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November 29, 2018


MOON So-ri Earns Career Achievement Award in Hawaii
THE RUNNING ACTRESS Leads 9 Korean Selections at HIFF


by Pierce Conran / KoBiz




Veteran performer MOON So-ri was recently honored at the Hawaii International Film Festival (HIFF), where she was given the 2018 Halekulani Career Achievement Award. The star has been a leading figure of the Korean film industry for almost 20 years and recently turned her hand to directing.


MOON debuted in LEE Chang-dong’s seminal work A Peppermint Candy, which opened the Busan International Film Festival in 1999. She teamed up with the auteur once more for 2002’s Oasis, which earned her the Marcello Mastroianni Award from the Venice International Film Festival. Among her most notable credits are IM Sang-soo’s A Good Lawyer’s Wife (2003), YIM Soon-rye’s Forever The Moment (2008), Hong Sangsoo’s Like You Know It All (2009) and In Another Country (2012).


Behind the camera, MOON collected three short films she starred in and directed and released the well-received omnibus The Running Actress (2017) last year, which went on to have its international premiere at the Udine Far East Film Festival. In October, she appeared in a pair of independent films that debuted at this year’s Busan International Film Festival: ZHANG Lu’s Ode to the Goose and YI Ok-seop’s debut film Maggie. MOON also recently completed filming on the trial drama The Jurors (translated title).


The Running Actress was one of nine Korean films screened at HIFF this year, alongside Last Child, Sunset in My Hometown, The Witch : Part 1. The Subversion, FENGSHUI, The Great Battle, Herstory, On Your Wedding Day and Adulthood.

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December 30, 2018

Top 10 Korean Films of 2018


By Jason Bechervaise The Korea Times


With more than 100 titles released each year, it's always a challenging feat to compile a list of the top 10 Korean films of the year. Although 2018 won't go down as one of the most fruitful years for Korean cinema, there have been a number of notable films, not least Lee Chang-dong's stupendous "Burning" that tops this list. 


The following top 10 films were released in local cinemas between Jan. 1 and Dec. 31, 2018. 


1. Burning 

Few filmmakers can consistently make masterpieces, but Lee Chang-dong has managed it. Topping jury grids following its premiere at the Cannes Film Festival, "Burning" became the best reviewed film ever to bow on the Croisette. 

Based on Haruki Murakami's short story "Barn Burning," it centers on a love triangle between a mysterious young woman and two men. Starring Yoo Ah-in, Jeon Jong-seo and Steven Yeun, the film's premise is deceptively simple. As Lee Chang-dong pulls his viewers in, the story becomes increasingly layered and perplexing as he puts together an extraordinary narrative depicting the despair among young people. 

Unfortunately, the film failed to strike a chord with audiences in Korea mustering just 528,000 admissions. But it has made history becoming the first Korean film to be shortlisted for the best foreign language academy award, and could well land a nomination. 


2. The Spy Gone North 
Yoon Jong-bin's slow-burning spy thriller is an enthralling display of espionage that is more reliant on dialogue than set-pieces ― much in the same way as Kim Jee-woon's "The Age of Shadows" and Tomas Alfredson's "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy."

Hwang Jung-min stars as a South Korean agent who infiltrates the North in the 1990s to obtain intelligence on their nuclear plans. 

Capturing the current geopolitical climate culminating in a rousing climax, it is arguably one of the best films dealing with inter-Korean relations. 


3. Swing Kids 

When it comes to cinematic rhythm, Kang Hyeong-cheol ("Sunny") is in a league of his own. Bringing together a dazzling display of visuals and a vibrant soundtrack in his latest feature, it will spur viewers to tap dance all the way home. 

Set in a POW camp during the Korean War, a tap dance group is set up to improve the image of the camp following violence that breaks out between the prisoners. It stars Do Kyung-soo, Park Hye-su, Jared Grimes and Oh Jung-se. 

Suffering somewhat from a weak ending, it is nevertheless a visual triumph. 


4. Microhabitat 

Bagging a number of new director awards, Jeon Go-woon is a talent to look out for. Her feature debut is a distinctive and immensely enjoyable exploration of independence and happiness. 

Esom plays a young woman in her 30s who is content just drinking whisky, smoking cigarettes and spending time with her boyfriend. 

Addressing a recurring theme in Korean independent cinema with a focus on Korea's young people, it's a refreshing and richly stylized glimpse at the choices facing this generation. 


5. Ode to the Goose 

Enigmatic and yet also entertaining, Zhang Lu's new feature that premiered at the Busan International Film Festival in October again illustrates his talent as both a writer and director. 

Playing around with national identity, his non-linear narrative structure might be a challenge for some audiences. But starring Park Hae-il and Moon So-ri about an aspiring poet who takes a spontaneous trip to Gunsan with a woman he has feelings for, it's a richly rewarding experience, especially for those who can spot the numerous cameos. 


6. After My Death 

Cleverly bringing an intensity to his narrative, this is another very impressive feature debut by a young filmmaker, Kim Ui-seok who tackles the subject of suicide. 

Jeon Yeo-bin who has attracted much attention for her role in this film winning a number of awards is superb as a student suspected of playing a part in the disappearance of a high school student thought to have killed herself. 
Refusing to strive for narrative clarity, Kim masterfully utilises the film's ambiguity to add to its potency. 


7. Door Lock 

Based on the Spanish film "Sleep Tight" (2011), Lee Kwon's thrilling feature follows a woman (Gong Hyo-jin) living alone while a mysterious man attempts to get into her apartment. With a strong female lead, it deftly deals with the difficulties facing women in Korea. 
Superbly orchestrated on a mid-sized budget, it's evidence of how the industry is shifting its focus to lower budget films. 


8. Little Forest 

Yim Soon-rye, who directed "Little Forest." Korea Times file


There is certainly a place for socially conscious films, but what's so enchanting about this film is how it whisks viewers away and takes them to idyllic rural Korea in which a young woman (Kim Tae-ri) returns to the countryside following struggles in the city. She does a lot of cooking. 
It might be guilty of romanticizing life as a young person living alone in the middle of nowhere, but Yim Soon-rye's delightful film is sure to bring a smile to those who check it out ― and make them rather peckish. 


9. Grass

It's not a top ten list without a Hong Sang-soo film on it somewhere. With at least two films premiering at festivals annually, he's as prolific as ever. 
It stars his muse Kim Min-hee as a Seoul cafe patron who writes as she listens in on conversations taking place in the coffee shop. At a brisk 66 minutes he packs in a wealth of substance that's full of his idiosyncratic character, wit and brilliance. 


10. Herstory 

Coming later than other films dealing with comfort women such as "Spirits' Homecoming", it was a box office disappointment despite much critical affection for it. 

Featuring an ensemble cast that includes Kim Hee-ae and Kim Hae-sook the film directed by Min Kyu-dong is based on the so-called Shimonoseki trials during the 1990s. The court drama follows a group of former sex slaves who sought an official apology and compensation from the Japanese government.

Less dependent on emotions in empowering the narrative, the film's strong production values, well-written script and superb performances make this an unforgettable viewing experience. 

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Source: Pierce Conran


13. Ode to the Goose (군산: 거위를 노래하다)


Zhang Lu’s most playful and accessible film to date, Ode to the Goose is a witty tale consumed by questions of national identity. Intriguing tidbits of history loom around every corner, while a terrific cast (including a brilliant turn by Moon So-ri) keep the story rooted in the present.


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March 5, 2019

Directors Jang Joon-hwan and Moon So-ri Describe Their First Meeting

Source: Nate via HanCinema.net




Director Jang Joon-hwan of "1987: When the Day Comes" talked about the day he met his wife Moon So-ri for the first time while on the JTBC TV show "Room Talk" in August last year.

The show was made up of 'Moon So-ri Specials' like her debut film "Peppermint Candy" and her first feature directing film "The Running Actress".


Moon So-ri and Jang Joon-hwan appeared on TV together for the first time in history.


Director Jang Joon-hwan said Moon So-ri landed herself in a role in "Peppermint Candy" over a competition rate of 2,000:1 and he fell for her at first sight.


He awkwardly re-acted himself saying, "Where did this beautiful actress come from?" at the time. He was embarrassed by his 'performance' and made everyone laugh.


Moon So-ri laughed and joked, "I thought we agreed to make it sound natural".


Moon So-ri and Jang Joon-hwan were in a secret relationship for a year until they got married in December of 2006.



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March 20, 2019


Just out on DVD 

Korean Movie "Ode to the Goose"

Source: HanCinema.net


Korean movie "Ode to the Goose" are available to order on DVD with English subtitles from YESASIA.


"Ode to the Goose" (2018)


Directed by Zhang Lu


With Park Hae-il, Moon So-ri, Jung Jin-young, Park So-dam, Lee Ok-hee, Park Yeong-I..



Yoon-yeong has been harboring feelings for Song-hyeon, a friend's wife. When he finds out that she is divorced, Yoon-yeong and Song-hyeon take a trip to Gunsan on a whim. They find lodging at an inn where the middle-aged owner lives with his autistic daughter who does not leave her room. The four become star crossed lovers in the city of Gunsan. The film could be named "Gunsan", as it is a film about a specific place, which also explores the world's hidden, unspoken elements.


Release date in Korea : 2018/11/08

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March 27, 2019


HanCinema's News

"Juror 8" Releases New Poster Starring Moon So-ri and Park Hyung-sik

By William Schwartz HanCinema.net


A new poster has been released for the upcoming film "Juror 8". The film is based on the real-life story of the first jury trial which took place in South Korea in 2008. Moon So-ri plays the part of judge, while Park Hyung-sik is the titular "Juror 8".

Note that this is only the English language title. In the original Korean, "Juror 8" actually directly translates as The Jurors. The former title implies the focal point of the drama is a single person, whereas the latter implies an ensemble piece. The way the newly released theatrical poster highlights all eight jurors equally suggests that the movie is the latter.

The movie appears to be styled as a comedy, specifically of the character and culture clash variety. These eight people of wildly different backgrounds will have to work together in order to hand down a verdict. "Juror 8" is currently planned for a May release.


Written by William Schwartz


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May 10, 2019


MOON So-ri and JANG Joon-hwan to Visit Korean Film Festival DC


by Pierce Conran KOFIC



The Korean Film Festival DC returns this month for its 2019 edition, which will unfold from May 10 to July 1. This year’s event will feature 11 recent Korean titles as well as a pair of very special guests, acclaimed actress MOON So-ri and director JANG Joon-hwan. Screenings will take place at the Freer Gallery of Art, Meier Auditorium and the Korean Cultural Center in Washington, DC, as well as the AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center in Maryland.


Kicking off the program on May 10 will be YIM Soon-rye’s youth drama Little Forest (2018), the remake of the Japanese manga and films of the same name, which stars KIM Tae-ri and RYU Jun-yeol. One of the event’s highlights will be a screening of LEE Chang-dong’s Cannes-selected BURNING on May 18, which, as part of the Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, will feature an informal discussion of the film’s literary sources, the ‘Barn Burning’ short stories by William FAULKNER and MURAKAMI Haruki. The selection will then come to a close with the acclaimed period siege drama The Fortress (2017), from director HWANG Dong-hyuk and featuring stars LEE Byung-hun, KIM Yun-seok and PARK Hae-il.


A Good Lawyer’s Wife (2003) star MOON So-ri will be in town to present a screening of her directorial debut The Running Actress (2017), which she also stars in, on June 7. Director JANG will accompany the screening of his latest film 1987: When the Day Comes (2017) on June 9.


Other films to be featured this year include the Hong Sangsoo films Grass (2018) and Hotel by the River (2018), the indies Hit the Night (2018) by JEONG Ga-young and JEON Go-woon’s Microhabitat (2018), as well as commercial titles such as PARK In-jae’s election drama The Mayor (2017) and PARK Kwang-hyun’s action-thriller Fabricated City (2017).


The Korean Film Festival DC is supported by the Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism of the Republic of Korea.

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May 20, 2019

Moon So Ri Talks About Being Made Fun Of Due To Her Unique Name

Source: Soompi by S. Park


Moon So Ri Talks About Being Made Fun Of Due To Her Unique Name


Moon So Ri shared a story about her name on MBC’s “Grannies” (literal title).


“Grannies” is a variety show about five celebrities— Jang Dong Yoon, Weki Meki’s Choi Yoojung, LOONA’s Yves, (G)I-DLE’s Yuqi, and WJSN’s Soobin—who pair up and learn Korean with grandmothers in Hamyang County in South Gyeongsang Province.


On the May 19 premiere, Moon So Ri made her first appearance on the show as the Korean teacher.


Writing her name on the board, she revealed, “When I was young, I got made fun of a lot for my name.” “Moon So Ri” literally translates to “door sound” in Korean, and the actress talked about how she was taunted for this in her younger years.


“In elementary school, kids would say ‘creaking’ or ‘rattling’ while opening and closing the door,” said Moon So Ri. “But it’s a precious name that was given to me by my parents.”




“Grannies” airs on Sundays at 6:45 p.m. KST.


Source (1)

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June 21, 2019


movie1.gifThe Best Movie Stars Chosen by the Audience
Actors Song Kang Ho and Kim Hye Soo are top choice


Source: Naver news, thanks to mistymorning for the gist

In conjunction with the 100 Years of Korean Cinema (1919-2019) anniversary, Maeil Business Newspaper and CGV Research Center have conducted a survey taken by 1,200 moviegoers nationwide for the best man and woman of Korean movies. The survey featured a multiple-answer questionnaire listing the Daejong (Grand Bell) award winners to choose from.


Song Kang Ho, who won the support with 56.2% and Kim Hye Soo, who recorded 58.9% topped the list for male and female actors respectively. 


1st place: Song Kang Ho (56.2) and Kim Hye Soo (58.9)
2nd: Hwang Jung ‌Min (44.8) and Son Ye Jin (39.9)
3rd: Lee Byung Hun (39.2) and Jeon Do Yeon (31.5)
4th: Jo Seung Woo (30.3) and Moon So Ri (26.9)
5th: Choi Min Sik (25.4) and Jeon Ji Hyun (25.2)



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