Seen in Jeonju

Archive for March, 2010

Korean Box Office: March 26-28

30th March 2010


Here in Jeonju, the comedy Pistol Bandit Band managed to hold onto the number one spot in the box office while moving up a notch to number two nationally but was unable to overtake Green Zone for first. The movie Abandoned, originally slated to open last week, was delayed until this coming weekend. However that movie probably doesn’t stand a chance with Clash of the Titans preparing to open. I think it very likely this remake will top everything—as long as they left out the robotic owl that I thought was embarassed the hell out of me when I was 16 and watching the original in the theater (that stupid owl ruined the whole movie for me because I felt ‘uncool’ watching a kids movie–good thing I was there with my younger brother and could say I was watching it because of him)


1. As God Commands (it)– d. Gabriele Salvatores, starring Filippo Timi, Alvaro Caleca

2. Blue Beard (fr)– d. Catherine Breilbit, starring Dominique Thomas, Lola Creton

3. Clash of the Titans (us/uk)– Louis Leterrier, starring Sam Worthington, Liam Neeson <released in Korea as simply Titan>

4. Class (fr)– d. Laurent Cantet, starring Francois Begaudeau, Esmeralda Ouertani

5. Last Night (kr)– d. Jo Chang-ho, starring Kim Nam-gil, Hwang Woo Seul-hye  *I have now seen that this film will be called Lovers Vanished and I will refer to it as such in future posts.

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Index of 1970: 136-150

27th March 2010

Below are the next 15 films produced in Korea in 1970. Click the thumbnail to expand. The full list can be accessed through the tab marked Movies of the 70s at the top of this page.


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DVD Releases: March 28-April 3

27th March 2010

white nightsWHITE NIGHTS– A two disk release of last year’s thriller starring Son Ye-jin and Ko Soo will be available for purchase on April 1. The movie has English and Korean subtitles, Dolby Digital 5.1 sound and is in anamorphic widescreen format. The first disk also has optional commentary by director Park Shin-woo, the two lead actors and director of cinematography Lee Chang-jae.  The second disk contains the making of the movie, creation of the sets, deleted scenes, the music video, trailers and Park Shin-woo’s award winning 2005 short film About a Bad Boy.   Both the 135-minute main movie and the 9-minute short are rated for ages 18+ and the dvd has a recommended price of 27,500 KRW.

White Nights is the only new Korean DVD being released this week.

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46th Paeksang Art Awards (March 26, 2010)

26th March 2010

paeksang art awards

<Winners listed in bold font>

Grand Prizes:

Production: Haeundae

Acting: Ko Hyeon-jeong (Seondeok Yeowang)

Movie Awards

Best Film:  Haeundae, Secret Reunion, Take Off, Thirst, Mother

Best Director: Yoon Je-gyun (Haeundae), Jang Hoon (Secret Reunion), Kim Yong-hwa (Take Off), Park Chan-ok (Paju), Bong Joon-ho (Mother)

Best New Director: Yang Ik-joon (Breathless), Jeong Ki-hoon (Goodbye Mother), Park Geon-yong (Lifting King Kong), Lee Ho-je (Scam), Park Hee-gon (Insadong Scandal)

Best Actor: Won Bin (Mother), Heo Jeong-woo (Take Off), Kang Dong-won, Jeong Jae-yeong (Castaway on the Moon), Kim Yoon-seok (Running Turtle)

Best Actress: Kim Hye-ja (Mother), Ha Ji-won (Closer to Heaven), Kim Ok-bin (Thirst), Choi Kang-hee (Goodbye Mother), Seo Woo (Paju)

Best New Actor: Yang Ik-joon (Breathless), Lee Min-gi (Haeundae), Kim Mu-yeol (Scam), Kim Ji-seok (Take Off), Yoo Seung-ho (4th Period)

Best New Actress: Jo An (Lifting King Kong), Kang Ye-won (Harmony), Baek Jin-hee (Bandhoobi), Seon Woo-seon (Woochi), Kim Ggot-bi (Breathless)

Best Scenario: Mother, Secret Reunion, Lifting King Kong, Castaway on the Moon, Possessed

Most Popular Actor/Actress (film): Jang Geun-seok (Insadong Scandal), Choi Kang-hee (Goodbye Mother)

Posthumous Award: Baek Sam-ryong (1926-2010)

TV Awards

Best TV Drama: Iris

Best TV Comedy: Highkick 2

Best TV Documentary: Tears of the Amazon

Best TV Director: Ko Dong-seon/Kim Min-shik (Naejoui Yeowang)

Best New TV Director: Yoo Hyeon-gi (Kongbu-ui Shin)

Best TV Actor: Lee Byeong-heon (Iris)

Best TV Actress: Kim Nam-j00 (Najoui Yeowang)

Best New TV Actor: Kim Nam-gil (Seondeok Yeowang)

Best New TV Actress: Hwang Jeong-eum (Highkick 2)

Best Comedian: Park Seong-ho (Gag Concert)

Best Comedienne: Kang Yoo-mi/Ahn Yeong-mi (both Gag Concert) <tied>

Most Popular TV Actor/Actress: Lee Seung-gi (Chanranhan Yoosan), Yoo Na (Cinderella)

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Housemaid Teaser

24th March 2010

 housemaid still


Haven’t seen the trailer yet for the housemaid? Just clink the link below to watch it on Youtube.  This is just the teaser–there is more to come. But internet reports state that this is already the most-watched movie preview.  The movie is due to be released in May, but the exact date has yet to be set.

Housemaid Teaser Trailer

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Korean Box Office: March 19-22

23rd March 2010


Some big differences this weekend when comparing the local and national box office tallies.  Shutter Island and the Pistol Bandit Gang both wound up in first and third place depending on where you look while Alice in Wonderland held strong at number two.  Another interesting point was Reconstruction, a Korean documentary about Israel originally released back on January 14th. It has slowly been creeping up the ranks and has been hovering just outside the top ten recently. Now, in Jeonju anyway, it made the leap to number 8. Back on its opening weekend, Reconstruction ranked 18th.


1. Abandoned (sp) — Nacho Cerda, starring Anastasia Hille, Karel Roden

2. Children of the Dark (jp)–d. Junji Sakamoto, starring Yosuke Eguchi, Aoi Miyazaki

3. Green Zone (fr/us)– d. Paul Greengrass, starring Matt Damon, Greg Kinnear

4. My Burning Heart (kr)–d. Choi Won-seob, starring Choi Yo-hn, Kim Mi-hee

5. Other End of the Line (us)– d. James Dodson, starring Jesse Metcalfe, Shriya <opening in Korea as Calling In Love>

6. Raging Phoenix (th)– d. Rashane Limtrakul, starring Jeeja Yanin

7. Secret Love (kr)– Ryu Hoon, Kwon Ji-yeon, starring Yoo Ji-tae, Yoon Jin-seon

8. Solomon Kane (fr)– d. Michael Bassett, starring James Purefoy, Rachel Hurd-Wood

9. Tears of the Amazon (kr)– d. Kim Jin-man, Kim Hyeon-cheol, starring Ko Hye-rim, Jeong Seong-hoo <documentary>

10. Zero Focus (jp)–d. Isshin Inudou, starring Ryoko Hirosue, Mika Nakatani

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Thirst (2009)

21st March 2010

lposter039198It’s been a little while since I have written a new review here…I have a few in notebooks in my office (Yes–I still write on paper) but these days, I have been busy with my new responsibilities at the university which I really enjoy. That does not mean I haven’t been watching movies and buying dvds though.  Last week, an order of six movies came in which included films like Come, Come, Come Upwards, I’m a Cyborg But That’s Ok and Park Chan-wook’s vampire film, Thirst.

The fact that it was Park Chan-wook making the film excited many people who remember the innovation he bought to films like Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance and Oldboy. However, the movie did not do as well as expected in the box office and audiences opinions were divided as to whether they loved the film or hated it.  After watching it, I weighed in as simply liking it. After watching the movie again today on DVD, my opinion has not changed much. It is an acceptable vampire movie but fails to deliver anything new. 

The writing of the movie seems heavily influenced by the Ann Rice books (Interview with a Vampire, The Vampire Lestat...) where a very philosophical vampire, plagued with human emotions and foibles, winds up creating a partner far more ruthless and inhumane than himself.  And while one of the bloodsuckers views his powers as a curse he never chose, the other elected to have these abilities and the blood lust that comes with them. The conflict between the two styles and what it means to be a vampire drives the second half of the film. The first half focuses on Father Sang-hyeon trying to come to terms with his disease and the sinful yearnings it gives him.

‘Disease’ is the correct term when talking about Sang-hyeon’s condition. In fact he received vampirism from a blood transfusion after he volunteered as a guinea pig in attempting to find a cure for the Ebola Virus and being injected with the germs. (It does lead one to wonder what kind of vampire donates blood)  While the style of his infection is somewhat different than in traditional vampire films what follows is quite similar to modern cinematic vampires who could best be described by the term ‘emo’.

Oh, these new vampires think they are so dramatic while the wallow in self pity and regret of their actions. However, they are all six or seven decades too late. Countess Marya Zaleska in the classic 1936 film Dracula’s Daughter is perhaps the first and arguably the best of these guilt ridden undead as she tries everything from suspicians to psychology to cure herself. The fact that Sang-hyeon in Thirst is a priest adds to his agnst but otherwise but the potential that his religious belief could have brought to the film are wasted as the second half of the movie follows many modern conventions.

Perhaps my expectations were too high for this film to live up to. Overall, it the movie is not bad and I do not regret owning it. And it also should be credited for taking vampires out of the realm of comedy where they have been lingering in Korean cinema  for the last two decades. I guess I had just wished for a little bit more…

For my review of an older Korean vampire film, see Dracula in a Coffin (1982)

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DVD (and Blueray) Releases: March 22-27

21st March 2010

executionerEXECUTIONER:  Originally released at the 14th Pusan International Film Festival.  This single-disk DVD features Korean and English subtitles. Rated for 18+, the movie is 95 minutes. The special features include  commentary by director Choi Jin-ho and actors Jo Jae-hyeon/Yoon Gye-seong, a section showing the making of the film and trailers. The DVD will be released on March 25 with a suggested retail price of 25,300 KRW.

haeundaeBD(BLUERAY) HAEUNDAE: A single disk release that will have both Korean and English subs, the BlueRay edition contains commentary by director Yoon Je-gyun and most of the principle actors (Seol Kyeon-gu, Ha Ji-won, Park Joong-hoon, Lee Min-gi, Kang Ye-won etc). There are also sections featuring the making of the film, planning, the CG in creating the tsunami disaster, behind the scenes work (camera, music, sets, sound), a gag reel, deleted scenese with commentary and trailers.  The disk will has a suggested price tag of 33,000 KRW. It hits markets on March 26.

goodbye mother singleGOODBYE MOTHER:  The two disk set was released back in February, but a single disk version of hte DVD is now available. Like the original realease, it has Korean and English subtitles. It has a suggested price of 22,000 KRW.  Special features?  If you want them, you should spend the extra 2,000 and buy the two-disk set. This one has none.  You can purchase this on March 26.

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1970 Index: 121-135

21st March 2010

Listed below are the next fifteen films produced in Korea in 1970. Click the thumbnail to enlarge. The complete list to date can be viewed by director through the tab marked Movies of  the 70s at the top of the page.


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1970 Index: 106-120

20th March 2010

Here are the next fifteen films produced in Korea in 1970. Click the image below to see the full-sized plate or access the images through the tab at the top of the page marked Movies of the 70s where they are indexed by director.

1970-106, 1970-107, 1970-108, 1970-109,1970-110,1970-111,1970-112,1970-113,1970-114,1970-115,1970-116,1970-117,1970-118,1970-119,1970-120

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