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[movie 2006] The Host 괴물

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Song Kang Ho, Byun Hee Bong, Park Hae Il, Bae Doo Na, Go Ah Sung


A monster is hiding in the waters of the Han River. A monster who looks like nothing Song Kang-Ho's family has ever experienced. And the fight against the suffering and misfortune the presence of the ominous figure creates is at the center of Bong Joon-Ho's third feature. After the masterful Memories of Murder, Bong could have done anything he wanted, but the young director ended up making something of such ambitious scale that the entire industry sat down and watched as he first revealed an impressing casting (Song Kang-Ho, Park Hae-Il, Bae Doo-Na, Byun Hee-Bong, Oh Dal-Soo), and then tried to conceal some precious information, something that the press tried to grab from him from the beginning. What we know is that the scale of the project is huge, with shooting going all over the Han River in dozens of locations, with a lot of money spent on special effects to render the 'creature' as realistic as possible, and a story which will not come second after the spectacle. Combining bizarre characters with an obsessive attention to detail, a love for great storytelling, and the kind of panache only great directors showcase, Bong has been able to establish himself in the elite of Korea directors after just two films. Even though the stakes now are higher, 'The Host' could mean further International exposure for the man, or even Korean Cinema as a whole. [Twitch - 2006 Korean Cinema Previews]


Cast: Song Kang-Ho, Byun Hee-Bong, Park Hae-Il, Bae Doo-Na, Go Ah-Sung, Lee Jae-Eung, Lee Dong-Ho, Kim Roi-Ha, Park No-Shik, Go Su-Hee, Yoon Je-Moon, Im Pil-Sung, Oh Dal-Soo, Paul Lazar, Maeng Bong-Hak, Jung In-Ki, Han Se-Ah, Baek Do-Bin, Scott Wilson, Brian Lee, David Joseph Anselmo Director: Bong Joon-Ho Screenplay: Bong Joon-Ho, Ha Jun-Won, Baek Cheol-Hyun Producer: Choi Yong-Bae Cinematography: Kim Hyung-Goo Music: Lee Byung-Woo Editing: Kim Seon-Min Art Direction: Ryu Sung-Hee Sound: Choi Tae-Young Lighting: Lee Kang-San Stills: Han Se-Jun 원안: Bong Joon-Ho Special Makeup: Hwang Hyo-Gyun, Kwak Tae-Young Special Effects: Kevin Rafferty, Weta, Orphanage, Creature Workshop Korean Website Japanese Website International Website International Trailers: ComingSoon.net | AintItCool.com | Moviecentre.net | Apple.com Theatrical Trailer (YouTube) Theatrical Trailer (Downloadable, 9mb, Windows Media) Theatrical Trailer (Streaming, 300k, Windows Media): mms://media1.maxmovie.com/av/maxhost_t2.wmv Theatrical Trailer (Streaming, 700k, Windows Media): mms://wms06.bcst.krn.yahoo.com/c/cine21.com/movie/trailer/2006/06/Host_main_tr_700K.wmv Teaser Trailer (YouTube) Teaser Trailer (Streaming, 300k, Windows Media): mms:// Teaser Trailer (Streaming, 700k, Windows Media): mms://vod.cine21.com/cine21.com/movie/trailer/2006/03/Host_tr_700K.wmv Teaser Trailer (Downloadable, English Subtitles, 3mb, Windows Media) Teaser Trailer (Downloadable, 6mb, Windows Media) Japanese Teaser (Downloadable, Quicktime) Japanese Teaser (Embedded Flash) Making Of (Downloadable, 8mb, Windows Media) Making Of (Streaming, Windows Media): mms://media1.maxmovie.com/av/kmonster_making_Directer.wmv Sina Report (Monster Included) (Streaming, 128k, Windows Media): mms://zjm2.nv.sina.com.cn/ent/2006/05/25264465.wmv Sina Report (Monster Included) (Streaming, 350k, Windows Media): mms://nv.sina.com.cn/ent/2006/05/25053436.wmv Sina Report - Edited Version (Money Shots Only) (Downloadable, 1.5mb, Windows Media) Bong Joon-Ho's Cannes Presscon (Quicktime) YTN Report (Downloadable, 5mb, Windows Media) YTN clip (YouTube) Section TV clip (YouTube) Bae Doo-Na's Archery Training (YouTube) Message From The Actors (Streaming, 500k, Windows Media): mms://wms07.bcst.krn.yahoo.com/c/cine21.com/movie/making/2006/06/Host_mf_actor_700K.wmv Guest Special (Streaming, 700k, Windows Media): mms://wms07.bcst.krn.yahoo.com/c/cine21.com/movie/making/2006/06/Host_mf_guest_700K.wmv Character Making Of (Streaming, 700k, Windows Media): mms://wms06.bcst.krn.yahoo.com/c/cine21.com/movie/making/2006/06/thehost_character_story_700k.wmv YTN Live - Press Screening (Downloadable, 13mb, Windows Media) Budget: 10 Billion Won (~$11 Million) Produced By: Cheongeohram Distributed By: Showbox International Sales: Cineclick Asia Rating: 12 and Over RELEASE: July 27 2006 South Korea Box Office: 13,019,740 admissions [Info from X's Korean Film Databank] p1qk0.th.jpg p2pn5.th.jpg phi0re.th.jpg bdn0ix.th.jpg gas0kl.th.jpg More posters/stills here / here / here / here / here OST 07000013163.jpg<credit: daramji* @ Drama and Movie OSTs thread> Also via We Love Asian OSTs mms://aod.mylisten.com/aod/2/95/073295_0948978.wma to mms://aod.mylisten.com/aod/2/95/073295_0949017.wma 01. Prologue - deu nul beun han gang, gwe mool eun ja ran da 드넓은 한강, 괴.. 02. baek joo eh dae seub gyuk 백주의 대습격 03. jab hi ji ahn neun son 잡히지 않는 손 04. dduh na neun ga jok 떠나는 가족 05. no ran virus 노란 바이러스 06. gol baeng ee @ 골뱅이 @ 07. gwe mool house 괴물 하우스 08. uh doom sok eh hyun suh 어둠속의 현서 09. han gang chan ga (B4-A3) 한강찬가 (B4-A3) 10. bit sok eh gum moon 빗속의 검문 11. hyun suh ya! 현서야! 12. hut chong jil 헛총질 13. bae go peun hyung je 배고픈 형제 14. bae go peun gwe mool 배고픈 괴물 15. shi goong chang eh oh noo ee 시궁창의 오누이 16. sae byuk, pok woo geu ri go dae hyul too 새벽, 폭우 그리고 대혈투 17. jut jeun shin moon ji 젖은 신문지 18. soo bae jun dan 수배전단 19. bi gwa se gi ta so deuk 비과세 기타소득 20. do bal ee eh chun jae 도발이의 천재 21. hee mi han message 희미한 메세지 22. guh book ee 거북이 23. we ro oon jil joo Ver.1 외로운 질주 Ver.1 24. sae shik goo Ver.1 새 가족 Ver.1 25. No Virus 26. won hyo dae gyo nuh muh ro 원효대교 너머로 27. so nyuh, dal ri da 소녀, 달리다 28. bi myung 비명 29. dah ji ahn neun son 닿지않는 손 30. Agent Yellow 31. noh eul soo uhb neun son 놓을수 없는 손 32. jae hwe 재회 33. we roo oon hwa yum byung 외로운 화염병 34. shin goong 신궁 35. sae shik goo Ver.2 새 식구 Ver.2 36. han gang chan ga (Trumpet Ver.) 한강찬가 Trumpet Ver. 37. buh ryuh jin no rae 버려진 노래 38. noon oh neun mae jum 눈오는 매점 39. han gang chan ga (Vocal Ver.) 한강찬가 Vocal Ver. 40. we ro oon jil joo Ver. 2 외로운 질주 Ver.2 hostwallpaper21024zz4.th.jpg hostwallpaper11024.th.jpg hostwallpaper31024ip4.th.jpg hostwallpaper41024.th.jpg Downloads Watch on YouTube / Crunchyroll Direct DL: cHinKy's mOviE sPoiLer / Drama Crush / Idols Unlimited / silentregrets.com

Single CD: ed2k://|file|The.Host.2006.DVDRip.XviD-eSH4Re.avi|736077824|B308C32D2757C990D75EAEA12C70799A| or ed2k://|file|The.Host.2006.DVDRip.x264.AC3.2CH-JJH.avi|733841408|A88AB67D0F43137B50010FE946914B26| 2CD: ed2k://|file|The.Host.2006.DVDRip.XviD.CD1-PosTX.avi|733673472|D33D4554906E8691C3A2176102CE244E| ed2k://|file|The.Host.2006.DVDRip.XviD.CD2-PosTX.avi|730220544|7D14128769BA18EE89A48CC085C352AF| or ed2k://|file|The.Host.2006.DVDRip.XviD.AC3.CD1-JUPiT.avi|733577216|6816C862829FAB98696B9A1B458D80E4| ed2k://|file|The.Host.2006.DVDRip.XviD.AC3.CD2-JUPiT.avi|735707136|49AE2FF950B0C4E4537554E9E8EF3E78| or ed2k://|file|The.Host.2006.DVDRip.XviD.AC3.CD1-eSH4Re.avi|733962240|4E546B19C60A3367F5FBF73B3BE73431| ed2k://|file|The.Host.2006.DVDRip.XviD.AC3.CD2-eSH4Re.avi|735401984|EB7762DE91D0AC2049060668DB1A5C3B| or ed2k://|file|The.Host.2006.DVDRiP.XViD.AC3.iNT.CD1-BAKAS.avi|734234624|79A51D7AA3C9328AF0AF6F78865F538B| ed2k://|file|The.Host.2006.DVDRiP.XViD.AC3.iNT.CD2-BAKAS.avi|734722048|F0EEF98B7EB2735A0B27EDE0FF0754C7| 3CD: ed2k://|file|The.Host.2006.DVDRip.XviD.AC3.CD1-eSH4Re.avi|734498816|393591E9980A681A2803848ECF4CD98B| ed2k://|file|The.Host.2006.DVDRip.XviD.AC3.CD2-eSH4Re.avi|733341696|40C04F0F54E77062341C6795A787917D| ed2k://|file|The.Host.2006.DVDRip.XviD.AC3.CD3-eSH4Re.avi|734994432|CF32EF27C866BC2BE48EBFF3A855CE01| or ed2k://|file|The.Host.2006.XviD.AC3.CD1-WAF.avi|734416896|4E64E740C17D2DA8E061E88F58DD385E| ed2k://|file|The.Host.2006.XviD.AC3.CD2-WAF.avi|734093312|642456FDBFB921BC515E310FA91E7B2F| ed2k://|file|The.Host.2006.XviD.AC3.CD3-WAF.avi|734371840|58ED88E69296BA2230BFE39ABDC52350| 59602.th.jpg p3gg1.th.jpg http://blog.naver.com/thehost2006 http://cafe.naver.com/thehost Naver | Cineseoul | Daum | HanCinema | IMDb 18gw.th.jpg More articles from Twitch: Memories of Murder cast together again for Korean film The Host Bong Joon-Ho talks about (The Host) Song Kang-Ho Talks About (The Host) Cine21 Interviews Bae Doo-Na The Host. by Joon-ho Bong. Almost Fifty Percent of the Budget on FX?! (The Host) Wraps Up Shoot The Monster is Starting to Appear - Finally Some (The Host) Footage Want... Monster? New (The Host) Stills (The Host) Teaser Trailer Released (The Host) Poster Released The Monster Is Loose! Bong Joon-Ho's The Host To Premiere At Cannes! Of Teeth and Monsters... Not to repeat myself... The Monster Is Coming. And Soon. Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Monster? Bong to Fix His Baby Monster Before Korean Release Three New Posters for Bong's Baby Monster The Han River, The Family, And... (The Host) Getting Wide Release in Japan [PRESS SCREENING] (The Host) You Lucky Canadians. (The Host) goes to Toronto How Do You Say (The Host) in English? Japanese Teaser For The Host Online! Monster Opening for (The Host)? [K-FILM SPOTLIGHT] Bong Joon-Ho Talks (The Host) (The Host)... DVD? (The Host) Breaks Opening Day Record The Host Hits the 10 Million Admissions Mark A Wee Look At The Host "The Host" Remake Rights Sold Interview: Bong Joon-hoo The Host Sweeps 5th Korean Film Awards Pssst...How Much Cheddar Did The Mutant Tadpole Take In? Yum, Korean Set of 'The Host' Is Nice, And It's Sooner Than Expected.

host51vu.jpgPresenting Korea's New Tragic, Comic Monster Film: 괴물 (The Host)

"... there was nothing to hold onto - except each other" (Invasion of The Body Snatchers, 1956) In 1990, Bong Joon-Ho was a young student, who drew cartoons for his school newspaper and took various part time jobs at film companies. Although his major at Yonsei University was sociology, his lifetime dream was to become a filmmaker. So after finishing college, he enrolled in the Korean Film Academy, from which he graduated with a short film called 지리멸렬 (支離滅裂, Incoherence). The short won him awards overseas, and great acclaim at home; he became one of the hot new kids on the block, creating a lot of expectations in the industry. But he never jumped the gun, slowly climbing towards the upper ranks of the industry. He helped write the script of 모텔 선인장 (Motel Cactus) and 유령 (Phantom: The Submarine) in the late 90s, and then it was time for his feature debut. In 2000 he made his big splash in Chungmuro with 플란다스의 개 (Barking Dogs Never Bite), an off-kilter black comedy which received great praise. But between his first feature film and the incredible critical and popular success of his second, the memorable 살인의 추억 (Memories of Murder), Director Bong was preparing something else. When Choi Yong-Bae of Cheongeoram asked him to work together, he had something in mind, something he dreamed of making since he was in college. But he already knew it was something which could take years to make. But what was that project about, and why would it take so long? Although Japan's 怪 (Kaiju, monster) culture has created a huge niche even in the West, its Korean counterpart 괴수 (怪獸, Gwesu, monster) never really had any impact on the public, both at home and abroad. Although the first tentatives of the genre started in the early 60s, with Kwon Hyeok-Jin's 우주괴인 왕마귀 (Space Monster Demon King), the genre was never able to crack into the mainstream, even with works like 용가리 (Yonggari) - which did make decent money, but probably turned the whole nation off monster films. SF had never been one of Korea's favorite genres, and monster films were often associated with cheap special effects, bad storytelling and acting. So when one of the most talented filmmakers in the country announced he was making a 10 Billion Won monster film, a lot of people had only one question in mind: why? Bong could have made anything he wanted. After striking the ball out of the park twice with his first two films, he could have played safe, make a little film to satisfy his appetite for genre Cinema, a big star vehicle with his distinctive touch but an eye to the box office. Anything. But why such a huge budget, and why one of the genres Koreans have never shown any interest in? You could consider it a mere challenge Bong is taking, but 괴물 (The Host) won't be your average monster film, just like 'Memories of Murder' wasn't your usual whodunit thriller, and 'Barking Dogs Never Bite' your usual comedy. The film could be compared to Hollywood films like 'Invasion of The Body Snatchers', although it will still carry genre specific elements. Using the monster as a metaphor for the witch hunting created by McCarthy-ism during the Cold War era, and the powerful and menacing threat of Soviet influence, the film bears a resemblance to some of those classic Hollywood films. But it will also retain that Koreanness, that unique humour of Bong's other works. Starring Song Kang-Ho, Bae Doo-Na, Park Hae-Il, Byun Hee-Bong and Oh Dal-Soo, 'The Host' is set for Summer 2006. -- Instead of our usual Q&A excerpts, I tried something different for this special. Since a lot of interviews used for this article were a little old, and things changed between then and now (like scripts being completed, actors cast, contract signed), I put different comments from director Bong on separate sections dealing with the same argument. THE HOST "We started pre-production with the working title 더 리버 (The River). I always wanted to do a Korean style monster movie from the beginning, so I met with Cheongeoram president Choi Yong-Bae in 2001, and presented him the project. I've been working hard every day ever since. We started with a simple and slightly absurd concept: what if a monster appeared on the banks the Han River? When I was in high school, you'd always hear those news stories, like the appearances in Lochness or Mt. Baekdu, so why not Seoul? The film tells the story of a family of four people, running a small shop near the Han River. But one day a strange creature emerges from the waters of the Han River, and it starts injuring people. 'The Host' is a film about a simple family fighting with this mysterious monster." WETA, ORPHANAGE AND CGI "To be honest, when I started thinking about 'The Host', I was worried Korean film technology wasn't up to the standards the film required - or that it would cost too much to do it. I didn't think we would be able to make such a fully 3D creature, so that was a really serious concern at the time. Since they have a lot of experience in dealing with things like this, they [Weta, Creative Workshop, Orphanage] lifted one big weight off my shoulders by working with us, and taking care of CGI. When we first met with Weta, they were surprised we'd even make a film like this in Korea. But the next time we met Robert Taylor, he was a little anxious because [in Korea] we don't usually blow large sums of money on special effects, and was afraid we'd propose some preposterous figure. After all, it's hard to turn down someone who came such a long way to work with you. Anyway, we told him it would be US$ 3 Million, and he quickly replied, worried: 'for the entire film?'. When we told him it would be 3 Million for the special effects only, he was really happy, and told us they could certainly do what we wanted for that sum of money. That's when things started, and we worked really fast from there. They thought the kind of monster we designed had really oriental features, so we scouted famous monster designer 'hellnaut' [who worked on many Korean online games] to do it." MY OWN GENRE "Everyone thinks 'The Host' will be an SF film, but that's not the case. This film will have that kind of humour which lies dormant inside all my films, and comes from my own subconscious. So instead of following the basic tropes of surrealist films of this genre, 'The Host' will be much more concerned with realism, both in form and storytelling. Don't we live in an odd country? Our big, strong bridge finally collapses, a lot of people lose their lives, that supermarket which looked so solid vanishes into a pile of dust and debris in a matter of moments... so is the appearance of a monster that weird? This is a film walking the line between the real and surreal." MONSTER "'The Host' is not all about the monster, but it was something we definitely had to deal with. We couldn't just put some fur on two assistant directors and let them prance around pretending they were a monster. It had to be a perfectly realistic living creature. We had a lot of up and downs, but I'm really happy with the final result. This is not the kind of Hollywood film where you see the formation of the monster after 10 minutes, its tail and feet a half hour later, and the main character having a stylish fight with it in the climax. Yes, Kang-Doo's family has to face tragedy thanks to the monster, but it's not one of those glamorous situations where a few families unite and decide to fight the monster together. The people in my film can't help but shed tears in front of their impending and tragic situation." COMIC TRAGEDY "Disasters might be scary and tragic, but on the other hand they might have a farcical side to them. When that mall collapsed [he's talking about a real event from the mid 90s the film was vaguely based on], I felt sad and shocked. Looking at that mess every day though, I saw people using golf clubs to search for buried money, and all the thieves in the city were there... doesn't that make you laugh? Comic and tragic seem to always go hand in hand when disasters like that happen. Especially all those families who weren't prepared for the consequences became victims of that situation, it was inevitable. As a whole, it might be a film about a family's fight against the monster, but they're not gonna use some fancy laser guns to fight it, so all that's left to them is laugh. But that doesn't mean we'll consciously try to force comedy out of those situations. Korean disasters always seem to have that feeling, just like an absurd theater play." HAN RIVER "We've shot so many photos of the Han River, it feels like home now. We persistently hunted for locations both in a microscopic and very detailed way: different hours of the day, different weather, different shooting angles and lenses, high, clean and dirty waters... we shot them all. I wanted to show the innumerable faces of the Han River in 'The Host', but it's not merely eye candy, it has a connection with the drama in the film. There's also a reason why we chose a lot of locations during the rainy season. It's not like we're making a video for the promotion of tourism, but if the Han River didn't have a connection with the story, why even bother shooting there? I wanted to dissect and look at all the parts that make the Han River what it is, just like picking every single one of the 200 and more bones that make a person, or the blood vessels that flow through our veins. The monster's form is the core of the production. If we can't create a realistic creature, the film will be never able to strip itself from the legacy of other monster movies. That's why we decided to work with world famous WETA, responsible for the special effects in the 'Lord of the Rings' series." BURDEN 'Why shouldn't one be burdened by many things. I have no interest in normal films, in things you'll understand in 5 seconds. I'm thoroughly working hard to make sure everything turns out as planned. And it's been the same from the beginning, during the first, second, third... many years of preparation. It's not like we're in an embarrassing or dramatic situation, we're not on the verge of jumping off the Wonhyo Bridge. If you just work with that mentality, then you can relax and focus on what you have to do." INFLUENCES "It bears some resemblance to 'Signs', and even Spielberg's 'Jaws'. When I first talked about the film, people were confused about the size of the monster, expecting something gigantic like 'Godzilla'. But that's not the case, it's more like the kind of creature you see in 'Alien'. Anyway, there's really no film you can compare 'The Host' to: even when the marketing team was asking me a reference to compare 'Memories of Murder' with, I just told them there was nothing I could single out, that it was just a 'rural thriller', the 전원일기 (Lifetime in the Country) [THE family Drama in Korean TV history] version of 'Se7en'. So, in a way, you could call this the 한강수 타령 (Ode to The Han River) [a recent Family Drama] version of 'Alien'." ISSUES "'The Host' is full current political and social issues helping paint the progression of the story. I don't know why I did that, perhaps it's because I was influenced by my previous film. That's not only a kind of genre-specific tendency, but also also something we can put into a certain context, and help it become a topic of discussion. Kang-Doo is not one of those 'people in high places', like a staff member of 119 rescue squads, or someone doing a briefing about measures to counter the problem. He's the kind of person who would ask you what kind of sauce you wanted with your instant noodles, going as far as checking the water's temperature. But when a calamity approaches the everyday life of people like him, they can't even imagine its repercussions. And then the viewers become one with them, they relate to his problems. I can't reveal what those social and political issues will be, until the film is released in theaters. But that will be a really important element of the film, and I wanted to have a little fun with that kind of idea, like in classic Hollywood SF films. It might be a deleted scene, but in Kubrick's 'Dr. Strangelove', there's a moment when Americans and Russians fight throwing cake at each other; and then there's that moment when one character acts like a cowboy on a nuclear missile... that kind of mood, you know? That kind of atmosphere fits really well with this genre, and would give the film a very bizarre energy."

[» Posted by X at November 19, 2005 08:17 AM



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The official website's up!


32dr2.th.jpg m0040009spe56111w600rq9.th.jpg m0040014spe56127w600de2.th.jpg m0020014spe56109w600xs2.th.jpg

THE HOST. ("Gwoemul") Kang-doo runs a small shop with his father on the banks of the Han River. Kang-doo's sole joy in this world is his young daughter for whom he would do anything. But his quiet life is unexpectedly shattered when a huge monster emerges from the Han and begins devouring people. The movie stars Song Kang-ho (The President's Barber, Antarctic Journal) as Kang-doo who is dragged into the affair when tragedy strikes his small family. His father is Byeon Hee-bong (Crying Fist, Memories Of Murder) and others in his family include Bae Doo-na (Take Care Of My Cat, Tube) as his sister, Park Hae-il (My Mother The Mermaid, Memories Of Murder) as his brother and Ko A-seong debuting as his daughter. Many other familiar faces will appear such as Park No-shik (Kwang-ho from Memories Of Murder) and even the director of Antarctic Journal, Im Pil-sung, will make his second film appearance (his first was in No Blood No Tears). Directing the star-studded cast is rising star Bong Joon-ho (Barking Dogs Never Bite, Memories Of Murder). This Chungeorahm thriller, which features special effects from San Francisco-based company The Orphanage, will be released in July 2006. [http://www.koreanfilm.org]

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Wow... all the A-listed stars!!!! ^______^

Definite a MUST WATCH

Park HaeIl such a dearie......

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I just dl-d the teaser trailer myself and... Dude. Duuuuuude. :w00t:

Guess we'll just have to do with these movie stills in the meantime:

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i've never seen any of park hae il or bae doo na's films, but i checked out the trailer and it looks so neat! the special effects are really good. thanks for sharing melusine!

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^Isn't it impressive? And to think that's just a teaser. @_@

You should check out BDN's "Barking Dogs Never Bite" and PHI's "Memories of Murder" since they're by the same director as this movie and they're both GREAT.

Woot woot that WETA is in charge of FX! When I found out, I practically fell off my chair (yep, huge LOTR fan here).

I am so looking forward to this. Can't wait to see <A> a cool monster flick and <B> a BJH film again! ^__^

A backgrounder on this movie's director:

bjh3ip1gp.th.jpg Bong Joon-Ho (PDF File, 19 MB)


Source: First Three KOFIC Directors Books Available Online

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The Bong Joon-ho Page


compiled by Darcy Paquet, Koreanfilm.org

With his off-tempo, quirky first feature, Bong Joon-ho marked himself out as a talented newcomer. His second film, a smash hit, established him as a major directorial star. His third set a new box-office record and propelled him to the very top of the Korean film industry. Few Korean directors, if any, have experienced such a rapid rise to stardom.

Born on September 14, 1969, Bong says he decided in middle school that he wanted to be a filmmaker, perhaps influenced by his being raised in an artistic family (his father was a designer and his grandfather a noted author). He majored in sociology at Yonsei University in the late 1980s during the height of Korea's pro-democracy movement, and was part of the film club there. He is said to have been particularly fond of Edward Yang, Hou Hsiao-hsien and Imamura Shohei at the time.

In the early 1990s he was accepted in the two-year program at what many people consider Korea's top film school, the Korean Academy of Film Arts (KAFA). While there he made a number of 16mm short films, with two -- Memory in the Frame and Incoherence -- invited to screen at the Vancouver and Hong Kong international film festivals. He also collaborated on several works of his classmates -- most notably as cinematographer on the highly acclaimed short 2001 Imagine directed by his friend Jang Jun-hwan (Save the Green Planet). He was also lighting director on an early short by Choi Equan (Voice).

After graduating, he spent the next five years contributing in various capacities to works by other directors. He received a partial screenplay credit on the 1996 omnibus film Seven Reasons Why Beer is Better Than My Lover; both screenplay and assistant director credits on Park Ki-yong's 1997 debut Motel Cactus; and is one of four writers (together with Jang Jun-hwan) credited for the screenplay of Phantom the Submarine (1999).

Shortly afterwards Bong began shooting his first feature Barking Dogs Never Bite under producer Tcha Seung-jai, who had overseen the production of both Motel Cactus and Phantom the Submarine. The film, about a low-ranking university lecturer who abducts a neighbor's dog, was shot in the same apartment complex where Bong had lived after getting married. Although now remembered fondly, at the time of its release in Feburary 2000 it did not stir up much interest among audiences, and the response from critics was positive but slightly muted. (The first half of 2000 saw a burst of inspired features from Korea, including Peppermint Candy, Lies, Chunhyang, The Foul King, The Isle and Virgin Stripped Bare by Her Bachelors, so that Bong's film was slightly overlooked in comparison) Nonetheless, the film was invited to the competition section of Spain's prestigious San Sebastian International Film Festival, and it would go on to win awards at Slamdance and Hong Kong. Slowly building international word of mouth also helped the film financially -- over two years after its local release, the film reached its financial break-even point due to sales to overseas territories.

Bong's second film, a much larger-scale project, was adapted from a popular stage play centered around a real-life serial killer who terrorized a rural town in the 1980s (and was never caught). Rumor has it that director Park Chan-wook had originally shown an interest in this project -- at the same time that Bong was considering adapting a Japanese comic book called Oldboy. In the end, however, it was Bong and co-screenwriter Shim Seong-bo who set about adapting the play into what would become Memories of Murder. Production of the film was a long and arduous process (the film set a local record for the sheer number of locations it utilized), but with the weather providing unexpected help with some stunning skyscapes, the film wrapped without major problems and was released in April 2003.

Memories of Murder was an immediate critical and popular sensation. Enthusiastic word of mouth drove the film to sell over 5 million tickets (rescuing Tcha Seung-jai's production company Sidus from near-bankruptcy), and a string of local honors followed, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor (for Song Kang-ho) and Best Lighting prizes at the 2003 Grand Bell Awards. Although passed over by the Cannes and Venice Film Festivals, the film eventually received its international premiere (again) at San Sebastian, where it picked up three awards including Best Director. The film also received an unusually strong critical reception on its release in foreign territories such as France and the U.S.

Following this, Bong took some time to contribute short films to two omnibus projects. Influenza is a disturbing 30-minute work acted out entirely in front of real CCTV cameras stationed throughout Seoul. The film, which charts (from a distance, quite literally) a desperate man's turn to violent crime over the space of five years, was commissioned by the Jeonju International Film Festival, together with works by Japanese director Iishi Sogo and Hong Kong-based Yu Lik Wai.

Twentidentity, meanwhile, is a 20-part omnibus film made by alumni of the Korean Academy of Film Arts, on the occasion of the school's 20th anniversary. Bong's contribution is Sink and Rise, a whimsical work set alongside the Han River that can be seen as a warmup for the director's third feature The Host.

The Host marked a newly ambitious gamble in Bong's career, and indeed for the Korean film industry as a whole. The big-budget ($12 million) work centered around a fictional monster that rises up out of the Han River and wrecks havoc on the people of Seoul -- and on one family in particular. Featuring many of the actors who had appeared in his previous films, the film was the focus of strong audience interest even before it started shooting, but many doubts were raised about whether a Korean production could rise to the challenge of creating a full-fledged, believable digital monster. After initially contacting New Zealand's Weta Digital -- the company responsible for the CGI in The Lord of the Rings -- schedule conflicts led Bong to San Francisco-based The Orphanage, who took on the majority of the effects work. After rushing to meet deadlines, the film received a rapturous premiere in the Directors Fortnight section of the 2006 Cannes Film Festival.

Although local audiences were slightly more critical of The Host than attendees at Cannes, the film was nonetheless a must-see event during its summer release. With theater owners calling for more and more prints, the film enjoyed the widest release ever (on over a third of the nation's 1800 screens) and set a new box-office record with just under 13 million tickets sold. The film was quickly sold around the world, and US studio Universal even snapped up remake rights to the picture.

Bong in general is known as being a director who takes a great interest in film genres, while simultaneously trying to move beyond genre's usual boundaries. In this he shares a common approach with a number of other noted Korean filmmakers, such as Kim Jee-woon, Park Chan-wook, and Jang Jun-hwan. He is also known for the pure craft and finished quality of his works. Korean film industry insiders have nicknamed him "Bong Tae-il," which, pronounced in Korean, sounds similar to the word "detail".

He also displays a fascination for strong subject matter. Although not especially violent, his films often make viewers squirm -- whether at seeing a cute puppy in mortal danger in Barking Dogs, or witnessing a sympathetic character meet a cruel end in Memories of Murder or The Host. At the same time, his films are filled with (often black) humor and sudden mood shifts, making for an emotional roller coaster ride. The fact that he is able to combine all these contrasting elements into such a smooth whole is Bong's particular strength as a filmmaker.


The Host (2006)

Sink and Rise (2004) (short from Twentidentity)

Influenza (2004) (30-minute short)

Memories of Murder (2003)

Barking Dogs Never Bite (2000)

Incoherence (1994) (short)

Memory Within the Frame (1994) (short)

Baeksaekin (1993) (short)

Awards and Honors

2006 Sitges Int'l Film Festival of Catalonia (Spain), Best Special Effects and Orient Express Award for Best Asian Film to The Host.

2003 Torino Film Festival (Italy), Best Screenplay Award, Audience Award for Memories of Murder.

2003 Tokyo International Film Festival (Japan), Asian Film Award to Memories of Murder.

2003 San Sebastian International Film Festival (Spain), Silver Shell for Best Director, Altadis New Director Award, and FIPRESCI Award for Memories of Murder.

2001 Buenos Aires International Film Festival (Argentina), special award presented to composer Cho Sung-woo for his soundtrack for Barking Dogs Never Bite.

2001 Munich Film Fest (Germany), Best Newcomer Award to producer Cho Min-hwan for Barking Dogs Never Bite.

2001 Hong Kong International Film Festival, FIPRESCI Award for young Asian filmmakers to Barking Dogs Never Bite.

2001 Slamdance Film Festival, Best Editing for Barking Dogs Never Bite.

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An Interview with Bong Joon-ho


by Giuseppe Sedia, NAPLES October 2007


Translation by Kim Oen Joung

Additional translation by the author

Born in 1969 in Daegu, Bong studied sociology at Yonsei University in Seoul. In 1994-1995 he attended the Korean Academy of Fine Arts, where he produced his first short films. His first feature-length movie, Barking Dogs Never Bite ("Flanders-ui gae") won the Fipresci Prize at the Hong Kong Film Festival in 2001. Two years later he directed the serial killer movie Memories of Murder ("Salinui Chueok"), considered by many critics to be his best feature. In 2004 he produced a digital short for the Jeonju International Film Festival along with Asian directors Ishii Sogo and Yu Lik Wai for the collective feature Digital Short Films by Three Directors. His third film, The Host ("Gwoemul"), won Best Picture at the inaugural Asian Film Awards in Hong Kong, and established a national box office record in Korea with over 13 million tickets sold. Currently, he is working on a segment of an omnibus film focusing on the city of Tokyo involving also the French cineastes Leo Carax and Michel Gondry. This interview is extracted from a conversation with Bong Joon-ho during the Dongfang Film Festival in Naples (Italy).

How did you start approaching cinema?

I used to watch plenty of movies as a child. Television had a vital importance to my formation, because VHS tapes were not circulating yet in South Korea at that time. In the late 1980s, together with other sociology students, I created "Cineclick" -- a local organization devoted to discussion of Mass Communication and Media Arts.

Could you tell me more about Cineclick's activities?

We promoted screenings of Japanese and European films still unfamiliar to South Korean students. Cineclick attempted to encourage debate on audiovisual culture, and this experience helped to expand my vision of cinema. My gaze on moving images eventually became more reflexive and conscious. In 1993 we also shot a 16mm collective documentary, before I completed a short film vaguely based on the surrealistic atmosphere contained in David Lynch's Blue Velvet (1986).

What about your relationship with South Korean producers?

To date, I have been able to take advantage of a certain protege status. I have been both lucky and sharp to create durable relations with local producers. Tcha Seung-jae who produced my first two feature films has always trusted me. He defended the artistic choices I made, even when my debut film failed miserably at the box office.

Do you think that the theatrical flop of Flandersui gae drove you towards film genres that were on the outside more conventional?

The screenplay of Flandersui gae is mainly based on my personal experiences, compared to the following features which were taken from news stories occurring in my country. The interiors for that film were shot at my former flat in Seoul. It can be considered as an autobiographical comedy, which follows the developmental pattern of a thriller. Who kidnapped the dog? Some settings like the hot-water heating room in the building may seem to evoke a dark ambiance that is far from comedic.

Your second film Salinui Cheok (2003) deals with a mass murder. Japanese cineaste Kiyoshi Kurosawa revealed that Se7en (1996), directed by David Fincher, had an influence on the direction of Cure ("Kyua", 1997). Did you take any inspiration from Hollywood serial killer movies such as The Silence of Lambs?

Both American movies you mentioned have become milestones in nineties cinema. They continue to exert a transversal influence worldwide on the new generation of film-makers. Besides I've always been an enthusiast of Japanese directors such as Kiyoshi Kurosawa and Shohei Imamura. Nevertheless, I don't consider them to have had a great influence on Salinui Cheok, which is based on a true story that really occurred in Gyeonggi Province between 1986 and 1991.

"Memories of Murder is made up of an unrelenting series of failures, frustrating the proper political vision of a country", argued Antoine Thirion in Cahiers du Cinèma. The story seems to implode, being adverse to any turning point. How did you come up to this narrative structure?

I attempted to focus on the characters' visceral feeling of ineffectiveness. The police detectives are doomed to fail in their investigations. This mysterious serial killer who truly haunted South Korean people twenty years ago still stays unpunished in our country.

This moving picture displays once more Song Kang-ho's actorial talent. How did you come to collaborate with him?

Despite the convincing performance of Lee Sung-jae, Flandersui gae was definitely a "floppola" in Seoul theaters. Therefore I decided to work with Song Kang-ho. His popularity was constantly growing, even among Western audiences since Park Chan-wok picked him for Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance (2002). Yet we should not forget that Song Kang-ho was already showing his talent on the stage until he left his theatrical career behind in 1997.

Could you tell us more about your contribution to the project Digital Short Films by Three Directors 2004?

The three of us each worked on our own. I have to admit that I didn't even view the episodes directed by Ishii Sogo and Yu Lik Wai. Apart from the aesthetic results, this cinematic experience personally gave me the opportunity to check the possibilities offered by digital production.

Loss of control over reality is a topic that remains under the skin throughout your filmography. Panic attacks usually erode the relationships of the characters you invented. Even Gwoemul, despite the happy ending, gives evidence to this feature…

The concept of chaos has always fascinated me from a philosophical perspective. Moreover I would mention also a peculiar form of chaos reflecting the social and cultural context in South Korea. Anyhow, the positive epilogue in Gwoemul is deliberately pretentious. Just consider that the Park family is slaughtered before the final victory against the monster.

The Gwoemul monster iconography is very different from the classical appearance of bipedal monsters such as Godzilla and King Kong. How did you come up with its final look?

The monster's appearance is not based on a pre-existing model. The starting idea was taken again from a true story. I read in the newspapers about a deformed fish with an S-shaped spine caught in the Han River. The monster design came mainly from this strange discovery.

Do you consider that monstrous creatures on screen, such as the North Korean Pulgasari, could convey ideological and moral values?

The role of the monster in Gwoemul is progressively reduced throughout the film. The initial scene set in the military laboratory reveals an attraction-repulsion dynamic towards Americans that is also responsible for the fake virus invention that will disband Park family. However familiar relationships are most assuredly a dominant topic in the movie.

Gwoemul won funding from the Pusan International Film Festival's Pusan Promotion Plan, and attracted more than 13 million people in South Korean theaters. How does it change your approach to direction when you work on high-budgeted features?

The remake rights to this film have already been sold to a major movie company. I should confess that I am growing weary of writing screenplays. Sometimes I question myself about the future with the same concern that thrills horror film movie-goers. However that may be, my next movie is a low-medium budget feature which is currently in development.


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April 13, 2006

괴물 (The Host) Poster Released


With a 'Daddy, Save Me!' tagline, you know what we're going to deal with. Korea's first family monster film, Bong Joon-Ho's 괴물 (The Host). Waiting until July is still quite painful, but we're slowly getting there. A Production Meeting should be staged pretty soon, and we'll cover it as always. In the meantime, think about this: in three months, we're getting Song Kang-Ho, Byun Hee-Bong, Bae Doo-Na, Park Hae-Il. And 'it'.

Credit: X at http://www.twitchfilm.net/archives/005758.html


melusine-hunnie, 'it' is already giving me goosebumps. :ph34r:

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Thanks for starting this thread.

I really liked Memories of Murder by this director (Bong Joonho).

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Wow!!..can't wait for this!!..THE most anticipated Korean movie ever (after The World Cup that is..)!

I dig monster n thrillers..and Bae DuNa..she is so COOL!!!..

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Yes, another Park Hae-il movie!! I'm not big on monster movies but will watch this for PHI definitely.

Thanks for starting the thread. :P

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Bong, Joon-Ho's new film, The Host, invited for screening at the Cannes Film Festival

The Host, a new film by Korean director Bong, Joon-Ho, has been invited for screening at the Director's Fortnight of the Cannes Film Festival.

"On April 26, The Host was been invited to the Director's Fortnight at the 59th Cannes Film Festival, which will be held on May 17 to 28 in Cannes, France," Showbox, a distributor of this film, announced on April 27.

Thus, two Korean films - the other being The Unforgiven by director Yoon, Jong-Bin selected for Un Certain Regard - have been named on the screening list of this renowned film festival.

Followed by Barking Dogs Never Bite and Memories of Murder, director Bong's third film The Host tells the story of a family who meets a mysterious monster on the riverside of Han River.

The film stars Song, Kang-Ho, Park, Hae-Il, Bae, Doo-Na, and Byun, Hee-Bong and is scheduled for screening in Korean theaters in July.

Korean films that have been invited to the Director's Fortnight at the Cannes Film Festival so far include Spring in My Hometown (1998) by Lee, Kwang-Mo, Peppermint Candy (2000) by Lee, Chang-Dong, A Story About A Death (2003) by Park, Jong-Woo, Fill In The Blanks (2004) by Kim, Youn-Sung, The President's Last Bang (2005) by Im, Sang-Soo, and Crying Fist (2005) by Ryu, Seung-Wan.

The Source : Koreacontent News Team


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Monster impression: Korean horror pic goes global for f/x work


Low-profile South Korean production shingle Chungeorahm has hired not one but three of the world's leading effects companies to boost its bid to break onto the world stage.

Firm has hired L.A.- and San Francisco-based the Orphanage, New Zealand's Weta Workshop and John CoxJohn Cox's Creature Workshop in Australia to create digital and visual f/x for $10 million project "The Host," one of the largest pictures ever put together by a Korean indie shingle.

Effects are overseen by Kevin Rafferty ("Shark Tale" and "Men in Black 2""Men In Black 2") and John Cox, who won an Academy Award for "Babe."

Directed by "Memories of Murder" helmer Bong Joon-ho, monster pic "Host" is a new departure in genre terms for Korean filmmakers. Melodramas, comedies, actioners and war films score well at the local B.O., while Korean horror or high art score in Europe and North America and romancers in Japan. Monsters have yet to rule.

But Bong says he aims to expand the monster genre by adding political and social elements.

Story concerns a carnivorous mutant in Seoul's Han River that attacks city folk.

Orphanage is providing creature visual effects, Cox's Workshop will handle animatronics, while Weta is producing computer images of the creature. F/x budget accounts for $4.6 million of the film's net production costs. Other post-production services are provided locally in Korea.

"Our ambition was to deliver a high-end monster movie that will appeal to audiences worldwide," said Lewis Kim, head of international at Chungeorahm. "The way to guarantee the quality was to select the best effects elements from around the world."

Bong's human cast features several of his regulars, including one of the most recognizable faces in Korean film, Song Kang-ho ("Shiri," "JSA"). Package is already generating international interest. Earlier this year, Japanese investment group Happinet put up $1.5 million as an equity stake and $3.2 million as license fee for Japanese territory rights. Footage without CGI effects was screened at last month's American Film Market in Santa Monica. Kim added that moves to attract a Hollywood studio partner will be stepped up in early 2006 after more effects are completed.

Production started June 29 with effects shots wrapping today and other lensing to be completed by mid-December. Delivery is scheduled for May, with Chungeorahm's release through Korean major Showbox in July.

International rights outside Korea and Japan are handled by Cineclick Asia.


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