Welcome to the seventeenth edition of the Korean Film Newsletter. This letter is distributed every three months (but is very late this time) to inform the reader of the latest events in the industry. An archive of past newsletters is available at http://www.koreanfilm.org. If you wish to be removed from this mailing list, or if you have any questions, send an email message to firstname.lastname@example.org.
New at Koreanfilm.org: (a) reviews by various contributors of 301,302 (1995), The Coast Guard (2002), Conduct Zero (2002), Double Agent (2003), H (2002), Jail Breakers (2002), Last Present (2001), A Little Monk (2003), Memories of Murder (2003), My Tutor Friend (2003), No Comment (2002), Save the Green Planet (2003), Sex is Zero (2002), and Yesterday (2002); (b) a "What's New" page listing the latest additions to the site; (c) a TV dramas page with reviews of Ruler of Your Own World (2002), Snowman (2003), Romance (2002), and Success Story of a Bright Girl (2002); (d) two chat rooms, for Korean film and Korean TV dramas.
NEW RELEASES (February - June 2003)
My Tutor Friend ["Donggapnaegi gwa-oe-hagi"] Directed by Kim Kyung-hyung. Screenplay by Park Yeon-seon. A young university student working her way through school gets a job teaching a rich, spoiled high school senior who is the same age as her. Starring Kim Ha-neul, Kwon Sang-woo, Kim Ji-woo, Gong Yu, Baek Il-seop, Kim Ja-ok. Cinematography by Ji Gil-woong. Produced by Corea Entertainment. Distributed by CJ Entertainment. Rating: 12+. 110 min. February 7. (http://www.donggab.com)
Blue ["Beul-lu"] Directed by Lee Jung-gook. Screenplay by Kim Hae-gon. Two ship salvation officers become best friends while serving in the Korean Navy, but their love for a lieutenant named Soo-jin begins to pull them apart. When an emergency arises and they are faced with a dangerous rescue mission, their courage and friendship is put to the test. Starring Shin Hyun-joon, Shin Eun-kyung, Kim Young-ho, Kong Hyung-jin, Ryu Su-young, Lee Il-jae, Kim Hae-gon. Cinematography by Choi Ji-yeol. Produced by Kang JeGyu Film and Zio Entertainment. Distributed by A-Line. Rating: 15+. 105 min. February 7. (http://www.blue2003.com)
Scent of Love ["Gukhwa-kkot hyangi"] Directed by Lee Jeong-wook. Screenplay by Kim Hui-jae and Lee Jeong-wook. A man falls in love with an older university classmate, but she rejects him. Years later, after her life is shattered by an unexpected accident, he gets another chance to win her heart. Starring Jang Jin-young, Park Hae-il, Song Seon-mi, Kim Yu-seok. Cinematography by Lee Hu-gon. Produced by Taewon Entertainment. Distributed by Cinema Service. Rating: General. 109 min. February 28. (http://www.kukhwa.com)
Show Show Show ["Sho Sho Sho"] Directed by Kim Jung-ho. Screenplay by Kang Young-sook, Han Hui-jung. A group of young men in 1970s Korea win a dilapidated old building while gambling, and they decide to turn it into one of Korea's first cocktail bars. Starring Yu Jun-sang, Park Sun-young, Lee Seon-gyun, An Jae-hwan, Kim Se-ah, Choi Bo-eun, Kim Yong-gun. Cinematography by Choi Jung-woo. Produced by DoReMi Pictures. Distributed by Aura Entertainment. Rating: 15+. 105 min. February 28. (http://www.show3.co.kr)
Dying or Live ["Jugeullae sallae"] Directed by Kim Do-young. Screenplay by Kim Do-young, Lee Beom-shik, Yang Dong-soon. A young man working in restaurant take-out, who always dreamed of being Bruce Lee, discovers that one of his customers is the man who killed his father. Starring Kim Seung-hyun, Kwak Jin-young, Park Nam-hyun, Seong Hyun-ah, Jo Sang-gu, Hong Seok-cheon, Seo Jin-ho. Cinematography by Ham In-ha, Lee Sung-seop. Produced by Movia.com. Distributed by Sinabro Entertainment. Rating: 18+. 101 min. March 7. (http://www.brucelee2003.com)
The First Amendment ["Daehanminguk heonbeop jeiljo"] Directed by Song Kyung-shik. Screenplay by Kim Jin-su, Choi Jong-tae. A prostitute in a fiercely contested political district decides to run for office. Starring Yeh Ji-won, Im Sung-min, Lee Moon-shik, Nam Jin, Choi Eun-ju, Anita, Kim Yong-gun. Cinematography by Lee Dong-sam. Produced by Hanmac Films. Distributed by Cinema Service. Rating: 18+. 108 min. March 14. (http://www.pleasehanpyo.com)
My Teacher, Mr. Kim ["Seonsaeng Kim Bong-du"] Directed by Jang Kyu-sung. Screenplay by Jang Kyu-sung, Lee Won-hyung. A corrupt middle school teacher is pressured to take a teaching position at a rural school with only five students, where he slowly develops a sense of idealism. Starring Cha Seung-won, Byun Hee-bong, Seong Ji-ryu, Choi Min-ju, Lee Jae-eung, Lee Ji-eun, Kim Hong-gyun. Cinematography by Kim Yoon-su. Produced by Fun & Happiness. Distributed by Cinema Service. Rating: 12+. 117 min. March 28. (http://www.bongdoo.co.kr)
Save the Green Planet ["Jigu-reul jikyeora!"] Written and directed by Jang Jun-hwan. A man on medication kidnaps a company president, believing him to be an alien who is laying the groundwork for an invasion of Earth. Starring Shin Ha-kyun, Baek Yoon-shik, Hwang Jeong-min, Lee Jae-yong, Lee Ju-hyun, Ki Ji-bong. Cinematography by Hong Kyung-pyo. Produced by Sidus Corporation. Distributed by CJ Entertainment. Rating: 18+. 118 min. April 4. (http://www.savejigu.co.kr)
The Garden of Heaven ["Haneul-jeongwon"] Directed by Lee Dong-hyun. Screenplay by Lee Han. A doctor at a hospice facility meets a makeup artist who is diagnosed with stomach cancer. Despite that they are fated to have little time left together, they start to develop feelings for each other. Starring Lee Eun-ju, An Jae-wook, Son Jong-beom, Jeon Mu-song, Song Ok-sook, Shin Ui-young, Jo Hye-kyung. Cinematography by Lee Seung-woo. Produced by Do Son Dream Pictures. Distributed by Showbox. Rating: General. 95 min. April 4. (http://www.sky-garden.co.kr)
A Little Monk ["Dong-seung"] Directed by Joo Kyung-joong. Screenplay by Joo Kyung-joong, Kim Cheon, and Kim Seon-mi. Three monks live in a remote temple. The youngest boy dreams of discovering who his mother is, and becomes captivated with a woman who visits the temple. A man in his twenties struggles with his desires and the pull of the outside world. The elder monk, meanwhile, tries his best to discipline and lead his two disciples. Starring Kim Tae-jin, Kim Min-kyo, Kim Yeh-ryung, Oh Young-su, Jeon Mu-song. Cinematography by Choi Chan-gyu. Produced by Spectrum Film Korea. Distributed by Big Blue Film. Rating: General. 99 min. April 11. (http://www.littlemonk.co.kr)
Oh! Happy Day ["O! Haepi-dei"] Written and directed by Yoon Hak-yeol. A young woman falls in love at first sight with a man who works for Club Med. Breaking into his apartment the next day, she steals his appointment book and starts to stalk him. Starring Jang Nara, Park Jung-chul, Jang Han-seon, Kim Hye-sook, Jung Da-hye, Jung Jae-yeon. Cinematography by Kim Eung-taek. Produced by HwangKiSung Films. Distributed by Cinema Service. Rating: 12+. 106 min. April 18. (http://www.happyzzim.co.kr)
Jealousy Is My Middle Name ["Jiltu-neun na-ui him"] Written and directed by Park Chan-ok. A young writer loses his girlfriend to his editor at work. He then starts to develop feelings for a new colleague, but she as well falls to the editor's charms. The jealousy felt by the young man then starts to lead him in unexpected directions. Starring Park Hae-il, Bae Jong-ok, Moon Sung-keun, Suh Young-hee, Choi Jin-young, Kong Ho-seok. Cinematography by Park Yong-su. Produced by Generation Blue Films. Distributed by CJ Entertainment. Rating: 15+. 125 min. April 18. (http://www.jiltoo.com)
Season in the Sun ["Boriul-ui yeoreum"] Directed by Lee Min-yong. Screenplay by Lee Man-hee. In a small village, a Buddhist monk and a newly arrived Catholic priest each form children's soccer teams. As a friendship begins to develop between them, they decide to pit their teams against each other. A drama starring Park Young-gyu, Cha In-pyo, Chang Mi-hee, Shin Ae. Cinematography by Lee Byung-ho. Produced by MP Entertainment. Distributed by Aura Entertainment. Rating: General. 110 min. April 25. (http://www.boriwool.com)
Memories of Murder ["Sarin-ui Chu-eok"] Directed by Bong Joon-ho. Screenplay by Bong Joon-ho and Shim Sung-bo. From 1986 to 1991, a serial killer rapes and murders ten women in a small rural village in Gyeonggi Province. Two detectives -- one local, one from Seoul -- struggle to find the perpetrator. Based on a true story. Starring Song Kang-ho, Kim Sang-kyung, Kim Roi-ra, Song Jae-ho, Park No-shik, etc. Cinematography by Kim Hyung-gu. Produced by Sidus Corp. Distributed by CJ Entertainment. Rating: 15+. 132 min. April 25. (http://www.salin.co.kr)
Mr. Butterfly ["Nabi"] Directed by Kim Hyun-sung. Screenplay by Song Min-ho, Kim Hee-jae, Kim Hyun-sung. In the 1980s, a man leaves his lover behind in a small town and moves to Seoul. Several years later, she has married a high ranking military officer, and when the two former lovers meet again, the jealous husband sends the man to one of the government's infamous correctional camps. Starring Kim Jung-eun, Kim Min-jong, Lee Jong-won, Dok-ko Young-jae, Lee Moon-shik, Kim Seung-wook. Cinematography by Choi Ji-yeol. Produced by Taewon Entertainment. Distributed by Cinema Service. Rating: 15+. 120 min. April 30. (http://www.nabii.co.kr)
Byul ["Byeol"] Written and directed by Jang Hyung-ik. A man who owns a border collie falls in love with the woman at the local pet store/animal hospital. One day he finally gets up the courage to ask her on a date, but she doesn't show, leading him to accept a work transfer to a remote mountainside location. Starring Yoo Oh-sung, Park Hin-hee, Kong Hyung-jin, Lee Ho-jae, Kim Young-ae. Cinematography by Jeon Jo-myung. Produced by Star Heureut. Distributed by Big Blue Film. Rating: 12+. 106 min. May 1. (http://www.byul2003.co.kr)
Oseam ["Oseam"] Directed by Seong Baek-yeop. Screenplay by Choi Min-yong, Lee Seo-kyung, and Seong Baek-yeop. Based on a famous novel by Jung Chae-bong, this animated film tells the story of a blind girl and her younger brother who are adopted by Buddhist monks at a rural temple. One day the boy leaves with one of the monks to visit a shrine on a mountaintop, but a sudden snowstorm places the boy in danger. Starring the voices of Kim Seo-young, Park Sun-young, Son Jong-hwan. Produced by Mago 21. Distributed by Sinabro Entertainment. Rating: General. 75 min. May 1. (http://www.anioseam.com)
A Letter From Mars ["Hwaseong-euro gan sanai"] Directed by Kim Jung-kwan. Screenplay by Jang Jin. After So-hee's father dies, she writes letters to him, believing he has gone to Mars. Her friend Seung-jae starts writing back to her, posing as her father. Starring Shin Ha-kyun, Kim Hee-sun, Kim Min-joon, Park So-hyun, Kim In-kwon, Lee Jae-yong, Lee Geum-ju. Cinematography by Lee Seok-hyun. Produced by Ditto Entertainment. Distributed by Big Blue Films. Rating: 12+. 107 min. May 15. (http://www.gomars.co.kr)
Wild Card ["Waildeu kadeu"] Directed by Kim Yu-min. Screenplay by Lee Man-hee. Two police detectives are assigned to catch four young men who are killing people and stealing their money late at night. Starring Jung Jin-young, Yang Dong-geun, Han Chae-young, Ki Ju-bong, Kim Myung-guk, Hwang Jun-young, Yu Ha-bok. Cinematography by Byun Hee-sung. Produced by C& Film and Yujin ENC. Distributed by Cinema Service. Rating: 18+. 117 min. May 16. (http://www.wildcards.co.kr)
Arirang ["Arirang"] Directed by Lee Doo-yong. Screenplay by Park Mu-rak, Lee Du-yong. A remake of the acclaimed 1926 film which has since been lost. Young-jin has become mentally unstable after being tortured by the Japanese police. When the son of a landlord starts to harass his sister, events spin out of control. Starring Noh Ik-hyun, Hwang Shin-jeong, Lee Pil-mo, Choi Dae-won, Jo Mi-jeong, Choi Ju-bong. Cinematography by Heo Eung-hee. Produced by Siori Entertainment. Distributed by Movies Entertainment. Rating: General. 83 min. May 30. (http://www.g-arirang.com)
Run 2U ["Reontuyu"] Directed by Kang Jung-soo. Screenplay by Kang Jung-soo, etc. Two Korean-Japanese friends get into a fight with some yakuza, and are forced to flee to Korea. Two years later, a woman named Kyung-ah sees one of the men singing at a cafe in Seoul, and falls in love. Starring Chae Jeong-an, Takahashi Katsuya, Yamashita Tetsuo, Ozawa Mayu, Lee Ho-jae, Choi Ran. Cinematography by Park Seung-bae, Lee Dong-guk. Produced by Nara Digicom. Distributed by Prime Pictures. Rating: 15+. 92 min. May 30. (http://www.run2ulove.co.kr)
Tube ["Tyubeu"] Written and directed by Baek Woon-hak. A man out for revenge on his former superiors kills the mayor of Seoul and hijacks a subway car. A disgraced former agent now serving on the subway police squad sets after the criminal. An action film starring Kim Seok-hoon, Bae Doona, Park Sang-min, Im Hyun-shik, Son Byung-ho, Kwon Oh-joong, Ki Joo-bong. Cinematography by Yoon Hong-shik. Produced by Mir Film. Distributed by Tube Entertainment. Rating: 15+. 118 min. June 5. (http://www.thetube.co.kr)
Reversal of Fortune ["Yeokjeon-e sanda"] Directed by Park Yong-woon. Screenplay by Oh Hyun-ri, Kim Moon-sung, Kwon So-yeon, Park Yong-woon. A man struggling with financial troubles gets in a car accident and is plunged into an alternative reality, where he has become a fabulously rich golfer. Starring Kim Seung-woo, Ha Ji-won, Kang Sung-jin, Ko Ho-kyung. Cinematography by Kim Dong-cheon. Produced by A1 Cinema. Distributed by Cinema Service. Rating: 15+. 110 min. June 13. (http://www.assalife.co.kr)
A Tale of Two Sisters ["Janghwa, Hongryun"] Written and directed by Kim Jee-woon. Two sisters move back in with their father and slightly unbalanced stepmother, following time spent away recovering from an unspecified illness. Strange things start to happen in their isolated country home, however, and tension among the four begins to rise. Starring Kim Gap-soo, Yeom Jung-ah, Im Soo-jung, Moon Geun-young. Cinematography by Lee Mo-gae. Produced by Masulpiri Pictures and B.O.M. Film Productions. Distributed by Big Blue Film. Rating: 12+. 120 min. June 13. (http://www.twosisters.co.kr)
Silmi Island * Based on a true incident in 1971 when a group of spies, who were being trained on Silmi Island to infiltrate North Korea to assassinate leader Kim Il-sung, revolted against their harsh treatment and made their way to Seoul plotting to kill South Korean dictator Park Chung-hee. Directed by Kang Woo-suk (Two Cops, Public Enemy), the founder of Cinema Service, the film features a strong all-male cast of Sol Kyung-gu (Oasis), veteran actor Ahn Sung-ki (Musa), Jung Jae-young (No Blood No Tears), Kang Sung-jin (Jail Breakers), Im Won-hee (Funny Movie), and Heo Jun-ho (Volcano High, TV drama All In). The film was originally scheduled to be financed by Hollywood major Columbia Tristar, however Cinema Service has recently assumed all the financing for this picture. Currently in production, the $8m film will be ready for release in early 2004.
Mutt Boy ("Ddong-gae") The fifth movie by Kwak Kyung-taek, director of Korea's biggest-ever hit Friend, tells the story of a young troublemaker in a small town who continually runs into trouble with the law, getting picked up by his father who is a policeman. Heartthrob Jung Woo-sung (Musa) takes perhaps his least glamorous role in this film, which mixes comedy, drama, and social commentary. Now in production, the film is scheduled to be released on July 17 by new distributor Show East.
Wishing Stairs The third installment of the series of horror films set in girls' high schools, which started with Whispering Corridors and continued with Memento Mori. Shot by a female director this time (debut filmmaker Yoon Jae-yeon) with all new characters, Wishing Stairs centers around a stairway along the path to a girls' dormitory which has 28 steps. On rare occasions, however, a 29th step appears... The film, which stars all new actresses, started shooting on March 28, and is scheduled for a release in early August by Cinema Service.
Ice Rain ("Bing-woo") The mountaineering blockbuster meets the melodrama in this genre-mixing story about two climbers stranded in the Canadian Rockies who are unknowingly in love with the same woman back in Seoul. Featuring Lee Sung-jae (Public Enemy) and the popular Song Seung-heon (Make It Big) as the male leads, with actress Kim Ha-neul fresh off the success of her last feature My Tutor Friend. Shot in Canada and Korea, Ice Rain finished production in April and is scheduled for a fall release by distributor Showbox. Director Kim Eun-sook is making her directorial debut with this film.
My Wife is a Gangster 2 The sequel to the popular 2001 hit comedy will reunite its lead couple of Shin Eun-kyung and Park Sang-myun, together with actors Lee Won-jung (Hi, Dharma) and Park Jun-gyu. The storyline is extended when our heroine suffers a blow to the head during a brawl which causes her to develop amnesia, after which she wanders into a Chinese restaurant and gets a part time job. The film is directed by Jung Heung-soon, who previously directed the mega-hit Marrying the Mafia. Shooting was temporarily suspended recently when Shin Eun-kyung suffered a serious eye injury during shooting, which threatened to permanently affect her eyesight.
Teach Me English Kim Sung-soo's followup to the epic Musa is his first comedy, a lighthearted romance about two people who meet during extracurricular English classes. Teach Me English stars two rising young stars in Jang Hyuk, who played the lead in Volcano High, and Lee Na-young from Who Are You. The film, which is the first title by new production company Nabi Pictures, began shooting in April and Cinema Service is scheduled to release it in October.
Acacia The third film by director Park Ki-hyung after Whispering Corridors (1998) and Secret Tears (2000), this horror film tells the story of an adopted boy who feels unloved by his family after his parents give birth to a son. The film marks the return to the screen of veteran actress Shim Hye-jin (Black Republic) for the first time since Bedroom and Courtroom in 1998. Currently in production, it is tentatively scheduled for a late summer release.
Singles Based on a Japanese TV sitcom, this comedy about four twentysomethings brings together actresses Uhm Jung-hwa (Marriage is a Crazy Thing) and Jang Jin-young (Sorum) with actors Lee Beom-soo (Wet Dreams) and Kim Ju-hyuk (YMCA Baseball Team). From production company Sidus Corporation, the film is directed by Kwon Chil-in and is scheduled for a July 11 release.
* official English title not yet available
Screen quota faces strongest challenge yet
Korea's Screen Quota system, which obliges theaters to screen local films for roughly 40% of the year, is facing its strongest challenge ever due to negotiations over a bilateral investment treaty (BIT) between South Korea and the United States. Rumors are spreading that the Screen Quota system is the only remaining issue of contention between the two countries, with the U.S. insisting on the abolition or severe weakening of the system before any agreement is signed. The BIT is expected to bring $3.2 billion dollars of foreign direct investment to South Korea, and is also a precursor to negotiations over a free trade agreement.
In recent weeks, officials from Korea's Ministry of Finance & Economy have spoken out publicly against the system, arguing that the film industry's current strength now makes the Quota System unnecessary. Filmmakers, who predict that any abolition of the system could lead to a spiraling decline in the industry, responded with an emergency press conference, arguing that cinema as an artform and an expression of national culture should be excluded from trade negotiations. The U.S. has long argued that cinema should be open to free trade as a commercial product, resulting in similar disputes with other countries wishing to protect their local industry such as Australia, Canada, France, and others.
South Korea's new president Roh Moo-hyun is said to be in a considerable bind over the issue as his presidential campaign was given its strongest support by a grassroots organization led by actor Moon Sung-keun. Moon is a prominent Screen Quota activist who gave up his post as chairman of the Coalition for Cultural Diversity in Moving Images to support Roh's campaign. Roh's new Minister of Culture and Tourism Lee Chang-dong (see story below) has also threatened to quit his post if any changes occur in the quota system. Meanwhile, veteran director Im Kwon-taek (Chihwaseon) has announced he will give up filmmaking if the Screen Quota system is compromised.
For the moment the president has remained non-committal on the issue, allowing for various factions in the government to argue their case before any decision is made. Public support for the quota system appears to be weakening, however, given the film industry's remarkable strength.
The Screen Quota stipulates that theaters must screen Korean films for 126-146 days per year, depending on the total number of releases. Theaters may reduce the required number by up to 20 days by screening Korean films during the lucrative summer and winter vacation seasons.
Lee Chang-dong named Minister of Culture & Tourism
Lee Chang-dong, director of the award-winning films Oasis and Peppermint Candy, has become Korea's first filmmaker ever to serve as Minister of Culture & Tourism. As head of the ministry, Lee now oversees governmental affairs in culture and the arts, religion, sports, tourism, youth, and media. About 1.06% of the government's budget is apportioned to the ministry.
Although most of the practical decisions regarding film policy are carried out by the Korean Film Commission (which is supported by the government, but independently run), the ministry is responsible for assigning overall budgets and appointing new members to the Korean Film Commission and the Media Ratings Board. Current members of both organizations will be up for re-appointment in 2005.
Lee has quickly become known for his informal style and outspoken criticism. Shortly after taking office he referred to the hierarchical culture of many government offices as "gangster culture," and argued for change. He also voiced strong support for the Screen Quota System; lobbied to lower movie ticket prices for senior citizens; and pledged to do away with the remaining restrictions on importing Japanese cultural products like animation and comic books into Korea.
Strong box-office performance continues
Korean cinema continues to perform at the box-office with two mega-hits and a number of solid performers in the first half of the year. Romantic comedy My Tutor Friend, released in February, became the first smash of the year with 4.9 million admissions and roughly $25 million earned at the box-office. Modeled in many ways after My Sassy Girl, the film spent six weeks at #1. In April, an entirely different kind of movie captured viewers' attention, with Bong Joon-ho's acclaimed Memories of Murder spending four weeks at #1 and going on to top five million admissions. Based on a real-life string of serial murders in a rural town during the 1980s, the film was praised as one of the best made commercial hits since JSA in 2000.
In total, Korean cinema amassed a 46% market share to the beginning of June, which is roughly comparable to its performance last year. For the coming summer season, Kim Jee-woon's horror film A Tale of Two Sisters has already turned in the strongest opening in Korean film history, and a host of other releases (including an unusually large number of horror films) are expected to do well.
CJ-Cinema Service merger cancelled
The merger deal announced in January between CJ Entertainment and Cinema Service (see Newsletter #16) has been called off, leading many people in the film industry to sigh in relief. The merger would have created a huge film company towering above all others, and was feared to have a negative effect on the industry as a whole.
The merger was originally felt to be motivated by CJ Entertainment's desire to have a stronger lineup of films, and Cinema Service's need for more cash. However the breakout hits My Tutor Friend and Memories of Murder have given new life to CJ Entertainment's lineup, while the cashflow problems at Cinema Service's parent company Plenus Entertainment appear to have been solved.
In May, Plenus Entertainment announced that it was merging with online game company NetMarble, in place of the deal with CJ Entertainment. The merger is expected to be carried out in late August.
40th Grand Bell Awards
The Grand Bell Awards, Korea's longest-running awards ceremony, celebrated its 40th anniversary on June 20. Despite a minor controversy over some of the nominations (with both Oasis and Chihwaseon declining eligibility), the ceremony's choices were met with general approval from the populace. Smash hit Memories of Murder came away the evening's biggest winner with Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Actor for Song Kang-ho, while Lee Mi-yeon picked up a Best Actress award for Addicted and the Jury Prize went to Kim In-sik's Roadmovie.
A partial list of prizes is printed below:
Best Picture: Memories of Murder (Sidus Corporation); Jury Prize: Roadmovie (Sidus Corporation); Best Director: Bong Joon-ho (Memories of Murder); Best Actor: Song Kang-ho (Memories of Murder); Best Actress: Lee Mi-yeon (Addicted); Best New Director: Jang Jun-hwan (Save the Green Planet); Best New Actor: Kwon Sang-woo (My Tutor Friend); Best New Actress: Son Yeh-jin (Classic); Best Supporting Actor: Baek Yoon-shik (Save the Green Planet); Best Supporting Actress: Song Yoon-ah (Jail Breakers); Best Cinematography: Jung Kwang-seok (Jail Breakers); Best Lighting: Lee Kang-san (Memories of Murder); Best Editing: Park Gok-ji (Champion); Best Music: Lee Han-na (Roadmovie); Best Art Direction: Lee Kyung (Resurrection of the Little Match Girl); Best Visual Effects: Cha Soo-min, Hwang Hyun-kyu, Kim Sung-hoon (Resurrection of the Little Match Girl); Best Audio Effects: Lee Ji-soo, Choi Tae-young (Save the Green Planet); Best Screenplay: Jang Kyu-sung and Lee Won-hyung (My Teacher, Mr. Kim); Best Planning: Kim Mi-hee (My Teacher, Mr. Kim).
Film magazine Cine21's annual poll of the 50 most powerful people in the industry saw little change at the top, with Cinema Service founder Kang Woo-suk once again coming in at #1. Kang has topped the list ever since it was first devised in 1998.
Significant changes this year include film director/Minister of Culture & Tourism Lee Chang-dong moving up to #3, and the heads of two major multiplex chains, Kim Woo-taek (Megabox Cineplex/Showbox) and Park Dong-ho (CGV) moving into the top ten. Only four women made the list: three producers (#5, #16, #27) and one actress (Jeon Ji-hyun, #42).
A partial list of the Power 50 is presented below. The full list appeared in the May 6th edition of Cine21 (issue #400).
1. Kang Woo-suk (producer/director, Cinema Service), 2. Lee Kang-bok (CEO, CJ Entertainment), 3. Lee Chang-dong (director/Minister of Culture & Tourism), 4. Tcha Seung-jai (CEO/producer, Sidus Corporation), 5. Shim Jae-myung (CEO/producer, Myung Films), 6. Kang Je-gyu (CEO/director, Kang JeGyu Films), 7. Michael Kim (CEO, Plenus Entertainment), 8. Kim Woo-taek (managing director, Showbox/Megabox Cineplex), 9. Park Dong-ho (CEO, CGV theater chain), 10. Song Kang-ho (actor).
11. Kim Dong-ho (festival director, Pusan International Film Festival), 12. Sol Kyung-gu (actor), 13. Chung Tae-won (CEO, Taewon Entertainment), 14. Kim Dong-ju (CEO, Show East), 15. Kim Sang-jin (director/production chief, Cinema Service), 16. Kim Mi-hee (CEO/producer, Fun & Happiness), 17. Jung Hoon-tak (CEO, Sidus HQ management company), 18. Moon Sung-keun (actor, former head of Coalition for Cultural Diversity in Moving Images), 19. Kim Seung-beom (CEO, Tube Entertainment), 20. Im Kwon-taek (director).
4th Jeonju International Film Festival
The fourth edition of the Jeonju International Film Festival was held from April 25 to May 4th, and featured a total of 170 films. Despite being held at the height of the SARS scare (which led to the cancellation of some guest visits, although South Korea managed to avoid any confirmed cases of the disease), overall attendance was up on the previous year with 60,000 regular ticket sales.
The festival opened with an omnibus film featuring six short films dealing with issues of discrimination and human rights. Produced by Korea's Human Rights Commission, participating directors included Park Chan-wook (JSA), Jeong Jae-eun (Take Care of My Cat), Yim Soon-rye (Waikiki Brothers), Park Jin-pyo (Too Young To Die), Park Kwang-su (A Single Spark) and Yeo Kyun-dong (La Belle). The festival's closing film was Todd Haynes' Far From Heaven.
The festival presented only three awards this year: the Asian Newcomers Award to Iranian director Nasser Refaie for his film Exam; the Daring Digital Award to German director Marc Ottiker's 1/2 the Rent; and the Audience Award to David Cronenberg's Spider.
This year's JIFF was the first under new management, with festival director Min Byung-lock taking over from former director Choi Min, and programmers Kim Eun-hee and Jung Soo-wan replacing former programmer Seo Dong-jin.
PiFan festival to run July 10-19
The Puchon International Fantastic Film Festival (PiFan) will feature over 190 films for its 7th edition, held in the suburban city of Bucheon near Seoul from July 10-19. Highly anticipated animated feature Wonderful Days will be the opening film, while two titles -- Canadian director Vincenzo Natali's Cypher and debut director Yoon Jae-yeon's Wishing Stairs (the third installment of the Whispering Corridors series) were selected to close the festival.
Special sections will be devoted to Bollywood cinema, Guy Madden, the recently deceased Japanese director Kinji Fukasaku and a collection of restored Shaw Brothers films from Hong Kong. A Korean Cinema Retrospective will feature four works by the largely forgotten horror movie director Park Yun-kyo.
* Special note: During the festival I will be holding a (very informal) get-together for readers of this site. If you are interested in attending, email me at email@example.com
Kino magazine prints final issue
Kino, a monthly film magazine launched in 1995 by respected film critic Chung Sung-il, has announced that it will cease publication with its 99th edition in July. Known for its visual flair and its fervent support of arthouse cinema (not to mention its difficult prose), the magazine had suffered from financial problems in recent years. Although shortly after its launch Kino was selling 85% of the 50,000 issues it printed per month, rising costs and declining readership forced it to cut circulation to 20,000 issues or less per month.
The announcement has been met with sorrow and concern by many in the industry, as it means the loss of an independent-minded, serious forum for film criticism. Currently Korea features four major film weeklies (Cine21, Film 2.0, Cinebus, and Movie Week), two monthlies (Premiere and Screen), and several other magazines devoted to DVD.
The links between the television industry and the film industry are strong, and much acting and directing talent crosses back and forth between the two media. Korean TV dramas have enjoyed increasing popularity in other parts of Asia, and have also found a niche in Hawaii. More information about dramas can be found at http://www.koreanwiz.org and http://www.soompi.com.
The following is a list of the dramas which have drawn at least a 25% audience rating over the last three months.
Top rated dramas, Feb 3 - Jun 22, 2003
1. Ol-in (SBS) -- 42.9%, Apr. 3
2. Inuh-agassi (MBC) -- 41.1%, Feb. 13
3. Ya-in Shidae (SBS) -- 31.1%, Feb. 10
4. Ju-puneul Chowon-weeye (KBS2) -- 30.0%, Jun. 15
5. Wipung-dangdang Geunyeo (MBC) -- 26.9%, May. 8
6. Taeyang Sokeuro (SBS) -- 25.2%, Mar. 16
(Source: TNS Media Korea.)
Ol-in - "All-in" (SBS, from Jan. 15) Written by Yoo Chul-yong. Directed by Choi Wan-kyu. A 24-episode drama based on the life of international gambler Cha Min-soo, starting from when he worked as a bodyguard. Starring Song Hye-gyo, Lee Byung-heon, Ji Sung and Park Sol-mi. (http://tv.sbs.co.kr/allin/)
Inuh-agassi - "Little Mermaid" (MBC, from Jun. 24) Written by Im Sung-han. Directed by Lee Ju-hwan. A TV drama writer seeks to get revenge on her father and his new family, years after he left with another woman. She decides to write a drama that will expose her father's wrongdoing. Starring Jang Suh-hee, Jung Bo-seok, Woo Hee-jin, Lee Jae-eun, Kim Sung-taek, Han Hae-sook, Ko Du-shim. (http://www.imbc.com/tv/drama/mermaid/)
Ya-in Shidae -- "The Rustic Period" (SBS, from Jul. 29) Written by Lee Hwan-kyung. Directed by Jang Hyung-il. A drama based on the childhood and political life of Kim Doo-han, who rose to fame as a gangster under the Japanese occupation and later became a politician in the late 1960s. Starring Ahn Jae-mo, Kim Young-chul, Choi Dong-jun, Lee Deok-hee, Jung Young-sook, Jeon Mi-seon, Ko Du-shim, Jo Hyung-ki, Lee Soon-jae. (http://tv.sbs.co.kr/period/)
Ju-puneul Chowon-weeye - "On the Green Grassland" (KBS2, from Jan. 4) Written by Kim Ji-woo. Directed by Park Chan-hong. A long-running series about the love between a female pediatrician and a young man from a poor background who wants to move up in life. Starring Yoon Tae-young, Chae Lim and Chae Jeong-an. (http://green.kbs.co.kr/)
Wipung-dangdang Geunyeo - "The Courageous Girl" (MBC, from Mar. 12) Written by Bae Yoo-mi. Directed by Jung Woon-hyun. A drama about the differing fates of two young girls from the same family -- one is discovered to be a millionaire's daughter, while the other struggles to find her own way to succeed. Starring Bae Doona, Shin Sung-woo, Kim You-mi and Kang Dong-won. (http://www.imbc.com/tv/drama/her/)
Taeyang Sokeuro - "Into the Sun" (SBS, from Jan. 11) Written by Seo Hoe-jung. Directed by Moon Jung-soo. A story about a marine who falls in love with the female doctor who takes care of his sister. The doctor, however, is still struggling with memories of her dead fiance. Starring Kwon Sang-woo, Myung Se-bin, Jung Sung-hwan and Kim Jung-hwa. (http://tv.sbs.co.kr/solar/)
Yeoreum Hyanggi - "Scent of Summer" (KBS2, from Jul. 7) Written by Choi Ho-yeon. Directed by Yoon Suk-ho. The latest work by the director of "Autumn's Tale" and "Winter Love Song" about an art director who meets a woman who wears the same scent as his deceased girlfriend. He starts dating her, despite the fact that she already has a boyfriend. Starring Song Seung-heon, Son Yeh-jin, Shin Ae, Ryun Jin. (http://summer.kbs.co.kr/)
Awards at international film festivals
Acting duo Sol Kyung-gu and Moon So-ri from the film Oasis walked off with the Best Actor and Best Actress awards respectively at the 29th Seattle International Film Festival. The awards (named the Golden Space Needle Awards) are voted on by the audience over the course of the 25-day event. Oasis was also ranked third in overall balloting for Best Film, which was presented to the New Zealand-German co-production Whale Rider.
Park Chan-wook's uncompromising Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance was awarded the top prize for Best Feature Film at this year's Philadelphia Film Festival (recently re-named from the Philadelphia Festival of World Cinema). The festival ran from April 3-16 and set a new attendance record.
The Far East Film Festival in Udine, Italy presented its 3rd place Audience Award to Lee Jeong-hyang's drama The Way Home. Infernal Affairs from Hong Kong and Shangri-La from Japan captured the first and second place prizes respectively. The festival screened a total of 18 Korean films, including a 7-film retrospective of 1960s cinema.
The Yubari International Fantastic Film Festival, held in February in Hokkaido, Japan, awarded its Critics' Prize to Kim Dong-won's comedy Bet On My Disco. In addition, Kwak Jae-yong's The Classic was voted the most popular film by the audience among the 68 films screening at the festival.
Hit comedy My Sassy Girl was named Best Asian Film at the 22nd edition of the Hong Kong Film Awards on April 6. This is the first time a Korean film has won this award. Park Chan-wook's Joint Security Area and Lee Jeong-hyang's The Way Home were also included in the category's five nominations.
Lee Chang-dong's Oasis was given a Special Mention at the 2003 Barcelona Asian Film Festival, together with Thai film Blissfully Yours and Fruit Chan's Public Toilet. Oasis was also named winner of the Public's Choice Award, voted on by the audience. This year's festival ran from April 28 - May 7.
The Youth Media Festival Berlin 2003 presented its top Golden Clip award for the 21-25 year old section to the thriller/martial arts short film White Terror - The True Story of Ah Q 2002 by Kim Bang-hyun and Kim Young-min. In addition, the festival chose the short film Namuamitabul Christmas by Park Kwan-ho, about a Buddhist boy monk invited to Christmas mass, as its opening film.
KOREAN FILM: HISTORY, RESISTANCE, AND DEMOCRATIC IMAGINATION (2003) by Eungjun Min, Jinsook Joo, and Han Ju Kwak. Praeger, Hardback, (ISBN 0-275-95811-6) 197 pp.
From the book's publisher:
"Establishes contextual and theoretical bases to help the reader understand cultural, political, and socioeconomic aspects of Korean film. Despite its rise in the global market, recent political progress, and a surging interest worldwide, Korean films are relatively unknown and rarely studied. This new work begins by investigating the history, industry structure, and trends of filmmaking in Korea, going on to examine how Hollywood films have affected both Korean mainstream and nonmainstream film industries in terms of both means of production and narrative. Moreover, the authors analyze the ways in which Korean films of recent years have represented the modernization process in Korea itself, as well as the ideological implications that arise from the cinematic constructions of Korean imagination.
"More than a mere chronological account of Korean cinematic history, Korean Film attempts to consider the films as a popular cultural form that have a life beyond their theatrical runs: stars, genres, and key movies become part of any culture's identity, and in their narratives and meanings can be located evidence of the ways in which a culture makes sense of itself. Korea has never before been given such an extensive treatment of this central idea, and here for the first time, the nation's culture and cinema are merged into one discussion that both reflects and shapes our understanding of it."
1 Korean cinema: Philosophical Foundations and Theoretical Frameworks
2 Oppression, liberation, censorship, and depression: history and major trends of Korean cinema from the 1910s to the 1970s
3 Korean national cinema in the 1980s: Enlightenment, political struggle, social realism, and defeatism
4 Auteur criticism: The case of Sunwoo Jang's Taste of Heaven
5 Discourses of modernity and postmodernity in contemporary Korean cinema
6 Hollywood imagination, foreign films, and Korean identity: Resistance, assimilation, and articulation
7 Contemporary Korean cinema: A boom or a renaissance?
New DVD releases with English subtitles
The following are the latest releases of Korean films on DVD with English subtitles. For more information, visit http://www.koreanfilm.org/weekly/index.htm or my wife's online DVD store at http://www.yeondvd.com.
JEALOUSY IS MY MIDDLE NAME (2003), from Myung Films in Korea.
SUMMER TIME (2001), from EnterOne in Korea.
MY TEACHER, MR. KIM (2003), from Cinema Service in Korea.
THE FIRST AMENDMENT (2003), from Bear Entertainment in Korea.
THE CLASSIC (2003), from Bear Entertainment in Korea.
THE SCENT OF LOVE (2003), from Cinema Service in Korea.
PROJECT X (2003), from Spectrum in Korea.
PLUM BLOSSOM (2000), from EnterOne in Korea.
THE GARDEN OF HEAVEN (2003), from IVision in Korea.
LEE SUNG-GANG ANIMATION COLLECTION (various), from KD Media in Korea.
A LITTLE MONK (2003), from Bitwin in Korea.
THE ROMANTIC PRESIDENT (2002), from CJ Entertainment in Korea.
MY TUTOR FRIEND (2003), from Starmax in Korea.
DOUBLE AGENT (2003), from Metro DVD in Korea.
YESTERDAY (2002), from CJ Entertainment in Korea.
SURROGATE MOTHER (1986), from Lee's Vision Entertainment in Korea.
INDIAN SUMMER (2001), from EnterOne DVD in Korea.
L'ABRI (aka BUS STOP) (2002), from Myung Films in Korea.
WHO ARE YOU (2002), from Myung Films in Korea.
PHANTOM THE SUBMARINE (1999), from Dawoori in Korea.
MADELEINE (2003), from Cinema Service in Korea.
SEX IS ZERO (2002), from AO Media in Korea.
CALLA (1999), from Cinexus in Korea.
WHISPER PRINCESS (2002), from Starmax in Korea.
BLUE (2003), from Starmax in Korea.
CONDUCT ZERO (2002), from Metro DVD in Korea.
H (2002), from Cinexus in Korea.
THE WAY HOME (2002), from CJ Entertainment in Korea.
KAFA 2002 COLLECTION (2002), from Pop Entertainment Asia in Korea.
SHE BRINGS US DANGER (2002), from MG DVD in Korea.
STEAL IT IF YOU CAN (2002), from Starmax in Korea.
SHOW SHOW SHOW (2003), from DoReMi Pictures in Korea.
DOCUMENTARY HAHN DAE-SOO (2002), from Starmax in Korea.
THE SOUL GUARDIANS (1998), from Dawoori in Korea.
WHO ARE YOU (2002),from Panorama in Hong Kong.
THE LAST WITNESS (2002), from Edko in Hong Kong.
SEOUL (2002), from Universe Laser in Hong Kong.
THE PHONE (2002), from Intercontinental Video in Hong Kong.
TAKE CARE OF MY CAT (2001), from Panorama in Hong Kong.
SORUM (2001), from Asia Video in Hong Kong.
A PERFECT MATCH (2002), from Winson in Hong Kong.
LOVE ON A RAINY DAY (1994), from Winson in Hong Kong.
CHAMPION (2002), from Panorama in Hong Kong.
ALL IN (TV drama) (2003), from SBS Productions in Korea.
Coming soon: Lee Chang-dong Box Set, Camel(s), Chunhyang.
Korean films abroad
Following a long stretch in which most Korean films performed poorly in their largest overseas market Japan, a few success stories have managed to lift the gloom. My Sassy Girl was released by Amuse Pictures on a small number of screens on January 25, but after a strong response from viewers it expanded to more theaters and eventually earned $4m over its three month run. Marketing for the film included a Miss Sassy contest for the woman who most resembled the film's lead. Those interested can visit the film's Japanese website at http://www.ryoukiteki.com. Meanwhile, Ahn Byung-ki's horror film The Phone was released on 236 screens by Buena Vista Japan on April 26, when it succeeded in landing at #4 in the box-office. After four weeks the film had earned $6.7m. Finally, cold war-drama Double Agent starring Han Suk-kyu was released on 211 screens by Gaga Communications and Toei on June 7. The film opened at #3 at the box-office, and had earned $1.5m in its first nine days.
Other smaller releases in Japan include Japanese-Korean co-production Round 1 (Asmik Ace, March 1), Guns & Talks (Groove Corp, March 21), Teenage Hooker Became Killing Machine in Daehakroh (Guabo & Muto Kiichi Office, May 31), and Failan (Cine Qua Non, June 14), with Kwak Kyung-taek's Champion scheduled to be released by Media Suits in July.
In China, romantic comedy A Perfect Match was released in February to coincide with Valentine's Day, in a rare example of a Korean film which is not co-produced with China receiving a wide release. Supported by a promotional visit by director Moh Ji-eun and actor Jung Jun-ho, the film played on 300 prints and is said to have performed well (precise box-office figures not available).
In Hong Kong, Edko's "Korean Film Festival 2" proved to be a big hit at the box office with almost 100% seating rates for all the new films. The audience award went to Kim Dae-seung's Bungee Jumping of Their Own, which was released on April 3 on three screens with fair box office. Between March and May, three films starring actress Lee Eun-joo (including Bungee Jumping of Their Own) were released in Hong Kong, with Unborn but Forgotten and Lovers' Concerto released on March 27 and May 8 respectively. Box office for the latter was over HK$ 3m, which is the best figure of the year so far for Korean films.
Edko also released Bae Chang-ho's The Last Witness on March 6 but it only grossed a total of HK$ 0.5m. Other flops included Make It Big! and Marriage is a Crazy Thing which were released on May 15 and June 12 respectively. Wanee and Junah released on June 19 by Edko managed to post fair box-office results on three screens. Upcoming releases in Hong Kong include last year's domestic blockbuster Marrying the Mafia in July and Kwak Jae-yong's The Classic on August 7. The Classic, to be distributed by Edko, is one of the most anticipated Korean releases of the year. Its release schedule was delayed due to the SARS impact on movie attendance.
In France, animated film My Beautiful Girl, Mari (which won the Grand Prix at the Annecy International Animated Film Festival last year) had a successful release in June on 29 prints. To date the film has sold 15,959 tickets. In addition, the first three films of Hong Sang-soo were released with strong press coverage on February 26. The final box-office tally was: Virgin Stripped Bare by her Bachelors (2 screens) - 9,661 admissions; The Day a Pig Fell Into the Well (2 screens) - 5,931 admissions; and The Power of Kangwon Province (1 screen) - 4,265 admissions. Im Kwon-taek's Chihwaseon has also reached its seventh month on release, with 300,000 admissions earned to the end of May. Upcoming releases include Oasis and Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance.
Three Korean films were released in the UK during May and June, with Im Kwon-taek's Chihwaseon performing the best with £6,201 on three screens for distributor Pathe. Strong critical support for the film among established critics in particular was said to have helped the box-office. Meanwhile Shiri and Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance were released on three screens each by Metro Tartan, earning £3,516 and £3,264 respectively.
The U.S., meanwhile, has been busy buying up remake rights to Korean features. Recent examples include box-office phenomenon A Tale of Two Sisters by DreamWorks, My Teacher Mr. Kim and Jail Breakers by Dimension Films, and Addicted by Spitfire Pictures. Also in May, The Way Home wrapped up its theatrical run after 25 weeks with a $445,367 gross, the second-highest ever for a Korean film after Chunhyang. The film is scheduled to be released in Mexico at the end of August.
Note that sales to a given country do not necessarily guarantee a release. This is not a comprehensive list; I am merely passing along what I have heard.
NORTH AMERICA: My Teacher Mr. Kim (2003, remake & distribution rights); Jail Breakers (2002); The Garden of Heaven (2003); Tube (2003); A Perfect Match (2002); The Siren (2000); Virgin Stripped Bare by her Bachelors (2000); My Beautiful Girl, Mari (2002); Public Enemy (2002); Guns & Talks (2001); Jungle Juice (2002); No Blood No Tears (2002); Addicted (2002, remake rights), A Tale of Two Sisters (2003, remake rights).
JAPAN: The Classic (2003); H (2002); Tae Guk Ki (pre-sales); Tube (2003); A Tale of Two Sisters (2003);
HONG KONG: Crazy First Love (pre-sales); A Tale of Two Sisters (pre-sales); The Classic (2003); H (2002); My Teacher, Mr. Kim (2003); Oasis (2002);
CHINA: The Classic (2003); H (2002); Steal It If You Can (2002); Volcano High (2001); Tube (2003); My Teacher, Mr. Kim (2003); A Letter From Mars (2003); Wild Card (2003); Mr. Butterfly (2003); Madeleine (2003); Oasis (2002);
TAIWAN: H (2002); Take Care of My Cat (2001); The Classic (2003); Oh! Happy Day (2003); Jail Breakers (2002); Marrying the Mafia (2002); My Teacher, Mr. Kim (2003); Scent of Love (2003); Acacia (pre-sales);
SINGAPORE: The Classic (2003); The First Amendment (2003); My Teacher, Mr. Kim (2003); Oh! Happy Day (2003);
THAILAND: Sword in the Moon (pre-sales); A Bizarre Love Triangle (2002); The Classic (2003); Steal It If You Can (2002); Oasis (2002); Peppermint Candy (2000); Madeleine (2003); The Phone (2002); Tube (2003); The First Amendment (2003); My Teacher, Mr. Kim (2003); Scent of Love (2003); Oh! Happy Day (2003); Wild Card (2003); Mr. Butterfly (2003); H (2002);
MALAYSIA: The Classic (2003); Jail Breakers (2002); Marrying the Mafia (2002);
INDONESIA: The Phone (2003); Tube (2003); Natural City (pre-sales); The Coast Guard (2002);
UNITED KINGDOM: Public Enemy (2002); Shiri (1999); Sword in the Moon (pre-sales); Tell Me Something (1999); The Phone (2002);
FRANCE: A Tale of Two Sisters (pre-sales); The Phone (2002); Old Boy (pre-sales); Oasis (2002); The Coast Guard (2002);
BENELUX: Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance (2002); The Phone (2002); H (2002); Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter... and Spring (pre-sales); Public Enemy (2002); Old Boy (pre-sales); Oasis (2002);
BELGIUM: Sword in the Moon (pre-sales);
NETHERLANDS: Oasis (2002); The Phone (2002);
ITALY: Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance (2002); Bad Guy (2002); Address Unknown (2001); The Phone (2002); A Tale of Two Sisters (2003); H (2002); Oasis (2002);
SPAIN: Wonderful Days (2003); The Phone (2002);
GERMANY: Resurrection of the Little Match Girl (2002); Unborn But Forgotten (2002); The Phone (2002); Tell Me Something (1999); My Sassy Girl (2001); Tube (2002);
SWEDEN: Sword in the Moon (pre-sales);
SCANDINAVIA: The Phone (2002); Tube (2003); Natural City (pre-sales); A Tale of Two Sisters (2003); H (2002); The Coast Guard (2002);
ISRAEL: Oasis (2002); Ardor (2002);
RUSSIA/CIS: Steal It If You Can (2002); My Teacher, Mr. Kim (2003); Oasis (2002);
TURKEY: Natural City (pre-sales);
GREECE: Oasis (2002);
BRAZIL: Tube (2003); Natural City (pre-sales);
KENYA: Tube (2003)
UGANDA: Tube (2003)
TANZANIA: Tube (2003)
Special thanks to Yeon Hyeon-sook (YeonDVD.com), Ryan Law (Krmdb.com), Stephen Cremin (Asian Film Library Bulletin), and Adrien Gombeaud for their help in compiling this newsletter.
June 27, 2003
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Darcy Paquet / firstname.lastname@example.org / Posted June 29, 2003