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Kim Hye Ja 김혜자 55th Baeksang Grand Prize Winner 2019

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Everyone is warmly welcomed & highly encouraged to share about Ms. Kim Hye Ja
more info + sharing will be much appreciated!


Kim Hye Ja 김혜자 Kim Hae Ja 

The Audrey Hepburn of Korea is MOTHER
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▣ Profile
Born in Seoul in 1941, October 25th
Graduated from Ehwa Women's University majoring in living art
Debuted in show business in 1962

▣ Dramas
Dazzling (JTBC, 2019) 
Dear My Friends (tvN, 2016)
Unkind Ladies (KBS2, 2015) 
Living Among The Rich (JTBC, 2011)

Red Major General's Autumn (SBS, 2009)
Angry Mom / Mom Has Grown Horns (KBS2, 2008)
Goong (MBC, 2006)
Smile Of Spring Day (MBC, 2005)
Since We Met (MBC, 2002)
Roses and Bean Sprouts (MBC, 1999)
You and I (MBC, 1997)
A Rural Diary
A Sand Castle
Winter Haze
The Sea of Mother
What is love?

Films
How to Steal a Dog (2014)Mother (2009)
Mayonnaise (1999)
In Late Fall (1982)

Plays
19 and 80
Shirley Valentine"

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▣ Awards
Best Actress - 4th Asian Film Awards (AFA 2010)
Best Actress - 7th Max Movie Awards
Best Actress - Korea Film Reporters Association (KOFRA)
Best Actress - 12th Director’s Cut Awards 2009
Best Actress - 3rd Asia Pacific Screen Awards (APSA) 2009
2009 Best Actress - China's Golden Rooster and Hundred Flowers Film Festival
The 45th Baeksang Arts Awards: Daesang Award Mom Has Grown Horns (2009)
2008 KBS Drama Awards: Daesang Award (Mom Has Grown Horns)

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Received the grand prix and the best leading actress award at the Baeksang Art Awards six times after winning the Baeksang Best New Comer Award in 1966
Won the grand prix and special award of the MBC Awards.
Won the Dongah Play Award and the best leading actress award at the Manila International film Festival
Won the Feminism Award from the Women News
Picked as the best model by advertisers
Became the first actress to receive the Wiam Jang Ji-yeon Prize
Became the first Asian person to receive the Visible Difference Award granted by Elizabeth Arden

Actress Kim Hye-ja, the Audrey Hepburn of Korea
Article at KBS Global / May 18, 2005

Actress Kim Hye-ja took in her 51st child in Liberia, Africa, on May 5. Her latest child is an eight-month-old Liberian orphan named Kotati. As a goodwill ambassador of the non-profit Christian relief organization World Vision, Kim has traveled to war and disaster stricken countries like Ethiopia, India and Sierra Leone and sponsored children suffering from hunger and disease. She makes donations every month and visits the children whenever she is available. Where does her boundless love come from?


Creating the Image of a Traditional Mother

Kim became an actress in 1962, signing a contract with KBS while still attending Ewha Women's University. Since then, she has appeared in 90 television dramas including "A Rural Diary," "What is Love," "Two Women," "The Sea of Mother," and "Roses and Bean Sprouts." She has also appeared in 13 plays including "Shirley Valentine," as well as various movies such as "In Late Fall" and "Mayonnaise."

Particularly, Kim created the image of a virtuous and loving traditional mother while appearing in the drama "Rural Diary" for 20 years. We can recall our own affectionate and heart-warming mothers through her.

But she has not built up the image of a mother only on the screen. Kim was reborn as a genuine archetypal mother of our era by traveling through war and poverty-hit African countries and other regions and participating in relief work for 14 years.

The First Step toward Africa

Kim Hye-ja first visited Africa in the summer of 1992 after finishing the mega-hit drama "What is Love?" She had received a phone call from World Vision while preparing for a trip to Prague and Budapest with her daughter.
The relief organization told her that Korea had been a beneficiary of foreign aid and it was time for the country to help other countries in need. Persuaded by the conversation, Kim cancelled her East European trip and headed for Ethiopia. That was her first step toward participating in relief work in Africa.

"I Hope I Won't Come to a Country Like This Again

When departing for the African country, she thought that it would just be a simple trip to Ethiopia. However, after arriving in the country, Kim found that the harsh reality of life there was totally different from what she expected. She realized for the first time that such a large number of people were dying from starvation. Tears ceaselessly flowed from her eyes; she constantly wept while she was in the country, even during her sleep.

Kim was so shocked by the miserable state of children dying from hunger that she prayed on the plane returning home, "My God, please don't make me go to a country like that again." She complained to God, asking why He had created Africa just to put so many people in pain and why the guiltless, innocent children were dying.

But now, Kim doesn't resent God; rather, she thanks Him for sending her to Africa. She thinks that God sent her to those countries because there is something she can do there. She decided to spend the rest of her life serving other people.

"Don't Beat Them even with Flowers"

Since the shocking encounter with the poor and wretched in Africa, Kim has met children and women in refugee camps around the globe for more than 10 years. Based on her experiences, she published a book entitled "Don't beat Them Even with Flowers" in 2004.

Kim says in her book, "If you have something to eat in the refrigerator, can put on clothes, live under a roof and have a place to sleep, you are better off than 70 percent of the people living in the world. If you have never experienced the dangers of war, imprisonment, torture or hunger, you are happier than 500 million people in the world."

On every page of the book, she appeals to the world not to turn a blind eye to the affliction facing African children.

Kim willingly donated the 62 million won (about US$62,000) earned by her book to children who were the victims of an explosion disaster in the North Korean city of Ryoingchon. She will donate all future proceeds from the book over the next 10 years to poor North and South Korean children.

While holding an autograph session in Busan after publishing the book, she received a white envelope from a man. Twenty thousand won was in the envelope, and the man told her to spend the money on relief work. Kim says with a smile, "If I had not published the book, I would not have experienced such happy moments such as this."

A Genuine Star

While participating in relief work traveling around poverty-stricken countries, Kim has acquired new habits. First, she doesn't waste any food and eats every last bit of every meal, thinking of all the children suffering from hunger. Second, when buying goods, she calculates, "How many African Children can go to school and eat for a month with this amount of money?"

Working as a goodwill ambassador of World Vision, Kim has turned into a mother figure for starving people throughout the world. Kim says, "Charity is to bestow a favor on people in need. By helping them, we feel joyful, and that's a reward in itself." It is definitely difficult for a star to be loved by the public for a long period of time. Most celebrities become forgotten over time, and the public is usually enthralled with a star for only a short period. What is the hallmark of a genuine star, then?

Audrey Hepburn, who shot to stardom after starring in the movie "Roman Holiday," retired from the showbiz industry in 1989. Until she died in 1993 at the age of 64, she played the leading role in relief work for starving African children. She is remembered as a timeless star now. If one is a genuine star, they will gleam brightly and still be remembered even after their death. That is why we can call Kim Hye-ja “the Audrey Hepburn of Korea” without hesitation.

A meaningful story can be found in Kim's book "Don't Beat Them Even With Flowers." In front of God, a person demands, "Why is there sadness and anguish in the world, even though you are present?" God answers, "That is why I sent you into the world."

Perhaps we all live in the world for just one simple reason. Kim has found her simple reason and has put her idea into action. She is truly a beautiful woman.

Gratitude
KBS Global / wiki.d-addicts.com / hancinema.net / koreanwiz.org /Asianwiki

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March 26, 2009

Kim Hye-ja: Harnessing Fame to Help Children in Poor Countries

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Kim Hye-ja

The actress Kim Hye-ja returned from a week-long trip to Tonz in southern Sudan, where she visited a camp of people displaced by the country's prolonged civil wars.

"I used to be a pessimist. I didn’t know why I had to live," she said. "But when I meet children in Africa and think about them, it makes me question myself. I don't usually go abroad to meet strangers, but I do this to help the children. Because I'm an actress who's loved by many people, what I say will be heard and sound convincing. I'm grateful that I can be of use to serve a good cause."

Since independence from Britain, southern Sudan has been plagued by civil wars for over 20 years. It has one of the world's lowest health and human development indices. "The flight takes over 20 hours. They only have uneven dirt roads. You arrive there, look around you, and think about what you can do to help the children there. All they've got is porridge mixed with vitamin powder and malaria medicine. If doctors don't come to them, the children will die," she said.

Kim, who is hugely popular in Korea for her mostly maternal roles, first went to Africa in 1992 when evangelical charity World Vision suggested she accompany a group of relief team to Ethiopia. "At that time, I thought of the trip as a vacation for relaxation. But when I arrived there, it was so shocking. I couldn't believe how human beings could live in such conditions. For 10 days, I cried all day," she recalls.

Since then, she has gone on a volunteer mission as a goodwill ambassador for the Christian organization almost every year, traveling to Africa, India and Bangladesh.

"When I first began my career as an actress, my father told me that just as Tolstoy did in literature, actors can play an influential role in people's lives," she added. "He encouraged me that a word from an actor can be more powerful than 10 words from a mouth of a politician."

Credits: englishnews@chosun.com

news1.gifKIM HYE JA 2008 / 2009 updates via the News thread

2008

Apr 7: Actress Kim to Star in Bong’s Film page 225

Apr 8: Won and Kim to head Bong's "Mother"

June 26: Bong Joon-ho "Won Bin is youthful country style" page 248

Aug 6: [TV Review] Runaway moms swap drudgery for liberty page 254

» Most Popular Stars Of 2nd Half Of 2008 page 267

Sep 30: 'Mom's Dead Upset' Ends with 40.6% Viewer Rating page 269

Oct 8: Nominees Announced for the 2008 Korea Drama Festival Awards page 273

Nov 5: 'Mother' goes to Japan's Bitters End page 282

Nov 12: CJ Entertainment sells Mother to France, Thirst to UK page 284

Dec 30: What's on Cultural Horizon in 2009? page 296

2009

March 22: 'Korean Directors Possible Candidates at Cannes' page 317

March 20: Big unknown: Cannes festival contenders page 318

March 26: Harnessing Fame to Help Children in Poor Countries page 319

April 13: 'Private Eye' surpasses 1 million ticket mark page 326

April 18: CJ unveils Cannes market lineup page 328

April 20: Welfare center for Ethiopian children

April 23: Cannes unveils lineup page 329

April 24: “Thirst” Goes to Cannes

April 24: Korean Filmmakers to Appear at Cannes

April 27: Director Bong Promises Hotter Movie With 'Mother' page 330

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April 20, 2009

Welfare center for Ethiopian children

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Veteran actress Kim Hae-ja, center, shakes hands with Baik Sung-hak, left, the chairman of Young An Hat Company, and World Vision Korea’s executive director Park Jong-sam at a ceremony for the building of “Baekhak Village OBS Kim Hae-ja Center” at the Young An Hat Company’s 50th Anniversary Hall. The center bearing the actress’ name will be used as a welfare center in Ethiopia for poor children. It will be completed in 2010 and is aimed to support more than 200 children in the area./ Courtesy of OBS

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April 28, 2009

Director Bong back with mother-son tale

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Leading Korean filmmaker Bong Joon-ho expressed confidence in the artistic quality of his latest film "Mother," set to join the Un Certain Regard section of the Cannes film festival next month.

"When I looked at the lineup in the competition section at the Cannes film festival this year, I felt there's a clear limit for me to join the power list, but I'm confident about my new film's artistic level," Bong told reporters at a news conference in Seoul on Monday.

Bong's failure to join the prestigious competition section at Cannes, however, does not mean he's an outsider. After all, with "Mother" Bong has now been invited to Cannes for a third time, a recognition coveted by filmmakers around the world.

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Kim Hye-ja, the veteran actress who plays the title role, said she's relieved about the entry into the non-competition section of Cannes. "I don't like competition in the first place and I think it's good that we are not competing with other films," she said.

Kim said that Bong provided her acting career with new impetus. "He helped me reactivate all the cells that have been dormant in my body," Kim said. "I ran a lot for the film, even when it was raining, but I didn't feel any fatigue because that's what I was supposed to do for the role."

Kim is widely regarded for acting skills closely related with the traditional image of a Korean mother. Since she has enhanced this image by appearing as a parent in many television dramas, Bong said he would have given up the project if Kim did not accept his offer to play the main role.

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Bong said Won Bin, who plays Kim Hye-ja's son in the film, performed even better than expected. "When I met Won Bin for the first time, I noticed he has innocent eyes -- eyes that are perfect for the son character. Although he looks innocent, he was very eager to push the limit and top expectations at the shooting," Bong said.

Won Bin returns to Korean cinema in five years after his high-profile role in "Taegukgi," the 2004 Korean War blockbuster.

In the film, a mother lives alone with her only son, who is 28. Their life turns upside down when the young man is implicated in a murder case. Despite there being no credible evidence against him, he is implicated by the police, forcing his mother to do whatever she can to prove his innocence.

By Yang Sung-jin (insight@heraldm.com) via koreaherald.co.kr, captures credit as stated on images from daum.net

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^ Hi koala! So good to see you here, thanks so much for the wonderful drama caps! Share your thoughts on 'Since We Met' when you've finished watching. ^^

Guardian Angel stars

힘든 어린이의 수호천사 스타는?

2009-05-05 08:12:27

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Top-bottom (clockwise): Kim Hye Ja, Cha In Pyo, Han Ji Min

Source: mydaily.co.kr

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thanks Rubie! I just started watching Since We Met and I already liked Kim Hye-ja's character there as a hardworking mother to her twins (Park Jin-hee was one of them)...I still have a long way to go but will share more thoughts on the drama later on...

here are some pics from Roses and Beansprouts (1999). I was able to get pics way back when the drama was still airing on Arirang TV and I was able to see some episodes then but I barely remember the drama now...lol!

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By sassygirl17 at 2009-05-06

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By sassygirl17 at 2009-05-06

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By sassygirl17 at 2009-05-06

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By sassygirl17 at 2009-05-06

src: MBC

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May 8, 2009

Cannes Screening for Film "Mother" Set

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Director Bong Joon-ho’s new film “Mother” will make its worldwide premiere at the 62nd Cannes International Film Festival to be held from May 13 through 24. Invited for non-competitive Un Certain Regard section, director Bong’s latest work will be screened at 10 o’clock on the night of May 16th, the first Saturday evening of the festival. This has traditionally been a time slot that draws the biggest crowd.

“Mother” has already earned keen interest and global attention from moviemakers all over the world, as illustrated by the fact that it’s the only film among the Un Certain Regard invitees to have a red carpet event. Actress Kim Hye-ja and actors Won Bin and Jin Gu will join director Bong on the red carpet.

Highly acclaimed actress Kim plays the mother of a young mentally disabled man, who is accused of murdering his neighbor. Korea’s heartthrob Won Bin appears as her wrongfully accused son. They will hold press conferences and interviews after a press screening, which will take place during the day before the official presentation. The film is scheduled for domestic release on May 28th.

Source: KBS World

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Thanks to the highlight by deka_if at the News thread, especially for the captures

May 6, 2009

Cultural Circle Rediscovers Mother

A girl arrives home, and her mother immediately begins to prepare dinner. But the daughter isn’t interested in what her mother is doing. She isn’t hungry at all and, actually, her mother annoys her, constantly meddling in every matter and coddling her.

This is a scene from the stage play entitled “Mother Discovers Sea at Fifty” which opened at Sanwoollim Theatre on April 24 and will run through May 10. This is the eighth run of the play since its debut performance in 1991. The show deals with the relationship between a mother and daughter. The mother in the play, who has devoted her entire life for her family, isn’t much different from most real-life Korean mothers. Here is actress Park Jeong-ja who plays the mother.

The mother in the play can be any mom. There is nothing special about her. That’s why people can share the sentiment of the story. The more people identify with the theme, the more people love the performance. The mother in the show is a very openhearted human being, and a woman who is honest to her feelings - she laughs, cries, and gets angry. She isn’t afraid to demonstrate whatever emotion she’s feeling.

When the daughter finally realizes how important her mother is, it’s too late. Her mother has died. Audience members who nodded along as they listened to the mother and daughter talk on stage leave the performance touched and filled with memories of their own mothers.

- When I look back, I have been too indifferent to my mother. My mother is 78 now. If she passes away, I can’t do anything for her. I really feel sorry for my mom. Although I could visit her more often, I always give excuses that I’m busy, and just sent her money instead. I should see her often to fulfill my filial duty. I’m afraid my mom could just pass away alone, like in the play.
- I’m already 50 and my mother is gone. I always long for her. As the anniversary of her death is approaching, I miss her more. I wish I could see her for a moment - even if for only ten seconds. I wouldn’t ask for more.


The mother theme is ripe in other cultural sectors, as well. In the publishing industry, author Shin Gyeong-suk’s “Please Take Care of Mother” continues to draw enthusiasm months after it first hit bookstores. In the theatrical circle, the stage play, “Mother,” featuring veteran actor Son Suk revisited audiences after a decade. Director Bong Joon-ho who is well-known for his films “Memories of Murder” and “The Host” is ready to hit the big screen on May 28. Cultural critic Kim Seong-su explains why the mother theme is so prevalent this spring.

When people want to be consoled during the difficult economic downturn and when they look for someone who would protect and believe in them, the first person that comes to their mind is the strong mother figure who could withstand hardships and give comfort. So, the social atmosphere that makes people miss their mothers led to the current cultural trend. Basically, the mother figure is special because it evokes the image of motherhood for us. Our mothers forgive us even if we do wrong. They believe in us, and give us comfort and consolation.

Author Shin Gyeong-suk’s feature-length novel, “Take Care of Mother,” aroused the mother theme in the literary circle. The fictional narrative begins with the sentence “It’s been one week since I lost my mother,” and from there, takes a look back at a mother-son relationship. The mother in the story pursues her son’s dream, rather than her own. Due to her lack of education, she lived a dark and neglected life, and her son doesn’t really acknowledge her existence until she’s gone. Although the mother quietly takes care of the housework, anger wells inside her, and she sometimes secretly breaks kitchenware to release her rage. Since its publication in November last year, the novel has topped the best seller list for ten consecutive weeks. Here is Lee Mi-gyeong from Gyobo Bookstore.

Shin Gyeong-suk’s “Take Care of Mother” made the bestseller list and enjoyed a great public response as soon as it was published and gained positive reviews from publishing firm critics. That’s why many readers are still looking for the book. It appeals to a diverse audience, including both males and females and ranging from young to old.

Following is an excerpt of a letter written by the younger daughter in the story.

“Even as I live as a mother, I have so many dreams
I still remember my childhood, girlhood and maidenhood
I haven’t forgotten any of them and still remember them
Why did I regard mother as simply mom from the beginning?
How could I not have thought about my mother’s dream?”


In the novel, the younger daughter, now a mom to three kids of her own, writes to her older sister about how she feels about their mother. As she loses her mother, she is overwhelmed with feelings of sorrow and regret for her mother. Her short letter was enough to move readers to tears.

- Even for me, my mother was just a mom from the beginning. I didn’t consider her as a woman. I always took my temper out on my mom, but she was open-minded and accepted all my temper tantrums. But I’ve suddenly realized how she has grown old lately.
- I once shamelessly asked if she should really have the right to raise children, accusing her of not being ready to be a mom. I also had a quarrel with her yesterday. I regret that. I want to feel the mother’s existence as a real human being, not just as the symbolic meaning the word mother implies. That’s why I need to read it. As I read it, I’ll reflect on myself and I would like to understand my mom as a woman in real life.


Novelist Shin hoped to deliver the message that “It isn’t too late to show one’s love to his or her mother.” Here is Shin.

The current era has lost the symbol of the mother figure. With the emergence of the nuclear family, people simply feel that the mother is just a close person, but refuse to recognize her existence. In particular, moms in the past didn’t have a chance to live as their true selves. My mother was like that too, but thanks to her dedication, I could live a different life. Mothers have always been behind us; devoting their life to give us opportunity. I thought we never had the chance to find the right place for mothers in literature.

Like Shin’s “Take Care of Mother”, the stage play “Mother Discovers Sea at Fifty” is a drama for everyone who has a mom. Actor Park Jeong-ja starring as the main character has been playing the role since 1991 when she was 40 years old. Now she is 68. Although she has been playing the role for the past 18 years, she feels that she still isn’t good enough to fully express the mother’s feelings.

I was young then as I was beginning my acting career. My acting must have been superfluous then. As I played the role again and again I tried to become simple, gradually getting rid of unnecessary actions. It must be the gift of aging. But I still have hard time playing the mother role because the mother figure itself is something that can’t be compared with anything – she is the perfect role. I’m a mother right now and I was a daughter before my mother passed away. I always feel that I am still missing something and immature.

In the play, a daughter, who left her mother to pursue a writing career, begins to miss her mom one day and clings to memories in her absence. Actress Seo Eun-gyeong who plays the daughter says that the character represents all the daughters who feel regret after their mother is gone.

When mother was alive, I felt as if she would be there forever. But with her gone now and me left alone, I began to better understand mom and miss her. I feel so sorry for her and I’m full of regrets…every daughter repents like this. For daughters, their mother is the person who is always there for them. All the daughters in the world think the same way.

The highlight of the play is the mother’s dialogue as she quarrels with her daughter.

“You need to have a naughty daughter like you since you’ve been so mean to me, or even a meaner one than you. Then, you will understand me. But it would be too late…because I’ll be in the grave by then.”

All Koreans have probably heard these lines once or twice in their lives. They drip with a mother’s love and anger at the same time. The audience laughs as they sympathize with the line, but at the same time, they can’t help but think about their own mothers, wrinkled with age, and tears well up in their eyes. Here is director Im Yeong-ung.

Usually when a work deals with a mother theme it becomes emotional. But this play is very rational because the daughter who faces the death of her mother looks back and thinks about whether she has been a good daughter and what kind of a mother her mom was. There isn’t any crying because the daughter reflects on the memory of her mother in her daily life. The story talks about the yearning for one’s mother and the greatness of the figure. So, the strong point of the play is that audiences can really identify with the theme.

The film “Mother” by director Bong Joon-ho is also highlighting a similar theme this spring. The motion picture “Mother” tells the story of a woman who struggles to prove the innocence of her mentally retarded son who has been framed in a murder case. Director Bong says the mother is the most important role in his film, but also the most important figure in society.

I had the title “Eomma” in mind from the beginning. There isn’t a more instinctive word than “eomma”, meaning mother in Korean. The very first word everyone learns is “eomma” and I wanted to have the title “Eomma” for the film. But since the film titled “Eomma” already existed, I named the film “Mother.” As I get used to the English word mother, the word itself also has a strong appeal. The nuance of the word makes audiences think about the mother figure one more time.

The mother in the film says, “Do not trust anyone. Mom will get you out of trouble.” It breaks her heart to witness her son being framed for murder. That single line represents motherhood.

Mother is air. She is always near us, like air, and it is she who made it possible for us to live in this world. Since she is constantly around us, it is far too easy to neglect to her. We all have a mother, and we all lose our mother some day. We shouldn’t wait until she is gone before we realize she is irreplaceable. Let’s rediscover our mothers this spring through these artistic works.

Source: KBS World

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May 10, 2009

Local Films to Shine at Cannes Fest

By Han Sang-hee
Staff Reporter

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A total of 10 Korean movies will be shown at the Cannes International Film Festival from May 13-24, marking the highest number of local films ever to be included in the prestigious event's roster.

The first local film ever to be invited to the event was Lee Doo-yong's "Moul Le Ya Moul Le Ya" for the Un Certain Regard section in 1984, and since then, more than 40 local works have been presented at the southern French port city over the past 20 years.

One of the most anticipated films this year is Park Chan-wook's "Thirst," which is vying for the Palme d'Or, the highest prize given to competing films, as well as the Best Actor and Actress Awards. The movie about the vampire-turned-priest has been captivating audiences here, attracting more than 600,000 fans during the first three days of its release.

The entry to the Palme d'Or is significant, as it was only eight years ago when the first Korean film, "Chunhyang" by veteran director Im Kwon-taek, was nominated in the prestigious section. Since then, eight films were given the honor as nominees, "Thirst" being the latest.

This is the second time that one of Park's movies has been nominated at Cannes, the first being "Old Boy" in 2004. The film won the Grand Prix at the festival that year. As for actor Song Kang-ho, who plays the vampire/priest, this will be his fourth visit to Cannes, following his appearance for "The Host"(2006), "Secret Sunshine" (2007) and "The Good, the Bad, and the Weird" (2008).

The Un Certain Regard section presents a score of films with distinctive visions and styles that seek international recognition, and fans can watch "Mother" by Bong Joon-ho ("The Host") this year. Bong, invited to the event for the third time, will join veteran actress Kim Hye-ja and actor Won bin on the red carpet. Kim plays a distressed mother who fights for her son's (Won) innocence against a false charge of homicide.

In Cannes Classics, the restored version of late director Shin Sang-ok's "Prince Yeonsan" (1961) will be screened. This particular section presents restored classic movies from around the world. Last year, the black and white piece "The Housemaid" (1960) by the late director Kim Ki-young was presented in the section.

Creative works by aspiring directors will also greet fans at Cannes through Cinefoundation, the competition section for students. "Don't Step Out of the House" by Jo Sung-hee and "Horn" by Yim Kyung-dong will compete with other works made by students from around the world.

"A Brand New Life" by French director Ounie Lecomte will be presented at the Special Screenings section of the festival. The movie about a nine-year-old orphan Jin-hee was co-produced by Korean and French filmmakers. Director Lee Chang-dong, who will be present as a jury member, joined in the production.

Hong Sang-soo's "Like You Know It All" will be featured at the Directors' Fortnight section, while Jung Yu-mi's animated film "Dust Kid" will be featured as part of the Short Films lineup. The two independent sections are run by the French Directors Society and program a selection of works during the festival.

"Like You Know It All" star Kim Tae-woo will be at Cannes for the first time in five years, his last visit being for the film "Woman is the Future of Man" by Hong in 2004. This year will be particularly special for Kim as his brother, actor Kim Tae-hoon, will also be present at the festival for director Moon Seong-hyeok's "6 Hours," which was included in the Special Screenings section of the Cannes Film Festival's Critics Week.

Finally, "Land of Scarecrows" by director Roh Gyeong-tae and co-produced by Korea and France will pay a visit to Cannes as part of the Programmation ACID Cannes 2009. This program is organized by the Association for Independent Cinema and Broadcasting and is held during the film festival every year.

Credits: sanghee@koreatimes.co.kr

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MOTHER related mention only

for full article, please refer the News thread / the original source at link provided.

May 15, 2009

Summer movie preview

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Top: Drag Me to Hell/Mother/Memento Mori 5

Middle: G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra/Terminator: Salvation/Angels and Demons

Bottom: Public Enemies/Transformers 2: The Revenge of the Falle/Halloween

With the long sweltering summer season ahead, those wanting to seek refuge from the blistering heat and humidity will undoubtedly seek solace in the safe air-conditioned confines of their local multiplex.

What they are likely to watch are sequels of big-time franchises in the same vein as "X-Men Origins: Wolverine," a Marvel-based comic book film which pulled in over $70 million in its opening weekend at the North American box office.

Despite highly unfavorable reviews, the film performed well above early projections. Tracing back the roots of Wolverine (Hugh Jackman), the prequel came into the Korean box office behind the hotly anticipated Park Chan-wook vampire noir "Thirst," which opened at top spot. But steep weekly declines are projected for "Wolverine" as is expected with other summer films that open big but wane quickly from audience's attention.

This year's roster of summer fare includes continuing sagas about robots ("Transformers 2: The Revenge of the Fallen," "Terminator: Salvation"), museums ("A Night at the Museum 2"), teenaged wizards ("Harry Potter and The Half Blood Prince"), and Muay Thai acrobats ("Ong Bak 2").

Joining in on the quest for box office bounty will be new entries its studios hope will become new franchises. A pair of high profile titles this summer and another in November will feature Korean actors in both supporting and leading roles. Rain will headline the James McTiegue-helmed "Ninja Assassin," set for a November release, Jun Ji-hyun will be the lead in "Blood," and Hallyu-star Lee Byung-hun will have a supporting role as a Ninja assassin in "G.I. Joe."

For more refined and less casual moviegoers, the 2009 summer season will be one to look forward to as veteran auteur and visual maestro Michael Mann goes back to what he does best with the epic crime saga "Public Enemies."

"Spider Man" and "Evil Dead" series director Sam Raimi will also go back to his roots by revisiting the horror genre with the bluntly-titled "Drag Me to Hell," while pulp genre extraordinaire Quentin Tarantino will be back in the game with the World War 2-based film, "Inglourious Basterds," about Nazi-hunting Jews gone wild.

'Mother' (Opening May 28)

In one of the most anticipated domestic summer releases of the year, director Bong Joon-ho comes back from his three-year sabbatical since he scored his last major hit, "The Host," with a story about a mother dead-set on proving her son's innocence in a murder wrap she believes he did not commit. With Bong's filmmaking tendencies, however, audiences can expect this simple tale to be graced with social commentary, emotional complexities, dark humor, and a skewed paradigm as far as the thriller genre is concerned. The film stars "national mother," Kim Hye-ja in the title role and continental heartthrob Won Bin as her son.

By Song Woong-ki (kws@heraldm.com) via koreaherald.co.kr

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May 16, 2009

France Cannes MOTHER Photo Call

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From left, South Korean actors Jin Goo, Won Bin, Kim Hye-Ja, and South Korean director Bong Joon-Ho, pose during a photo call for the film 'Mother', during the 62nd International film festival in Cannes, southern France, Saturday, May 16, 2009. (AP Photo/Lionel Cironneau)/2009-05-16 19:50:09

Source: kr.news.yahoo.com / Yonhap News

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Captures from various media portals, thanks to ardent fan-sharing at MOTHER thread

May 15, 2009 - Kim Hye Ja at 62nd Cannes MOTHER Photo Call

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Source: news.nate.com

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May 16, 2009 - MOTHER at 62nd Cannes Red Carpet

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France Cannes MOTHER Red Carpet

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South Korean cast and crew from left, Won Bin, Kim Hye-Ja, director Bong Joon-Ho and Tae Jin Jin Goo arrive for the screening of the film 'Mother' during the 62nd International film festival in Cannes, southern France, Saturday, May 16, 2009. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)/2009-05-17 06:06:11

Source: kr.news.yahoo.com

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May 17, 2009

Koreans get good start at Cannes

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Emotional Korean tale "Mother," about a woman's relentless fight to save her backwards boy won a standing ovation for director of "The Host" Bong Joon-ho at Cannes on Saturday.

Starring veteran actress Kim Hye-ja as a mother convinced of her son's innocence in a murder case, the movie brought the audience to its feet after premiering as one of the films running for the Un Certain Regard prize for fresh upcoming talent.

"A mother can be a noble figure or a savage beast," the director said during the post-screening news conference. Bong Joon-ho is one of Korea's filmmakers to watch as he scored a pair of critical and box office hits with "Memories of Murder" and "The Host," in recent years.

In the audience were fellow Koreans at Cannes, director Park Chan-wook, whose movie "Thirst" is competing for the coveted Palme d'Or, and writer-director and former minister of Culture Lee Chang-dong, who is a member of this year's Palme jury. Lee gained wide international acclaim for the searing social chastisement drama "Peppermint Candy" and his poignant love story "Oasis."

Meanwhile, the new Park Chan-wook film "Thirst" has been sold to three foreign buyers at the Cannes film festival and is expected to draw more overseas attention during the event, the movie's distributor CJ Entertainment said Friday.

The vampire opus was sold to buyers from Brazil, Spain and Turkey as of the second day of the Cannes International Film Festival. "Thirst," which has drawn nearly 2 million viewers at home, was sold to 10 countries including France and Greece before its domestic release earlier this month.

The film will be competing for the top prize at the prestigious film festival along with 19 other nominees. This is the second time Park has aimed for the top honor at the French contest, after his 2004 win with "Oldboy."

Critical reception to Park's latest film has been a mixed bag, with some critics saying the film had not met the high expectations created from his previous, superior efforts, while others commented on the maturity and restraint the South Korean filmmaker showed by refusing to go for the typically macabre.

The festival is not just for studio fare, perennial representative of the Korean independent film movement, Hong Sang-soo and his latest slice-of-life tale, "Like You Know it All" will be featured at the Director's Fortnight section.

The winner of the top prize, the Palm d'Or, will be announced on May 24.

From news reports via koreaherald.co.kr / image from news.yahoo.kr

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May 18, 2009

Won Bin's 'Second Life' With 'Mother'

By Lee Hyo-won

Staff Reporter

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Actor Won Bin, right, poses with veteran actress Kim Hye-ja, after an interview

at Cannes International Film Festival. The two star in a thriller about maternal love,

“Mother,” directed by Bong Joon-ho and which featured in the “Un Regarde Section” at the festival. / Yonhap

South Korean heartthrob Won Bin, who made a comeback through Bong Joon-ho’s "Mother," now showing at the Cannes festival, said the thriller marks a "new start" in his acting career. "If it was round one until now, then 'Mother’ signals the start of round two in my life as an actor,’’ the 31-year-old was quoted as telling Yonhap News, Sunday, in Cannes, France.

Won had been absent for four years due to mandatory military service and an injury. "Mother" is his first movie after five years since "My Brother." "I am very greedy about acting, and the beauty of acting is that it is a never-ending process," he said, adding, "That is why I can put all my eggs into one basket."

Praised by Variety magazine as "an engrossing portrait of a feisty Korean widow" that was "unjustly denied a competition berth at Cannes," the film is featured in the Un Certain Regard section of the 62nd edition of the prestigious film festival. Won stars as a simpleton who is framed for murder and his mother, played by veteran Kim Hye-ja, scrambles about to prove his innocence.

"I tried to express a dual nature, both externally and internally," he said about his character Do-jun (which is also Won’s real name). "I thought director Bong would know about the role best, so I tried to be faithful to the script. The audience can feel uncomfortable with characters that are lacking in intelligence, so I was deeply concerned about Do-jun’s pureness and how to portray him in a more acceptable way."

"I also thought hard about what being pure is, and tried looking back at my old days or spend time alone, but in the end the answer was in the script,’’ he said.

About stepping on Cannes’ red carpet for the first time Saturday, he said, "I feel good participating in a big festival with a good piece. I feel even happier that I can share the moment with Kim Hye-ja, Jin Gu and director Bong Joon-ho." "I’m curious to see how the foreign audience will perceive the Korean-style mother in the movie," he said. "But I think all mothers have the same heart, and I believe that viewers will be able to relate to the mother figure."

As much as the movie is about a mother and son, the chemistry between Won and Kim was vital. "The first time I saw (Kim), she felt like my mother," he said. "Her pure soul radiates from her eyes, and I was able to become close with her easily. All throughout the shoot she treated me like a son and truly loved her son Do-jun,’’ he said. "I called her 'mom' during the filming and I still call her mom."

"Mother," distributed by CJ Entertainment and rated 18 and over, will be released in Korea on May 28.

Credits: hyowlee@koreatimes.co.kr

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May 18, 2009

Film review

Mother

By Maggie Lee

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Bottom Line: A tremendous human portrait and taut murder suspense

CANNES -- Maternal instinct exerts fearsome force in "Mother," when a woman finds that no one but herself can clear her son of murder. Bong Joon-ho's top opus zooms in on one character with smothering intensity to examine the primal quality of motherhood. At the same time, it is a superb murder mystery, with twists coming thick and fast yet always at the right moments.

"Mother" confirms Bong's prodigious talent in bending any genre to serve his own idiosyncratic vision. Though premiering in Cannes' Un Certain Regard section, it would not feel out of place In Competition. Made with less commercial considerations than the monster movie "The Host," his boxoffice smash in Korea, this more personal work may alienate some popular audiences, but critical accolades will give it a boost. Overseas marketing aiming beyond the art house may emphasize the script's cleverly plotted detective yarn, which is paced like a Hitchcock suspense thriller.

Hye-ja (Kim Hye-ja) runs a herbal apothecary, and performs unlicensed acupuncture to make ends meet. She is constantly on the look out for her son Do-joon (Won Bin), who easily gets in trouble because of his mentally challenged condition. When high school girl Ah-jung is found dead and dangling halfway from a rooftop, incriminating evidence points to Do-joon as the killer.

Neither the district police whom Hye-ja routinely grovels to, nor the lawyer whom Hye-ja must pay through the nose for, show any sympathy or patience to Do-joon's case. Frustrated, Hye-ja decides to find the killer herself. Her biggest suspect is Do-joon's hoodlum buddy Jin-tae. However, she soon learns that there is no one she can trust in her close-knit village.

Although the small town setting and sex crime plot suggests Bong is revisiting his own "Memories of Murder" territory, "Mother" is less concerned with capturing the mindset of a milieu or community, or to criticize ineffective social systems than "Memories." Bong is more fascinated with the glory and misery of Hye-ja -- initially as an embodiment of the indomitable human spirit as she refuses to surrender to circumstances, then gradually as an elemental force of nature, as inhuman and destructive as the monster in "The Host" (which, incidentally, dwells in dark waters like a Grendel figure).

This is expressed with a stylized film language that he forges with more confidence than ever before. Looming close-ups of Hye-ja stretched across the screen both mesmerize and unnerve. Other times, wide shots of endless fields or misty mountains frame her as a speck in the landscape -- implying both her insignificance, and her affiliation with nature.

TV actress Kim Hye-ja, long-accustomed to playing overbearing Korean mothers, commands the screen, though she sometimes goes overboard with too many mannerisms in a larger-than-life performance. Won Bin exudes guileless charm as the dim-witted son, and is almost unrecognizable from his usual heartthrob image.

The film's use of sound, from the ominous rustling of leaves to the menacing sounds of Hye-ja's herb chopper, is more effective than any music score. The appearance of not more than two persons in most frames, and the stark palette of primary colors of doleful smoky blue and petulant rusty red create a sustained mood of claustrophobia and discomfort.

Festival de Cannes -- Un Certain Regard

Sales: CJ Entertainment

Production companies: Barunson, CJ Entertainment

Cast: Kim Hye-ja, Won Bin

Director-screenwriter: Bong Joon-ho

Screenwriter: Park Eun-kyo

Producers: Seo Woo-sik, Park Tae-joon

Director of photography: Hong Kyung-pyo

Production designer: Ryu Seong-hie

Music: Lee Byeong-woo

Costume designer: Choi Se-yeon

No rating, 129 minutes

Source: hollywoodreporter.com

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