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[Movie 2018] Little Forest, 리틀 포레스트


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Little Forest (Korean Movie)

File:Little Forest (Korean Movie)-P2.jpg


Movie: Little Forest

Revised romanization: Liteul Poreseuteu

Hangul: 리틀 포레스트

Director: Yim Soonrye

Release Date: February 28, 2018

Distributor: Megabox


Hye-Won gets tired of her difficult life in the city and moves back to her hometown in the countryside. There, she heals her emotional wounds with the help of her long-time friends, nature and food.


Based on popular manga series "Little Forest" written & illustrated by Daisuke Igarashi (published in Monthly Afternoon from December, 2002 – July, 2005).


Kim Tae Ri

Ryo Jon Yeol

Moon So Ri


source: asianwiki




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March 8, 2018


"Little Forest" The Healing Movie That Viewers Love

Source: Sports Donga via HanCinema.net




The movie "Little Forest" reached its break-even point a week after its release.


"Little Forest" is being called the greatest healing movie of 2018 and by the second week, it was best ticket selling movie. On the 7th of March the movie accumulated up to 825,027 viewers and managed to break through the break-even point of 800,000.


The movie was a fast seller since before its release. "Little Forest" depicts the wonderful four seasons of the Republic of Korea and delivers a healing message to its viewers.


The results are even more meaningful as "Little Forest" competed against major Hollywood blockbusters and fellow Korean movies. Other than "Keys to the Heart" starring Lee Byung-hun, Youn Yuh-jung and Park Jung-min, "Little Forest" is the only other movie that broke even early this year. The 1.5 billion won movie was released in low peak season, but word of mouth spread the news of the excellent film and it ended up maintaining a steady record. Unlike violent and stimulating movies these days, "Little Forest" has none of that; instead, it brings peace to the viewers.


Meanwhile, "Little Forest" is about a woman named Hye-won (Kim Tae-ri) who is tired of tests, love and employment, returning home to spend four seasons with her friends Jae-ja (Ryu Jun-yeol) and Eun-sook (Jin Gi-joo).

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March 10, 2018


[HanCinema's Film Review] "Little Forest"


Source: HanCinema.net




Hye-won (played by Kim Tae-ri) was raised on a small farm out in the countryside. As a teenager, Hye-won had ambitions to do something greater with her life, but after going to college and getting various jobs in the city...well, nothing Hye-won did seemed to have much point. So Hye-won moved back into her old home, all alone. Well, she does have a couple of friends her own age. Eun-sook (played by Jin Ki-joo) is the woman. Jae-ha (played by Ryu Jun-yeol) is the man. There's also a dog. And there's also the most important friend of all- delicious fresh food.


That probably doesn't sound like much of a plot and really, it isn't. "Little Forest" is not the story of how Hye-won comes to embrace rural living. At the start of the movie, she has already done so. Far from questioning the rationale of her decision to return to the country, Hye-won mostly just thinks about what food she can make this season. Whether it's winter, spring, summer, or autumn, there's always something coming into bloom.


The closest "Little Forest" gets to conflict is Hye-won's ambivalent relationship with her deceased mother (played by Moon So-ri) in flashback, who always had a warm, loving smile even in passive-aggressive moments. Hye-won lost her father at an even younger age than that. That feeling of loss resonates deeply throughout "Little Forest" as we see Hye-won cooking. Hye-won learned everything from her mother, so any time Hye-won wants to make something special she has to rely on those old memories to figure out how to do it.


The sentiment therein is frequently touching, and even optimistic, owing to the recurring theme of renewal. As seasons change, so too does the variety of available fresh ingredients alter. We also see in flashback the industrial sameness of the food that Hye-won was forced to consume in the city. Then there are flashbacks within flashbacks, as the Hye-won of city life sees some form of organic material and thinks back to how her life experience has given her a markedly different perpsective on what such and such dressing or creature even is.


Renewal is also explored as we see Hye-won sharing her food communally with Eun-sook and Jae-ha, further empowering their bond of friendship. Granted this all seems a tad off, considering the abrupt unexplained decision Hye-won makes near the end. But then again Jae-ha has a good thematic echo with Hye-won's mother when he notes that really understanding a person means being able to quantify their actions without explicitly stated verbal reasoning.


Not that he used anywhere near that many words, of course. "Little Forest" is all about understatement. Believe it or not "Little Forest" is actually an extremely loud movie, compared to the original Japanese version, which was twice as long (two movies) with maybe half the dialogue and even less plot. The sentiment, of course, remains the same. Live the life you want to lead in peace. There's no sense worrying too much about what other people think.


Review by William Schwartz

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March 12, 2018


LITTLE FOREST to Bloom in Japan and US
Healing Drama Draws Strong Responses at Home and Abroad


by Pierce Conran / KoBiz




YIM Soon-rye’s well-received new youth drama Little Forest has confirmed theatrical releases overseas, after finding distributors in Japan and the United States. 


Featuring KIM Tae-ri, RYU Jun-yeol, JIN Ki-joo and screen veteran MOON So-ri, the film is an adaptation of the Japanese manga series of the same name, which was also the subject of a previous two-part Japanese cinematic adaptation in 2014 and 2015. Released by Megabox Plus M, Little Forest has found favor with local audiences, having accrued a respectable 785,000 viewers (USD 5.75 million) within a week of its release on February 28. With strong reviews and audience scores, the film’s word of mouth has remained steady.


The ‘healing film’ has also drawn a positive response from the famed Japanese publishing house Kodansha, which published the original manga, after they praised the film’s evocative depiction of the story’s distinct seasons.


In the United States, Little Forest is released in the CGV Cinema in Buena Park, California on March 2 and then expanded to Los Angeles on March 9 with further markets such as New York and Dallas planned later in its release.


The Handmaiden (2016) star KIM Tae-ri features as a young city woman who escapes the bustle of the city and returns to her countryside hometown, where she moves back into her mother’s now empty home, makes her own food, works in the fields and rekindles her old friendships. The film follows her new life over the course of four seasons. RYU Jun-yeol of A Taxi Driver (2017) and JIN Ki-joo in her debut film appear as her friends while MOON So-ri (Oasis, 2002) plays her mother.

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March 15, 2018


Kim Tae Ri Reveals Her Inner Struggles With Acting And How She Became Close With Ryu Jun Yeol


Source: Soompi by S. Park




Kim Tae Ri spoke candidly about her worries and her latest film “Little Forest” in a recent interview.


“Little Forest” is a low-budget film that won over moviegoers and achieved success at the box office. The film is an adaptation of the Japanese manga of the same title. It tells the story of Hye Won (played by Kim Tae Ri) who returns to her home in the countryside and spends time with her childhood friends Jae Ha (played by Ryu Jun Yeol) and Eun Sook (played by Jin Ki Joo) after unsuccessful attempts at employment and love in the city.


Kim Tae Ri began, “‘Little Forest’ is a slow, quiet film. It’s very different from ‘The Handmaiden’ and ‘1987.’ At first, I thought I could go and express my true self in a natural environment, but it became really difficult at some point. It made me nervous that I was often the only one in front of the camera. But the scenes with Ryu Jun Yeol and Jin Ki Joo were created by the three of us. There were many ad-libs, and we had fun filming.”


The actress chose Ryu Jun Yeol and Jin Ki Joo as the greatest gifts she received from “Little Forest,” and she shared that director Lim Soon Rye made filming comfortable for her.


She said, “I’m not good at speaking informally to people older than me, but at our first meeting, the director asked me about my age and said, ‘Four-year age gap [with Ryu Jun Yeol]? One-year age difference [with Jin Ki Joo]? Just speak informally.’ At first, I couldn’t do it, but Ryu Jun Yeol spoke casually first, so I naturally did as well. As soon as we spoke casually, we became close very quickly.”





In the film, when Hye Won is asked why she came back to the countryside, she answers, “Because I’m hungry.” Hye Won’s days in the city consisted of shoving down cold lunches at the convenience store and her everyday life felt like hell. After failing to pass the teacher certification exam, Hye Won returns to the countryside and makes various dishes with fresh ingredients to share with her friends.


Kim Tae Ri said, “I don’t enjoy cooking, but I cook enough to sustain myself. I get more healing from mountains and books than cooking. I raise two cats and they also give me lots of happiness. I don’t go hiking every week, but I go when I feel like going. These days, it’s fun to drink wine. I have a close friend who is in theater, and we share a bottle of wine together.”


Like her “Little Forest” character, the actress revealed that she also gets feelings of wanting to run away every day. She said that she torments herself while evaluating her own acting, which then provokes the feeling of wanting to run away.


Kim Tae Ri explained, “When I was an aspiring actress, I couldn’t run away like Hye Won did. I only walked looking forward. I never contemplated whether becoming an actress was the right or wrong decision. I always lived with certainty that it was my path. These days, however, I’m beginning to have doubts. I don’t know if I’m talented at acting.”





In some ways, “Little Forest” tells the story of the growth of a mother and daughter, setting out on their own paths and then returning to each other.


Kim Tae Ri described what kind of daughter she is in real life, saying, “My mom and I live well in our own lives. I’m a lot like Hye Won [because] I have a strong sense of independence. My mom is the same way. I think I got this from my mom, and I think Hye Won also got hers from her mom [played by Moon So Ri]. Hye Won and I are quite similar.”


Meanwhile, Kim Tae Ri will appear in the upcoming tvN drama “Mr. Sunshine,” which is set to premiere in July.


Source (1)

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March 16, 2018


The cake is ready for its close-up
Jin Hee-won, a food stylist, makes dishes look tasty on screen


Source: INSIDE Korea JoongAng Daily





Audiences leaving theaters after watching “Little Forest” are finding it difficult to suppress their desire to either head to a nearby restaurant or go straight home to try cooking some of the home-style dishes featured throughout the film.


Centering on 20-something Hye-won (Kim Tae-ri), the drama unfolds as the character returns to her rural hometown, leaving behind the stressful life she lived in the capital city. Back in her hometown, she spends time farming and cooking meals made from ingredients she picks herself. 


The adaptation of a Japanese cartoon-turned-movie adds a touch of magic throughout the film with shots of simple, yet delicious-looking food. Although the Korean remake focuses mostly on the relationship between the main protagonist and her friends - unlike the two Japanese releases, which mainly portray the main character’s cooking process - it doesn’t skimp on showing off its fair share of appetizing delicacies.


The dishes on screen range from recipes as simple as soy soup with cucumber noodles to a three-layered rice cake. But the most-talked-about dishes of the film have been the creme brulee, a dessert consisting of a rich custard base topped with a layer of hard caramel, and the fried acacia blossoms.


Behind each of the delectable bites on screen was food stylist Jin Hee-won, who mostly works in advertising. Having worked in the film industry for three years before jumping into advertisement work, “Little Forest” was a dream project for the food stylist.


“Upon reading the news that director Yim Soon-rye would make the Korean version of ‘Little Forest,’ I pulled some strings to connect with the filmmaker. After ensuring her that I wouldn’t make the food look too commercial, she said okay,” said Jin with a laugh.


To discuss the food she cooked and designed, Korea JoongAng Daily met with Jin for an interview last week at her work space in Yeonhui-dong, western Seoul. The following are edited excerpts.


Food stylist Jin Hee-won, left, demonstrates a number of mouth-watering delicacies featured in “Little Forest” such as fried acacia blossoms, cabbage sandwiches, soy soup with cucumber noodles and three-layered rice cake. [MEGABOX PLUS M]

Q. You have worked in the film industry before becoming a food stylist. What made you want such a huge career change?


A. I have always loved food. I was curious about how different food is made. I studied film at university, which naturally led me to work in the film industry after graduation. Although I attended a nearby academy to learn about cooking rice cakes and Korean traditional sweets in my fourth year of university, I only thought of cooking as a hobby at that point. 


But after working in film production for three years, I decided to take a break. While taking some time off, I enrolled in a college to study cooking. I was 28. Getting good grades and compliments from teachers drew me into cooking, and ultimately led me to want to become a food stylist. 


What do you love so much about cooking?


You have to continuously use your brain when producing films. You have to use your imagination and even make up lies [when marketing]. But cooking doesn’t lie. You have to practice chopping radishes hundreds of times to be able to cut perfectly-shaped radish shreds. In short, you have to be honest when cooking. I found that honesty really attractive.


Since you had worked in the film industry, “Little Forest” must have been a very tempting project.


I loved the story ever since the cartoon was released in Korean. Although the content and its style is very much Japanese, I thought it would be interesting if it was remade in Korea. So after reading the news that director Yim Soon-rye would be working on the Korean remake, I pulled some strings and made a visit to Yim. I ensured her that I wouldn’t make the food seem like a commercial and begged for the position (laughs). Fortunately, the director said ‘yes’ immediately.


How was working on a film different from working on commercials?


The way food is portrayed in films and commercials is completely different. 


While commercials focus on how the food is presented in the end, food in films needs to have a story and needs to be smoothly connected to the story. 


Although food in a movie needs to look visually appealing, they shouldn’t stand out so much that they take the audience’s attention away from the plot. 


While the Japanese version of “Little Forest” spends a great portion of the film on the main protagonist’s cooking process, the Korean version mostly shows completed dishes. What did you focus on while styling the food in “Little Forest?”


Although most of the cooking parts were omitted, the director did shoot the entire process of cooking. I demonstrated how I cook, and actor Kim Tae-ri followed. After watching the completed movie, I realized how many of the scenes were taken out. Although it would have been personally more satisfying if the movie had added those cooking scenes, I knew that wasn’t in line with how the director planned to present the film, which was to stress the connection between the main protagonist and her friends. 


What was your biggest concern while working on the movie?


My biggest concern was making sure that the foods didn’t visually stand out too much. I tried to naturally meld the foods into the scenes without making them conspicuous, like they usually are in commercials. It wasn’t easy for me to find a balance between making the food look too plain and too noticeable. 


Although most of the food look plain, some of them, like the oil spaghetti with apple blossoms on the top, look so fancy that they don’t seem to match the film’s rural background. 


In the film, the main character’s mother leaves her daughter after she finishes the College Scholastic Ability Test. The mother is depicted as a unique, experimental and independent person, and these characteristics can also be seen when it comes to her choices in cooking. When the main character was younger, her mother often cooked her unique dishes, which naturally influenced the kinds of food she cooks when she returns to her hometown after many tiring years in Seoul. Her mother’s personality also explains the reasons there are so many types of cooking utensils, even some from foreign countries, in the small kitchen in the countryside.


Which dish was the most challenging to prepare?


The three-layered rice cake was the most demanding. I didn’t know how sensitive rice cakes react to temperature. We shot the scene during the winter, so the cake kept freezing and then defrosting. We had to shoot the scene at least 15 times until we had used up all of the rice flour that we had taken to the shoot. 


Would you like to work as a food stylist on another film?


I’m definitely willing to do that. I hope to do any kind of film that features food as an important prop. Usually in Korean films, food is considered to be something that the prop team takes care of. But I want to be able to take part in movies in which food is a crucial element of the film. 

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

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March 12, 2018


“I want to find the balance within me, and enjoy my work”


by SONG Soon-jin / KoBiz




A film of KIM Tae-ri, by KIM Tae-ri, for KIM Tae-ri has been released. It’s Little Forest, a film by the director of Forever The Moment (2008) and The Whistleblower (2014), YIM Soon-rye. After starring in PARK Chan-wook’s The Handmaiden (2016) as Sook-hee, KIM Tae-ri entered the spotlight and quickly became a rising star in 2016. She followed up by giving another impressive performance after being cast as Yeon-hee in 1987: When the Day Comes (2017). In Little Forest, she plays Hye-won, a young woman in her 20s who has worries of her own. Hye-won is worn out by the fast, tiring and hungry city life. She decides to move back to the country house she used to live in with her mom when she was young, and spends four seasons there. While eating meals made from the crops she raised herself, Hye-won searches for her soul and gets the courage to live again. It’s a film that heals your soul. We met with KIM Tae-ri who continues to make a name for herself in the Korean film industry to talk about the film.


This is your first film as the lead character. How do you feel?

I was excited the moment I received the scenario. The film turned out even better than I imagined, so I’m satisfied. 

This film came out a little different from the original Japanese manga series. How did the character named Hye-won come to be?

When I met with the director for the first time, we talked for a very long time. She was more curious about what kind of person I was more than talking about the scenario. A few days after she asked me everything about my family affairs and personal details, she called and asked me to come on board. So, I received a script that had already been edited for the Korean audience from the beginning. Hye-won and I have a lot in common. We’re both independent, and we both want to be acknowledged. We also have a lot of pride. In the original, she is someone who closes herself off from others more than me, but I’m similar to her where she tries to resolve her worries, pains, and stresses alone. The area I focused on the most in order to depict Hye-won was in her relationship with her mom. I had to imagine and create a relationship that was omitted from the script. For example, when Hye-won finished her exam and found out her mom had left, she walked through a forest with an upset face. What was she thinking then? How was it like when she lived in the city? That’s what I was thinking about. At first, I thought she would have been very mad. Her mother did not come to her graduation or her first day of school. While she reflected on the days when she was alone in the crowd, I think she would have felt lonely. 

Hye-won continues to apply for the teacher certification exam. She works at a convenience store to make a living, and buy meals from food trucks to get by. This character speaks for a lot of youths in their 20s. 

Hye-won is actually in a unique situation. Her mother left her, but she still went back to her country home. This is something the audience might not relate to. I think that’s why her life in Seoul depicted something very relatable to the audience. By showing a very ordinary life of someone in their 20s, the audience can see themselves or their friends through her.

Did you find yourself getting comforted during the shooting process?

I think the biggest gift was being able to work with other actors at my age. We were always together, and we would just chat with each other on the bench every now and then. Those times really helped heal me.

Director YIM Soon-rye is an animal rights activist and a key female filmmaker. Would you say there is anything unique about her film set?

Director YIM Soon-rye’s rule is that “every living thing is precious”. She also emphasized that we must live together with nature. There are many animals and bugs in our film. There is a scene where Hye-won picks a caterpillar off of her friend. I had to throw the caterpillar from about 3 stories high. We had a blanket prepared on the ground. No one cared about my acting. All of the staff were looking for the caterpillar. Also, if a fly came onto the set, we didn’t catch them. Instead, we just waited for them to leave. While shooting the film, I adopted two abandoned cats. I think I was influenced by the director.

You were in The Handmaiden with PARK Chan-wook, 1987: When the Day Comes with JANG Joon-hwan, and Little Forest with YIM Soon-rye. You were lucky with your films and directors.

Until now, the directors I worked with had broad views of the world and were pure, regardless of their gender. I think I was so lucky, that it’s more like a miracle. Since I’m a new actress, I wanted to meet people who would lead me. I was just starting off during The Handmaiden, so I felt relieved that the script, continuity, film art, and everything else would be perfectly prepared by director PARK Chan-wook. With 1987: When the Day Comes, the continuity wasn’t very important. A lot of the scenes were determined on the spot by the director and the cinematographer. With YIM Soon-rye, I really felt like I was making a film. Some scenes like friends quarreling were made impromptu, and I did a lot of ad-libbing. At first, it was hard to do something on the spot, but it became fun towards the end. I think I’m learning a lot through different projects.

Since The Handmaiden, after portraying several adventurous characters, people also noticed what a strong person you are in real life. You have a lot of female fans. Have you noticed how popular you’ve become?

I know many people started to support me thanks to Sook-hee from The Handmaiden. I intend on keeping this in mind whenever I speak or choose my projects. I don’t want to disappoint my fans. However, I still think that I should find a balance within myself. Instead of making rash decisions, I try to think about things from different angles. 

The Handmaiden recently claimed the BAFTA for ‘Best Film Not in the English Language’. Are you considering using this opportunity to find your way into the international film scene or to star in a co-production?

I’m open to all possibilities. If the opportunity comes, I want to try it. However, I don’t have a burning ambition. I’m worried that I might not have enough ambition, but my hope is to enjoy my work without getting tired or stressed. 

You’ll star in a drama series called Mr. Sunshine.

We’re in the middle of shooting. It’s my first time, so I’m not sure if it’s going well. In movies, you must make your character as impactful as possible within 2 hours. That’s why you have to act very carefully for each scene. But, if I act so powerfully for every scene in a drama, I will get tired and so will the audience. I’m trying to be more relaxed when I perform.

Do you have any films lined up?

I recently watched an indie film called richard simmons on the Beach (2016) which was directed by JEONG Ga-young who also stars in it. I was shocked. I didn’t realize one could make such a simple piece that’s also entertaining. I hope more films like hers will be made. Little Forest also cannot be categorized as the main stream film. If such movies can perform well and make enough to recoup the investment, I will be able to make more diverse films too. I want to work with more female directors.

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I love the slow living aspect of it, and the healing process.


It's A PLUS and is now one of my favorite Korean movies ever.

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April 12, 2018


Viewership of Korean films soars 81.1 pct in March

SEOUL, April 12 (Yonhap) -- Homegrown films saw a whopping 81.1 percent increase in overall theatrical attendance in March thanks to the release of various genre movies, data showed Thursday.


According to the Korean Film Council (KOFIC), Korean films made 63.2 billion won (US$59 million) through sales of 7.91 million tickets in local theaters last month. The numbers of viewers and ticket sales were up 81.5 percent and 81.1 percent, respectively, from a year ago. It was the highest March total since 2013 when Korean movies drew 8.39 million admissions.


The unusual success of domestic movies in the spring low-season is largely due to the strength of four small films of different genres: "Be With You," "Little Forest," "The Vanished" and "The Princess and the Matchmaker." They attracted more than 1 million moviegoers each.


The release of big-budget Hollywood movies "Black Panther" and "Ready Player One" in February and late March also was a factor behind the overall strength of low-budget Korean films in March.


But the total number of admissions to theaters fell 7.6 percent to 12.8 million from the same month in 2017 because of the weak performance of non-Korean films.



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April 23, 2018


Far East Film Festival Selects 15 Films from Korea
Korean Stars and Filmmakers Invited to Udine


by Pierce Conran / KoBiz




The 20th Far East Film Festival in Udine (FEFF) has selected 15 films from South Korea, including this year’s opening film Steel Rain (2017). The North Korea-themed action-drama’s director YANG Woo-suk and stars JUNG Woo-sung and KWAK Do-won will travel to Italy, along with a slew of other actors and filmmakers from Korea.


Action maestro RYOO Seung-wan will be the subject of a special focus section that will feature his 2015 action drama Veteran (2015) as well as the director’s cut of his Word World II action film The Battleship Island (2017). HWANG Jung-min, the star of both films, will make his way to Udine with Director RYOO.


Another major name scheduled to travel to Italy is MOON So-ri, who will be supporting both The Running Actress (2017), which she directed, as well as YIM Soon-rye’s drama Little Forest, which she features in.


Among the directors expected in Italy are JANG Joon-hwan of 1987: When the Day Comes (2017), Be With You’s LEE Jang-hoon, ZHANG Hang-jun of Forgotten (2017), Midnight Runners (2017)´s director Jason KIM, KANG Yun-sung of THE OUTLAWS (2017), GWON Gyung-won of Courtesy to the Nation, A Special Lady (2017) helmer LEE An-kyu and Little Forest’s YIM Soon-rye.


Other titles screening at FEFF include JUNG Bum-shik’s found footage horror GONJIAM: Haunted Asylum, KIM Hong-sun’s serial killer thriller The Chase (2017) and SHIN Dong-seok’s indie drama Last Child (2017).


FEFF will kick off on April 20th and run until the 28th.

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August 30, 2018


K-Drama Weekly Update: 08-30-18

By Jeff Chung/K-Drama | West Hawaii Today

The Honolulu Museum of Art is celebrating Korean cinema beginning Saturday at Doris Duke Theatre with the opening night film “Little Forest.” There are a total of 12 feature films which will run until Sept. 25. The titles are: “Little Forest,” “The Age of Blood,” “Keys to the Heart,” “Hit the Night,” “Beautiful Vampire,” “Believer,” “The Accidental Detective,” “The Accidental Detective 2,” “Microhabitat,” “On the Beach at Night Alone,” “Claire’s Camera” and “The Day After.” Kwon Sang Woo fans will be happy his film “The Accidental Detective” is in the program while Lee Byung Hun fans are happy that “Keys to the Heart” is also in the program. The Korean cinema is sponsored by Korea Foundation and KBFD. For more information please visit: www.honolulumuseum.org.


Source: Honolulu Museum of Art // IG


Little Forest • 리틀 포레스트


Saturday Sep 01 06:00 PM 
Sunday Sep 02 04:00 PM 
Tuesday Sep 18 07:30 PM 


Doris Duke Theatre


Museum members: $10.00 
General Admission: $12.00 

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October 25, 2018


Paris Korean Film Festival Returns for 13th Edition on October 30


by Pierce Conran KoBiz // 13th FFCP



The 13th edition of the Paris Korean Film Festival (FFCP) will open its doors on October 30 and run until November 6. This year’s FFCP will open with the Chuseok smash The Great Battle before being brought to a close with the youth drama Sunset in My Hometown. 


From director KIM Kwang-sik and starring ZO In-sung, period siege action-drama The Great Battle is currently the second most successful Korean film of the year with 5.38 million admissions (USD 40.48 million). The latest work from hitmaker LEE Joon-ik, Sunset in My Hometown features PARK Jung-min as a rapper who returns to his hometown and reconnects with an old friend played by KIM Go-eun.


This year’s other event screenings will include LEE Seok-keun’s romantic comedy On Your Wedding Day, HUH Jong-ho’s period creature feature Monstrum, KIM Tae-gyun’s investigative drama Dark Figure of Crime and KIM Yong-hwa’s fantasy epic Along with the Gods: The Two Worlds (2017).


FFCP will also present a Halloween screening of JUNG Bum-shik’s GONJIAM: Haunted Asylum and advance screenings of YOON Jong-bin’s The Spy Gone North, Hong Sangsoo’s Grass and KIM Ui-seok’s After My Death, which will take place ahead of their French theatrical releases. 


The ‘Panorama Section’ has invited JANG Joon-hwan’s 1987: When the Day Comes (2017), JEONG Hee-jae’s A Haunting Hitchhike (2017), KIM In-seon’s Adulthood, LEE Hae-young’s Believer, LEE Il-ha’s Counters, JEONG Jae-eun’s Ecology in Concrete (2017), KIM Bo-ram’s For Vagina’s Sake, KO Bong-soo’s Hello Dayoung, CHOI Sung-hyun’s Keys to the Heart, YIM Soon-rye’s Little Forest, JUNG Dae-gun’s Mate, PARK Ki-yong’s Old Love (2017), LEE Hwan’s Park Hwa-young and SHIN Yeon-shick’s Romans 8:37 (2017).


This year’s ‘Focus Section’ will feature sports films, including KIM Jee-woon’s The Foul King (2000), MOON Hyun-sung’s As One (2012), JUNG Ji-woo’s Fourth Place (2016) and WOO Moon-gi’s The King of Jokgu (2014).


Meanwhile the ‘Portrait Section’, which seeks out one promising new director every year, will take a look at JEON Go-woon. Her acclaimed feature debut Microhabitat will screen along with her shorts Too Bitter To Love (2008) and Bad Scene (2012).


Finally, the ‘Classics Section’ will take a look at the work of legendary actress CHOI Eun-hee. Screening works include SHIN Sang-ok’s The Flower in Hell (1958) and Bound by Chastity Rule (1962), LEE Hyung-pyo’s When Night Falls at Myeongdong (1964), as well as The Girl Raised As A Future Daughter-In-Law (1965) and One-sided Love of Princess (1967), both directed by CHOI herself.

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November 17, 2018


If a movie concept ain’t broke, don’t fix it: Film companies are finding success by remaking foreign flicks


Source: INSIDE Korea JoongAng Daily



Clockwise from the top are scenes from “Intimate Strangers,” “Be With You,” “Little Forest” and “Believer.” Based on popular foreign titles, the Korean adaptations of these movies performed successfully at the local box office. [LOTTE ENTERTAINMENT, NEXT ENTERTAINMENT WORLD, MEGABOX PLUS M]


After eight days in theaters, “Intimate Strangers,” a relatively small movie that cost just six billion won ($5.38 million) to make, sold more than 2.2 million tickets. In order to break even, the film only needed to sell 1.8 million. 


A remake of the 2016 Italian flick “Perfect Strangers,” the Korean adaptation begins with a group of childhood friends gathering at the fancy home of plastic surgeon Seok-ho (Cho Jin-woong) and his psychologist wife Ye-jin (Kim Ji-soo). Once Seok-ho’s friends and their spouses gather at a large table to enjoy a homecooked dinner, Ye-jin suggests playing a game that requires everyone to reveal every text, phone call and social media notification that pops up on their smartphone during dinner.


This puts everybody in an uncomfortable spot, but their desire to not be accused of having secrets - especially by their spouses - eventually leads them all to agree to play. 


Directed by Lee Jae-kyu of “The Fatal Encounter” (2014), the film co-stars Lee Seo-jin, Yoo Hai-jin, Yum Jung-ah and Yoon Kyung-ho. It defied expectations and topped Korea’s box office for two weekends, though the streak is likely to be broken this week by new releases like “Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald.”


“Intimate Strangers” is the latest in the trend of Korean remakes of foreign films, many of which have proven to be box office successes.


“Believer,” based on the 2014 Hong Kong title “Drug War,” sold 5.06 million tickets, while the heart-wrenching romance title “Be With You,” released in March and based on the 2005 Japanese hit film of the same name, sold 2.6 million admissions. 


“Believer” stars Cho and Ryu Jun-yeol, while “Be With You” pairs Son Ye-jin with So Ji-sub as a loving couple with a heartbreaking story.


“Little Forest,” starring actors Kim Tae-ri, Ryu and Jin Ki-joo, sold 1.5 million tickets when it was released earlier this year. The film was originally a novel and a cartoon in Japan. 


These locally remade movies all broke even.


Remakes, of course, are nothing new. The 2012 film “All About My Wife” was a remake of the Argentine movie, “A Boyfriend for My Wife” (2008). The Korean version, starring Im Soo-jung and Lee Sun-kyun, sold 4.59 million tickets. The frequency of remakes being produced in Korea, however, has recently increased.


This sudden spike in remakes was not intentional, according to industry insiders.


“Rather than paying attention to finding content to remake, we are searching for an interesting story - whether it be original content or a remake,” said Lim Seung-yong, the head of production company Yong Film, which was behind “Believer” and director Park Chan-wook’s acclaimed “Oldboy” (2003). 


“That was what led us to work on ‘Oldboy,’ [which is based on a Japanese manga series], and [the 2010 feature] “The Servant,” [based on a famous Korean folktale].” 


Lim’s other successful remakes include “The Target” (2014), which was based on a French movie, and “Luck-Key” (2016), which originally comes from Japan. 


Producer Park Cheol-su, who co-runs production firm Film Monster, which was behind “Intimate Strangers,” had a similar opinion.


“Whether the story originates from a movie, webtoon or is original content does not make much difference to producers,” said Park. “There are two things we consider - Do I wish to deliver this story and is it commercially viable?


“After watching the original version of ‘Intimate Strangers,’ I got to question myself on human nature, human relationships and secrets, which are told through the means of cell phones. I was also attracted to the cinematic expression of a series of dream-like events taking place while the lunar eclipse occurs.”


Despite the success stories, producing a remake does not guarantee an easier path to a box office hit because of the heightened expectation.


Sci-fi action title “Illang: The Wolf Brigade,” based on the legendary Japanese animation “Jin-Roh: The Wolf Brigade,” flopped at the box office in July. The film cost 16 billion won to make and sold less than a million tickets. 


“The strategy of producing local movies, which are often inspired by and reflect reality or history, seems to be gradually changing,” said film critic Kim Hyung-seok. “I think local filmmakers have built up [sufficient] understanding of how to reinterpret foreign movies that fit into the Korean context. Remake films could contribute in solidifying the film industry in Korea.”


Some experts see a more negative impact.


Kang Yoo-jung, a film critic, described the rise in remakes in Korea as a “phenomenon that has stemmed from the depletion of ideas.” 


According to Kang, working on remakes likely alleviates the concerns of producers and investors because the original content has proven its commercial viability. 


“Only when new stories are born … will Korean cinema grow,” said Kang.    


BY LEE HOO-NAM [jin.minji@joongang.co.kr]

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