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Director Kim Jee Woon 김지운 Kim Ji Woon

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October 2, 2018


Director Kim Jee-woon to Receive Cultural Honor from France

Source: The Chosun Ilbo




Filmmaker Kim Jee-woon will receive an honor from the French government for his contribution to the arts later this week.


He will be named an Officer of the Order of Arts and Letters at an annual event hosted by the French Embassy on Saturday during the Busan International Film Festival.


The honor is given to people who "significantly contributed to the enrichment of the French cultural inheritance."


Kim's films include "The Age of Shadows" and "Illang: The Wolf Brigade." He is the third Korean director to receive the honor following Hong Sang-soo in 2015 and Bong Joon-ho in 2016.

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October 10, 2018


KIM Jee-woon to Be Decorated as Officer of Arts and Letters by French Embassy in Seoul


by Pierce Conran / KoBiz




Genre Auteur to Receive Designation during French Night at Busan International Film Festival


Famed genre auteur KIM Jee-woon is set to be decorated as an Officer of the Order of Arts and Letters by the French Embassy in Seoul. The celebrated filmmaker will receive the designation during the Busan International Film Festival’s French Night organized by the Embassy at the Paradise Hotel in Haeundae on October 6. 


The Officer rank is the second highest honorary designation bestowed by the French government, following that of Commander. Other figures of the Korean film industry to be honored by France include Busan International Film Festival founder KIM Dong-ho, actress JEON Do-yeon and directors Hong Sangsoo and BONG Joon-ho.


Following his debut with the horror-comedy The Quiet Family in 1998, KIM became known around the world for his stylish films which helped put Korean cinema on the map. His most famous works include the horror film A Tale of Two Sisters (2003), the gangster thriller A Bittersweet Life (2005), the revenge thriller I Saw the Devil (2010) and the period espionage drama The Age of Shadows (2016). 


KIM’s most recent work, the sci-fi action noir ILLANG : THE WOLF BRIGADE, just had its international premiere at the San Sebastian International Film Festival. A remake of the Japanese anime Jin-Roh: The Wolf Brigade, the film will debut worldwide on the Netflix streaming service on October 19.

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An unseen (deleted) footage from CINE21 pictorial feat. The Age of Shadows?


Thanks to @ILCHIRI

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January 4, 2019


Another throwback photo (from The Good, The Bad, The Weird) posted by Lee Byung Hun on his IG, during the filming in Dunhuang (2007).


Without a face-mask, LBH was sitting next to Dir. Kim Ji Woon who's covering his face at the set.


His caption: (You) look happy to wear mask in sand storm. :lol:


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February 1, 2019

Celebrating Burning | 10 Great South Korean Thrillers


By Andrew Carroll  HeadStuff

We here at Headstuff loved new release Burning, a strange blend of social drama and Hitchcockian mystery. In fact, it could be an early contender for best film of 2019. That said, it is only the latest entry in a series of stellar South Korean thrillers. With their enhanced grittiness, more morally ambiguous characters and a willingness to push boundaries, they leave American counterparts in the dust.


To mark Burning’s release, Headstuff editors Andrew Carroll and Stephen Porzio have outlined the South Korean movies cinephiles need to see. Read below to see what made the list.

Shiri (1999) – Dir Kang Je-gyu



A great entry point for Western audiences, Shiri was South Korea’s first attempt at crafting a blockbuster to rival Hollywood and other Asian cinema following an economic boom in the country. It centres on a South Korean agent on the trail of an elusive North Korean female assassin who has resurfaced and is seeking to get her hands on a new experimental bomb capable of destroying cities.

Fans of John Woo will get a kick out of Shiri’s hyper-kinetic action and spy intrigue. However, its the exciting twists, moments of dark comedy and exploration of paranoia surrounding reunification with North Korea which feel distinct to the country. Also, watch out for great supporting turns from future leading men Song Kang-ho (Memories of Murder, The Host and Thirst) and Choi Min-Sik (I Saw the Devil, Oldboy), the latter akin to a South Korean Gary Oldman. Stephen Porzio


Memories of Murder (2003) – Dir Bong Joon-ho



Far more original and distinct than Shiri is Memories of Murder, based on the true story of Korea’s first serial murders in history. Set over 17 years, it follows an older less formal local cop, Parl (Kang-ho), and a young idealistic officer, Seo (Kim Sang-kyung), from Seoul as they attempt to find a killer who targets his victims when it rains.

While the rural setting looks gorgeous and Joon-ho stages not only some thrilling action but terrifying scenes of the killer stalking his victims – often hiding above them in trees – what stands out about Memories of Murder is its story. The viewer really gets a sense of the effect these killings have on the local community. It’s as if the violence has upset the natural order, with both the locals and police’s fear and interest in the case leading to more chaos.

Without sanding off any rough edges, Memories of Murder is also a very moral film, criticising the desperate police’s torturing of suspects for information. Each act of violence comes back to bite the cops in some way as the movie progresses. Meanwhile, its heartbreaking to watch the youthful confidence of Seo disintegrate, growing wearier until he finally snaps in the climactic scene.

Fans of David Fincher’s Zodiac should watch this great video essay comparing it to Memories of Murder. Stephen Porzio


The Host (2006) – Dir Bong Joon-ho



No, not the Saoirse Ronan film. Yes, the film about the mutant fish monster that attacks Seoul. By the end of its run in 2006 The Host was the most successful South Korean movie ever made up to that point.

Coming off of Memories of Murder, Bong Joon-ho has had a run of success making films about the country’s and the world’s downtrodden with Snowpiercer (2013) and Okja (2017). Yet, The Host is his most personal and probably best work. Ostensibly a creature-feature horror film, it’s surprisingly tender and a lot funnier than it should be.

In 2000, American army doctors pour gone-off formaldehyde down a drain. In 2006, a mutated fish emerges from a river and swallows Park Gang-du’s (Kang-ho again) daughter (Go Ah-sung). What follows is a comedy of errors rescue mission by the bumbling Park, his nagging father, overachieving sister and alcoholic brother.

The Host has a lot to say about America’s effect on South Korea but it also indicts uncaring politicians and inept protesters. Plus, the flopping, ungainly creature is a sight to behold and ranks as one of the most original monsters in the modern cinematic landscape. Andrew Carroll


Thirst (2009) – Dir Park Chan-wook



Vampires don’t have much of a reputation anymore. You can probably thank Twilight for that but if Thirst doesn’t put some respect back on the vampire name I don’t know what will.

Dedicated but doubtful Catholic priest Sang-hyun (Kang-ho yet again!) takes part in an experimental medical trial to find a cure for a deadly virus. After receiving a blood transfusion he finds himself cured and in possession of extraordinary powers and a thirst for blood. Not only that but he’s also attracted to his childhood friend’s wife. Nothing’s ever simple especially as Sang-hyun’s condition worsens.

Thirst might be a horror film but it’s also a film about forbidden, illegal love. It’s a love triangle story much like but also very different from Burning. Directed by Korean master Park Chan-wook – who by this point had already made his much loved Vengeance trilogy [Sympathy For Mr Vengeance (2002), Oldboy (2003), Lady Vengeance (2005)] – the film is noticeably different from his earlier work. It’s an oddity that despite all the bloodletting is quite a sweet film that slowly curdles into sourness.

Relationships are difficult especially when you’re a member of the living dead and Chan-wook makes sure to examine this from every angle. A domestic spat, for instance, turns dramatic as the bickering couple clear rooftops in a single bound. Vampire movies may be well and truly staked but you can always resurrect Thirst if you need a reminder of how good they once were. Andrew Carroll


The Man From Nowhere (2010) – Dir Lee Jeong-beom



South Korean movies, especially genre movies as this list shows, are often brutal affairs. Maybe it’s their unpredictable northern neighbour. Maybe it’s centuries of upheaval and foreign invasion. Whatever it is it’s leant itself to one of the most brutal, harrowing and uncompromising national cinemas in the world. The Man From Nowhere is no exception with its tale of former government assassin Cha Tae-sik (Won Bin) and his race to rescue his young neighbour So-Mi (Kim Sae-ron) from Korean-Vietnamese organ harvesters.

Won Bin is the most selective Korean actor working right now with only five films throughout his entire career. The Man From Nowhere was his most recent and that came out in 2010. Still the film’s physically demanding and fatally efficient action alongside its viciously nihilistic story would encourage anyone to take a break from acting. The final fight scene sees Tae-sik knife fight seven goons. Mostly shot in closeups, it is both a bloody grudge match and a lesson in major blood vessel placement. I would say that South Korean revenge movies don’t get more disturbing than this but that’s just not true. Andrew Carroll


I Saw the Devil (2010) – Dir Kim Jee-woon
Speaking of disturbing and bloody, this action horror thriller may be the most disturbing and bloody movie ever! When a serial killer (Choi Min-sik – playing the character like he is pure id) brutally murders the pregnant wife of an National Intelligence Service Agent (Lee Byung-hun, G.I. Joe), the latter goes rogue to track him down.

However, it doesn’t stop there. Wanting him to suffer as his wife did, he beats the murderer half to death and implants within him a tracker before setting him free. The goal: so that any time the killer thinks he is safe, the agent will be on call again to give his bones a fresh break. Needless to say, all does not go according to plan.

One could laud tons of praise on the direction which manages to casually chuck into the film insane action set pieces on top of its already gripping cat and mouse thriller – beats which would be the centrepiece of your typical Hollywood movie. The result: a film which feels like Seven meets John Wick.

However, that’s not what I Saw the Devil is truly about. Like Memories of Murder, it’s character and idea driven. People throw around phrases like ‘violence begets violence’ or the Nietzsche quote: “He who fights with monsters should be careful lest he thereby becomes a monster.” When I hear them, the first thing that springs to mind is I Saw the Devil. Stephen Porzio

Train to Busan (2016) – Dir Yeon Sang-ho



Reinvention seems to come so easily to South Korean cinema. Whether it’s vampires in Thirst, a two-and-a-half hour slow boiler like Burning or zombies in Train to Busan, the country seems to know just how to tweak the formula. Train to Busan is not especially violent or gory nor does it generate any new characters out of the stock of pre-existing zombie movie sketches. Instead it mobilises pre-existing tropes for the whole film.

After a zombie outbreak in Seoul banker Seok-woo (Gong Yoo) and his young daughter board a train to Busan. Unbeknownst to them and their fellow archetypes, I mean passengers, an infected girl is also on board. Much like the speeding bullet it’s set on the movie never slows down. Yet, even at moments such as the station attack or train switches director Yeon Sang-ho keeps things human. Characters instantly become favourites through their actions. Working class everyman Sang-hwa (Ma Dong-seok) bulldozes through zombies. Brave highschool lovers fight it out to the end. Seok-woo might be an richard simmons in the world of finance but when his daughter’s in danger he’s a different man.

Train to Busan is one of this decade’s best zombie movies even if that phrase means very little these days. Andrew Carroll


The Handmaiden (2016) – Dir Park Chan-wook



Queer romance doesn’t come more complex than this. Inspired by the British novel Fingersmith. Park Chan-wook adapts a tale of con artistry turned into female rebellion powered by layered, defiant performances from its two leads. A conman under the moniker Count Fujiwara (Ha Jung-woo) hires pickpocket Sook-hee (Kim Tae-ri) as a maid for the Japanese heiress Lady Hideko (Kim Min-hee). Hoping that Sook-hee will convince Hideko to marry him things instead begin to turn against the Count as the two women fall for each other and the Lady’s perverted Uncle Kouzuki (Cho Jin-woong) enters the fray.

Complex as the plot is, The Handmaiden never strays far from its core conceit which is – like Chan-wook’s previous movie Thirst – the trials and tribulations of forbidden love. No matter how many pornographic tales Lady Hideko is forced to read to her uncle nor how desperately the Count tries to insinuate himself in between Sook-hee and Hideko, The Handmaiden always comes back to its two leads. It’s in their long looks and stolen glances as well as the over-the-top love scenes the film makes its mark.

The Handmaiden is Romeo and Juliet only Romeo’s a conniving thief and Juliet is an impassive vixen that crushes men in her white gloved hands.


The Wailing (2016) – Dir Na Hong-jin



Na Hong-jin is one of the most promising figures in South Korean cinema, having broken onto the scene with 2008’s The Chaser, centring on an ex-detective turned pimp whose forced to go back to his old ways when his girls begin to go missing. He followed this up in 2010 with The Yellow Sea, a grander more uneven tale of gangsters and immigrants, with flashes of utter brilliance.

However, The Wailing is his best work to date, a thrilling over two and a half hour genre mash up which really puts into perspective how bad Cowboys vs Aliens and Pride and Prejudice and Zombies truly are. Set in a little village in the mountains of South Korea – resembling True Detective’s depiction of Louisiana – a series of random gruesome murders take place. The only element common to the crimes is that the killers all share a strange rash. Could the murders be linked to the Japanese stranger who has newly arrived in the village?

Beginning as a crime thriller before adding zombies, demonic possessions and more into the mix, The Wailing strength comes from how mysterious it is. While many American mash-ups literally spoil the twist in their title, one never gets a sense of where Hong-jin’s thriller is going. It continually dishes out rich symbolism and intriguing details – never spelling out anything clearly for audiences. It helps too the whole film is seen through the eyes of an ordinary joe police officer, adding an off-kilter mundanity to proceedings – leading everything to feel even more visceral. Stephen Porzio


The Villainess (2017) – Dir Jeong Byeong-Gil



I was a little harsh when I reviewed The Villainess for HeadStuff back in 2017. But with hindsight and a greater appreciation for Korean cinema I see it’s value. Essentially The Man From Nowhere with a female lead and a healthy dose of melodrama, it follows Sook-hee (Kim Ok-bin), a former assassin turned South Korean intelligence agent trying to protect her child and fellow agent lover Jung Hyun-soo (Sung Joon) from the truth. Although The Villainess isn’t cut from the taboo breaking mould of Park Chan-wook or Bong Joon-ho it’s influence is still felt worldwide.

The thriller is not as cleanly shot as it could be which works to both its advantage and disadvantage. The action scenes from the opening first person POV assault to the bus set climax are exhilarating. It feels like a found footage action movie just not like Hardcore Henry thankfully.

The romantic interlude between Sook-hee and Hyun-soo adds a bit of levity and a lot of pathos as the thriller barrels towards its end game. Without The Villainess we wouldn’t have the shot in the John Wick 3 trailer that seems to hint at a sword fight on motorbikes. Not many people in the West may have seen The Villainess but those that did took notice. Andrew Carroll



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April 25, 2019


Korean Films About Revenge That Are Served Ice Cold


Source: Soompi by seheee

Wanting revenge is a natural human instinct, but most of us know better than to act on such desires. Besides, it often proves better to forgive and forget than it does to hold onto a deep-seated grudge. The characters in these Korean films, however, embrace their desire for vengeance, often relying on shocking violence as a means to this end. But what will become of them if and when they finally do achieve their revenge?


As Nietzsche once wrote, “He who fights with monsters should be careful lest he thereby become a monster.”


Warning: Many of the films mentioned below feature graphic violence and other elements (e.g., drug use, suicide, nudity) that may disturb viewers. I recommend checking the Parents Guide on each film’s IMDb page if you are concerned about particular triggers or other content.


Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance
“Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance” is a must-watch for fans of Korean cinema, despite being less popular than “Oldboy,” which is actually the second film in Park Chan Wook’s Vengeance Trilogy. Park once said in an interview that when making this film, he wanted to make something that felt “too real,” so buckle your seat belts and get ready for a bumpy ride. This movie will make you wonder whom you should ultimately feel sympathy for, as well as whether anything good can ever come of revenge, no matter how justified it may seem. Also, don’t let the old school trailer stop you from watching this movie — it’s definitely worth your time.

The Deal
“The Deal” is a movie that makes no attempt to conceal the identity of the killer or aid him in evading the police in almost miraculous ways to help propel its plot. Instead, it relies on cold, calculated revenge. The question is: Just how satisfying will revenge be in the end? After all, vengeance often comes at a cost, whether it’s in the form of money, human life, or even one’s own humanity. Although this movie doesn’t add anything new to the genre — it actually employs numerous tried-and-true elements found in various other crime films, ranging from a remorseless serial killer to gangsters — it’s still a decent watch.

The Man From Nowhere
It took me almost 10 years to get around to watching this movie, but let me just say that it did not disappoint. Sure, the film gets off to a bit of a slow start, taking its sweet time to get viewers acquainted with its enigmatic, taciturn lead and the charming girl who lives next door to him. By the time we get to the second half of the film, however, it becomes obvious that we’re watching a man who won’t be stopped until he saves the day or destroys everyone else and possibly even himself. The film’s dark atmosphere in general also lets us know that this movie makes no guarantee of a happy ending, maintaining its suspense and intensity until the very end. If you aren’t a Won Bin fan going into this movie, you likely will be one by the end of it.


The Villainess
“The Villainess” pulls no punches during its opening scene, pitting the protagonist — who it turns out is a highly skilled killer — against what feels like an endless onslaught of attackers. Clearly, someone has messed with the wrong woman. The action doesn’t stop there though. Having been raised by criminals and later trained by a covert intelligence group, the protagonist continually shows she is a force to be reckoned with as she seeks to exact revenge on those who hurt her and her family. While this film leaves much to be desired narrative-wise, its kinetic action sequences that almost leave you wondering which way is up make this an entertaining watch nevertheless. In fact, the cinematography overall was enjoyable.





I Saw the Devil
You know a movie means serious business when even its trailer says it’s been approved for mature audiences only. (The one I’ve embedded here is the more subdued of the two trailers I found and did not come with the same advisement, though it’s still quite intense.) Full disclosure: I haven’t gotten around to watching this one yet, but I have seen some clips and can confirm that people aren’t joking when they say this movie is brutally violent, perhaps almost excessively so. Then again, people sometimes go to horrific lengths in real life for the sake of revenge, so what’s there stopping someone from going even further in the world of fiction?

As a parent, what would you do if someone murdered your child? On top of that, how helpless would you feel knowing that her murderers were still roaming free while the police told you to simply wait at home? Would you take it upon yourself to ensure her killers are brought to justice in the end? Well, that’s what the father in “Broken” does, showing that even children (albeit high school age ones) can become victims of revenge. He might wind up losing more than he bargained for by seeking out his own form of justice though. Whether you’re a parent or not, this film is bound to stir up some emotions in you, largely thanks to the lead actor’s great portrayal of a grief-stricken father.

“Monster” separates itself from most other revenge films by giving its protagonist not, say, incredible ingenuity or weapons training, but an indefatigable nature along with what might be considered blind courage. Unlike the protagonists in many of the other films mentioned above, this heroine feels very much like the underdog as she engages in a deadly game of cat and mouse. For me, this film falls short of its potential, but it still has some noteworthy moments (such as the final encounter between the heroine and the villain), and Lee Min Ki’s performance as the psychopathic antagonist is spot on.


seheee is a software engineer by day and an avid K-pop concert goer by night. You can find her on twitter @_seheee.

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Thanks to the highlight by @mistymorning at Lee Byung Hun soompi thread ~


News of program dealing with 2 genius directors and their personas. One of them is Kim Jiwoon and Lee ByungHun.



Movieroom episode 59, on Friday 6:30 PM KST, next week. Rewatch seems to be possible thru 





To watch streaming without subs, click here. 

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June 27, 2019


Bucheon International Fantastic Film Festival to open

An official poster of the 23rd Bucheon International Fantastic Film Festival (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)


SEOUL, June 27 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's largest annual genre film festival will open late Thursday in Bucheon, just west of Seoul, featuring 288 movies from 49 countries.


The 23rd Bucheon International Fantastic Film Festival (BiFan) will run from June 27 to July 7 under the motto "Love, Fantasy and Adventure," with special attention to science fiction flicks.


One of its official posters is inspired by the 1982 sci-fi film "Blade Runner" by Ridley Scott, which is set in a dystopian city in 2019.


Audiences can check out Godzilla, Gamera and other monster movies in the "Robots: Future Beyond the Human Race" program, where classic films featuring robots like "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" will be shown.


Moreover, commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Korean film industry, the festival will screen 13 Korean genre movies, including musical, sci-fi, horror and monster films, under the title "A Crazy Chronicle of Korean Genre Cinema." It features a range of films from the 1949 musical "The Blue Hill" to the 2003 mystery horror "A Tale of Two Sisters."


Opening the festival will be the Asian premiere of Mexican director Edgar Nito's "The Gasoline Thieves," which narrates a realistic story about the fuel-stealing phenomenon in the Central American country.


The closing film is Korean director Ko Myoung-sung's mystery thriller "The 12th Suspect," featuring a murder investigation and which touches on guilt, ideology and opportunism in the post-Korean War era.


Eight films, including "Abyss: The Girl's Eye" by Chang Hyun-sang and "Lapse" by Chae Soo-eung, will vie for prize in the Korean Fantastic section.


Ant Timpson's "Come to Daddy," Talal Selhami's "Achoura" and 10 other movies were invited to the Bucheon Choice competition, aimed at highlighting new trends.


Actress Kim Hye-soo will adorn the festival's special silver-screen star section. Her 10 best movies, including "Tazza: The High Rollers" (2006), "The Thieves" (2012) and "Default" (2018) will be screened during the period.


The opening ceremony of BiFan will be broadcast live for the first time via SBS. 

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August 5, 2019


Lee Honey Considers Kim Jee-woon's Korean-French Drama


Source: HeraldPop via HanCinema.net


Will Lee Honey join director Kim Jee-woon?

Saram Entertainment announced on the 5th that she's considering the Korean-French drama "Klaus 47".


"Klaus 47" is a collaboration between Korea and France directed by Kim Jee-woon. "Klaus 47" is based on a true story of a weapons lobbyist who shook up the French political world.


Meanwhile, Lee Honey is starring in "Black Money", the latest by director Chung Ji-young.

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August 14, 2019


Song Kang-ho Wins Excellence Award at Locarno Film Festival


Source: The Chosun Ilbo


Actor Song Kang-ho received the Excellence Award at this year's Locarno Film Festival in Switzerland on Monday, becoming the first Asian actor to earn the honor.


The award is given to internationally acclaimed actors who have enriched the cinema with their work and talent.


Song Kang-ho poses with the Excellence Award trophy at the Locarno Film Festival in Switzerland on Monday. /Yonhap

In his acceptance speech, Song said, "Thank you. I'm happy and honored to receive this great and meaningful award at the prestigious, beautiful Locarno. I'm all the more grateful, as this is the place where many of the world's best actors that I have admired left their traces."


Song added, "When I recall my 30-year career as an actor, it has been truly an honor to have been able to work with great directors. I'd like to give my thanks and respect to Lee Chang-dong, Park Chan-wook and Kim Jee-woon."


He expressed special thanks to director Bong Joon-ho, who attended the awards ceremony. "I dedicate this trophy to director Bong Joon-ho, my friend and comrade," he said.


Some of Song's hit films, including "Memories of Murder," "The Foul King," "Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance" and "Parasite," have been screened at the festival, which ends its 10-day run on Saturday.


Previous recipients of the Excellence Award include Susan Sarandon, John Malkovich, Isabelle Huppert and Ethan Hawke.

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August 23, 2019


KIM Jee-woon to Return with French-Korean Co-Produced Series

LEE Ha-nee Considers Leading Role in KLAUS 47


by Pierce Conran KOFIC



Following last year’s Japanese sci-fi action noir anime adaptation ILLANG : THE WOLF BRIGADE, Director KIM Jee-woon is gearing up for his next project, which will be a co-produced French and Korean series called Klaus 47. Extreme Job star LEE Ha-nee is currently considering an offer for a leading role in the film, according to her agency Saram Entertainment.


Klaus 47 is based on real events surrounding a lobbyist in the arms industry who shook up the world of French politics. Originally a Taiwanese character, the lobbyist was turned into a Korean character for the series. Klaus 47, which will consist of four episodes, will be produced by the major French network Canal+.


Director KIM debuted in 1998 with The Quiet Family and is known for his stylish genre films, which have included A Tale Of Two Sisters (2003), A Bittersweet Life (2005), The Good, The Bad, And The Weird (2008), I Saw The Devil (2010) and Korea’s 2016 official entry to the Academy Awards, The Age of Shadows.


LEE Ha-nee first entered the spotlight when she was crowned ‘Miss Korea’ in 2006 and has since made a successful transition to the big screen. Her film credits include SORI: Voice from the Heart (2016), Heart Blackened (2017) and of course Extreme Job, which became the second most successful Korean film of all time when it was released during the Lunar New Year holiday earlier this year.


Production on the series is expected to commence before the end of the year.

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September 23, 2019 (related excerpt searchdoc.gif)


Film Directors Migrate to the Small Screen

Korea’s Top Content Creators Navigate New Distribution Landscape


by Pierce Conran KOFIC




Much like we’ve witnessed in several western markets over the past decade, the lines between the film and TV worlds are also beginning to blur in Korea. Major Hallyu stars have frequently crossed this line, but the content creators have largely remained in their own trenches, until now. With the explosion of streaming services redrawing the global content map, filmmakers and TV drama creators are exploring new mediums. Industry leaders like PARK Chan-wook and KIM Jee-woon have been heading overseas for major TV mini-series, while other local names are being snatched up by Netflix for local-language series. Eager to jump in on the action, local cable shows are also hiring big filmmakers for new and more cinematic series, as well as commissioning them for ambitious anthology projects.

This week, we take a look at some of the film directors who have been making waves with streaming or TV projects.


KIM Jee-woon’s Investigates Klaus 47 in France




Hot on Director PARK’s heels is another of Korea’s most acclaimed and globally recognized filmmakers, as it was recently revealed that A Bittersweet Life (2005) and I Saw The Devil (2010) director KIM Jee-woon has partnered with the major French broadcaster Canal+ for a high-end, four-part espionage miniseries called Klaus 47.


Based on real events, the series will focus on a lobbyist in the arms industry who is at the center of a scandal that rocks French political circles. Originally a Taiwanese person, the character’s nationality was changed to Korean for the series. Extreme Job star LEE Ha-nee is reportedly considering an offer to star in the project.

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