Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  

[Movie 2017] The Fortress 남한산성 Namhansanseong

Recommended Posts

This thread have some mistakes on History, the Qing Dynasty at the time invasion of Korea was actually Manchus not Chinese. Ming Dynasty at the time was Chinese dynasty, Qing was formerly known as Later Jin Dynasty named after another former Jin Dynasty founded by Jurchen people. Jurchen people named their nation as Jin because that was former name of another Koreanic dynasty called Palhae (Bohai), Palhae's original name was Jin. Qing founding family was Jurchen warlord, they named their country as Jin and then during 2nd invasion of Korea by Manchus, they named their country as "Qing". All old records from Korea that wrote about this invasion mentioned Manchu invasion of Korea. Manchu invaded Korea twice, the first was unsuccessful but their second invasion succeeded but they have to quickly leave Korea after getting treaty signed by humiliating Korean king Injo, and then all the Korean military was drafted as mercenaries to conquer Ming Dynasty of China. This was disaster for Ming after, Manchus received plenty of military aids from Mongolia and Korea with even supplies of food & men power. If Korea was able to defend themselves against to Manchus at 2nd invasion, Ming Dynasty wouldn't have collapsed that easily.  

  • Thanks 1

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

October 17, 2017


SHIN Sang-ok’s North Korea-Produced SALT to Premiere in Asian World Film Festival
Period Siege Drama THE FORTRESS Selected as Centerpiece Screening


by Pierce Conran / KoBiz // Asian World Film Festival 2017




Classic Korean filmmaker SHIN Sang-ok’s North Korea-produced Salt (1985) will have its North American premiere on November 1st, during the 3rd edition of the Asian World Film Festival in Los Angeles. Meanwhile, director HWANG Dong-hyuk’s Joseon Era siege drama The Fortress has been selected as the festival’s Centerpiece screening. 


Renowned for his classic dramas in South Korea, such as The Flower In Hell (1958) and Mother And A Guest (1961), SHIN and his wife, star CHOI Eun-hee, were famously kidnapped by North Korean agents in 1978 during a trip to Hong Kong. They were brought to Pyongyang where they were forced by North Leader KIM Jong-il to make propagandist films.


Set in the 1930s, Salt features CHOI as the wife in a family that harbors a rich Korean-Chinese businessman. When her husband dies, she asks for the merchant’s help and eventually enters an illegal salt trade. She is later attacked by the Japanese but then saved by a communist group.


Salt was screened at the Moscow International Film Festival, where it earned the Best Actress Award for CHOI. Both SHIN and CHOI finally managed to escape their captivity while visiting Austria for a film festival in 1986. SHIN passed away in 2006.


The Fortress, which stars LEE Byung-hun, KIM Yun-seok and PARK Hae-il, recently topped the box office in Korea, where it was released during the Chuseok holiday period. Also screening in the Culver City-based festival will be RYOO Seung-wan’s The Battleship Island and JANG Hun’s A Taxi Driver.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

October 19, 2017


The Fortress makes for 'a thinking person's war movie'


Chris Knight: It’s difficult to know which side to root for in this 17th-century tale of clashing Asian nations


Source: National Post




War or peace? You can’t have it both ways, despite what Dostoyevsky wrote, but it’s difficult to know which side to root for in this 17th-century tale of clashing Asian nations. (And no fair Googling “events of 1636” to see how it all turned out.)


On the one hand, we have Injo (Hae-il Park), king of Josean (modern-day Korea), holed up in a mountain fortress under siege by the forces of the Qing Empire (China). On the other, General Ingguldai, leading the siege and awaiting the arrival of his own emperor.


Somewhere in the middle, possibly a traitor, maybe a patriot, certainly a pragmatist, is Choi (Korean superstar Byung-hun Lee). As a courtier, he has the ear of the king; as a messenger, valuable information about the invaders. But his travels between camps has many certain he’s a traitor, and calling for his head.


Peace would spare the lives of countless soldiers and citizens, already facing starvation as the winter siege continues. But war spells exciting computer-generated mayhem, even if director Dong-hyuk Hwang isn’t exactly known for that in previous light fare like Miss Granny.


Without giving too much away, there’s something for everyone here. Politicians plot and debate before the king; skirmishes take place in the shadow of the mountain redoubt; and Choi walks a thin line between violence and appeasement, occasionally stumbling to one side or the other. (In an early scene, he slays a boatman after the man says he’ll help the enemy cross his river.) At more than two and a quarter hours, the subtitled Fortress is a little long, but still succeeds as a thinking person’s war movie.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

October 19, 2017


Review Korean historical war drama 'The Fortress' portrays and requires fortitude

Noel Murray LA Times


Hwang Dong-hyuk’s South Korean historical epic “The Fortress,” a grim look back at the infamous 1636 siege of a mountain stronghold, is so evocative that by the end viewers may be as cold and hungry as the movie’s cast of courtiers.


Based on Kim Hoon’s novel “Namhansanseong,” “The Fortress” covers the crisis faced by the Joseon dynasty when its historical alliance with China’s Ming government was challenged by the emergence of the Manchu Qing. When the latter sent armies to force Korea’s King Injo into line, the royal family and its aides retreated to the chilly hills.


The king (played by Park Hae-il) soon realizes he’s effectively imprisoned his people in a fort that lacks the supplies to survive the winter. He turns to two trusted advisors: Choi Myung-kil (Lee Byung-hun), who believes they have an obligation to the citizenry to surrender, and Kim Sang-hun (Kim Yoon-seok), who wants to fight.


The battle scenes here are impressively large-scale, but too sparsely deployed. A good two-thirds of this movie consists of miserable-looking people quietly debating their terrible options, which can be exhausting.


Still, by fostering an intimate understanding of what these historical figures went through, Hwang has given purpose to a story about hopelessness. The situation in “The Fortress” comes to a sad end. But it’s just one chapter in our ongoing human story.


‘The Fortress’

In Korean with English subtitles.

Not rated

Running time: 2 hours, 19 minutes

Playing: CGV Koreatown, Los Angeles

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

October 20, 2017
Film Review: ‘The Fortress’
Hwang Dong-hyuk's glacially paced historical drama focuses on a 17th-century clash between Asian countries.


By Joe Leydon Variety.com


It would be unfair, but not altogether inaccurate, to say audiences will undergo an ordeal only slightly less punishing that the one suffered by the folks on screen as they watch Hwang Dong-Hyuk’s “The Fortress,” a vividly detailed but exceedingly ponderous historical epic about the 17th-century invasion of Korea by an army of China’s Qing Empire. As King Ingo of the Joseon Dynasty and his loyal subjects remain ensconced in a mountaintop fortress while besieged by Qing forces, a combination of freezing temperatures, starvation and rash miscalculations by prideful military leaders systematically increase the body count. By contrast, viewers only have to worry about being seriously brain-fogged, if not bored to death, as the often confusing narrative sluggishly progresses.
Top-billed South Korean superstar Lee Byung-hun (familiar to North American audiences for his appearances in the “Magnificent Seven” remake and the “G.I. Joe” film franchise) underplays to a fault as Choi Myung-gil, the taciturn minister of the interior who dearly wishes to avoid a war he fears King Ingo (Park Hae-il) is ill-prepared to wage. He advocates for a policy of appeasement, even though if necessitates turning over the king’s young son to the Qing invaders as a hostage.
But minister of rites Kim Sang-heon (Kim Yoon-seok) takes a far more bellicose stance. He insists that King Ingo pit his outnumbered forces against the invaders so as not to besmirch the national honor of Korea.


Right from the start, it’s clear Kim speaks for the majority of the king’s advisers, a rabid bunch of war-mongers who feel no sacrifice is too great when it comes to defending their country. That is, not too great just as long as they’re not the ones actually doing the sacrificing. At one point, the prime minister issues commands to redirect supplies intended for the freezing and underfed soldiers to feed horses that will be needed for cavalry charges. When the horses wind up being slaughtered so the troops can be fed, the incensed minister very nearly executes a jeering soldier to maintain “military discipline.”
Every so often, though not nearly often enough, writer-director Hwang Dong-Hyuk (working from a novel by Kim Hoon) livens up “The Fortress” with graphically violent and impressively well-choreographed battle scenes. And he manages to generate some mild suspense by suggesting there may eventually be some sort of karmic payback after an elderly boatman is murdered to keep him from transporting Qing forces. (The unfortunate victim is survived by a cute granddaughter who makes her way into the mountain fortress.)
For the most part, however, “The Fortress” is a soporific grind that drearily alternates between scenes depicting screaming arguments among the king’s advisers (anger-fueled episodes that usually end with toadying lackeys reciting rote compliments like “Your majesty’s grace is immeasurable!”) and other scenes showing how miserable soldiers and civilians alike can be as they withstand dead-of-winter conditions without adequate clothing and food. “The Fortress” clocks in at 139 minutes, but feels much, much longer.

Film Review: 'The Fortress'
Reviewed online, Houston, Oct. 19, 2018. Running time: 139 MIN. (Original title: "Namhan Sanseong")
PRODUCTION: (S. Korea) A CJ Entertainment release and presentation of a Siren Pictures production, in association with Invent Stone. Producer: Kim Ji-Yeon. Executive producer: Jeong Tae-Sung. Director, screenplay: Hwang Dong-hyuk, based on the novel “Namhan Fortress” by Kim Hoon. Camera (widescreen): Kim Ji-Yong. Editor: Nam Na-Young. Music: Ryuichi Sakamoto.
WITH: Lee Byung-hun, Kim Yoon-seok, Park Hae-il, Go Soo.


Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

October 18, 2017


Match between Novel and Film
From Memoir of a Murderer to Golden Slumber


by HWANG Hee-yun / KoBiz




It is common to make best-selling novels into films. It is obvious that film industry with the lack of new stories cinematizes best-selling novels. However, novel-based movies can’t avoid some kind of evaluation. Because novel-based film’s release must lead to arguments that the movie is better or worse than the original story. 


Recently, popular novels are made into movies: KIM Young-ha’s A Murderer’s Guide to Memorization and KIM Hoon’s Namhan Sanseong. The film versions focused more on reproducing the original stories rather than just borrowing motives. These efforts are assumed to achieve the good results. Crime thriller MEMOIR OF A MURDERER attracted 2.6 million moviegoers thanks to SUL Kyung-gu’s performance while historical drama The Fortress which was released during the Chuseok holiday is recording 3.6 million moviegoers. 


The films’ releases have raised people’s interest in the original novels. A Murderer’s Guide to Memorization was printed additional 145,000 copies and Namhan Sanseong has been sold 264% more from a month ago. Interest in the original story is skyrocketing as there were 130,000 copies of A Murderer’s Guide to Memorization by May, 2017 since it was published in July 2013.  


Novel-based films are likely to continue to be shown although they are not decided to be release. 


The most appealing movies among them are Night of 7 Years based on the novel by JUNG Yoo-jung and Golden Slumber, the Korean adaptation of the Japanese novel by ISAKA Kotaro. Will these two write their own history over the original novels? Interesting matches are expected.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Published on October 19, 2017 by K STAR 생방송 스타뉴스


Lee Byung Hun-Cho Woo Jin's 'Nemesis' destiny?



Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

October 17, 2017


THE OUTLAWS Stays Tough in 1st Place


by Pierce Conran / KoBiz

Last week’s top two Chuseok titles switched places but held all newcomers at bay in a solid post-holiday weekend that welcomed 1.91 million viewers. Local titles were once again far ahead with a 78% market share and should remain strong throughout the fall season.


Ascending to first place on the back of stellar word of mouth was KANG Yoon-sung’s crime debut THE OUTLAWS with Don LEE (aka MA Dong-seok) in the lead. The film slid just 16% for a powerful 952,000 spectator (USD 7.21 million) frame, strengthening its total to a stellar 3.67 million admissions (USD 27.02 million). If it continues like this, the unlikely hit may cross Kingsman: The Golden Circle to become this year’s biggest Chuseok holiday hit.




After a strong start, the well-reviewed but sober period film The Fortress couldn’t rally any more viewers as it crashed 85%. Though it only recorded 205,000 viewers (USD 1.47 million) in its second weekend, the film, which stars LEE Byung-hun, KIM Yun-seok, PARK Hae-il and KO Soo, has already banked a respectable 3.62 million entries (USD 26.19 million).


Showbox’s supernatural thriller RV: Resurrected Victims, the latest from director KWAK Kyung-taek, had a tepid debut in third with just 190,000 tickets (USD 1.37 million) sold over the weekend and 242,000 viewers (USD 1.71 million) over its first four days.


Even less impressive was the debut of Denis Villeneuve’s critically-acclaimed Blade Runner 2049, which fizzled with a 158,000 entry (USD 1.25 million) debut and 224,000 spectators (USD 1.75 million) since Thursday.


In its third week, Kingsman: The Golden Circle closed out the top five after slowing 78% with 152,000 admissions (USD 1.16 million). The sequel has now filled an impressive 4.81 million seats (USD 35.39 million) to date.


Local period drama Man of Will is next on deck as it will try to take away the box office crown from THE OUTLAWS this coming weekend.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

October 23, 2017


Lee Byung Hun interview: Korean actor on his role in The Fortress, whitewashing and navigating Hollywood

Exclusive: 'My spectrum as a Hollywood actor grew, and in 'G.I Joe: Retaliation' I was given more screen time and more to say'


Narjas Zatat @NtheodoraK The Independent UK


Lee Byung Hun LEAFF, supplied


Korean actor Lee Byung Hun looks immaculate in a dark suit as he sits comfortably across the sofa from me. “I just arrived last night,” he says, but you wouldn’t be able to tell this from his lively demeanour. The Korean actor was invited by the London East Asia Film Festival (LEAFF) to attend the international screening of his new epic period drama, The Fortress, at the Odeon Leicester Square. 


The Korean actor is unique amongst his peers: he has his feet planted firmly between Hollywood and the Korean film industry; as an Asian actor he has broken through the glass ceiling and played a number of key roles in American films: Han in Red II, Storm Shadow in both G.I Joe films and the coveted role of the T-1000 Terminator in Genisys.


“It was a wonderful opportunity,” he tells me of the roles he was offered in American cinema. “My spectrum as a Hollywood actor grew, and in G.I Joe: Retaliation for example, I was given more screen time and more to say. I thought ‘the studios are testing me’.” 

“Korean film sets are different from those in America” he adds, “the crew in Korea is more ready for last minute spontaneous changes from the director. In that way the director has more power.


“In America, if the director wants to make any changes, he has to keep the needs of the studio and the needs of the sponsors in mind.” 


Lee admits however, that the way films are created in Korea is changing to better reflect the American model, which he doesn’t believe is a bad thing. “Crew members will sometimes work 12 hour shifts [in Korea].” He believes that changing to the American system will support those working behind the scenes of a film. 


Lee byung Hun (LEAFF, supplied)


The topic of ‘whitewashing’ has recently come to dominate discussions about Hollywood cinema: The live action adaptation of Ghost in the Shell came under fire for its casting of Scarlet Johansson in a role traditionally believed to be Asian and, commenting on that, Lee was adamant that “whitewashing is a no.” The lack of diversity in Hollywood however, “isn’t just an Asian problem”, and in fact impacts all ethnicities, including “African American actors.” 


“The conversation is happening now, which is better than when people didn’t realise it was a problem”. 


“We are in the transitional stage,” he adds. 


Lee’s quietly intense affectation is precisely why director Hwang Dong Hyuk cast him in the role of one of the ministers in The Fortress. In the film his character argues for surrendering to the Qing dynasty’s forces in Korea’s most infamous siege in history, which led to their surrender and Chinese rule for many years to come. 


He said: “[Lee Byung Hun] is consistent and calm, and I needed somebody who could add subtle changes to the character. [In the film] his face is covered a lot, and I needed an actor whose eyes can convey the character’s feelings. Lee was that actor.” 


The film features King Injo, a notorious king in Korean history who the director says has often been compared to Park Geun Hye, the recently impeached former president of South Korea. 


“She is kind of like Injo. Incompetent. Helpless. What’s happening in Korea now is the same,” he says, “This is a reflection of reality. Now it’s the country names that have changed.” 


Some film critics have suggested that the film is in fact about nationalism. Lee disagrees. “If you ask anyone who worked on the film, none would have said that it is about nationalism. It’s about what is happening in Korea now.” 


LEAFF was founded by Festival Director Hyejung Jeon. The festival runs until 29 October and you can see a list of the films which will be screened in London, on the website. 

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

  • Create New...