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Director Kim Jee Woon 김지운 Kim Ji Woon

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April 4, 2016

Major Korean directors set for comeback

By Rumy Doo (doo@heraldcorp.com)

Some of Korea’s most internationally renowned directors are gearing up for a comeback this summer with projects that are pricier and on a grander scale, promising audiences a vigorous movie scene in the upcoming months. 

The level of Hollywood involvement in the local movie industry this year is significant, serving as an indicator that the country’s $1.52-billion film market -- led primarily by domestic films -- is becoming increasingly significant to foreign investors. It is also testimony to the substantial mark Korean directors are making in global cinema. 

The following is a list of upcoming films that have been generating buzz: 

“The Secret Agent” by director Kim Jee-woon

image
(Korean Movie Database)

Another period piece gaining worldwide attention is “The Secret Agent,” coming from director Kim Jee-woon. 

“The Secret Agent” is the first Korean-language movie to be financed and distributed by Warner Bros. The Hollywood major film studio has invested 10 billion won into the film and will be directly handling its release in Korean theaters, according to Variety, an entertainment trade magazine.

Starring actor Song Gang-ho, who is a familiar face to foreign audiences due to his role in “Snowpiercer,” actor Gong Yoo, who starred in “The Suspect,” and actress Han Ji-min, the film will be set in 1920s Seoul -- then called Gyeongseong -- and Shanghai during Japan’s occupation of Korea. It will follow the members of an independence activist group as they attempt to smuggle a bomb into Gyeongseong.

Production kicked off last October, according to reports, at locations in Korea and China. The film’s release is tentatively set for this summer, said WB Korea’s CEO Park Hyo-seong at a press conference. 

This is Kim’s first film since his English-language debut film “The Last Stand” (2013), which featured actor Arnold Schwarzenegger and was produced by Di Bonaventura Pictures. His noir film “A Bittersweet Life” (2005), which starred Lee Byung-hun, is currently being remade into an English version by New Regency Pictures. 

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Yonhap News Agency

April 6, 2016

Filming of director Kim Jee-woon's 'Secret Agent' finished

SEOUL, April 6 (Yonhap) -- South Korean filmmaker Kim Jee-woon's new film "Secret Agent" has recently finished its five months of filming in China and South Korea, its production company and distributor said Wednesday.

Set in 1920s Korea under Japanese colonial rule, the period drama follows an armed anti-Japanese Korean independence movement group that strives to smuggle a bomb in from Shanghai to attack major Japanese facilities in Seoul.

Filming ended in Seoul on March 31, five months after it began in Shanghai on Oct. 22, Warner Bros. Korea said.

The movie stars Song Kang-ho as a Japanese police officer hunting down the group members and actor Gong Yoo as the group leader. Song Kang-ho has previously appeared in Kim's Korean-style Western "The Good, the Bad, the Weird" and director Bong Joon-ho's English-language debut film "Snowpiercer."

"Secret Agent," or "Miljeong" in Korean, is the first Korean-language film to be financed by the Hollywood film studio Warner Bros. It is expected to open in local theaters in the second half of this year.

Scenes from the upcoming Korean-language film "Secret Agent" (Yonhap)

Scenes from the upcoming Korean-language film "Secret Agent" (Yonhap)

sshim@yna.co.kr

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April 6, 2016

Stills of ‘Secret Agent’ set revealed

Warner Bros. Korea on Wednesday released snapshots of actors Song Kang-ho and Gong Yoo in the upcoming film “Secret Agent.”

image
(Warner Bros. Korea)

The film centers on Korean protesters’ plot to smuggle bombs from Shanghai to Seoul and Japanese police’s attempt to prevent the bomb attack by tracking the protesters’ route during Japanese colonial era. 

“I was serious while depicting characters in the film, as the roles represent the tough time Koreans suffered,” director Kim Jee-woon said in a press release. Kim has worked with actor Song four times, including the latest periodic flick.

The film marks the first homegrown movie of which is being distributed by the Korean branch of American entertainment firm Warner Bros.

“Secret Agent” will be released nationwide in the second half of this year.

By Son Ji-hyoung (json@heraldcorp.com)

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April 7, 2016

7 Of the Most Frightening Horror Films From the Last Decade

Matt Kim Inverse

I Saw the Devil (2010)

I Saw the Devil, a South Korean film which effectively blurs the line between hero and villain, is an exemplar of the sort of extreme cinema South Korea has become known for in recent years. The identity of the film’s serial killer, and the special agent tasked to find him, are revealed early on.

Where the film twists and turns however is when our hero, Kim Soo-hyun employs sadistic methods to track down the serial killer Kyung-chul. In the realm of violent cinema, rarely do we see the “good guy” go to such lengths to physically and psychologically torture the killer. The game of cat and mouse is really a tug-of-war of who is more evil, killer or the cop.

Photo credit: cak_tepe

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April 20, 2016

KIM Jee-woon Wraps Period Action-Thriller SECRET AGENT
Korean Debut for Warner Bros.

by Pierce Conran / KoBiz

Filming for Secret Agent, KIM Jee-woon’s return to the Korean filmmaking, after his American debut The Last Stand (2013), and the first local production for Hollywood major Warner Bros., finished after five months shooting on March 31st. The project, which was shot both in Korea and Shanghai, takes place in Japan-occupied Korea in the 1920s and stars SONG Kang-ho and GONG Yoo.
 
GONG stars as the leader of a violent anti-Japanese Korean independence faction that seeks to smuggle a bomb from Shanghai to Seoul to target Japanese military facilities. Meanwhile, SONG, who has worked with director KIM on three prior occasions - The Quiet Family (1998), The Foul King (2000) and The Good, The Bad, And The Weird (2008) - plays a Japanese police officer tracking the group down.
 
Earlier this year, GONG appeared alongside JEON Do-yeon in LEE Yoon-ki’s A Man and A Woman, and he will also be seen this summer in YEON Sang-ho’s live-action debut, the zombie thriller Train to Busan, which will feature as a midnight screening at next month’s Cannes Film Festival. SONG most recently starred in LEE Joon-ik’s period drama The Throne, as well the 2013 features Snowpiercer (by BONG Joon-ho), The Face Reader and The Attorney.
 
The film is expected to bow in the second half of the year. Warner Bros. is currently in production on their second Korean title, the thriller Single Rider with LEE Byung-hun and KONG Hyo-jin.

Source: etnews

송중기 송혜교 출처:/ 송혜교 인스타그램

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Photo credit: tuff86

A Bittersweet Life. A really cool film from South Korea, directed by Jee-woon Kim. The storey is very simple but it's all executed with style. Byung-hun Lee is excellent, even when he doesn't speak he seems to convey so much emotion. Highly recommended if you watch foreign films. So pleased to have this Korean edition in my collection, I believe it's almost impossible to get hold of now.

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April 26, 2016

Finecut enters Kim’s 'Age Of Shadows'

By Jean Noh | ScreenDaily

Korean sales company Finecut has picked up Kim Jee-woon’s highly-anticipated The Age Of Shadows, which marks Warner Bros Korea’s first local-language production.

The film, set against the resistance movement during the Japanese occupation era, stars Song Kang-ho (Snowpiercer) and Gong Yoo (Train To Busan).

Finecut previously handled international sales on Kim’s last Korean feature I Saw The Devil (2010), before he made his Hollywood debut with The Last Stand (2013) starring Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Set in the late 1920s, The Age Of Shadows follows the cat-and-mouse game that unfolds between a group of resistance fighters led by Gong’s character, trying to bring in explosives from Shanghai to destroy key Japanese facilities in Seoul, and Japanese agents trying to stop them.

Song plays a talented Korean-born Japanese police officer who was previously in the independence movement himself and is thrown into a dilemma between the demands of his reality and the instinct to support a greater cause.

Currently in post-production, The Age Of Shadows will unveil first footage and other information at the Cannes market.

Known as the stylistic auteur of a variety of genre films, Kim debuted with black comedy The Quiet Family in 1998 and has since directed films such as comedy The Foul King (2000), seminal horror thriller A Tale Of Two Sisters (2003), gangster noir A Bittersweet Life (2005) and Manchuria-set Western The Good, The Bad, The Weird (2008). The last two titles both screened in Cannes Out of Competition.

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April 26, 2016

Kim Jee-woon’s ‘Age of Shadows’ Picked Up by Finecut

Patrick Frater
Asia Bureau Chief Variety.com

Leading independent sales house, Finecut has picked up international rights to “The Age of Shadows,” the new period action film by top Korean director Kim Jee-woon. The film is the first produced and presented in Korea by Warner Bros.

Previously known only by its Korean title “Mil-Jung,” the film is a 1920s set story of secret agents attempting to smuggle explosives in order to destroy facilities controlled by occupying Japanese forces. It stars Song Kang-ho as a Korean-born Japanese officer who has divided loyalties and Gong Yoo as the leader of the Korean resistance group.

The film is now in post-production ahead of a release later this year. Finecut will show footage of the incomplete movie in the Cannes Market next month. Song is Korea’s leading character actor and was star of “The Host” and “Snowpiercer.” Gong also appears in “Train to Busan,” which plays in Cannes Midnight Screening section.

Kim previously directed “I Saw The Devil,” and “The Good, The Bad, The Weird.” He made his Hollywood directorial debut with the Arnold Schwarzenegger-starring “The Last Stand.”

This year sees all three of Korea’s best-known directors Kim, Park Chan-wook and Bong Joon-ho, in action as directors. Park’s latest effort “The Handmaiden” appears in competition in Cannes this year, while Bong is now in production on “Okja” and has assembled a cast including Jake Gyllenhaal, Tilda Swinton, Lily Collins, Paul Dano and Steve Yeun.

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May 10, 2016

The official poster for Song Kang Ho & Gong Yoo's 'The Age of Shadows' unveiled

Source: STARN News

The official poster for Song Kang Ho and Gong Yoo's 'The Age of Shadows' has been unveiled.

On March 9th, the production team of movie 'The Age of Shadows' released the film's official poster, further intensifying global movie fans' excitement.

'The Age of Shadows' is a new film directed by Kim Ji Woon, and Song Kang Ho and Gong Yoo have played in the film as lead roles.

The poster shows two men having a secret meet-up in dim light, further arousing curiosity among many fans and netizens.

'The Age of Shadows' is going to evolve around a pro-Japanese Korean police officer named Lee Jung Chool (played by Song Kang Ho) and a Korean Independence Army agent named Kim Woo Jin (played by Gong Yoo), and the poster seems to be indicating the suspense of the film.

'The Age of Shadows' is the first Korean film invested by Warner Brothers, and a great number of movie fans are awaiting for the film's official release with huge excitement.

Meanwhile, 'The Age of Shadows,' starring Song Kang Ho, Gong Yoo, Han Ji Min, Shin Sung Rok, Um Tae Gu will be officially released during the later half of 2016.

The official poster for Song Kang Ho & Gong Yoo's 'The Age of Shadows' unveiled

/Reporting by Lee Mi-Ji en@starnnews.com

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June 17, 2016

KIM Jee-woon’s THE AGE OF SHADOWS Books September Release Date
Period Action-Thriller with SONG Kang-ho Out in Time for Chuseok

by Pierce Conran / KoBiz

pzknMtZxTDLjWRGBpvQZ.png

KIM Jee-woon’s latest project The Age of Shadows, which wrapped on March 31st, completed post-production earlier this month and has now been scheduled for release in September, which will coincide with the Korean Thanksgiving holiday (Chuseok). The Colonial Era action-thriller stars SONG Kang-ho and GONG Yoo and is being financed and distributed by Warner Bros., marking the Hollywood major’s first foray in Korean language productions.
 
Set during Japan’s colonization of Korea (1910-45), the film chronicles the exploits of a violent Korean independence group known as the Heroic Corps. GONG plays a member of the resistance while SONG will portray a military officer for the Japanese occupiers.
 
The Age of Shadows, which was previously known by its Korean title Secret Agent, marks the fourth collaboration between KIM and SONG, following The Quiet Family (1998), The Foul King (2000) and The Good, The Bad, And The Weird (2008). It is also director KIM’s return to Korean soil after helming Hollywood superstar Arnold Schwarzenegger’s acting comeback in 2013’s The Last Stand. His last Korean title was 2010’s I Saw The Devil with LEE Byung-hun and CHOI Min-shik.
 
SONG’s last film, LEE Joon-ik’s period drama The Throne, was released during last year’s Chuseok holiday, and went on to post healthy returns for distributor Showbox. Co-star GONG has already been seen in the drama A Man and A Woman this year and also led the zombie blockbuster TRAIN TO BUSAN, which impressed at the Cannes Film Festival and is due out in Korea on July 20th. Their co-stars include HAN Ji-min (The Fatal Encounter, 2014), UM Tae-goo (Coin Locker Girl, 2015) and SEO Young-joo (Juvenile Offender, 2012).

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June 24, 2016

KIM Jee-woon Appointed as President of Jury of the 15th Edition of Mise-en-scène Short Film Festival
List Includes CHOI Dong-hoon, OH Dal-su and SHIN Min-a

by HA Jung-min / KoBiz

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The 15th edition of Mise-en-scène Short Film Festival opened on June 23rd, beginning a beautiful feast of films. This year, 63 films selected from 1,037 submissions are in the competition. The president of the jury is KIM Jee-woon, the director of A Bittersweet Life (2005) and I Saw The Devil (2010). Among the jury members, 12 are directors, teamed up by two and each pair appointed for each category. 
 
CHOI Dong-hoon and LEE Yong-seung examine the category called A City of Sadness (films with social messages); JO Sung-hee and BAIK review the category called A Short Film about Love (melodrama); and ROH Deok and LEE Byoung-heon are appointed for the category called King of Comedy (comedy). The Extreme Nightmare (horror and fantasy) is examined by MIN Kyu-dong and KWON Hyeok-jae; The 40000 Blows (action and thriller) is reviewed by KANG Hyoung-chul and UM Tae-hwa; and the newly introduced category of Sixth Sense (mixed genres) is appointed to KIM Jee-woon and LEE Kyoung-mi.
 
In addition, actors are invited as honorary jury members, one for each category. OH Dal-su is appointed for A City of Sadness, JUNG Ryeo-won for A Short Film about Love, AHN Jae-hong for King of Comedy, KIM Sung-kyun for The Extreme Nightmare, SHIN Min-a for The 40000 Blows and JUNG Eun-chae for Sixth Sense.
 
The 15th edition of Mise-en-scène Short Film Festival opened with My Sweet Record by MIN Hwan-ki and will be screening 63 films for 8 days.

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Source: Pierce Conran‏ @pierceconran

Love these new Korean posters for Kim Jee-woon's THE AGE OF SHADOWS. Can't wait! #밀정 #김지운

Cmv-XtaWEAA5wY1.jpg

Cmv-Y_rWEAAUi6k.jpg

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July 27, 2016

Three Korean films invited to Toronto festival

201607262355770369_57977d532993e.jpg

SEOUL, July 27 (Yonhap) -- Three South Korean films, including one by the acclaimed director Park Chan-wook, have been invited to the prestigious Toronto International Film Festival, the event's website showed Wednesday.

Park's latest work, "The Handmaiden," will be shown under the Special Presentations category at the 41st edition of the festival along with "Asura: The City of Madness," directed by Kim Sung-soo, and "The Age of Shadows," directed by Kim Jee-woon.

The festival is one of the world's most prestigious film events together with its counterparts at Cannes, Berlin and Venice. This year, it is slated to run from Sept. 8-18.

The Special Presentations category introduces new works by famous directors or actors based on their artistic and commercial value.

"The Handmaiden" is a highly erotic film centered on the lesbian relationship between a servant and her master, while "Asura: The City of Madness" is a crime drama and "The Age of Shadows" a period thriller set in the 1920s when Korea was under Japanese colonial rule.

Other South Korean films that have been invited to the festival in the past include the 2009 crime drama "Mother" and the 2010 thriller "I Saw the Devil."

hague@yna.co.kr

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July 27, 2016

‘The Age of Shadows’ invited to Toronto International Film Festival

“The Age of Shadows” by director Kim Ji-won has been invited to screen under the Special Presentations program at the 41st annual Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF).

“The Age of Shadows” follows members of an independence group in the 1920s as they fight for Korea’s liberation from Japanese colonial rule.

In addition to the historical thriller, Park Chan-wook’s globally-acclaimed production “The Handmaiden” and Kim Sung-soo’s “Asura: The City of Madness” have also been invited to the Special Presentations category, which presents “high-profile premieres and the world’s leading filmmakers,” according to TIFF’s official website. 

Taking place Sept. 8-18, TIFF will mark its opening night with the world premiere of “The Magnificent Seven,” directed by American filmmaker Antoine Fuqua, and conclude with Kelly Fremon Craig’s “The Edge of Seventeen.”

Starring actors Gong Yoo from the record-breaking blockbuster “Train to Busan” and Song Kang-ho from the award-winning 2013 film “Snowpiercer,” “The Age of Shadows” is set to open in local theaters in September.

By Kim Yu-young (ivykim@heraldcorp.com) 

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August 4, 2016

Director Kim Jee-woon: Colonial era best setting for Korean spy thriller

By Shim Sun-ah

SEOUL, Aug. 4 (Yonhap) -- These days, many Korean films are set in Korea under Japan's colonial rule. They include "Assassination" by Choi Dong-hoon, "The Handmaiden" by Park Chan-wook, "Love, Lies" by Park Heung-sik and "The Last Princess" by Hur Jin-ho.

Kim Jee-woon, best known for "A Bittersweet Life" (2004), "The Good, The Bad, The Weird" (2008) and "I Saw The Devil" (2010), has added one more title to the list: "The Age of Shadows." Kim made his Hollywood directorial debut with "The Last Stand" starring Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2013.

Set in 1920s Shanghai and Seoul, the film tells the story of a Korean-born Japanese police officer who makes friends with the leader of a notorious Korean anti-Japanese resistance group called "Uiyeoldan," with the purpose of gathering crucial information on the group. Korea was a colony of Japan from 1910 to 1945.

The filmmaker said on Thursday he always wanted to make a spy thriller and had thought that if he makes one, it should be set in colonial-era Korea.

"I thought colonial-era Korea was the best match for a Korean spy thriller," Kim said during a press conference for the film at a cinema in southern Seoul.

"I tried to tightly and amusingly tell the tale of a veiled feud, appeasement and disturbance between the most aggressive and strongest Korean resistance group at that time and the Japanese police officer who infiltrated the group to disperse it."

Starring Song Kang-ho and Gong Yoo as the Japanese policeman and the Korean resistance group leader, "The Age of Shadows" is set to open in local theaters in September. It is the first film produced and presented in Korea by Warner Bros.

Filmmaker Kim Jee-woon speaks during a news conference for his upcoming film "The Age of Shadows" at CJ CGV's Apgujeong theater in southern Seoul on Aug. 4, 2016. (Yonhap)

Filmmaker Kim Jee-woon speaks during a news conference for his upcoming film "The Age of Shadows" at CJ CGV's Apgujeong theater in southern Seoul on Aug. 4, 2016. (Yonhap)

sshim@yna.co.kr

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August 3, 2016

Warner Bros. Expands Korean Production Slate
A SINGLE RIDER to Follow KIM Jee-woon’s THE AGE OF SHADOWS

by Pierce Conran / KoBiz

BRxHoKEqqLKoXhciRiut.png

With the release of their first local Korean production, KIM Jee-woon’s The Age of Shadows, imminent, US studio Warner Bros. has announced plans to ramp up the scale of their Korean production slate in the coming years. Starting in 2017, the outfit plans to release two to four Korean titles per annum.
 
First up next year will be LEE Joo-young’s debut picture A Single Rider, which went into production back in March in Australia with LEE Byung-hun and KONG Hyo-jin starring and completed production in early May. Warner Bros. Korea director CHOI Jae-won calls it “a small-size movie, completely the opposite from The Age of Shadows,” which was produced for around KRW 10 billion (USD 9 million).
 
Another project scheduled for next year is The Bad Lieutenant, an original story (apparently not connected with Abel Ferrara’s 1992 cult classic) from The Man From Nowhere (2010) director LEE Jeong-beom. With casting already underway, the film is expected to shoot early next year.
 
Prior to these, Warner Bros. will debut as local producer with KIM’s period action-thriller The Age of Shadows, which stars SONG Kang-ho and GONG Yoo. The film opens in Korea on September 7th and has already booked festival dates for the Venice and Toronto International Film Festivals.
 
"Warner Bros. is well known for establishing relationships with filmmakers on the long term at the studio level," said Monique Esclavissat, Warner's executive vice president of international production and acquisition. "We want to be a home for filmmakers but also to be the home for new talented filmmakers, and be an additional option in the Korean market.”

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August 5, 2016

THE AGE OF SHADOWS and THE NET to Premiere in Venice
Korean Auteurs on Show at 73rd Biennale

by Pierce Conran / KoBiz

73rdvenice.jpg

The upcoming 73rd Venice International Film Festival, the oldest major film event in the world, will host the premieres of new works from two major Korean talents. Acclaimed genre auteur KIM Jee-woon will take his first steps on the Lido with his Colonial Era action-thriller The Age of Shadows while former Golden Lion winner KIM Ki-duk returns to the fest with his latest film The Net.
 
KIM’s first film shot in Korea since 2010’s I Saw The Devil (he released his 2013 Hollywood debut The Last Stand in the interim), The Age of Shadows reunites the director with frequent acolyte SONG Kang-ho in a tale of a Korean independence group that fights against Japanese oppressors during the Colonial Era which stretched from 1910 to 1945. GONG Yoo, who is currently riding high on the success of the zombie thriller TRAIN TO BUSAN, co-stars in the film. The film, which screens Out of Competition in Venice, is slated to open in Korea on September 7th and will also screen at the Toronto International Film Festival.
 
Already a winner at Venice in 2004, when he received the Silver Lion for Best Director for 3-Iron, and 2012, when he picked up the Golden Lion for Pieta, KIM Ki-duk returns to Venice with his 22nd feature The Net, his first trip since 2014’s One on One. The film features actor RYOO Seung-bum in the lead role, last seen in IM Sang-soo’s Intimate Enemies (2015). The film will screen in the ‘Cinema in the Garden’ section.

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August 10, 2016

Lee Byung Hun, special spy appearance in 'The Age of Shadows'

Source: OSEN ++

Movie capture of actor Lee Byung Hun's special appearance in Dir. Kim Ji Woon's spy-thriller 'The Age of Shadows' has been released. This will be Lee's 4th appearance in a Kim Ji Woon feature after 'A Bittersweet Life', 'The Good, The Bad, The Weird' and 'I Saw the Devil' and his third collaboration with actor Song Kang Ho after 'Joint Security Area' and 'The Good, The Bad, The Weird'.

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