday thanked fans for their love and support, saying he's happy to meet them again through the movie and that he hopes April Snow will remain a pleasant memory.
source:kbs grobal

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

" Love Me Not" Moon Geun-Young new movie

staring Moon Geun-young and Kim Joo-hyuck, has hit the net.
The Synopsis :A man blinded by love,A girl awakened by love.

Release date: November 9, 2006Julian is known as a legendary womanizer in the his field. He allures women with all soft and seductive words only to take what he wants and desert them without a single hesitation.

One day he gets arrested when one of his "clients" commits suicide for her serious case of embezzlement and Julian's prime days seem forever lost.Tae-ho - a friend of Julian's - and Gwang-soo - a vicious creditor to Julian - are the only ones waiting for him at his release.

Gwang-soo, behind his friendly smile, has the guts to kill his debtors when they cannot pay him within due time and sell their bodily organs to make ends meet. Julian will be his next victim if he doesn't pay off his debt of 2.8 billion WON in a month.A lawyer phones desperate Julian one day, looking for a guy called Ryu Jin who, the lawyer says, are to inherit billions of WON. To clear his debt, Julian decides to visit the lawyer, pretending to be that long-lost heir.Julian's extemporaneous nature serves him well again this time.

The lawyer and the people concerned start to believe that Julian is the heir they are looking for. But his supposedly sister Ryu Min seems to be the last person to trust him and shows chilly attitude. Min, also being the heiress to the big fortune, is blind due to some disease she suffered when young. Julian plans to murder Min to steal the huge sum and Tae-ho stays with him to witness the approaching happy ending of his friend.

As Julian's acting goes on, Min's closed heart start to open while Julian's anxiety over his own safety intensifies. Gwang-soo, the creditor warns him, "No sympathies for you to spare. Don't forget this is only a fake show".One day, Julian tails after Min who goes out all by herself and tries to harm her. But realizing that the outing was all about buying him a birthday present, Julian's malicious intention begins to melt...
Love Me Not is set for an 11-9-2006 Korean Release
CREDITS TO:
kfccinema

Monday, December 04, 2006

Lim Soo-jung: 39 kg, but That’s Okay


Lim Soo-jung had to get her weight down to just 39 kg to shoot her latest film. The actress went through a punishing weight loss process to act as Young-gun, who believes herself to be a cyborg, in Park Chan-wook’s new korean movie, “I'm a Cyborg, but That's Okay.”
“The hardest thing about shooting the film was having to make Lim starve,” the director confessed. Lim endured a few months of eating only raw sweet potato and pieces of apple. On top of that, on days when she did not have to go to the set, she went to a fitness center to work out. The movie is released on Dec. 7
source:english.chosun.com

Lee Jun-ki to Promote “The King and the Clown” in Japan


Lee Jun-ki, the co-star of Korea’s blockbuster “The King and the Clown,” will leave for Japan on Friday for the release of his film there.
During his four-day visit to Japan, Lee will hold a number of interviews with the Japanese media.

His management agency said that Japanese fans are already excited about the film as well as the visit by Lee, who portrayed the role of the beautiful clown Gonggil.
Lee already has a small but quite loyal following in Japan for his previous film “Hotel Venus.” Japan also plans to air a TV mini-series starring Lee entitled “My Girl.” He is expected to gain greater popularity in Japan through his film and TV appearances.

Lee is currently working on “First Snow,” a joint Korean-Japanese film.
source:kbs grobal

il mare ( korean movies poster collection)


IL mare a korean love story movie
































This is my favorite korean movie.
I love plot,characters, IL mare house
and ost must say good bye .

Sunday, December 03, 2006

New korean movie 'Solace' appeals with open ending


SEOUL, Nov. 21 (Yonhap) -- The delicately written melodrama "Solace" involves less sentimentality and music than its local predecessors in the genre, but the emotional reticence creates more space for the audience to chew over the plot, and thus makes the story more engaging.

The film, about a couple in their 30s who are too experienced and saddled with worries to fantasize about love, follows the rules of melodrama and may be overly sentimental at times, but in the end conveys a powerful catharsis that overcomes the predictability.Director Byun Seung-wook, who spent five years working on the movie's scenario, said he hoped to distance the story from being a predictable tear-jerking melodrama.

Within the love story framework lies the irresistible yoke of life, such as love, family and aging, which are also real-life issues for many in the audience, he said."I basically had a concern about how to make this melodrama, how to make it different from ones that we usually think of," Byun said after a press screening in a Seoul theater on Monday.

"I decided that that quality is formed at the scenario stage, so we tried to cut down on sentimental stuff as much as possible and tried to fill that space with an emotional one," he said.The first hook for the director's feature debut is its cast, Han Seok-gyu (as In-gu) and Kim Ji-soo (Hye-ran), but its emotional span is deepened with Lee Han-wi playing In-gu's mentally disabled brother.After his girlfriend leaves him because of the burden of having to care for the disabled brother, In-gu, a popular, humorous pharmacist, finds himself immune to new love.Hye-ran's life is no better.

A copycat designer who sells fake Chanel and Gucci in Seoul's crowded Dongdaemun shopping mall, she has inherited a large debt from her father and often has to endure police questioning and detention for her illegal business to get by.Their initial encounter and one-night stand don't do much to start their romance. It is rather the dismal, tough sides of their lives -- his brother and her debt-ridden status -- that build their emotional bonds and convince viewers.The story also involves sentimental elements that are typical in a melodrama, such as when In-gu's mother dies or Hye-ran clashes with her sister over her choice of marriage partner, but the predictable plot pays off for patient viewers at the end. The precious moment comes when In-gu listens to the heart of his brother, and the movie has an open-ended conclusion that stays true to real life.
hkim@yna.co.kr(END)
source:yonhapnews

Korean movie director makes glorious return with romance comedy

By Kim HyunSEOUL, Dec. 2 (Yonhap)
-- When director Park Chan-wook, who has earned critical fame for his prize-winning revenge films, said a year ago that his next film will be a romance comedy, many fans and critics wondered whether his new attempt would make the grade.

They were still in doubt and some even suspected he was trying to use star power to push his film when he cast singer Rain, who has become a pop icon and a heartthrob among Asian women, as hero of the film in January.

Shrugging off their suspicions, however, the flick, "I'm a Cyborg But That's Okay," shows his captivating charm with experimental storytelling and stylish shooting that come with bright humor and a message about life. The romantic comedy marks a glorious return for the director, who won the Grand Prize at the 2004 Cannes Film Festival with "Old Boy" and the New Trend best film award in Venice last year with "Sympathy for Lady Vengeance."After a media preview on Friday, the 44-year-old South Korean director said he is satisfied with his latest work.

"I don't know about other directors, but I am much satisfied with the way my movie looks right after it is completed," Park said.

"That's probably because I want some compensation for the filmmaking process that is painful, laborious and challenging. I can say I'm quite satisfied about this one, too." Set in a mental hospital, "Cyborg" follows two young quixotic patients who dwell in their own worlds -- Yeong-gun (Lim Soo-jung) who believes she is a cyborg and Il-sun (Jeong Ji-hun, Rain's real name) who lives in fear of perishing from life. Their separate worlds start colliding when Il-sun gets to hear Yeong-gun's secret dialogue with machines.

Yeong-gun refuses to eat as a cyborg. Il-sun, a former electricity clerk, devices a machine that transforms food into electric energy so that the cyborg can have meals and live.

Defying the traditional frame of the kind where a doctor is the savior of a patient, "Cyborg" delves into the world of the patients and shows how they can save each other. The key is empathy."If he was a doctor or a normal person he would try to cure her illness. So his goal would be removing her illusion as being a cyborg. But Il-sun enters Yeong-gun's fantasy, which means he accepts her irreparable condition as it is. His love is to accept her condition and also do work to make her live," he said.

Their unlikely romance is so captivating that one can hear other audience members hold their breath at some points like when Il-sun plants the energy device into Yeong-gun's back or when he finally gets her to swallow a spoonful of rice. The emotional moments always follow with bright humor, such as Il-sun's comment meant to assure her that "After service is guaranteed for lifetime.

"The love story also shows animosity towards the power people, such as doctors or judges, like his previous works. Yeong-gun identifies herself with her schizophrenic grandmother rather than her pretentious mother. To revenge for her ill-treated grandmother, the girl air-strafes and guns down the "white men" in her illusion.Despite her quirky behavior, one comes to nod and identify with her when she asks a question that is relevant to every human being: "I still don't know. What use I'm for.

Why was I made?"With his acclaimed revenge trilogy -- "Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance," "Old Boy" and "Sympathy for Lady Vengeance" under his belt, Park said he wanted his first romance, or seventh feature, will be a low-budget, experimental one. Shot with the new generation of high-definition digital camera and made with 3 billion won (US$3 million), excluding marketing costs, the "Cyborg" presents lots of fantasy scenes, but is still easy to follow.The casting of Rain somewhat changed his direction, he said."I thought this as an in-between film (before the next project "Bat").

Not that I intended to make it fast and rough but make it more experimental. It would cost less and I would have less burden for its commerciality, which is rarely possible in usual cases. I wanted it to be very bold and experimental, even though the majority of the audience may not understand. But that idea was thrown out in the beginning, because Jeong Ji-hun was cast," he said with a smile."I'm a Cyborg But That's Okay" is to be released nationwide on Dec. 7.
hkim@yna.co.kr(END)
source yonhapnews

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Heartthrob Daniel Henney Confesses Early Sins



With short hair and jeans instead of a suit, Daniel Henney looks relaxed and approachable. The man who in just two dramas -- “My Name is Kim Sam-soon” and “Spring Waltz” -- captured the hearts of millions of Korean women is now promoting his first feature film, “Seducing Mr. Robin,” which is released on Dec.7. The Chosun Ilbo spoke to the 28-year old.

Don’t you think that you are playing on women’s fantasies a little too much? In this movie, your character is a Harvard graduate and CEO of a foreign company.

“It’s a misunderstanding. Having read the screenplay, I thought he was such an ass. Too cold and stubborn. Later in the movie, a little human touch is added to the character, but the part is different than my previous roles, which were more warm-hearted.

Your fans praise your gentleness and sweetness, best represented in your smile
.

“Like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, everybody has two sides: good and bad. I showed my true self through Henry in ‘My Name is Kim Sam-soon’, but I showed only my good side.”

What kind of guy is the rest of you?

“When I played basketball in college, I used to be a greedy player. I only thought about winning. I didn’t go so far as to take steroids, but I went on a protein diet to build up muscle, and got all the way up to 220 pounds (around 110 kg). When I was a high school student, I threw eggs at school buses for no reason. I was the captain of my basketball team, but I ended up getting a seven-game suspension. It was a time when I was full of dissatisfaction and greed.”

read more

Song Hye-kyo Gets a Visit from her friend, Rain


On Nov. 10, Rain, a close friend of Song Hye-kyo’s visited her at Korean Folk Village, bringing her some midnight snacks, which showed a sign of their close friendship.

Rain arrived late in the evening while the staff and actors of “Hwang Gini’, Song Hye-kyo’s new movie, were having dinner and gave Song some yummy snacks.

The women staff looked on a bit enviously as Song thanked Rain for his visit and saw him out to the parking lot.

Both born the same year, Rain and Song Hye-kyo, have developed a good friendship from a previous drama ‘Full House’ in which they both acted together as lovers. This drama had been popular not only domestically but also in other Asian countries.

Rain is now busily promoting his new album and new movie “I'm a Cyborg, But That's Okay”. However, it is been said that he stops by to see Song who has been preparing the transition of her acting style through this new upcoming movie.

The drama version of ‘Hang Gini’ starring Ha Ji-won is now being aired on KBS and gaining much popularity from television viewers, so many people wonder if a movie version will be as exciting as its drama. Song Hye-kyo has been filming this movie in Gyeonggi-do and Gangwon-do for 4 months without announcing the film locations and its scenes to the media, which brings more anticipation to her fans as well as the media.
source:www.tour2korea.com

S. Korea sweeps Asia-Pacific film fest Festival

2006/11/26The China Post & agencies
South Korea swept the most awards at the 51st Asia-Pacific Film Festival held in Taipei late Friday, winning six awards -- best actor, best actress, best supporting actor, best sound effects, best short film and best editing, while the Iranian film "The Unwanted Woman" won three top honors -- best feature film, best director and best screenplay.


In results announced Friday night, Iranian director Tahmineh Milani clinched top honors with a complicated story about a wife who helps a murderer escape while escorting a young widow on a journey home.
The awards have further established Milani as one of the most influential directors in Asia, despite the Iranian government's suppression of her films at home.

South Korean actress Son Ye-Jin won the best actress award for her performance in "April Snow," about a man and a woman who have an affair after their spouses get into a traffic accident.
Lee Jae-eung of Seoul was honored as the best actor for his portrayal in "Bravo, My Life," which portrays the growing pains of a youngster.
Best supporting actor went to Byun Hee-bong for "The Host," a thriller about a family's fight against a mutant monster.

Host Taipei garnered two awards, with Lu Yi jing winning best supporting actress for her outstanding performance in the feature film "Blue Cha Cha," and the 10 minute "A Fish With A Smile" capturing the best animation award.
The lifetime achievement award went to Run Run Shaw, who founded the famous Shaw Brothers movie company in 1958 with his siblings.

The studio churned out more than 900 Chinese films over the next 30 years.
A total of 53 films from 12 member cities took part in this year's competition.
The other winners at the 51st Asia-Pacific Film Awards are as follows:
-- Best Documentary: Lasting With Time (Hanoi)
-- Best Animation: A Fish With A Smile (Taipei).
-- Best Short Film: Atomic Punch, My Darling (Seoul).
-- Best Editing: The Host (Seoul).
-- Best Art Director: Perhaps Love (Hong Kong)
-- Best Soundtrack: Perhaps Love (Hong Kong)
-- Best Sound Effects: The Host (Seoul)
-- Best Photography: The Banquet (Hong Kong)
-- The Panel of Judges Award: Living in Fear (Hanoi)
--Special Awards: Story of Poa (Hanoi); GIE (Jakarta); and Bilut (Kuala Lumpur)

The award presentation was held at Taipei County's Multi-function Gymnasium, with the participation of senior Taiwan officials, including Government Information Office Cheng Wen-tsang and noted film professionals in the Asia-Pacific region.

The Asia-Pacific Film Festival was launched in Tokyo, Japan, in 1954 to promote cultural exchange in the region. Since then, it has been held every year by one of the festival's 21 member countries.
The Asia-Pacific Film Festival has stolen the limelight from Taiwan's Golden Horse Film Festival, the award ceremony for which was held Saturday evening in Taipei.

The Golden Horse Film Festival is the world's largest film festival for films made by Chinese directors and offers a rare opportunity for directors and movie stars from China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and elsewhere to show up on the same stage.

South Korea's Tae-yong wins Greek film award

SALONIKA: Korean writer-director Kim Tae-yong won the award for the best feature film at the 47th Salonika International Film Festival on Sunday. Tae-yong, 37, won the 37,000 euro (47,450 dollar) Golden Alexander award for his film "Gajokeui Tansaeng" ("Family Ties"), which followed his 1999 debut "Yeogo Goedam II" ("Memento Mori").

The korean film, which also shared the award for the best scenario and has yet to be shown in European cinemas, describes the chaotic relationships of a family which has been reunited.The second prize, the Silver Alexander and its 22,000 euro (28,200 dollar) cheque went to went to Iranian Mona Zandi Haghighi for her film "Friday Afternoon" ("Asr-E Jomeh") which recounts the tale of two sisters who were reunited after a long separation. Brazilian Karim Ainouz shared the prize for the best scenario with Tae-yong for his film "O Ceu de Suely" ("Suely in the Sky"). American producer Christine Vachon presided over the jury. The official selection included 14 full-length features by young directors on their first or second films.
Source:
http://www.thenews.com.pk/update_detail.asp?id=13585

Monday, November 27, 2006

Son Ye-jin Wins 1st Best Lead Actress Award


Actress Sohn Ye-jin has received her first best actress award at the Asia-Pacific Film Festival, which was held in Taipei, Taiwan, for her role in the movie “April Snow.” A person from Sohn’s agency said the actress was overwhelmed with happiness to be honored with the award, and that even the agency did not know that “April Snow” was invited to the festival. He added that the award was even more meaningless because the movie was filmed in cold winter weather and included many “teary” scenes..Sohn acts opposite actor Bae Yong-jun in “April Snow,” where she plays a woman who falls in love with another man while nursing her husband, who gets into a car accident with his mistress.
source:kbs grobal

Saturday, November 25, 2006

'King' Win Honors at Cape Town Film Fest

One of the nation's all-time highest grossing movies "The King and the Clown" was awarded Best Picture and Best Screenplay at this year's Cape Town World Cinema Festival, which ended Monday in South Africa.It's the first Korean movie to compete at the festival, which is the largest in Africa.Other Korean films, "A Bittersweet Life" by Kim Ji-woon and "3-Iron" by Kim Ki-duk were invited as out-of-competition selections.Director Lee Joon-ik's "The King and the Clown", a period film about a Joseon dynasty king and his court jester, has been invited to several international film festivals in Toronto, Tokyo, London, Hawaii, Vancouver and Chicago.

Reported by KBS WORLD Radio
source:hancinema.net

2006 Korean Film Awards

The 2006 Korean Film Awards were held in Seoul on November 19th, and saw Bong Joon-ho's creature feature "The Host" claim most of the major prizes, including those for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Cinematography, Best Lighting, Best Special Effects and Best Sound Effects.
Best Leading Actor: Ji In-seong
Best Supporting Actress and Best New Actress: Choo Ja-hyeon
Other awards went to:
Best Leading ActorJi In-seong, "A Dirty Carnival"
Best Leading ActressJang Jin-yeong, "The Unbearable Lightness of Dating"
Best Supporting ActorLee Beom-soo, "City of Violence"
Best Supporting ActressChoo Ja-hyeon, "Bloody Tie"
Best New DirectorLee Hae-yeong/Lee Hae-joon, "Like A Virgin"
Best New ActorLee Joon-ki, "King and the Clown"
Best New ActressChoo Ja-hyeon, "Bloody Tie"
Best ScreenplaySon Jae-gon, "My Scary Girl"
Best EditingPark Gok-ji, "A Dirty Carnival"
Best Art DirectionJo Geun-hyeon, "Forbidden Quest"
Best MusicLee Byeong-woo, "For Horowitz"
The awards are sponsored by MBC and are one of several in Korea, with the main two being The Blue Dragon Awards, held in December, and The Golden Bell Awards, held in late spring.
Source:
Varietyasiaonline.com; Sina.com.cn

'The Host' Carries Off Six Trophies at Korea Film Awards

The Korean blockbuster "The Host" clinched six titles including Best Picture and Best Director at this year's Korea Film Awards.
Director Bong Joon-ho's creature movie attracted more than 13 million moviegoers nationwide this summer, becoming the country's most watched film ever.
Meanwhile, Best Actress went to Jang Jin-young for her role in the melodrama "Between Love and Hate." Best male lead went to Cho In-sung for his role as a gangster in the action movie "A Dirty Carnival.”
Arirang News
source:english chosun

Actor Choi Si-won Set to Become Next-Generation Korean Star


Young Korean actor Choi Si-won has shown his potential to become the next-generation Korean star to lead the Korean Wave, or Korean pop culture craze, in Asia. The actor was welcomed by his fans everywhere he went in China to promote his debut film “Battle of Wits,” which was jointly produced by Korea, China and Japan.

The promotion was held in four Chinese cities--Beijing on Nov. 16, Shanghai on Nov. 17, Shenzen on Nov. 18 and Hong Kong on Nov. 19 and 20--with director Chi Leung ‘Jacob’ Cheung and other stars who starred in the movie, including Ahn Sung-kee and Andy Lau, attending.

The Chinese press also showed great interest in the new Korean star. The Beijing Daily News reported in its Nov. 17 edition that when Choi appeared at the preview, a crowd of fans cheered and shouted in joy. Hong Kong’s Mingpao News on Nov. 20 cited Lau, who praised Choi for his good personality.

A source from Huayi Brothers, the Chinese film company which held the promotion, said that Choi is enjoying such great popularity in China. “A large number of his enthusiastic fans attended every event we held,” he said.

“Battle of Wits” was first released in China and Hong Kong on Thursday and is scheduled to be released in Korea early next year.
source: kbs grobal

Friday, November 24, 2006

TVXQ Invited to Asia Pacific Film Festival


The five-man group TVXQ has been invited to the Asia Pacific Film Festival, which kicked off its five-day run in Taiwan on Tuesday. The group, as a special guest, will present the best original soundtrack award and give a performance to celebrate the festival on Friday. Established to promote exchange and cooperation between those working in the film industry in Asia, the annual event draws leading directors and stars from all over Asia every year. The Korean group will perform the title song of its third album, “‘O’-Thesis-Antithesis-Synthesis,” for the first time in Taiwan, where the album is topping the music charts just a week after its release there.

source:kbs grobal

Hallyu Stars Boost Country’s Tourism Industry



Hallyu stars Lee Byung-heon, Bae Yong-jun, Song Seung-heon and Kim Rae-won have contributed greatly to boosting the country’s tourism industry.

The Ministry of Culture and Tourism says that the number of Japanese tourists in the first half of the year dropped 4.5 percent due to the weakened Japanese currency, but has been on the rise in the second half of the year following the comebacks of several top hallyu stars.

Forty-five buses carrying Japanese tourists were lined up at an army checkpoint on November 15 when actor Song Seung-heon was discharged from the military, as some 700 Japanese fans visited Korea to see Song. On Nobember 18 and 19, some 5000 Japanese fans attended Song’s fan meetings in Seoul.

Actor Kim Rae-won held a special premiere of his upcoming movie “Sunflower” and a fan meeting for some 400 Japanese fans November 20 in downtown Seoul.
Some 2000 foreign fans flocked to the special premiere of a new movie starring Lee Byung-heon on November 21.

More than 5000 Japanese tourists are expected to visit Jeju Island November 29 to attend the opening ceremony of the Hallyu Expo, which will run through March next year.

The number of Japanese tourists who have visited or will visit Korea to see Song Seung-heon, Lee Byung-heon, Kim Rae-won and Bae Yong-jun has surpassed 13,000 this year, more than half of the 21,000 Japanese tourists recorded in November last year.

Hallyu stars are thus playing a pivotal role in attracting foreign tourists to Korea, helping the struggling tourism industry to stay afloat.
source:kbs grobal

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

The 5th Korea Film Awards sponsored by MBC (11/19/2006)


lee jun ki


The Best Picture :The Host
The Best Director : Bong Joon Ho (The Host)
The Best Actor : Jo In Sung (Dirty Carnival)
The Best Actress : Jang Jin Young (Between Love and Hate)
The Best Supporting Actor : Lee Bum Soo (The City of Violence)
The Best Supporting Actress : Choo Ja Hyun (Bloody Tie)
The Best New Actor : Lee Joon Gi (King and the Clown)
The Best New Actress : Choo Ja Hyun (Bloody Tie)
The New Director Award : Lee Hae Young, Lee Hae Joon ( Like a Virgin)
The Best Screenplay : Son Jae Gon ( My Sweet Yet Brutal Sweetheart)
The Best Cinematography : Kim Hung Goo ( The Host)
The Best Visual Effect : The Orphanage (The Host)
The Best Sound Effect : Choi Tae Young ( The Host)
The Best Art Design : Jo Geun Hyun (Forbidden Quest)
The Best Editing : Park Kok Ji, Jung Jin Hee ( Dirty Carnival)
The Best Music : Lee Byung Woo ( For Horowitz)
Merit Award : Choi Eun Hee
Moviegoers Awards selected by Netizens : Kang Dong Won, Lee Na Young
Source:
http://sports.hankooki.com/lpage/cinet/200611/sp2006111921090458470.htm

Monday, November 20, 2006

Wall Painting Poster of “The Restless” Unveiled


The wall painting poster of the movie “The Restless” starring Chung Woo-sung and Kim Tae-hee has been unveiled recently. While the previous teaser poster for the movie drew attention by focusing on a dark background, the new poster features the large images of the movie’s lead actors.The poster, which depicts the love of two characters that defies fate, was produced in a unique style by featuring the elements of a wall painting. ”The Restless,” a story about the encounter and conflict of two souls in mid-heaven, where they stay for 49 days before they reincarnate, will open December 21.

source:kbs grobal

Friday, November 17, 2006

Which Korean Stars Have the Greatest Pulling Power?


Who is the korean actor in Chungmuro today who can mobilize the greatest number of fans? And just how many tickets can be sold on the basis of that actor’s name alone? We asked a group of 12 producers and PR execs that know actors’ commercial value best who in Korea can “open” a movie and ranked the top 20 according to the result. It is the fourth survey of its kind and covers any actor who starred in at least one major film.

Song Kang-ho ranked first on the star power list among all actors and actresses. He is thought to have enough gravity to bring at least 1.28 million to the theaters, beating out last year’s winner Jang Dong-gun (1.15 million). Proving his worth again this year in the lead of “The Host”, Korea’s greatest box office success, Song already landed the top spot in 2003. Of 12 experts that took part in the survey, 10 pointed to Song as the actor with the greatest ability to open a film. He ranked second last year.

Amongst women, perennial favorite Lee Young-ae came first with an estimated opening power of some 900,000 viewers. In the last three surveys, the actress came third. Topping the list despite the fact that she has not appeared in a film since last year’s “Sympathy for Lady Vengeance” is an additional feat. The failure of films starring last year’s no. 1 and 2, Moon Geun-young (“Love Me Not”) and Jeon Ji-hyun (“Daisy”), to live up to audience expectations also played a role in Lee’s rise to the top.

Familiar Faces
Among those trailing the two were a galaxy of stars in their 30s who managed to improve their standing, led by Jeon Do-yeon (second), Uhm Jung-hwa (ninth), Kim Hye-soo (11th) in the women’s category, and Hwang Jung-min (eighth) and Lee Byung-hun (ninth) in the men’s. Of particular note is Kim Hye-soo, unable even to make the top 20 last year following a string of appearances in box office disappointments and overall lack of good luck. She soared to 11th this time around after she landed a part that seemed perfect for her in “War of Flowers.” In a year when competition was especially fierce, their ranking shows the tried and true commercial value of such stars.

Rising Stars
The biggest surprise was Cho In-sung. Not even included on the list last year, his performance in “A Dirty Carnival” brought him recognition as an actor and the fifth spot on the list. Nos. 3 to 5 on the list Cho Seung-woo, Kang Dong-won and Cho In-sung look like the glue that will hold Chungmuro together. Hyun Bin (16th) and Lee Jun-ki (19th) also garnered plaudits for their parts this year. There were no new female stars on the list, but Song Hye-kyo (14th), Choi Kang-hee (19th) and Goh Hyun-jeong (20) were all either in their first film or part of hits that brought them new recognition as actors.

Endangered Species

The two stars whose draw dwindled the most this year were Kwon Sang-woo and Kang Hye-jeong. No. 3 last year, Kwon was not part of any box office successes this year, and found himself amid a swirl of rumors that cost him 10 spots on the list. Rising like a comet last year, Kim Hye-jeong was in the flop “Love Phobia,” which sent her plummeting again from fifth to 18th.
source:
englishnews.chosun.com

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

The Season's Great Movie Kisses

Beautiful kiss scene in korean movie
Fall is closing in, and with it comes the time for bittersweet melodrama in the movie theaters. Lovers meet like ships passing in the night, unforgettable memories are born, tear-moistened hankies freeze stiff in the midnight air. Some say a romantic film stands and falls with the quality of the screen-filling kiss. Actors know it and go to extreme lengths to create the world’s most beautiful kiss scene. The Chosun Ilbo looks at the outstanding kisses of the season.

1.I'm a Cyborg, But That's Okay
Lim Soo-jung and Rain

2.Seducing Mr. Robin
Daniel Henny and Uhm Jung-hwa
3.Solace
Kim Ji-su and Han Suk-kyu

Korean Film Festival Attracts International Stars














Korean film superstar HA Ji-Won, from the Duelist will be making a special guest appearance at the 2006 Korean Film Festival, in Auckland. HA Ji-Won has achieved much success in the Korean Film world, receiving the Grand Bell award as the Best New Actress of 2000 with her debut film Truth or Dare, and a Blue Dragon award for Best Supporting Actress with her second film, the popular melodrama Ditto (2000).

At the 2006 Korean Film Festival we see her play a detective and master of armed conflict in the Duelist (Screening Auckland December 7 and Christchurch December 5).
This event proves to be a real attraction for many other Korean stars and dignitaries, yet to be announced.
The Korean Film festival is in Auckland December 1-7, Wellington December 4-6 and Christchurch December 5-7.

korean film list
1.Woman on the Beach
2.The Host
3.King and the Clown
4.Typhoon
5.Obaltan
6.Duelist
7.Magician
8.Family Ties
9.Arang
The 2006 Korean Film Festival will give New Zealanders the chance to experience the exciting Korean film industry, meet some of its biggest personalities and an insight into Korean culture.

If you would like to find out more about the Korean Film Festival visit www.koreanfilmfestival.co.nz http://www.koreanfilmfestival.co.nz
source:
http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/CU0611/S00147.htm

'War of Flowers' Biggest Hit This Autumn

The Korean film industry marked a milestone this season as the drama "War of Flowers" in movie theaters nationwide is encouraging more film adaptations of comic books.

The flick depicting the underground world of Korea's professional card players and packing theaters this fall was born not as a screenplay, but as a cartoon. Korean directors have drawn upon cartoons in the past, but this is a watershed for the genre.

One foreign expert on movies made in Korea says there are certain advantages to adapting cartoons into films. “You may already have a group of fans of the comic who would be interested in the film, so it's easier to market the film to audiences. If we look at the examples of Japan and the U.S., for many years they've been adapting comic books into films and they've had great success with that, and so there is no reason to expect that the same thing couldn't happen in Korea as well."

Not all Korean films based on popular comics have found success. Both the horror flick "Apartment" and the teenage comedy "Dasaepo Naughty Girls" failed to win over moviegoers, each luring around 600,000 nationwide. But despite the bumpy start, some industry executives say it makes solid business sense.


"We decided to distribute 'War of Flowers' because it's less risky for the producer as we, the distributor, don't need to worry about whether the public will like the film,” the film’s distributor said.
Huh Young-man, who created "War of Flowers,” has since penned another popular comic, about a chef in a cooking competition.
Arirang News
source:
The Chosun Ilbo
more about korean movie War of flowers
The korean movie "War of Flowers," based on the same-titled cartoon by cartoonist Heo Young-man, has joined the ranks of top-10 domestic movies.Since its opening September 28, the film had drawn 5.68 million viewers as of October 22, according to its distributor, CJ Entertainment, surpassing the number of viewers drawn by "Married to Mafia" (5.66 million).

If the film's popularity remains as high, it will likely even outperform "Joint Security Area," which is currently ranked ninth at 5.83 million viewers. Viewers have been raving about the film for the stunning acting of its lead korean actress Kim Hye-soo and the impressive directing skills of director Choi Dong-hoon.
Source: KBS Global

My Wife is a Gangster 3 Sold at AFM


The Korean comic action filmMy Wife is a Gangster 3” has garnered much attention from Asian buyers at the recently-held American Film Market. Showbox, the film’s distributor, said Tuesday that the film had been sold for a total of 660,000 dollars (620 million won) to eight Asian nations -- Hong Kong, China, Thailand, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Vietnam. “The price is the highest ever paid for a Korean movie at the market by Asian nations except Japan,” it added.
“In the case of Thailand, it signed a deal to invest and distribute the movie in the country instead of just importing it, which shows that the country is confident of its success,” Showbox said. “Vietnam agreed to pay a price similar to what it paid to buy “King Kong, making the movie the most expensive Korean movie it has imported.” Vietnam is reported to have high expectation for the film because it stars Shu Qi, a Hong Kong actress who enjoys great popularity in Vietnam.
My Wife is a Gangster 3” also sold to Germany, and the distributor expects more sales after the film is completed because other countries like the U.S., Britain and France also showed great interest. “Since the remake copyright of “My Wife is a Gangster 1” was sold to Hollywood in 2001, foreign buyers have showed considerable interest in this movie series,” it said.
Starring Lee Beom-soo, Hyung Young, and Oh Ji-ho in addition to Suh Qi, the movie will be released on Dec. 28.
source:KBS Grobal

Sunday, November 12, 2006

'Korean Wave' now testing U.S. waters

Nov 9, 2006
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 in any meaningful way.

Perhaps it's time for skeptics to adjust their grim outlook. The wave has finally reached the United States, and initial signs suggest the Korean Wave - or the adoption of Korean pop culture in Asia - has a fair chance at appealing to a growing number of Americans interested in Asian culture.


Film director Bong Joon-ho, who made "Memories of Murder" and "The Host," flew to Los Angeles to attend the American Film Market and the AFI Los Angeles International Film Festival.
At the AFM, Universal bought the remake rights for Bong's creature blockbuster "The Host" for $600,000.

The film features a monster emerging from the Han River in Seoul, with family members struggling to protect each other in a dreadfully depressing situation. "The Host," released in July, sold 13 million tickets, becoming one of the most successful hit movies in Korea. With the U.S. release set for February, director Bong is also attracting strong publicity in the United States because "The Host" shares parallels with a real scandal involving an American worker at the U.S. military base in Seoul who ordered Korean employees to dump toxic waste down a drain leading to the Han River. In the movie, the toxic waste leads to the creation of the monster.

Bong is planning to produce his next film in English in order to enter the North American market faster.
Comedian and filmmaker Shim Hyung-rae also pitched his second monster feature, "D-War," at the AFM. The 70 billion won ($76 million) sci-fi project is based on a Korean legend about a huge snake-like creature known as "imoogi."
In the film, the monster goes to Los Angeles in the hopes of finding the girl destined to transform it into a dragon. "D-War," made in English, will debut early next year in the United States.

Kang Je-gyu, another renowned Korean director ("Shiri" and "Taegukgi"), is getting ready to make a large-scale sci-fi film casting American actors in a bid to enter the North American market.
At the AFM, about 100 executives and officials from 21 Korean film studios promoted the sales of their films to American buyers, attracting keen attention from the American movie industry.


Jun Ji-hyun, who has emerged as the undisputed leading Korean Wave actress after her impressive role in "My Sassy Girl" (2001), is considering a role in an American action film, while other well-known names such as Lee Byung-heon and Jung Woo-sung are also reportedly receiving proposals from Hollywood studios.

In addition to movies, Korean performing artists are making inroads into the world's heart of entertainment. "Jump," a nonverbal comic martial art performance, will start Sept. 1, 2007 at the 500-seat Union Square Theater on Broadway for an open run.

Singer and korean actor Rain (Bi in Korean) is scheduled to perform in the United States. Starting from Seoul next month, Rain's World Tour includes performances in Las Vegas Dec. 23-24.
The Korean government is also keen to promote Korean Wave stars abroad in order to improve the country's image and help sell Korean cultural products in Asia and elsewhere.


(insight@heraldm.com)
By Yang Sung-jin
Source: The Korea Herald

Vengeance trilogy director Park Chan-wook returns with romantic comedy starring Rain

korean movie news update
Park Chan-wook(L), Lim Soo-jung, Rain
By Kim Hyun
SEOUL, Nov. 9 (Yonhap) -- Fresh from making hard-boiled thrillers, South Korea's Park Chan-wook said Thursday that he wanted to deliver a romantic story that "smells like fruit" this time.

"I'm a Cyborg, But That's Okay," Park's seventh feature, is to debut in theaters next month, basking in the heightened attention for its male lead, star singer and actor Rain (called Bi in Korean). Dubbed as "a kind of romantic comedy" by the director, the story of a young female mental patient who believes she is a cyborg and her male mate who chases after her marks the director's return, far from the the Vengeance triology.

"Believe it or not, it's true that this is the movie I made," Park said in a press conference to announce the end of the producton.

"It was good that I could cast young actors. Somehow I wanted to return to my childish dream. I wanted to make a movie that is as fresh as them and that smells like fruit. An age 12-rated movie that I can watch with my daughter."

Its female lead is Lim Soo-jung, who played a blameless heroine in the popular Korean television drama series, "Sorry, I Love You," which aired last year in eight Asian countries, including China, Japan, Singapore and Vietnam.

"The mental patients all have their own unique universe. It could be nothing more than an illusion in the eye of normal people. But it is an indispensible one, the only and very realistic world to that person. So if they talk to each other about their own universe, wouldn't that be a kind of what we call love?" he said in a Seoul hotel packed with hundreds of local and foreign journalists, where some scenes from the film were screened.

Making his screen debut with the established director, Rain said he saw the pristine state of humans from the wacky, disorderly mental hospital.
"I interpret this movie as a message of hope for the world. The patients in the hospital live with feelings of irritation and distance from the world, but I felt that they are very good natured and naive and more highly-focused than any normal people," he said.
korean movie "I'm a Cyborg, But That's Okay" is to be released nationwide on Dec. 7.
hkim@yna.co.kr(END)
Source: Yonhap News

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Lee Byung Hun, Kim Rae Won, Bi, and Jung Woo Sung compete at the box office in December


Four korean movies led by top “Korean Wave” stars Lee Byung Hun, Kim Rae Won, Bi, Jung Woo Sung respectively will compete among one another at the box office in December. Lee Byung Hun’s movie “Once in a Summer” and Kim Rae Won’sSunflower” will be debuted on 11/30. Afterwards, the debuts of Bi’s movie “I’m a Cyborg, But That’s OK” and Jung Woo Sung’sMidair” are scheduled in December.

Especially, the movie “Once in a Summer ” has been exported to Japan for 4 million dollars. The movie, led by Lee Byung Hun who is popular in Japan, portrays a man not being able to forget his first love. Kim Rae Won’s human film “Sunflower ” attracted about 21 news media from Japan when it was introduced in Pusan International Film Festival held in September.

Collaborated by world-class director Park Chan Wook and famous singer Bi, the movie “I’m a Cyborg, But That’s OK has been attracting continuous attentions. After watched Jung Woo Sung’s movie “Daisy” shown around early 2006, many moviegoers have been anticipating JWS’s second movie of this year – “Midair ”.
http://www.mydaily.co.kr/news/read.html?newsid=200611021427211120
credit:CindyW88 soompi

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Sad Movie Selected as Opening Movie for Asian Film Festival


The movie Sad Movie, which is to open in Japan soon, has been selected as the opening movie for the 1st Asian Film Festival to be held in Osaka, Japan.korean Actors Chung Woo-sung and Cha Tae-hyun have recently visited Japan to promote the movie. The two held a press conference at the Park Hyatt Hotel in Tokyo and participated in a red carpet event November 2. Some 300 reporters attended the conference. Following the movieกฏs selection as the opening movie for the Asian Film Festival, the two actors held press conferences in Osaka November 3 and 4 and met with local audiences. The Japanese distributor of Sad Movie said the movie starring Chung and Cha drew enormous attention from the Japanese media and public. The company added that the movie, which depicts the breakups of four couples in a beautiful way, will likely captivate the hearts of Japanese viewers and that the movies promotion had once again attested to the popularity of Chung and Cha as top hallyu stars. Sad Movie opened in Korea in October last year

source:kbs grobal

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Copyright for Remake of "The Host" Sold to Universal

The Host,” which made Korean film history this summer with the record-setting number of viewers of some 13 million, is likely to be remade in the U.S.
U.S. film magazines such as Screen International and Variety reported Friday that Universal managed to win a fierce competition for the copyright to the movie’s remake rights at the American Film Market being held in Santa Monica.

Cine Click Asia, the company in charge of the movie’s overseas sales, said that Gold Circle Film president Paul Brooks and Vertigo Entertainment co-presidents Roy Lee and Doug Davison will work as producers, and Universal executive Norm Waitt will be in charge of production, with two other Universal executives, Peter Kramer and David Ortiz, supervising. Gold Film Circle had attempted a remake of “My Sassy Girl” and Vertigo Entertainment had attempted remakes of “My Wife is a Gangster,” “Old Boy” and “Ring.”

There has been much interest in the copyright to remake the Korean movie, with many companies such as 20th Century Fox and Plan B competing for it.

Screen International said that “The Host” produced by Chungeoram was chose for the Directors Fortnight at the Cannes International Film Festival this year and broke all box office records in Korea.

Overseas, the movie is scheduled to be released in Britain on Nov. 10, in France on Nov. 22 and in the U.S. next February.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Stars of Sad Movie Visit Japan for Promotion

A group of Korean actors and actresses visited Japan on Monday to promote their movie Sad Movie scheduled to be released in the island country on Nov. 11.

The Japanese Sankei Sports Shimbun reported Tuesday that Jung Woo-sung, Cha Tae-hyun, Shin Min-ah, and Yeo Jin-gu had arrived at Haneda International Airport, where some 250 fans greeted them with loud cheers.

The Korean stars returned the welcome with smiles. Jung told the fans that he was so thankful to them for welcoming him every time, and Cha said that he would do his best to promote their movie.

The Japanese sports daily said that the omnibus movie consisting of four stories portrays love, sadness and memories in life by showing eight characters parting with their lovers and families.

Having attended the press conference on Tuesday, the four will appear at a premiere on Wednesday. Then they will give interviews with various media outlets before coming back home on Saturday.

source kbs grobal

Welcome to Dongmakgol” Ranks 10th in Japan

The korean movieWelcome to Dongmakgol” by director Park Kwang-hyun has entered the top-10 of the box-office chart in Japan in the first week since its opening there.
The Japanese movie website Eiga.com wrote that the movie, which was a big hit in Korea, barely took the 10th spot on the Japanese box-office chart on October 28-29.
The top spot was taken by the Japanese movie “Kisarazu Catseye World Series,” the sequel to the 2003 hit movie “Kisarazu Catseye Japan Series.”


about korean movie Welcome to dongmakol
direct by Park Kwang-Hyun
Starring: Jung Jae-Young, Shin Ha-Kyun, Kang Hye-Jeong, David Joseph Anselmo
Awards and Festivals
26th Blue Dragon Awards
• Winner - Best Supporting Actor (Im Ha-Ryong)
• Winner - Best Supporting Actress (Kang Hye-Jung)
source: kbs news

Originators of Korean Wave Still Loved in Japan

Four Korean actors who are considered the originators of the Korean Wave, or Korean pop culture craze, have been found to still be the favorites among Japanese fans.

In its internet edition on Monday, the Japanese entertainment magazine Oricon Style announced the results of its survey of Japanese people between their teens and 40s that asked, “Who is your favorite Korean actor and actress?” The announcement came in the wake of the news that the recent Korean movie “The Host” is drawing global attention.

Bae Yong-joon, who stole the hearts of Japanese women with his role in “Winter Sonata,” was chosen as the most popular Korean male star. He was praised for his sincere and caring attitude toward his fans and his "killer" smile. Following Bae were Jang Dong-kun, whose tough image was cited as his charm, Lee Byung-hyun and Won Bin. The magazine said that it has been three years since the Korean Wave hit the island country, but the four Korean stars have been enjoying unchanging popularity.

Choi Ji-woo, known as Jiwoo hime ("princess"), was cited as the most loved Korean actress for her beautiful appearance and sophisticated style. Yoon Son-ha, who is working in Japan, took second place due to unwavering support from her male fans, followed by Lee Young-ae.

Meanwhile, Oricon Style posed the same question to Koreans, who chose Jang Dong-kun and Son Ye-jin as their favorite actor and actress, respectively.
source : kbs news

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

S. Korean movie emerges as cultural symbol after years of illegal screening in China

SEOUL, Nov. 1 (Yonhap) -- "My Sassy Girl," a romantic comedy from South Korea, emerged as one of the 10 most popular Korean cultural symbols among Chinese people due to the widespread circulation of pirate DVDs, its producer said Wednesday, citing a Chinese survey.
According to the survey of 15 million people in China, Hong Kong and Taiwan, the 2001 blockbuster was named among the 10 most representative Korean items along with TV dramas, plastic surgery, kimchi and music bands.
While the film, starring Jeon Ji-hyun and directed by Kwak Jae-yong, proved wildly successful in other Asian countries, it has never had an official release in China, said Shincine, the Seoul-based company that produced the film.
"It cannot be screened in China because Shincine has had no deals with Chinese companies to release it there, but we've heard from Chinese Culture Ministry officials that it was shown in some theaters and even aired on TV," said Kim So-yun, who works on the company's publicity staff.
The Chinese ministry officials said about 100 million pirated copies of the movie's DVD have circulated in China, Kim said. In 2004, South Korean media reported sales of some 70 million pirated DVDs of the movie.
With Jeon's enormous star power, "Sassy Girl" became a blockbuster in South Korea and also proved successful in Japan, the Philippines, Singapore, Indonesia and Vietnam. Dreamworks Pictures in the United States bought its remake rights, which were resold to Gold Circle Film. The movie is about a male college student and a girl with eccentric and bullying behavior.
For other Korean cultural symbols, the survey named patriotism, "hangeul" (the Korean alphabet), "bulgogi" (marinated beef), Seoul and other Korean food.
The survey was conducted mostly online and also by mobile phone from June to August by the China-Korea Economic Development Association, a Beijing-based private organization, and the China Economy Newspaper, a Seoul-based journal on China, Shincine said.
hkim@yna.co.kr(END)
Source: KBS Global
http://english.yna.co.kr/Engnews/20061101/670000000020061101151924E1.htm
credit:rubie soompil

Monday, October 30, 2006

Over 80 Korean films to be shown at American Film Market

SEOUL, Oct. 30 (Yonhap) -- Most South Korean films released this year, including Lee Joon-ik's "Radio Star" and Kim Ki-duk's "Time," will be entered in the American Film Market this week in an effort to find foreign buyers, the market's Web site said Monday.

The American Film Market that opens Wednesday in Los Angeles will screen 85 Korean films among the 589 films it offers over nine days, it said.

The Korean list reflects a wide spectrum of local productions, ranging from the gender-bending monster movie and blockbuster hit "The Host" by Bong Joon-ho, human drama "Radio Star," to the real-life film about a disabled man, "Barefoot, Gibong" by Kwon Soo-kyung.

"Woman on the Beach" and "Time" by Hong Sang-soo and Kim Ki-duk, acclaimed but commercially underrated South Korean directors, will also be shown in L.A.
"Time" and "The Host" have been selected to be screened in the AFI Los Angeles International Film Festival along with "Family Ties" by Kim Tae-yong.

South Korea's movie industry has shown a steady growth since the mid 1990s, with its annual production now surpassing 80 movies. Their overseas sales last year reached US$76 million, up from US$7 million in 2000.

"The fact that most of the Korean movies go to foreign film markets suggests that they now have a mature sales network and also that there's a growing demand abroad for Korean films," Hwang Dong-mee from the public Korean Film Commission said.
The American Film Market is considered one of the largest of its kind in the world along with one at Cannes. South Korea's Pusan International Film Festival inaugurated its own Asian Film Market this year.

credit rubie soompi
hkim@yna.co.kr(MORE)
Source: Yonhap News
http://www.afi.com/onscreen/afifest/2006/fulllineup.aspx#intfeature
http://english.yna.co.kr/Engnews/20061030/670000000020061030114113E2.html

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Storms Coming to Las Vegas This ChristmasRain

K-pop superstar Rain hopes to take Las Vegas by storm this Christmas season. He will be appearing at the Coliseum at Caesars Palace as part of his quest to make inroads into the North American market.

The decision to stage the concert at the 3,800-seat venue is understood to have been made at Rain’s insistence. Of the many places that U.S. entertainment firms offered to the artist, it was where both Celine Dion and Elton John played that Rain thought he should kick things off.

After the opener in Vegas, Rain’s world tour will span 35 performances. This time the artist has taken on some of the world’s top concert producing talent for this make-or-break tour, including stage director Jaime King, lighting specialist Roy Bennett, and visual director Dago Gonzalez. Online reservations at Ticketmaster (www.ticketmaster.com) have already begun. Seats range from US$98-$260.

To get his blood pumping for his assault on the U.S. mainland, Rain will warm up to the always-affectionate home crowd with a serious of concerts Dec.15, 16 at the Olympic Gymnastics Arena in Seoul.