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February 12, 2011

'Night Fishing' Short Made Entirely on iPhone (Berlin)

by Park Soo-mee hollywoodreporter.com


SEOUL -- When a Cannes award-winning filmmaker Park Chan-wook and his younger brother Chan-kyong held a test screening of their first collaboration of the film Night Fishing they knew right away the film would be in black and white.

A 30-minute film shot entirely on iPhone, the coarseness of the image quality on the big screen reminded them of a restored black and white film. The two brothers, instead of trying to improve the picture quality by sharpening the fuzzy spots, exaggerated the coarseness even further. They reduced the amount of lighting in outdoor shooting, obscured details of the landscape and mounted a DSLR lens to give it a film-like look.

"It worked out because in the film you can't really see what's beyond the river (where the film takes place) and that creates a strange sense of fear," the 48-year old director says. "It was a choice due to budget constraint because we had limited access to lighting but it made sense artistically and also visually."

The result is a delirious fantasy-horror film unique to Park's style, based on the story of a man who catches a young shaman while fishing in a night river. For Korea Telecom, a local mobile phone carrier for iPhone who commissioned Park and funded 150 million won (130,000 USD), the film turned out to be a publicity stunt well worth the investment. Night Fishing was invited to Berlin's competition for shorts, where it screens at the CinemaxX 3, and also attracted 30,000 admissions in local multiplex theaters in January.

Park isn't the only filmmaker to venture into the new genre. In South Korea, the world's most wired country with more than 40 million mobile phone subscribers -- among which 7 million are smart phone users -- mobile phone companies are fiercely competing with each other to attract the attention of young, tech-savvy subscribers. One of their recent strategies had been to collaborate with high-profile filmmakers like Park and promote their movie-making apps.

Galaxy S, Samsung's ambitious attempt to move into a smart phone business, recently commissioned the director Kim Dae-woo of last year's box office hit The Servant to shoot a 20-minute short film. Age of Milk is a romantic comedy starring two TV idols -- Min Hyo-rin and Choi Daniel -- which has had more than 3.5 million downloads since it opened in December on the company's micro-site, according to Samsung Electronics. The film also played on major cablers like OCN and Super Action.

The film slips in scenes featuring the company's product like when the male lead shoots her lover underwater with his Galaxy S zipped in a plastic bag in a swimming pool. But overall it is a nifty short film that feels like an extended music video. Samsung explained in a press release that Age of Milk reflects the needs and trends of consumers in the age of smart phones.

"The question of finding the right story for a mobile phone is still baffling to me," said Kim, whose films are known for putting spin on classic Korean tales as in his screenplay for Scandal (2003), his adaptation of Dangerous Liaisons. "I am not an early adopter. I was terrified of how the film would look on a larger screen. But I was very impressed with the overall picture quality."

Other filmmakers see potentials in phone cameras and their apps as an alternative to professional equipment. The camera size is a big asset. Park's crew installed ten iPhone cameras for the filming of Night Fishing. This saved time and allowed access to more diverse angles without having to reshoot. He also discovered that actors performed more naturally, because phone cameras are un-intrusive.

"It really has changed the perspective of a film," says Hong Gyeong-po, a director of photography for Mother and Taeguki. "It's hard to believe that I'm making a film in an age where people shoot, edit and watch their films on their mobile phone."

A local survey also presents a dizzying future of the country's mobile technology. Korea Information Society Development Institute, a think-tank for mobile and wireless technology, said more than 20 million people, which is one-third of South Korean population, will become smart phone subscribers by the end of the year.

Already companies are offering carefully crafted marketing plans to reach their potential consumers.

A new app by a local developer features a program that shows Korean indie films on the iPhone. Korea Telecom is also collaborating with Lotte Entertainment, the country's second largest distributor next to CJ Entertainment, to host a smart phone festival later this month. The festival's jury is led by a veteran director Lee Joon-ik (The King and the Clown), and the winning films will be screened at Lotte Cinema, a local multiplex chain.

Ham Bo-ram, a 21-year old fine art student is one of the contestants who submitted a 9-minute film titled True Christmas. The film took him a month to shoot and edit. "I want to be a filmmaker and iPhone 4 is a great tool because it has iMovie (an application that allows the user to edit)," he says. "I eat, sleep and work. The rest of the time I play with my iPhone."

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February 13, 2011

Actors Hyun, Kim top list of ideal Valentine's dates

By Lee Hyo-won hyowlee@koreatimes.co.kr


Single Korean women and men chose actors Hyun Bin, left, and Kim Tae-hee, respectively,

as ideal dates for Valentine’s Day. / Korea Times file

Single Korean women and men chose actors Hyun Bin and Kim Tae-hee, respectively, as ideal dates for Valentine’s Day.

In a telephone survey conducted by marriage consulting firm Sunoo (Couple.net), 26.4 percent of 250 single women aged 20 to 40 chose Hyun saying he is "attractive" and "handsome." The actor recently made the headlines for his role in the hit TV soap "Secret Garden" as well as starring in two local films that were invited to the ongoing Berlin Film Festival.

Some 13 percent of the 250 surveyed men from the same age range chose Kim, citing reasons that she is "beautiful" and "sophisticated." The actress is currently playing the lead role in the drama "My Princess."

Next in the ranking among male celebrities were actors Lee Seung-ki (8 percent), for his "kind, hard-working, cute and lovable" appeal; Song Seung-hun and Won Bin (7.2 percent each), for being "handsome" and "masculine"; and So Ji-sub (6.4 percent).

Among female stars, men favored singer IU (10.4 percent) for her "cute" and "extraordinary singing talent" and actress Soo Ae (8.4 percent) for her "coy" and "feminine" allure. Also in the top rating were Yuna of the K-pop band Girls’ Generation (6 percent) as well as actresses Shin Se-kyung and Ha Ji-won (5.6 percent each).

In the global celebrity category, respondents chose Hollywood couple "Brangelina," actress Angelina Jolie and husband Brad Pitt, as their dream Valentines.

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February 15th, 2011

Goo Hye Sun to direct her second feature film, “Peach Tree”


Source: narongrith.com

Actress Goo Hye Sun has decided to pick up her director’s megaphone again, as she’s currently working on her second film, “Peach Tree“!

Nam Sang Mi and Ryu Duk Hwan have been cast as the leading roles in this special feature film. One film representative confirmed, “Goo Hye Sun is holding hands with Nam Sang Mi once more for her second film, alongside Ryu Duk Hwan for the leadig male role.”

Goo Hye Sun made her formal debut as a director through her movie “Magic” last year; nearly a year later, she’s returned to her director’s seat in order to tell the tale of Siamese twins. Ryu Duk Hwan will be playing one of the Siamese twins, and he’ll be competing against his brother for Nam Sang Mi’s affections.

Meanwhile, Goo Hye Sun is filming for two dramas – “The Musical” (with Choi Daniel) and for the Taiwanese drama, “Absolute Boyfriend.” She’s been taking time out of her busy schedule to prepare for her upcoming movie, in addition to working as the official trailer director for the “13th International Women’s Film Festival in Seoul“.

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February 20, 2011

'Night Fishing' brings home Golden Bear

Park brothers’ iPhone-shot short film wins award at Berlinale

By Park Min-young (claire@heraldm.com) koreaherald.com

South Korea’s highly acclaimed director Park Chan-wook and his younger brother, media artist Park Chan-kyong, captured a Golden Bear at Berlin International Film Festival for their first collaboration.


Director Park Chan-kyong receives the Golden Bear award of the International Short Film Jury for the film “Night Fishing,”

which he co-directed with his brother Park Chan-wook, at the Berlin International Film Festival held at

Grand Hyatt in Berlin on Saturday. (AFP-Yonhap News)

The film “Night Fishing,” the first film the Park brothers have made together, won the top prize of the festival’s International Short Film Jury at the awards ceremony held at Grand Hyatt in Berlin, Germany on Saturday.

The 61st festival ran from Feb. 10 to 20 and showcased 22 films in its main program including 16 in the run for the Golden and Silver Bears in the competition categories.

A total of nine Korean films were invited to the festival, including three listed under the competition section ― “Night Fishing,” “Broken Night,” which won the second prize in the shorts section, and “Come Rain, Come Shine.”

“Night Fishing” is a fantasy film about a middle-age man (Oh Gwang-rok), who accidentally catches the body of a female shaman (Lee Jung-hyun) while fishing at night. The 30-minute piece was shot entirely with an iPhone 4.

The Park brothers have launched a co-directing brand called “PARKing CHANce” for this film. The younger Park hinted after the awards ceremony that the two will be collaborating more in the future.

“I was so happy to hear that three juries did a secret ballot and it was unanimous. You never know when you will get a ‘parking chance’ when you are driving, but I will do (another collaboration with my brother), when I get the chance,” said Park.

Only the younger Park, actor Oh and actress Lee attended the ceremony because Park Chan-wook is currently in the U.S., working on his next movie, “Stoker.”

Mia Waskiowska is to play a key role in Park’s first English-language movie and more Hollywood stars including Nicole Kidman and Colin Firth are reported to be in talks to star in the film as well. The movie is expected to be released in the U.S. next year.

For the older Park who is already internationally established for his award-winning films “Old Boy” and “Thirst,” this is his second win at the festival. He won the festival’s Alfred-Bauer award for the movie “I’m a Cyborg But That’s OK” in 2007.

The Silver Bear of the fete’s shorts section also went to a Korean film ― director Yang Hyo-Joo’s “Broken Night.” The movie, which tells a story of an unlucky young insurance fraudster, had won the Sunje Fund Award at Pusan International Film Festival last year.


Director Yang Hyo-joo poses with the Silver Bear award of the International Short Film Jury for her film “Broken Night”

at the Berlin International Film Festival held at Grand Hyatt in Berlin on Saturday. (AP-Yonhap News)

“Come Rain, Come Shine,” a feature-length film which was the only Asian contender for the festival’s Golden Bear top prize, however, was not well received by the jury and critics, despite its prominent cast of heart-throb Hyun Bin and Im Soo-jeong.

Directed by Lee Yoon-ki, the slow-paced movie tells the story of a young couple who have been married five years facing a split.

The film “Nader and Simin: A Separation,” an Iranian family drama directed by Asghar Farhadi, won the festival’s Golden Bear for Best Film. Silver Bear Prizes for Best Actor and Best Actress also went to those who starred in the film ― Peyman Moadi, Ali Asghar Shahbazi, Babak Karimi, Sareh Bayat, Sarina Farhadi and Leila Hatami.

The feature-length film blends religious and social conflicts of Iran into a story about a crumbling marriage. Farhadi had also won a Best Director prize for the film “About Elly” at the festival in 2009.

The Silver Bear’s Jury Grand Prix went to Hungarian director Bela Tarr’s “The Turin House” and the Silver Bear for Best Director to German film-maker Ulrich Kohler for the movie “Sleeping Sickness.”


Filmmaker Yang heads to Berlinale with dreams for future

Korean shorts win awards

Chung Ah-young


Director Park Chan-kyong poses with his Golden Bear

award of the International Short Film Jury for his film “Night Fishing,”

co-directed by Park Chan-wook, during the awards ceremony at the 61st Berlinale

International Film Festival in Berlin, Feb. 19. / Reuters-Yonhap

Korean film director Park Chan-wook’s latest short film “Paranmanjang (Night Fishing)” in collaboration with his brother Chan-kyong, won the Gold Bear for Best Short Film at the 61st Berlin International Film Festival, which wrapped up Sunday.

Shot entirely on an iPhone, the film competed with 26 other shorts. Park and his artist brother co-directed the fantasy flick starring singer-turned-actress Lee Jung-hyun and actor Oh Kwang-rok. “Paranmanjang” is about a man who goes fishing at night and meets a female shaman. The film portrays images of shamanistic rituals and depicts the transition between life and death.

Park was awarded the Grand Prix for “Oldboy” at the 2004 Cannes Film Festival, the CinemAvvenire Award for “Sympathy for Lady Vengeance” at the 2005 Venice Film Festival and the Jury Prize for “Thirst” at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival. His brother, recognized as a media artist, directed shorts such as “Sindoan” and “Flight.”

Meanwhile, rising director Yang Hyo-joo received the Silver Bear award of the International Short Film Jury for her film “The Unbroken.” The film is about a story about two swindlers who are involved in a real accident one evening after contriving a fake car accident to claim insurance payments.

Yang graduated from the Korea National University of Arts this year and “The Unbroken” was her graduation project. She has won numerous awards for her earlier shorts films “One Last Day” and “Jouissance.” Most recently she received the Asian New Force award at the 15th Hong Kong Independent Short Film and Video Awards.

Lee Yoon-ki’s much anticipated film “Come Rain, Come Shine” starring heartthrob Hyun Bin and Lim Soo-jung competed for the Golden Bear top prize as the only Asian film but did not win. Hyun’s film “Late Autumn” co-starring Chinese actress Tang Wei directed by Kim Tae-yong was also invited to screen at the festival.

This year, nine Korean movies were shown in various sections of the festival.

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March 2, 2011

Song Seung Hun: ‘I Feel More Responsibility About Acting’


"I have to continue to strive to improve my acting ability.” - Song Seung Hun

Actor Song Seung Hun is one of the so-called “Hot People” because he is a representative “pretty man” and Hallyu star, who is very popular in the Asian region. And he became a romantic actor with his appearance in the MBC TV drama “My Princess,” which had finished airing on February 24, by playing an elite diplomat and heir of a chaebol named Park Hae Young. Song came to a restaurant located in Nonhyundong for an interview the very next day after the drama aired its last episode, and talked about many things regarding himself, now 16 years after his debut.

Q: Did you have a good sleep? I heard that you had a killer filming schedule for “My Princess.”

A: On February 24 when the last episode aired, I filmed the drama until six in the evening and then we had a culminating party right away. Even though I did not drink a lot of alcohol, I was completely out of it, maybe because I was too tired. I heard that my manager had tried to wake me up in front of my house for almost one hour. But today I woke up early at seven in the morning. I could not get enough sleep for the last two months, so I could not sleep more in the morning. Since I could not watch the last episode yesterday due to the party, I just watched the last episode.


Q: How do you feel after finishing the drama? I guess that you might feel sad about missing many things.

A: Honestly, there were some moments when I had the thought, “I might not be able to finish this episode until the day it has to be aired.” The filming schedule was so tight. I feel very happy that we could finish the drama without any problem. Of course, there are some things that I feel sorry about, but the drama itself and the character that I played were so exciting to me. I think that any experience could become my asset.

Q: Why did you choose the romantic comedy genre right now?

A: I had recently worked in "heavy" works such as the drama “East of Eden” and the movie “A Better Tomorrow.” And when people around me had begun to tell me that they actually miss the “funny character” whom I played in my debut sitcom drama “Three Men Three Women,” I had received the suggestion from “My Princess.” I read the scripts for the first episode through the fourth episode, and they were so interesting. At that time, I did not know whether the script for the later episodes would come out this late (laugh). When I was younger, I wanted to be looked upon as impressive, and I tended to choose works which had lingering images rather than happy endings.


Q: How did you feel after acting in a romantic comedy? People responded favorably about your acting in a romantic comedy.

A: I have played characters who are always serious so far, so this character was so much fun. I felt like I was coming to the film set to play a game. Even though following the tight filming schedule was very difficult, the acting itself was very exciting. I had to play a character who has burdens in his life in the previous works, but this time I did not need to feel burdened about life and I felt really good about it (laugh). If I can have the chance, I want to appear in a romantic comedy movie again.

Q: You have not presented any love scenes that created goose bumps before. Did you actually fall in love with actress Kim Tae Hee?

A: If you think so, it might be because of our perfect acting ability (laugh). We filmed the drama very comfortably, and it was as enjoyable and exciting as if we were actually on a date. The behavior that the character Park Hae Young had shown when he made fun of her was so similar to mine, but actually I am a much more aggressive person, so sometimes I felt frustrated about Park Hae Young’s passive behavior towards Kim Tae Hee. Park Hae Young hesitated to marry Lee Seol due to the allegation of tax evasion, but I could not agree with his hesitation. If his love were true, it might not become any problem. If I were him, I might suggest Lee Seol run away somewhere with me.

Q: It was so lucky that you could play this character that perfectly matches your image, but I felt so bad at the same time because if you acted in this genre when you were little more “pretty,” I mean when you were in your twenties, it might be much better. Now you have already reached your mid-thirties. Do you think that you have become old?

A: Honestly, I do not feel that I am old. I was surprised when I heard that actor Lee Ki Kwang ,who also appeared in the drama, was 22 years old, but I still feel like I am a high school student. It might because I still get along with high school friends, but actually we hang out in the same manner that we had done at that time (laugh).


Q: Even though you could not feel any changes in your age, you might feel some differences. What kind of differences do you feel?

A: My attitude towards acting has been changed. After I finished my military duty, I came to have different thoughts. I feel more responsibility and I can feel excitement that I did not know before. I tended to act like a machine when I had a script in the past, but now I think about other things, like what I can do besides those lines written on the script. I have come to know the importance of harmony in the drama and I also consider viewers and think that I should make my fans enjoy watching my acting. I acted to satisfy my desire in the past, but now I want to find out some things that I can do for my fans with my acting. When I received a letter from a fan living abroad who said that she came to know Korea and like Korea because of me, I could realize the impact of Hallyu. I did not think about that impact when I acted, but actually there was some impact imparted from my acting, so I think that I have to also consider the impact of my acting, and those thoughts have become responsibility. In addition, I am very excited when I act. I want to act not only as my career, but also as an enjoyment to me, and I am actually enjoying myself while acting. People still say something about my acting ability and I have to give more effort to improve my acting ability. Anyway, now I am learning about the pleasure of acting.

Q: Why didn’t you have a desire for acting in the past?

A: I had never thought about becoming an actor when I was young. I thought that being an actor was someone else’s story who had been destined to become an actor. I was just an ordinary person and became an ordinary university student. In 1995 when I worked as a part timer, a person who introduced himself as a staff member of the Storm clothing company suggested I apply as a model in his company, and I applied and suddenly became the main model for the company. Actually a member of the group Deux, Kim Sung Jae, was the main model and So Ji Sub and I were supporting models. When the late Kim Sung Jae suddenly died, we unexpectedly became the main models. After that, I came to appear in the sitcom “Three Men Three Women” without any preparation. I could not even think about my desire at that moment because I could not prepare anything at all, so I was greatly criticized due to my bad acting ability. But now things have changed. Acting is something that I can do very well and that I have invested in for almost ten years up until now and something that I will do for my entire life. When I was in my twenties, I just thought that acting was my career and sometimes I was full of conceit, but now I have come to think of my fans and people first before myself.


Q: Is there anything that you are afraid of? Do you feel afraid about losing popularity?

A: From the time when I began acting, I heard a lot that I should not focus on popularity, so I actually do not cling to popularity that much. Since I am a human being, gaining popularity might be much better than losing it. But I know very well that I cannot be a star actor forever. When I acted with senior actor Kim Soon Jae in “My Princess,” I could see that he had huge enthusiasm about acting and his passion for acting looked so wonderful to me, and I came to have the thought that I wanted to become an actor like him. I also felt ashamed about myself. When he was young, he was completely absorbed in studying acting, but I could not give endeavor for acting enough like him when I was young, because I did not study and I did not have the dream of becoming an actor, so I feel really sorry and regret it now.

Q: What do you usually do when you have free time?

A: I usually hang out with my friends or exercise. I play golf from time to time, but I am not good at it. My life seems to be very boring (laugh).

Q: Do you have any plans about marriage?

A: I want to form a good family, but it is not that easy. I do not have a girlfriend, either. I do not know... maybe my soul mate will suddenly appear. I would marry her.

At the end of the interview, he said, “Everything seems to be decided by relationships with others. In the past, I did not care at all about someone whom I did not like because I thought that the person had nothing to do with me, but now I want to have a good relationship with others anyhow.”



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Mar 7, 2011

As actor joins Marines, tears of thousands flow



When a wildly popular actor showed up for Marine Corps training yesterday, he encountered an invasion. Not a military one, but a decidedly female one, and a very emotional one at that. Tears were shed. One sign read, “We can’t live without you.”

Thousands of fans and reporters gathered in front of the Marine Corps Training Camp in Pohang, North Gyeongsang, yesterday, as actor Hyun Bin, 28 - who became the heartthrob of millions of Asian women by playing a leading role in the popular SBS drama “Secret Garden” - entered the Marine Corps, along with 600 other would-be marines. Although other male celebrities have joined the country’s compulsory military service, and some like Hyun Bin volunteered for the marines, yesterday’s frenzy was unprecedented.

Beginning early in the day, areas around Pohang drew a flood of visitors desperate to see their idol in the flesh before he heads into the Marines for the next two years. A flight from Gimpo Airport to Pohang at 10 a.m. was packed and other morning flights were almost full. Japanese fans were especially zealous. They arranged chartered buses at Gimhae so they could get to Pohang as quickly as possible. Japanese media joined in the frenzy. According to the Marine Corps, seven broadcasting companies, including NHK, requested access inside the camp.

But Hyun Bin, whose real name is Kim Tae-pyung, was modest about all the attention. “I heard fans from not only Korea, but Japan and Hong Kong came as well, using up their precious time ... I will make sure to come out as a better man,” said Hyun Bin at a press conference, which was held in front of the training camp.

When the actor took off a baseball cap while at the podium, revealing his short-cut hair, the fans cheered, some bursting into tears. He, too, shed tears. “Ever since last year, I’ve received a vast amount of love and support that I can’t handle on my own. I don’t know how to repay it all back. I’ll make sure to spend my two years wisely to repay all the love that I am receiving right now,” said Hyun Bin in a quavering voice.

As he stepped down from the podium after making a deep bow, middle-aged female fans wept and waved signs that read: “Please come back healthy and safely to our arms because we cannot live without you.” Banners were hoisted everywhere and a crush of cars was restricted from parking near the entrance. Due to the large crowd, other would-be Marines entered through a different entrance.

Hyun Bin will receive basic training for seven weeks before beginning 21 months of service. His date of discharge has been set for Dec. 16, 2012.

The actor passed the physical exam with outstanding results. Out of 30 points, he earned a total of 29, 15 of which were for pushups and 14 for sit-ups. His score ranked in the top 5 percent among 200 applicants. Moreover, he is the oldest applicant since 2008. The competitiveness for the Marine Corps has increased dramatically following North Korea’s shelling last November of Yeongpyeong Island, which has a Marine Corps base.

According to the Military Manpower Administration, 4,553 hopefuls applied for 1,011 openings in January, pushing the competition to a record high. The competition rate soared to as high as 4.5 to 1, double the ratio of July 2008, when it was only 2.1 to 1. The Marine Corps is considered the toughest service branch. Hyun Bin’s decision to join the corps received tremendous support and gave him even more fame than ever.

Meanwhile, singer Lee Jeong, 30, who was discharged from the corps five months ago, has gained more popularity since joining the corps.

Why are these vigorous Korean men in their 20s so fanatical about the Marines?

Marine Corps members are known to have one of the strongest bonding spirits in Korea. Many universities have Marine Corps associations, where they get together regularly, remembering the “Marine spirit.”

“Marine Corps members have self-respect because it is the most elite troop. People who think they have a lack of confidence can come out full of confidence,” said Lee Seong-soo, 31, who is a member of the Marine Corps Comrades Association of Seoul National University. “I am the type of person who looks for challenges. My whole life was a challenge. I was a doctoral candidate [when I applied], and it wasn’t a good time to join the corps because the studying itself was a tough job. But I wanted to challenge myself and I think I have done it quite all right.

“ The fact that I survived the hard training at the corps gives me courage to do other things. I tell myself, ‘Hey, I survived the Marine Corps. What can’t I do?’ ” he said. Lee was discharged from the corps in 2003.

Kim Ho-ki, a sociology professor at Yonsei University, said the “Marine Corps is a symbol of strength and masculinity.”

By Yim Seung-hye, Jeong Seon-eon [enational@joongang.co.kr]

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March 4, 2011

Kim Tae Hee Signs with ‘Sweet Power’ Agency in Japan


Star actress Kim Tae Hee has signed an agency contract with Japanese agency Sweet Power, her Korean agency Luah Entertainment said on March 3. A spokesperson for her agency said, "Kim Tae Hee signed the contract at the end of last year regarding her activities in Japan, and she plans to hold various activities in Japan. Now she is enthusiastically studying Japanese for her future activities."

Many famous Japanese actresses such as Maki Horikita, Uchiyama Rina, and Kuroki Meisa belong to Sweet Power, which specializes in managing actresses. Kim Tae Hee has been acknowledged in Japan with her appearances in dramas such as “Stairway to Heaven,” ”Love Story in Harvard,” and “IRIS,” and the recent drama “My Princess,” in which she appears with Hallyu star Song Seung Hun, has been drawing significant attention in Japan. Kim left for Japan immediately after finishing “My Princess” on February 28, and she has meetings with related people in the Japanese entertainment business.


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March 11, 2011

Park Yong-ha's Mother Releases Memoir of Her Son

Source: englishnews@chosun.com


The late actor and singer Park Yong-ha's mother has published a memoir about her son. Published through a contract with a Japanese publisher, Park's mother Oh Young-ran's 260-page book details the family's close relationships and love for Park, Japan's Sankei Sports reported.

The book covers his life ranging from his childhood to his debut in show business and stardom in Japan. It also includes behind-the-scenes stories on his relationships with close celebrity friends as well as previously unreleased photos and his last interview.

Oh said she published the book to record her family's story and remember the good days they shared together.

Park debuted with the TV drama "Theme Theater" in 1994 and became popular in Japan and Southeast Asia with his appearance in the hit TV drama "Winter Sonata" in 2002 along with Bae Yong-joon and Choi Ji-woo.

He released several albums in Japan and received the Golden Disk award for four consecutive years from 2005. He committed suicide last June at the age of 33.

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South Korea sweeps Asian Film Awards




South Korea's finest celebrated after they blitzed the annual Asian Film Awards on Monday, bolstering the country's growing reputation as the pre-eminent force in the region.

South Korean movie stars and filmmakers dominated the glitzy ceremony in Hong Kong, now in its fifth year, snapping up awards for best director, best screenplay, best actor, best supporting actress and best editing.

Lee Chang-Dong clinched best director for the feature film "Poetry", which also won best screenplay. The film portrays an elderly woman who falls in love with poetry after taking literature lessons but discovers some dark facts about her grandson along the way.

Lee, who previously won best director and best film for his movie "Secret Sunshine" in 2008, told reporters after the ceremony he did not expect to be crowned best director again.

"This is a complete surprise to me, I did not expect it at all," he said. "I am very happy and excited to receive it."

Thai film "Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives", which grabbed the top Palme d'Or prize at the Cannes Film Festival last year, won best film. It portrays a dying man who reflects on his past days and the history of Thailand.

Director Apichatpong Weerasethakul told reporters afterwards: "I feel like I'm dreaming -- it's wonderful."

"It's so special to win this award in Asia. For me, it is an accomplishment finishing this film on such a low budget," he added.

"A lot of films I make have an experimental slant. But I think that's exactly what we need -- we need diversity and variety in the way that we tell stories. I'm happy that this film relates to people in the West and in Asia."

South Korea's Ha Jung-Woo took the best actor gong for starring in "The Yellow Sea", beating Hong Kong action movie star Chow Yun-fat and mainland Chinese actor Ge You.

China's Xu Fan beat Japan's Matsu Takako and South Korea's Jeon Do-Yeon to the best actress award.

She said: "I was very emotional. All I could think of when I was up there receiving the award was how difficult it was shooting this movie. It was a gruelling process. I am grateful my hard work paid off."

Veteran Hong Kong actor Sammo Hung was crowned best supporting actor for his role in the smash hit "Ip Man 2".

Best supporting actress went to Youn Yuh-Jung for her role in the South Korean movie "The Housemaid", while the award for best newcomer went to Mark Chao of the Taiwanese film "Monga".

Best cinematography went to Japan's "Norwegian Wood" while best production design went to "13 assassins".

Hong Kong veteran producer Raymond Chow, whose movie creations include "Enter the Dragon" and "The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles", received this year's Lifetime Achievement Award.

The Asian Film Festival, held annually since 2007, is aimed at showcasing the region's movie talent.

Twenty-nine films from nine territories vied for 14 prizes this year.


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The most frustrating development for Korean filmmakers involved "City of Damn Nation," a gangster-oriented comedy that relies heavily on Jeoung Jun-ho, a leading Korean actor behind the huge success of "My Boss, My Hero" in 2002. The failure of "City of Damn Nation" illustrates the steady decline of gangster-themed comic films at the box office. Although Jeoung represents the heyday of Korean gangster comedy, local audiences seemed to be tired of the same old comical tricks.

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