Monday, May 23, 2011

This Week in Korean Cinema (16 - 22 May 2011)

It has been a few weeks since the last column, thanks to the Editor's travels around the country, but that only means one thing: more to talk about this week. It is less than 100 days until KOFFIA 2011, the second annual Korean Film Festival in Australia, and there is a huge amount of buzz being generated about Korean cinema at the moment.

New Releases

Hoichori (회초리) was released in South Korean cinemas this week, directed by Park Kwang-Woo. This new lighthearted film stars Ahn Nae-Sang and Jin Ji-Hee.

Box Office

Thor and Fast Five were finally knocked off their top slots by Sunny in the previous week, and Source Code was kept at bay by Kang Hyeong-Cheol's box office favourite maintaining the #1 slot and an additional 4,606,341,000 Won ($4.2 million US).

With Officer of the Year and Meet the In-Laws taking the #3 and #7 slots respectively, South Korean cinema accounted for a whopping 55.7% of the domestic box office takings last weekend. (Source: AsianMediaWiki)

On a side-note, the incredibly popular Chinese 3D Sex and Zen: Extreme Ecstasy was finally released in South Korean cinemas, although it has failed to make the same impression that it did in other Asian markets. Guess that 3D breasts and semi-sadistic sex just don't translate as well as other genres, right?

  • Kim Ki-Duk's self-portrait Arirang took out the top prize in the Un Certain Regard category at the Cannes Film Festival. He shares the prize with Andreas Dressen's German drama Halt Auf Freier Strecke (Stopped on Track)
  • The LA Times reports that Korean directors Shinterra and Joy Park picked up top awards at the 8th Los Angeles 3D Movie Festival. Shinterra won the First Place Jury Award for 27 Years Later while the second prize went to UYUYU! by Colombian filmmaker Santiago Caicedo. The third prize was awarded to My Dream by Korea’s Joy Park.
  • According to HanCinema, SBS drama "Warrior Baek Dong-soo" has started shooting. Actors Ji Chang-wook and Yoo Seung-ho have "started shooting for the drama on the 17th at Seonyoodong Valley in Kyeongbuk Moonkyeong-si".
A few new trailers can now also be found online. The first of these is for Green Days, by Han Hye-jin-I and Ahn Jae-hoon. It opens in Korean cinemas in June.

The next is for The Cat, by Byun Seung-wook. It looks terribly creepy, and is sure to be a hit with the K-horror crowd.

We hope your are enjoying this 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 The Reel Bits and DVD Bits. He can be found on Twitter @DVDBits and @The_ReelBits. In this guise, you can also reach him at

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