Saturday, August 28, 2010

Late Autumn invited to Toronto

South Korean director KIM Tae-Yong’s ambitious Korea-China-US co-production Late Autumn has been officially invited to the 35th Toronto International Film Festival, which opens September 9, 2010. Late Autumn will screen in the World Contemporary Cinema section, joining IM Sang-soo’s The Housemaid in the Gala category and KIM Jee-woon’s I Saw the Devil in the Special Presentations section.

Late Autumn is KIM’s first English-language production, set and filmed in Washington state, and starring the rising pan-Asian Korean actor HYUN Bin and of Chinese actress TANG WeiLust, Caution. The film is the fourth remake of a lost Korean masterpiece of the same titled by cinematic genius LEE Man-hee, released in 1966. Famed directors KIM Ki-young and KIM Soo-yong made admired remakes in 1975 (Promise of the Flesh) and 1981 (Manchu), respectively.

Following the theme of the original, the story revolves around Anna, a Chinese-American woman imprisoned for murdering her husband, who, while on a 3-day parole meets and falls in love with a Korean-American man on the run. They promise to meet again in two years, but will their promise be kept?

Director KIM is known for his critically acclaimed previous film Family Ties (2006) and his feature debut, the girls high school horror Memento Mori (1999). Late Autumn is a joint production between Korea’s Boram Entertainment, M&FC, and US company North by Northwest. A Korean release is expected in the Fall of 2010.

credits: Nigel D’Sa (KOFIC)

Korean Remake A Better Tomorrow invited to Venice

Korea’s remake of John Woo's quintessential gangster drama ‘A Better Tomorow’ has been invited for a special out-of-competition screening at the 2010 Venice Film Festival. Directed by SONG Hae-sung (Failan, Maundy Thursday) and starring four major male stars, the film will be released in Korea on September 16.

The original 1986 production set the bench mark for Hong Kong noir style films and helped break Hong Kong films into the international arena. In addition, Hong Kong films are thought to have directly inspired Korean films such as Shiri (1999) the North Korean spy gangster thriller which itself spawned a whole succession of films. Remaking A Better Tomorow then takes the Korean film industry in a full circle. There is so much confidence in the project that even the director of the original Hong Kong film, John Woo, is a producer on the Korean remake.

It has been said of the original A Better Tomorow that it changed the Hong Kong film industry forever. Part of the reason for this may have been the casting of iconic Hong Kong actors Leslie Cheung and Chow Yun Fat. Taking the lead roles in the Korean production are (Ha Ha Ha 2010, Marine Boy 2009), KIM Kang-wooJOO Jin-mo (A Frozen Flower 2008, 200 Pounds Beauty 2006), JO Han-seon (Attack the Gas Station 2 2009, Cruel Winter Blues 2006) and SONG Seung-heon (Fate 2008). The film has secured a coup in casting these four ‘it’ actors already creating a substantial buzz around the production of the remake. JOO plays the boss of the gang involved in shady deals who has lost contact with his young brother Cheol, played by KIM who has now become a police officer. Cheol of course thinking he was originally abandoned by his brother is out for blood, which all leads to the familiar themes of betrayal and honor, and a tragic climax.

source: KOFIC

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Rain highly likely to star in remake film

Asian superstar Rain is highly likely to play the main character of film "Red Scarf," a remake of the Korean movie of the same name from 1964.

"The details have yet to be set but there is a very high possibility," an official with the film remarked regarding Rain's casting which would mark the singer and actor's second local big screen role.

His first movie role was in critically acclaimed director Park Chan-wook's "I'm a Cyborg, But That's Okay" where he played the male lead opposite top Korean actress Lim Su-jeong.

The original "Red Scarf" production, by late director Shin Sang-ok, is about how an Air Force pilot becomes a true soldier.

The remake will tell of the life and comradeship of various soldiers and be produced jointly by Jang Tae-gon, producer of the original movie, and CJ Entertainment.

Rain, 28, has received a notice to enlist in the military on September 28 this year -- all Korean men are required to fulfill the country's two-year mandatory military duties. But he is expected to be able to defer the date since he is also studying for a master's degree.

Rain, whose real name is Jung Ji-hoon, is one of Asia's most popular entertainers who has achieved a phenomenal level of success in both singing and acting.

He went from being a promising trainee to a mega-popular singer and actor in just ten years, releasing six studio albums and starring in several hit television dramas.

In 2008, he went to Hollywood and made his international debut with a supporting role in the Wachowski Brothers' pic "Speed Racer," followed by a lead role in martial arts film "Ninja Assassin."

Jessica Kim jesskim@
<ⓒ10Asia All rights reserved>

Lee Byung-hun, Son Ye-jin, Bong Joon-ho Win APN Awards

Actors Lee Byung-hun and Son Ye-jin and director Bong Joon-ho have been named the winners of the 2010 APN Awards by the Asian-Pacific Producers Network. They will be awarded the prize in Jecheon, North Chungcheong Province on Friday.

The annual award presented by the organization of over 100 film producers from the Asia-Pacific region used to be given to only one actor or actress from the host country of the APN general assembly that year. It has now been expanded to three categories -- an actor, actress and director.

Previous recipients include Jeon Do-yeon of "Secret Sunshine" in 2007 and Kenichi Matsuyama of "Death Note" in 2008.

The upcoming APN meeting, which will discuss potential joint productions and copyright issues, is scheduled for Thursday through Saturday on the sidelines of the Jecheon International Music & Film Festival.

source: Chosun Ilbo

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

A Good Rain Knows [ Korean Movie 2009 ]

Genre :
Starring : Jung Woo-Sung, Yuanyuan Gao

Release date :
October 8, 2009
Runtime :100 min.

Directed by :
Jin-ho Heo


Timely like the spring rain, so has he come back into my life... Dong-ha is a thirty-something Korean man on a business trip to Chengdu, China where his company is carrying out construction projects to rebuild the city after the earthquake of 2008. There, totally by chance, he meets an old friend from his school days in the U.S. May is originally from Chengdu, and she has come back here after graduation and now works as a tour guide. Dong-ha and May were perhaps more than friends and had feelings for each other then, but they parted ways before they had a chance to define or declare them. Now that they are thrown on each other’s path again, however, they find that the old feelings remain and new ones are forming and that they resemble love.


Friday, August 06, 2010

Chun Jung-myung cast in upcoming noir film

Korean actor Chun Jung-myung [Office Zero]

Korean actor Chun Jung-myung
has joined the cast of a film noir drama film also starring top actor Song Kang-ho and actress Sin Se-gyeong, his first time to take on a big screen role since being discharged from the military late last year.

The film's distributor CJ Entertainment announced in a press release on Wednesday that Chun will be playing a character who remains loyal to his gang's boss (played by Song) even after he retires while also developing feelings for Se-bin, to be taken by actress Sin, who approaches the boss with the intention of killing him.

The upcoming movie, tentatively titled "Blue Salt," will be helmed by noted filmmaker Lee Hyun-seung, who is known for his other film noirs including "Il Mare (2000)," "If You Were Me 4" (2009) and "Enlightenment Film" (2009).

Chun, 29, made his break into the entertainment industry with his role in KBS's drama "School 2" (1999). He has appeared in other small screen roles such as SBS' "Fashion 70s" and most recently in KBS' "Sister of Cinderella" with Korean actress Moon Geun-young.

He also starred in Korean films "The Aggressives" (2005), "Les Formidables" (2006) and "Hansel and Gretel" (2007).

Filming for "Blue Salt" will begin this summer.

Reporter : Lucia Hong luciahong@
Editor : Jessica Kim jesskim@
<ⓒ10Asia All rights reserved>

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Won Bin: ‘I Dreamed of Becoming Actor After Watching Action Movie’

The movie “The Man From Nowhere,” which will be released on August 4, is a very violent movie with realistic action scenes. The fight scene in which Tae Sik, who is the former member of a special forces unit, devastates a criminal organization that kidnapped a neighbor girl contains violent scenes such as splattered blood and broken bones, but the scene is also filled with resolute and well-made action sequences.

An interviewer met actor Won Bin, who has been "reborn" as an action hero, at a cafĂ© located in Samcheong-dong, Jongno on August 2. He had previously filmed battle scenes in the movie “Taegukgi“ and he had carried a gun when he filmed the movie “Guns and Talks,” but he mentioned that this is the first time for him to film a legitimate action movie.

He said, “When I was a high school student, I completely indulged in action movies. When I watched the movie ‘Terrorist,’ I came to have a dream of becoming an actor. I just had the vague thought of thinking ‘It looks cool. I wish that I could film that kind of movie.’ But, it took about fourteen years for me since my debut to realize my dream of filming an action movie."

Won Bin has clean-cut features not readily associated with the word ‘Mister,’ which is the Korean title of the movie. Director Lee Jeong Bum had reportedly kept in mind an image of a middle-aged man character for the role. Won Bin related his thoughts about this image, saying, “When I first read the script of the film, I wanted to play the character, and I thought that it might be more interesting if a male actor who does not look like a middle-aged man performs the role.” Won Bin does not have the image of a tough man, such as actor Choi Min Soo, who played the protagonist in the movie “Terrorist,” which had given the dream of becoming an actor to Won Bin, but he successfully portrayed the character who has a deep scars inside and effectively expressed the anger of the character emotionally.

He informed the interviewer that he had talked with the director many times about the character and he had actually focused on portraying the character’s emotion through action. He explained, “Tae Sik’s depressed feelings were expressed in the form of action. Action is actually Tae Sik’s language in this movie.”

He continued, “Filming the action scenes was very exciting. Also, when I filmed some action scenes not typical of Korean action movies, I was even more amazed. I had to perform the movements that come naturally when a special agent is faced with the enemy and prepares for counterattack, so I had to be equipped with the basic movements. I trained to use a gun and sword and to perform action steps three months before filming began. Practicing the steps was very tricky. My upper body and lower body have to move together, but actually they move in different directions.”

He presented the fast and disciplined action which is a mixture of traditional Asian martial arts such as Penjak Silat, Kali, and Arnis. Which scene did he feel was the most dangerous for him? He picked the scene in which he is thrown off a building and falls onto the net of a driving range. He said, “I was hanging from the height of a five-story building, relying on only a single rope. In the scene, I had to fall down while feigning unconsciousness, so I was really dizzy when I filmed the scene.”

The movie “The Man From Nowhere“ is the first movie in which Won Bin plays the sole protagonist. When he filmed the movie “Taegukgi,“ actor Jang Dong Gun acted as another protagonist together with him; when he filmed the movie “Mother,” he played the male lead alongside actress Kim Hye Ja, and when he filmed the movie “My Brother,” actor Shin Ha Kyun was the main actor along with Won Bin. This time, Won Bin has to solve every problem in this movie as the sole protagonist. But, he does not attach great importance to that fact. He said, “I just approached this movie as an actor. Some people say that I am the single protagonist of this movie, but I tried not to put so much importance on the fact because thinking that way could disturb my acting by giving me pressure. In fact, I did not have enough time to think about those things because the filming schedule was so tight. At this moment, while I wait for the release of the movie in the midst of many people’s excited anticipation, I am feeling a little bit of pressure.”

From his first movie “Guns and Talks” in 2001, which was directed by director Jang Jin, to this latest movie “The Man From Nowhere,” he has filmed five movies. Even taking into account the break from the time when he entered the army until his discharge due to family problems, the number of works in which he has appeared is not very high. He explained, “I could not find works that I really wanted to appear in. When I filmed the movies such as “Taegukgi” and “Mother,” it took a long time for filming. I want to act consistently and slowly for a long time, rather than appearing in many different works.”

What does Won Bin usually do when he does not work? He answered, "Most of the time, I stay at home. I watch movies and read books. I usually do not meet people very often or drink alcohol with people. Sometimes, night and day become switched for me, and during those times, I do not sleep at night and watch movies until the early morning, and go to bed afterward. I have been quite busy, so I have not been able to go to the cinema since the movie ‘The Servant.’”

source: KBS Global

Can Wonbin Take On DiCaprio and Jolie?

The movie "???" or "Mister" started showing in theatres in Korea on August 4th. This is the first project where Wonbin is the one main star. No equally-ranked co-star to share the limelight with.

Currently, the Korean box offices are being dominated by Leonardo Dicaprio's hit "Inception" and?the Angelina Jolie-starring "Salt" with each bringing in 3 million and 1.5 million viewers, respectively. "Mister" received favorable reviews after the media screening so all eyes are on the domestic flick to see if it an tackle out the two international blockbusters. Especially so because?another popular Korean movie, "Ikki", failed to maintain its top status against them.

Reviews?included "this is breaking new ground for action movies", "Wonbin is showing a new never-before-seen transformation", "the best example of Wonbin's charm and talents", and "the soundtrack is the perfect accompaniament to the well-made action scenes".

The story is about a lonely man (played by Wonbin)?who keeps to himself, away from the rest of the world. His only friend is his female next door neighbor Somi, played by Kim Sae-ron, who requires rescuing when she's kidnapped by a crime gang. This thus leads Wonbin's character to come out of his hermit-hole to save her.

source : KBS Global