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.”

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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.

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.

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

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.

'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

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.

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
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
8.Family Ties
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

'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
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.

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.
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 ”.
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 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.
Source: KBS Global
credit:rubie soompil