Saturday, May 31, 2008

East-Meets-Western Offers Hope for Korean Film Recovery

A poster for the film 'The Good, the Bad,
the Weird.'

Invited to the Out of Competition section of the 61st International Cannes Film Festival, the Korean movie "The Good, the Bad, the Weird" screened at the Grand Theater Lumiere on Saturday (local time), giving the world its first glimpse at the potential of a bold new genre -- the Korean Western.

Warmly received, a reporter from U.S. film industry magazine Variety wondered why a U.S. distributor had yet to be decided for the movie, while Hollywood actor and director Mel Gibson's Icon Entertainment International snapped up the U.K. distribution rights.

"While In Competition puts an emphasis on the spirit of the times, Out of Competition can be considered the 'flower' of the festival in terms of popular films," the film's director Kim Jee-woon said at a press conference at the Palais de Festival earlier Saturday. "I think the invitation of my movie proves that Cannes recognizes the new experiments being made in Korean commercial cinema."

The Korean movie was in good company in the Out of Competition section, screening alongside Steven Spielberg's "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull", DreamWorks Animation's "Kung Fu Panda", and Woody Allen's "Vicky Cristina Barcelona", suggesting that Korean adventure and comedy movies may have finally overcome the crisis of confidence they have suffered.

From left, director Kim Jee-woon and actors Jung Woo-sung,
Lee Byung-hun and Song Kang-ho pose as they arrive
for the screening of their film 'The Good, the Bad, the Weird'
at the 61st International Cannes Film Festival
on Saturday in Cannes. /AFP

Reminiscent of Sergio Leone's 1966 classic "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly," "The Good, the Bad, the Weird" follows three men hounding each other across the Manchurian desert in the 1930s in pursuit of a treasure map. It has drawn attention since production started as it stars three of Korea's top actors -- Song Kang-ho (the Weird), Lee Byung-hun (the Bad), and Jung Woo-sung (the Good).

"The movie reflects Koreans' desires to advance into the Chinese continent beyond the narrow Korean Peninsula," Kim said, brought to life in the wild chase scene on the open Manchurian plain.

The W20 billion (US$1=W1,048) movie is expected to rescue Korea's film industry, currently suffering a dismal slump. The screening at Cannes gave grounds to those expectations, serving as a first step to a recovery of confidence.

source : Chosun


Friday, May 16, 2008

[ Korean movie 2008 ] Fate ( Destiny )

Producers : MKDK Entertainment
Director : KIM Hae-gon
Genre : Action
Starring : Song Seung Heon , Kwon Sang Woo, Ji Sung , Park Han Byul
Official Site :
release: 20th March, 2008

Length: 123 mins


In the dark criminal world of Seoul, U-min (Song), Cheol-jung (Kwon), Do-wan (Kim In-kwon) and Yeong-hwan (Ji Sung) are close friends in a gang. One day, with the help of an older member Gang-seop (Ahn Nae-seong), U-min, Cheol-jung and Do-wan attack the gang's casino so they can start new lives. But their plan goes awry when Cheol-jung betrays them, and U-min goes to prison. He becomes the scapegoat to save his friends' lives.

After serving his time, U-min wants to stay out of trouble but is drawn back into the underworld when he sees what has become of his friends: money and power-hungry Cheol-jung continues to betray others as he climbs up the gang ladder; Do-wan is a drug user; Gang-seop is missing; and his girlfriend Eun-yeong (Park Han-byul) has left him to run a bar as the boss' mistress.

As U-min tries to solve the situation, however, unfortunate twists of fate set off one misunderstanding after another. To make matters worse, the mob boss and right-hand man Yoeng-hwan get them involved in a huge drug deal. Once again thrown into a game with high stakes and big cash, the once best friends must fight one another for their lives.



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Ha Ji-won comes back with 8 billion won (US$ 8 million) project

In the midst of sighs that there are no more females in leading roles, Ha Ji-won will challenge this.

Ha Ji-won
will start filming "Seven Remedies" in New Zealand in June and will be coming back from a one-year hiatus.

After "
Miracle on 1st Street" last February, she only appeared in cameos in "Last Present" and "Sex Is Zero 2". Now, she will be spending the summer with "Seven Remedies".

Seven Remedies" is about a monster that is transformed through viruses and a female character who tries to fight it.

It's drawing more attention because there are few movies with female lead roles, and those few fail to succeed. Most movies have male leads, but this one has put a female in the lead.

A representative of the production company said, "
Ha Ji-won will be showing action like Angelina Jolie in 'Tomb Raider". Her fighting scene with the monster will be the highlight". He said that she received the lead role because of confidence in her.

After the filming of "Seven Remedies", she will be busy filming Director Yoon Je-kyoon's 15 billion won (US$ 15 million) project "HaeUnDae" early next year.

Original Article:
English Translation Credit:

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