Monday, December 28, 2009

My Dear Enemy [ Korean Movie 2008 ]



Genre : Drama, Romance
, Melodrama
Starring : Jeon Do-yeon,
Ha Jung Woo
Release date : September 25, 2008

Runtime :123 min.

Directed by : Lee Yoon-ki


Synopsis:

Jobless and single in her thirties, Hee-soo is miserable. On one fine day, she sets out to find Byoung-woon, her ex-boyfriend. It is not love that brings them together but $1,000 Hee-soo had lent to Byoung-woon a year ago. Byoung-woon is also penniless but surprisingly happy for he knows the girls who are willing to give him money. Afraid Byoung-woon may run off before clearing his debt, Hee-soo follows him as he visits many girls to borrow money, so the two ex-love birds set out on a one day journey to collect money, and memory.

Gallery:







Thursday, December 24, 2009

Park Chan-wook Named Director of the Year



Park Chan-wook
was named the best director of the year by his fellow film directors, who also picked actor Song Kang-ho and actress Kim Hye-ja as the year's best actors.

The 12th Directors' Cut Awards was held at CGV Apgujeong in Seoul on Monday. The winners were selected by votes from 238 directors who are members of the directors' network.

Park's latest film "Thirst" inspired hope in the discouraged Korean cinema community by winning the Jury Prize at the 62nd Cannes International Film Festival this year, the director's group said. "Park's films, which are always fresh and novel, are the most cinematic," it added. It is the fourth time that Park has received the award as he was previously honored for his films "Joint Security Area," "Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance," and "Oldboy."

Song won the best actor award for a fifth time, becoming the winningest actor in the history of the Directors' Cut Awards.

The awards for the best rookie actor and actress went to Kim Dong-wook of "Take Off" and Park Bo-young of "Scandal Maker." Korean-French Ounie Lecomte won the best new film director award for "A Brand New Life."

Yang Ik-june, director of "Breathless," received the award for the best independent film, and director Yoon Je-kyoon, who produced and directed the disaster blockbuster "Haeundae," won the award for the best producer. "Haeundae" drew the fourth largest audience in Korean film history.

The directors also awarded a tribute trophy to late actress Jang Jin-young, who died of stomach cancer in September.

Credit: englishnews@chosun.com

source : Chosun

Monday, December 21, 2009

'Woochi' Marks Birth of Korean Superhero



He might be offended if you call him the Korean Harry Potter, and pull a Taoist magic trick on you.

Jeon U-chi's genealogy can be traced back to the Joseon Kingdom (1392-1910) but he comes to life onscreen, with a modern edge, as "Woochi'' ― an exciting new superhero everyone's been waiting for.

Novel character-driven films have recently made their mark in South Korean cinema such as "Private Eye'' starring an accidental Joseon-style Sherlock Holmes or "Hong's Family Business'' featuring modern-day descendents of the Korean Robin Hood, Hong Gil-dong.

Director Choi Dong-hoon, who demonstrated a knack for creating lively characters in "Tazza: The High Rollers,'' brings a superhero who, though quintessentially Korean, can inspire laughter and exhilarating adventure even in those who didn't grow up eating kimchi.

The movie takes viewers back 500 hundred years when a magic flute "manpasikjeon'' falls into that hands of evil goblins (which are tastefully rendered computer graphics, provided by the CGI talent behind local blockbusters including "The Host'' and "The Good The Bad The Weird.'')

A trio of Taoist wizards, who are more like the Three Stooges, seek the help of two leading ascetics, Cheonggwan (Baek Yoon-shik) and Hwadam ("The Chaser'' actor Kim Yoon-sik). They succeed in containing the goblins in a jar, like a genie in a lamp. They break the magic flute into two and each assume responsibility for one half so they don't succumb to the temptation of trying to possess it, sort of like "The Lord of the Rings.''

Woochi (played by actor Kang Dong-won) is the troublemaking disciple of Cheongwan who is more interested in showing off his magic tricks and becoming famous ― he is a contemporary of Hong Gil-dong, but the mischievous young man might become best friends with Will Smith's misunderstood superhero '"Hancock.''

The actor said he spent a good portion of the past two years suspended from wires; the sweat seems to have paid off as the pretty-faced Kang transforms into a most amiable bad boy ― so much so that it redeems his ill-suited appearance in Lee Myung-se's ambitious yet scatterbrained fantasy melodrama "M.''

Having mastered the art of transformation and invisibility, along with other Taoist tricks of playing with earth, wind, fire and water, Woochi basks in self-congratulatory glory of having pulled a big prank on the king. Hwadam and the wizards are summoned by the angry monarch to track down Woochi, who is in the meantime busy trying to seduce a beautiful widow (Lim Soo-jung).

Hwadam and the wizards arrive at Cheongwan's house, only to find that the master has been killed. Woochi and his sidekick Choraengi (a dog who wants to become human, played by funnyman Yoo Hae-jin), are framed for the murder and are doomed to a 500-year sentence inside a painting.


Half a millennium later, the wizards are living under a low profile as a Buddhist monk, a Catholic priest and a fortune teller, while Hwadam has long disappeared in order to polish his Taoist art.

When the goblins escape from their jars, however, the wizards are unable to find Hwadam and are thus forced to head to the local museum to conjur the rather sullen Woochi from the painting. They ask him to catch the goblins, promising him a promotion to the ranks of a true Taoist master in return.

Woochi and Choraengi are however more interested in exploring the glitz and glam of 21st-century technology and lifestyle, and are further distracted when they run into a woman who seems to be the reincarnation of Woochi's love interest from 500 years ago.

Meahwhile Hwadam reappears before the Taoist gang but seems more interested in stealing the other half of the magic flute in Woochi's possession.

In theaters Dec. 23. Distributed by CJ Entertainment.

credit to : Lee Hyo-won hyowlee@koreatimes.co.kr
source:
koreatimes.co.kr

Kang Dong-won Makes Comeback



Actor Kang Dong-won has made a comeback after a two-year absence, wearing an outfit that perfectly suits him. He plays a malicious taoist in the movie "The Taoist Wizard," fabulously portraying the classical-novel character and even reinterpreting him in a fresh and mischievous way. He looks nothing like his confused character in "M" (2007) or the sad death-row convict he portrayed in "Our Happy Time."

When we met with Kang on December 16 prior to the movie's opening, he said that he wanted to gain popularity with more people. He said, "It's an entertaining movie. I tried hard to become closer to viewers. But unfortunately the rhythm of my acting was too slow." Throughout the interview, Kang kept saying that he wanted to be more popular. He seemed upset about his previous movie, "M," which performed poorly at the box office. He deliberately chose an entertaining role this time and worked hard to make his character lovable. Kang's character is a skilled taoist and overflows with confidence. He easily makes fun of the king and loves women.

Kang used his own mischievousness to make his character all the more playful. It was his idea to create 10 one-of-a-kind copies of his character when fighting with ghosts. He said, "The script said that I just had 10 other copies of myself, but that sounded boring, so I gave each copy its own unique personality. If you watch closely, you will recognize their personalities. Each of them represents a certain trait of my character: one is brave, one is wayward, one is righteous, and so on. The last one of them is one who spits."

Kang also changed the originally haughty tone of his character into a flawed one, because he thought that a character with flaws was easier to approach for the public. Kang realizes that he has a hard-to-approach image because he rarely appears in public and is far from talkative. He said, "That's what people think about me. But once they get a chance to talk to me, their opinion changes. I can be playful, like my character, when I'm around my friends. After shooting this movie, I've become more talkative."



Director Choi Dong-hoon and martial arts director Chung Doo-hong lauded Kang for perfectly performing difficult wire actions, which he pulled off thanks to the training that he had received when shooting the movie "Duelist." He also learned how to dance for five months, which explains why his long legs and arms move so gracefully in action scenes.

The expression on Kang's face changed from playful to serious when he began talking about action scenes. He said, "I hate amusement park rides. When I happened to visit a famous bungee jumping place, people tried to make me bungee-jump, but I couldn't do it."

Though playing his character in "The Taoist Wizard" has taught him how to have fun with colleagues, Kang says the production was a difficult one for him. He said, "I had to jump off a six-story building 20 times and I still vividly remember that feeling of horror."

source: KBS Global

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Thirst Wins Tenth Place in Time’s Top 10 Movies



The Park Chan-wook film “Thirst,” winner of the Cannes International Film Festival's Jury Prize, has been ranked tenth in Time magazine’s Top 10 Movies of 2009 on December 8.

Time named “Thirst” its vampire movie of the year over New Moon. In particular, it had high praise for leading lady Kim Ok-vin, saying “She is Lady Chatterley and Lady Macbeth in one smoldering package.”

Time said Kim’s performance of the character, “who evolves from a creature of mute docility to one of desperate ardor, then explosive eroticism, then murderous intent,” was a new find.

The Princess and the Frog” topped the list, followed by “Up” in second place. “Fantastic Mr. Fox” took third place, making the top three positions all animated films.

source:
KBS World

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

"Oldboy" chosen as top 50 movies of the decade



Korean film "Oldboy" has been selected as one the top 50 movies of the decade by U.S. magazine Time Out New York (TONY).

"Oldboy", directed by Park Chan-wook, was ranked at No. 27 on the top 50 list by TONY. The top three movies on the list were "Mulholland Drive" (2001, directed by David Lynch), "There Will Be Blood" (2007, Paul Thomas Anderson) and "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" (2004, Michel Gondry)

The Korean film has received high praises from critics since its release in 2003 and won the Grand Prix at the 2004 Cannes Film Festival.

Hollywood filmmaker Steven Speilberg and actor Will Smith were planning a remake of the film, but the project has been cancelled because production company DreamWorks were unable to obtain the rights to the film.

"Oldboy", which stars Korean actor Choi Min-sik, is about a man who is locked in a hotel room for 15 years without knowing why. He plots revenge upon his release and finds himself trapped in conspiracy, violence and falling in love with an attractive young chef.

Reporter : Park So-yoen muse@asiae.co.kr
Editor : Lynn Kim lynn2878@asiae.co.kr
<ⓒ10Asia All rights reserved>

Ji Jin-hee, Ha Jeong-woo film to open in Feb



A mystery thriller film, starring two of top Korean actors Ji Jin-hee and Ha Jeong-woo, is set to open in February, according to a report on Tuesday.

The film, titled "Parallel Theory", is about two people in two different times -- in the past and the present -- living the same patterned lives.

In "Life", the character digs into the parallel theory after finding out that he has been living an identical life to another person from 30 years ago whose entire family was murdered. The movie was inspired by the parallels found between the lives of Abraham Lincoln and John F. Kennedy, who had uncanny similarities in their lives which were 100 years apart.

Ji Jin-hee plays the role of Kim Seok-hyun, who discovers the hidden conspiracy behind the parallel theory and tries to prevent the death of his daughter and himself. Ha Jeong-woo took on suspect, who follows the parallel theory and does everything the same as the murderer from 30 years ago.

"Life", Kwon Ho-young's directorial debut, is scheduled for release on February 18.

Reporter : Ko Kyoung-seok kave@asiae.co.kr
Editor : Lynn Kim lynn2878@asiae.co.kr
<ⓒ10Asia All rights reserved>

Saturday, December 05, 2009

'Actresses' Is Sassy Mix of Fact, Fiction



"There are three types of people: men, women and actresses,'' and "The Actresses'' brings together not one but six heroines.

The third of E J-yong's creations to be invited to the Berlin International Film Festival, "The Actresses'' tactfully endorses the movie's opening remark as it peeks into the glamorous ― and not-so-glamorous ― lives of screen beauties.

The unscripted, semi-improvisational film combines reality and fantasy, and the result is something sassy, perky and tastefully droll, though some of the in-jokes may get lost in translation for non-Korean viewers.

"But you've got to understand! They're actresses, they cannot wait!'' a staff member panics, as the jewelry that the actresses are supposed to wear in a Vogue magazine spread gets stuck in a snow storm en route from Japan.

It's Christmas Eve, and magazine crew members nervously drum fingers. They must deal with actresses who find themselves in an unprecedented situation: sharing the limelight with other household names.

Veteran actress Youn Yuh-jung, known for her endearing roles and less-than-perfect complexion, is irritated that she isn't fashionably late like the others, and cannot help feeling like a last-minute replacement for the glamour shoot.

Lee Mi-suk, though still considered a sex symbol at middle-age, speaks of her wish to retain her identity as a woman ― "Everyone ages but it's painful how actresses age under the public eye and are scrutinized for it,'' she says.

Hypersensitive hallyu "princess'' Choi Ji-woon meanwhile, in a spur of obsessive compulsion, scrubs her makeup desk before settling down. And of course her arrival is never complete without a retinue of Japanese fans and a personal masseuse.

Koh Hyun-jung, a 1990s icon who recently returned to screens after a high profile divorce, cannot hide her jealousy toward Choi. Being the hot-tempered and brutally honest tomboy she is rumored to be, Koh starts picking a fight with Choi. The two are seen bickering and squealing like schoolgirls and Choi leaves the set in a huff ― "This is totally like 'The Nightmare Before Christmas'!'' says the Vogue editor, who also stars as herself in the movie.

The youngest actresses ― twiggy former model Kim Min-hee and the more curvaceous Kim Ok-vin ― find it hard not to compare each other, especially when a male staff member says that men prefer curvy women.

E said he simply provided the basis for conflict and the leading ladies took it from there, improvising parts scene-by-scene.

The six ladies, varying in age from 20s to 60s, clearly assume exaggerated personas that reflect some degree of popular belief. And issues that are raised, such as the touchy politics of dress size, are rather expected.

But apart from capitalizing on the reputation of the cast, it also relies on "classic'' forms of "entertainment,'' such as cat fights and juicy gossip, to draw in viewers ― and it works surprisingly well as one is kept wondering whether the situation is real or not.

And it could not have been complete without the fine attention to minute detail and crafty editing E is known for.

The film will be featured in the Berlinale's non-competitive Panorama section, which screens 18 works that are considered to have both artistic and commercial merits. It hits local theaters Dec. 10. Distributed by Showbox/Mediaplex.

credit to: Lee Hyo-won (hyowlee@koreatimes.co.kr)
source: koreatimes.co.kr

'Mother' Wins Best Picture Award at Blue Dragon Film Awards


Mother


Ha Ji-won

The movie "Mother" directed by Bong Jun-ho has won three awards at the 30th Blue Dragon Film Awards on December 2. "Mother" received the Best Picture, Best Supporting Actor and Best Lighting awards.

"Take Off," "Haeundae," "Thirst," "Speed Scandal" and "Breathless" each took two awards. Director Kim Yong-hwa received his second Best Director award.

Actor Kim Myung-min and actress Ha Ji-won, who played the leads in "Closer To Heaven," received the Best Actor and Best Actress awards, respectively.

Jin Ku ("Mother") was honored with the Best Supporting Actor award, while Kim Hae-sook ("Thirst") received the Best Supporting Actress award.

Yang Ik-jun of "Breathless" took the Best New Actor award. Kim Kkot-bi ("Breathless") and Park Bo-young ("Speed Scandal") won the Best New Actress awards.

Late actress Chang Jin-young, who died in September of cancer, was honored with the Special Award. Her father, Chang Kil-nam, received the award on her behalf.

The Popular Actor awards went to Lee Byung-hun, Ha Jung-woo, Ha Ji-won and Choi Kang-hee.

The jury was headed this year by Pusan International Film Festival Executive Director Kim Dong-ho. The award ceremony was hosted by
Lee Bum-soo and Kim Hye-soo.

Following is the list of award-winners (film titles are indicated in parentheses)
Best Picture: "Mother"
Best Director: Kim Yong-hwa ("Take Off")
Best Actor: Kim Myung-min ("Closer To Heaven")
Best Actress: Ha Ji-won ("Closer To Heaven")
Best Supporting Actor: Jin Ku ("Mother")
Best Supporting Actress: Kim Hae-sook ("Thirst")
Best New Actor: Yang Ik-jun ("Breathless")
Best New Actress: Kim KKot-bi ("Breathless"), Park Bo-young ("Speed Scandal")
Best New Director: Kang Hyung-chul ("Speed Scandal")
Best Cinematography: Park Hyun-chul ("Take Off")
Best Lighting: Choi Chul-soo, Park Dong-soon ("Mother")
Best Music: Cho Young-wook ("Thirst")
Best Art: Cho Hwa-sung, Choi Hyun-seok ("Private Eye")
Best Engineer: Hans Ulrik, Chang Sung-ho, Kim Hee-dong ("Haeundae")
Best Screenplay: Lee Yong-joo ("Possessed")
Special Award: Chang Jin-young
Popular Actor: Lee Byung-hun, Ha Jung-woo, Ha Ji-won, Choi Kang-hee
Best Short Film: Kim Han-kyul ("Seeing")
Most Viewed Movie: "Haeundae"

Kim Hyun-joong to make film debut



Kim Hyun-joong
, leader of Korean boy band SS501, will soon make his big screen debut, according to a source on Monday.

An associate of the film said Kim has been picked to lead the cast of film "You're My Pet" opposite top actress Su-ae in the film directed by Kim Byung-gon.

The movie is based on Japanese TV series "Trams Like Us" broadcast on TBS in 2003, which itself was based on an original comic series by Yayoi Ogawa.

The movie is about unexpected love between a successful, smart and good-looking fashion magazine editor and a handsome guy who is adopted as a pet to the successful woman.

"We haven't completely finished working on the contract but we'll be done by the end of this week," said a representative from Kim's agency DSP Media.

As a member of the popular five-member K-pop band, Kim Hyun-joong also debuted as an actor early this year through hit KBS TV series "Boys Over Flowers".

Reporter : Lim Hye-seon lhsro@asiae.co.kr
Editor: Linda Kim lindakim@asiae.co.kr
<ⓒ10Asia All rights reserved>

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Kwon Sang-woo starrer pic starts filming next week



A new movie starring four of Korea's most popular celebrities -- namely Kwon Sang-woo, Kim Seung-woo, Cha Seung-won and T.O.P. - is set to go into shoot starting next week, according to the film's distributor on Monday.

The four actors will start filming for the blockbuster war flick, tentatively titled "Into The Fire" in English, on November 25, CJ Entertainment said in a press release.

The film, set for release in 2010, is about a fierce battle between 71 student soldiers and North Korean regular army soldiers during the Korean War.

"Fire", directed by Lee Jae-han, is a follow-up project by Taewon Entertainment, a production company that created the current blockbuster TV series "IRIS" starring Lee Byung-hun.

Lee directed the 2004 hit film "A Moment To Remember", which topped the box office in Korea and in Japan, and recently directed the Japanese movie "Sayonara itsuka", starring actress Nakayama Miho of "Love Letter".

Hallyu star Kwon has starred in several successful movies including "
My Tutor Friend" in 2003 and "Love, So Divine" in 2004. His most famous role to date however, was in the 2003 TV series "Stairway to Heaven", which co-starred another Hallyu star Choi Ji-woo and became a hit throughout Asia.

Cha is a Korean model-turned-actor who has appeared in several hit films and two actors from hit TV drama "
IRIS" -- Kim Seung-woo who is actress Kim Nam-joo's husband and T.O.P. of popular idol group Big Bang -- will also star in "Fire".

Reporter : Lynn Kim lynn2878@asiae.co.kr

<ⓒ
10Asia All rights reserved>

Son Ye-jin: 'Ordinary Sinister Roles Lack Charm'

Actress Son Ye-jin looked unusually upbeat when we met with her on November 12 prior to the opening of her new movie "Into The White Night." She was wearing a light and comfortable knit sweater, cute shirt and white skirt. Her radiant smile shined. She also talked quickly and easily. She looked nothing like her perfectly refined character Mi-ho from the movie.

Son said, "It's funny but I was scared of Mi-ho. I was scared of accepting her feelings and being swept up by them. I studied her for a long time while the movie was still in its planning stage, but I decided to 'be' Mi-ho only during filming because I was scared to accept her. It might look irresponsible, but I also need to live my life."



It is already Son's 10th big-screen role. She debuted as a movie actress by playing an innocent woman who falls in love for the first time. So far, she has appeared in "April Snow," "The Art of Seduction," "Open City" and "My Wife Got Married." Each time, she played fresh and provocative characters, displaying her charm to the fullest.

But playing Mi-ho, the daughter of a murderer, was not easy for her. She said, "I thought I wouldn't be nervous this time. But I was nervous during the screening for the first time because I felt big pressure. That was because I received a prestigious award for 'My Wife Got Married' last year, or maybe because this role is especially meaningful to me since it's my tenth big-screen role."



The movie begins by drawing comparisons between Mi-ho being together with her lover, and Yo-han (Ko Soo), who kills someone. At the moment when Mi-ho gets into a car accident, Yo-han is making love to another woman. That is also the reason the word "body exposure" appears alongside the movie title on portal sites. But Son said that this scene showed that Mi-ho and Yo-han were always mentally together, even though they did things separately.

To Son, the most difficult scene was the one where she appears nude and talks to her fiance's daughter. She said, "This scene shouldn't look vulgar and must appear painful. Will viewers understand Mi-ho, or will they think that this scene was just included in order to draw viewers?"
Read More at KBS Global

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Baby and I [ Korean Movie 2008 ]



Genre : Comedy
, Drama
Starring :
Jang Geun-suk, Kim Byeol
Release date : August 13, 2008

Runtime :96 min.

Directed by :
Kim Jin-yeong
Align Center
Synopsis:
Jun-su is a popular but rebellious 19-year-old. One day, his parents give him an ultimatum, leaving him alone in the house to rehabilitate his life. He doesn't mind the independence until a six-month-old baby Wooram is delivered to his doorstep. He has no choice but to care for Wooram and attend to his demand for breast milk. Where can he find a nanny?

Gallery:




'Paju' to Open Rocarno Film Festival



"Paju," the second feature film by South Korean director Park Chan-ok, will open the upcoming International Film Festival in Rotterdam, the first Korean movie ever chosen to open the Dutch film fest, the event's Web site said Friday.

"Paju," which premiered at Korea's Pusan International Film Festival, has been praised as one of the most outstanding local creations of the year, drawing a realistic portrait of modern Korean society through the eyes of a young woman, according to Yonhap News Agency.

Director Park was the winner of the Tiger Award in the 2003 Rotterdam fest for her internationally-appraised debut "Jealousy Is My Middle Name."

Rutger Wolfson, director of the Dutch film event, called "Paju" a "triumph of resilience and a powerful female voice from Asia, ambitious and intimate at the same time."

The 39th Rotterdam festival will run Jan. 27-Feb. 7 next year in the Netherlands' port city.

The South Korean delegation that will introduce the film to Rotterdam's opening night audience will include director Park as well as lead actors Lee Sun-kyun and Seo Woo.

"Paju," set in the grim city where the film takes its name -- a longtime military garrison and now developing urban hub located close to the inter-Korean border -- was released locally on Oct. 29.


The movie drew some impressive reviews from overseas critics during the Pusan film fest with Screen International predicting the movie will "cement Park's reputation as one of Korea's most talented art-house directors," while Variety compared the film's handling of melodrama, action and mystery to a Bergmanesque thriller.


"Paju" won the NETPAC (Network for the Promotion of Asian Cinema) Award at the Pusan fest with jury members describing it as a "fine example of passionate, high-quality filmmaking."

source: The Korea Times

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Song Kang-ho movie "Brothers" to open in Feb



Film "Sworn Brothers", starring top Korean actors Song Kang-ho and Kang Dong-won, will be released next February, according to the film's producer Showbox on Tuesday.

The film had received much attention for casting two of Korea's leading actors and for being directed by newcomer Jang Hoon, who received the award for Best New Director at the Young-Pyung Film Festival last year for his directorial debut "Rough Cut".

Song will play a discharged National Intelligence Service agent while Kang an abandoned secret agent from North Korea in "Brothers", about two government secret agents meeting up again, six years after they first met in a downtown shoot-out.

Song Kang-ho
is one of Korea's most successful actors who has starred in a handful of hit films including "Memories of Murder", "The Host" and "Thirst", which won the Jury Prize at Cannes earlier this year.

Kang Dong-won is one of the most promising actors of the younger generation, who has appeared in several notable movies including 2006's "Our Happy Time", 2004's "Romance of Their Own" and "Too Beautiful to Lie", which co-starred Hallyu star Kim Ha-neul.




Reporter : Lim Hye-seon lhsro@asiae.co.kr
Editor : Lynn Kim lynn2878@asiae.co.kr
<ⓒ10Asia All rights reserved>

TVXQ's Hero Debuts as Actor



"Acting was a new experience for me. If I had more time, I would have done better," said Hero from the music group TVXQ at a news conference after the screening of the movie "Postman From Paradise" on November 9.

As the second telecinema production, which is produced both as a movie and TV drama, "Postman From Paradise" was directed by Lee Hyung-min, who also directed "Sorry, I Love You." The script was written by Eriko Kitakawa, who also wrote the Japanese TV drama "Long Vacation," starring Takuya Kimura.



"Postman From Paradise" is about a young entrepreneur who embarks on delivering letters to paradise from people who cannot forget the deceased. One day he meets a woman who joins his cause. Hero plays the postman Jae-jun. "It was difficult for me to portray feelings because it was my first time acting. We were able to complete the shoot without problems thanks to the director and Hyo-joo, who helped a lot," said Hero.

On the question whether the other TVXQ members supported him as an actor, Hero said, "When we were filming the movie, TVXQ was preparing for a comeback. My bandmates were too busy to provide me with advice. But U-Know and Chang-min, who are very interested in acting, encouraged me to do my best."



Actress Han Hyo-joo, who plays opposite Hero and portrays a woman who regains her ability to love after meeting Jae-jun, said that she decided to take this role because she was attracted to the telecinema genre. "In terms of the plot and emotions, this production is reminiscent of a fairy tale, but it strikes a chord in my heart more than a well-written novel or essay," said Han.

On the question whether acting opposite an idol singer was great pressure for her, Han said, "To be honest, it was big pressure but once we started shooting it all disappeared. Hero learns fast. He reacted very promptly to my acting. He has big potential as an actor."


source: KBS Global

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Interview: Director Park Chan-wook of 'Thirst'

Director Park Chan-wook, who received the Jury Award at the Cannes Film Festival for his movie "Thirst," says that Korean films can gain global recognition by improving their artistic expression and setting new trends.

In an interview with the Yonhap News ahead of the screening of "Thirst" at the London Barbican Centre as the opening film of the 4th London Korean Film Festival, Park said that Korean movies can be exported overseas not only by producing them in English but also by setting new trends.

The festival will run through November 18 at the London Barbican Centre and the British Film Institute. A total of 29 Korean films will be screened, including "Thirst" as well as "Mother" by Bong Jun-ho.



Interview with director Park Chan-wook.

-- Did the film face a lot of red tape because it deals with Christianity?

▲ We had a hard time designing its posters. In Korea, we had to take out the image of the lead actress's legs from the poster because they were said to look vulgar. In the U.S., we had problems with the actress's cleavage. And in the U.K., the Roman collar of the lead actor became an issue for its potential to spark religious problems.

-- Did any religous groups oppose your movie?

▲ To people who have never seen this movie, the Roman collar may look provocative, but those who have seen it don't find it problematic. The main character of the movie agonizes over his inability to abandon his religion. His life becomes tragic because he clings to his faith and moral values.

-- How can Korean movies expand their global presence?

▲ I think it's more difficult than exporting our televisions and phones. Even the best-quality productions face the language barrier. If we want to export our movies to Europe or the U.S., we should produce them in English. That's the only way to do it.

-- What other obstacles do Korean films face apart from the language barrier?

▲ If we don't produce our movies in English, then we should broaden the realms of artistic expression and set new trends. That way we can receive worldwide recognition and respect.

-- Some people say that your movies "Old Boy," "Sympathy for Lady Vengeance" and "Thirst" are too gloomy and far from being commercial.

▲ These movies drew millions of viewers. Of course they are commercial films.

-- What was it like to see "Thirst" open in London?

▲ I was moved. It renewed my determination to produce good movies so that they are not kicked out of such good places.

-- Your movies must have been invited to many other Korean film festivals abroad.

▲ The Korean Film Festival in London is well organized and publicized. It is highly recognized among intelligent people and the mass media. I'm moved to see my movies being screened at the London Barbican Centre.

source: KBS Global

Friday, November 06, 2009

Poster unveiled for Hyun Bin's new film "I Am Happy"



The official movie poster for Hallyu star Hyun Bin's new film "I Am Happy" was released today.

"Happy", which stars Hyun Bin and actress Lee Bo-young, is based on a Korean short story about two wounded souls at a psychiatric ward -- mental patient Man-soo (played by Hyun) and nurse Soo-kyung (played by Lee).

The revealed poster shows the two characters leaning against each other under the sunlight and reads "Day after day, life is crazy difficult.. But because I have you.. I am happy.. "

The film, directed by Yoon Jong-chan who previously helmed "Sorum" and "Blue Swallow", was the closing film at the 14th Pusan International Film Festival (PIFF) last month.

Hyun, best known for his role in the 2005 hit drama "My Name Is Kim Sam Soon", recently made headlines after admitting to dating top Korean actress Song Hye-kyo, his co-star in last year's TV series "The World That They Live In."

Lee has appeared in several TV dramas including "Save The Last Dance For Me" in 2004 and "Seodongyo" in 2005. She made her film debut last year in "Once Upon A Time".

"Happy" is set for release in Korea on November 26.

Reporter : Lynn Kim lynn2878@asiae.co.kr

Editor : Jessica Kim jesskim@asiae.co.kr
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Saturday, October 17, 2009

Sung Yoo-ri Debuts on Big Screen


Actress Sung Yoo-ri, who has debuted on big screen in the movie "Maybe," recently made the statement, "It was great pressure for me because my face filled the entire screen and my acting was shown to everyone in the world. But we were able to finish the shoot smoothly thanks to the support of the production team. Now it's up to viewers to judge if it was good or not." At the production announcement for the movie on October 5 at Lotte Avenue, Sung introduced herself as a "new actress."

"Maybe" is a story about May, a woman who was adopted in the U.S. when she was young and visited her home country 23 years later in search of her identity. To portray her character, Sung had to perfectly depict the feelings of despair, loss and hope without saying many lines.

Sung said, "Unlike my previous characters, May doesn't talk much. I had to portray her feelings through facial expressions, so I thought a lot of what I would think if I were her. I also watched documentaries about adopted children and learned English."

"The production team hardly ever talked to me because I didn't have to say many lines. At first, I liked it but then it became boring. I chose this movie because of its exotic and unusual scenario," added the actress.

Jang Hyuk, who plays a taxi driver with a rare heart disease, said Sung worked hard and lauded her acting skills as natural. He also added that he liked his character for his refusal to give up and his efforts to do his best. He said, "Despite his heart disease, my character continues to live to the fullest and even meets new women. That's why I told the director that I wanted to take this tole."

"Maybe" was directed by Joo Ji-hong, who debuted in France in 2004. It is his first domestic production, and it was invited to the 14th Pusan International Film Festival in the category "Korean Film Today - Panorama."

"Maybe" is slated for release on October 22.

source: KBS Global

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Kim Ok-vin Named Best Actress at Sitges Film Fest



Actress Kim Ok-vin shared the award for Best Actress with Spain's Elena Anaya at the 42nd Sitges International Fantastic Film Festival, Spain.

The 23-year-old won the award, the festival announced Sunday, for her role in Park Chan-wook's "Thirst.'' Kim shared the award with Anaya for her role in "Hierro,'' a psychological thriller.

"Thirst,'' a thriller that won the jury prize at Cannes this year, is about a priest-turned-vampire (Song Kang-ho) struggling with his desire for blood and sex. Kim received critical acclaim for her portraying a femme fatale who seduces the bloodsucking priest.

In 2005, South Korea's Lee Young-ae won the award for "Sympathy for Lady Vengeance,'' also directed by Park.

Kim debuted through an online beauty contest hosted by Internet portal site Naver in 2004. Her filmography includes the comic period film "The Accidental Gangster and Mistaken Courtesan'' and teen sex comedy "Dasepo Naughty Girls'' (2006).

Founded in 1967, Sitges is the largest genre film festival in the world and takes place every October in the Catalonian coastal town, some 40 kilometers south of Barcelona.

British director Duncan Jones, who is known as the son of rock legend David Bowie, stole the limelight at this year's event with his feature debut. He takes home the award for Best Motion Picture for his sci-fi thriller "Moon,'' whose hero Sam Rockwell also won the Best Actor prize. The Best Director prize went to Filipino director Brillante Mendoza ("Kinatay'').

credit: hyowlee@koreatimes.co.kr
source: koreatimes.co.kr

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Friday, October 09, 2009

My Girlfriend is an Agent [ Korean Movie 2009 ]


Genre : Action, Comedy
Starring : Kang Ji-hwan, Kim Ha-neul
Release date : April 23, 2009

Runtime :112 min.

Directed by : Sin Tae-ra


Synopsis:

A Russian organized crime group is set out to steal an advanced chemical weapon from Korea and two secret agents are out to stop them. One is a veteran secret agent named AHN Soo-ji who is a master of all forms of martial arts and envied by her comrades. Another is a rookie named LEE Jae-joon who’s never been out on the field and always goofs up on the job. The two agents don’t know each other’s secret identity. All that they know is that they hate each other. As a couple that is... Soo-ji and Jae-joon were once a passionate couple until Jae-joon couldn’t take her lies anymore. But all Soo-ji was trying to do was hide her secret identity. Nonetheless, the two went on their separate ways and by coincidence bump into each other years later while out on the job. As the two work out their screwy relationship, they go behind each other’s backs to fulfill their mission to save the world.

Source http://www.koreanfilm.or.kr

Gallery:





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Jang Nara Apprehensive of Big Screen Roles



Singer/actress Jang Nara, who made a comeback after a six-year break, says she is scared of taking a new movie role because her appearance in the 2003 movie "Oh Happy Day" was a fiasco.

Attending the production meeting for the movie "Heaven And Sea" on October 7 at 63 City, Jang said her worries had been chased away by her new role, which she liked very much. In "Heaven And Sea" Jang plays a 24-year-old woman with Savant Syndrome who, despite her mental retardation, has a special talent.

"I did my best to act and talk like a six-year-old. It was easy for me to focus on my character thanks to the help of my coworkers," said Jang.

The actress lost much weight in order to portray a feeble woman. "I gained weight before the shoot but after I read the script, which said that my character collapsed and had nose bleeds, I realized I was too big for the role. So I shed some weight but the promotional materials exaggerated my weight loss a bit. Some people posted messages saying that it was nothing compared to actor Kim Myung-min," said Jang.

"Heaven And Sea" was produced by a company that is headed by Jang's father. Jang said she never again wanted to appear in a movie produced by her father. "My father was going to invest only in the inisital stage of the movie production but he ended up taking charge of the entire production process. I couldn't sleep when I learned that there was not enough money. My father began sending me to China so that I could earn money by appearing in TV commercials and holding concerts. I invested all my earnings in the movie. I came back from China this morning after holding yet another event there. If I have to go through this again, I'll probably die," complained Jang.

"Heaven And Sea" is about the friendship among Ha-neul (played by Jang), who has lost her parents, Bada (played by Juny), who is at odds with her stepmother, and Jin-gu (played by Yoo A-in), who works as a pizza delivery guy. It was directed by Oh Dal-kyun, whose previous work "Maeumi" was about young brothers and sisters and their dog.


"When I was studying film in the U.S., I saw grandfathers bring their grandchildren to the theater. I wanted to make a movie that would draw grandfathers and their grandchildren. I hope people will like this movie," said Oh.


source: KBS Global

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