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[Movie 2017] A Taxi Driver 택시 운전사

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Source: Pierce Conran‏ @pierceconran  taxi1.gif

August 3, 2017

'A Taxi Driver' dethrones 'The Battleship Island' on opening day

SEOUL, Aug. 3 (Yonhap) -- "A Taxi Driver" on the 1980 pro-democracy uprising in Gwangju dethroned fellow Korean historical blockbuster "The Battleship Island" at the box office on its opening day, data showed Thursday.

The period drama starring Song Kang-ho and German actor Thomas Kretschmann conquered the previous one-week leader, selling a total of 697,858 tickets on Wednesday, according to the computerized box office tally from the Korean Film Council. "A Taxi Driver" was screened 7,068 times on 1,446 screens across the country.

Directed by Jang Hoon, the movie tells the story of a Seoul taxi driver named Man-seop who happens to take German reporter Jurgen Hinzpeter to Gwangju, some 330 kilometers south of Seoul, for a big money offer and witnesses the horrors of the bloody military crackdown on the May 18 uprising.

"The Battleship Island" attracted 248,021 moviegoers on its eight day of run, bringing the accumulated number of views to 5.18 million. It was available on 1,108 screens, down from 2,027 on its first day.

Based on the history of Japan's Hashima Island, better known as Battleship Island after its resemblance to a warship, during World War II, the film tells the story of hundreds of Korean forced laborers who risk their lives to escape.

The animated Hollywood film "Despicable Me 3" took third place, adding 190,001 viewers to its domestic total of 1.92 million.

sshim@yna.co.kr

Source: Jason Bechervaise‏ @Jasebechervaise taxi1.gif

August 3, 2017

'A Taxi Driver' tops 1 million in attendance on 2nd day

SEOUL, Aug. 3 (Yonhap) -- A Korean film about the 1980 pro-democracy uprising in Gwangju surpassed 1 million in admissions on its second day of run, data showed Thursday.

"A Taxi Driver" hit the milestone at about 11:45 a.m., according to the computerized box office tally from the Korean Film Council (KOFIC).

The pace is the same as "Roaring Currents," the most-viewed film ever in South Korea and "The Battleship Island" which recently topped the 5-million mark.

As of 12:50 p.m., "A Taxi Driver" takes up 52.1 percent of all tickets reserved for the day with "The Battleship Island" in a distant second with 15.6 percent.

The period drama starring Song Kang-ho and German actor Thomas Kretschmann tells the story of a Seoul taxi driver named Man-seop who happens to take German reporter Jurgen Hinzpeter to Gwangju, some 330 kilometers south of Seoul, for a big money offer and witnesses the horrors of the bloody military crackdown on the May 18 uprising.

This image released by Showbox is a scene from "A Taxi Driver." (Yonhap)

This image released by Showbox is a scene from "A Taxi Driver." (Yonhap)

sshim@yna.co.kr

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Source: Pierce Conran‏ @pierceconran user posted image

August 4, 2017 

Song Kang-ho named best actor at film festival

Source: INSIDE Korea JoongAngDaily

Veteran actor Song Kang-ho was named Best Actor at Montreal’s Fantasia Film Festival for his role in “A Taxi Driver” on Wednesday, local time.

The period film also closed this year’s 21st edition of the genre-oriented festival - the first time a Korean movie was given the honor. 

The film’s director Jang Hun accepted the award on Song’s behalf. 

The actor was lauded for his role as a cab driver in the film, set during the Gwangju uprising, a civil revolt against Korea’s military government that took place in May 1980. 

The movie, based on the true story of an ambitious German reporter Jurgen Hinzpeter, revolves around the journey of the driver and the reporter to Gwangju, in the southwestern part of the country. Hinzpeter played a crucial role in reporting on the Gwangju protests and the subsequent massacre that ensued.

The film, co-starring actors Yoo Hai-jin and Ryu Jun-yeol, hit local theaters Wednesday, and swept the box office, selling nearly 700,000 tickets on its opening day. 

The movie is slated to be released later this month in North America, Australia and New Zealand. 

Song, well-known for his appearances in award-winning movies like “Snowpiercer” (2013), “The Host” (2006) and “Memories of Murder” (2003), previously nabbed the Best Actor award at the festival a decade ago for his role in “The Show Must Go On” (2007).

In addition to “A Taxi Driver,” sports drama “Split,” directed by Choi Kook-hee, received the New Flesh Award for Best First Feature, which is awarded to a first-time director of a full-length film.

BY JIN MIN-JI [jin.minji@joongang.co.kr]

Song Kang-ho of ‘Taxi Driver’ wins best actor award at Fantasia Film Fest 

Song Kang-ho won the best actor award for his work in “A Taxi Driver” at Montreal’s Fantasia International Film Festival, said the film’s distributor Showbox. 

Showbox announced Thursday that Jang Hoon, the director of the movie, attended the closing ceremony of the festival Wednesday to accept the award on behalf of Song. The award marks Song’s second best actor prize at the festival. He won the best actor award in 2007 for his role in “The Show Must Go On.” 

“A Taxi Driver,” a 137-minute film starring Ryu Jun-yeol and Yoo Hae-jin, was the first Korean film to be selected to close the festival as well as to be invited to its competition section. 

The film centers on the 1980 pro-democracy uprising in Gwangju. Song plays a Seoul taxi driver named Man-seop, who happens to take German reporter Jurgen Hinzpeter to Gwangju and witnesses the horrors of the military crackdown during the May 18 uprising.

“A Taxi Driver,” which opened in Korea on Wednesday, will hit theaters in North America on Aug. 11. 

By Hong Dam-young (lotus@heraldcorp.com

Song Kang-ho Wins Best Actor at Fantasia Film Fest taxi2.gif

Source: The ChosunIlbo

Song Kang-ho won best actor at Montreal's Fantasia International Film Festival for "A Taxi Driver" on Thursday.

It was his second win after "The Show Must Go on" 10 years ago.

"A Taxi Driver" looks at the horrors of the military crackdown on the Gwangju democratic uprising in May 1980.

Song plays a taxi driver who takes a German journalist to the center of the protests, unaware of the impending danger.

The film passed the 1 million viewer mark on Thursday, the second day of its run.

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August 4, 2017

'A Taxi Driver' audience tops 2 million by third day

SEOUL, Aug. 4 (Yonhap) -- "A Taxi Driver," a new South Korean film about the 1980 pro-democracy uprising in Gwangju, has sold more than 2 million tickets by the third day of its release, data showed Friday.

The film hit the 2-million mark on Friday afternoon, doubling its combined audience size from 1 million on Thursday in just a single day, according to the computerized box office tally from the Korean Film Council.

The pace is on par with "Roaring Currents," the most-viewed film ever in South Korea, and this year's Korean blockbuster "The Battleship Island," which recently topped the 5-million mark.

"A Taxi Driver" accounted for 48.4 percent of tickets sold on Friday.

The movie, starring Song Kang-ho and German actor Thomas Kretschmann, tells the story of a Seoul taxi driver named Man-seop who takes German reporter Jurgen Hinzpeter to Gwangju, some 330 kilometers south of Seoul, for a big money offer and witnesses the horrors of the bloody military crackdown on the May 18 uprising.

Directed by Jang Hun, the film was written based on the true story told by Hinzpeter, who covered the tragedy of the Gwangju Democratization Movement of May 1980 and revealed the truth to the world as the military regime tried to conceal the bloody crackdown.

odissy@yna.co.kr

Source: KoBiz // HanCinema.net

b-o-1.jpg

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Source: Pierce Conran‏ @pierceconran

August 5, 2017

'A Taxi Driver' audience tops 3 million by 4th day taxi1.gif

SEOUL, Aug. 5 (Yonhap) -- "A Taxi Driver," a South Korean film about the 1980 pro-democracy uprising in the southern city of Gwangju, has sold more than 3 million tickets by the fourth day of its release, data showed Saturday.

The film hit the 3-million mark on Saturday afternoon, according to the computerized box office tally from the Korean Film Council. The pace is on par with "Roaring Currents," the most-viewed film ever in South Korea that gathered 17.6 million.

The movie, starring Song Kang-ho and German actor Thomas Kretschmann, tells the story of a Seoul taxi driver named Man-seop who takes German reporter Jurgen Hinzpeter to Gwangju, some 330 kilometers south of Seoul, for a big money offer, and witnesses the horrors of the bloody military crackdown on the May 18 uprising.

Directed by Jang Hun, the film was written based on the true story told by Hinzpeter, who covered the tragedy of the Gwangju Democratization Movement of May 1980 and revealed the truth to the world as the military regime tried to conceal the bloody crackdown.

AEN20170805002800320_01_i.jpg

colin@yna.co.kr

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August 5, 2017

[Guest Film Review]

"A Taxi Driver" screening at Fantasia International Film Festival

Source: HanCinema.net

The Gwangju Uprising has been a recurring theme in S. Korean cinema, with "A Petal", "National Security", and "May 18" being among the most renowned samples. Jang Hoon, who gave us the masterful "Rough Cut" in 2008, takes a shot at the theme, through a script based on the true story of a taxi driver and his passenger, a German reporter.

The aforementioned driver is Man-seop, a widower living with his 11-year-old daughter, trying to make ends meet, although he rarely succeeds, being in debt, and having very little money. His only friend seems to be his landlord, although he owes him rent money also. In an instance where the two of them are eating in a restaurant filled with taxi drivers, he overhears one saying that he has a drive to Gwangju scheduled, that pays 100.000 Won. Not having any clue about the riots in the area, and the fact that the army has forbid entrance to the city, he highjacks the ride, and ends up carrying Peter, a German reporter, who wants to cover the events.

Man-seop knows some English from the time he spent in Saudi Arabia, but his communication with his passenger becomes tense from the beginning, and even more when the two of them have to use back roads and lies to reach Gwangju. Once there, Man-seop witness the truth about his passenger, while his avariciousness soon gets him into trouble with the local taxi drivers, who have allied themselves with the university students against the government and the army. Man-seop, who was totally misinformed about the actual situation, witnesses the atrocities of the army, in a series of life-changing experiences that even threaten his life. During the events, passenger and driver meet Hwang Tae-sool, a kind of a leader of the taxi drivers of the area, and Jae-sik, a university student who acts as translator for Peter. The four of them form a group with a mission of getting the footage to Japan, in order to show to the world what is happening in the area.   

Jang Hoon takes a new approach to the subject, through a story that is split in two parts. The first one takes place in Seoul, and has a rather comedic style, as we witness the "adventures" of a poor devil trying to make ends meet, a style in which Song Kang-ho thrives. Some dramatic sequences are still present, through his relationship with his daughter, but are minor. The second part takes place after their arrival in Gwangju, with the film transforming into a rather pointy drama, which occasionally functions as an agonizing action thriller. The simply entertaining moments are not missing from here also, as in the scene in Tae-sool's house, but the drama is the one that dominates this part.

Through this tactic, which builds the tension slowly, Jang Hoon succeeds in making the impact of the horrid events even more intense, with the scenes during the end achieving exactly that and much more. This transformation of genres is personified in Man-seop, who changes by witnessing the events, as much as the film does. In that fashion, Song Kang-ho gives a wonderful performance in a very difficult role that has him changing radically, both in behaviour and in style. Yoo Hae-jin as Hwang Tae-sool delivers his usual performance that borders on the comic but remains serious. Ryu Jun-yeol as Jae-sik exemplifies his character's somewhat naivety, but also his courage and determination. Eom Tae-goo is once more great in the role of the main villain. The surprise, though, comes from Thomas Kretschmann, an awarded German actor, who provides one of the best performances by a foreigner ever witnessed in a Korean film as Peter.

Another focal point in the film, apart from the harsh critique towards the army and the government, is the critique of the press, whose role in the opinion of the public at the time was as significant as it was misinforming. The fact that the only hope for a sincere depiction of the events comes from a foreign reporter stresses this comment even more.

The film is a blockbuster and in that fashion, some scenes aiming straight to draw audience are not missing, with the one with the car chase, and some rather melodramatic ones. The latter however, seems to fit the context perfectly in this, rather dramatic, case.

Technically, the movie is rather impressive, with the depiction of the era being quite accurate, as depicted in the clothes, the cars, the music, and the houses. The cinematography is at the same level, with a number of elaborate shots and beautiful images, while the scenes of the mayhem and the subsequent hunt, which are coated in intense red colors, are ominous as they are beautiful, capturing the essence of the scenes fully. The same sequence, along with the action ones, is where the editing thrives, in another great aspect of the production.

"A Taxi Driver" is a truly great film that manages to combine entertainment and meaningfulness, in a visually impressive package, under the elaborate direction of Jang Hoon and a great performance by Song Kang-ho.

"A Taxi Driver" had its international premiere and closed the Fantasia International Film Festival

Review by Panos Kotzathanasis

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August 7, 2017

'A Taxi Driver' races to top weekend box office taxi1.gif

By Shim Sun-ah

SEOUL, Aug. 7 (Yonhap) -- "A Taxi Driver" about the 1980 Gwangju pro-democracy uprising dethroned the historical blockbuster "The Battleship Island" at the local box office on its debut weekend, data showed Monday.

The film starring Song Kang-ho and German actor Thomas Kretschmann beat the previous one-week leader, selling a stunning 2.9 million tickets over the Aug. 4-6 weekend, according to figures from the Korean Film Council.

Released on Wednesday, it has amassed 4.36 million attendees around the country through Sunday.

Directed by Jang Hoon, the movie tells the story of a Seoul taxi driver named Man-seop, who happens to take German reporter Jurgen Hinzpeter to Gwangju, some 330 kilometers south of Seoul, for a big money offer and witnesses the horrors of the bloody military crackdown on the May 18 uprising.

"The Battleship Island" came in second with 692,301 admissions. It surpassed 6 million in total attendance Sunday, the 12th day of its run.

Based on the history of Japan's Hashima Island, better known as Battleship Island after its resemblance to a warship, during World War II, the film tells the story of hundreds of Korean forced laborers who risk their lives to escape.

The third and fourth places went to animated films, "Despicable Me 3" and "Detective Conan: Crimson Love Letter," due to the genre's popularity among students on their summer vacation. They sold 535,494 and 160,735 tickets, respectively.

Rounding out the top five was "Dunkirk," Christopher Nolan's World War II film, which added 150,454 to its domestic total of 2.593 million.

sshim@yna.co.kr

Source: Pierce Conran‏ @pierceconran  

Source: Jason Bechervaise‏ @Jasebechervaise

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August 7, 2017

German journalist heralded horrors of Gwangju Uprising

Source: The Dong-A Ilbo

German journalist heralded horrors of Gwangju Uprising
German journalist heralded horrors of Gwangju Uprising

It was belatedly made public that the last e-mail sent from the late German journalist Jürgen Hinzpeter was about the restoration of the clock tower in front of the South Jeolla Provincial Office. Hinzpeter was the first foreign correspondent who heralded the May massacre in 1980, and was the real character in the recent film "Taxi Driver."

On Sunday, Gwangju City officials released the last e-mail sent by Hinzpeter on Jan. 12, 2015 which mentioned his strong hopes of "restoring the clock tower in front of the former South Jeolla Provincial Office," where around 30 people were shot to death by martial law army on the night of May 21, 1980. Indeed, the "blue-eyed witness" Hinzpeter was concerned about another witness, the "clock tower."

When active as a correspondent for the German public TV ARD-NDR in Japan, Hinzpeter filmed the uprising in Gwangju twice. The clips that depicted the horrors of military suppression in Gwangju were first known to the world thanks to his clip, which was aired by ARD-NDR on May 22, 1980.

Hinzpeter died in January last year. Upon Hinzpeter's several requests, the May 18 Memorial Foundation searched for taxi driver Kim Sa-bok who drove the German journalist from Seoul to Gwangju on May 18, but announced his whereabouts were still unknown. "If Mr. Kim is alive, we would like to ask him to step forward and testify the massacre in his own words," said Kim Yang-rae, executive director of the foundation.

Hyeong-Ju Lee peneye09@donga.com

August 7, 2017

Democratic Uprising Film Sweeps Box Office Over the Weekend

Source: The ChosunIlbo

"A Taxi Driver" is fast turning into the summer's second major hit after "The Battleship Island," attracting over 3 million viewers in its first four days on the screens.

It broke the 1 million mark on the second day of its release and the 2 million mark on the third.

Much of its success is due to word of mouth, though it remains to be seen if it can break the 10 million barrier.

Starring Song Kang-ho, Thomas Kretschmann and Yoo Hae-jin, the film tells the story of a taxi driver who takes a German journalist to Gwangju during the democratic uprising in May 1980, unaware of the impending danger.

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August 8, 2017

‘A Taxi Driver’ races its way to top of the box office

Source: INSIDE Korea JoongAng Daily

07212051.jpg
“A Taxi Driver,” set during the Gwangju uprising in May 1980 took the top spot from “The Battleship Island” and won Korea’s weekend box office. [SHOWBOX]

“A Taxi Driver” outran “The Battleship Island” in Korea’s weekend box office to become the country’s latest summer blockbuster.

Starring Song Kang-ho and German actor Thomas Kretschmann, “A Taxi Driver” dominated the local box office from Friday to Sunday, selling an impressive 2.95 million tickets at 1,906 screens in its debut weekend, accounting for 63.7 percent of the weekend’s entire ticket sales. 

Set during the Gwangju uprising in May 1980, the film revolves around the journey of a taxi driver (Song) and an ambitious German reporter (Kretschmann) who head to Gwangju, in the southwestern part of the country, to cover the Gwangju protests and the subsequent massacre that ensued. The movie, distributed by Showbox, has so far sold 4.36 million tickets since it hit theaters on Aug 2. 

Song was named Best Actor last week at Montreal’s Fantasia International Film Festival for his role in the film. 

CJ E&M’s controversial blockbuster “The Battleship Island” came in a distant second in its second weekend, a relatively shabby performance compared to last weekend’s 2.51 million. The film, about Korean forced laborers on Japan’s Hashima Island during World War II, has been mired in controversy for a number of reasons, ranging from its approach to the sensitive historical issue to its domination of theatrical screens. 

The historical fiction, about Korean forced laborers on Japan’s Hashima Island during World War II, sold 692,000 tickets at 1,017 screens in its second weekend, accounting for 15.1 percent of the entire ticket sales. The movie, starring big names like Hwang Jung-min, So Ji-sub and Song Joong-ki, has so far sold 6.08 million tickets since it was unveiled in theaters on July 26. 

The third installment of the “Despicable Me” series came in at third in its second weekend with 535,000 tickets sold, while Christopher Nolan’s World War II drama “Dunkirk” dropped two spots in its third weekend with 150,000 tickets sold and came in at fifth over the weekend.

BY JIN MIN-JI [jin.minji@joongang.co.kr]

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August 8, 2017

 'A Taxi Driver' tops 5 million on 7th day

(ATTN: ADDS the film's setting up of a record in 2-3 paras, photo, Hinzpeter's wife visiting Seoul in last four paras)

SEOUL, Aug. 8 (Yonhap) -- A Korean film about the 1980 Gwangju pro-democracy uprising surpassed 5 million in attendance Tuesday, the 7th day of its run, the film's distributor said.

"A Taxi Driver" hit the threshold at 8:30 a.m., becoming the fastest film to reach the milestone this year, according to Showbox. The pace is one day faster than eight days for "The Battleship Island."

The film accounted for 35.8 percent of tickets sold on Monday, considered a high rate for a weekday, and 42 percent of tickets reserved for Tuesday.

In this photo released by Showbox, three members of the main cast of "A Taxi Driver" -- Yoo Hae-jin, Song Kang-ho and Choi Gui-hwa (L to R) -- pose for the camera in celebration of the film attracting over 5 million viewers. (Yonhap)

In this photo released by Showbox, three members of the main cast of "A Taxi Driver" -- Yoo Hae-jin, Song Kang-ho and Choi Gui-hwa (L to R) -- pose for the camera in celebration of the film attracting over 5 million viewers. (Yonhap)

Released last Wednesday, the movie starring Song Kang-ho and German actor Thomas Kretschmann has since topped the box office for the past six straight days.

The period drama directed by Jang Hoon tells the story of a Seoul taxi driver named Man-seop, who happens to take German reporter Jurgen Hinzpeter to Gwangju, some 330 kilometers south of Seoul, for a big money offer and witnesses the horrors of the bloody military crackdown on the uprising.

On May 18, 1980, citizens of Gwangju rose up against the then military rule of former general-turned-President Chun Doo-hwan. The revolt was brought to an end by the bloody government-led crackdown, which left hundreds of people dead and missing.

Meanwhile, Edeltraut Brahmstaedt, wife of late German journalist Jurgen Hinzpeter whose real-life story the film is based on, was to visit South Korea on Tuesday.

Hinzpeter risked his life to spread the grim images of the bloody military crackdown around the world as an Asian correspondent for the German public broadcasting company ARD-NDR.

During the visit, Brahmstaedt is scheduled to watch the film and hold interviews with the Korean press.

She last visited South Korea in May last year to attend the unveiling ceremony for a monument honoring her husband in Gwangju.

This file photo shows Edeltraut Brahmstaedt, wife of late German journalist Jurgen Hinzpeter whose real-life story "A Taxi Driver" is based on. (Yonhap)

This file photo shows Edeltraut Brahmstaedt, wife of late German journalist Jurgen Hinzpeter whose real-life story "A Taxi Driver" is based on. (Yonhap)

sshim@yna.co.kr

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August 7, 2017

"The Battleship Island" VS "A Taxi Driver"

Source: ISplus via HanCinema.net

photo875343.jpg
It is a clean cut. How much courtesy has been put into the movie, how truthful historical facts have been drawn and how clear is the viewpoint of the generation? Finally, 'authenticity' wins.

The fates of the directors of "The Battleship Island" and "A Taxi Driver" are staggering.

"The Battleship Island", which started its box office race with a dare in the forefront of the high season summer market, entered the road of self-destruction within a week. As a latecomer, "A Taxi Driver" is going to fill all the gaps. "A Taxi Driver" met the expectation of 120%, but the "The Battleship Island" became the protagonist beyond contradiction and reversal.

By the 5th, "The Battleship Island" accumulated 5.8 million people and "A Taxi Driver" succeeded with 4 million people by the 6th. The number of spectators per day created a huge gap. "A Taxi Driver" mobilized more than a million people while the "The Battleship Island" ended with 200,000 people. People expected strong competition between the two movies but it turns out "A Taxi Driver" has the lead.

In terms of box office rankings, as well as advance rates and seat occupancy, "A Taxi Driver" dominates in all aspects. In the meantime, "The Battleship Island" fund, which was invested 23 billion won in production costs, has to hit the break-even point of 700 ~ 8 million people, but popularity failed with a surge of 6 million. The primary target was lowered to the break-even point, not exceeding 10 million.

photo875342.jpg

"A Taxi Driver" had a seat occupancy rate of 71.1% on the 5th and maintains a 60% advance rate on the 6th. It is overwhelmingly unmatched. It has been racing to win the race by drawing in the spectators who are disappointed in the "The Battleship Island". If the main power continues, then "The Admiral's Path" just may be outnumbered.

What they have in common is that they have dealt with sensitive and sensitive historical truths that cannot be talked about in contemporary history, though the times are different. Through the medium of film, we have the same purpose and meaning to tell the truth to the whole world.

The atmosphere surrounding the "The Battleship Island" and "A Taxi Driver" will be a good example of how to deal with historical material, what kind of courtesy should be kept and how important it is to communicate with the audience. "The Battleship Island" turned the audience into anti-fans and "A Taxi Driver" has made them all fans.

As soon as it was opened, "The Battleship Island" was caught up in irritating controversies such as history distortion and colonialism. Ryoo Seung-wan's explanation was rather poison rather than persuasion. Whatever the intention is, if the audience cannot accept it, it is a failure to deliver. Even if the "The Battleship Island" succeeds, the team should figure out why they have won only half the support.

The taxi driver who enjoyed the rebound did not have anything to enhance the movie fun, but it focused on the truth based on tension. It was also a strong point that there was no exaggeration and difficulty. If the 'taxi driver' succeeded in breaking the 10 million mark, it would be in the top three along with "The Attorney" and "The Admiral's Path".

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August 7, 2017

Netizens Go Crazy Over Photos Of Song Kang Ho’s Very Attractive Son

Source: Soompi by G. Lee    

song-kang-ho-song-joon-pyung.jpg

Recently, the internet got a hold of photos of actor Song Kang Ho’s son, Song Joon Pyung, and people can’t get over how attractive he is!

Song-Joon-Pyung-3.jpg

Many have pointed out that Song Joon Pyung looks exactly like his father during his younger days, and he is getting popular not just because of his famous father, but also for being a handsome athlete.

Spoiler

Song-Joon-Pyung-5.jpg

Song Joon Pyung is a soccer player who plays defense for the Suwon Samsung Blue Wings, a professional Korean team. According to sources, Song Joon Pyung taught his father how to dribble a ball for a scene in his new movie, “A Taxi Driver.”

Song-Joon-Pyung-4.jpg

Furthermore, many have taken notice of how Song Joon Pyung is so supportive of his father and helps advertise his father’s movies through his personal Instagram account.

song-joon-pyung-yoo-hae-jin.jpg

song-joon-pyung-ryu-jun-yeol.jpg

He even shared the pictures that he took with the cast of the movie, including Yoo Hae Jin and Ryu Jun Yeol. People left comments such as, “It’s nice to see that he is so close with his father,” and, “He’s so cool.”

Source (1)

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August 8, 2017

A TAXI DRIVER Fills Up 3rd Best Korean Opening of All Time
SONG Kang-ho Aims for 3rd 10 Million Hit

by Pierce Conran / KoBiz

UWIkuCIbCHaLaeEZVFdP.png

August kicked off with the biggest weekend of the year at the Korean box office this year, with new local offering A Taxi Driver entering the record books on top of several major holdovers. Korean films made up 79% of the 4.62 million tickets sold.

JANG Hun’s period Gwangju drama A Taxi Driver, starring SONG Kang-ho and Thomas Kretschmann, debuted to a formidable 2.93 million viewers (USD 21.39 million) over the weekend, which was the third best start (in terms of admissions) of all time, behind Roaring Currents (2014) and last year’s TRAIN TO BUSAN. Over its first five days, the film has brought in 4.36 million spectators (USD 30.71 million).

Strong word of mouth indicates that the film is a virtual certainty to become the 15th Korean film to enter the ten million viewer club (19th overall). That would make it the third club entry for SONG, who previously reached the mark with The Attorney (2013 - 11.37 million) and The Host (2006 - 13.02 million). The only other leading actor to achieve that distinction is HWANG Jung-min.

Slowing 73% in its second outing on the charts was RYOO Seung-wan’s mega-budget The Battleship Island. With another 692,000 tickets sold (USD 5.07 million), the film has now accumulated 6.08 million entries (USD 41.39 million), a large total, but disappointing given the film’s reported USD 22.5 million price tag. Following a record-breaking start, a lukewarm reception, combined with concerns of screen monopoly, sapped interest in the title.

Down just 37% in its third weekend was Despicable Me 3, which filled another 535,000 seats (USD 3.68 million) for a strong 2.62 million spectator (USD 16.97 million) total. Japan’s Detective Conan: Crimson Love Letter came in at fourth in its debut with 161,000 viewers (USD 1.09 million) over the frame and 312,000 (USD 2.01 million) since its Wednesday opening.

In fifth place was Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk, which fell 59% in its third weekend for another 150,000 entries (USD 1.33 million), giving the World War II film 2.59 million spectators (USD 19.94 million). That total is the third best international total for the film, behind the US and UK.

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August 11, 2017

SONG Kang-ho Picks Up Cheval Noir Best Actor Award
5 Korean Films Receive Awards at 21st Fantasia Film Festival

by Pierce Conran / KoBiz

hzOYKHprlYwDyhIRUGXx.png

It was another big year for Korean films at the Fantasia International Film Festival, with no less than five awards spread among the 14 Korean features and shorts invited to the Montreal-based fest. Top among them was A Taxi Driver, which earned the Cheval Noir Best Actor award for its star SONG Kang-ho.

The fourth feature from JANG Hun, A Taxi Driver was invited to close the festival on the same day that it started its sensational box office run back in Korea, where it has so far accrued 5.8 million viewers (USD 39.86 million) in eight days. SONG plays a cabbie who drives a German reporter, played by Thomas Kretschmann, from Seoul to the city of Gwangju to cover the protest of May, 1980.

In a separate competition, CHOI Kook-hee’s debut film Split, a bowling drama starring YOO Ji-tae, earned the New Flesh Award for Best First Feature. The Action! Award award was bestowed on the NK action-comedy Confidential Assignment, directed by KIM Sung-hoon and starring Hyun-bin and YOO Hae-jin.

JO Seon-ho’s time slip thriller debut A Day with KIM Myung-min and BYUN Yo-han received the Bronze Audience Award. Lastly, JUNG Byung-gil’s The Villainess starring KIM Ok-vin, which debuted at the Cannes Film Festival back in May, came away with the Silver Guru Action Prize.

Last year, YEON Sang-ho’s TRAIN TO BUSAN earned the Cheval Noir Award for Best film, while The Bacchus Lady earned the awards for Best Screenplay (E J-yong) and Best Actress (YOUN Yuh-jung).

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August 12, 2017

'A Taxi Driver' draws over 6.5 million viewers on 11th day

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SEOUL, Aug. 8 (Yonhap) -- A Korean film about a pro-democracy uprising in the country has surpassed 6.5 million in attendance as of the 11th day of its run, the film's distributor said Saturday.

"A Taxi Driver" hit the threshold Friday, becoming the fastest film to reach the milestone this year, according to Showbox.

The accumulated attendance for the film reached 6.55 million as of Friday, topping "The Battleship Island" which was released a week earlier and has attracted a total of 6.37 million viewers.

Over the weekend, the film's attendance is expected to top 7 million, industry sources said, fanning speculation that the movie may become a 10-million attendance hit.

Released last Wednesday, the movie starring Song Kang-ho and German actor Thomas Kretschmann has topped the box office for the past six straight days.

The period drama directed by Jang Hoon tells the story of a Seoul taxi driver named Man-seop, who happens to take German reporter Jurgen Hinzpeter to Gwangju, some 330 kilometers south of Seoul, for a large offer of money and witnesses the horrors of the bloody military crackdown on the uprising.

On May 18, 1980, citizens of Gwangju rose up against military rule and general-turned-President Chun Doo-hwan. The revolt was brought to an end by the bloody government-led crackdown, which left hundreds of people dead and missing.

sam@yna.co.kr

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August 12, 2017

“A Taxi Driver” Becomes Fastest Korean Movie Of 2017 To Attract 7 Million Viewers

Source: Soompi by J. Lim    

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“A Taxi Driver” is now the fastest Korean movie of 2017 to attract seven million viewers, and it achieved the feat in just 11 days.

According to the movie’s distribution company Showbox, “A Taxi Driver,” the movie had sold 7,000,586 tickets as of 3 p.m. KST on August 12, setting a new record and making it the most-watched movie of 2017. The movie has been on a roll, previously hitting the four million mark in just five days.

Despite the highly-competitive atmosphere of summer box offices and new movies being released every week, “A Taxi Driver” has managed to maintain its top spot in the Korean box office. The movie is being praised for having all three components of a great movie: a compelling and heartwarming story, great direction, and phenomenal acting by the cast.

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The movie is expected to keep rising as word of mouth continues to spread, with celebrities and politicians adding in and talking about watching the film. It was also recently announced that an exhibition of videos and photos taken by the late Jürgen Hinzpeter, whose real-life story the movie is based on, will be held from August to September.

“A Taxi Driver” is the story of a Seoul taxi driver (played by Song Kang Ho) who agrees to drive German reporter Peter (played by Thomas Kretschmann) to Gwangju without knowing that he was driving straight to where the Gwangju Uprising was taking place. Song Kang Ho and Thomas Kretschmann are joined by Yoo Hae Jin and Ryu Jun Yeol.

Congratulations to “A Taxi Driver”!

Source (1) (2)

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August 13, 2017

Moon watches movie about Gwangju uprising

SEOUL, Aug. 13 (Yonhap) -- President Moon Jae-in on Sunday watched "A Taxi Driver," a movie about the 1980 pro-democracy uprising in Gwangju at a local movie theater in Seoul.

The movie released this month is based on the true story of a Korean taxi driver and Jurgen Hinzpeter, a German journalist who covered the armed revolt.

Moon watches movie about Gwangju uprising

Moon was accompanied by Edeltraut Brahmstaedt, the wife of Hinzpeter, and her family.

In May 1980, citizens of the southern city rose up against a military junta led by Chun Doo-hwan, an Army general, who assumed power via a coup after his predecessor President Park Chung-hee was assassinated.

Special operations forces cracked down on the protests leaving hundreds of citizens dead or missing.

"The movie shows how a foreign reporter's efforts contributed to Korea's democratization," a presidential official said. "(The president) saw the film to honor Hinzpeter in respect for what he did for the country."

Hinzpeter, who passed away in May last year, is one of a few foreign journalists who exposed the military's bloody quelling of citizens. Upon Hinzpeter's will, part of his body has been enshrined in a special cemetery dedicated to the victims in Gwangju.

The film surpassed 7 million in attendance on Saturday, 11 days after its release, according to the film's distributor.

This photograph, released by the May 18 Memorial Foundation on Aug. 10, 2017, is one of the pictures taken by Jurgen Hinzpeter during the nine-day pro-democracy uprising in Gwangju, some 329 km southwest of Seoul. (Yonhap)

This photograph, released by the May 18 Memorial Foundation on Aug. 10, 2017, is one of the pictures taken by Jurgen Hinzpeter during the nine-day pro-democracy uprising in Gwangju, some 329 km southwest of Seoul. (Yonhap)

elly@yna.co.kr

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Source: Jason Bechervaise‏ @Jasebechervaise

August 14, 2017

'A Taxi Driver' wins second weekend

By Shim Sun-ah

SEOUL, Aug. 14 (Yonhap) -- "A Taxi Driver," starring Song Kang-ho and German actor Thomas Kretschmann, continued to be astonishing in its second weekend, adding 1.77 million views to top the weekend chart again, data showed on Monday.

After 12 days on local screens, the period drama about a pro-democracy uprising in the country has sold 7.938 million tickets until Sunday and climbed past the 8 million mark on Monday morning, according to figures from the Korean Film Council.

The film is now the most-viewed title of this year in the country, beating 7.81 million for "Confidential Assignment," a Korean comedy-action about two cops from South and North Korea who team up for a joint confidential assignment.

Helmed by Jang Hoon, "A Taxi Driver" tells the story of a Seoul taxi driver named Man-seop, who happens to take German reporter Jurgen Hinzpeter to Gwangju, some 330 kilometers south of Seoul, for a large offer of money and witnesses the horrors of the bloody military crackdown on the uprising on May 18, 1980.

Just a step behind was "Midnight Runners," the Korean police school comedy seen by 1.33 million people. Released on Aug. 9, the comedy starring Park Seo-jun and Kang Ha-neul has attracted 1.9 million views.

American horror movie "Annabelle: Creation" debuted at No. 3 with 751,063 views.

Animated film "Despicable Me 3" came in fourth, down a notch, in its third weekend. The Korean historical blockbuster "The Battleship Island" tumbled three steps to finish fifth with 115,662 people. It has so far sold about 6.5 million tickets.

sshim@yna.co.kr

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August 14, 2017

Moon Jae-in visits showing of ‘A Taxi Driver’

Source: INSIDE Korea JoongAng Daily

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President Moon Jae-in on Sunday watched “A Taxi Driver,” a movie about the 1980 pro-democracy uprising in Gwangju at a movie theater in Seoul.

The movie released this month is based on the true story of a Korean taxi driver and Jurgen Hinzpeter, a German journalist who covered the armed revolt.

Moon was accompanied by Edeltraut Brahmstaedt, the wife of Hinzpeter, and her family.

In May 1980, citizens of the southern city rose up against a military junta led by Chun Doo-hwan, an Army general, who assumed power via a coup after his predecessor President Park Chung Hee was assassinated.

“The movie shows how a foreign reporter’s efforts contributed to Korea’s democratization,” a presidential official said. “[The president] saw the film to honor Hinzpeter in respect for what he did for the country.” 

Hinzpeter, who passed away in May last year, is one of a few foreign journalists who exposed the military’s bloody quelling of citizens. Part of his body has been enshrined in a special cemetery dedicated to the victims in Gwangju. 

Yonhap

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August 14, 2017

A different perspective on history :

Making past matter to young people was goal for director Jang Hun

Source: INSIDE Korea JoongAng Daily

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Jang Hun [STUDIO 706]

“A Taxi Driver,” starring Song Kang-ho raced its way to the top of the box office after its release on Aug. 2, knocking off summer blockbuster “The Battleship Island” in the process. The movie, which takes place during the Gwangju uprising of May 1980, stayed at number one through last week even after the release of the highly-anticipated action comedy “Midnight Runners” on Wednesday, surprising some in the film industry.

Directed by Jang Hun, the movie shows the 1980 Gwangju Democratization Movement from the perspectives of taxi driver Man-seop (Song) and ambitious German reporter Jurgen Hinzpeter (Thomas Kretschmann), who needs to make his way south from Seoul to cover the protests and the subsequent massacre that ensued. The two characters are based on real people.

To discuss what went into making the movie, which has sold a total of 7.2 million tickets as of Sunday, M Magazine, an affiliate of the Korea JoongAng Daily, sat down for an interview with its filmmaker. Below are edited excerpts.

Q. The movie sold more than four million tickets in its first weekend. You previously said that you thought about people in 20s and 30s the most when making the film. Why is that?

A. I was born in a generation between those people who experienced the democracy movement and those who didn’t. When the May 18 Gwangju Democratization Movement took place, I was only five years old, and therefore, don’t have many memories of the event. But I have always felt indebted to those [involved in the Gwangju uprising], as we are currently living in the world as it is thanks to their sacrifice. As a person born in between the two generations, I wanted “A Taxi Driver” to be a movie that I can show to the younger generation.

You reportedly spent a week mulling over the decision when you were offered the opportunity to direct the movie in 2015. Why?

As a person who did not [directly] experience the event, I was very hesitant about dealing with the tragedy. But the characters that scriptwriter Um Yu-na depicted stayed in my heart for a while. There are films and novels that touch on the event from perspectives of the people of Gwangju or the Army, but not from a third person. Man-seop’s act of taking Jurgen Hinzpeter to Gwangju without knowing what was happening there and being completely shocked made me sympathize with him.

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“A Taxi Driver” director Jang Hun says he aimed to make a movie to help young people understand the Gwangju uprising of May 1980. [SHOWBOX]

You met Jurgen Hinzpeter before he passed away last year. What did you talk about with him?

I asked him how he could even think about covering such a dangerous situation, and he told me that he had to go because he is a reporter. I expected something more from his answer, like having done it out of feeling a strong sense of duty or possibly due to a special relation he might have had with Korea. But his straightforward response touched me. 

In what way did you want the movie to be delivered?

I wanted to show the event from the perspectives of two aliens. I wanted audiences to see what was happening to Man-seop and to ask themselves what they would have done if they were him.

How did you come to choose Song Kang-ho for the main role?

Can you think of anyone else other than Song to play Man-seop? Though Man-seop is an ordinary person, it is a difficult role that requires the expression of detailed emotions. In the end, Song made the character much more special and colorful than what was written in script. 

BY NA WON-JEONG [jin.minji@joongang.co.kr]

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