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[Movie 2010] I Saw The Devil 악마를 보았다

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August 11, 2010

I SAW THE DEVIL: Media Preview & Press Conference



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Captures from nate.com, credits as stated on the images

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ACTOR CHOI MIN SIK devil69.gif


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Captures from nate.com, credits as stated on the images

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August 12, 2010

(Movie Review) 'I Saw the Devil,' a brutal, stylish thriller

By Kim Hyun

SEOUL, Aug. 12 (Yonhap) -- Kim Jee-woon's new thriller, "I Saw the Devil," which hit theaters on Thursday, almost didn't make it to the big screen. Due to its hardcore violence, the film initially received a restricted screening rating. Filmmakers had to trim some of the more excruciating fat before the 18-rated thriller could be shown in theaters.

Kim called watching the finished product, which is a grueling exploration into the showdown between a serial killer and an equally brutal avenger, "eating sushi short of wasabi" at a press premier Wednesday. Despite Kim's comments, the drama is overladen with a series of decapitations and gripping violence. Yet, many of them are no more cannibalistic than what we have seen in thrillers like Park Chan-wook's "Sympathy for Lady Vengeance" or Ridley Scott's "Hannibal."


However, what really counts here is the matter of effectiveness. Does the drama pack enough empathy for the audience to sit through the violence?

The movie opens on a beautiful snowy night as romantic guitar melodies flow to the methodical movements of a car's windshield wipers. Ju-yeon (Oh San-ha), the daughter of a retired police officer and fiancee of a top secret agent, gets a flat outside town and has to wait for assistance. It's here that the serial killer, Gyeong-cheol (Choi Min-sik), makes his entrance, appearing from out of nowhere.

Gyeong-cheol is a stony-eyed psychopath who kills for amusement. A plump, middle-aged, school bus driver in a Seoul suburb, he lets no chance go to waste. Ju-yeon becomes his latest prey and is found decapitated in a horrible state.

Su-hyeon (Lee Byung-hun), the victim's fiance and a secret guard with the National Intelligence Service, decides to track down the perpetrator. He's bent on making Gyeong-cheol suffer as horribly his fiance did. After planting a GPS chip on the villain, Su-hyeon is able to effectively track the serial killer, but when he lashes out, his attacks fail to deal the finishing blow.

Vexed with entrapment, Gyeong-cheol seeks help from his fellow serial killer and discovers the GPS capsule. This is when the real showdown begins.

To endure the tormenting scenes of violence, the audience needs to form an emotional bond with Su-hyeon. They need to identify with his quest for vengeance, and the reasons why he keeps catching and setting the serial killer free. Su-hyeon apparently does this to make him suffer, but the motive works against the moral element of the drama. The empathy aspect suffers as a result.

Befitting his reputation from "The Good, the Bad, the Weird" and "A Bittersweet Life," Kim has beautifully shot his latest noir. Each scene is masterfully drawn from real-world Seoul and its idyllic suburbs.

But the central part of the film lies with the frenetic confrontation between the two actors. Choi has a marvelously impassive face when he says, "I don't know pain, nor fear. There's nothing you can get from me. You've already lost." His emotionless face never wavers.


It is Lee who has to express the subtle changes of a man whose quest drains him over time. To endure the 144-minute revenge drama, the audience needs to identify with Lee's gripping anger and his excruciating method of vengeance.

Choi, who played a flesh-eating perpetrator in "Sympathy for Lady Vengeance" (2005), said he focused on "technically" playing his role. "I only had a few scenes as the criminal in 'Lady Vengeance' and I was thirsty. With 'I Saw the Devil,' it's excessive," he said in the press screening. "This is perhaps the film where I was the least immersed among the films I've done, and I approached it rather technically."

Lee, who made his Hollywood debut with "G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra" last year, recalled his role as "extremely exhaustive." It was "challenging to play a man who has to avenge with no facial expressions, but at the same time who has to subtly show various emotions of anger, sadness and anxiety."

"I Saw the Devil," produced by Peppermint and Co. and distributed by Showbox, was released on Thursday.

Source: hkim@yna.co.kr yonhapnews.co.kr

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Captures from nate.com, credits as stated on the images

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August 12, 2010

Lee Byung-hun may shoot "G.I. Joe" sequel early next year


Top Korean actor Lee Byung-hun says filming for the sequel to Hollywood action flick "G.I. Joe: The Rise of the Cobra" is expected to start early next year.

Lee made the remark on Wednesday during a press screening and press conference for his movie "I Saw the Devil," critically acclaimed director Kim Ji-woon's latest pic co-starring actor Choi Min-shik from smash hit Korean pic "Old Boy." "We were supposed to go into shoot around winter of this year but I had heard it would be delayed to summer of next year over problems with the scenario. But then I heard that the scenario is done so I think we'll start early next year but I'm not sure about this either," Lee explained.

The 40-year-old actor, long considered one of the most popular actors in Korea, made his Hollywood debut through the hit action figure pic from last year, playing the role of Storm Shadow opposite actors Channing Tatum and Sienna Miller.

"I Saw the Devil," about a secret agent (played by Lee) plotting revenge against a serial killer (Choi) who killed his fiancee, has been lauded one of the most anticipated films this year for the collaboration of filmmaker Kim of "The Good, The Bad, the Weird" and two of the country's top actors.

The revenge thriller opened in theaters today after three rounds of ratings reviews -- the film was slapped a restricted rating twice before it received approval for an 18+ rating. In Korea, a restricted rating virtually bans a film from being screened since they can only be shown in special theaters only showing adult films but no such theaters exist in the country.

Reporter: Ko Kyoung-seok kave@ Editor: Jessica Kim jesskim@ <ⓒ10Asia All rights reserved> 10Asia



Korean actor Lee Byung-hun poses during a photo session of a press screening and press conference for his movie "I Saw the Devil" held at the Dongdaemun Megabox theater in Seoul, South Korea on August 11, 2010.


From left, Korean actors Choi Min-shik and Lee Byung-hun pose during a photo session of a press screening and press conference for his movie "I Saw the Devil" held at the Dongdaemun Megabox theater in Seoul, South Korea on August 11, 2010.


Korean actor Lee Byung-hun smiles during a press screening and press conference for his movie "I Saw the Devil" held at the Dongdaemun Megabox theater in Seoul, South Korea on August 11, 2010.

Photographer: Lee Ki-bum metro83 @ Editor: Jessica Kim jesskim @ <Ⓒ 10Asia All rights reserved> 10Asia 1 l 2 l l3

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August 12, 2010

Testosterone-fueled films dominate

By Lee Hyo-won

Korean actresses should be enjoying a nice long vacation on exotic beaches this summer — as male stars unabashedly show off their macho side onscreen there seems to be little room for the ladies.

The alpha male, as depicted through recent Korean cinema, has been reverting to a more primitive, sticks and stones standard — the survival of the fittest is measured by a man’s ability to not only outwit an opponent in messy mind games but more importantly unleash killer instincts to endure no-cut skirmishes.

“Major studios are producing super violent films starring superstars. They’re trying to feed the audience’s appetite for something different, and it seems to be working. Director Kang Woo-seok, for example, has produced something really different from his previous works, and it is catching people’s attention,” said a researcher at the Korean Film Council.

Kang’s “Moss” features a heavy bevy of men including Jung Jae-young disguised as a grandpa engaged in acts of all sorts of physical and spiritual violence. It has attracted over 3 million viewers while “Inception,” reigned by tough guys Leonardo Dicaprio and Ken Watanabe, continue to draw packed screenings. Won Bin has contributed to the scene as a knife-wielding madman in “The Man From Nowhere,” which has brought in an audience of more than 1.5 million in just nine days as of Thursday. With the high online reservation rate the hardboiled action flick is expected to continue topping the box office.

Actresses thus should prepare more tanning lotion, since the testosterone tsunami is expected to make waves for the meantime.

“I Saw the Devil” was finally released in theaters Thursday after controversial rounds with the Korea Media Ratings Board for its explicit content. Hallyu star Lee Byung-hun (“G.I. Joe”) plays a National Intelligence Service agent who becomes lustful for vengeance after he loses his beloved fiancee to an evil serial killer, played by “Oldboy” star Choi Min-sik.

As of late, the spotlight in Korean cinema has shifted from beautiful male-female duos playing lovebirds to odd pairings of clashing male co-stars. The curious chemistry between a heartthrob and an elder veteran actor — much like hit spy flick “Blood Brothers,” starring Kang Dong-won and Song Kang-ho — is enough to make headlines. In the film Lee pushes forward the drama of the narrative while Choi propels the action with his relentless and unpredictable axing and other outbursts of violence.

Coming to theaters on Aug. 26 is another film featuring skirmishes between two actors, though with a more comical twist. “Jukigo Sipeun (Want to Kill)” is about two foes who end up being hospitalized in the same ward and try to destroy each other with the use of back scratchers, water vaporizers and other seemingly harmless items.

The black comedy shows how profound hatred can “inspire” two paralyzed patients; one of them, a compulsive suicide attempter, even prolongs his death wish and trains to regain his energy in order to take on his enemy. The duo are played by middle-aged household names Cheon Ho-jin and Yu Hae-jin, who both appear as supporting characters in “I Saw the Devil” and “Moss,” respectively. Yu shines with his signature slapstick while Cheon, who has assumed more serious roles, uses his charismatic glances to comical ends.

Fans of six packs and rough action sequences can moreover look forward to watching not one but all of their favorite action heroes in one sitting. “The Expendables” brings together the big boys including Sylvester Stallone, who also directed the film, Bruce Willis, Mickey Rourke, Jet Li and the return of Dolph Lundgren, as well as more recent stars such as Jason Statham, Terry Crews, Steve Austin and Randy Couture. They play mercenaries on a mission to overthrow a South American dictator. It will open in theaters on Aug. 18.

Sul Kyoung-gu, whose cinematography is crowned by his role as the hardball detective Kang Cheol-jung, returns to the screen as a former cop, who, framed for murder, is forced to go on the run. Though Sul is known for having braved grueling conditions on a desert island in “Silmido” and fighting a tsunami in “Haeundae,” he says his latest role in “Haegyeolsa (Personal Investigator)” has been the toughest.

“I really wanted to quit,” he told reporters during a promotional event for the film in Seoul, Wednesday. He suffered injuries and braved wire action sequences for the first time. “They said they were going to use a stuntman for a scene where my character falls from a five-story building, and I said I’d do it. But once I actually tried, I couldn’t move my legs,” he said. The film is slated for release around Chuseok next month.

Source: hyowlee@koreatimes.co.kr

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August 12, 2010

Is relentless violence onscreen justified?

By Lee Hyo-won



Choi Min-sik, left, and Lee Byung-hun

in the poster for the thriller "I Saw the Devil"

"I Saw the Devil" was finally released in theaters Thursday after several painful raps by the Korea Media Ratings Board (KMRB) for, among other things, serial killers with a knack for mutilating bodies and a taste for human flesh.

Director Kim Jee-woon argues that reality is often stranger than fiction, and that the nauseating cruelty depicted in his latest thriller can never quite catch up with real life, especially with the KMRB chopping off a good seven minutes of the film. "It’s like sushi with a little less wasabi. The savory texture of the fish is still there but with a little less tang," Kim told reporters about the censored version of "Devil," Wednesday in Seoul.

While subtle hints of "Hannibal-esque" cannibalism remain, explicit depictions of handling human body parts like pork chops are gone. And yet, even the lead actor Lee Byung-hun said the film is "still smothered with plenty of wasabi," and indeed, the film offers some of the most grotesque images that will be difficult to erase.

Lee stars as an intelligence agent whose fiancee is killed by a psychopathic serial killer (Choi Min-sik). Blinded by sorrow and burning vengeance, he sets out to not only kill but slowly torture the culprit.

Can relentless violence on film be justified? The director and cast of "Devil" say yes.

"If someone watches my movie and actually tries copying the violent acts, I believe that person would have acted aggressively with or without my film. I think it’s important to take preventive measures to restrain such aggressors before anything happens in the first place," said Kim.

Choi, the antihero of "Oldboy" who has already played a ruthless killer in "Lady Vengeance," agrees. "Ethics in different forms of cultural content, from films to novels, always become an issue. But I agree with the director. We are addicted to all sorts of violence, from verbal to political, and we sometimes become immune to it all," he said.

The actor said that films allow people to look at violence from a critical view, thereby giving way to a mature arena for discussion and debate. "I once saw 'The Antichrist' in Italy and it was really bloody. I never close my eyes during a movie but I had to two or three times for this one. Some people were clapping while others swore vehemently, and it was wonderful to see them debating afterward."

Maryanne Redpath, director of the Berlin Film Festival's Generation section, previously told The Korea Times that she includes films with more mature, explicit content or themes in the teenager's section. This is for the purpose of challenging adolescents to think critically and converse.

Choi’s co-star furthermore stressed that the drama, rather than the gore, propels the narrative. “The Good, the Bad, the Weird” director seems to have brainstormed ways to shock the audience with realistic depictions of inhumane savagery, along the lines of axing vulnerable young women, but the film also focuses on the spiritual transformation — or degeneration — of the protagonist as he mercilessly hunts down the murderer. But Lee’s character starts drowning in his newfound instinct for violence he gazes too long into the abyss — just as Nietzsche once said, “He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster.”

"It’s a problem when someone justifies violence or starts thinking it’s OK because everyone else does it. This can be witnessed in our everyday lives, like the jaded Internet community," said Lee.

The film does leave room for discussing the nature and depiction of violence once — or if — the viewer recovers from the shock factor.

Source: hyowlee@koreatimes.co.kr

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2010.08.11 'I Saw the Devil' Press Conference

up1.gif Watch on

or the original streaming here or download flv clip


2010.08.11 'I Saw the Devil' press conference clip2

up1.gif Watch on

or original Streaming or download flv clip

2010.8.13 NOW PLAYING

I Saw the Devil (18)

Thriller / 144 / Korean

Watching slasher films is one way to beat the summer heat, provided they offer up some spine-chilling scenes. By that measure, director Kim Ji-youn’s latest film hits on all cylinders. The Korea Media Rating Board rejected “I Saw the Devil” twice for grotesque scenes in which a killer gorges on human flesh and chops up a corpse. However, after some modifications, the film finally received the green light from the board. Two famous actors, Choi Min-sik and Lee Byung-hun, star in this slasher flick. Choi plays a ruthless, cold-hearted killer, while Lee takes on the role of a man who embarks on a journey to kill him. Despite controversy over the film’s realistic violence, about 500 theaters nationwide have decided to screen the movie. Director Kim has already made a name for himself with previous films such as “A Tale of Two Sisters” (2003) and “The Good, the Bad and the Weird” (2008). Choi, meanwhile, has appeared in numerous hits including “Oldboy” (2003) and “Sympathy For Lady Vengeance” (2005), while Lee recently made his Hollywood debut in “G.I. Joe: The Rise Of Cobra” (2009).

Source: joongangdaily.com

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August 13, 2010

Actress Oh San Ha(?) big screen debut as the ill-fated fiancee in 'I Saw the Devil'



Source: news.nate.com 1 l 2

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August 13, 2010

Director Kim Ji Woon: ‘It Is Like Eating Sushi with Less Wasabi’


"About one minute and thirty seconds of the movie was deleted. I tried my best not to ruin the flow of the movie as much as possible when I edited and deleted some parts. It is like eating sushi with less wasabi. I think that it lacks a pungent taste, but it still keeps the taste of the raw fish.” -Director Kim Ji Woon

Director Kim Ji Woon, who directed the movie “I Saw the Devil,” which had aroused controversy as it had been X-rated on the basis that some parts of the movie violate human dignity, explained on August 11 about the process of how the movie could ultimately be rated R by deleting some problematic scenes. He added, “I have produced many movies, but it is the first time that I am so happy simply to be allowed to release one.”

In the press conference held after the preview of the movie in the Megabox in Dongdaemun, he said, “When I deleted some scenes from the original, I worried, 'What if the atrocious revenge became a boring process of revenge?' But, I thought that the deleted scenes generally would not ruin the original composition about the relationship between the two protagonists.”


He continued, "I do not know why those scenes, which could be seen in other movies, suddenly became problematic scenes and were requested to be deleted, but I decided to regard it as a good sign. Maybe it was because two actors’ acting was too powerful and real, so those scenes were shown as more realistic. If I do not think that way, it might upset me.” Kim mentioned other movies such as “Sin City,” "Hannibal,” and “Watchmen,” which contains scenes with human flesh, but had not been rated X, and complained strongly about the evaluation by the Korea Media Rating Board.

The movie “I Saw the Devil” is a story about a special agent in the National Intelligence Service named Kim Soo Hyun (Lee Byung Hun), who lost his fiancée to a cruel murderer, who punishes wicked serial killer Jang Kyung Chul (Choi Min Sik) in horrible ways and at the time, destroys himself by taking revenge on him. As the violent scenes featuring copious amounts of blood continue from the beginning to the end, people with sensitive dispositions might not even be able to watch the movie until the end. Kim said, “I did not make the violence as something to watch, but I made those cruel scenes to express the emotion of a man who attempts revenge with atrocious methods.”


About the comment that the violence contained in a movie can be connected to a copycat crime, actor Choi Min Sik said, “A movie reflects reality. It is not too much to say that we are living in a flood of violence.” When he had recently visited a film festival overseas, he had seen a heated debate about violent movies and he said that it was very impressive. He added, “If horrible violence already exists in our society, I think that it is necessary to openly talk about the violence like this.”

Actor Lee Byung Hun said, “Many people asked me which character represents the devil, but the devil in this movie does not refer to a specific person -- it differs depending on the audience. Usually people feel delighted by watching a movie about vengeance, but this movie is different. Even by watching the movie, people might feel ambivalent about whether vengeance has to be carried out like that.”

The movie “I Saw the Devil” was released on August 12.

Source: KBS Global

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August 12, 2010


by Todd Brown, August 12, 2010

To those wondering whether the ratings troubles suffered by Kim Ji-Woon's I Saw The Devil - twice refused clearance for theatrical release in Korea - were a pre-meditated publicity move, consider this. If it was, it's a publicity move that ultimately cost the film seven minutes from director Kim's preferred cut of the film.

Given a rating that would only allow the film to screen in a class of theater that doesn't exist - despite the presence of megastars Choi Min-Sik and Lee Byung-hun in the leads - with only days before the announced release date, producers were given no choice but to perform radical surgery and the version of the film now released is a full seven minutes shorter than the version of the film submitted to be rated.

In an interview with the Korea Times director Kim described the released version of the film as "sushi with a little less wasabi. The savory texture of the fish is still there but with a little less tang." Reports indicate that scenes of cannibalism remain but images of body parts being handled have been removed. There is no indication yet which version of the film will be shown in international festivals.

Source: twitchfilm

Thanks to Darcy Paquet via twitterup1.gif


Local reports saying 7 cuts, totalling 1 min 20 sec RT @cineanon: 7 minutes cut from Kim Ji-woon's "I Saw the Devil"


I'm probably one of the few people I know who'd like to watch it again, and now I know where to close my eyes.


The gory flourishes are gruesome and probably unnecessary, and relegate the film to a specialty audience. Not sure why he pushed it so hard.


The filmmaking is exquisite, and although I didn't find its themes deep, their simplicity made them resonate. Need more space to explain...


Saw I SAW THE DEVIL: everyone seems to be piling on this film, but something in me wants to defend it. To me it made sense and held together

7 cuts made, not 7 minutes cut from “I Saw the Devil”

August 12, 2010 @ 9:50 PM

While it was initially reported that Kim Ji-woon cut 7 minutes from his bloody thriller I Saw the Devil to secure a theatrical release, it’s been clarified that Kim in fact made 7 cuts totalling 80 to 90 seconds of footage. The correction was first made by Darcy Parquet and subsequently followed up by Film Business Asia, who first broke the news.

I Saw the Devil opened strong with 120,000 admissions on its first day and ranked second at the box office, behind Won Bin’s The Man from Nowhere.

Source: cineanon.com

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August 13, 2010

Captures copied from GBW cafe.daum 6173

'I Saw the Devil' movie dialogue with Dir. Kim Ji Woon at Lotte Cinema Konkuk University





August 14, 2010

up1.gif A great 'I Saw the Devil' interview with Director Kim Ji Woon HERE (article in Korean). If anyone has any gist on this, that would be so awesome and highly-appreciated. blush.gif



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Thanks to ylin at EverythingLBH for the highlight devil69.gif

Not too sure if this is from the VIP screening of "I Saw the Devil" or stage-greeting on the first day of opening


credit to dcinside

Fan video from the VIP screening for "I Saw the Devil"

click here to watch clip 1 clip 2

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Stage Greeting fan-streamings up1.gif

Watch a short but sweet sharing (Sun 15/8) at http://minihp.cyworld.com/pims/main/pims_main.asp?tid=24143853&list_type=2&urlstr=video&board_no=108&seq=108&item_seq=76396430&item_seq_main=76396430&folder_part=3

This may take awhile to watch (let it finish streaming once and replay, it plays much better). A 14-minute compilation of Stage Greeting events on Saturday & Sunday in various venues, thanks to wing4u.pe.kr :wub: Fabulous clip!

Click to watch the clip at http://cafe.daum.net/goodbadweird/92qw/6188

The weekly Box Office update from 10Asia hasn't been posted yet but this are the tally from KOFIC which is not bad.. not bad at all, considering the number of theaters compared to 'Man from Nowhere' which was released a week earlier.

movie1.gif Box Office 2010.08.13 ~ 2010.08.15 (won)

1. The Man from Nowhere 5,895,396,000

2. I Saw the Devil 4,027,847,000

3. Inception 3,245,910,000

4. Toy Story 3 2,881,776,500

5. Salt 1,786,269,500


Source: KOFIC

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August 15, 2010

Toronto invites five Korean films

by girlfriday | August 15, 2010

The 35th Toronto International Film Festival has invited five Korean films this year, and anticipation is high. Poetry, The Housemaid, I Saw the Devil, Oki’s Movie, and Late Autumn (Manchu) will be all be launching their North American premieres in Toronto.

Director Im Sang-soo’s The Housemaid was invited as the gala film, and will capitalize on all the mixed reviews from Cannes, which has generated an interesting buzz for the film. Or perhaps it’s just the nudity. Either way, this is the one people will be talking about. The Housemaid is a dramatic thriller of an affair gone wrong, starring Jeon Do-yeon, Lee Jung-jae, and Seo Woo.

Poetry, which won the prize for Best Screenplay at Cannes, will be featured in the Master Section. Directed by Lee Chang-dong and starring Yoon Jung-hee, Poetry is a film about a woman who fights Alzheimer’s by learning to write her own poems.

Both The Housemaid and Poetry are looking at Toronto as forays into the Oscars, and expectations are high for both productions to represent Korea in the foreign film category if things go their way.

I Saw the Devil, starring Lee Byung-heon and Choi Min-shik, was invited as a Special Presentation film. Directed by The Good, The Bad, The Weird‘s Kim Ji-woon, it’s a dark thriller about a secret service agent who goes after his wife’s killer.

Late Autumn and Oki’s Movie were both invited in the Contemporary World Cinema category, which showcases newer directors who are leading the pack in their respective countries.

Late Autumn stars Hyun Bin and Tang Wei in a story about a man on the run and a woman on a leave from prison, and their brief love affair. The remake, directed by Kim Tae-yong, is being hailed as a global project, a successful multi-national co-production.

Oki’s Movie, directed by Hong Sang-soo and starring Lee Seon-kyun and Jung Yumi, is about film student and her quirky relationship with a classmate. This one looks adorable. And y’all know how I feel about Lee Seon-kyun. Swoon.

The 35th Toronto International Film Festival will run from September 9-19.

Via Star News l dramabeans.com

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