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

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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
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?


'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
<ⓒ10Asia All rights reserved>