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Kim learned to make kimchi for "Grand Chef"


Actress Kim Jung-eun speaks to reporters during a press conference

for film "Le Grand Chef 2" on October 22, 2009.

Actress Kim Jung-eun said she learned how to make kimchi, or spicy pickled Korean cabbage, to film the sequel to film "Le Grand Chef".

Kim made the remark during a press conference for "Le Grand Chef 2: Kimchi War" (tentative title) on Thursday, saying that she thought is was only right that she knew how to make the dish herself, in the way she knew how to play handball while filming 2008 hit film "Forever the Moment".

"I tried my best to learn how to make the dish with co-star Jin Goo and it was better because I was getting paid how to learn to do it," Kim jokingly said of her experience in making the traditional delicacy.

"Le Grand Chef 2", based on the comic by Hur Young-man, is the sequel to the 2007 hit film starring actors Kim Kang-woo and Lee Hana which attracted over three million viewers. A TV series version of the story recorded over a 20 percent viewership rating.

The sequel is set for release around the lunar New Year in 2010.

Actress Kim Jung-eun acts out a scene from TV series "Le Grand Chef 2" on set at Gwangju city in South Korea on October 22, 2009.


Actress Kim Jung-eun [Lee Ki-bum/Asia Economic Daily]


Actress Kim Jung-eun [Lee Ki-bum/Asia Economic Daily]


Actress Kim Jung-eun [Lee Ki-bum/Asia Economic Daily]

Photographer : Lee Ki-bum <metro83@asiae.co.kr>

Reporter : Park So-yoen <muse@asiae.co.kr>

Editor : Jessica Kim <jesskim@asiae.co.kr>

<ⓒ10Asia All rights reserved>

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Jung Woo-sung - 1

In the film "Nottinghill", William (played by Hugh Grant) expressed his encounter with worldwide star Anna (Julia Roberts) as a surreal experience. Meeting Jung Woo-sung in Korea may be a similar experience. Having a conversation while sitting across Jung who held a cigar in his hand is no different than meeting Santa Claus. But the moment it all becomes even more surreal is when he expresses his realistic concerns regarding shooting a film. Below is the record of 10Asia's realistic, yet even more so unrealistic interview with the actor.


Actor Jung Woo-sung [Chae Ki-won/10Asia]

10: This is your first time working with director Hur Jin-ho. Do you like his style?

Jung Woo-sung: I really like "Christmas in August" and "One Fine Spring Day" but "April Snow" and "Happiness", not so much.

10: Why is that?

Jung: "April Snow" felt as if an extremely naive Korean language teacher was trying to teach his students sex education. As if someone who doesn't know about obscenity trying to put on that feeling in his work? And the main character in "Happiness" was too gloomy.

10: Then did you see the Hur that you like in the scenario for "A Good Rain Knows"?

Jung: There was the 'Hur-ness' to it. People may usually remember the film "One Fine Spring Day" for its lines such as "How can love change" but I liked it when Sang-woo (played by Yoo Ji-tae) silently stands on a prairie to collect sound or when in "Christmas in August", the two main characters just sat across from each other eating ice cream without saying a word. You know, those moments that really shine although they're mere trifles. I felt that in "Rain".

10: Weren't you moved even more because it's difficult for you to enjoy such daily occurances?

Jung: I think so. And I really likes those kind of things. I'm someone who likes to walk down streets and just watch people absentmindedly but it's become hard for me to do that after becoming a star and living as Jung Woo-sung. I tell myself that I don't care about trying to limit my actions to fit myself into the image people see me as, but my outward emotions and daily life have become simplified because of it. If I think about it, I always go to the same places and meet the same people. I stopped walking on streets from a certain point. Such things have disappeared for me.

10: Then would you say that you fulfilled such deficiencies in your life through your role this time?

Jung: I guess I could say I did. I did feel the daily moments and emotions that were delivered through the scenario. I got a taste of what it is to maximize the trifling emotions tossed in daily life rather than emotions forced for something dramatic.

10: You said at a press conference that one who meets Hur will "have a hell of a time" -- did you feel difficulty in the ways he attempted to pull out such emotions?

Jung: I don't know if it's his way of pulling out normality but it was just a different style from what I had experienced before. The previous films I had worked on contained a lot of action and a lot of cuts so if we had to shoot several cuts, we would do it all in one day. If from so to so is one take, I usually filmed everything that happens within it. It all moves very fast. And in such times, even if I try not to calculate my acting, I have to decide what emotions and expressions I'll show in certain parts of the cut. That means I have to be that much more precise. I have to know what I need to do more of, what I need to take out, and what is no good at which point. In other words, I'm calculating but not anything in particular. But it's not like that with Hur. He continuously sets forth questions in front of the camera and actor. 'What is it that we have to do here?' he would ask. Which would make me think 'What is he trying to do with me? Does he really want to shoot or not?' And it would be because we would actually have to finish filming everything in just a month. But when I look back on it, I myself am someone who doesn't like to be caught within set rules but I realized that I had gotten myself into it at a certain point.

10: It seems that Hur isn't the type that gives set directions right away.

Jung: That's right. He doesn't even decide on from where to where he will shoot the cuts.


Actor Jung Woo-sung [Chae Ki-won/10Asia]

10: It must have been tough but I think it must have also been a chance for you to express your possibility and opinions.

Jung: For example, I missed the timing of taking off a flower petal from May's hair while acting and then took it off after that. I think such things happened more often in the process of me asking myself what the answer is to Hur's questions. And at the same time, I naturally was able to immerse myself more into Dong-ha's character.

10: And that's how your natural acting came out. When May said she was married, it was impressive how you didn't reveal your emotion explicitly but we were able to see something give way within you.

Jung: That emotion right there is a very interesting one. It's actually the first question that should have been asked, isn't it? "Do you have a boyfriend? A lover? Are you married?" But it never was. He hadn't wanted to. But he was hoping she would say something if they crossed a line they shouldn't, and they eventually did cross the line but she said it so suddenly afterwards that he felt sort of a queer disappointment and resentment he couldn't blame her for. Director Hur and I spent a very long time -- compared to the time it took to film the scene -- discussing and closing in on our opinions on why Dong-ha and May felt such feelings at that moment there. I think the feelings I felt while discussing it came out in my acting too.

10: Such things are different from the more manly characters we saw of you in "Beat" or "Musa". Is the reason you took on Dong-ha more because you wanted to challenge yourself in something you want to be good at rather than actually being good at it?

Jung: Not really. For sure, there are things I'm good at and things I want to be good at. But an actor doesn't limit himself by such ideas when acting. Of course, I do have to recognize what the image is of me that the public want. I used to reject having to do so when I was younger, thinking I could do whatever I want. Like falling in love when I was in my 20s. Back then, I used to think that love was about expressing my love and giving it, but it's actually about listening to the other person and taking it in. And you have to know how to observe that other person's love too. I've started to become able to look back on myself and what is happening as I grow older. And start realizing what image the public want. I actually tried this and that to try to break myself from that image because I didn't want to be defined for a set image, but the timing was bad. The public was already sure of what image they wanted to see in me. A handsome Jung Woo-sung, or something like that. So now I've decided to try to deliver slightly modified images of myself to the public by using different types of speech.

10: Like you once said on the "Park Joong-hoon Show" that you continuously think in order to survive, it seems you have a lot of concerns about yourself. As who you are as a star, as an actor.

Jung: I think I think more about myself rather than who I am as a star. Of course, I do take Jung Woo-sung into consideration when choosing a film, but that's just work. There's a part of me that can't be satisfied by that and I think about that part of me a lot. I think if I do my best at where I am right now, I will be able to keep my position even if I don't think about it too hard.

10: Such sincerity, your looks, and acting have all combined to created sort of the proper noun "The Jung Woo-sung". Do you feel such response yourself too?

Jung: Of course. At one point, you just have to know it, feel it, acknowledge it and just take it all in. That ultimately links directly to the image of when I act. And like I said earlier, it's the image the audience want to see from me. Hur wanted me to use less fluent Korean-style English when acting the part of Dong-ha for this film, but I thought differently. People would see me as Jung Woo-sung before actually falling into Dong-ha's character. Then people will think that I speak English, but it's weird. Then they'll stop empathizing with my character and automatically take out their radars to evaluate my English. Then there is no empathizing or whatsoever.

10: And like you said, it's all because of "The Jung Woo-sung". You must have many concerns as an actor.

Jung: That's the extent to which I worry. After that I just have to study my character. I'll remove everything which proves as an obstacle to watching the film and after that, the audience will be sucked into the film if it's good.

10: There are people who just do away with what is laid forth in front of their eyes, and those who looks at the big picture and work hard. I think you're the latter type. Has your perspective widened as you age?

Jung: Since young, I've been the type that observes the whole flow of a situation. I wasn't just thinking about my role when I debuted in films. The main thing that came into sight was the pains the staff had to go through. I became increasingly interested in what each of their jobs were on set. That's why I developed a passion for movies and learned a lot on set. Then naturally, with the staff I would start to think about what the problems are within the film industry. Because I became attached to it. And I think that's how I came to look at everything as a whole.

Actor Jung Woo-sung, who recently starred in "A Good Rain Knows" alongside Chinese actress Gao Yuanyuan, poses during an interview with 10Asia.


Actor Jung Woo-sung [Chae Ki-won/10Asia]


Actor Jung Woo-sung [Chae Ki-won/10Asia]

Reporter : Wee Geun-woo eight@10asia.co.kr

Photographer : Chae ki-won ten@10asia.co.kr

Editor : Jessica Kim jesskim@asiae.co.kr, Jang Kyung-Jin three@10asia.co.kr

<ⓒ10Asia All rights reserved>

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Actor Jung Woo-sung - 2


Actor Jung Woo-sung [Chae Ki-won/10Asia]

10: You also showed us a quite comical side to you in "A Good Rain Knows". The scene where you pretend to impersonate May's Chinese and ask her what she's talking about. Was it ad-lib?

Jung: It was. I came up with it while rehearsing. People usually talk in their own language when they're in a hurry. So I came up with it thinking of that.

10: "Rain", Jang Dong-gun's "Good Morning President" and Lee Byung-hun's "I Come with the Rain" will all be released at similar times. You must feel some sort of competition.

Jung: There is no competition because a movie is what it is for itself. We're not playing a sport such as running a 100-meter race. Could films which aim at delivering different emotions be considered be competing against each other? Like "Haeundae" and "Take Off" did, I hope all of us also do well and deliver the emotions we want to the audience. It's it great news on behalf of the Korean film industry.

10: But there must be some competition between the actors. For example, what is the meaning of Jang Dong-gun to you? He is the one who you are most often compared to.

Jung: I think people say Jang is good looking and that I look handsome. I talked about this recently during an interview with TV personality Park Kyung-lim too but I think it's good that we can be compared. I think I would be lonely if I was unchallenged. There is a sort of stimulus with I get from feeling that there is someone other than myself who is recognized. Of course, I sometimes say "Shoot!" when he takes away a TV commercial I used to do. (laugh)

10: But on the other hand, you took away a commercial from him -- Chung Jung-won. (laugh) So we're curious to know what the image you have of Jung-won. What sort of woman do you hope she is?

Jung: A woman who looks pretty but in an average sort of way. I think it would be possible for her to be expressed into a variety of looks. That's it for now. I can't really answer too easily to that question because I'm getting cornered.

10: Since you mentioned that you're being cornered, when on earth are you planning on getting married?

Jung: Well, there's a baby in the picture which means I'll be a father so I do have an idea of how old we'll both be when it happens. That's why I feel like I'm being cornered and feel like I'm sort of starting to rush.

10: Do you have an urge to have raise a happy family?

Jung: Yes, I want to be the father of a happy family.

10: I think you'd make a great single man even in your 40s and 50s.

Jung: It may seem like that on the outside but I think it would be depressing living alone at that age. I know because there are a lot of bachelors around me. (laugh)


Actor Jung Woo-sung [Chae Ki-won/10Asia]

10: It's because you look younger than your age. You don't seem human to us, the way we consider Brad Pitt or Johnny Depp.

Jung: Well, they're not aliens either, right? And they have families. Would that mean their children are from Andromeda? (laugh)

10: Well, it seems you're aging but in what aspects do you think you're different from when you were in your 20s versus being in your 30s?

10: People say I seem to be more at ease now but I don't think I've changed that much. My values and establishment of my self were things I had though about since I had young because I thought they were the only things which could protect me and make me who I am when I had nothing else to boast about. But who would take me seriously back then, talking about such serious matters at a young age? The reaction wasn't so great -- as if they thought I was pretending to be cool -- and I too ended up acting sensitively toward them. Now people take me seriously since I'm older. And it's been a while we've all kept an eye on each other. That's why the conversations are natural.

10: You seem to think a lot. Are there any particular scenes or endings you would like to show when you become a movie director?

Jung: I'm an actor so I don't think up images just for the image itself. I rather think about how an actor will show an image when he turns around feeling a certain emotion or the angle his face when he does so. I've always liked imaging up stories. Even before I debuted, I used to snicker to myself imagining that I was the main character in a movie. That's how I ended up writing the narration for character Min in movie "Beat" and fearlessly jumped into scenario-writing. Then I thought I want to become a director as I started thinking up actual images.

10: Is there a particular actor you would want to use as the main character?

Jung: I'm not sure. I don't know who it will be but they won't have an easy time working for a director who has worked with some of the toughest directors such as Kim Sung-soo or Hur Jin-ho. (laugh) I'm going to play the main character. The level of acting is not going to be easy so I think I'll be in a better mind doing it myself.

10: Lastly, I'm curious to know whether you could still put on the nervous look in your eyes like you did with Min from "Beat", although you are much more at ease.

Jung: Would it be better if I sat in a classroom? (laugh) The film ended with Min dying but I personally didn't let go of him. I was always disgruntled with the fact that he was killed in a way which sort of makes him a hero but doesn't give us any answers although he was a character who represented a class in society which has been shunned from reality. So many people like him have overcome their pains and come out into society. So I too have let Min continue to mature inside my heart.

10: Then do you think you're acting the part of a grown-up Min?

Jung: He could be inside me or we could have become synchronized.


Actor Jung Woo-sung [Chae Ki-won/10Asia]


Actor Jung Woo-sung [Chae Ki-won/10Asia]

Reporter : Wee Geun-woo eight@10asia.co.kr

Photographer : Chae ki-won ten@10asia.co.kr

Editor : Jessica Kim jesskim@asiae.co.kr, Jang Kyung-Jin three@10asia.co.kr

<ⓒ10Asia All rights reserved>

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Kim Ha-neul wraps up Vietnam promo in success


South Korean actress Kim Ha-neul meets with a fan in Vietnam. [J.One+ Entertainment]

Actress Kim Ha-neul has returned to Korea after successfully wrapping up promotion of her film "My Girlfriend is an Agent" in Vietnam.

The heroine of the hit film flew into Seoul on Wednesday after having left for Ho Chi Minh on October 17 to hold fan meetings, premieres and attend a red carpet event. She also visited Hanoi.

"Kim was received extremely heartwarmingly in Vietnam, both by the country and her fans," an official at her agency J.One+ Entertainment said on Friday.

"She became the first person to ever hold a hand printing ceremony in the country and her film will open in 18 theatres starting today," he explained. Major Hollywood blockbuster pics open at a maximum 10 theatres in Vietnam.

Kim will continue her promotional activities in Asia, flying into Hong Kong on October 25 and to Singapore three days later.

The 31-year-old actress has enjoyed steady popularity in Korea since her debut in 1996. She has starred in numerous hit TV dramas and movies, including SBS TV series "On Air" last year and hit film "My Tutor Friend" in 2003 with fellow Hallyu star Kwon Sang-woo.

"Agent", a comedy action film co-starring Kang Ji-hwan, is about a couple who are both hiding from each other about being secret government agents. The film attracted over four million moviegoers in Korea.

Credits : Jessica Kim <jesskim@asie.co.kr>

<ⓒ10Asia All rights reserved >

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Nomination Dispute Mars Daejong Film Festival


Singer-turned-actress Jang Na-ra's nomination for Best Actress at the upcoming Daejong (Grand Bell) Film Festival, the country's most prestigious film awards, has sparked a stormy debate.

The festival's nomination of Jang for Korea's equivalent of the Oscars was met with surprise by many as her film ``The Sky and the Sea,'' in which she plays the role of an autistic musician, has yet to be released in theaters. Meanwhile, popular actress Ha Ji-won was excluded from the nomination list despite receiving critical acclaim for roles in two headline-making films this year ― ``Haeundae,'' a tsunami blockbuster that became one of the highest grossing films in Korean box office history, and ``Closer to Heaven,'' a tearjerker melodrama that also garnered much attention.

In response to public criticism, the festival issued a press release Thursday explaining the circumstances. ``The Sky and the Sea was completed within the designated time period to be considered for the awards," the release said. ``Well-made films featuring fine acting can be submitted for judgment and are eligible for nomination, even if they have not yet hit theaters.''

Concerning Ha's exclusion from the nomination list, the festival said that ``although she delivered good performances in 'Haeundae' and 'Closer to Heaven' the vote was split among judges'' ― meaning that when an actor appears in more than one film in a pool of works submitted for nomination, votes are often split because nominations for best actor/actress are made according to his/her role in a particular film.

Ha Defends Jury

Furthermore, the festival stressed that both Jang and Ha are talented actresses and questioning the confidence of festival will only hurt the local film industry.

Ha expressed her faith in Daejong and its fairness in judgment through an official statement via management agency Wellmade Star M, saying ``I do not have an inch of doubt concerning Daejong's fairness.''

``I am truly happy and thankful for all the love and attention I received this year. For each piece I work on, I always think of my shortcomings and only try my best. As an actor, being loved by the audience gives me the greatest pleasure and pride. But I do not perform roles with an award in mind, and I don't think other actors do either,'' she said.

``Another actor has been hurt due to recent controversies over the nominations, and I deeply emphasize with my fellow actor. I hope the negative comments will stop,'' she said.

Meanwhile, Jang makes a comeback on the local screen after long hiatus. She had been based mainly in China with stints in singing and acting. She was chosen as ``the hottest actress of 2006'' in a survey conducted by a Chinese broadcasting company over stars such as Gong Li.

Before moving to China, the 28-year-old starred in several hit Korean TV soaps including ``Success Story of a Bright Girl'' (SBS, 2002). ``The Sky and the Sea'' is due in theaters on Oct. 28.

Credits : Lee Hyo-won, Staff Reporter (hyowlee@koreatimes.co.kr)

Source : The Korea Times

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Hong Ah-reum and Park Jin-woo of 'I Will Give You All'

The new KBS TV morning drama "I Will Give You All" premiered on October 12. It is a story about a young woman whose family runs a dumpling eatery. She does not have a college degree and struggles financially, but hers is a story of hope and encouragement in these challenging times.

The two main characters of the drama are played by Hong Ah-reum and Park Jin-woo, who say their new roles have helped them mature as actors. Hong previously appeared in the TV dramas "Pretty Insun" and "My Precious You," while Park gained fame for his roles in "The Painter Of Wind," "The Iron empress" and "Unstoppable Wedding." It is their first time playing leading roles, which places significant pressure on both. The pair shared their ambitions and impressions at a news conference at the Suwon Drama Center.


▲ Hong Ah-reum and Park Jin-woo, who play leading roles in the morning TV drama

"I Will Give You All."

# "Candy Girl" Hong Ah-reum: "From now on, please call me Young-hee, not Bo-ri."

Q. Your impressions of playing a leading role for the first time...

Hong: It's huge pressure. But I'm also relieved and happy to be working with many seasoned actors. Since it's a daily drama, we have to shoot many scenes and prepare hard. I try to do my best.

Q. What kind of person is Young-hee?

Hong: My character gets back on her feet in any situation, however disheartening or painful it is. She is mature and one with profound thoughts.

Q. How is Young-hee different from your previous character, Bo-ri?

Hong: The biggest difference is that Young-hee doesn't speak any provincial dialect. Bo-ri was a 21-year-old who matured gradually, whereas Young-hee is already mature. They are both very energetic but I'm also preparing to show the unique side of Young-hee.

Q. Aren't you worried that you may always be perceived as an actress portraying financially struggling characters?

Hong: I chose this morning drama because I learned a lot from my senior colleagues in "My Precious You" and wanted to further hone my skills. The most important thing for me at this point is to polish my acting skills. I want to try diverse genres, including miniseries, weekend dramas and daily dramas. I also want to try the role of a sophisticated, Cinderella-like woman, but I like Young-hee as well.

Q. What makes "I Will Give You All" special?

Hong: This drama has a good storyline, experienced cast, and comical elements, like in sit-coms. It's a combination of diverse genres. The lines are very witty and they make this drama very optimistic.

Q. How does it target the main viewership of morning dramas?

Hong: The main viewership of morning dramas are homemakers. This drama shows the lives of people from a marketplace and their strong and unpretentious personalities, which have a strong appeal among women.

Q. Your determination...

Hong: Some members of our production team still call me "Bo-ri" because they were also on the "My Precious You" team. But I correct them every time. I want to be recognized as "Young-hee" for her unique personality.


Cold guy Park Jin-woo: “I want to shed my image as a nice young guy and become a real man and an actor."

Q. Your impressions of your first leading role...

Park: I hesitated a lot. Though I have appeared in many productions so far, I doubted if I could do it right without disappointing the public. It was difficult for me at the beginning because I hadn't appeared in modern dramas for a long time. I would speak like an ancient character in scenes where I had to be angry. But I've become used to it now. I continue to study my character because I want to portray him as a vibrant person.

Q. What kind of person is Kang-ho?

Park: He's a doctor and he has a cold-hearted image. He is charismatic, though he looks as if he has never been in a relationship before. I was worried about whether or not I'd be able to portray his cold-hearted look, but now I feel confident. I've seen many movies about lonesome guys and I also monitored movies starring actor Kim Myung-min.

Q. What makes "I Will Give You All" special?

Park: Since the leading roles of this drama are played by young actors, it can appeal not only to homemakers but to young people as well.

Q. Your determination...

Park: I'm doing my best to portray a real man who is different from my previous roles. I want to shed my image as a nice young guy and gain recognition for my acting skills.

"I Will Give You All" is a story about two daughters whose fates have been switched by their vicious mother. It deals with revenge, hatred, anger, forgiveness and reconciliation. "I Will Give You All" airs Mondays through Saturdays at 9 AM on KBS TV2.

Credits : Jin Young-joo, KBSi

All Rights Reserved ⓒ KBS & KBSi

Source : KBS Global

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Korean actors light up U.S. TV shows


Korean-American actor John Cho, right, with Gabrielle Union in "Flash Forward" [ABC]

For the fall TV season, many actors of Korean descent are breaking free from the stereotypical Asian roles and appearing as major characters in the storyline. Daniel Henney, who has a huge fan base in Korea, is appearing in CBS's "Three Rivers", while John Cho, who is well known for films such as "Star Trek: The Beginning" and "Harold and Kumar", is starring in ABC's "Flash Forwards". They are just two examples amongst many such actors. Comedian Ken Jeong received a lot of attention appearing in six movies this year, including "The Hangover" and "All About Steve" and is now on NBC sitcom "Community". In addition, Lindsay Price is in ABC's "Eastwick", comedian Margaret Cho in Lifetime's "Drop Dead Diva" and Linda Park, who has appeared in many TV shows, is now starring in the second season of "Crash".

The most eye-catching one of all these shows is "Flash Forward", which has been picked up for the entire season and received an average score of 73 points on critic's portal site Metacritic.com. The pilot episode of "Flash Forward", about everyone in the world suddenly seeing their future for 2 minutes and 17 seconds, has already drawn 12.47 million viewers. It has maintained its high ratings and is being called the next "Lost". John Cho plays Demetri Noh, partner to the main character who is an FBI investigator played by Joseph Fiennes. Demetri Noh is a character who is anxious because he, unlike others, has no flash-forward prior to his wedding to fiancee (played by Gabrielle Union) but receives an anonymous phone call that he is going to be murdered.

In "Community", set in a community college full of problematic students, Korean-American comedian Ken Jeong plays a very proud Spanish professor Senore Chang, who does not overlook such students asking questions such as, "Why do you teach Spanish instead of martial arts?" Jeong's castmates include noted stand-up comedians like Chevy Chase and Joel McHale. It received an average score of 69 on Metacritic.com, but is drawing talks of an early departure due to a huge decrease in ratings since the first episode.


From left, "Three Rivers" starring John Henney and "Flash Forward" starring John Cho [CBS/ABC]

Meanwhile, Daniel Henney's "Three Rivers" and Lindsay Price's "Eastwick" have received low scores on both viewership ratings and quality. In the case of "Three Rivers", which airs on Sunday when the competition is comparatively low, has seen the number of its viewers decrease by 2 million from the pilot to its first episode of the season. And the score from Metacritic was only 48 points as well. One critic called "Eastwick" an "old version of 'Charmed'" while "Three Rivers" was said to be a "forgettable TV series."

Lastly, in "Drop Dead Diva", a dramedy about a former model who is reincarnated as an overweight yet successful lawyer, Margaret Cho appears as Teri Lee, the main character's assistant who helps her deal with the reality. In "Crash", a drama version of the 2004 Academy Award-winning film of the same title, Linda Park joins the second season in the role of Mary Blanchard. Blanchard, a children's book illustrator married to millionaire businessman Seth Blanchard (played by Eric Roberts), is a character living a wealthy but unstable life due to her husband's erratic behavior.

Reporter: Yang Ji-hyun, New York correspondent

Editor : Lynn Kim <lynn2878@asiae.co.kr>, Jang Kyung-Jin <three@10asia.co.kr>

<ⓒ10Asia All rights reserved>

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Stars’ Romance Provides Momentum for ‘Iris’

The romance between Kim Hyun-jun, played by Lee Byung-heon, and Choi Seung-hee, played by Kim Tae-hee, has drawn great interest to the drama “Iris” once again, as it recorded some 20 percent viewer ratings in the first week of its airing.

The two confirmed their feelings for each other when Hyun-jun suddenly kissed Seung-hee in the second episode on October 15, and their relationship became something special. In the third episode on October 21, the couple went on a secret trip together when they had several days off as a reward for saving the life of the president. Their trip was all the more exciting because they--as secret agents--are not allowed to date fellow agents.



▲ Scenes from the October 21 episode

They flew to Akita Prefecture, Japan, where they had a splendid time visiting a spa and going skiing. In a hotel room at night, Hyun-jun uncharacteristically could not calm his beating heart when Seung-hee was sleeping next to him. This scene reportedly made viewers want to fall in love again in their own lives.

But Lee and Kim apparently had a hard time shooting the episode. They made mistakes repeatedly because they still felt awkward around each other at the time of shooting in March, not long after they were cast.

“Iris” airs on Wednesdays and Thursdays at 9:55 p.m. on KBS2.

Writer: KBSi Jin Yeong-ju

Photo/Source: Taewon Entertainment

Copyright ⓒ KBS & KBSi

Source : KBS Global

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'Executioner' Looks at Death Row


Actor Cho Jae-hyun plays a cold-blooded prison guard in this compelling

psychological drama about the agony of death row.

There have been a good number of movies that deal with the agony of being on death row or feature capital punishment as the (un)just consequence of crime.

``The Executioner,'' which premiered at the 14th Pusan (Busan) International Film Festival (PIFF) earlier this month, however, delves into the actual process of the death penalty, which involves more than just a quick snap of the neck and a dead body (hanging is still the method used in South Korea).

In his feature directorial debut, Choi Jin-ho (``Reunion,'' which competed at the Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival) invites viewers to step into the shoes of prison staff who must carry out the actual deed.

The film poses some big ethical questions but manages to be clear cut in eliciting specific emotional responses from the audience. Nevertheless, ``Executioner'' gets caught in a sort of muddled gray zone; it's too formulaically mainstream for arthouse cinema yet, albeit being replete with comic relief, too dark for lighthearted entertainment.

The talented cast including charismatic screen personality Cho Jae-hyun, however, retains an iron grip on the script, providing for a compelling psychological drama.

According to Amnesty International's standards, Korea is considered to have abolished capital punishment in practice, since executions have been on hold for over a decade since 1997.

The movie imagines what would happen if the death penalty is resumed, and unfortunately, the process involves more than just greasing up the rusty execution equipment.

``Executioner'' chooses a naive young protagonist to lead viewers into the world behind bars (the film is the first to be shot in a real Korean prison). Former pop singer Yoon Kye-sang, who proved his acting skills in ``Moonlight of Seoul,'' is Jae-gyeong, who, after failing the state exam, becomes a prison guard to earn some extra cash.

But little did he know he was stepping into the heart of darkness.

Jae-gyeong's polite ways are of no avail to maintaining order behind bars, and the more experienced Jong-ho (Cho) takes him under his wing.

``There are only two barred places in the world; the zoo and prison,'' explains the stoic, ruthless Jong-ho, who insists on a Spartan treatment of the inmates and strips them of their ``humanity'' by calling them by their designated number rather than name.

In stark contrast to Jong-ho is veteran guard Kim (Park In-hwan), who plays chess with a chummy death row inmate. Though initially torn between the two ways, Jae-gyeong eventually endorses Jong-ho's view that ``beasts don't attack those who are stronger than they,'' and finds great use in his baton.

One day a sensationalized psychopathic serial murder case breaks out and the justice ministry decides to resume capital punishment. The prison guards are all reluctant to carry out the dirty work. Kim, the only guard with execution experience, disappears, unable to relive the horror of the job. And so Jong-ho volunteers while Jae-gyeong and others are chosen in an unlucky draw.

``Executioner'' is essentially a story of spiritual transformation. Through Jae-gyeong's loss of innocence, the film looks violence in the eye and shows how easily it becomes more than a tool of physical control but something that can forever alter the state of a person's mind.

For Jong-ho, execution ― the ultimate form of subjugating the prisoners (or ``trash'' as he calls them) that he loathes so deeply, with good reason ― becomes a form of salvation.

When D-day arrives, it is not just the prisoners that are doomed to die ― those who must secure the noose discover that something dies within their hearts. But the story does not turn uncomfortably noir, suggesting that the human spirit endures even if parts of it cannot be resurrected.

In theaters Nov. 5. 98 minutes. 18 and over. Distributed by Sponge ENT/Silverspoon.

Credits : Lee Hyo-won, Staff Reporter (hyowlee@koreatimes.co.kr)

Source : The Korea Times

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[movie REVIEW]

"Good Morning President"


Jang Dong-gun in a scene from "Good Morning President"

Movie: "Good Morning President"

Warning: This movie may be different from reality

Jang Dong-gun is the president. Just for this fact alone, film "Good Morning President" is as surreal as a tsunami hitting Pusan. For some ten years in the movie, actors Lee Soon-jae, Jang Dong-gun and Goh Doo-shim play the role of president and they all care profusely about the people. Of course, "President" does not go deep into political satire. Like director Jang Jin said, "There is no political color to the film", the movie makes the audience chuckle here and there with his wit and from the way he sets up ironical situations. But the most fundamental reason viewers can immerse themselves in "President" is that they can experience and enjoy certain fantasies for two hours; such as, what would happen when a handsome guy like Jang Dong-gun, or someone with a respectable resume like Lee Soon-jae became president. Of course, we will all need to be warned that we must forget about reality when watching the movie.

Three presidents appear in the film. One of them has won a 20 billion won lottery toward the end of his presidency and the handsome one is at a crossroads of making a very important life-altering decision. The first female president in Korea is cornered into a political crisis because of her immature husband. But what director Jang Jin wants to express is not a president facing political issues but the worries in life that even a president goes through. The director, who is back to making witty comedies after working on "Righteous Ties" and "My Son", bases the movie on the infinite optimism which trusts in the good of the people and then seems to try and deliver three big lessons of life through the three presidents. But the way the stories are told, the rhythm and how they unfold is almost the same with all three characters. The set-up of a president in a unique situation does not bring out any additional stories. Compared to the expectation of the film's extraordinary plot and cast, "President" is an easily predictable comedy at best. Even the witty chatting from the director has decreased. The most interesting moment in "President" is when the movie faces its subject - the president - head-on. The political and personal problems facing Cha Ji-wook (played by Jang Dong-gun) as president shows us the weight of reality that a president must carry. And Jang Dong-gun makes a speech after finding the answers to all these problems. The speech is mediocre for a movie, but enough to make the Korean people, living in reality, become choked up with tears. On screen, Jang Dong-gun gives a speech about life but off screen, that life is actually different in reality. Right, this is only a movie.

Senior Reporter : Kang Myoung-Seok <two@10asia.co.kr>

Editor : Lynn Kim lynn2878@asiae.co.kr, Lee Ji-Hye <seven@10asia.co.kr>

<ⓒ10Asia All rights reserved>

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New TV show to star ex 2PM member


A new television program of KBS-2TV "Toward the Sunday Night," will feature Jae-beom, who withdrew from the top boy band 2PM due to his critical remarks about Korea.

Producers of the program said on Thursday, "One month after this promising idol star left Korea, we met him in Seattle for the first time."

"Though we met him in person and requested an interview, Jae-beom refused, saying he could not give any comment at the present moment. Instead, we could cover how he was getting along in the United States. He showed up at a B-boy competition and talked to his friends." they added.

The TV show will cover both current issues and social phenomena in fresh perspective.

"Toward the Sunday Night" will make its debut at 11:35 p.m. on Oct. 25.

Jae-beom left the seven-member boy band 2PM due to controversy surrounding critical remarks against Korea.

His criticism -- which was posted in English four years ago on his personal MySpace account -- was revealed and spread on the internet last month, arousing huge controversy in the nation.

Jae-beom, who was leader of the boy band, announced that he would quit 2PM, and left Korea on Sept. 8 for Seattle, where his family is residing.

Credits : Ryu Seung-yoon (shoong4u@gmail.com)

Source : The Korea Herald

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October 23, 2009

Why Lee Young-ae Gets to Keep Her Ad Contract


Lee Young-ae

Korean builder GS Engineering and Construction will extend the advertising contract with actress Lee Young-ae for another year. The contract will likely be signed at the end of this month. The company was unsure whether to renew the contract with the star since it was concerned that her secret marriage to a Korean-American businessman in the U.S. in August could tarnish its brand image.

GS E&C is said to have wanted a change at first. Lee has been the model for the company for more than seven years. She was first hired in 2002, when the builder was launching its new apartment brand "XII." The company concluded at the time that Lee's intelligent and refined image would be a good match.

The company apparently decided to renew the contract because CEO Huh Myung-soo is convinced of the actress' integrity and commitment to her advertiser. "Everyone gets married," Huh reportedly said. "It would be wrong to replace a long-time model with other person just because she got married."

Lee has been a boost to GS E&C's brand image when she rose to Asia-wide stardom with the 2003 mega-hit drama "A Jewel in the Palace." The actress has remained committed to the company, apparently declining lucrative offers from other construction companies.

Economic considerations are also behind GS E&C's decision. If the model is replaced, the company will inevitably have to change all posters, pamphlets and billboards at its offices and construction sites at home and abroad, which could cost the company about W30 billion (US$1=W1,190), while Lee is paid only W800 million for a one-year contract.

Credits : englishnews@chosun.com

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Rain takes over Times Square billboard


Times Square billboard promoting Rain's film "Ninja Assassin". [J.Tune Entertainment]

A billboard of Rain's new film "Ninja Assassin" has been hung in New York's Times Square, making him the first Korean to appear on the board for a movie, according to his agency on Friday.

Only Korean companies such as Samsung or LG have been able to advertise themselves in Times Square before.

J.Tune Entertainment said that the billboard -- almost 18 meters wide by 12 meters high -- was hung above smaller billboards for some of Broadway's most famed musicals including "West Side Story" and "Chicago".

The agency said they were informed of the billboard by a Korean residing in New York and received many congratulatory messages on his blog and website.

Rain played the lead role Raizo in the action flick by the Wachowski Brothers, famous for "The Matrix" triology and producer Joel Silver, who created the "Die Hard" and "Lethal Weapon" series.

The film, hyped as one of the 50 most anticipated films of the year by U.K. newspaper The Times and one of the top 10 movies selected by the San Francisco Examiner, is set for a worldwide release on October 26.

Jessica Kim jesskim@asiae.co.kr

<ⓒ10Asia All rights reserved>

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Korean Wave Aims at New Horizons

When Lee Eun-hye, 24, a college student went on a trip to South America she certainly didn't expect this. Every time she introduced herself as a Korean, the locals would greet her eagerly, mentioning the Korean drama "Daejanggeum" (English title "Jewel in the Palace") and the lead actress Lee Young-ae. The same thing happened in Japan and China. People there would list the names of Korean celebrities like Bae Yong-joon and ask her about the latest news in Korean entertainment.

She also met people who were studying Korean during her stay in Paraguay. When asked what motivated them to study the language, some told her the Korean dramas they watch made them feel close to Korean culture. Others found Hangeul (Korean characters) cool.

Hallyu, or the Korean Wave, has so far done more than enough to upgrade Korea's image, with television drama content leading the way. One of Korea's best hit dramas was "Winter Sonata" (2003). It starred Bae Yong-joon and its popularity in Japan became a social phenomenon, particularly among older, married women. "Daejanggeum" was first aired overseas in China and then began to sell like hotcakes to Africa, Europe and some 60 nations, becoming Korea's first drama to travel around the globe.

However, it is also true that some of the enthusiasm for Korean drama and cultural content has waned a little. The heavy reliance on famous (and expensive) actors and budgetary constraints are some of the reasons why Korean dramas are partly to blame for hallyu losing steam.

The Korea Creative Content Agency (KCCA) of the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism has decided to spend 2.4 billion won to subsidize the production of a total of nine quality TV contents that include drama, documentary and movies. Two of the TV dramas in particular will receive funding of 500 million won each.

That's how "Swallow the Sun," Korea's first drama to be filmed on location in Africa, was born. The drama aired in July and was introduced at the International Film and Program Market for TV, Video, Cable and Satellite in Cannes, France, in early October.

Other state-assisted dramas waiting to be released early next year include "Jejungwon," a story about Korea's first modern hospital established in 1885, and "Fair Love," about a middle-aged man meeting a woman 26 years younger.

"We have been assisting production of good quality TV dramas since 2002. We are now looking to widen our scope of assistance, now that even privately owned production companies have become eligible to receive our funds," KCCA researcher Seong Im-gyeong said.

Nonverbal performances from Korea

Live stage performances are another contributing factor to Hallyu. Word has spread not to miss performances of non-verbal shows like Nanta and Jump when visiting Korea.

Last month from Sept. 12 to 27, the Korea Tourism Organization hosted the 2009 Korea, Sparkling Festival that brought the country's big brand performances together.

The festival, which embraces Asia Song Festival and Korea Traditional Arts Festival, had its sixth year this year. Asia Song Festival is a festival that brings famous Asian singers from Korea, Japan, China, Taiwan and other neighboring countries to perform. The Korea Traditional Arts Festival showcases a number of folk performances from old Korea.

Breakdancing, or b-boy competitions were also held around that time. The R-16 Korea, Sparkling Incheon 2009 Competition, held from Sept. 25 to 27, was participated in by 16 b-boy teams from 15 nations.

Hangeul is another proud brand name that is gaining steady recognition from abroad. The unique Korean characters have been earning praise from linguists from around the world as the most scientific and easy-to-learn writing system. The biggest news on Hangeul this year has been the official adoption of Hangeul by an Indonesian minority tribe in Bau-Bau city on Buton Island. The tribe produced its first textbook in Hangeul spelling for some 40 elementary kids and 140 high school students to learn.

Following the example of Hangeul, the Korean language must also secure its competitiveness. Last March, the Presidential Council on Nation Branding selected 10 tasks for spreading Korean. In line with the decision, the culture ministry came up with a unified brand name "Sejong Hakdang" (Sejong Institute) for Korean language education institutes around the world and decided to establish a total of 350 institutes both at home and abroad by 2015. For the first time, the ministry held a convention for Korean language instructors around the world to discuss ways to globalize the language and establish a network among participants.

Hangeul as a design has grown popular too. Fashion designer Lie Sang-bong demonstrated how to make fashion out of Korean characters through the debut of his Hangeul collection in a Paris fashion show in February 2006.

Inspired by Lie, many at home started to take part in making commercial designs out of Hangeul calligraphy. The King Sejong the Great Memorial Society, sponsored by the culture ministry, has held an idea competition for unique Hangeul designs since 2005. A Hangeul-shaped ruler, Hangeul-name stamp for foreigners, memo pad designed in the shape of Hangeul vowels and consonants, Hangeul-emblazoned cell phone holder and brooch are some of the times that made it to the finals. These products are expected to be commercialized in the near future. "The society has also been developing a number of calligraphy styles for Hangeul since 1993," Cha Jae-gyeong, the head of the Memorial Society said.

Hansik, Korean food


The annual survey conducted by the Ministry of Knowledge Economy and Presidential Council on Nation Branding from 2006 to 2008 showed that many people think of technology when asked about the image of Korea, followed by Korean food.

Kimchi and bulgogi are representative vegetable and meat dishes of Korea, respectively. Last April the Ministry for Food, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries announced a concrete plan to further develop and globalize Hansik, or Korean food. The projects include ways to make an industry out of competitive dishes, ways to upgrade the image of Korean food and ways to make Korean dishes more accessible.

Last June, a related taskforce presented Korean ribs (galbi), bibimbap, spinach-bean paste broth and other Korean delicacies at an OCED meeting held in Paris, France and elicited favorable reviews. Also on Oct. 9, the team prepared a kimchi-making and tasting program for Japan's First Lady Miyuki Hatoyama, who was accompanying her husband to Korea for summit talks.

Hanbok: Korean traditional dress

Hanbok, the traditional Korean garment, is also a big part of Korean traditional culture. The traditional Hanbok dress worn by Korean beauties in the Miss Universe Competition has always been the talk of town among Korea's internet users.

To boost the fervor for Hanbok, the culture ministry has held a Hanbok Love Festival since 2008. This year's festival takes place on Oct. 23 and 24. "We plan to present the elegance of Hanbok and show the time-honored tradition behind it," the culture ministry official said.

Source : Dynamic Korea

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New MC Shoots 1st `Star Golden-Bell'

[TV Report] The new MC of the KBS 2TV celebrity quiz show "The Star Golden-Bell Challenge" has taped his debut episode. He succeeds predecessor Kim Je-dong, who was let go from the show amidst controversy.


Amid the lingering dispute, some netizens, enraged by Kim's dismissal, lash out at Ji, making remarks such as "Are you that desperate to take his job" and "You've dug your own grave."

People around Ji say that Ji is keenly aware of this atmosphere and feels significant pressure as the new MC.

One of Ji's aides said, "He's reserving his words because whatever he says at this time may worsen things. There's nothing we can say. He'll do his best for Star Golden Bell. But this isn't to say that he regrets anything. The decision was all so sudden he had little time to process any of it."

Ji had to leave "Morning Live," which he hosted for five months, for Star Golden Bell. But this tradeoff is also creating controversy. Ji says the taping of the two shows overlapped so it was inevitable. But if the two shows were not on the same broadcaster, such consideration for him may have been unlikely.

One KBS official commented, "Ji was the best candidate to replace Kim because Ji had hosted Star Golden Bell in previous years. We just thank him for accepting the position despite the sensitive circumstances."

But viewers think differently. KBS picked Ji to replace Kim for cost-cutting purposes but some audiences believe this move will ultimately turn out to be a bad decision.

Ji hosted Star Golden Bell in its early days with Kim. Reassuming the post itself is far from a fresh start for him.

One viewer said, "Ji may be the best choice to fill in for Kim as the main MC, but he will struggle to also pull off the assistant MC role." Judgement day comes this Saturday when Star Golden Bell airs its first episode with MC Ji.

Photo = KBS

Writer: TV Report

Copyright ⓒ KBS & KBSi

Source : KBS Global

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'White Night' features all-star cast


Goh Soo (left), Son Ye-jin (center) and Han Seok-gyu pose for the camera at a press event

held in Seoul on Tuesday for the forthcoming film, "White Night," based on a popular

Japanese novel by Keigo Higashino. [Lee Sang-sub/The Korea Herald]

Son Ye-jin, a top Korean actress, said she did not expect to reunite with Park Shin-woo for a film project. "We used to hang out together in Daegu but I never imagined he would show up as a film director like this," she told reporters at a news conference in Seoul on Wednesday.

Although Son did not see the offer of her new silver-screen role coming, director Park lost no time sending the screenplay of "White Night" to her. Not only Park but also producer Kang Woo-suk insisted Son take up the role for the thriller based on a popular Japanese novel written by Keigo Higashino.

"It was a real honor that people thought about me for a main character for the film after reading the screenplay," Son said.

But Son is not the only celebrated cast member in "White Night," one of the much-awaited Korean films in the fourth quarter. Han Seok-gyu, a veteran actor with numerous hit movies under his belt, plays a leading role, and Goh Soo, who appeared in "Some" in 2004, makes a comeback.

The original novel by Higashino, one of Japan's top mystery writers, centers upon a fateful love story about a man and woman who committed a murder 14 years ago in self-defense. The story was adapted into a TV drama series in Japan in 2006.

Despite the high profile of the original novel, director Park said it was extremely difficult to sign top actors and production staff. His solution was to show his enthusiasm by shooting a three-dimensional video storyboard, a whopping two hours long, and by writing letters by hand.

His video storyboard persuaded many film production experts.

Han Seok-kyu, who had refused to join the project, finally changed his mind after receiving the hand-written letter from the director.

"When I first read the screenplay, I didn't see myself fitting the proposed role. But when I went out to meet director Park and refuse his offer, I decided to sign on because of his passion about the project," Han said.

Director Park received the Sunjae Fund Award at the 2004 Pusan International Film Festival, and attracted media attention in 2005 as his short film titled "About a Bad Boy" won the jury's special award at the Mis-en-scene Short Film Festival.

"Although I feel some pressure concerning the famous original novel, I have tried to put in my own color," Park said. "While the novel is very controlled and restricted in emotional expressions, my film will offer plenty of emotion."

Kang Woo-suk, a film producer who backed the project, said he is very confident. "I've never held a press event like this for my movies, but I have come out here because I have such a big hope for director Park and I want this film to hit it big with Korean audiences," Kang said.

"White Night" is scheduled to hit local theaters on Nov. 19.

Credits : Yang Sung-jin (insight@heraldm.com)

Source : The Korea Herald

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Nominees for Grand Bell Awards Stir Controversy

The Grand Bell (Daejong) Awards, a prestigious film award in Korea, have stirred controversy yet again. The list of Best Leading Actress nominees that was announced October 21 includes Kim Min-seon ("Portrait Of A Beauty"), Soo Ae ("Sunny"), Kim Hye-ja ("Mother"), Choi Kang-hee ("My Scary Girl") and Jang Na-ra ("Heaven And Sea").

Nominees for the Best Picture award are "Mother," "Heaven And Sea," "The Divine Weapon," "Haeundae" and "Take Off."

The controvery arose because actress Ha Ji-won of "My Love By My Side" and "Haeundae," which drew more than 10 million vieiwers, and actress Kim Ha-neul of the hit movie "7 Grade Civil Servant" were not included on the list. Morever, the movie "Thirst," which received the Jury Award at this year's Cannes Film Festival, and Kim Ji-woon's "The Good, The Bad, The Weird" also failed to be nominated for the Best Picture or the Best Director awards.


"Heaven And Sea," which is to open on October 28 just a week before the awards ceremony, has been nominated in four categories: Best Picture, Best Leading Actress, Best New Actress and Best Music.

Movies that are qualified to compete for this year's Grand Bell awards are those films that were produced between May 2008 and September 2009, have been rated by the Korea Media Rating Board, and have been screened at theaters or are scheduled for release. In that respect, "Heaven And Sky" fully qualifies. The awards organizing committee said that "Heaven And Sky" was qualified because it had been completed within the required period and because no problems had been detected in the deliberation process.

With regard to the omission of Ha Ji-won's movies, the committee said that the deliberation process focused not on the actress but on her roles and that the committee was split on whether to choose Ha's role in "Haeundae" or in "My Love By My Side." But the committee's explanation has done little to convince movie fans. The bulletin board of the festival Web site was flooded with messages expressing anger.

Adding to the scandal was the fact that the awards ceremony was originally scheduled for early June but was postponed to November due to the lack of movies.

It is not the first time the festival aroused controversy. A person from a movie production company said that in the past, domestic production firms whose productions received awards were allowed to import foreign films, which resulted in conspiracy and lobbying. He added that the most shameful aspect was that the Grand Bell festival continues to cause problems because it is still dominated by filmmakers from the "old era," unlike other film awards that are organized by mass media.


Source : KBS Global

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"A Brand New Life" wins award at Tokyo film fest


Movie poster for "A Brand New Life" [Now Films]

Film "A Brand New Life", a joint production by Korea and France, has won the award for Best Asian-Middle Eastern Film at the 22nd Tokyo International Film Festival.

"Life", nominated in the Winds of Asia section this year, won the category's top honor as the best film from Asia, according to fest's official website on Monday.

Korean-born French filmmaker Ounie Lecomte wrote and directed the movie inspired by her own childhood, with noted Korean director Lee Chang-dong as producer.

The film, which also won the jury prize last week at the Cinekid Festival in Amsterdam, is a story about a young girl who is abandoned by her father at an orphanage.

"Life", starring actors Sol Kyung-gu, Ko Ah-sung and newcomer Kim Sae-ron, is set to open in Korea on October 29.

Lee has directed the award-winning "Oasis" and "Secret Sunshine", which won Best Actress (for Jeon Do-yeon) at Cannes in 2007.

Reporter : Lynn Kim lynn2878@asiae.co.kr

Source : <ⓒ10Asia All rights reserved>, , chosun.com

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"Seon-deok" remains No. 1 TV show


No. 1 TV series "Queen Seon-deok' [MBC]

MBC's historical drama "Queen Seon-deok" continued its strong run atop the TV ratings chart, taking the No. 1 spot on a TV ratings chart again last week.

"Seon-deok" scored an average 38 percent viewership rating for the week of October 19 to October 25 to remain the most-watched TV show for the second consecutive week, according to statistics released by TNS Media Korea.

The Monday and Tuesday night TV show gave way to "My Too Perfect Sons" during the week of October 5 and again another two weeks ago, but otherwise has been dominating the chart since it started airing in late May.

KBS2 TV's "Iris", starring Hallyu star Lee Byung-hun and popular actress Kim Tae-hee, came in second in with a 27 percent viewership rating while daily soap "Jolly Widows" (KBS1) and weekend drama "Three Brothers" (KBS2) followed with ratings of 23.4 and 22.5 percent, respectively.

In the non-drama category, KBS's "Happy Sunday" topped ratings with a 22.9 percent viewership. KBS2 TV's "Gag Concert" and SBS's "Family Outing" trailed behind with ratings of 19.9 and 19.7 percent, respectively.

Reporter : Lynn Kim lynn2878@asiae.co.kr

Editor : Jessica Kim jesskim@asiae.co.kr

<ⓒ10Asia All rights reserved>

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Korean box office hails "President"


Movie poster for "Good Morning President" [CJ Entertainment]

South Korean moviegoers welcomed the arrival of Hallyu star Jang Dong-gun's new film "Good Morning President", which topped the domestic box office in the first week of its release.

"President" became the most-watched film over the weekend of October 23-25 with 706,409 viewers and a total 816,565 viewers since its opening on October 22, according to estimates released by Korea Box Office Information System (KOBIS) on Monday.

The film, about the life of three different presidents, is Jang's first box office hit in nearly four years, after starring in "Typhoon" in December 2005.

Hollywood science fiction movie "District 9" stepped down to second place from last week's No. 1 with 158,362 viewers for the weekend and grossing 618,968 viewers in total.

Sci-fi horror film "Pandorum" came in third with 70,150 viewers and "New York I Love You" followed with 45,057 viewers for the weekend. "Closer to Heaven", starring Kim Myung-min and Ha Ji-won, trailed at No. 5 by drawing 34,007 viewers for the same period.

"The Sword with No Name", "I Come With the Rain", "City of Fathers" and "Goodbye Mom" and "Naruto" rounded out the top ten.

Reporter : Lynn Kim lynn2878@asiae.co.kr

Editor : Jessica Kim jesskim@asiae.co.kr

<ⓒ10Asia All rights reserved>

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