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[movie 2009 Cannes Jury Prize] T H I R S T 박쥐

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[Park ChanWook] Song KangHo, Kim OkBin, Shin HaKyun, Kim HaeSook

THIRST « Bat « Live Evil

vampire.gif BAKJWI [박쥐]

62nd Cannes Jury Prize Winner

Official Website Nationwide Release April 30, 2009 thirst2009.co.kr



z_MMEDIA5.gifDownload trailer clip

More THIRST goodies, thanks to melusine for the treat! ^^

Second teaser trailer: mms://vod.cine21.com/cine21.com/movie/trailer/2009/04/thirst_tr.wmv [


Theatrical trailer: http://dn-artservice.ktics.co.kr/mailzine/...railer_0410.zip [Streaming] [YouTube]

Streaming links to the first 2 teasers w/ English subs

Teaser 1:

Teaser 2:

Set visits

from Im SooJung, Bi, Lee YoungAe, Jung JaeYoung, Park HaeIl, Jeon DoYeon and PCW's director buddies Bong JoonHo, Lee ChangDong, Kim JiWoon, Ryu SeungWan




'Top Project' making clip




'Couple' making clip



Teaser posters, thanks to melusine

Directors: Park Chan Wook, Ahn Soo Hyun

Screenwriters: Park Chan Wook, Chung Seo Kyung


Song Kang Ho - Sang-hyun

Kim Ok Bin - Tae-ju

Shin Ha Kyun - Kang-woo

Kim Hae Sook - Tae-ju’s mother-in-law (Kang-woo’s mother)



from Hong Kong - Asia Film Financing Forum

Sang-hyun is a priest who volunteers his time conducting his ministry to patients in a small town hospital. Although well respected for his strong faith and dedicated service to those around him, he suffers from overwhelming feelings of doubt and despair about living in a world that seems to be drowning in suffering and death. With the hope of saving even one life, he volunteers to participate in an experiment to find a vaccine for the deadly F.I.V. virus and heads to Africa. But the experiment fails, and Sang-hyun is infected with the fatal disease. Surprisingly, however, he recovers completely. News of his miraculous recovery spreads quickly, and devoted parishioners, thinking that he has the gift of healing, flock to his services. Among the visitors are Kang-woo, Sang-hyun’s childhood friend, and his family. Later, Kang-woo invites Sang-hyun to join the weekly mahjong night at his house, and there Sang-hyun finds himself dangerously drawn to Kang-woo’s wife, Tae-ju. Suddenly, Sang-hyun relapses. He coughs up blood and dies, only to open his eyes the next day in dire need of shelter from the scorching sunlight: Sang-hyun has become a vampire. Initially he feels a new vitality and is excited by his urgent bodily desires, but soon he is disgusted to find himself sucking blood from a comatose patient. After a sinful suicide attempt, he finds himself drawn almost against his will to human blood, and the symptoms of F.I.V come roaring back. Desperately trying to avoid committing murder, he resorts to stealing blood transfusion packs from the hospital. Living with her sick husband and his over-protective mother, Tae-ju leads a dreary, unhappy life. She is drawn to Sang-hyun and his strange new physicality, and he is unable to resist his desire. So they begin an affair. But when Tae-ju discovers the truth about his new life, she retreats in fear, only at first. When Sang-hyun asks her to run away with him, she turns him down, suggesting that they kill Kang-woo instead.

Copied from KPculture.com

Park Chan-wook is back. After his last feature, the quirky romance I'm a Cyborg But That's OK which was not particularly well received, Park is tackling the vampire project which he has been talking about for years. Song Kang-ho plays a priest from a small town who volunteers for a medical experiment. However when the experiment fails, he finds himself physically and psychologically changed, and struggling to hold on to what is left of his humanity. Up-and-coming actress Kim Ok-bin (Dasepo Naughty Girls) co-stars in a role that, according to rumors, many established actresses refused to take because of the explicit sex scenes involved. Shooting started in spring 2008, and CJ Entertainment is said to be considering a Lunar New Year 2009 release. Source: koreanfilm.org

Movie related sites thanks to Huangsy

Evil Live [X] Photos [X] Movie trailers [X

October 17, 2007

[40th Sitges]Park Chan-wook Speaks on Bakjwi

Posted by Blake at Twitchfilm.net

BLAKE: What can you tell us about your next film Bakjwi?

PARK CHAN-WOOK: Bakjwi is the Korean word for “bat.” It will be a very very sad and tragic melodrama about a vampire who has fallen madly in love with a married woman. It will not be like a Batman type movie or a vampire horror film.

Right now there are two English titles for the film. One is just “Bat” and the other is “Evil Live.” I think “Evil Live” makes it sound too much like a horror film or something along the lines of “Batman-ish” type science fiction, so I will be coming out with a new English title, which I haven’t decided on just yet.

* Thanks to PiFan programmer Jin Hyung Park for stepping in to translate during this interview.

Credits: twitchfilm.net

January 30, 2008

'Bat' having difficulties casting main female character due to high sexual references


Director Park Chan-wook is having difficulties in finding a main female actor for his latest film "Bat" due to high sexual references. Director Park Chan-wook earned an international reputation from his last film, "Old Boy". An excellent actor, Song Kang-ho is already chosen as the main male character. However, many female actors declined to accept the role.

The film is already receiving enormous attention in local and international market, in which the French film distributor, "Wild Side" already bought its copyrights even before the film began shooting. As Director Park Chan-woo said, the plot is a love story of a vampire. However, as evident from Director Park Chan-wook's previous films such as "Old Boy" and "Sympathy for Lady Vengeance", his love story wouldn't be an another Hollywood cliché love films. According to a source, the film "Bat" is going to be one of horrific and shocking gothic film.

Despites what is known to the public, Song Kang-ho do not become a vampire from his scientific experiment failure but is someone who has a rather peculiar occupation where he meets a group of people in a secluded place. Meanwhile, he meets a married couple and falls in love with the wife. The sex scenes in the film will be as highly sexual as of those from the recent film, "Lust Caution". This is why many top female actresses are hesitating to be involved in this 'Gothic melo-film'. Even though Song Kang-ho have finished shooting "The Good, The Bad and The Weird", nothing is heard about any progressions made for the film.

A staff from the producer team said, "There are few female actresses who are highly motivated to take the role and we also consider a new face like "Wei Tang" from "Lust Caution". We are not in hurry, because this is the very first part of the preparation stage and we are open to many possibilities".

Translated at hancinema.net

From original article at kr.news.yahoo.com


Capture from CINE21, thanks to lisante

February 9, 2008

CJ Entertainment turns double play

By Stuart Kemp

BERLIN -- CJ Entertainment has boarded Park Chan-Wook's latest project, now titled "Thirst," and "The Good, the Bad and the Weird," helmed by Kim Ji-Woon.

In a double whammy for the busy South Korean sales, distribution and financier, CJ Entertainment said Friday that it expects to close deals on both projects for U.S. distribution and is in negotiations "with studios big and small" for "Oldboy" director Park's "Thirst," according to international sales and acquisitions chief Tom Oh.

Oh said "Thirst," budgeted at $7 million, is scheduled to shoot in March and aims to roll out the project in South Korea by the end of this year. It details the story of a priest who turns into a vampire after a failed medical experiment and his battle for survival. "Thirst" is being produced by Moho Films. Oh said CJ Entertainment is putting up finance in return for worldwide sales rights and South Korean distribution rights. CJ Entertainment also has snapped up Korean distribution rights to "Weird" and is just starting presales -- excluding a handful of territories, including Japan -- at the European Film Market.

Oh said the Kim-directed project is "one of the biggest budgets for a Korean movie ever" at $17 million. The deal with the filmmakers and CJ was struck early Friday morning, and Oh and his team are hurriedly fixing up meet-and-greets with buyers. The project started out at rival Korean outfit Cineclick Asia. Oh declined comment on his company's swoop for the title. Set in Manchuria in the 1930s, "Weird" deals with three Korean men and their entanglement with the Japanese army and Chinese and Russian bandits, according to one Internet site. Kim has enjoyed success at the boxoffice in Asia with such titles as "The Foul King" (2000), "A Tale of Two Sisters" (2003) and "A Bittersweet Life" (2005).

Source: hollywoodreporter.com

Clips and captures courtesy various movie-sites and media portals, all made possible by everyone sharing at this thread ^^

KIVs -- THIRST / SKH related reviews

























:excl: Please be familiar of the FORUM RULES

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Director Park Chan-wook (박찬욱)


Date of Birth: 23 August 1963

Related sites

» parkchanwook.org » cine21.com » wikipedia.org

» hancinema.net » imdb.com

Movies (Producer)

2008 - Crush & Blush

Movies (Director)

2008 - Thirst

2006 - I'm a Cyborg, But That's OK

2005 - Sympathy for Lady Vengeance

2004 - Three, Monster

2003 - Old Boy

2003 - N.E.P.A.L.: Never Ending Peace And Love (short, If You Were Me)

2001 - Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance

2000 - Joint Security Area (JSA)

1999 - Judgment (short)

1997 - Trio

1992 - The Moon...is the Sun's Dream


2008 - Thirst

2008 - Crush & Blush

2006 - I'm a Cyborg, But That's OK

2005 - Boy, Goes to Heaven

2005 - Sympathy for Lady Vengeance

2004 - Three, Monster

2003 - Old Boy

2002 - Joint Security Area (JSA)

2002 - A Bizarre Love Triangle

2001 - Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance

2000 - Anarchists

2000 - JSA

- thanks to melusine for info on Dir. PCW ^^

Song Kang Ho (송강호)


Date of Birth: 17 January 1967

SKH soompi thread - http://www.soompi.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=180833


2008 - Live Evil/Thirst/Bakjwi

2008 - The Good, the Bad, the Weird

2007 - Secret Sunshine

2006 - The Show Must Go On

2006 - The Host

2005 - Antarctic Journal

2004 - The President's Barber

2003 - Memories of Murder

2002 - YMCA Baseball Team

2002 - Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance

2000 - Joint Security Area

2000 - The Foul King

1999 - Shiri

1998 - The Quiet Family

1997 - No. 3

1997 - Bad Movie

1997 - Green Fish

1996 - The Day a Pig Fell into the Well

Shin Ha Kyun (신하균)


Date of Birth: 30 May 1974

SHK soompi thread - http://www.soompi.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=66126



2008 - Thirst

2007 - The Devil's Game

2007 - A Day with My Son

2006 - No Mercy for the Rude

2005 - The Big Scene

2005 - Welcome to Dongmakgol

2005 - Sympathy for Lady Vengeance

2004 - My Brother

2003 - A Man Who Went to Mars

2003 - Save the Green Planet

2002 - Surprise

2002 - Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance

2001 - Guns and talks

2000 - JSA - Joint Security Area

2000 - The Foul King

Info credits: hancinema.net, soompi.com, empas.com

March 21, 2008 (thanks to kdramafanusa for the highlight)

Shin Ha-gyun to Join Director Park Chan-wook


Talented actor Shin Ha-gyun will join famed director Park Chan-wook and fellow actor Song Kang-ho for the film "The Bat." This is Shin's first movie with Park and Song since "Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance" in 2002.

"The Bat" is a tragic melodrama about how a man who turned into a vampire after an accident falls in love with a married woman. Song will play the man who becomes a vampire. Kim Ok-bin has already been cast as the female lead Tae-joo and Shin’s role is of Tae-joo’s husband Kang-woo.

Now that all main parts have been cast, the filming of "The Bat" is expected to begin in early April.

Source: KBS World

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February 13, 2008

Park Chan-wook Chooses Heroine for Vampire Movie

Acclaimed director Park Chan-wook has chosen Kim Ok-bin as the star of his next film "Evil Live."

The spotlight had been on just who the female star would be. The part involves many adult scenes alongside male heart throb Song Kang-ho, who claimed the main role in the international hit film "The Host." "Evil Live" or "Bakjwi" in Korean is a melo-horror film of a human-turned-vampire's affair with a married woman.

Director Park, known for his award-winning film "Old Boy" and "Sympathy for Lady Vengeance", says he chose Kim for her unique talents that allow her to assume a vast range of characters. Shooting will begin in March. April

Source: english.chosun.com

Kim Ok-bin (김옥빈)


Date of Birth: 29 December 1986

Place of Birth: Jeollanam-do, South Korea

Other name(s): Kim Ok-vin

Occupation: Actress and model

Info » en.wikipedia.org » hancinema.net » soompi thread

Movies (thanks to kdramafanusa for the info)

2008 - Thirst

2008 - Disturbance in Her Bar Room

2006 - Dasepo Naughty Girls

2006 - Arang

2005 - Voice Letter


2007 - War of Money (Bonus Round)

2006 - Over The Rainbow

2006 - Hello, God

2005 - Hanoi Bride

Kim Hae Sook (김해숙)


Date of Birth: 30 December 1955



2008 - Thirst

2008 -

2007 - Open City

2006 - Sunflower

2005 - My Girl and I

2003 - Oh! Happy Day

2002 - Marrying the Mafia

2004 - My Brother

2004 - Wet Dreams 2

2004 - Dead Friend


2007 - Robber

2007 - Surgeon Bong Dal-hee

2006 - Stranger than Paradise

2006 - Famous Princesses

2006 - Spring Waltz

2005 - Bizarre Bunch

2004 - Precious Family

2004 - Oh! Pil-seung, Bong Soon-Young

2004 - Sweet 18

2002 - Romance

2002 - Winter Sonata

2000 - Autumn in My Heart

Info credits to hancinema.net, soompi.com

February 25, 2008

Director Park Chan-wook, chose a new-face Filipino actress for his film "Thirst"


According to a respective Filipino media, ABS-CBN News on 25th, a 21st century's rising female actress, Mercedes Cabral was cast into the film "Thirst". The media reported, "From a group of Asian actors, the Cannes' Hero, Director Park Chan-wook selected Kabral in the final stage of the selection process".

Kabral is a beautiful student of an Art School in the Philippines. She appeared in a number of independent films and won the "Best female supporting actress of the Year" in a TV/Radio Festival last year.

Meanwhile, Kabral, who receive the news said, "I couldn't believe it when I first hear the news. The director was very impressed with my previous works".

Director Park Chan-wook had just completed casting main roles for his film, including Song Kang-ho (protagonist) and Kim Ok-bin (heroine). The film will commence shooting at the end of next month.

English translation courtesy hancinema.net

Original article at news.media.daum.net

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January 29, 2008

Chan-wook Park’s “Evil Live” - brief update

Posted by luna6

Following up on the article Chan-wook Park’s busy 2008 (Evil Live, New York I Love You, Hongdangmu, Snow Train), there has been an update on Park’s vampire/adultry flick “Evil Live”. The plot for “Evil Live” has been changed a bit, where the main character, a priest (played by Kang-ho Song), travels abroad to Eastern Europe to study. There he becomes the infamous Dracula. After his transformation he meets a married couple and goes on to have an affair with the wife.

Credits to lunapark6.com

--- A double treat from Mr Song Kang Ho in 2008 to look forward to :)

Copied from koreanfilm.org, credits to Darcy Paquet

The year 2008 started with the industry still reeling from a very tough 2007. Nonetheless there was some good news early on, with two unexpected hits in January and February: Lim Soon-rye's handball drama Forever the Moment, which sold over 4 million tickets, and the low-profile thriller The Chaser, which thanks to strong word of mouth was well on its way to selling even more tickets. At the same time, Night and Day, the eighth film by Hong Sangsoo, was invited to screen in competition at the Berlin International Film Festival, where it was roundly praised by some critics, and criticized as being too long by others. Bad news awaited the film on its commercial release in Korea, though, with shockingly low box office returns.

Looking ahead, the year will see new films from several established names. Kim Jee-woon returns with his ambitious spaghetti Western The Good, the Bad, the Weird, scheduled for a July release, and Park Chan-wook's long-awaited vampire movie Thirst may be ready in time for December. Lee Yoon-ki of This Charming Girl fame will shoot a new film with acclaimed actress Jeon Do-yeon, and rising director Yu Ha is shooting an ambitious period film about a gay love triangle involving royalty (sound familiar?). Meanwhile Lee Joon-ik, director of King and the Clown, has a big-budget release lined up for summer in Sunny, about a woman who travels to Vietnam in the 1970s as a singer to entertain Korean troops fighting in the war. (written on Mar. 10)

Source: koreanfilm.org

March 21, 2008

Shin Ha-Kyun Joins Park Chan-Wook’s THIRST

Posted by Todd Brown


OldBoy director Park Chan-Wook’s next film just keeps looking better and better. When word came that Park was making a vampire film, that fact alone was enough to guarantee my butt would be in a seat at my first available opportunity to see the film. When word came that Song Kang Ho was slated to be in the lead role I was even more excited. And now Shin Ha-Kyun - the stellar star of Save The Green Planet and Sympathy For Mr. Vengeance has joined the cast. Song and Shin are arguably the two finest actors working in Korean film today so getting the two of them together in the same project is a big, big deal.

Source: twitchfilm.net

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You should have writen in the title it's directed by Park Chan-Wook, I nearly missed it :sweatingbullets:

In fact I don't like PCW very much (except for Lady Vengeance) but he's interresting, and this new project looks pretty cool.

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You should have writen in the title it's directed by Park Chan-Wook, I nearly missed it :sweatingbullets:

In fact I don't like PCW very much (except for Lady Vengeance) but he's interresting, and this new project looks pretty cool.

Ok.. ok.. I'll edit it.. I think the names can all fit the description space. :sweatingbullets:

I think Dir. PCW is alright, he's one of a kind.. and I love JSA to bits, Korean movie 101.. at least for me. :blush:

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woah..i get all excited now..Shin Ha Kyun in as well..how cool is that?!..

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Hi Huang! Yup.. the initial English title is LiveEvil. I believe Dir. PCW had thought about the title since 2004 when he did Three Extremes with LBH or maybe earlier than that.

But most movie sites have been using 'Thirst' instead (which I'm using for the thread unless it's changed again).. even for copyright purposes, the movie already picked up by a number of foreign distributors.

I'll update the info at the first post, appreciate the links. ^^

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March 31, 2008

Song Kang-ho in "Evil Live" is vampire pastor?


A representative of Park Chan-wook's new movie "Evil Live" said, "In addition to Song Kang-ho, Kim Hae-sook, Sin Ha-gyoon, Kim Ok-bin and other actors have finished reading the screenplay. They are all eager to try their best".

The exciting thing is that Song Kang-ho is playing a vampire pastor. He plays Sang-hyun, who goes to his friend Kang-woo's (Sin Ha-gyoon) house and is enchanted by his wife Tae-joo (Kim Ok-bin) and falls in love.

Sang-hyun gets infected by an unknown virus, becomes a vampire, and undergoes an identity crisis. He also perceives the presence of a ghost at Kang-woo's house.

The relationship between Tae-joo and Kang-woo's mother, who is paranoid about losing her son to Tae-joo, is also interesting.

Tae-joo endures maltreatment from her mother-in-law and is torn apart as she also starts a dangerous love with Sang-hyun. Many actresses wanted the role of Tae-joo, but director Park Chan-wook chose Kim Ok-bin.

One representative said, "The mother-in-law and daughter-in-law relationship is similar to the one in "The Hole", but it will be lighter". The movie seems heavy, but the wit of Park Chan-wook will permeate through the movie. He will fill the movie with commotion about vampires and ghosts and the ridiculous situation between mother-in-law and daughter-in-law.

"Evil Live", sponsored by CJ Entertainment, will be filmed in Seoul and Pusan and will start filming second week of this month.

Original article at news.naver.com

English translation by hancinema.net

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April 4, 2008

UK release for PARK’s I’m a Cyborg, but that’s Ok

PARK Chan-wook keeps demanding international attention. After the recent disclosure of Charlize Theron’s plan to produce and star in a remake of PARK’s Sympathy for Lady Vengeance (Chinjeorhan Geumjassi), I’m a Cyborg, but that’s Ok (Ssaibogeujiman Gwaenjanha) is scheduled for a release in UK cinemas on April 4.

One of the leading progressive newspapers The Guardian interviewed PARK for the occasion. I’m a Cyborg, but that’s Ok is praised for its beautiful visuals and its ‘offbeat charms’. PARK intended to make a film which his 12-year-old daughter is also able to watch with her friends. The interview – inevitably – also deals with his famed vengeance trilogy and violence in film and society.

I’m a Cyborg, but that’s Ok’s cast includes Korea’s major stars LIM Soo-jung and JUNG Ji-hoon (pop star Rain). Both portray characters in a mental institute. JUNG’s character falls in love with a girl who believes she is a cyborg.

JUNG is currently one of the numerous Korean actors who are pursued by Hollywood. He is working on Ninja Assassin, his second collaboration with the Wachowski brothers after Speed Racer. Speed Racer’s release is imminent.

PARK is working on his next project Thirst, a vampire film which is pre-sold to France and Russia before filming started. SONG Kang-ho and KIM Ok-bin will tackle the leading roles.

Yi Ch'ang-ho (KOFIC)


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April 3, 2008

Britain's The Times – 'Poet of Blood' Park Chan-wook has changed


The British press is focusing on Director Park Chan-wook, who is awaiting the British premiere of "I'm a Cyborg, But That's OK" on the 4th.

Britain's daily magazine The Times stated through an interview with Director Park that the "poet of blood has changed his productions to love stories".

"I'm a Cyborg, But That's OK" is about two mental hospital patients, played by Rain and Im Soo-jeong. It seems The Times has called Director Park the 'poet of blood' because of his bloody revenge stories, "Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance", "Old Boy", and "Sympathy for Lady Vengeance".

In the article, The Times stated, "Director Park's "Old Boy" was at the center of attention after Cho Seung-hui, who committed the Virginia Tech killings, sent a picture of him holding a hammer to a television station".

Director Park commented, "When I heard the news, I was very shocked. I was sad when the press compared that picture and the "Old Boy" poster (Choi Min-sik holding a hammer), as if they were related somehow".

The Times judged, "Director Park must be relieved that "I'm a Cyborg, But That's OK", which was filmed before the Virgina Tech incident, portrays a different viewpoint. This is very different from his previous works".

They continued, "Director Park made this with his 14-year-old daughter in mind", reminding us that his previous movies were rated for 18-years-old and over. However, they said, "There is a scene when the female character (Im Soo-jeong) shoots the hospital workers".

The movie, distributed by Tartan Films, will premiere in London ICA Hall on the 4th. Tartan Films also helped Director Park's previous works, "Old Boy", and "Sympathy for Lady Vengeance", to premiere in Britain.

It will begin playing in northern London's East Finchley Phoenix Theater and Liverpool Picture House on the 11th, Edinburgh Film House and Poole Art Center on the 25th. It will be screened at the Belfast Film Festival, starting on the 11th.

Original Korean article at news.naver.com

English translation by hancinema.net

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Tuesday, 22 April 2008

Kim named most powerful in Korea

Written by Han Sunhee

1. Kim Joo-sung (CJ Entertainment)

2. Tcha Seung-jai (Sidus FNH)

3. Kang Woo-suk (Cinema Service)

4. Kim Woo-taek (film director)

5. Bong Joon-ho (film director)

6. Shim Jae-myung (MK Pictures)

7. Kim Kwang-seop (Lotte Entertainment)

8. Song Kang-ho (actor)

9. Park Chan-wook (film director)

10. Yoo In-chon (Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism)

SEOUL---CJ Entertainment prexy Kim Joo-sung has been named as the most influential figure in the Korean film industry for the first time. Kim topped the 13th annual "Power 50" list published in the recent edition of film weekly magazine Cine21, which is voted for by 85 leading film industry personalities and observers. Previously in second place, he swaps places with Tcha Seung-jai of Sidus.

CJ Entertainment headed by Kim is taking the most critical role as the key investor and distributor in industry that is struggling this year. CJ Entertainment currently manages numerous biggest budget titles which will be released 2008, including "The Good, the Bad and the Weird", "Modern Boy" "The Divine Weapon" "Kang Chul-joong" and "Thirst".

Slipping to No.2 was producer Tcha Seung-jai of Sidus FNH, who previously topped in two consecutive years on the list. Unchanged in the ranks were Cinema Service founder and "Kang Chul-joong" helmer Kang Woo-suk was at No. 3, followed by Mediaplex CEO Kim Woo-taek at No.4; with helmer Bong Joon-ho at No. 5.

Rounding out the top 10 were MK Pictures producer Shim Jae-myung, Lotte Entertainment CEO Kim Kwang-seop, actor Song Kang-ho ("The Host"), helmer Park Chan-wook and Yoo In-chon, the former actor and newly inaugurated Minister of culture, sports and tourism as the first time entry at No.10

Among the actors and actresses on the list, Cannes winner Jeon Do-yeon was ranked at 17, Jang Dong-geun (upcoming in "Laundry Warrior") at 23, Lee Byung-hun ( upcoming in Paramount's "G.I. Joe") at 49. Korean Wave superstar Rain (a.k.a. Jeong Ji-hoon, "I'm a Cyborg, but that's O.K." "Speed Racer" ) also entered the list for the first time at 36.

Helmers included Kim Ji-woon("The Good, the Bad and the Weird") at No.12, Lee Joon-ik ("Sunny") at No.14, Choi Dong-hoon ("Tazza") at 29.

Source: Variety Asia Online


Previous related articles

2007 Most Important Figures in Korea Film Industry


Tcha tops Korea power list again


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May 8, 2008

The Korean sector film looks abroad

By Mark Russell

SEOUL -- With South Korea's boxoffice down 5.5% in 2007 and another 9.4% so far in 2008, these are depressing times for Korean movie production houses. Layoffs are hitting all parts of the industry, and many companies are getting out of movie production altogether.

Mediaplex is shutting down its production division Motion 101, iHQ is returning to its core business of talent management, and Dyne Film is looking into options outside of filmmaking.

Korea's film industry has grown dramatically over the past 10 years -- from $207 million in 1996 to $1 billion last year -- but that growth has come at the cost of nearly constant upheaval. New production, distribution and sales companies have come and gone with chaotic regularity. CJ Entertainment, founded in 1996, is already one of the oldest. And CJ, while investing in many movies, has produced very few films of its own.

Cinema Service, once CJ Entertainment's biggest rival and now partly owned by CJ, is now a shadow of the size it was around the turn of the millennium. Mediaplex, the biggest player since Cinema Service declined, sold off its multiplex division to a consortium of investors led by Australian banking group Macquarie and closed Motion 101 at the end of April. MK Pictures, which was founded in 2004 by the filmmakers responsible for some of the most successful films in Korean history (1999's "Shiri," 2000's "JSA" and 2004's "Taegukgi"), closed its international sales office last year and eliminated most of its once-ambitious plans for diversification and expansion. Last summer, it was bought by cable network operator Gangwon Television Broadcasting. And the examples go on.

The crux of the problem, according to many industry observers, is too many movies. From 1995 to 2005, the number of productions was fairly stable, averaging 61.7 per year, but the average cost of a film soared from $1 million to $4.3 million (including P&A). Over the past couple of years, producers have put the brakes on rising costs, which fell to $3.8 million in 2007. In response, filmmakers produced 102 films in 2006. In 2007, that climbed again to 112.

The jump in new titles also came in part from new sources of funding, in particular the telecoms and stock markets, which bypassed the old financing routes. Production companies that went public in particular needed regular revenues to keep their shareholders happy, so they ramped up production.

As tough as times are for many Korean producers, the local industry still has its strengths. Last year was the worst showing for local films since 2003, but Korean-made films still accounted for more than 50% of the boxoffice. And overall attendance in 2007 was the second highest ever.

Many high-profile films are coming up in the second half of 2008, including Kim Ji-woon's eastern Western "The Good, the Bad, and the Weird," Kim Yu-jin's historical epic "The Divine Weapon" and Park Chan-wook's psychological thriller about vampires, "Thirst." As in most years, Korean distributors are staying away from May and June, when Hollywood's biggest blockbusters hit the market.

In the meantime, with the local market appearing saturated, at least for the time being, many companies are turning their attentions abroad in the search for growth. Unlike past years, when the focus was on preselling Korean titles abroad, Korean producers now have a greater interest in working more closely with their international partners. Mediaplex is one of the major investors in John Woo's "Red Cliff"; CJ Entertainment invested in Kirsten Sheridan's "August Rush";

Taewon Entertainment invested in "Three Kingdoms: Resurrection of the Dragon"; and BOM Films invested in Peter Chan's "Warlords."

"You need to find ways to sustain your company globally," says Christopher Chang, head of media and contents at Mediaplex. "But the benefit needs to be on both sides. It only works if both companies understand their projects."

Source: The Hollywood Reporter


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Thursday, 15 May 2008

"Thirst" quenches Scandinavia

Written by Patrick Frater

CANNES -- Nordic distribution group NonStop Entertainment has sucked up two vampire movies.

Strockholm-based company has acquired "Oldboy" director Park Chan-wook's "Thirst" in a deal with South Korea's CJ Entertainment.

In a separate deal it bought its first local Swedish movie "Not Like Others" (Vampyrer) by helmer Peter Pontikis.

In both cases NonStop bought all rights in Scandinavia, Iceland and the Baltics.

Source: Variety Asia Online


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Credits to kfccinema for the highlight

Lasting After Sinful Pleasures, Thirst Cannes Teaser Poster

Posted on 05 19 08 by Brian


We are back with another Thirst update for you thanks to forum member Khitcher. The Cannes promo teaser poster for Park Chan-wook's Thirst has turned up on the Korean news sites.

Filming started last month with Song Kang Ho, Kim Ok Bin, Mercedes Cabra, Sin Ha-gyoon, and Kim Hae-sook making up the all-star cast.

This is the synopsis provided by CJ Entertainment

Beloved and devoted priest from a small town volunteers for a medical experiment which fails and turns him into a vampire. Physical and psychological changes lead to his affair with a wife of his childhood friend who is repressed and tired of her mundane life. The one-time priest falls deeper in despair and depravity. As things turns for worse, he struggles to maintain what’s left of his humanity.

Thirst doesn't drop until 2009, but as always we will keep up updated with any new news. With filming already underway, it shouldn't be long before the first set stills and videos are released. So make sure to check back. Until then you can check out our Thirst coverage thread link provided.

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Thanks to the wonderful highlight by kdramafanusa at the News thread


May 24, 2008

[interview] Song Kang-ho, "The answer is to not do it if it's not the best"


A paler Song Kang-ho said, "It took 23 hours and 50 minutes to come to Martinez Hotel from Pusan where I was filming "Thirst"". It is his second year coming to Cannes, last year with "Secret Sunshine"and this year with "The Good, the Bad, the Weird". He hopes that "The Good, the Bad, the Weird" can be a movie to revive the Korean movie industry from its slump. It has a screening on the 24th out of competition.

On the 23rd, Song Kang-ho consented to an interview for forty minutes on a hotel terrace, and continued to share fun stories while having dinner. He was tired, but he willingly answered questions about "The Good, the Bad, the Weird" and "Thirst" for the Korean reporters that visited Cannes. His hearty laughter spread across the café.

-This is your second year in a row at Cannes. Your current thoughts and feelings?

"Secret Sunshine" and "The Good, the Bad, the Weird" both have weird themes, and I'm glad that I was able to attend the most famous film festival.

-You seem worried.

The Korean movie industry has been in danger for about two years. The number of movies that came out this year is at 80. It is only a matter of time before it becomes 70 and 60. "The Good, the Bad, the Weird" is a 20 billion won project, but compared to Hollywood blockbusters, it's a small amount. Our nation's movies have the greatest competition compared to their budget. I hope this movie can be the work to revive the pride of Korean movies.

-It's your second time working with Director Kim Ji-woon after "The Foul King". He says that 'the weird' just had to be Song Kang-ho.

It turned out that way. I must have seemed weirder to the director than Jeong Woo-seong or Lee Byeong-Heon. I play the role of Tae-gu, who escapes to Japanese Manchuria and lives off loot from robbing trains. He has the persistence of a weed. He has no form but he's strong-willed.

-In some ways, all three are good and bad, and have a weird aspect to them.

That's true. A good person turns into a bad person, and a weird person turns into a good person. It was hard to find the balance, and that will be the key to view the movie in a fun way.

-There were a lot of dangerous scenes.

I was shooting the scene where I had to jump from a motorcycle into a jeep, and I was nervous because pebbles were hitting my body. We couldn't use a double, and even with safety pads on my chest and stomach, it hurt. Director Kim got more white hairs while filming this. A Western usually has a loose side, but this Korean Western is filled with fighting action. We three actors had to pray for easier scenes.

-How was acting with your juniors?

I've never thought of them as my juniors. They are just colleagues who are younger than I am. Don't they have more experience and become famous sooner than me? You can't say that I taught them anything. We got closer when we played soccer with bets on food. It's not easy to work together like this, and I think the director's ability is that big.

-"Thirst" is your next work. It seems you're doing the extremes.

"The Good, the Bad, the Weird" and "The Host"are movies you can see with your family, but "Thirst" is one that children cannot see. It was more fun while shooting "The Good, the Bad, the Weird" because I knew it was something my children could see.

-What kind of person is Kim Ok-bin, who is your opposing role in "Thirst"?

I can say this confidently, but if last year was Jeon Do-yeon's year, next year will be Kim Ok-bin's. She's fascinating and has great sensitivity. I know she's been hurt through the internet, but I advised her that it was growing pains.

-There's word that "The Good, the Bad, the Weird" has anti-Japanese sentiment and nationalism.

If you see the movie tomorrow, you'll see how wrong that question is. It's purely an entertaining movie that you can enjoy for two hours.

-No disappointment that you're not in competition?

Not at all. There is a commercial side to this, so it was not intended for competition. The screening is on the last day, and the Cannes chairperson volunteered to host it. It's no different than receiving a big award. "Indiana Jones 4" is also out of competition.

-The reason for refusing constant proposals from Hollywood or foreign films.

They are not using me at my best potential. Think about it. Would Sean Penn or Robert de Niro have played the car center owner in "Secret Sunshine"? The answer is to not do it if you can't show them your best.

-Lastly, weren't you disappointed with the low success of "The Show Must Go on"?

It was disappointing. You can't ignore the effect of the seasons. While touring Seoul and Pusan, the cherry blossom festival and the K-league were disheartening factors. My heart was torn when I thought about who would come to a dark theater during the blooming, green season.

Song Kang-ho will leave Cannes the earliest on the 25th, because of Director Park Chan-wook's "Thirst", which is aiming for next year's Berlin Film Festival.

Original Korean Article: ISPLUS

English Translation Credit: HanCinema

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September 4, 2008

Park makes debut as producer


Filmmaker Park Chan-wook has made a debut as a producer for the forthcoming film "Miss Hongdangmu," raising expectations about his versatility.

The movie, directed by Lee Kyung-mi, portrays a 29-year-old Korean woman who teaches Russian in school, but confronts a slew of obstacles in her life, partly due to a frequently blushing face.

The title, "Hongdangmu," means a red radish in Korean, and it refers to a Korean expression linking the color of the vegetable with a person who blushes scarlet.

"This is not a movie about great action or massive sets. What the movie can show, though, is people, and my confidence in the movie lies in the talent of the actors," Park told reporters at a news conference held in Seoul on Wednesday.

In the movie, Gong Hyo-jin plays Yang Mi-suk, the central character who stumbles into one frustrating situation after another. Gong said when she first saw the movie's promotional poster, she was surprised at her own face.

"I was worried about the character's initial image that is far from attractive, but I later realized my character is strangely appealing," Gong said.

Gong, a leading Korean actress, is widely regarded as a fashionable star. But the movie portrays her as not-so-fashionable, which might intrigue her fans.

The movie involves the trouble-laden life of Yang Mi-suk, especially her fruitless searches for true love. Director Lee said the character of Yang Mi-suk suffers a variety of complexes, including her red-colored face, obsession about her health and the serious lack of confidence in herself.

"The character represents a person who can be found everywhere in Korea, and I believe audiences will sympathize with her struggle," she said.

Park Chan-wook, who is now working on his next film, "Thirst," said he experienced the difficulties of financing movie.

"There is a big difference between producers and directors. When my position was director, I was thankful about all the money, big and small, coming from producers and investors, but when I became a producer, I felt sorry about the insufficient funding for the project," Park said.

Park said the movie's central character is highly unique.

"I think Yang Mi-suk in this movie is unprecedented in the Korean movie history, and Gong Hyo-jin's acting shows a lot of subtle emotional variations, which are deeply entertaining," Park said. He also makes a cameo in the movie.

Lee Jong-hyeok, who plays opposite Gong in the movie, said Korean men in their 30s might find the movie particularly interesting, without elaborating on the plot twist.

Director Lee attracted media spotlight in 2004 for winning awards at the country's major short film festivals, and her first feature-length film, to be released on Oct. 16, is expected to showcase her talent.

By Yang Sung-jin (insight@heraldm.com), image from empas.com


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Friday, 12 September 2008

Universal, Focus board Korea's "Thirst"

Studios to invest in, co-produce latest film from "Oldboy" director Park

Written by Patrick Frater


HONG KONG -- Universal Pictures and Focus Films have boarded "Oldboy" director Park Chan-wook's in-production vampire movie "Thirst." It's the first time a Korean film has received U.S. studio coin and a Stateside distribution commitment before its local release.

Universal and Focus will invest in and co-produce the pic, which has so far been steered by Korean major CJ Entertainment.

Focus will bow the film in North America with CJ handling the remaining international sales rights. CJ also will distribute the film in South Korea.

The deal was announced Thursday by UPI Studio prexy Christian Grass, Focus CEO James Schamus and CJ CEO Kim Joo-sung.

"Thirst" stars Song Kang-ho ("Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance," "The Host," "The Good the Bad and the Weird") and Shin Ha-kyun ("Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance"). Involving unusually risqué elements, pic also stars Kim Ok-bi ("Dasepo Naughty Girls,") as leading lady.

Pic is about a priest who participates in a medical experiment to find a cure for a deadly disease with traumatic repercussions.

It is skedded to be completed in time for a festival bow in mid-2009.

" 'Thirst' is especially exciting for us, as it's the first time a major studio has co-produced with a South Korean entertainment company in this way," said Grass. "Park Chan-wook is one of the most talented and influential Korean directors working today. We're really pleased to be partnering with CJ on this production."

"First, this is a vote of confidence in CJ and director Park, but also having a film of this scale get the backing of a major studio in North America opens up an opportunity for all Korean films," said Katharine Kim, exec VP and head of international at CJ. "Second, it is important to us to have Universal and Focus' financial commitment while the film is in production."

Park is best known for "Old Boy," which won the Grand Jury Prize at the Cannes in 2003 and 2005 hit "Lady Vengeance," both of which sold internationally after their domestic release.

The co-production is being overseen by Grass; Jason Resnick, senior VP and general manager of worldwide acquisitions for Universal Pictures; and CJ's Kim.

(Bobbie Whiteman in Hollywood contributed to this report).

Source: Variety Asia, image from movie.daum.net


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