Category Archives: Film

President’s Barber , Movie Review

Written by  Lee Yoo Eun

posted a review on the President’s Barber, a movie which well depicted how ordinary people’s lives suffered under a dictatorial military regime back in the 1970s and 80s in South Korea.

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Photo Credit : Here




Korean Wins U.K. Amateur Film Contest

Korean Wins U.K. Amateur Film Contest

Lee Joo-kyung, or Icis Lee, has won an inaugural international competition for amateur filmmakers by the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office called “See Britain Through My Eyes.”

The 21-year-old law and film student in London has been living in Britain since 2003.

Based on her experience of living and studying in Britain, Lee made a three-minute film “Digilogue London,” which earned praise from the FCO for capturing the city’s youthful spirit.

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What is the first Korean film to receive recognition in a foreign film festival?

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The first Korean film to receive recognition in a foreign film festival is a 1956 film by director Lee Byeong-il (1910-1979), < The Wedding Day (Sijibganeun nal) >. The film was based on the play < A Happy Day of Jinsa Maeng ( Maengjinsadaek Gyeongsa )> by Oh Yeong-jin and starred Jo Mi-ryeong (cast in the part of maid Ib-bun) who was an idol star for her innocent image and Kim Seung-ho (cast in the part of Jinsa Maeng), a top actor with a stabilized and familiar image.

Jinsa Maeng cannot bear to send his daughter to marry Mi-eon, who has a crippled leg, and sends his maid Ib-bun to him instead. But when the fact that Mi-eon is a good looking young man who is far from being crippled is revealed, Jinsa Maeng regrets too late after Mi-eon marries Ib-bun. The story centers on Jinsa Maeng who is greedy but always makes mistakes and ends up wringing his own neck, which brings about comedy and satire. Korea first participated in the Asian Film Festival in 1956 as an observer country and in the following year, became a registered country for the first time in 1957. This is where < The Wedding Day (Sijibganeun nal) >, which was a very popular film in Korea, too, received a special award for comedy. With this award, < The Wedding Day (Sijibganeun nal) > became the first Korean film to be recognized in a foreign film festival and entered the 8th Berlin Film Festival and the Sidney Film Festival.

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Are there Western movies made in Korea, too?

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We did have a time when an action genre that could have been considered a Korean-style Western became very popular. There was a phase that ran from mid 1960’s to early 1970’s when action films were very popular in the Korean movie industry. This is when a wide variety of action movies were produced.

In the early ‘60s, war/military movies and thriller movies that reflected a noir influence set in the back alleys were in vogue. Toward the mid ‘60s, action films become a more structure genre of their own. These movies were most likely influenced heavily by foreign movies that were introduced into Korea at the time. Three major films were introduced in 1965 and 1966, all of which were big box office hits. In 1965, the ‘007 Series’ began showing. < From Russia with Love> and < Dr. No> both released in 1965 rank 1st and 2nd in the box office, bringing in 880,000 audiences in the country. In 1966, a martial arts film from Hong Kong, < Come Drink with Me>, and a macaroni Western movie, < A Fistful of Dollars>, were screened. As a result, the ‘007 Series’ created a demand for spy action movies just as < Come Drink with Me> did so for swordfighter movies.

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What is the first Korean movie to receive criminal charges for sexually explicit content?
What is the first Korean movie to receive criminal charges for sexually explicit content?
 The Empty Dream ( Chunmong ) (Yu Hyeon-mok, 1965 )
It’s < The Empty Dream ( Chunmong )> >, a 1965 film directed by Yu Hyeon-mok. A translation of the Japanese movie < Daydream>, the film stars Shin Seong-il, Park Am, and Park Soo-jeong, a rising female star of her times. The film is experimental and far-out to the point where even director Yu Hyeon-mok himself classified it as an experimental piece. A man runs into an actress during his visit to the dentist. Lying in the doctor’s chair, he falls into a deep sleep after receiving a shot of Novocain and starts dreaming. In his dream, he sees the actress and his dentist, and the dentist abuses the actress mentally and physically. His attempts to rescue the actress fail each time and he wakes up. Awake from his dream, he steps outside the hospital and he and the actress shake hands before parting. The film has a frame structure and the mise en scne is very expressive and fantastic like that of German expressionist films.

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Cat Shit One, the animated trailer

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A new 3D animated Japanese series called Cat Shit One was previewed at the recent Tokyo Anime Fair.



Here’s an animated trailer for the anime series “Cat Shit One.” Production: Studio Anima, Director: Kazuya Sasahara. Original Manga (released in the USA as Apocalypse Meow Motofumi Kobayashi. Our pal Danny Choo has a related post here, and describes it as “Metal Gear Solid meets fluffy animals.”

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The Future of Home Movies Arrives in South Korea

Warner Brothers will end its distribution of DVDs in South Korea as of December 31 of this year, according to a Bloomberg report. The final DVD title to be released in that country will be the “The Dark Knight” on November 11.

The proximate cause of the move is the rampant piracy from illegal downloading. But there’s an interesting sidelight to the story that may be a harbinger of the future of home movie distribution: As Warner ends its media-based distribution in Korea it is ramping up online distribution, with plans to release movies through video-on-demand two weeks before the official DVD release. Continue reading