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Son Ye Jin 손예진

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South Korean movies ride crest of wave

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South Korean movie stars Bae Yong-joon and actress Son Ye-jin. - AFP Photo

BUSAN, South Korea : From the hordes of screaming fans to the flag-lined streets and non-stop parties that have transformed this southern port city, the South Korean movie industry is clearly in the mood to celebrate after a decade of phenomenal growth.

The Pusan International Film Festival which celebrates its 10th anniversary this year has plenty of reasons to be cheerful: cinemas are packed, exports are soaring, and the world's leading film gatherings are paying homage to South Korea.

The festival in Busan, which has a daily procession of international and local stars treading the red carpet near Haeundae Beach, has become the jewel in the crown of Asia's new cinematic king.

Organisers of the nine-day event have been basking in the gushing compliments of all-comers from Jackie Chan to leading Taiwan auteur Hoa Hsiao-hsien, who have all proclaimed the festival the biggest and best in Asia.

"The Pusan International Film Festival has been getting bigger and better each year, while the fortunes of Asian, and particularly South Korean, film have grown as well," festival programmer Kim Je-seok told AFP in an interview. "There's a synergy."

More than 80 homegrown movies were produced last year, compared with less than 50 in 1999, according to the Korean Film Council. Domestic box office receipts have increased ten-fold over the past decade, boosting market share from 20 to more than 50 per cent.

Exports have risen to more than 50 million US dollars per year compared with just 200,000 dollars in 1995, with 194 films sold abroad in 2004, up from 15 a decade before.

"There has been huge, huge growth. The industry has grown very quickly," said An Cheong-sook, chairwoman of the Korean Film Council, noting that South Korean film-making began to improve when the military dictatorship ended in 1987.

"There was no more censorship so producers and directors were allowed to use their creativity," she said.

Western film festivals took notice, and critical acclaim poured in for distinctive works by leading Korean directors including Jang Sun-woo, Park Kwang-soo, and Lee Myung-se.

"The (commercial) market only came after the festival success," An said, adding that a change of attitude to the industry in 1999 provided a second spur to growth.

The government pledged 150 million US dollars to the industry and set up the film council to help produce, promote and distribute Korean films.

About the same time, it began enforcing a quota system requiring every cinema screen to show homegrown movies at least 106 days a year which, while unpopular with the US, dramatically boosted domestic market share to the highest in the world, An said.

-- Star power --

Busan's film festival's growth has mirrored the fortunes of national cinema and this year is bigger than ever with more than 300 films from 70 countries, while attracting leading film and industry figures from around the world.

Festival programmer Kim attributed the meteoric rise of South Korean cinema to its inability to be pigeon-holed and the X-factor that has made Korea's stars among the biggest in Asia.

"Hong Kong films make you think of action, Japanese films of Samurai and animation, but what kind of film is Korea known for? There is no one type," Kim said.

"Of course that could be a negative, but I think it's positive because we get to have a variety of films," he said.

"Hong Kong used to make more than 100 films year. Now it's 50-something. In Korea it has gone up from around 50 to 80," Law told AFP.

"But the quality is also increasing. They spend time on the scripts and production and you will find something original -- unlike Hong Kong which just copies and follows trends."

When the Pusan International Film Festival started, Chinese movies enjoyed a much higher profile but they have since been upstaged by homegrown movies.

Almost all the Korean movies screening at the festival have sold out, and Western film critics and movie buyers are queuing up to watch them.

"South Korean films have undoubtedly been the best in Asia over recent years," said Harri Rompotti, a critic from Finland. "Perhaps it's because there's a generation now which doesn't remember the dictatorship, or perhaps it's just a confluence of talent," he said.

While domestic box office takings dipped in the first half of this year as the industry hit a rough patch, it rebounded in the summer with three blockbusters drawing more than 10-million viewers between them.

Japan remains by far the main overseas market for Korean films, accounting for nearly half of all exports but the US, Japan, France, Germany and Thailand are all significant buyers, and new markets are opening up in Mexico and South America.

Korean movies have yet to wow mainstream audiences outside Asia but they have been increasingly feted by major festivals and Hollywood movie moguls.

MGM, Miramax, Warner Brothers and Stephen Spielberg's DreamWorks have all bought rights to remake Korean movies in recent years, and scouts are everywhere at the Busan festival.

The country's best-known film-maker, Im Kwon-Taek, was awarded an Honorary Golden Bear at the Berlin film festival in February, while Park Chan-wook's "Old Boy" won the runner-up Grand Prize at Cannes last year.

This year's festival in Busan features Park's latest work "Sympathy for Lady Vengeance", as well as other well-known Korean directors including Kim Jee-woon's "A Bittersweet Life", Hur Jin-ho's "April Snow" and Kim Ki-duk's "The Bow".

Programmer Kim said he was more excited by the up-and-coming directors being showcased in a Korean Panorama section, citing "Love Is A Crazy Thing", the second feature from Oh Seok-geun which debuted Saturday with a blitz of publicity.

Predicting further growth in the years ahead, Kim said the new directors would form the next wave of the festival's, and industry's, success story.

The film council's An said: "The future is bright. Until now Korean films were not known in the West, but this is just the start. The future is very bright."

Law was even more emphatic. "The future is Korean," he said.

- AFP /ct

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For your info..

Ye Jin has been highly praised by Singapore reporters for her acting...

Congratulation everyone!

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love so ye jin's acting, and her choice of which films to act in is fantastic, but i wish she would do more dramas

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hey guys, everytime I see the headline for this thread when i visit this forum, i can't help crack up about the 'heavenly CREATURE' thing....it's cute! :lol:

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E-mail interview with SYJ - The New Paper-12 Oct 2005[s'pore]
By Chang May Choon

WHEN IT COMES TO FILMING LOVE SCENES OVER 9 HOURS...

THIS QUEEN OF TEARS HAS NO FEARS

FOR months, she has been the neglected co-star of Bae Yong Joon in their latest film, April Snow.

Despite being in Bae Yong Joon's shadow, actress Son Ye Jin (above) has a strong following among male fans.

The Japanese media labelled her 'Yonsama's lover' (Yonsama refers to Yong Joon), and while his handsome face got splashed in newspapers and magazine covers all over Asia, she was relegated to the sidelines.

But, do not be mistaken.

On her own, South Korean actress Son Ye Jin can also command a captive male audience that is no smaller than all of Yong Joon's aunty brigade combined.

Hailed as the Queen Of Melodrama and Queen Of Tears in Korea, she has already earned the reputation of being a box-office guarantee.

Her last two films, Crazy First Love and A Moment To Remember, both made it to the Top 10 Best-selling Korean Film chart in Korea in 2003 and 2004 respectively.

Both films attracted more than two million admissions in Korea, making them no less than massive hits.

With the release of April Snow here this week, the doe-eyed 23-year-old gives her adoring male fans yet another reason to worship her.

In the movie, the actress will flaunt her ample bosom and smooth back in no less than four scenes.

The two sex scenes are undoubtedly her most daring to date, as she steers herself away from her girl-next-door stereotype.

From donning an itsy-bitsy blue bikini in the romantic comedy, Crazy First Love, she has become bolder with each new project she takes on.

In one scene in April Snow, Ye Jin is seen stepping out of the shower and blow-drying her hair wearing a white bra.

The film's director, Hur Jin Ho, admitted his leading lady's body was too good not to flaunt.

'I decided to keep the scenes of her blow-drying her hair, because she has such a beautiful figure,' he explained with a laugh, at the movie's Asia-wide media conference held in Seoul in August.

Much talked about, too, are the two sex scenes totalling five minutes, which show not only Yong Joon's taut pectorals but also Ye Jin's creamy smooth back. The two play strangers who inadvertently fall in love after realising that their spouses have been cheating on them before being involved in a car accident.

Even if Ye Jin is becoming more daring in her roles, she certainly wasn't too open about discussing them.

In an e-mail interview with The New Paper, she chose not to answer our question about director Hur's compliment on her figure, and also skipped another question on whether she would bare all on screen.

SEX SCENES CRUCIAL

But she did give a lengthy, albeit bland, explanation on why the sex scenes, which took nine long hours to film, are not meant to titillate, but are crucial to the story development.

'If there were no love scenes, people will find it difficult to understand and feel sympathy for the two characters,' she said.

'I do not think they fell for each other for physical reasons... But, as we started shooting, conveying that kind of sentiment was hard, because when they fell in love, there were a lot of complicated thoughts lingering inside their minds.'

But Ye Jin's biggest asset yet is her well-known ability to cry on cue and break the coldest of hearts.

She had leukaemia in Lover's Concerto, became a heart-transplant patient in Summer Scent, and then contracted Alzheimer's disease in A Moment To Remember.

Although she is healthy in April Snow, there is no lack of gut-wrenching crying scenes.

On the first day of filming alone, she reportedly cried for eight hours in her first emotional scene in a hospital, until she had little strength left.

Declining to use eye drops, she insisted on summoning her own tears for every retake.

'We shot from every angle, and although it was just an insignificant scene, I thought I still had to give it my best shot,' she said.

IMPROVISED LINES

Even the challenge of minimal lines in the script did not faze this bright actress, who came up with lines on the spot - much to the surprise of her co-star Yong Joon.

She told The New Paper: 'I think director Hur wanted to capture the spontaneous reactions and responses from us.

'There were not many lines at first. We made up more as we went along. I made up lines like 'Am I pretty?' and 'I do not understand why he cheated on me'.

'Bae Yong Joon was caught offguard at times as he was not expecting them. So his expressions of confusion were real.'

Though it was his first experience working with Ye Jin, director Hur was so impressed with her that he raved: 'She is an actress who is really good at expressing the emotions.

'When the scene calls for tears, she has the ability to immediately react to and act out the scene perfectly.

'Also, her character was supposed to be an incredibly passive and quiet housewife but she brought her bright, energetic self into the role and created a deeper and more well-shaped character.'

Even Yong Joon agreed that his co-star is 'phenomenal' in expressing the most complex of emotions.

With the melodrama genre conquered, Ye Jin now aims to show her more cheerful side in her next project, a romantic comedy titled Art Of Seduction.

'I have done a lot of sad films and so I chose this movie because I can act with smiles,' she told The New Paper.

'I play a woman who seduces men easily, but she is very cheerful and cute. I am happy to play this character.'

Will there be any bold seduction scenes?

She did not give details, but one can always hope.

Thank Tigger for posting the interview at byjtogether.com

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There are a few headlines of Ye jin and 妻夫木聡 on www.iyejin.com. I wonder what is it all about.

200510120000681son.jpg

coming200510120718400.jpg

Anyone can translate the following Jap or Korean news?

孫芸珍(ソン・イェジン)と妻夫木聡の映画共演話が持ち上がっており、共演実現に関心が高まっている、と韓国のスポーツ紙『スポーツ韓国』が12日、報じた。

  同紙によると、最近第10回釜山(プサン)国際映画祭に参加したある日本の映画関係者は、「日本の映画制作会社がソン・イェジンと妻夫木聡が共演する映画を企画し、双方に出演の打診をしている状態」とし、「双方とも前向きな返答をしており、共演実現については近々明らかになるだろう」と語ったとのこと。

 ソン・イェジン、妻夫木聡の2人が出演オファーを受けた作品は、男女間の切ない愛を描いた恋愛映画という。

朝鮮日報

한일 양국의 꽃미녀와 꽃미남이 만날까?

한류 스타 손예진과 일본 스타 츠마부키 사토시의 공동 주연 영화가 추진되고 있어 성사 여부에 대해 관심이 모아지고 있다. 최근 제10회 부산국제영화제에 참석한 한 일본 측 영화 관계자는 “일본의 한 영화제작업체가 손예진과 츠마부키 사토시가 나란히 출연하는 영화를 기획해 양측에 의사 타진을 한 상태”라면서 “양측 모두 긍정적인 답변을 해온 터라 조만간 성사 여부가 가시화될 것”이라고 밝혔다.

손예진과 츠마부키 사토시가 출연 제의를 받은 작품은 남녀 간의 애틋한 사랑을 담은 멜로 영화다. 현재 전체적인 윤곽을 잡은 채 세부적인 시나리오를 완성하고 있다. 더욱이 일본 영화제작업체는 한국의 영화사와 공동 작업을 추진하고 있어 한일 특급 프로젝트로 완성될 전망이다.

손예진의 소속사인 바른손엔터테인먼트는 이에 대해 “얼마전 일본 관계자로부터 츠마부키 사토시와의 공동 주연을 제안받았다. 현재 일본 최고 스타와의 합작이어서 긍정적으로 검토하고 있다”고 밝혔다.

바른손엔터테인먼트는 이어 “완성된 시나리오가 아닌 트리트먼트(축약본)을 받은 상태여서 향후 시나리오 개발을 지켜보면서 최종 결정할 계획”이라면서 “작품만 좋다면 굳이 마다할 이유가 있겠느냐”고 말했다.

손예진과 츠마부키 사토시의 공동 영화는 이들의 만남만으로도 화제를 불러일으킬 것으로 보인다. 손예진은 최근 배용준과 함께 주연을 맡은 ‘외출’의 일본 흥행에 이어 10월22일 ‘내 머리 속의 지우개’의 일본 개봉도 앞두고 있어 한류 여제로 각광을 받고 있다.

츠마부키 사토시 역시 영화 ‘조제 호랑이 그리고 물고기’로 주목을 받은 후 오는 22일 영화 ‘봄의 눈’으로 일본 관객들을 만나는 신예 스타다. 그의 부산 방문을 일본 취재진 20여팀이 동행해 밀착 취재할 정도로 일본 내에서 정상급 인기를 누리고 있다.

손예진과 츠마부키 사토시는 합작 제의가 나오는 와중에 공교롭게도 두 스타가 같은 날 열도에서 흥행 대결을 벌이게 됐다는 점도 관심 거리다. ‘내 머리 속의 지우개’의 제작사인 싸이더스FNH측은 “일본 수입사 가가측이 일본 개봉에 앞서 홍보 및 마케팅에 600만 달러(약 72억원)를 투입할 정도로 주연인 손예진의 파워에 큰 기대를 걸고 있다”고 전했다.

/고규대기자 enter@sportshankook.co.kr

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train18nm.jpg

train33fi.jpg

train44xc.jpg

train53sx.jpg

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train72dk.jpg

train87hh.jpg

train98cn.jpg

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These look like screencaps by me...I am so happy someone stored it and posted them...he he..

There are a few headlines of Ye jin and 妻夫木聡 on www.iyejin.com. I wonder what is it all about.

200510120000681son.jpg

coming200510120718400.jpg

Anyone can translate the following Jap or Korean news?

孫芸珍(ソン・イェジン)と妻夫木聡の映画共演話が持ち上がっており、共演実現に関心が高まっている、と韓国のスポーツ紙『スポーツ韓国』が12日、報じた。

  同紙によると、最近第10回釜山(プサン)国際映画祭に参加したある日本の映画関係者は、「日本の映画制作会社がソン・イェジンと妻夫木聡が共演する映画を企画し、双方に出演の打診をしている状態」とし、「双方とも前向きな返答をしており、共演実現については近々明らかになるだろう」と語ったとのこと。

 ソン・イェジン、妻夫木聡の2人が出演オファーを受けた作品は、男女間の切ない愛を描いた恋愛映画という。

朝鮮日報

한일 양국의 꽃미녀와 꽃미남이 만날까?

한류 스타 손예진과 일본 스타 츠마부키 사토시의 공동 주연 영화가 추진되고 있어 성사 여부에 대해 관심이 모아지고 있다. 최근 제10회 부산국제영화제에 참석한 한 일본 측 영화 관계자는 “일본의 한 영화제작업체가 손예진과 츠마부키 사토시가 나란히 출연하는 영화를 기획해 양측에 의사 타진을 한 상태”라면서 “양측 모두 긍정적인 답변을 해온 터라 조만간 성사 여부가 가시화될 것”이라고 밝혔다.

손예진과 츠마부키 사토시가 출연 제의를 받은 작품은 남녀 간의 애틋한 사랑을 담은 멜로 영화다. 현재 전체적인 윤곽을 잡은 채 세부적인 시나리오를 완성하고 있다. 더욱이 일본 영화제작업체는 한국의 영화사와 공동 작업을 추진하고 있어 한일 특급 프로젝트로 완성될 전망이다.

손예진의 소속사인 바른손엔터테인먼트는 이에 대해 “얼마전 일본 관계자로부터 츠마부키 사토시와의 공동 주연을 제안받았다. 현재 일본 최고 스타와의 합작이어서 긍정적으로 검토하고 있다”고 밝혔다.

바른손엔터테인먼트는 이어 “완성된 시나리오가 아닌 트리트먼트(축약본)을 받은 상태여서 향후 시나리오 개발을 지켜보면서 최종 결정할 계획”이라면서 “작품만 좋다면 굳이 마다할 이유가 있겠느냐”고 말했다.

손예진과 츠마부키 사토시의 공동 영화는 이들의 만남만으로도 화제를 불러일으킬 것으로 보인다. 손예진은 최근 배용준과 함께 주연을 맡은 ‘외출’의 일본 흥행에 이어 10월22일 ‘내 머리 속의 지우개’의 일본 개봉도 앞두고 있어 한류 여제로 각광을 받고 있다.

츠마부키 사토시 역시 영화 ‘조제 호랑이 그리고 물고기’로 주목을 받은 후 오는 22일 영화 ‘봄의 눈’으로 일본 관객들을 만나는 신예 스타다. 그의 부산 방문을 일본 취재진 20여팀이 동행해 밀착 취재할 정도로 일본 내에서 정상급 인기를 누리고 있다.

손예진과 츠마부키 사토시는 합작 제의가 나오는 와중에 공교롭게도 두 스타가 같은 날 열도에서 흥행 대결을 벌이게 됐다는 점도 관심 거리다. ‘내 머리 속의 지우개’의 제작사인 싸이더스FNH측은 “일본 수입사 가가측이 일본 개봉에 앞서 홍보 및 마케팅에 600만 달러(약 72억원)를 투입할 정도로 주연인 손예진의 파워에 큰 기대를 걸고 있다”고 전했다.

/고규대기자 enter@sportshankook.co.kr

Louis from www.iyejin.com commented this:

"A japanese movie company made an offer the main casting of a melo movie to Ye jin with the actor(tsumabuki satoshi). but not yet confirmed."

More and more japanese are recognising Ye jin's talent!!

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April Snow Singapore Premiere- 13th Octocber

April Snow Singapore Bunggae- 15th October Orchard Cineleisure, 7pm

How gratifyin' for ya Wisey `en da rest uv Singaporianz here... :D I much envy ye guyz!! :angry::P

Da movie premierez officially today but I heard last night they had sneak previewz in a few cinemas. C'mmon share to us Wisey, ya were there??!!

At any rate, hope the furthermost for April Snow in Singapore.

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