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May 25, 2018 taxi1.gif


Spain Hails Theatrical Release for A TAXI DRIVER
Gwangju Drama with SONG Kang-ho Continues Global Ride


by Pierce Conran / KoBiz


JANG Hun’s smash hit political drama A Taxi Driver (2017) is revving up for a theatrical release in Spain next month. Featuring SONG Kang-ho, the critically-acclaimed work will screen in Iberian theaters from June 8 under the local title A Taxi Driver: Los héroes de Gwangju, which translates to ‘A Taxi Driver: The Heroes of Gwangju’ in English.


Originally released in Korea by Showbox in the high summer season on August 2 last year, the film became one of only two films in 2017 to breach the ten million viewer threshold (the other being the fantasy epic Along with the Gods: The Two Worlds, released in December). JANG’s film ended its theatrical run with 12.19 million admissions (USD 88.32 million).


SONG Kang-ho stars as a real-life taxi driver who drove a German reporter, played by German actor Thomas Kretschmann of The Pianist, from Seoul to Gwangju in May 1980 in order to cover the student protests taking place there. The film co-stars YOO Hae-jin as a taxi driver in Gwangju and rising star RYU Jun-yeol as a student protester.


A Taxi Driver has received awards around the world after screening at dozens of events, including the Best Actor Prize at the Fantasia International Film Festival. It was also selected as Korea’s submission to the foreign language category of this year’s Academy Awards, though it ultimately did not secure a nomination. The drama has screened theatrically in several markets, including North America, where it grossed USD 1.53 million, and Australia, where it generated ticket sales in excess of USD 200,000.

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September 22, 2018

Past Winners Of Blue Dragon Film Awards Speak About Their Development And The Industry

Source: Soompi by esspee


10 winners from the 2016 and 2017 Blue Dragon Film Awards are featured in the latest issue of High Cut Magazine!


Actors Song Kang Ho, Na Moon Hee, Jin Sun Kyu, Kim So Jin, EXO’s D.O. (Do Kyung Soo), Choi Hee Seo, Lee Byung Hun, Park So Dam, Park Jung Min, and Kim Tae Ri posed for photos and took part in an accompanying interview.


Song Kang Ho was named Best Leading Actor for his role in “A Taxi Driver” at the 38th Blue Dragon Film Awards. When asked what it meant to receive the award, Song Kang Ho explained, “The thing about an award is that you feel both thankful and sorry when you receive it. There are other people you were nominated with, and you also receive the honor alone in front of those who helped to make it with you, including the director, producer, and many actors. I think an award gives an actor courage instead of joy. It is very meaningful and says that even if you’re lacking, you can be encouraged if you try your best and work hard.”


When asked which actor he wants to hand the “baton” of Best Leading Actor to next, Song Kang Ho answered, “This year also has really great actors and the competition will be fierce. I don’t know who it will be, but I think there will be a thrill in waiting for it. Thankfully, I’ll only be attending as a presenter this year, so my mind is at ease. I’m looking forward to a moving moment.”


Na Moon Hee was given the Best Leading Actress award at the 38th Blue Dragon Film Awards last year for her role in the film “I Can Speak.”


On what the award means to her film career, she said, “In one word, it’s an honor. If I had received the award at a time when I thought, ‘Shouldn’t I be receiving an award now?’ then I may have not have thought that way. I’m so happy that I received this big award at an age where I should be happy if I receive a lifetime achievement award. I was happy beyond words and I really thanked the heavens.”


Lee Byung Hun won the Best Leading Actor award at the 37th Blue Dragon Film Awards in 2016 for his performance in the film “Inside Men.”


“There were much better actors with good performances, so I actually haven’t had a good chance at the Blue Dragon Film Awards,” said the actor. “So I think I was happier than any other time when I received the award.”


Speaking about his hopes for the Korean film industry, which will be celebrating its 100th anniversary next year, he commented, “When I talk about Korean films with people in the industry who are from other countries, they give a thumbs-up to things like the various topics in Korean films, the original story structures, and the unexpected story development. I think that Korean films can grow and receive love from lots of people by continuing to try new things.”


D.O. was given the Best New Actor award for his acting in “My Annoying Brother” last year. He said, “I want to say thank you again for giving me the Best New Actor award, which you can receive only once in your lifetime. Every time I finish a project, I feel like I have grown. There are many things that I have felt after wrapping up filming for ‘Swing Kids.’ I feel fascination and joy over seeing things I didn’t know about myself while doing a project. I hope that I can find a new part of myself this time as well and grow once again. I’ll continue to work hard.”


Kim Tae Ri won Best New Actress at the 37th Blue Dragon Awards in 2016 for her performance in “The Handmaiden.” At the time, she had said, “I’ll show myself growing like Sook Hee in ‘The Handmaiden.'”


When asked how much she has grown now, Kim Tae Ri answered, “To be honest, I haven’t really thought, ‘I’ve grown this much.’ I think that sort of thing shows naturally even when you don’t measure it. I just try to do my best at what’s given to me.”


About Korean films, she said, “As an audience member, I think it’ll be good if people make diverse films. I hope that bolder projects are created. If I can take part in them, then that would be even better.”


This year’s 39th Blue Dragon Film Awards will be held at the end of November. 


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December 25, 2018


Two real-life heroes of movie ‘Taxi driver’ meet in 40 years





Late Jürgen Hinzpeter, a German reporter, and late Kim Sa-bok, a taxi driver, are to meet at the old May 18 Cemetery in 40 years. They are real-life figures of the movie “Taxi driver.”


The May 18 Cemetery deliberation committee approved on Wednesday the burial of the late taxi driver at the previous cemetery for the May 18 democratization movement, located in Mangwol-dong, Gwangju. The committee consists of the Gwangju Metropolitan Government, the May 18 Memorial Foundation and so on. Vice Secretary General of the May 18 Memorial Foundation Lee Ki-bong said that Mr. Hinzpeter and Mr. Kim contributed to revealing the realities of Gwangju in May, adding that he found it meaningful to let them encounter even after both of them passed away.


Kim Seung-phil, 59, the late taxi driver’s son, plans to have his father’s buried body cremated at Cheongnyangni Catholic Church so that his grave can be relocated to the Hinzpeter Memorial Garden at the old May 18 Cemetery. The relocation stands to occur a few months before the 3rd anniversary of the establishment of the garden on May 16 next year.


The Hinzpeter Memorial Garden is 70 centimeters wide and 60 centimeters long, located around the pagoda of the cemetery, where Hinzpeter’s nails and hair are buried, collected when he visited Gwangju back in 2005. It is pointed out that the site is narrow, thus requiring its nearby toilet and septic tank to be moved to other place.


The German witness Hinzpeter was a German public TV ARD-NDR correspondent to Japan in 1980. As the May 18 uprising occurred in Gwangju, he visited the city twice – May 20-21, May 23 - with the help of Kim driving a taxi for him. The reporter became the first to reveal the wrongdoings of the new military regime across the globe.


The taxi driver was traumatized after the May 18 uprising. He died of liver cancer at the age of 54 in December 1984, four years and six months after the Gwangju movement. Back in 1980, he worked as a foreigner-only taxi driver at Palace Hotel in Seoul. Many foreign journalists got help from Kim who spoke English and Japanese.

Hyeong-Ju Lee peneye09@donga.com

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Source: Soompi (for full article)


Korean Movies You’ll Be Surprised Are Based On True Events


“A Taxi Driver”



Starring: Song Kang Ho


There are many movies and shows memorializing and dramatizing the events of the 1980 Gwangju Massacre, but “A Taxi Driver” shows the experience of two men not directly involved in the uprising, but witnessing the events and struggling to report them to the world.


From May 18 to 27 in Gwangju South Korea, Gwangju residents took up arms to protect themselves against military forces after the cruel treatment of Chonnam University Students during peaceful protest. Students who were demonstrating against the martial law government were fired upon, killed, raped, and beaten by government troops. As many as 606 people are believed to have lost their lives.


This movie follows the story of Kim Man Seob (played by Song Kang Ho), a taxi driver in Seoul who hears of a foreign journalist with an expensive request. Drive him to Gwangju and back before curfew, during civil unrest, when foreign journalists were prohibited from entering the small city. Despite road blocks enforced by the Korean military, they are able to enter Gwangju under the guise of being missionaries, only to discover the chaos of the Gwangju Massacre. Man Seob is worried about leaving his daughter at home alone for so long unable to contact her, and he fears for his own safety. However, as he tries to return to Seoul, he sees the pain and turmoil of those around him and returns to finish his job.


Jürgen “Peter” Hinzpeter, the German journalist who risked his life and his freedom to report on the events of the Gwangju Democratization Movement, was later awarded for his efforts after successfully leaving Korea and sharing his story with the world. It was later discovered that his taxi driver had given him a fake name, so the driver was never discovered and rewarded.

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May 31, 2019


Toggle Viewers Can Now Stream Korean Blockbusters With tvN Movies
To mark the launch, tvN Movies is offering four free movies to stream. 



Good news for fans of Korean movies!


Starting from today (May 30), you can access the extensive and expanding library of tvN Movies, the world's first and only Korean blockbuster movie channel — from well-loved classics to contemporary dramas. New titles will be added every month.


To subscribe, you can choose between the recurring package at $5.90/ month or the six-month package at $4.32/month (prepayment of $25.90 is required). With the latter option, you save $9.50 overall.


As a taster, tvN Movies is offering four free titles on Toggle, each running for a week: Lucky Key (May 30-June 5); Miss Granny (June 6-12); Keys to the Heart (June 13-19); and The Good, The Bad and The Weird (June 20-26).


The Toggle app is available on iOS and Android devices. Download the free app at AppStore and Google Play. To subscribe to tvN Movies, click here.


Here are some of the must-see titles on tvN Movies...


Be With You
This tearjerker — a remake of the 2004 Japanese film — stars Son Ye-Jin as a dead woman who returns from the grave to reunite with her husband (So-Ji-Sub) and tween son (Kim Ji-Hwan).


A Taxi Driver


A Taxi Driver

This 1980-set drama — Korea’s Oscar submission for Best Foreign Language Film — stars Song Kang-Ho as a cabbie hired to chauffeur a German journo (Thomas Kretschmann) covering the pro-democracy protests in Gwangju.


Midnight Runners
Action-comedy starring Kang Ha-Neul and Park Seo-Joon play trainee-cop buddies embroiled in a kidnapping conspiracy during their night off. Just lovely.


The Good, The Bad and The Weird
Inspired by Clint Eastwood’s The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly, this 2008 actioner stars Lee Byung-Hun, Song Kang-Ho and Jung Woo-Sung star as feuding treasure hunters in WWII-era Manchuria.

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May 31, 2019


SONG Kang-ho to Receive Excellence Award in Locarno

First Asian to Be Honored at Prestigious Swiss Festival


by Pierce Conran KOFIC




SONG Kang-ho is set to be honored at this year’s 72nd Locarno International Film Festival, where he will become the first person from Asia to receive the festival’s Excellence Award.


Currently on screens in BONG Joon-ho’s PARASITE, which walked away from the Cannes Film Festival with the Palme d’Or last weekend, the first time a Korean film has ever taken the top prize at the event, SONG is one of the most beloved and acclaimed actors in the Korean film industry. He is known for his collaborations with top filmmakers such as BONG (Memories Of Murder, 2003; The Host, 2006), PARK Chan-wook (Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance, 2002; Thirst, 2009) and KIM Jee-woon (The Good, The Bad, And The Weird, 2008; The Age of Shadows, 2016).


Beyond that, he has appeared in numerous chart-topping films, including Swiri (1999), The Attorney (2013) and A Taxi Driver (2017), as well as acclaimed classics like LEE Chang-dong’s Secret Sunshine (2007) in a career that has so far spanned 23 years, having kicked off in Hong Sangsoo’s debut The Day A Pig Fell Into A Well in 1996.


New Locarno artistic director Lili HINSTIN described SONG as a “peerless interpreter of the variety and intensity of emotions generated by Korean cinema.” In previous years, the Excellence Award has been given to world cinema luminaries such as John MALKOVICH, Juliette BINOCHE, Ethan HAWKE and Isabelle HUPPERT.


This year’s Locarno International Film Festival will take place from August 7 to 17.

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From taxis to airplanes ^_^


Source: Jason Bechervaise @Jasebechervaise


This sounds interesting! Song Kang-ho & Lee Byung-hun are reportedly to star in Han Jae-lim’s aviation disaster film “EMERGENCY DECLARATION.”  Great cast, talented director and this will be a first for Korean cinema. #비상산언 


Throwback clip: yko_hwk #38thBlueDragonBestActor


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September 14, 2019


August ticket sales for S. Korean movies hit 7-year low

SEOUL, Sept. 14 (Yonhap) -- Monthly sales figures for homegrown films tumbled to their lowest point in seven years last month on a dearth of hit titles, a report showed Saturday.


Sales of tickets for South Korean movies came to 18 million in August, 4.21 million less than the monthly sales recorded in August last year, according to the Korean Film Council.


It is the first August figure to fall below the 20-million level since 2012.


The unusual downturn is attributable to Korean films' tepid performance this summer.


Such famous movies as 2014's "Roaring Currents" and "A Taxi Driver" and "Along With the Gods: The Last 49 Days" from 2018 dominated the summer box office in the past, all drawing more than 10 million moviegoers each.


The movie scene this summer was an exception, with the best-performing film, "Exit," managing to sell just 8.28 million tickets in August following its July 31 release.


The second-best-selling title was "Battle of Fengwudong," which sold less than 5 million.


"As several similarly themed high-budget films hit the screens in the busy summer season, moviegoers might have grown tired (of them)," an official at the Korean Film Council said.


"After four films that sold more than 10 million tickets in the first half of this year, demand has also come down in the second half," the official noted.


Monthly sales of tickets for non-Korean movies, meanwhile, came to 6.81 million last month, down 1.24 million from a year earlier and the lowest for August since 2012.


This puts the total ticket sales at 24.81 million in August, down 18 percent on-year and the lowest figure for any August since 2013, according to the report.

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October 8, 2019


CGV to Screen Classic South Korean Films Through October 27th.


Source: HanCinema.net




In recognition of the one hundreth anniversary of South Korea's film industry, CGV will be running screenings from October 14th to October 27th of various classic South Korean films. However, the films in question will skew toward more recent releases, namely major box office performers of recent years, and some of the more well-known titles from the Hallyu Wave period of the late nineties and early two thousands.


The box office section will feature "Haeundae", "The Thieves", "Miracle in Cell No.7", "The Admiral: Roaring Currents", "Veteran", "Train to Busan", "A Taxi Driver", "Along With the Gods: The Two Worlds", and "Along With the Gods: The Last 49 Days". The melodrama section will include "The Contact", "Christmas in August", "Bungee Jumping of their Own", and "The Classic". The manly section will include "The Big Swindle", "The New World", "The Unjust", and "Inside Men".


Tickets for these movies will only cost six thousand won, half the price of a full priced ticket. Showtimes can be confirmed on CGV's homepage, and free tickets for regular movies will also be handed out to participants in the promotion.


Written by William Schwatz

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