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August 1, 2013
'Be different'Singer Lee Jung-hyun spills beans on life
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A scene from singer Lee Jung-hyun’s latest single “V,” the music video of which was directed by Park Chan-wook and Park Chan-kyung./ Courtesy of AVA Films & Entertainment
By Park Si-soo The Korea Times
A female solo singer in Korea is not usually forthcoming about their romantic life or about wanting a boyfriend. But hallyu star Lee Jung-hyun was direct and frank. At 33, many friends of her have already married or, at least, have a person who they are dating seriously.
Yet she is still single and unattached ― officially.
“I really want to have a boyfriend,” Lee said with a bashful smile. “I had my last boyfriend three years ago. He was not an entertainer.” She didn’t elaborate. Lee said she doesn’t care much about age, nationality and career; instead she is looking for a person with a strong sense of responsibility and commitment.
“Even if I have a boyfriend, I will keep it a secret until marriage,” she said.
The veteran entertainer said she finds herself increasingly vulnerable to feelings of loneliness, but that it was inappropriate to express it since her fans still want her to look like a “bright, cheerful party lady” who is likely to delight them forever.
Renowned movie director Park Chan-wook, who earned international fame with the Cannes award-winning film “Oldboy” and many other hit movies, is her mentor and best friend who she can reveal her inner feelings without hesitation, she said. The 50-year-old Park and his brother Park Chan-kyung directed the music video of her latest song “V” for nothing.
 Singer Lee Jung-hyun, right, sits next to film director Park Chan-wook, center, while monitoring recorded scenes of her music video “V.” Lee said Park is her best mentor and friend who she can reveal her inner feelings to without hesitation. Park and his brother Park Chan-kyung directed the music video for free. / Courtesy of AVA Films & Entertainment
Lee said her work on “Night Fishing” (2010) directed by the Park brothers allowed her to grow in leaps and bounds
“Our talks are usually centered on career stuff,” Lee said. “I usually speak and he listens. His answer is always short and simple, but really helpful.”
She portrayed herself as a “perfectionist” in her early years in the entertainment world, but it only caused clashes with co-workers and then she realized the importance of compromising ― to a degree.
“Well, now I know I cannot get everything done the way that I want,” she said. “But it doesn’t necessary mean I do it to the level where my core value is at risk.”
Perhaps Lee may be freer with her talent agency now, unlike other K-pop stars that belong to large and powerful talent management agencies. She demonstrated love and affection for the K-pop stars, but cautiously added that they need to show more individuality.
She said she always wants to show a different side to the public and that is the “core value” of her that will never become subject to a compromise.
“I want myself to be different in every single album or film,” she said. “I will uphold this forever ― regardless of age or popularity.”

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August 30, 2013
Korean Pic “Juvenile Offender” to Compete at the Oscars
by Lee Eun Ah TENASIA

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Korean singer-actress Lee Jung-hyun (left) and actor Seo pose on the poster of "Juvenile Offender." [Time Story]
Korean pic “Juvenile Offender” will compete at next year’s Oscars.
The film has been chosen to compete in the category of Foreign Language Film at the 86th Academy Awards which will be held next February, the film’s promoter Time Story said through a press release on Friday.
Other films that were submitted for the category include Song Joong-ki’s “A Werewolf Boy,” Lee Jong-suk’s “The Face Reader,” historical film “Jiseul” and controversial film “National Security.”
The judging committee was quoted as saying in the statement, “It was very difficult to choose a film because each had a distinctive color and represents Korea… ‘Juvenile Offender’ stood out in terms of the detail directing, it was a universal yet Korean story, and film was complete to the point that it was hard to point out any flaws.”
Directed by Kim Yi-kwan, the film nabbed the special jury prize and award for best actor at the 25th Tokyo International Film Festival (TIFF) in 2012 and the trophy for best actor and best picture at the Cine Manila International Film Festival the same year.
The film, starring Seo Young-joo and Lee Jung-hyun, revolves around a sixteen-year-old boy who is sent to a juvenile detention center for a repetitive crime. He then meet his mother for the first time in thirteen years.
Reporter. Euna Lee domino@tenasia.co.krEditor. Jessica Kim
Courtesy of Time Story

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October 28, 2013
Lee Jung Hyun reveals a recent photo of herself STARN News1382941792.jpg

Lee Jung Hyun released a recent photo of herself.
On October 25th, Lee Jung Hyun linked the website of 'Our Movie Seoul' project on her Weibo and wrote "Send photos of many different things that remind you of Seoul."
She also uploaded a recent photo of herself.
In the photo, Lee Jung Hyun is showing a bright smile at the camera, wearing a grey hoodie.
Netizens who saw the photo left comments, such as "She looks like she's still in her 20s", "How can her skin condition be so amazing", and "I wonder how I lived".
/Reporting by Choi Hyun-Jung en@starnnews.com

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header_logo.gif Official Website: APSA 2013

November 14, 2013
Three Korean Films Nominated at Asia Screen Pacific AwardsJUVENILE OFFENDER, THE FAKE and MASQUERADE Compete by Pierce Conran KOFIC

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The Asia Screen Pacific Awards have announced their nominees for its 7th edition and among them, a trio of Korean films has been selected. 39 films from 21 countries were nominated in various categories. KANG Yi-kwan’s Juvenile Offender was nominated in the Best Children’s Feature Film category. Among other nominees was Wadjda, the first Saudi Arabian film directed by a woman, which served as the closing film of this year’s Jeonju International Film Festival. YEON Sang-ho’s The Fake was selected for the Best Animated Feature Film section. YEON’s dark animation has been getting a lot of attention since its bow as part of the Toronto International Film Festival’s Vanguard section back in September. Among others, The Fake will go up against MIYAZAKI Hayao’s final feature The Wind Rises. LEE Byung-hun was nominated in the Best Performance by an Actor category for his dual-role in the hit period drama Masquerade. Directed by CHOO Chang-min, the film collected over 12 million admissions last fall. Last year, four films were nominated in various categories while CHOI Min-shik earned Best Actor for Nameless Gangster: Rules of the Time and CHO Min-soo picked up the Screen International Jury Grand Prize for Pieta. The 7th Asia Pacific Screen Awards will take place in Brisbane’s City Hall on December 12th. 

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November 23, 2013
Lee Jung Hyun talks about her future plan at '2013 MAMA' Source: STARN News
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Lee Jung Hyun talked about her future plan.
On November 22nd, Lee Jung Hyun attended artist welcome meeting of '2013 Mnet Asia Music Awards(MAMA)', which was held at Asia World-Expo Arena in Hong Kong.
Lee Jung Hyun said, "I had a lot of fun while promoting single 'V' in the summer. I am currently shooting a new film. I will be showing another side of me, and I hope my fans will enjoy it."
She went on, "I am also working on a new single, which I am planning to release in early 2014. I will be keeping myself for the rest of the year, and also next year."
Lee Jung Hyun also said, "Personally, I am a huge fan of BigBang, and I cannot wait to see their performance tonight."
She lastly talked about unique concepts she always brings up. "I have a hobby of watching relatively unknown films, and visiting small exhibitions. That's where I get most of the motivations. I will keep doing my best to present more unique concepts."
Meanwhile, '2013 MAMA' will open on November 22nd at 7 PM, and a great number of celebrities, such as BigBang, Lee Jung Hyun, EXO, Crayon Pop, Jung Woo, Han Chae Young, Stevie Wonder, Paris Hilton, ICONA POP, and Aaron Kwak will be attending the event.
/Reporting by Do Hyelim jp@starnnews.com

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December 3, 2013
7 Nominations for SNOWPIERCER at Asia Pacific Film FestivalCOLD EYES and JUVENILE OFFENDER Also In the Running by Pierce Conran KOBIZ

BONG Joon-ho’s Snowpiercer received nominations in seven categories for the upcoming 56th Asia Pacific Film Festival, which will take place in Macau on December 15th. The Korean sci-fi blockbuster, which accrued 9.3 million admissions domestically this summer, was only behind WONG Kar-wai’s The Grandmaster in the nominations tally. The China-HK Ip Man film was nominated in nine categories. Though among the Best Picture contenders, Snowpiercer was recognized for Best Director (BONG Joon-ho), Best Supporting Actor (SONG Kang-ho) and Best Supporting Actress (Tilda Swinton), as well the technical categries for Best Cinematography, Editing, Sound and Art Direction. Meanwhile, KANG Yi-kwan’s indie drama Juvenile Offender is a big presence in the acting categories, with nominations for both Best Actor and Actress, for SEO Young-joo and LEE Jung-hyun, respectively. Lastly, popular summer thriller Cold Eyes was also nominated for Best Editing. Among the jury members deciding this year’s awards will be Korean film director HUR Jin-ho, of Christmas in August (1998) fame, who also serves as the head of the Jecheon International Music & Film Festival.

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December 12, 2013
Palestine’s ‘Omar’ Claims APSA Awards Win
Patrick FraterAsia Bureau Chief VARIETY.com
HONG KONG – “Omar,” Hany Abu-Asad’s powerful drama about violence, was named as the best feature film at the Asia Pacific Screen Awards.
The film, about a young baker whose loyalty to family and country are complicated by his love for a student, debuted in Un Certain Regard at Cannes and is Palestine’s official entry for the foreign-language Academy Award.
‘Omar” (pictured) was the APSA front-runner with three nominations, but at the ceremony in Brisbane City hall, the best film prize was its only award. “The Lunchbox,” earned its first-time Indian director Ritesh Batra the prize for best screenplay. The film was also one of two that were awarded a Grand Jury Prize. Mostofa Farooki’s “Television” from Bangladesh also won a Grand Jury Prize.
The jury was headed by Indian screenwriter and director Shyam Benegal. He said he was “most impressed with the quality of films that have made it to the final competition at APSA. The jury decided all of the prizes with the exception of three – best children’s film, animated film and documentary – which were chosen by a vote of APSA Academy members. APSA’s Academy consists of past winners and nominees.
While APSA documentary winner the “The Act of Killing” was directed by the U.S.’s Joshua Oppenheimer and financed largely from Europe, it was deemed eligible for the APSAs. It features several former Indonesian government operatives reliving their acts of torture and murder in the style of film performances. It was produced in association with several Indonesian producers who do not want their identity revealed and instead label themselves as Anonymous.
In addition to “Omar” the winners list includes five other films that are their countries’ Oscar hopefuls: “Television” (Bangladesh), “The Grandmaster” (Hong Kong), “Back to 1942” (China), “Juvenile Offender” (South Korea) and “Ilo, Ilo” (Singapore).
As in previous years, the ceremony was webcast live and appeared to go off without obvious technical hitches. Unfortunately, a large number of the prize winners — including Hany Abu-Asad, Ritesh Batra, Zhang Ziyi and Lee Byung-hun — were not in attendance. Anthony Chen, who was criticized for his acceptance speech at last month’s Golden Horse Awards in Taiwan, this time kept his speech to a minimalist 43 seconds.
Asia Pacific Screen Awards 2013 Winners
Best Feature Film“Omar” dir: Hany Anu-Asad (Palestine)
Grand Jury Prize(s)“The Lunchbox” dir: Ritesh Batra (India)“Television” dir: Mostofa Farooki (Bangladesh)
Best Screenplay“The Lunchbox” dir: Ritesh Batra (India)
Best Performance by an ActressZhang Ziyi in “The Grandmaster” (HK-China)

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December 12, 2013
Asia Pacific Screen Awards: Palestine’s 'Omar' Wins Best FilmChina's Zhang Ziyi won best actress for her performance in Wong Kar Wai's "The Grandmaster," Korean star Lee Byung-hun took best actor, and Singapore's Anthony Chen was named best director for "Ilo Ilo."

by Pip Bulbeck THR
Palestine’s entry for the best foreign language film Oscar, Omar, took the top prize of best film at the Asia Pacific Screen Awards (APSA's), presented in Brisbane, Australia on Thursday
A story of love and betrayal set in the West Bank, Omar is the first film to be fully funded by the Palestinian film industry. It was written and directed by Hany Abu-Assad, and produced by Waleed Zuaiter, David Gerson and Abu-Assad. It  premiered in Un Certain Regard at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival.
The major acting awards went to two audience favorites from China and Korea.
Zhang Ziyi was awarded best actress for her role in Wong Kar Wai’s martial arts drama The Grandmaster, which chronicles the life of Chinese martial arts master Ip Man, whose students included Bruce Lee.
Korean superstar Lee Byung-hun won best actor for Masquerade, the fourth-highest grossing Korean film ever, in which he plays two roles.
Indicative of the spread of countries represented at the awards, films from India, China and South Korea took home two awards each. Movies from Bangladesh, Iran, Russia and Singapore also collected awards, with a further two special mentions going to films from Kazakhstan and Iraqi Kurdistan. Six of those winners are their nations' official Oscar entries, including Television (Bangladesh), Back to 1942 (China), Juvenile Offender (South Korea), Ilo, Ilo (Singapore) and The Grandmaster.
The year’s APSA Jury President, Indian screenwriter and director, Shyam Benegal, said “I’m most impressed with the quality of films that have made it to the final competition at APSA, they represent the diverse cultures of the Asia Pacific region.”
India’s The Lunchbox, took two major awards: Ritesh Batra won the best screenplay award and the film was one of two to win a Jury Grand Prize.
Television, produced by Mostofa Sarwar Farooki, was also awarded a Jury Grand Prize -- the first time an Asia Pacific Screen Award has gone to a film from Bangladesh.
Other winners included Anthony Chen, who was named best director for his debut feature, Ilo, Ilo , while the jury awarded two additional special mentions for achievement in directing to Emir Baigazin for Uroki Garmonii (Harmony Lessons, Kazakhstan, Germany, France) and to Hiner Saleem for My Sweet Pepper Land (Iraqi Kurdistan, France, Germany).
Lu Yue won best cinematography for Back to 1942.  
The UNESCO award for outstanding contribution to the promotion and preservation of cultural diversity through film was awarded to The Painting Pool from Iran.
Winners in three categories were determined by APSA Academy members through Academy voting: best children’s feature, best animated feature and best documentary feature.
Juvenile Offender, produced by Park Joo-young, collected the award for best children’s feature. The story of a young juvenile offender who is reunited with the mother he never knew he had, the film stars newcomer Seo Young-joo and K-pop star Lee Jung-hyun.
The best animated feature was the Russian film Koo! Kin-Dza-Dza, while the best documentary feature went to The Act of Killing (Denmark, Norway, United Kingdom). It was eligible to enter by virtue of its anonymous Indonesian producers.
Despite a slew of nominations from both the host nation, Australia, and Japan, with half a dozen each, all nominees from those two countries left empty handed.
39 films from 23 countries and areas in total received award nominations.
The ceremony was streamed live via the APSA website and was broadcast to 46 countries across Asia, the Pacific and Indian subcontinent via the ABC’s Australia Network and will air in Australia on SBS One on Dec. 22.

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December 13, 2013
Omar wins Best Feature at APSA
By Stephen Cremin FlimBizAsia
Hany ABU-ASSAD's Omar has won the Best Feature Film prize at the 7th Asia Pacific Screen Awards (APSA) in Brisbane. The drama from Palestine had the most nominations this year, among 39 nominated films from 22 countries.
Only one film received more than one award, Ritesh BATRA's Indian drama The Lunchbox, which secured Best Screenplay and the second Jury Grand Prize despite not being nominated in the Best Feature Film category.
Mostofa Sarwar FAROOKI's Television, from Bangladesh, won the first Jury Grand Prize. Receiving the award, actress Nusrat Imrose TISHA (pictured) said "It's a big opportunity for us, for Bangladesh."
Directors Batra and Farooki are both currently attending the 10th Dubai International Film Festival where the latter's new film, Ant Story Pipra bidya, is competing in the Muhr AsiaAfrica Feature competition.
Ilo Ilo 爸媽不在家's Anthony CHEN 陳哲藝, from Singapore, was recognised in the Achievement in Directing category. A special mention went to Emir BAIGAZIN for Harmony Lessons Uroki garmonii from Kazakhstan.
LEE Byeong-heon 이병헌 | 李炳憲 won Best Actor for Masquerade 광해 왕이 되 남자. He is currently shooting PARK Heung-shik 박흥식's period action drama Memories of a Sword 협녀: 칼의 기억. Unable to attend, he sent an English-language video message.
ZHANG Ziyi 章子怡 won Best Actress for The Grandmaster 一代宗師. She sent an English-language video message from Los Angeles. Best Cinematography went to LÜ Yue 呂樂, also from China, for FENG Xiaogang 馮小剛's Back to 1942 一九四二.
The Best Documentary Feature Film was awarded to Joshua OPPENHEIMER's The Act of Killing, in which ageing Indonesian death squad leaders re-enact their mass-killings in the style of different movie genres.
Receiving the award, producer Anne KÖHNCKE thanked the festivals and distributors in the Asian region that have supported the documentary. She especially thanked the families of the victims of the mid-60s genocide for sharing their stories.
Best Children's Feature Film, for features that reveal the world from the perspective of a child, went to KANG Yi-kwan 강이관 | 彊利官's Juvenile Offender 범죄소년 from South Korea. It was accepted by the film's co-writer PARK Ju-yeong 박주영.
Although they started the evening with six nominations, the most from any country, Japanese films and film-makers won no awards. There were multiple wins for films and film-makers from India, South Korea and China among the 14 prize winners.
During the ceremony, South Korea's LEE Chun-yeon 이춘연, the president of landmark production company Cine2000 씨네2000, was presented with the FIAPF Award for Outstanding Achievement in Film in the Asia Pacific region.
Also during the night, The Academy Film Fund awarded four US$25,000 grants to Ainsley Gardiner's Canoe, Reis Çelik's Karbala Orchestra, Jeannette Hereniko's Fall Out and Garin NUGROHO's The Monkey Mask.
Two APSA Children's Film Fund script development grants, each worth US$20,000, went to India's Sudheer PALSANE for Noor and Australia's Kath Shelper for The Wonderful Adventures of Topsy Brown & Other Terrible Tales.
2013 ASIA PACIFIC SCREEN AWARDS
Best Feature Film: Omar [Palestine]1st Jury Grand Prize: Television [bangladesh]2nd Jury Grand Prize: The Lunchbox [india]Best Children's Feature Film: Juvenile Offender [south Korea]Best Documentary Feature Film: The Act of Killing [Denmark, Norway, UK]Best Animated Feature Film: Koo! Kin-Dza-Dza [Russia]Achievement in Directing: Anthony Chen; Ilo Ilo [singapore]Best Screenplay: Ritesh Batra; The Lunchbox [india]Achievement in Cinematography: Lü Yue; Back to 1942 [China]Best Performance by an Actor: Lee Byeong-heon; Masquerade [south Korea]Best Performance by an Actress: Zhang Ziyi; The Grandmaster [Hong Kong/China]

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December 13, 2013
ASPA Wins for Juvenile Offender and Lee Byung-hunLee Choon-yun also Honored at Asia Pacific Screen Awards by Pierce Conran KOBIZ
Juvenile Offender and Masquerade picked up prizes during the 2013 Asia Pacific Screen Awards, which were held last night in Brisbane, Australia. LEE Choon-yun, one of the industry’s top producers, was also handed a lifetime achievement award. In total, 39 films from 22 countries competed in various categories. KANG Yi-kwan’s Juvenile Offender, which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival last year before going on a lengthy festival run which included awards in the Tokyo and Cinemanila International Film Festivals, was triumphant in the Children’s Feature Category. LEE Byung-hun, who featured in the Hollywood blockbuster sequels G.I. Joe: Retaliation and RED 2 this year, won in the Best Actor category for his two-role turn in last year’s period hit Masquerade, from director CHOO Chang-min. It was the second consecutive year that a Korean performer won in the category following last year’s award for CHOI Min-shik and his role in Nameless Gangster. Also nominated was YEON Sang-ho’s The Fake in the Best Animated Film category but it lost out to Koo! Kin-Dza-Dza from Russia. This year’s FIAPF Award for Outstanding Achievement in Film in the Asia Pacific region was given to LEE Choon-yun, the president of Korean production company Cine2000. Other major award winners during the 7th ASPAs were the Palestinian drama Omar for Best Film, while Singapore’s Anthony CHEN won Best Director for Ilo Ilo and ZHANG Ziyi picked up Best Actress for her part in WONG Kar-wai’s The Grandmaster.

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February 11, 2014
JUVENILE OFFENDER and NOBODY’S DAUGHTER HAEWON Dock in PortlandMore Festival Dates for Popular Indies
by Pierce Conran KOFIC
A pair of popular independent features from South Korea have added new dates to their lengthy festival calendars. The Portland International Film Festival, which will be staging its 37th edition this year, is set to screen KANG Yi-kwan’s Juvenile Offender and HONG Sangsoo’s Nobody’s Daughter Haewon. Juvenile Offender premiered all the way back at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2012 and has remained a steady presence on the festival circuit since. The drama has screened at over 20 events, winning awards at the Tokyo (Special Jury Prize, Best Actor) and Cinemanila (Lino Brocka Grand Prize, Best Actor) International Film Festivals. KANG’s film was also named Best Children’s Feature at last year’s Asia Pacific Screen Awards. Nobody’s Daughter Haewon, which premiered in the Berlin International Film Festival’s Main Competition last year, was the first of HONG’s 2013 offerings, the other being Our Sunhi. Featuring an endearing lead turn from newcomer JUNG Eun-chae, the film has been a popular fixture on the international circuit over the last 12 months. Portland’s international film event gets underway on February 6th and concludes on the 22nd.

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April 8, 2014 
Korean stars highlight food mall opening in Beijinghttp://entertainment.xin.msn.com/en/celebrity/buzz/asia/imc-photoviewer.aspx?cp-documentid=255804905#scpshrtu

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South Korean conglomerate CJ Corporation and Chinese property developer SOHO celebrated the opening of CJ Food World in Qianmen area with hallyu super stars in Beijing, China, 7 April 2014. South Koran actors Lee Byung Hun and Lee Seung Gi, actress Lee Jung Hyun and pop group EXO arrived in their finest formal outfits or dresses to celebrate the big collaboration. Lee Byung Hun looked handsome and manly with a whole white outfit under a grey suit. Lee Jung Hyun meanwhile highlighted the event with a colorful printed frock.

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Guest Emetiora

Her Newest Song "V" will be featured on Parking Chance (the director of the MV) showcase.
LEE_JUNG_HYUN_-_V_%28SPECIAL_SINGLE_ALBU

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July 22, 2014

Lee Jung-hyun in 'Roaring Currents'
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Actress Lee Jung-hyun attends an event in Seoul on July 21, 2014, to promote the new film "Roaring Currents," the story of Korean Adm. Yi Sun-shin defeating more than 300 Japanese warships with only 13 ships in one of the world's most dramatic naval battles. During the Japanese invasion of Korea in 1957, Yi lured the Japanese into the currents of Myungryung Strait off the southwestern coast and demolished most of the Japanese warships, resulting in the end of the seven-year war initiated by the Japanese invasion. (Yonhap) (END)

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August 1, 2014
War Movie Pulls 1 Million Viewers in 2 Days
Source: The Chosun Ilbo
"Roaring Currents" pulled 1 million cinemagoers in just 37 hours after its release on Wednesday. 
According to distributor CJ E&M on Thursday, a total of more than 1 million moviegoers had watched the film as of 1.30 p.m., achieving the milestone faster than any other film. 
The war movie attracted 683,072 spectators on its first day alone, another record.
Only two films have ever drawn over 1 million viewers in two days -- "Snowpiercer" and "Secretly Greatly."
Of the flicks that attracted more than 10 million spectators, "Avatar," "The Host" and "The Thieves" took three days to hit the 1 million mark, and "Masquerade" and "The Attorney" four. 

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August 3, 2014
‘Roaring Currents’ details compelling chronicle of Adm. Yi and his Battle of Myeongryang
By Ahn Sung-mi The Korea Herald

Audiences were already eager for the film “Roaring Currents,” even before it premiered. Part of it had to do with veteran actor Choi Min-sik (“Old Boy”) starring as the protagonist, Adm. Yi Sun-sin. The rest was the fact that the film is about Adm. Yi, one of the most revered figures in Korean history. His statue stands at the heart of Seoul in Gwanghwamun. 
The film’s broad road of success was forecast as the film centers on the historic Battle of Myeongryang in 1592, during the Japanese invasion of Korea (1592-1598). It is regarded as the most remarkable military achievement of Adm. Yi. 
The history itself is more exciting than any action film. Adm. Yi used strategy to destroy 133 Japanese warships with only 12 ships under his command ― the film exaggerates the number of Japanese warships at 330, but 133 ships is still a significant amount. 
Actor Choi Min-sik plays Admiral Yi Sun-sin in “Roaring Currents.” (CJ Entertainment)
But the film is far more enriching and interesting than its sheer magnitude ― a big, expensive, star-studded, didactic film with naval battle scenes. The film portrays Adm. Yi not as an aloof warrior, but as a father and a warrior who is fearful and lonely on the brink of a gruesome battle. Viewers are able to connect on certain aspects and root for a leader like this. 
“I had no intention of reinterpreting him with new facts or different points of view,” said the film’s director Kim Han-min at the press screening last week. “I made the film based on my honest reflection after reading ‘Nanjung Ilgi, (The War Diary of Yi Sun-sin),’ no more and no less.”
“He was a soldier with a humble heart who lived fully with his own set of principles and national vision. I think that is what Yi’s leadership is about,” Kim added. 
This detailed and compelling chronicle is divided into two sections. The first part entails the anguish and deep pressure the hero faces as he comes to the battlefield, which can feel a bit lagging to those excited to see the much-touted battle scene that lasts 61 minutes. 
The naval combat scene between Adm. Yi and Japanese Adm. Gurujima, played by iconic star Ryu Seung-ryong (“Miracle in Cell No. 7”), is fast-paced and lively. 
The Battle of Myeongryang in 1597 during the Japanese invasion of Korea (1592-1598) is regarded as Admiral Yi Sun-sin’s most remarkable military achievement. (CJ Entertainment)
However, in the long, detailed and nerve-wracking combat scene, the film does not illustrate Adm. Yi as a genius strategist or someone who has unbelievable sword skills. The entire battle is conducted one stab and a single bowstring at a time. 
Unlike what people imagined of the Battle of Myungryang ― learning from history books ― the victory is only possible with the cooperation of all the soldiers, who at first resist Yi’s order to proceed toward the Japanese warships because they are too scared. 
The families desperately waiting for their sons and husbands to return take credit as well. In a scene showing those left behind, actor and singer Lee Jung-hyun steals the spotlight as a mute woman who uses her hands, feet and body gestures to portray her ardent desire for her husband to return home. But most of all, it is Adm. Yi’s leadership that shines. 
His leadership is wise and careful but determined. He has authority but is not authoritative. He adheres to principles but is not a fundamentalist. He knows exactly what the problem is with his soldiers: “The main problem is the fear that is spreading like a poison within the people, not the hundreds of Japanese warships approaching.” 
“If you are going to live, you will die, but if you are going to die, you will live,” says the admiral before battle. “The only way to win the battle is when fear transforms into courage.”
And finally when the admiral and his men overcome their fear of death, they are able to fight the battle that was regarded impossible to win. 
That is why when the quick currents of the Uldulmok Passage in Jindo ― where the battle is fought ― are on Adm. Yi’s side allowing him to crush the Japanese warships, it didn’t feel like a miracle, but more a well-deserved and hard-earned help from nature. 
Music also plays a key role throughout the film. The 17th and 18th century classical music played by a grand orchestra of 150 people, helps portray the grandeur in the serious action scenes. The director thought the use of a western orchestra from the same period would add to the film’s scale. 
In fulfilling hype, “Roaring Current” has drawn a landmark number of viewers already, topping film records on five different areas, including biggest opening with 682,833 viewers on July 30, highest number of single weekday visitors with 866,373 viewers on Aug. 1, and drawing 3 million viewers in four days, shoving the record set only a week ago by another period action flick “Kundo: Age of the Rampant” to second. 
Whether “Roaring Currents” will spur another era of periodic films remains to be seen, but for sure, it has reminded the audience of what a victory in battle is made of.

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