Quantcast
Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
rubie

[Movie 2000] Joint Security Area 공동경비구역 J S A

Recommended Posts

cute_chick.gif
JOINT SECURITY AREA
JSA 2000
Original release date in Korea : 2000/09/09   
15th Anniversary Re-release date in Korea : 2015/10/15

jsa_p2.jpg

Directed by: Park Chan Wook (OldBoy, Sympathy for Lady Vengeance)

Actors: Sgt. Oh Kyung Pil - Song Kang Ho

Sgt. Lee Soo Hyuk - Lee Byung Hun

Private Nam Sung Shik - Kim Tae Woo

Private Jung Woo Jin - Shin Ha Kyun

Major Sophie Jean - Le Young Ae

jsa_p1.jpg

October 5. 2015

'Joint Security Area' (JSA) 15th Anniversary Upgraded Release 

Source: Hancinema.net

photo640028.jpg

Synopsis

 

A firefight occurs at the "Bridge of No Return" in the DMZ (De-Militarized Zone), and two North Korean soldiers are killed. The North claims that the incident was a flagrant attack by the South Koreans, while the South claims that one of their soldiers was kidnapped. In order to solve the dispute, the NNSC (Neutral Nations Supervisory Commission) dispatches half-Korean half-Swiss Army Intelligence Bureau officer, Major Sophie E. Jean. With no cooperation from either side, the case appears to be unsolvable. However, Major Jean discovers that the number of bullets fired from the pistols and the number found at the scene differ by one, and she begins to dig deeper into the backgrounds of the soldiers involved. Subsequently she finds out about an encounter previous to the firefight when North Korean soldiers saved a South Korean soldier from a mine. The story unravels to reveal a friendship developing among the soldiers. On the night of the firefight…

International Film Festivals

   2005    Cinemanila International Film Festival , KOREAN FOCUS
   2006    Paris Cinema , New Korean Cinemas
   2004    Las Palmas De Gran Canaria International film festival ,
   2002    Newport Beach Film Festival ,
   2001    Berlin International Film Festival ,
   2001    Moscow International Film Festival ,
   2001    Karlovy Vary International Film Festival ,
   2001    Deauville Pan Asian Film Festival ,
   2001    Udine Far East Film Festival ,
   2001    Seattle International Film Festival ,
   2001    Fantasia Film Festival ,
   2001    Melbourne International Film Festival ,
   2001    Durban International Film Festival,
   2001    Stockhom International Film Festival

Original release date in Korea : 2000/09/09
Re-release date in Korea : 2015/10/15

Joint Security Area 공동경비구역

Joint Security Area Review by Darcy Paquet @ www.koreanfilm.org For the second year in a row, the Korean film industry has struck gold with a movie about North Korea. Many expected Joint Security Area (or JSA) to do well at the box office, given the current level of interest in North Korean affairs, but it has done much more than that, spawning headlines and breaking box-office records with ease.

The film drew close to half a million viewers in Seoul alone its first week. On the following Saturday it set a one-day box office record, drawing 104,000 viewers in the capital. It broke the one million admissions mark in only 15 days -- last year it took Shiri 21 days to reach the same mark. By early 2001 it had become the best-selling film in Korean history (though it was eclipsed by Friend a few months later).

Park Chan-wook's film opens with a shooting in the truce village of Panmunjom which leaves two North Korean soldiers dead and one South Korean soldier wounded. With each country giving conflicting reports on what happened, the Neutral Nations Supervisory Commission (NNSC) is asked to send in a Swiss military officer to conduct an investigation. After her arrival, however, she finds that no one is willing to talk to her, and the soldiers involved all seem to be hiding some secret...

JSA is described as a mystery/ human drama, and its structure is clearly divided into two parts: the investigation by Korean-Swiss Major Sophie Jean, and an extended flashback to the incident between the soldiers. I think most would agree that the film's biggest strength is the flashback, with actors Song Kang-ho and Lee Byung-heon excelling in their roles. This part of the film also features some breathtaking cinematography for the scenes that take place along the Demilitarized Zone.

The mystery element contains less tension, particularly if the viewer knows too much about the plot beforehand. Attention is focused not so much on what happened, but why. This part also contains a large number of scenes in English, which may have to be redubbed if the film opens in English-speaking territories. Nonetheless it has been noted by critics and audience members alike for its rare casting of a female actor (Lee Young-ae) in a non-romantic part.

The producers of the film spared no expense in recreating the setting around Panmunjom. Since shooting at the actual site would obviously not be permitted, Myung Film built a 90% replica of the village of Panmunjom at a cost of some $800,000. The site can be visited to this day at the Seoul Cinema Complex. JSA is also notable for being the first Korean film ever to be shot on Super 35mm film, a special format used in some Hollywood blockbusters that allows for a wide screen (1:2.35) with very clear definition. The film has won more or less unanimous praise from every sector of Korean society, with one exception: the army.

Many in the military have derided the film as pure fantasy, based on an event which could never happen in real life (probably true). In a bizarre incident on September 26, twenty older members of the JSA Veterans' Association stormed into the office of Myung Film, breaking windows and physically threatening the employees of the company. They demanded that the production company issue a public apology to the army and insert notices at the beginning and end of the movie stating that it is a work of fiction. After four hours, the employees of Myung Film acquiesced, and despite vocal objection from the film industry, the group's demands are being met. Some have compared this film to Shiri because of its superficial resemblance, but it really is a much different work. As relations with North Korea change and the two nations draw closer together, this film perhaps serves best as a record of South Koreans' fears and hopes for reconciliation. (Darcy Paquet)

For more information on the Joint Security Area or DMZ (Demilitarized Zone), click HERE. JSA - 2000 (from subwaycinema.com) "The basic plotline of this pungent military drama...comes tightly tailored in the Hollywood style. Its interior, by contrast, is airy, subtle and playful, and showcases the best elements of modern Asian cinema." - Xan Brooks, The London Guardian JOINT SECURITY AREA is a bizarrely proportioned movie.

The biggest movie ever released in Korea (beating the previous box office record of every film, both foreign and domestic), sold for the highest price ever to Japan, opening at the top of the box office on its opening weekend there, filmed on the biggest and most expensive set ever built in Korea (an 80% replica of the Panmunjom truce village), and generally the BIGGEST! MOST EXPENSIVE! MOST! SUPER! ENORMOUS! HIT! in Korea, this stratospheric success is built around an intimate, character-driven drama that telescopes the psychic damage wrought by the entire Cold War into the lives of five, small people.

Awards: Winner, Best Picture, Best Actor (Song Kang-Ho), Best Art Direction (Kim Sang-Man),the 38th Grand Bell Awards. Winner, Audience Award, Best Picture, Best Actor (Song Kang-Ho), Deauville Asian Film Festival. Winner, Best Cinematography, Kim Seong-Bok, 21st Chongryong Awards Runner-Up, Best Picture, Seattle International Film Festival. The full article, here.

jsa_p3.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here's another Film Review by Bingo_Crepescule from London

User Rating: 8/10

After a general moratorium on film exports, JSA was amongst the first few Korean films to appear in west, to be associated with the emerging Korean 'New Wave' cinema. It was also one of the most successful and expensive films made in the country at the time, and as such was director Chan-Wook Park's breakthrough film. Park has since gone on to direct such cult items as Oldboy, in which he combines a sure sense of staging with a visual, kinetic flamboyance all of his own. A compelling and moving work in its own right, JSA makes something haunting and memorable out of a situation which, in outline, could easily have proved propagandist and dull.

It takes place entirely at the Panmunjom, the Korea DMZ peace village where North and South Koreans face off under the terms of 50-year-old treaty, glaring at each other across a thin stretch of ground, huddled over spyglasses and rifle barrels, or staring each other down across a borderline. The bitter division of the country provides a frequent background to much of its cinema just as, in its way, the spectre of past nuclear destruction has haunted that of the Japanese. But there is a difference. Japanese cinema often shows the dangerous unity of clan, kin or country in the face of crisis. In Korean cinema, brothers are often divided whilst, around them, a fractured society threatens and fights itself. Sometimes the violent resolution of the country's famous stand off promises mutually assured destruction, as is presented symbolically at the climax of Attack The Gas Station! (1999). In other films it can appear as part of an action thriller (Shiri), or as the basis of a recent war film (Taegukgi, 2004), and so on. In the more profound JSA, national division provides a starting point for an examination of the human condition, as soldiers on either side of the line discover what it is to establish warm, normal interaction - even at terrible cost.

"There are two kinds of people in this world - Commie bastards and the Commie bastards' enemies" says a South Korean officer to the Swiss investigator Major Sophie Jean (Yeong-ae Lee) at the start of Park's film. Jean works for the Neutral Nations Supervisory Commission. Previously her superior has warned her that her real job is not to investigate, "who, but why," and that "the outcome is less important than the procedure." But as Jean delves deeper into recent events with an insistence born of her own family history, revelations prove Rashmon-like, proving that the truth is by no means black and white. In fact the opening scenes, containing the harsh protocols for her work, are the least satisfying of the film. (A fact exacerbated by the poor spoken English of actress Lee and the woodenness of her Swedish companion). It is only once the viewer enters the experience of the soldiers - a process gradually revealed through a number of sometimes-gnomic flashbacks - that JSA becomes interesting.

JSA was a controversial success in Korea. The action is set very precisely, at the borderline between two societies and Park was concerned to make it as realistic as possible, spending $1 million on building his own Panmunjom. As a narrative his film is just as deliberately less exact, hovering between military thriller, patriotic tragedy, personal loyalty tale as we learn more about the soldiers, now tight-lipped under independent interrogation. Enemies, then friends, comrades and brothers, the men's deepening relationship also suggests a more taboo attraction, one which proved unsettling to home audiences. Ultimately the 'Joint Security Area' becomes less a site of military stalemate than a place where emotional ties ought to provide their own justification and balance.

The structure of Park's film is an intriguing one: a straightforward, and reasonably suspenseful investigation of an outrage frames a sequence of flashbacks and reminiscences, often presented in non-linear manner, fleshing out the main story. In between there is some newsreel footage as well as some exploration of Major Jean's motivations, while the feelings of the soldiers concerned are never elucidated, merely explored through past events. The director's achievement lies in tying all this into a reasonably convincing whole, moving the audience from the coldness of a military tribunal to the warm realm of human feeling.

There are several moments in JSA to savour, some of which occur within the no man's land between the two societies itself - a neutrality which seems to encourage a self reflection and recognition between main participants: the snowy, wordless encounter between two border patrols for instance, where tension is dissipated with a single cigarette; or the first encounter on a cold night between Sergeant Oh and Sergeant Lee, surrounded by mines, their breath freezing in an field. Elsewhere Park's camera records the absurdities of petty border etiquette, at one point shooting from overhead the dividing line where soldiers square off against one another, placing figures in some lunatic grid of their own devising. (At one point Park has two of the soldiers mock the solemnity and rigidity of the border by playing spitting games across the line.) There's a similar overhead shot later, this time looking down at a fallen soldier face up in the rain. The camera also plays a memorable part in the last scene of the film, as an ordinary snapshot is transversed by a slow pan, which pulls out of the composition a final, mute commentary of its own.

Asked earlier why one of the soldiers had deserted his post just to relieve himself, the blithe answer comes back as: "People with constipation should seize the chance when it comes." It's a philosophy that informs a good deal of JSA. Not to put too fine a point on it, the film suggests that, blocked by its own political impasse, Korea needs to loosen up and seek relief as it can. Park's film shows one way, perhaps not the best, but a memorable story all the same.

Source: IMDb

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Reviewed by J. D. Nguyen

jsacover.jpg

Ratings

Story: 5

Cast: 5

Entertainment: 5

Subtitles: 4.5

Overall: 5

Story:

Two North Korean soldiers are shot dead along the lines of the Joint Security Area. A Neutral Nations Officer is called in to investigate the matter and discovers that there is something much bigger than what may lie on the surface.

Review:

I swear, sometimes, I could have watched this film forever. There is something so honest and beautiful about effortless friendships. You just forget where you are, take a hold of the person next to you and embrace them for their humanity and conviction of having ambitions and wanting to stay alive to see the next sunset. More importantly, it's beautiful to just realize that your fellow man is closer to you in blood and bond than you'll ever fully understand. Friendship: what a seemingly flawless word that translates perfectly in all languages.

The first film to ever give me a glimpse of the Korean civil conflict was SHIRI, an actioneer that painted both the South and North Koreans as idealists on different sides of the political coin. There were obvious protagonists and antagonists roles in the film that made the South Koreans kind of like the "good" guys, while the North Koreans fell into a darker, more sinister light representing the "bad" guys of the film. Though there was exposition that explained the conflict between the two countries, I never fully understood the impact that it had on the Korean people until I saw JSA; a complex film about simple camaraderie.

What starts off as a political thriller, turns into a film that relies heavily on the relationship and friendship of four soldiers divided in two by the border posts they share on each side respectively. The film jumps back and forth between the present day and the past, between the Neutral Nations Officer and her investigation on the breakout and the four secret friends. It's an interesting storytelling technique that director Park Chan-wook uses in unfolding the events of JSA and brings us deeper into the psyche of Koreans in general.

It's fascinating to see the overall tensions of a nation affect its people and how the soldiers overcome these hostilities and inspire each other to break down their political differences in order to tighten their bond, not only as friends, but as individuals that represent their people. The hope for reconciliation is what drives this film into the audience's hearts. The antagonist of the film is the overall situation, more like background melody that isn't being heard, but known. There is almost a slight fear of being discovered as well for the four soldiers as they spend their late nights playing cards and testing each other in boyish ways.

In all actuality, JSA's story is a metaphor for the rest of the world, on how ridiculous it is for a nation of people to separate themselves with an imaginary line. The rest of world in many ways, pride themselves on their color and blood; ethnocentricism to the fullest degree. Though JSA does have its share of patriotism, it is almost charming on how each of the soldiers parade themselves for each other in order to break the ice and forget who they are as a people and connect together as friends.

This is another Korean film that can be a real treat, a film that does what art is supposed to do to its admirers: to inspire and to create hope. I went into this believing that JSA was going to be another political thriller, but pleasantly and surprisingly came out reveling in the human spirit. It's a beautiful film in terms of cinematography, direction and most importantly, acting, but the real splendor is in its message.

Source: www.kfccinema.com

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Review by Anthony Leong

If 1999's South Korean box office smash "Shiri (Swiri)" was dubbed by the local press as 'the little fish that sank Titanic', then "Joint Security Area (Gongdong Gyeongbi Guyeok JSA)" might as well be known as the blockbuster that ate "Shiri" for lunch. Within two weeks of its release during the fall of 2000, "Joint Security Area" took in one million admissions, a feat that had taken "Shiri" three weeks to accomplish, and went on to become the biggest box office draw in Korean history-- that is, until the gangland saga "Friend (Chingu)" bowed into theaters a few months later. And though it is not as action-oriented as "Shiri", "Joint Security Area" is an engaging and emotionally resonant military drama indicative of the continuing maturity of South Korean cinema.

Based on the Park Sang-yeon novel "DMZ", "Joint Security Area" centers on a modern-day cross-border incident in this flashpoint of North-South tensions, specifically at the 'Bridge of No Return', where prisoners-of-war were exchanged at the end of the Korean War. Swiss military officer Major Sophie Jang (Lee Yeong-ae, who appeared most recently in "One Fine Spring Day"), the daughter of a Korean expatriate and a Swiss mother, arrives in Panmumjeom to conduct an impartial investigation of the incident, which has resulted in two deaths. Not surprisingly, both sides remain tight-lipped about the details of the incident, and treat her investigation with suspicion.

Based on the depositions filed by each side, two possible scenarios arise, which are told in Rashomon"-style. According to the South, South Korean Sgt. Lee Soo-hyeok (Lee Byung Hun of "Bungee Jumping of Their Own") was abducted by North Korean soldiers and dragged across the Bridge of No Return. During his escape, Lee killed two soldiers and wounded another. This runs counter to the account given by the wounded North Korean officer, Sgt. Oh Kyeong-pil (Song Kang-ho of "Shiri"), who states that Lee deliberately crossed the bridge and started a shooting spree.

North Korean soldiers

As Jang's investigation develops, she uncovers evidence suggesting that neither account is correct, such as how the number of bullets recovered at the crime scene are inconsistent with the number fired by Lee. With the use of extended flashbacks, the truth about the incident, as well as the unlikely connection between sergeants Lee and Oh, gradually comes to light, revealing a tragedy borne of a divided country.

One of the most striking aspects of "Joint Security Area" is its sumptuous cinematography, as it is the first Korea film to use the Super-35 format. This is most apparent in the flashback scenes, where director Park Chan-wook and cinematographer Kim Sung-bok (who also lensed "Shiri") have crafted a number of memorable scenes that drip in atmosphere, tension, and surprisingly, warmth, such as a night-time run-in between Lee and Oh amidst a field of billowing ferns and tall grass, or the well-staged firefight that ensues around Lee's escape. And though the story jumps back and forth between the present and the past, Park's poised direction and technical prowess ensures that the transitions are not only eye-catching, but also easily understood.

The poignant final image of Joint Security Area

Though "Joint Security Area" may lack the firepower unleashed in "Shiri", it more than makes up for it with its compelling and emotionally resonant script. Like "Shiri", "Joint Security Area" offers complex North Korean characters, and a tragic tale about a friendship doomed by the entrenched political distrust and fear that have divided Korea for almost fifty years. When story finally comes full circle, revealing the truth about the shootings and the damage that it has wrought, the epiphany is devastating, which is best summed up in the poignant closing shot, a fleeting moment of friendship along the 38th parallel, forever frozen in time.

If there is a fault to be picked on, it would have to be the clumsy scenes conducted in English between Jang and her Swiss cohorts. Lee Yeong-ae's difficulties with the English language are readily apparent, which is both distracting and unintelligibly confusing (especially when she utters key expository dialogue). Likewise, the Swiss characters are occasionally difficult to understand with their thick accents and somewhat stilted line delivery. Thankfully, the Korean performances, including Lee's (who also has the distinction of playing a female character that is not a love interest in a Korean film), are much stronger. Lee Byung Hun is convincing as a man torn by the truth, as is Kim Tae-woo, who plays his quiet but loyal sidekick. Shin Ha-kyun's ("Guns & Talks") turn as a North Korean soldier is also affecting, as the comic relief trappings of his character eventually give way as he becomes the epicenter of the tragedy. However, the standout performance would have to go to Song Kang-ho, who demonstrates his considerable dramatic range as a North Korean soldier whose sense of duty and honor transcends borders.

"Joint Security Area" is one of the most expensive film productions in South Korean history, and it shows. In addition to the immaculate production values and lensing, Myung Film actually spent close to $1 million to build an almost-exact replica of the Panmunjeom to house the production. Despite its 'blockbuster' status and financial success, there is still a lot of heart in "Joint Security Area", making it one of the more memorable and moving films of the 'Korean New Wave'. And though the film's release has mainly been limited to Asian-Pacific film markets, with a stateside release still in limbo, North American audiences can catch this modern classic via the recently released Hong Kong import DVD and VCD.

Click here for the full review.

Source - http://www.mediacircus.net

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

July 26, 2006

jsa011-.jpg

An ear-splitting gun-firing sound echoes in the extremely tensioned Joint Security Area. After subsequent gun-firing sounds are heard, a soldier passes out in the middle of crossing the bridge of no return. The South and the North get into exchanging cross fire, with the soldier on the bridge right at the center.

Right after this bizarre incident, Seargent Lee, Suhyuk from the South and the First Lieutenant Oh, Kyungpil from the North, who survived the skirmish, tell different stories about what happened, plunging the case into a labyrinth.

To examine this case, the neutral nation supervision committee dispatches Major Jang, Sophi from the Military Judicial Office in Switzerland. However the two witnesses who hold the key to the case remain silent.

Learning that none of the inquiries are fruitful, Major Sophie tries to find a missing bullet. As one of the first witnesses, Private First Class Nam, Sungsik commits suicide by jumping out of the window of the interrogation room, and Seargent Lee, Suhyuk starts losing his mind. Meanwhile, Seargent Lee desperately tries to hide the fact that he used to cross over the military demarcation line to visit Oh, Kyungpil and Jeong, Woojin after he happened to make friends with them in the middle of an operation. In addition, Major Sophi starts getting pressure from a higher official to cover up the case.

Under such circumstances, Sophie makes Lee, Suhyuk a suggestion that she submit a report that does no harm to the people he cares about if he tells her the truth. Finally, Lee, Suhyuk does tell Jang, Sophie the whole story about what happened at the joint security zone. On hearing the truth, Sophie's face lightens up. On the other hand, a dark shadow is still cast on Suhyuk's face.

http://english.tour2korea.com

jsa013-.jpg

Song, Gangho (Oh Gyeongpil)

Soldier of the North.

A charismatic person with the ability to cope with a crisis.

Shin, Hakyun (Jeong Ujin)

Soldier of the North.

A victim of the shooting case. A kind and pure character.

Lee, Byunghun (Lee Suhyeok)

Soldier of the South. He is the character who represents the young generation, who do not recognize the divided reality. His curiosity makes him a victim of the partition of the Korean peninsula.

Lee, Yeongae (Sophie)

A responsible investigator of the neutral supervision committee.

She is Korean-Swiss and has studied at the Zurich law school. She takes charge of the murder case which occurred at the Joint Security Area. She discloses the plot of concealment of the case by the upper organizations of the South and the North.

jsa012-.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This was an awesome movie. The plot was very good. I like the fact that they decided to focus on friendship. It was very meaningful. LBH did a superb job portraying his role. This is one of my favorite movies =)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

...i recall there was a good intro to JSA on this site .

http://cjent.nkino.com/english/productlist.../chronology.asp

very good read if you want to have a basic information before you start the movie ..dont read any spoilers for this movie .~~ .it is best view without knowing ~

and make a trip down to JSA if you can ..~~ .......quite interesting journey to a place where so much history had been make and is still waiting to be make

Oct 25, 1951 - "Truce Negotiations Site" moves to Panmunjeom

The UN Army and North Korean Communist Army chose the round area with the diameter of 1km around 4 thatched houses and named this area as "Panmunjeom".

July 27, 1953 - Signing of the cease-fire agreement

With the UN Commander-in-chief's signing, the demarcation line was drawn 2km to the South and 2km to the North. Armed forces were withdrawn from the Demilitarized Zone, and the demarcation line crossing the Korean peninsula was marked by 1,292 signboards. Among them, 596 signboards were controlled by China and North Korean Army, and the rest by the UN. According to the agreement, the Military Armistice Commission (MAC) "controlled directly by the parties concerned" and the Neutral Nations Supervisory Commission (NNSC) "controlled indirectly by the third party" were established.

August 5, 1953 - Exchange of War Prisoners and the "Bridge of No Return"

There was a repatriation of war prisoners between the North Korean Communist Army and the UN as stipulated by the signed agreement. The bridge over which North Korean POWs were repatriated was called "Bridge of No Return".

November 8, 1954 - Agreement on the Joint Security Area

Following the conclusion of the cease-fire agreement, the two sides agreed on establishing the Joint Security Area around the negotiation site with the diameter of 800 meters. Thus, Panmunjeom was called officially as the "Joint Security Area", and it became the only area of all 155 miles of the demilitarized zone where neither North nor South has the jurisdiction administration right.

August 18, 1976 - the "poplar incident"

On August 18, 1976 at 10:45 a.m. North Korean soldiers suddenly attacked and killed the UN guards who were supervising the work of tree trimming. During that incident the U.S. Army officer Arther G. Bonifas and Captain Mark T. Baret were killed. After that incident, even Panmunjeom, the only Joint Security Area, was divided into South and North and a concrete wall was drawn near the negotiation site with white piles hammered into the ground. North Korean guard post in the Southern area was destroyed.

August 18, 1986 - changing the name to "Camp Bonifas"

At the 10th anniversary of the "poplar incident" ceremony, the zone where a battalion of headquarters and guard companies is stationed within 7.8 km from Panmunjeom was called "Camp Bonifas".

March 25, 1991 - appointment of a South Korean Army member as a UN chief delegate.

After signing the cease-fire agreement, the UN appointed the South Korean major general Hwang Won-tak as a chief delegate. North Korea insisted on the face-to-face negotiations with United States. Consequently, the meeting between chief delegates and correspondences with the Military Armistice Commission were interrupted, and Panmunjeom meetings between orderly officers were held only upon request.

April 28, 1994 - withdrawal of North Korean Military Administration Committee

After the North's declaration of non-participation to cease-fire committee, North Korea stopped reporting submitted to the NNSC and asked withdrawals of Czechoslovakia and Poland. Consequently, Czechoslovakia withdrew on April 10, 1993, and on April 28, 1994 North Korea made Poland withdraw as well. On May 24, the <Chosun People's Army Panmunjeom Representative> was established to abrogate the cease-fire agreement and conclude a peace treaty. On September 1, the Chinese Foreign Ministry announced withdrawal of its delegation, which was completed by October 27, 1994.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

July 03, 2005

JSA Review

JSAdvd.jpg

Before making waves around the world with Sympathy For Mr Vengeance and Old Boy director Chan Wook Park had already scored a major international hit with JSA, the film that earned him the freedom needed to make his revenge opuses (opi?) while also entrenching lead actor Lee Byung Hun – currently on view in A Bittersweet Life – as a massive star throughout all of Asia. A significant change of pace from his smaller, darker, edgier revenge pictures JSA is a glossy, more mainstream picture that uses a military investigation into a mysterious killing to dig deeper into the absurdity of war in general and the separation of Korea in particular. A more conventional film JSA may be but a fluffy popcorn flick it is not, there’s still plenty of meat to dig into here.

Set in the demilitarized neutral buffer zone between the two Koreas – the Joint Security Area of the title – JSA begins with a young Swiss-born half Korean woman being called to the JSA to investigate a double killing on the Northern side of the border carried out by a Southern officer played by Lee Byung Hun. The south says he was kidnapped and fought his way to freedom while the North insists he was an unprovoked aggressor who broke into the Northern guard house without warning or provocation and began firing away. Either way the fragile peace between North and South is threatened but the investigator quickly realizes that there are enormous holes in both stories. Clearly something else has happened here, but what and why are both sides covering it up?

JSA holds a few different cards in its hand. It is at times a taught thriller, an investigative procedural, a military action piece and a relationship drama. Park takes these various threads and weaves them into a rich whole, a picture ripe with social commentary that he populates with an engaging cast of interesting characters and shoots with the vividness and style that we’ve come to expect. Because the film is set in such an obvious, real world environment – one that would be hugely recognizable to his primary audience – Park reins in the signature design quirks that abound in Old Boy, Cut and – from what we’ve seen in the footage released so far – Sympathy for Mrs Vengeance in favor of a far more realistic style but the camera movements, editing and sudden outbursts of violence are all clearly the work of the same man. Eventually playing out as a tragedy on the largest scale the film also shows a surprising fondness towards its characters. While later Park films are marked by a certain cold heartedness – with events set in motion either by sheer desperation and foolishness or single minded bloodthirsty revenge – there is none of that here. The characters of JSA are all good people caught up by forces entirely beyond their control. Park clearly loves all of these people and adamantly refuses to take sides in the North versus South debate, arguing only that both sides are fundamentally the same and that life would be an awful lot better if everyone involved would simply acknowledge it.

Leaving alone the cover art – much discussed in these parts – Palm’s upcoming DVD release of the film is solid, though not without its quirks. The film is presented in anamorphic widescreen and while the transfer itself is solid enough the print used as a source does carry some dirt and, in one very noticeable instance, some scratching. I would need to pick up some other versions of the film to be certain of this but I believe that they have ported over the previous Hong Kong release rather than doing a new transfer themselves. The other visual issue of note is the blurring of genital nudity in the morgue sequence, something that would have been inserted to comply with Korea’s anti-nudity laws on the original issue and is left intact here. The audio options include an English dub in both 5.1 and 2.0 varieties and the original Korean audio track in 2.0 only. The dub is an interesting beast in itself … they’ve not only dubbed the Korean speech into English, but they’ve also re-dubbed the extensive English dialogue sequences, giving everyone a bland sameness to their voices rather than leaving the original Swiss and Swedish accents intact. The English parts are left intact in the Korean 2.0 track. The subtitles are, as expected, flawless and easy to read. Very surprising, however, are a pair of obvious spelling / grammar errors in the opening text inserted to explain and contextualize the film’s setting. Also included on the DVD package are a series of extras including a music video, behind the scenes footage and cast and crew interviews, all interesting but not particularly exceptional.

While Old Boy still clearly stands as Park’s masterwork JSA is certainly not far behind. An important film and, more importantly, a solidly entertaining one that also happens to have something to say JSA is a film that deserves far greater attention than it has received on these shores to date. While the DVD release is not flawless – if nothing else I’d love a 5.1 or DTS version of the original audio – it is certainly serviceable and worth a look.

Credits:

» Posted by Todd at July 3, 2005 05:20 AM @ http://www.twitchfilm.net/archives/002570.html

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

JOINT SECURITY AREA

It's Korean Movie 101

Director: Park Chan Wook

Starring: Lee Byung Hun (as Sgt. lee Su-Hyeok), Song Kang Ho (Sgt. Oh Kyung Pil), Lee Young Ae (Major Sophie Jean), Kim Tae woo (Private Nam Sung Shik), Shin Ha Kyun (Private Jung Woo Jin)

Screenplay: Kim Hyun Seok, Lee Moo Young and Park Chan Wook. Jeong Seong-san, Bangnidamae

Production Company: Myung Film Co., Ltd.

Release Date: September 8, 2000

Genre: Human Drama

Info: kmdb.or.kr

Award: Best film Blue Dragon Film Awards 2000 l Best Film Grand Bell Awards 2001

Best Actor (won jointly by Lee Byung-hun and Song Kang-ho) at the Pusan Film Critics Awards 2000

Jury Prize, Audience Prize and Best Actor (Song Kang-ho) at Deauville Asian Film Festival 2001

Nominated for best Asian film at the Hong Kong Film Awards 2002

A firefight occurs at the "Bridge of No Return" in the DMZ (De-Militarized Zone), and two North Korean soldiers are killed. The North claims that the incident was a flagrant attack by the South Koreans, while the South claims that one of their soldiers was kidnapped.In order to solve the dispute, the NNSC (Neutral Nations Supervisory Commission)dispatches half-Korean half-Swiss Army Intelligence Bureau officer, Major Sophie E. Jean.With no cooperation from either side, the case appears to be unsolvable. However, Major Jean discovers that the number of bullets fired from the pistols and the number found at the scene differ by one, and she begins to dig deeper into the backgrounds of the soldiers involved. Subsequently she finds out about an encounter previous to the firefight when North Korean soldiers saved a South Korean soldier from a mine. The story unravels to reveal a friendship developing among the soldiers. On the night of the firefight...

Related links imdb l wikipedia l the DMZ l koreanfilm.org l CINE21

Synopsis When North Korean soldier Jung Woo-jin is found dead in a North Korean guard post, and Lee Soo-hyuk, a South Korean soldier, is found wounded on the middle of the Bridge of No Return, an investigation is immediately launched into the affair by the Neutral Nations Supervisory Committee, comprised of Swiss and Swedish delegates. The investigation is conducted by Sophie, an ethnic Korean-Swiss lieutenant in charge of the murder investigation.

Sophie begins the investigation by interrogating the prime suspect, South Korean sergeant Lee Soo-hyuk and his North Korean counterpart Oh Kyung-pil. Suspense heightens when both soldiers present completely disparate accounts of the incident in question. Deeply puzzled by the enigmatic testimony of the two soldiers, Sophie's suspicions are aroused following her interview with the eyewitness of the incident, Pvt. Nam Sung-shik. Terrified that he might reveal the truth under interrogation, Sung-shik attempts suicide, confirming Sophie's suspicion that the soldiers have something to hide.

Review "Joint Security Area" takes place entirely at the Panmunjom, Korea DMZ peace village at the 38th parallel border crossing where North and South Koreans face off with a military presence by a 50 year old treaty. The film tells of the shooting to death of a North and a South Korean soldier which is investigated by a Korean-Swiss military woman. The story is about a current investigation into the killings of two N. Korean border watchers by a S. Korean officer. If you were aware of the politics in today's Koreas, than you would know how easy a little spark could cause the two Koreas into war. But instead of dwelling on the aspect of politics of military, the writer chose to emphasize on the humane aspect and thus has managed to give us, the audience, a profound message in a world that is ever-more divided by race, religions, idealogies, etc.

The movie doesn't choose sides and instead create a 'neutral' character, Major Sophie, as the investigator of the 'truth' behind the killings. The film also intelligently unravels the real story behind the incident, through cuts of flashbacks between the survivors involved in it. The only lies were constructed by the government and military of both Koreas for the sake of division and war, instead of peace and union.

The performances by the lead actors were excellent. Their total immersion into their roles leaves you fixated and emotionally involved with their on-screen fate. By the end of the film, you would feel like you have been through a dark long tunnel and came out on a very bright and beautiful side. The last scene of the movie is one of the best visual conclusions to the essence of a story in decades. This film is not only a Korean blockbuster, but highly recommend in every aspect. See it, See it, SEE IT!!

"JSA" Draws Crowds Over Chusok

September 13, 2000: englishnews@chosun.com

A record number of people went to theaters during the Chusok holidays to see "Joint Security Area," a movie directed by Park Chan-wook questioning the possibilities of reconciliation between the two Koreas. The film was first released on the September 9 and attracted 900,000 movie goers nationwide in its first five days, 410,000 in Seoul alone. This is by far the biggest movie in Korea this year as "Mission Impossible 2" only drew 400,000 in its first six days. One reason behind its success is the number of theaters running the film, as in Seoul alone, there are 42 theaters showing the movie and 120, nationwide. Tickets at the major theaters in Seoul were all sold out during the Chusok holidays.

"Joint Security Area" is about the investigation into a mysterious shooting in the joint security area inside the truce village of Panmunjom and the relationships between two South and two North Korean soldiers, and the Korean-Swiss special investigator. Top stars Song Gang-ho, Lee Young-ae and Lee Byung-heon also played a role in attracting such a large of audience. The head of the film production company expects at least 1.5 million people will see the film in Seoul alone.

JSA_3.jpg

JSA Review by Darcy Paquet at koreanfilm.org

For the second year in a row, the Korean film industry has struck gold with a movie about North Korea. Many expected Joint Security Area (or JSA) to do well at the box office, given the current level of interest in North Korean affairs, but it has done much more than that, spawning headlines and breaking box-office records with ease. The film drew close to half a million viewers in Seoul alone its first week. On the following Saturday it set a one-day box office record, drawing 104,000 viewers in the capital. It broke the one million admissions mark in only 15 days -- last year it took Shiri 21 days to reach the same mark. By early 2001 it had become the best-selling film in Korean history (though it was eclipsed by Friend a few months later).

Park Chan-wook's film opens with a shooting in the truce village of Panmunjom which leaves two North Korean soldiers dead and one South Korean soldier wounded. With each country giving conflicting reports on what happened, the Neutral Nations Supervisory Commission (NNSC) is asked to send in a Swiss military officer to conduct an investigation. After her arrival, however, she finds that no one is willing to talk to her, and the soldiers involved all seem to be hiding some secret...

JSA is described as a mystery/ human drama, and its structure is clearly divided into two parts: the investigation by Korean-Swiss Major Sophie Jean, and an extended flashback to the incident between the soldiers. I think most would agree that the film's biggest strength is the flashback, with actors Song Kang-ho and Lee Byung-heon excelling in their roles. This part of the film also features some breathtaking cinematography for the scenes that take place along the Demilitarized Zone.

The mystery element contains less tension, particularly if the viewer knows too much about the plot beforehand. Attention is focused not so much on what happened, but why. This part also contains a large number of scenes in English, which may have to be redubbed if the film opens in English-speaking territories. Nonetheless it has been noted by critics and audience members alike for its rare casting of a female actor (Lee Young-ae) in a non-romantic part.

The producers of the film spared no expense in recreating the setting around Panmunjom. Since shooting at the actual site would obviously not be permitted, Myung Film built a 90% replica of the village of Panmunjom at a cost of some $800,000. The site can be visited to this day at the Seoul Cinema Complex. JSA is also notable for being the first Korean film ever to be shot on Super 35mm film, a special format used in some Hollywood blockbusters that allows for a wide screen (1:2.35) with very clear definition.

The film has won more or less unanimous praise from every sector of Korean society, with one exception: the army. Many in the military have derided the film as pure fantasy, based on an event which could never happen in real life (probably true). In a bizarre incident on September 26, twenty older members of the JSA Veterans' Association stormed into the office of Myung Film, breaking windows and physically threatening the employees of the company. They demanded that the production company issue a public apology to the army and insert notices at the beginning and end of the movie stating that it is a work of fiction. After four hours, the employees of Myung Film acquiesced, and despite vocal objection from the film industry, the group's demands are being met.

Some have compared this film to Shiri because of its superficial resemblance, but it really is a much different work. As relations with North Korea change and the two nations draw closer together, this film perhaps serves best as a record of South Koreans' fears and hopes for reconciliation. (Darcy Paquet)

Review by Anthony Leong mediacircus.net

If 1999's South Korean box office smash "Shiri (Swiri)" was dubbed by the local press as 'the little fish that sank Titanic', then "Joint Security Area (Gongdong Gyeongbi Guyeok JSA)" might as well be known as the blockbuster that ate "Shiri" for lunch. Within two weeks of its release during the fall of 2000, "Joint Security Area" took in one million admissions, a feat that had taken "Shiri" three weeks to accomplish, and went on to become the biggest box office draw in Korean history-- that is, until the gangland saga "Friend (Chingu)" bowed into theaters a few months later. And though it is not as action-oriented as "Shiri", "Joint Security Area" is an engaging and emotionally resonant military drama indicative of the continuing maturity of South Korean cinema.

Based on the Park Sang-yeon novel "DMZ", "Joint Security Area" centers on a modern-day cross-border incident in this flashpoint of North-South tensions, specifically at the 'Bridge of No Return', where prisoners-of-war were exchanged at the end of the Korean War. Swiss military officer Major Sophie Jang (Lee Yeong-ae, who appeared most recently in "One Fine Spring Day"), the daughter of a Korean expatriate and a Swiss mother, arrives in Panmumjeom to conduct an impartial investigation of the incident, which has resulted in two deaths. Not surprisingly, both sides remain tight-lipped about the details of the incident, and treat her investigation with suspicion.

Based on the depositions filed by each side, two possible scenarios arise, which are told in Rashomon"-style. According to the South, South Korean Sgt. Lee Soo-hyeok (Lee Byung Hun of "Bungee Jumping of Their Own") was abducted by North Korean soldiers and dragged across the Bridge of No Return. During his escape, Lee killed two soldiers and wounded another. This runs counter to the account given by the wounded North Korean officer, Sgt. Oh Kyeong-pil (Song Kang-ho of "Shiri"), who states that Lee deliberately crossed the bridge and started a shooting spree.

North Korean soldiers

As Jang's investigation develops, she uncovers evidence suggesting that neither account is correct, such as how the number of bullets recovered at the crime scene are inconsistent with the number fired by Lee. With the use of extended flashbacks, the truth about the incident, as well as the unlikely connection between sergeants Lee and Oh, gradually comes to light, revealing a tragedy borne of a divided country.

One of the most striking aspects of "Joint Security Area" is its sumptuous cinematography, as it is the first Korea film to use the Super-35 format. This is most apparent in the flashback scenes, where director Park Chan-wook and cinematographer Kim Sung-bok (who also lensed "Shiri") have crafted a number of memorable scenes that drip in atmosphere, tension, and surprisingly, warmth, such as a night-time run-in between Lee and Oh amidst a field of billowing ferns and tall grass, or the well-staged firefight that ensues around Lee's escape. And though the story jumps back and forth between the present and the past, Park's poised direction and technical prowess ensures that the transitions are not only eye-catching, but also easily understood.

The poignant final image of Joint Security Area

Though "Joint Security Area" may lack the firepower unleashed in "Shiri", it more than makes up for it with its compelling and emotionally resonant script. Like "Shiri", "Joint Security Area" offers complex North Korean characters, and a tragic tale about a friendship doomed by the entrenched political distrust and fear that have divided Korea for almost fifty years. When story finally comes full circle, revealing the truth about the shootings and the damage that it has wrought, the epiphany is devastating, which is best summed up in the poignant closing shot, a fleeting moment of friendship along the 38th parallel, forever frozen in time.

If there is a fault to be picked on, it would have to be the clumsy scenes conducted in English between Jang and her Swiss cohorts. Lee Yeong-ae's difficulties with the English language are readily apparent, which is both distracting and unintelligibly confusing (especially when she utters key expository dialogue). Likewise, the Swiss characters are occasionally difficult to understand with their thick accents and somewhat stilted line delivery. Thankfully, the Korean performances, including Lee's (who also has the distinction of playing a female character that is not a love interest in a Korean film), are much stronger. Lee Byung Hun is convincing as a man torn by the truth, as is Kim Tae-woo, who plays his quiet but loyal sidekick. Shin Ha-kyun's ("Guns & Talks") turn as a North Korean soldier is also affecting, as the comic relief trappings of his character eventually give way as he becomes the epicenter of the tragedy. However, the standout performance would have to go to Song Kang-ho, who demonstrates his considerable dramatic range as a North Korean soldier whose sense of duty and honor transcends borders.

"Joint Security Area" is one of the most expensive film productions in South Korean history, and it shows. In addition to the immaculate production values and lensing, Myung Film actually spent close to $1 million to build an almost-exact replica of the Panmunjeom to house the production. Despite its 'blockbuster' status and financial success, there is still a lot of heart in "Joint Security Area", making it one of the more memorable and moving films of the 'Korean New Wave'. And though the film's release has mainly been limited to Asian-Pacific film markets, with a stateside release still in limbo, North American audiences can catch this modern classic via the recently released Hong Kong import DVD and VCD.

JSA trailer

<object ><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FNLcjGamf8U?version=3" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowfullscreen="true" allowScriptAccess="always" width="640" height="390"></object>

<object ><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zlknMBpBJbE?version=3" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowfullscreen="true" allowScriptAccess="always" width="640" height="390"></object>

JSA_15.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Joint Security Area JSA

"Everything about Making Movies: Seoul Film Studio Complex"

jsa_01.jpg

Forty minutes away from Seoul by car is heavily forested Seoul Film Studio Complex-the Mecca for Korean film enthusiasts in Yangsuri, Gyeonggi-do. This is where various outdoor movie sets, film studios and movie theaters are assembled. Furthermore, this is where Korea's now-a-classic movie, Joint Security Area, (JSA for short) was filmed.

Joint Security Area, JSA, the Korean blockbuster released in 2000, depicts the tragic reality of the world's last divided country. It is set on Panmunjeom in the DMZ (De-Militarized Zone). Only eight hundred meters2 in total, Panmunjeom is a security area protected by both North Korean and South Korean-UN military forces. Actually, it is a restricted area for civilians, thus the filmmakers of JSA conducted thorough research and field studies in order to recreate the true essence of Panmunjeom at the Yangsuri Film Studio Complex. Costing about 900 million won, the re-creation of Panmunjeom took a little more than a year in 1999, and now it has become a must-visit place for Korean film-lovers of JSA. When you pay a visit to this film studio complex, you will find many people taking photos at the re-creation of Panmunjeom.

In fact, JSA is not the only reason many find this film studio complex so attractive. Along with four well-equipped film studios and numerous movie theaters and realistic outdoor sets, visitors can visit the Film History/Culture Room and Film Experience Room where you can not only view, but also experience movie-making techniques. Moreover, you can also discover antique-looking costumes and interesting props.

Yangsuri Film Studio Complex also offers Korea's largest set based on the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910), which was the location for the film, Chihwaseon, a movie based on the life story of the great painter Jang Seung-Up. The complex also houses the set for Sinjang Gaeup, which depicts Korean small towns in the 1980s. At the Chihwaseon set, visitors can especially enjoy themselves traveling back in time to the 19th century. There are 61 buildings all together, bringing you back to a reincarnated version of Seoul in the 19th Century. Each building is detailed with antiques and other historic relics. The undang (traditional Korean mansion) stands out among the buildings. The undang offers not only the pleasure of authentic architecture but beautiful scenery as well.

Also, if you have time, you can watch some free movies offered at Cine Movie Theater located right on the film studio complex.

Source: Movie and Drama Filming Locations

http://english.tour2korea.com/03Sightseein...sm=m3_3&konum=4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

While it was sooo hard to access soompi awhile ago, i found many things in my soompi folder....

found my JSA review, CP's emails and post at the thread answering our infinite questions on BH, the different projects and many endless ramblings and arguments.

Since seeing LBH and LYA (at the 26th Blue Dragon Awards) brought memories of JSA, re-posting my JSA review here.

JOINT SECURITY AREA REVIEW

Just want to share with all my Hunnie panda friends that I've already seen JSA last night. I've high expectation for the movie because of some of the reviews I've read here plus the awards that it got and it definitely didn't fail me. It was such an awesome movie, story and acting wise.

I expected a gory and gruesome movie because I thought it was all about war. I was pleasantly surprised to know that it is a moving tale about friendship among 4 men. Friendship has no boundaries and it can grow among people of different cultures, religion or ideals. Despite the hostilities around them, they were able to develop a deep friendship that was tested and ruined because of the upbringing and training that were ingrained in their minds since birth. The way the PD presented the development of their friendship was touching and funny.

Up to the end, they tried to save each other.... LBH's friend would rather die than squeal on him. Sgt. Oh even justified what LBH did by saying that if it happened in the Southern area, he could have done the same. And finally, LBH has to kill himself to atone for his mistake and to show remorse for all that he has done. It's the only thing he can do to appease his conscience.

It's so sad to see that brothers who has the same heritage and even looks, fight against each other ... that there has to be a demarcation line between people of different ideologies. I won't pretend that I know anything about the Korean War. The only thing I know is that one is communist and the other is not. But, people living in both areas were there because they were born there, raised in long time norms and traditions that nobody can even remember how or when they evolved. That's why, LBH's character doesn't understand why they cannot cross each other's space. So near yet so far.

No matter how many lessons or military trainings one had attended, nobody will know how to react if a situation is presented in your face... nothing can prepare you for the real thing.... if faced with danger, human instinct will still prevail and the teachings that have been inculcated in your mind since birth will decide on what path you're going to take. However, the movie also showed that people have innate goodness in them like when Sgt. Oh saved LBH when he was trapped in a mine. Even tho they were supposedly enemies, he helped him.

As always, LBH showed his flawless acting skill. He's very sensitive as an actor and has effectively shown different emotions... joy, playfulness, fear, sadness, stoic, remorse, confusion, pain. He is a multi-faceted actor that can splendidly tackle any role given to him. I also want to give credit to the actor who played Sgt. Oh. He also did justice to his role. The excellent direction, superb acting including the fine editing and superb movie scoring contributed to make it a truly riveting film. PD Park, LBH and Sgt. Oh deserved all the accolades they received for this movie.

********************************************************************************

Come to think of it, i didn't mention LYA in my review. I'm not a real film critic or reviewer so most of my so-called reviews are only my personal views and thoughts rather than a professional and thorough assessment of the entire film. Nah, i dont have the education or experience for that. Honestly, i did not find LYA's acting in JSA as commendable. It was okay. Her english annoyed me. For somebody who lived almost all her life in Switzerland, her accent is weird. As I've said she also had her moments but they're so insignificant compared to the men that i decided not to dwell on her character.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As with Rubie's request, here are my thoughts on JSA... Just thoughts, not review though... Have a fun read...

THOUGHTS AFTER WATCHING JOINT SECURITY ACT

I actually can understand why Sgt Lee decided to take his life in the end... there could have been many things that could have influenced him to take his life:

1. Loyalty - As I have said before, he was torn between the loyalties to his friends versus his loyalty to the country. On one hand, he had a great friendship with the other 3 guys even though they belonged to the 2 different and opposing camps. There is also another level of loyalty where he had to deal with. When his friend from the same force shot the one from the other friend from the enemy camp, he felt that his loyalty between the four of them was threatened... he was torn as to whether to help his fellow comrade or his newfound friends from the enemy camp... in the end, the decision he made hinged upon his guilt so much that in the end, he couldn't bear to face it at all... So, maybe his own death would be the perfect solution.

2. Responsibility and feeling of betrayal - this one is very simple... he was the one who introduced his friend to the two soldiers from the enemy camp and I guess he felt that with the ensuing events on that fateful night, he had to take the blame in place of his friend since he felt responsible... things take an ugly turn when his sense of responsibility was forced to become some sort of a betrayal when he had to reveal the real events that took place that night... he could have been wrecked with guilt that he had to take his own life to somehow ease the pain of the guilt.

Lastly,

3. Principles - He had a very simple principle in the beginning. He stuck to the fact that he wanted to have good relations with the other side because he felt that at the very basic core, all of them were Koreans and that there shouldn't be a thing like North and South to differentiate them. But, somehow, things got blurry when his friend decided to do something else and his principles became ambiguous when he became torn on how to decide the outcome for himself... the blurring lines became so confusing for him that it became a cross he had to bear upon his soul... I guess he became depressed and the only way out for him was death.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just finish watching this show(a bit slow....), find that LBH's role is V cute & funny.

Gd show, will recommend to my non BH's fan

Thanks Zlossie... i think it's one K-movie that is worth watching and sharing to friends.

I think it's still in the list of the Top 10 Box Office Hit in Korea.

It also got great reviews similar to Taegukgi.

His portrayal of Sgt. Lee is both funny, poignant and intense.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Actors of JSA

songgh.gif

Song Kang-ho

songkh5.jpg

Complete filmography:

The Host (2006)

Antarctic Journal (2005)

The President's Barber (2004)

Memories of Murder (2003)

YMCA Baseball Team (2002)

Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance (2002)

Joint Security Area (2000)

The Foul King (2000)

Shiri (1999)

The Quiet Family (1998)

No. 3 (1997)

Bad Movie (1997)

Green Fish (1997)

The Day a Pig Fell into the Well (1996)

Song Kang-ho (b. January 17, 1967) never professionally trained as an actor, beginning his career in social theatre groups after graduating from Kimhae High School. Later he joined Kee Kuk-seo's influential theatre company with its emphasis on instinctive acting and improvisation which proved Song's training ground. Although regularly approached to act in films, he always turned down the opportunity until taking a role as an extra in Hong Sang-soo's The Day a Pig Fell into the Well (1996).

In the following year, after portraying one of the homeless in Jang Sun-woo's docu-style Bad Movie, he gained cult notoriety for his show-stealing performance in Song Neung-han's No. 3 as a gangster training a group of young recruits, winning his first Best Actor award. Since that time he's been cast in several supporting roles before before his high-profile appearance as Han Suk-kyu's secret agent partner in Kang Jae-gyu's blockbuster thriller Shiri.

In early 2000, Song became a star with his first leading role in the box office smash The Foul King, for which he reputedly did most of his own stunts. But it is with his award-winning role as a North Korean sergeant in Joint Security Area that Song came to the forefront as one of Korea's leading actors. Song also starred in Park Chan-wook's acclaimed followup, Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance, which centers around a father's pursuit of his daughter's kidnappers.

In 2002 Song starred in another major production by Myung Films, YMCA Baseball Team, about Korea's first baseball team which formed in the early 20th century. The following year he played a leading role in yet another critically-acclaimed smash hit, Memories of Murder from young director Bong Joon-ho.

In 2004 Song starred in a film by debut director Im Chan-sang that imagines the life of South Korean president Park Chung-hee's personal barber. The following year he also took the lead in Antarctic Journal, a big-budget project by debut director Im Phil-sung, about an expedition in Antarctica. Meanwhile for 2006, he is lined up to star in Bong Joon-ho's politically-themed creature movie The Host, as well as a film based on the famous book Song of Ariran.

leebh.gif

Lee Byung-heon

leebh2.jpg

Complete filmography:

A Bittersweet Life (2005)

Everybody Has Secrets (2004)

Addicted (2002)

My Beautiful Girl, Mari (2002, voice)

Bungee Jumping of Their Own (2001)

Joint Security Area (2000)

Harmonium in My Memory (1999)

Elegy of the Earth (1997)

Kill the Love (1996)

Armageddon (1996) (voice)

Runaway (1995)

Who Drives Me Mad? (1995)

Lee Byung-heon (b. July 12, 1970) majored in French at Hanyang University before making his television debut on KBS in 1991. A fixture in TV dramas throughout the decade, Lee has continued to work in television even after becoming a major film star. His movie debut came in 1995 as the lead in Who Drives Me Mad?, and he worked off and on in the film industry up until his breakthrough film in 2000, Joint Security Area.

For a long time thought of as just another pretty face, Lee eventually earned great praise for his acting, both for his turn in JSA and especially in Bungee Jumping of Their Own. He also starred in the popular television drama Beautiful Days, which screened in spring 2002 on SBS and would later be exported across Asia.

In 2002, Lee starred with actress Lee Mi-yeon in Addicted, a melodrama about two brothers who fall into a coma on the same day. The following spring he also took the lead role in the highly popular TV drama All In, about a successful gambler.

In 2004, Lee appeared opposite actresses Choi Ji-woo, Choo Sang-mi and Kim Hyo-jin in Everybody Has Secrets, a remake of the Irish comedy About Adam. Also that year, several of Lee's TV dramas began to screen in Japan, and his popularity there started to soar. He eventually became even more popular in Japan than he is in Korea.

Then in 2005, Lee appeared in Kim Jee-woon's highly anticipated action-noir A Bittersweet Life. Although the film ended up performing below expectations in both Korea and Japan, it was selected to screen in the Official Selection (out of competition) at the 2005 Cannes Film Festival, giving Lee the opportunity to "walk the red carpet" for his biggest moment of fame.

leeya.gif

Lee Young-ae

leeya4.jpg

Complete filmography:

Sympathy for Lady Vengeance (2005)

One Fine Spring Day (2001)

Last Present (2001)

Joint Security Area (2000)

Shall We Kiss? (1998, cameo)

Inch'Allah (1996)

Lee Young-ae (b. January 31, 1971) first appeared on television in 1993, but it wasn't until 1995 that she began acting in many TV dramas and gathering a large fan following. She won various television awards in the mid-1990s, and in 1996 she made her film debut in the poorly-received Inch'Allah. The negative reputation this film garnered may have pushed back her film career several years, but when she did return it was with a bang, in the record-breaking Joint Security Area by Park Chan-wook. At the time it became the best-selling Korean film ever, and it launched Lee Young-ae into undisputed stardom.

In 2001 Lee continued to build on her film career, starring in the popular melodrama Last Present opposite Lee Jung-jae, and also in the second feature by Hur Jin-ho, director of the acclaimed Christmas in August. This film was released in late September to great critical acclaim, and it landed Lee a Best Actress award from the local Blue Dragon awards.

For the next few years, Lee did not appear in any films, but from 2003 she took the lead role in a hugely popular TV drama called Dae Jang-geum, which revived her popularity among ordinary viewers. In 2005 the drama was also screened in Hong Kong, where it became the most successful Korean drama ever to screen in the territory, topping 40% in viewer ratings.

Lee's return to the screen came in summer 2005 in Sympathy For Lady Vengeance, the last film in Park Chan-wook's acclaimed trilogy of revenge films.

shinhk.gif

Shin Ha-kyun

shinhk1.jpg

Complete filmography:

No Mercy For the Rude (2006)

Murder, Take One (2005)

Welcome to Dongmakgol (2005)

My Brother (2004)

A Letter From Mars (2003)

Save the Green Planet! (2003)

Surprise Party (2002)

Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance (2002)

Guns & Talks (2001)

Joint Security Area (2000)

Coming Out (2000, short film)

The Foul King (2000)

The Spy (1999)

The Happenings

Shin Ha-kyun (b. May 30, 1974) first trained as a stage actor at the Seoul National University of Arts before going on to act in a large number of plays by Jang Jin. When in 1998 Jang Jin directed his first movie, Shin Ha-kyun was cast and he has since appeared in almost all of Jang's feature films. Impressed by his acting abilities, comedy director Kim Jee-woon has also cast him in minor roles in The Foul King and his 30-min internet film Coming Out.

Shin first became a superstar with his role as a young North Korean soldier in Park Chan-wook's smash hit JSA in late 2000. At that time he developed a large fan following which, together that of co-star Won Bin, helped make his next film Guns & Talks a strong commercial hit.

In the next couple years Shin would take on two strong roles that would come to define his career. In Park Chan-wook's acclaimed Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance, he played a deaf man with bright green dyed hair who is driven by desperation to kidnap a young girl. Then in Jang Jun-hwan's Save the Green Planet in 2003, he played a mentally unbalanced man who believes that aliens are plotting to invade the earth. Together, these two intense and harrowing performances by Shin were an impressive display of his acting talent.

After appearing in the rural melodrama A Letter From Mars with actress Kim Hee-sun in 2004, Shin returned in Welcome to Dongmakgol, a drama set during the Korean War in a small mountainous village. His next work for 2006 sees him play a rather eccentric hitman.

Deep gratitude to koreanfilm.org for the information

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

July 31, 2005

Mystery illuminates the Korean divide

By Renee Graham, Globe Staff boston.com

"JSA: Joint Security Area" would be a good movie if it were just a military murder mystery. Yet what makes Park Chan-wook's breakthrough 2000 film remarkable is its shattering examination of the physical and ideological divide between North and South Korea.

JSA_12.jpg

A late-night shootout on the heavily fortified demilitarized zone between the two countries leaves two North Korean soldiers dead. Major Sophie Jean (Lee Young-ae), the Swiss-born daughter of a Korean expatriate, is sent to question two soldiers wounded during the gunfight, only to find vastly conflicting versions of the assault. South Korean Sergeant Lee (Lee Byung-heon) claims he was kidnapped and shot the North Koreans during his escape. His North Korean counterpart, Sergeant Oh (Song Kang-ho), maintains the attack was unprovoked. Neither scenario seems plausible. Through lengthy flashbacks, the heartbreaking truth is revealed, and Park takes his time with a story that has moments of surprising humor, as well as searing poignancy, leading to a devastating conclusion. All of the performances are winning, yet anchoring the film is the superb Song as a man who displays extraordinary grace under fire, both literally and figuratively.

Not surprisingly, ''JSA" has been optioned for a Hollywood remake to be set on the US-Mexico border. Still, this overlooks all that is uniquely Korean about the film. ''JSA" isn't about any old border clash. It masterfully illuminates the soul-deep scars of a people who share a language, customs, a tragic history of colonization, and, ultimately, the bitter ramifications of a civil war that has left their nations estranged. Park would later achieve international acclaim for 2003's ''Oldboy," but the elegiac ''JSA" announced his arrival as a premier filmmaker in the current wave of vibrant Korean cinema. (UMVD/Visual Entertainment, $24.99)

© Copyright 2005 Globe Newspaper Company.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks to Shirley for the info:

Park Chan-wook

Screenwriter/Director/Editor : Born August 23, 1963 - Korea

From All Movie Guide: A versatile stylist with an aesthetic that straddles the line between the idiosyncratic and the mainstream, Park Chan-wook is best known for his 2000 film Joint Security Area, a powerful story about a murder along the Demilitarized Zone between North and South Korea that became the biggest box-office hit in the history of Korean cinema. (It was later supplanted by the action film Shiri, which also dealt with North-South relations.) Park's interest in film began in college at Sogang University, where he started the "film gang" club and published a number of critical studies on contemporary cinema. After graduating from the Department of Philosophy, he began working in the film industry as an assistant director to Gwak Jae-young on A Sketch of a Rainy Day (1988).

In 1992, he directed his first feature, The Moon Is...the Sun's Dream, a gangster drama, and shifted gears into comedy with 1997's Trio, a romp about three pals on the run from the law. Neither of these films gained much recognition, but his next film, Joint Security Area, struck a nerve with Korean audiences, partly because it was released at a time when relations between the North and South Korean governments were beginning to thaw, but also because it's a well-made, extremely moving film. Rather than following his success with something similar, Park once again changed direction with his next movie, the kidnapping drama Sympathy for Mister Vengeance (2002).

With its heavy doses of excruciating violence and a set of characters bent on destroying one another, it's a much more disturbing film than his previous efforts. While it is very different from Joint Security Area, it does make a similar point about how easily "normal" people can be driven to perform horrific acts. Even though he is now one of Korea's most commercially successful directors, he still finds time to collaborate with other filmmakers, co-writing and co-editing Park Chan-ok's 2002 debut feature, Jealousy Is My Middle Name. ~ Tom Vick, All Movie Guide

2005 Sympathy for Lady Vengeance Director / Screenwriter

2005 The Nine Lives of Korean Cinema Actor

2004 Oldboy Director / Screenwriter

2004 Three... Extremes Director / Screenwriter

2002 Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance Director / Screenwriter

2002 Jiltuneun Naeui Him Editor / Screenwriter

2000 Joint Security Area Director

http://movies2.nytimes.com/gst/movies/film...tml?p_id=293448

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

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

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

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

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

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

Sign in to follow this  

Announcements



×
×
  • Create New...