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  1. June 15, 2019 'Parasite' surpasses 8 million in admissions SEOUL, June 15 (Yonhap) -- The Cannes-winning "Parasite" surpassed 8 million in total admissions on Saturday, looking poised to join other films in the 10 million club. According to data from the Korean Film Council (KOFIC), "Parasite" reached over 8 million in admissions just past 3 p.m. Saturday, the 17th day since its much anticipated release. The family satire directed by Bong Joon-ho earned the Palme d'Or at this year's Cannes Film Festival and has stayed at the top of the local box office since its premiere on May 30. "Parasite" is ahead of the pace set by a handful of earlier films that sold more than 10 million tickets, including Bong's own 2006 film "The Host." "Roaring Currents," a 2014 film about Admiral Yu Sun-shin's heroics in the 16th century, remains the most-viewed film ever in South Korea with 17.6 million admissions. June 14, 2019 Bong Joon-ho's Award-Winning Film Still Leads Box Office Source: The Chosun Ilbo Director Bong Joon-ho's latest film "Parasite" remains at the top of the box office. The film, which won the top prize at this year's Cannes Film Festival last month, has attracted over 7.5 million moviegoers in about two weeks since its release here on May 30, according to the Korean Film Council. The award-winning film drew over 1 million moviegoers in just two days and continues to attract a herd of viewers -- 1 million almost every day since then. Buoyed by a host of positive reviews from critics and viewers, the film is expected to continue to dominate the box office despite an onslaught of new releases. "Parasite" revolves around two families whose lives become intertwined when the son from a poor family scams his way into a tutoring job with a wealthy family.
  2. May 27, 2019 South Korean director Bong Joon-ho (L) and actor Song Kang-ho answer reporters' questions at Incheon International Airport, west of Seoul, on May 27, 2019, upon returning home from Cannes, France. He won the Palme d'Or for his film "Parasite" at the 72nd edition of the Cannes Film Festival, the previous day. (Yonhap) Cannes-winning 'Parasite' hits No. 1 in pre-sale tickets (Yonhap) Filmgoers Eagerly Await Release of Award-Winning Film 'Parasite' (The Chosun Ilbo) Palme d’Or winner ‘Parasite’ guarantees 52-hour workweek for film crew (The DONG-A Ilbo) News Focus: Song Kang-ho, icon of contemporary Korean cinema (Yonhap) News Focus: Can 'Parasite' capture Korean audiences? (Yonhap) PARASITE Takes Home World’s Biggest Film Prize (KOFIC) Press event for film ‘Parasite’ held Tuesday (The DONG-A Ilbo) Bong Joon-ho's Prize-Winning 'Parasite' Premieres in Korea (The Chosun Ilbo) Actor Song Kang-ho attributes his new nickname to 'Parasite' (Yonhap) Cannes-winning 'Parasite' opens strong in S. Korean box office (Yonhap) 'Parasite' sweeps local box office (The Korea Times) Source: CJ Entertainment
  3. 6/7 Minjung returning from Spain. (Source: Newsen)
  4. Source: ELLE Korea In celebration of Gabriela Hearst's full collection of handbags for the first time in Korea, designer Gabriela Hearst visited the Bunshoot shop. Actors #ChoiJiWoo and #LeeMinJung attended and gathered at the event.
  5. May 26, 2019 Bong and Song: the double act behind Cannes victory via The Korea Times 72nd Cannes Film Festival - Photocall after Closing ceremony - Cannes, France, May 25, 2019. Director Bong Joon-ho, Palme d'Or award winner for his film "Parasite" (Gisaengchung), and Song Kang-ho react. REUTERS/Jean-Paul Pelissier CANNES (AFP) ― To give you some idea how good an actor South Korea's Song Kang-ho is, one of the first things director Bong Joon-ho did Saturday after he won the top prize at the Cannes was to drop to his knee and offer the Palme d'Or to his friend. An actor who has become something of a national treasure, Song has starred in several of the divided country's greatest movies. He also shines at the heart of "Parasite" as the head of a family of penniless scammers in the darkly comic drama that brought Bong his historic Cannes victory. Song, 52, has made four films with Bong including the 2006 monster flick "The Host" and Bong's first English-language film "Snowpiercer", both of which were box office and critical smashes. "I rely on Song a lot," the director told a recent press conference in Seoul. "Working with him has allowed me to be more brave as a filmmaker, and take on more difficult challenges." After starting his career on stage, Song made his first film appearance in 1996 in now-acclaimed director Hong Sang-soo's debut movie, "The Day a Pig Fell into a Wall." Since then, he has appeared in more than 30 films and worked with top South Korean filmmakers including Park Chan-wook, Kang Je-gyu and Lee Chang-dong. Song has had roles in some of the most significant works in South Korean cinema's modern history. Director Kang Je-gyu's 1999 spy action film "Shiri" was the nation's first big-budget, Hollywood-style blockbuster, and outperformed "Titanic" at the South Korean box office that year. Connection with public Song also appeared in highly-acclaimed director Park Chan-wook's "Joint Security Area" (2000), "Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance" (2002) and "Thirst" (2009), which won the Jury Prize at Cannes. Over more than 20 years in film, Song's roles have ranged from an ill-equipped detective in Bong's "Memories of Murder" to a vampire Catholic priest in "Thirst." He has also played a character loosely based on the life of South Korea's late former president Roh Moo-hyun ("The Attorney", 2013), and a cab driver who becomes unintentionally involved in the 1980 Gwangju Uprising ("Taxi Driver", 2017). That film was based on the Kim Sa-bok, a real-life taxi driver who gave a ride to Juergen Hinzpeter, a German journalist who reported on violent civil unrest in the southern city of Gwangju. One of Song's strongest qualities is his versatility, said Jason Bechervaise, a professor at Soongsil Cyber University in Seoul. "In cinema, a connection between the character and audience is crucial and this is where Song, in particular, shines," he told AFP. "It's difficult to imagine films such as 'Taxi Driver' and 'The Attorney' resonating so powerfully without him. "Viewers are inevitably drawn to his characters to such an extent that he is an immense draw at the Korean box office." (AFP) Bong Joon-ho: 1st Korean winner of Cannes' top prize Director becomes first Korean director to bring home top prize from Cannes May 27, 2019 Bong Joon-ho wins Cannes Palme d’Or ‘Parasite’ director is first Korean to win the festival’s grand prize Source: INSIDE Korea JoongAng Daily Director Bong Joon-ho holds his fist in the air to celebrate winning the Palme d’Or at the 72nd Cannes Film Festival for his film “Parasite.” Bong is the first Korean filmmaker to receive the prestigious award. [YONHAP] Bong Joon-ho became the first Korean director to win the Palme d’Or at the 72nd Cannes Film Festival on Saturday for his latest film “Parasite.” “I was just a timid, awkward film maniac who wanted to become a director ever since I was 12,” said Bong during his acceptance speech for the film festival’s highest honor. “I never thought this day would come where I would be the one holding this trophy. Thank you.” At a press conference for the film held in Seoul in April, Bong shied away from the possibility of winning the prestigious award. He said he thought that “Parasite,” which explores social class issues, was too specific to Korea for overseas audiences to fully understand, and that there were other prominent contenders for this year’s competition. “Sorry We Missed You” director Ken Loach and “Young Ahmed” directors Jean-Pierre Dardenne and Luc Dardenne are all two-time winners of the Palme d’Or. “A Hidden Life” director Terrence Malick, “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” director Quentin Tarantino, and “Mektoub, My Love: Intermezzo” director Abdellatif Kechiche have all won the award before as well. Despite Bong’s concerns, the Korean sentiment that is portrayed throughout the film was one of the reasons why the director won the prize. “We all shared the mystery of the unexpected way this film took us through different genres and spoke in a funny, humorous, tender way - with no judgment - of something so relevant and urgent, so global in such a local film, with such a beautiful efficiency of media, and an understanding of what film really is,” said jury president Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu at the post-ceremony press conference. Inarritu confirmed that Bong’s work received a unanimous decision by the jury. Bong started to make a name for himself with his debut feature film “Barking Dogs Never Bite” (2000), where he caught the attention of local audiences for its representation of social hierarchy and conflicts related to the generation gap. “Memories of Murder” (2003) was both a financial success and praised by the critics for its gripping serial killer story. His third work, “The Host,” was a box-office monster. Over 10 million moviegoers went to the cinema to watch a creature portrayed using then-advanced CGI technology arise from the Han River to terrorize Seoul. After he became recognized by both local and international audiences, Bong recently worked with big-name Hollywood actors, such as Tilda Swinton, Jake Gyllenhaal, Steven Yeun and Chris Evans for his films “Snowpiercer” (2013) and “Okja” (2017). “Parasite” had the local media’s attention for being Bong’s first Korean-language movie after a 10-year hiatus. “Every time I came to Cannes the film [I was in] received an award. For ‘Secret Sunshine’ (2007), it was Jeon Do-yeon who won the Best Actress award, for ‘Thirst’ (2009), director Park Chan-wook received the Jury Prize, and now it is Bong’s turn,” actor Song Kang-ho said while he gave an interview at the festival. May 27, 2019 Bong Joon-ho Becomes 1st Korean to Win Palme d'Or at Cannes By Song Hye-jin The Chosun Ilbo Director Bong Joon-ho poses with the Palme d'Or for his film "Parasite" during a photo call at the Cannes Film Festival in France on Saturday. /Courtesy of CJ E&M Director Bong Joon-ho won the prestigious Palme d'Or at this year's Cannes Film Festival in France on Saturday for his film "Parasite," becoming the first Korean ever to receive the top prize. "It's such a unique experience. It's so unexpected," said Mexican film director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, who headed this year's jury. "It took all of us sharing our experiences. We shared the mystery of the unexpected way this film took us through different genres and mixed them and spoke in a funny, humorous, tender way with no judgment of something so irreverent and urgent. It's so global but in such a local film. We were all fascinated by it since we saw it. It kept growing and growing. It was a unanimous decision." When Inarritu and French actress Catherine Deneuve announced "Bong Joon-ho" as the laureate of the Palme d'Or at the closing ceremony, the crowd erupted in cheers. After receiving the trophy, an emotional Bong thanked the audience in French and paused to bask in the moment. He apologized for not preparing a speech in French, and continued in Korean. "I was a timid film fanatic who decided to become a film director at the age of 12. I had never imagined that a day would come when I would hold this trophy in my hand," he said. Bong recalled that as a boy, being so shy made him stay at home and watch TV and films all night, dreaming of becoming a film director. "This year marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of Korean cinema, and Cannes has given a big present to Korean cinema," he added. Bong also singled out actor Song Kang-ho, with whom he has worked continuously for over 17 years and who starred in "Parasite." "I would like to listen to what a great actor and my good companion Song Kang-ho has to say," said Bong as he invited Song to the stage. "I dedicate this glory to all actors in Korea who taught me patience, wisdom and passion," Song said.
  6. Source: ELLE Korea In celebration of Gabriela Hearst's full collection of handbags for the first time in Korea, designer Gabriela Hearst visited the Bunshoot shop. Actors #ChoiJiWoo and #LeeMinJung attended and gathered at the event.
  7. Photos of Minjung returning home from Spain last Friday, 6/7. Like Byunghun, MJ definitely has a similar penchant for unique caps. (Source: Newsen) But one thing that we can't miss.. is that she is Mrs. Sunshine.
  8. June 4, 2019 PARASITE Scores Record Opening for BONG Joon-ho Palme d’Or Frenzy Fuels Sales by Pierce Conran KOFIC A media frenzy and national pride have set the May box office on fire, as admissions almost doubled to 4.04 million over the previous weekend, an unusually high number for this time of year. Moreover, the local share surged to 76%, despite the opening of a new Hollywood blockbuster, which is topping the rest of its global markets this session while struggling in Korea. Hot from its historic Palme d’Or win at the Cannes Film Festival, the first such win for a Korean filmmaker, PARASITE opened to a staggering 2.79 million entries (USD 20.75 million), a record for director BONG Joon-ho, unseating 2013’s Snowpiercer (2.27 million viewers), and the second highest ever debut for star SONG Kang-ho, just behind 2017’s A Taxi Driver (USD 2.92 million viewers). Over four days, the film has attracted a massive 3.37 million spectators (USD 24.71 million) and with uniformly gushing reviews and strong word of mouth, the film is poised to continue pulling in large crowds.
  9. May 25, 2019 Bong Joon-ho's Parasite wins Palme d'Or at Cannes film festival Black-comic thriller from South Korean director of Okja and Snowpiercer takes the top honours at the 72nd edition of the festival Andrew Pulver The Guardian Bong Joon-ho with the Palme d’Or at Cannes, after winning for Parasite. Photograph: Guillaume Horcajuelo/EPA Bong Joon-ho has won the Palme d’Or at the Cannes film festival for his black comic thriller Parasite. The South Korean director is best known for previous films Okja and Snowpiercer, and earned rave reviews for his new film, which is about a poor family who insinuate themselves as servants into a much richer one. The Guardian’s Peter Bradshaw described it as “a luxuriously watchable and satirical suspense drama [that] runs as purringly smooth as the Mercedes driven by the lead character”. Bong is the first Korean director to have won the top award at Cannes, after last appearing in competition with Okja in 2017. He is the second Asian winner in successive years, after Japanese director Hirokazu Kore-eda triumphed in 2018 with Shoplifters. In a press conference after the awards ceremony, Bong thanked Cannes for the honour, saying: “It is the 100th anniversary of cinema in Korea this year. I think that Cannes has given Korean cinema a great gift.” He also added that he was pleased to hear that the jury had unanimously voted for Parasite to win, and “as I am a real fan of films it is another reason to be pleased”. Bong deflected a suggestion that Parasite contained comments aimed at North Korea, saying that an impression of a North Korean TV anchor in the film was “just a small joke”. “If North Koreans see my film one day, I think they will laugh.” In a press conference after the awards ceremony, Banderas joked that the win was “good news for his cardiologist” and thanked Almódovar, the director of Pain and Glory and with whom he has worked in seven previous films. “The award is for the character I played, and that is the alter-ego of Pedro Almódovar. There is something of him here.” Banderas added: “I thank him for the years, our movies together.” Beecham appeared somewhat nonplussed at her win, for Jessica Hausner’s sci-fi parable Little Joe, saying she had been “overwhelmed” by the experience. “I had a kind of inkling this morning because I had a phone call from [Little Joe’s] producer. I had to put my stuff in a backpack and get on a plane.” Full list of awards Palme d’Or Parasite (dir Bong Joon-ho) Grand Prix Atlantique (dir Mati Diop) Best director Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne, Young Ahmed Best actor Antonio Banderas, Pain and Glory Best actress Emily Beecham, Little Joe Jury prize (ex aqueo) Les Misérables (dir Ladj Ly); Bacurau (dir Juliano Dornelles, Kleber Mendonça Filho) Best screenplay Céline Sciamma, Portrait of a Lady on Fire Special Mention Elia Suleiman, It Must Be Heaven Camera d’Or Our Mothers (dir Cesar Diaz) May 26, 2019 Bong Joon-ho's films pursue balance of commercial, artistic values By Yonhap via The Korea Herald South Korean auteur Bong Joon-ho, who won the top prize at the 72nd Cannes Film Festival on Saturday, is known for works that cater to both commercial and artistic tastes. His films often use metaphors, but they are not too difficult -- not only for film critics but also for audiences -- to understand. Throughout his filmography, he sheds light on chronic social issues like materialism and class division through analogy, and he never fails to cast a warm, good-humored eye over the weak. (CJ E&M Film Business Division) In his first feature, "Barking Dogs Never Bite," released in 2000, Bong conveyed his satirical message on South Korean society in a comical way. In the story of a shiftless college professor who kidnaps barking dogs in his apartment building, Bong contrasts an ordinary residential complex with the building's gloomy, bleak basement. His 2003 crime-drama "Memories of Murder," based on the true story of notorious serial murders, was well received by both critics and audiences, helping Bong gain media and critical approval both at home and abroad. Three years later, Bong came up with the smash-hit monster blockbuster "The Host," which was the highest grossing South Korean film at the time. Inspired by an incident of toxic material being dumped at a U.S. military base in Seoul, Bong's big-budget film managed to maintain the tension among its scares, its laughs and its satire. It was his first film to touch on environmental issues, which continue to be a key leitmotif of his work. "The Host" led the versatile director to encounter the Cannes Film Festival for the first time, and it was screened at the Directors' Fortnight there. In "Mother," released in 2009, Bong turned his eyes toward human madness and horror. Cannes invited the movie to its official "Un Certain Regard" section. Then he carried out some experiments. He went to Hollywood and directed the English-language science fiction action film "Snowpiercer" in 2013. Here, he illustrated social hierarchy through the image of the divided train, mixing humor, suspense and action, as well as social and environmental concerns. In his 2017 action-adventure film "Okja," released on Netflix, he again brought to bear his criticism of life and capitalism. The Cannes-winning "Parasite" revolves around the poor family of Ki-taek. They live in a squalid, grubby basement and get involved in a string of mishaps after the sly son, Ki-woo, gets a job as a tutor for a moneyed family residing in an opulent, gaudy mansion. His rendering of the rich-and-poor theme appealed to the Cannes jury and the media. He described himself a genre movie director who doesn't like to follow the rules of genre films. "I focus on the nuance of a situation," he said in a press conference at Cannes on Wednesday, answering a question about whether he intends to subvert certain genres in a movie. "People are familiar with categorizing movies into genres. But as a director, I'm not conscious of it." (Yonhap
  10. June 6, 2019 Source: sclate.com // HODU&U Entertainment
  11. May 28, 2019 BONG Joon-ho Wins Palme d’Or at Historic Cannes for Korean Cinema PARASITE Takes Home World’s Biggest Film Prize by Pierce Conran KOFIC 19 years after IM Kwon-taek became the first ever Korean director invited to the competition section of the Cannes Film Festival with Chunhyang (2000), one of his fellow countrymen has walked away from the Croisette with the biggest prize on the global film festival circuit for the very first time. BONG Joon-ho’s seventh feature film PARASITE beat out 20 other contenders and was crowned with the coveted Palme d’Or last Saturday evening, at the issue of what was for many a particularly strong edition of the festival. This historic Palme d’Or win, a prize that had eluded Korean directors for nigh on two decades despite several worthy contenders in the form of PARK Chan-wook’s Old Boy (2003) and LEE Chang-dong’s BURNING (2018), among many others, comes during the same year that Korea is celebrating the centenary of its film industry. Yet PARASITE wasn’t the only film representing Korea in Cannes this year, with the hit Korean thriller The Gangster, The Cop, The Devil bowing to positive responses in the midnight lineup, while YEON Je-gwang’s Alien screened in the Cinefondation section and JEONG Da-hee’s short Movements was featured in the Directors’ Fortnight program. This year’s 72nd Cannes Film Festival saw Director BONG return to competition for the second time in a row, following 2017’s selection of his Netflix-backed Okja, while it was his sixth official visit to the festival overall. Previous invitations were extended for The Host in Directors’ Fortnight in 2006, the omnibus Tokyo! in Un Certain Regard in 2008, Mother in Un Certain Regard in 2009 and his stint as President of the Camera d’Or jury in 2011. PARASITE’s Palme d’Or is the sixth competition prize to have been earned by a Korean film in Cannes, following IM Kwon-taek’s Best Director win for Chihwaseon in 2002, PARK Chan-wook’s Grand Prix (Old Boy, 2003) and Jury Prize (Thirst, 2009), LEE Chang-dong’s Best Screenplay Award for Poetry in 2010 and JEON Do-yeon’s Best Actress win for LEE Chang-dong’s Secret Sunshine in 2007. BONG’s new film, his first to be fully set in Korea since Mother, stars SONG Kang-ho as the father of an unemployed family, while JANG Hye-jin plays his wife and CHOI Woo-shik and PARK So-dam feature as his children. His son lands a job as an English tutor for the daughter of a wealthy couple played by LEE Sun-kyun and JO Yeo-jeong and before long both families begin to intersect in unexpected ways. Despite premiering straight after Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood, the star-driven return to Cannes for former Palme d’Or winner Quentin TARANTINO, PARASITE bowed in the Auditorium Louis Lumière at 10pm on Tuesday, May 21, and received a five-minute standing ovation and an instant and rapturous response as reactions gushed forth on social media. A wave of enthusiastic reviews soon began to ripple through newspapers and websites around the globe and just as BURNING did a year earlier, BONG’s new film topped Screen Daily's Cannes jury grid with a 3.5 score. The immediate consensus was that PARASITE is both a fiercely contemporary parable on social inequality and an exquisitely produced film as rich, blackly comic and polished as anything the filmmaker has made before. Variety calls it “a tick fat with the bitter blood of class rage” while Indiewire describes it as a “furious and fiendishly well-crafted new film”, going on to say, in reference to the director’s trademark combination of genre and tone, that with his latest “BONG finally becomes a genre unto himself.” Moments before announcing the recipient of the Palme d’Or, this year’s Jury president, acclaimed Mexican director Alejandro González IÑÁRRITU, revealed that the entire nine-person jury had come to a unanimous consensus on the winner. As PARASITE was announced, Director BONG, who attended the ceremony with his long-time friend and collaborator SONG Kang-ho, came up to stage and accepted his prize from French screen legend Catherine DENEUVE. On stage, BONG spoke of his love of French cinema, citing Henri-Georges CLOUZOT and Claude CHABROL as large influences, and related how moved and surprised he was at receiving the accolade. He then invited his star SONG to say a few words and called out to his family, who were also sitting in the audience. Source: Pierce Conran
  12. June 14, 2019 Ryu Jun Yeol And Yoo Hae Jin’s New Film To Hit Theaters This Summer Source: Soompi by E. Cha Ryu Jun Yeol and Yoo Hae Jin’s new historical war film will be premiering this summer! The two actors, who previously starred together in the 2017 film “A Taxi Driver,” will be reuniting in the upcoming film “Battle of Bongodong” (literal translation). The movie will be helmed by Won Shin Yeon, the director behind the hit films “The Suspect” and “Memoir of a Murderer.” The upcoming film, which will also star actor Jo Woo Jin, is based on the 1920 Battle of Bongodong—a confrontation between Korean independence fighters and Japanese forces that took place during the Japanese occupation of Korea. “Battle of Bongodong” will tell the hidden stories of the conflict and the independence fighters who used their wits to beat the odds and emerge victorious. On June 14, the movie announced its plans for a release sometime in August and unveiled a sneak peek of its stars in character. The newly released still shows Ryu Jun Yeol in his role as Lee Jang Ha, a young independence militia leader who is a skilled sniper; Yoo Hae Jin as Hwang Hae Chul, a former bandit who has joined the fight for freedom; and Jo Woo Jin as Byung Goo, Hwang Hae Chul’s sharpshooting right-hand man. “Battle of Bongodong” will premiere sometime in August 2019. Are you excited for this new film? Stay tuned for more updates on the movie’s release! Source (1) // SHOWBOX Based on the Bongo-dong battle in 1920, which remained a great victory within the Korean independence battles In 1920, when Korea is under Japanese rule the Korean Independence Army’s Hae-chul (YOO Hai-jin) and his subordinates are carrying out the operation to deliver funds to the Korean Provisional Government in Shanghai. During the operation Hae-chul is reunited with Jang-ha (RYU Jun-yeol), a young squad commander, whose mission is to defend Samdunja. They unite and trap the Japanese soldiers in Samdunja, soundly defeating them. Now they’re chased by Japanese troops and Hae-chul finds out that Jang-ha’s mission isn’t over yet. A crucial yet dangerous task is still assigned to him.
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