Friday, April 22, 2011

This Week In Korean Cinema (18 - 22 April 2011)

Welcome to a new column here at the official KOFFIA Blog, where we look at all the latest news, box office and new releases to emerge from our favourite film industry.

New Releases
The last week has actually been a massive one for Asian cinema, with Hong Kong's Sex and Zen 3D: Extreme Ecstasy proving to be one of the most successful 3D efforts on the Chinese market, despite (or perhaps because of) the fact that it is an explicit erotic 3D film. 

During this time, no less than five new Korean films have been released, making it one of the biggest weeks of the year so far:

  • I Am Father (나는 아빠다 - Dir: Jeon Mae-Bae): The Romantic President director weaves a tale of corrupt cops, mobsters, organ transplants and magicians. Starring Kim Seung-Woo.
  • The Suicide Forecast (수상한 고객들 - Dir: Jo Jin-Mo): Bae Byung-Woo (Ryoo Seung-Bum) is a former baseball player turned insurance salesman, whose past clients are is audited for potential suicide when one of his current clients kills himself. Currently topping the South Korean box office!
  • The Journals of Musan (무산일기 - Dir: Park Jung-Bum): This multi-award winning film is the debut feature of Jung-Bum, who was assistant director on the acclaimed Poetry. Starring the director, it focuses on the discrimination in South Korean society about a man branded a North Korean defector.
  • In Love and the War (적과의 동침 - Dir: Park Keon-Hong): Another film exploring the Korean War, this one is from the director of Lifting King Kong. The literal title for this is Sleeping with the Enemy, and the Korean press has referred to this as the "second coming of the popular Welcome to Dongmakgol".
  • The Most Beautiful Goodbye (민규동 - Dir: Min Kyu-Dong): From the director In My End is My Beginning,  a beleaguered woman - with wayward children, an indifferent husband and a mother-in-law with Alzheimer's - finds out she has cancer. Probably not a comedy then.
In Love and War aka Sleeping with the Enemy

Box Office (April 15 - 17)
Topping the South Korean box-office in the weekend just gone was South Korea's own The Suicide Forecast, with Meet the In-Laws, I Am Father and Late Blossoms rounding out the local entries at the box office. This means that local films accounted for almost 69% of the takings at the South Korean box office last weekend.

What else has been happening this week in Korean cinema?
  • I Saw the Devil directed by Kim Jee-woon, took out the Golden Raven at the 29th Brussels International Fantastic Film Festival.
  • The short film Ghost, directed by Lee Jung-Jin (a.k.a. Ma Dahci), has been selected for the Short Film Competition of the 64th Cannes Film Festival. (Source: Korean Herald)
  • The Journals of Musa won the grand prize at the Off Plus Camera Festival in Kraków (Source: The Chosun Ilbo)
  • Three Korean films have been invited to the Un Certain Regard section of the Cannes Film Festival this year: Hong Sang-soo's The Day He Arrives, Kim Ki-duk's Arirang and Na Hong-jin's Yellow Sea. Ya-Gan-Bi-Hang (Fly by Night) by Son Tae-gyun was also invited to the students' Cinefondation selection. (Source: The Chosun Ilbo)

Golden Raven winner I Saw the Devil
We hope for this to be a weekly column, so if you have any news to contribute, please email the Blog Editor with the scoop.

Richard is a KOFFIA Blog Editor and a  Marketing Assistant for KOFFIA.  He can be contacted via email on

He is also the Editor-in-chief of DVD Bits and The Reel Bits. He can be found on Twitter @DVDBits and @The_ReelBits. In this guise, you can also reach him at

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