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[Movie 2017] Single Rider 싱글라이더

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September 20, 2017

[Upcoming Blu-ray Release] Korean Movie "A Single Rider"


Source: HanCinema.net




Korean movie "A Single Rider" is available to preorder on Blu-ray with English subtitles from YESASIA.




Order from YESASIA

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October 2, 2017






“Going down I saw

That flower

I failed to see as I came up” – Ko Un, That Flower  (Translation by Brother Anthony and Lee Sang-Wha)


It is fitting that A Single Rider opens on such an emotional, symbolic, yet far from vague, poem. A thoughtful, and at times unsubtle, debut from writer-director Lee Zoo-young, A Single Rider is a meditation on unappreciation and separation as told by the intertwining stories of two Korean expats in Australia.


The first of these is financial worker Jae-hoon (Lee Byung-hun). Two years after sending his wife and child to Australia while he continues to work in Korea, Jae-hoon is publicly disgraced after the closure of his employer. Following the collapse of his career and reputation, Jae-hoon struggles with depression and suddenly decides to fly to Australia to check on his family. When he arrives in Sydney, he finds his wife Su-jin (Kong Hyo-jin), who now goes by the English name Sue, and son (Yang Yoo-jin) have largely moved on. While Jae-hoon comes to terms with his family’s happiness without him, fellow expat Ji-na (Ahn So-hee) finds herself in a dangerous situation in the suburbs of Bondi.




Despite a change in location from the dour, blue-tinged offices of South Korea to the open, vibrant landscapes of Sydney (an early hint at the film’s larger metaphorical ambitions), a sense of melancholy remains around Jae-hoon as he follows the family he sent away. It is clear Jae-hoon is initially in stasis as his family thrives in their new environment, with Jae-hoon refusing to accept their integration into Australian society (“I don’t like Su-jin being called Sue” he remarks at one point). Jae-hoon’s cultural and familial isolation is captured by Kim Il-Yeon’s restrained cinematography. Confidently using empty space and framing in conjunction with Jae-hoon’s easily-identifiable dark suit (itself a symbol), Jae-hoon is presented as a shadow forgotten by the rest of the world, mostly hanging to the edges of the frames as he seemingly does in the thoughts of his family.


As the film progresses, hints that the symbolic and literal are more closely linked than initially thought become increasingly hard to ignore until all is revealed in the film’s rushed third act. Lee’s story decisions may prove divisive – either blindsiding and confusing or finally confirming the obvious for viewers (a point proven by Lee’s comments at a Sydney screening that a shocking plot twist was not her intention, despite gasps from the audience). For myself, after the initial satisfaction that my suspicions were correct subsided, it became apparent Lee’s choice was for the better. It not only creates a memorable climax, but services A Single Rider’s commentary on depression, the fragility of life, and selfishness – even if it does risk being predictable and overt in its message as a result.


What cannot be criticised for a lack of subtlety, however, is the performance of Lee Byung-hun. While there are some dramatic outbursts of emotion (with one scene calling to mind his role in I Saw the Devil), it is the smaller details of Lee’s performance which imbue the film with the aura of sadness it requires. Lee’s physical performance has a considered and slow rhythm, with his quiet demeanour and pensive gaze matching the film’s contemplative tone.


Meanwhile, the supporting cast range from great to merely serviceable. Pop star turned actress Ahn So-hee continues to prove her career switch was not a frivolous one with her performance as Ji-na. Unlike in last year’s Train to Busan, Ahn is given plenty of material to demonstrate her dramatic talents, with the film’s climax relying on her heartbreaking, shocked reaction. Ahn’s ability to take advantage of the script is further highlighted by the performances which do not – namely Jack Campbell as Chris, the close friend and potential love interest of Su-jin. Campbell is given ample opportunities for a memorable performance in the film – especially during an unnecessary subplot involving his sick wife and a family emergency – yet mostly wastes these, never quite getting past the ‘good bloke’ stereotype.


Also falling short of expectations is Jo Yeong-wook’s score. With Jo’s work for The Handmaiden showing an ability to create great string pieces, and with violins playing a significant role both narratively and symbolically, it is surprising and disappointing that strings are not fully-utilised until the final track. Instead, Jo produces a minimalistic collection of piano-focused tracks which fail to make an impression. It may have been the intention of the filmmaker to continue A Single Rider’s sorrowful and reflective tone with such a stripped-down score (large stretches of film without any accompaniment suggests as much). However, I cannot help but feel a further layer of thoughtful symbolism and emotional impact was missed by this decision.


Much like Ko Un’s poem, A Single Rider is akin to a parable – a story unabashed in its moral lessons. Whilst Lee’s directorial debut displays some lost opportunities unique to the screen (namely the score and minor performances), it also shows the strengths of the medium through its strong visual symbolism and storytelling. Using a ‘wild geese family’ as the narrative basis to explore isolation and separation, A Single Rider advocates for appreciating what we currently have – leaving audiences to consider what is important in their own lives as they leave the cinema.

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"A Single Rider" is an oddly familiar mystery drama which gets some unique features for the reason alone that it was shot in Australia. It's also strange that Warner Bros. produced this big-budget independent movie. Particularly since female director Lee Zoo-young delivers her delicate directing debut here. Although the movie struggles with a few undeniable weakpoints the end product stands out with a pleasantly melancholically captured trip into the mind of a protagonist during which we don't just get to see remorse and despair. The true driving force of the drama is naturally Lee Byung-hun who after his latest movies like "Master" and "Inside Men" finally is allowed to show a quieter side of his again.




Lee's subtle and emotional depiction of a broken man who realizes that he did everything wrong in life doesn't remind us of "A Bittersweet Life" without a reason. Because in that movie the protagonist locked his feelings deep inside him as well and then came to a point where it was too late to act them out. The at times leisure pacing easily could have given room for some yawns, but to watch Lee, with his head dropped on his chest, reflecting about his life, while one or two tears are running down his cheeks, opens up completely new levels of the drama and the story, which initially might come across quite minimalistic, but gets some depth thanks to the lead actor. Therefore, it's the fallen executive manager of a billion-dollar company that stands as the drama's pivot, despite at first looking as something like an evil man. After all, he cheated his clients of exorbitant amounts of money.

Initially, it seems as if Kang wants to take his own life. And that's also some sort of social commentary on Korean society in which financial ruin equals loss of face to such a degree that there are a lot more people committing suicide for that very reason than in other countries. At the same time it is a social commentary on a society which is made of thugs in suits who gamble away the money of their clients, and naive clients who don't realize that the promised profit margins are way better than what's realistic. As Kang tells Jin-ah at another point in the movie: If it sounds too good to be true, it actually isn't most of the time. But Kang eventually takes a flight to Australia to visit his family who is living there because he sent her to the country. To sent your wife and child to an English-speaking country for the child to learn English and later on have an advantage over other Koreans is just another one of those pecularities of modern Korean culture.

Having arrived in Australia Kang is lethargically wandering through the streets. He is etiolated so much, feeling completely empty within, that almost no one takes notice of him, allowing him to spy on his wife with ease. Only an old lady is bothered by him wandering through the neighborhood. Yet, there are still numerous questions popping up. Where does Kang sleep or why are there constantly certain chance happenings which aren't really believable and allow him to get more information about his wife? There are answers to that in a twist at the end which you can actually foresee pretty well, yet are led to have your doubts about because of certain inconsistencies. Those inconsistencies are ultimately more or less dissolved, though, and some hints scattered throughout the movie are even quite subtle.


Acting-wise Gong Hyo-jin ("Sisters on the Road") is pretty covincing, too, while Ahn So-hee (member of girlband "Wonder Girls" and also to be seen in "Train to Busan") has rather little to do. Retrospectively you might realize what purpose the subplot around the working holiday-girl is supposed to serve, but it isn't intergrated into the big picture well enough. The pictures on the other hand are nicely captured, especially since Kang's perspective on the world seems to be that of a dream. The way he enters and leaves the house of his wife reminds you a bit of Kim Ki-duk's "3-Iron", too, and this movie is in great parts an art house flick as well. A wonderful score by Jo Yeong-wook ("Oldboy") also carries the mood of the picture perfectly. The slow pacing, a certain predictability and a mediocre subplot are easily absorbed by the melancholic, but not that sad atmosphere and an outstanding lead actors, making "A Single Rider" a recommendable drama.



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November 5, 2017

Nominees Announced For 38th Blue Dragon Film Awards


Source: Soompi by DY_Kim



On November 6, the Blue Dragon Film Awards revealed the nominations for 15 categories of this year’s ceremony.


Films released from October 7, 2016 through October 3, 2017 were eligible, and the final nominees were selected through a survey of film industry experts and netizen votes.


In addition to the 15 categories listed below, winners for the Popularity Award, Best Short Film, and Most Viewed Picture will be announced at the ceremony. The 38th Blue Dragon Film Awards will take place at 8:45 p.m. KST on November 25 at Kyung Hee University’s Grand Peace Palace. The ceremony will be broadcast live via SBS.


Check out the nominees below!


Best Picture

“The Fortress”

“The King”

“Anarchist from Colony”

“The Merciless”

“A Taxi Driver”


Best Director

Kim Hyun Suk – “I Can Speak”

Byun Sung Hyun – “The Merciless”

Lee Joon Ik – “Anarchist from Colony”

Jang Hoon – “A Taxi Driver”

Hwang Dong Hyuk – “The Fortress”


Best Actor

Kim Yoon Suk – “The Fortress”

Sol Kyung Gu – “The Merciless”

Song Kang Ho – “A Taxi Driver”

Lee Byung Hun – “The Fortress”

Jo In Sung – “The King”


Best Actress

Gong Hyo Jin – “Missing”

Kim Ok Bin – “The Villainess”

Na Moon Hee – “I Can Speak”

Moon So Ri – “The Running Actress”

Yum Jung Ah – “The Mimic”


Best Supporting Actor

Kim Dae Myung – “Bluebeard”

Kim Hee Won – “The Merciless”

Bae Sung Woo – “The King”

Yoo Hae Jin – “A Taxi Driver”

Jin Seon Kyu – “The Outlaws”


Best Supporting Actress

Kim So Jin – “The King”

Kim Hae Sook – “New Trial”

Yum Hye Ran – “I Can Speak”

Lee Jung Hyun – “The Battleship Island”

Jun Hye Jin – “The Merciless”


Best New Actor

Goo Kyo Hwan – “Jane”

Kim Joon Han – “Anarchist from Colony”

Nam Yeon Woo – “Lost to Shame”

Do Kyung Soo (EXO’s D.O.) – “My Annoying Brother”

Ryu Jun Yeol – “A Taxi Driver”


Best New Actress

Lee Min Ji – “Jane”

Lee Sang Hee – “Our Love Story”

Lee Soo Kyung – “Yongsoon”

YoonA – “Confidential Assignment”

Choi Hee Seo – “Anarchist from Colony”


Best New Director

Kang Yoon Sung – “The Outlaws”

Moon So Ri – “The Running Actress”

Lee Joo Young – “A Single Rider”

Lee Hyun Joo – “Our Love Story”

Jo Hyun Hoon – “Jane”


Best Screenplay

Eom You Na – “A Taxi Driver”

Lee Joo Young – “A Single Rider”

Jo Hyun Hoon – “Jane”

Hwang Dong Hyuk – “The Fortress”

Hwang Seong Gu – “Anarchist from Colony”


Best Cinematography and Lighting

“The Battleship Island”

“The Fortress”

“The King”

“The Merciless”

“The Villainess”


Best Film Editing

“Criminal Conspiracy”

“Confidential Assignment”

“The King”

“The Outlaws”

“The Merciless”


Best Music

“The Fortress”

“The King”

“The Merciless”

“A Single Rider”

“A Taxi Driver”


Best Art Direction

“The Battleship Island”

“The Fortress”

“The King”

“The Merciless”

“A Taxi Driver”


Best Technical Achievement

“The Battleship Island” – Visual Effects

“Anarchist from Colony” – Costumes

“The Outlaws” – Stunts

“The Villainess” – Stunts

“The Mimic” – Sound Effects


Source (1)

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Twitter: The Kapio News‏ @TheKapioNews

@uhkapiolani's International Education Week festivities today include an exhibition of Chinlone, the traditional sport of Myanmar; presentations and musical performances in Ohia Cafeteria; and a film screening of "A Single Rider," a Korean movie starring superstar Lee Byung-hun.





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December 23, 2017


[HanCinema Awards]

Best Actor in a Film for 2017 - Cast Your Vote! + Movie Giveaway


The leading men have been strong in 2017. Globetrotters and national favorites, this year has seen a variety of talent capable of helming films for years to come. Vote for your favorite leading man from December 23 to January 6. Results for all categories will be released beginning December 30.


Don't forget to enter to win a "The Tiger" Blu-ray. Two winners will be selected. (LINK)




Lee Byung-hun for "A Single Rider" - For anchoring the film in impressive and laconic fashion, as a man lost after he realizes that his whole life has left him behind

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March 3, 2018


Ahn So Hee Talks About The Scene She’s Proudest Of As An Actress + Working With Lee Byung Hun


Source: Soompi by S. Park




Actress and former Wonder Girls member Ahn So Hee talked about her on-set experiences on the March 3 broadcast of JTBC’s “Ask Us Anything.”



During the show’s signature introductory game, in which the cast members try to guess fun facts about the guest, Ahn So Hee asked the members to guess which scene she was proudest of as an actress. After many incorrect answers from the cast, Super Junior’s Kim Heechul finally guessed correctly, “Acting as a dead body.”


Ahn So Hee explained, “Most corpse scenes are filmed using dummies, but because we shot the film ‘Single Rider’ in Australia and there wasn’t a lot of time, I personally acted as the dead body.”


After briefly summarizing the film, she showed the cast a photo of her acting as a partially-buried corpse after an accident. Kang Ho Dong looked at the photo and exclaimed, “That’s not CGI?”




Ahn So Hee also shared what it was like to work with Lee Byung Hun. She reported that after monitoring her acting as a dead body, the star personally came over to her and advised her using his own acting experience. Ahn So Hee thanked Lee Byung Hun for his help and also described him as the “mood maker” on set.


“He was more talkative than I expected,” said the singer-turned-actress, describing him as different from what she had envisioned. “He says that his humor is so high-quality that we can’t understand it, but he really isn’t funny. There’s a generational gap in our sense of humor.”


Source (1) (2) (3)

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