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'"Low Life"' headed to Venice film fest

2004/06/01 | 371 views | Permalink | Source

Director Im Kwon-taek's film "Low Life" has been invited to compete at the 61st Venice Film Festival, signaling the growing international clout of Korean films.
Im's 99th film was invited to compete in the "Venezia 61" section of the festival, where entries are in the running to win the coveted Golden Lion Prize at the oldest film festival in the world.

The announcement follows the success garnered by director Park Chan-wook's "Old Boy" at the Cannes Film Festival in May, which won the Grand Prize and is reported to have received praise from director Quentin Tarantino. So far, seven Korean films have been invited to compete for the Golden Lion Prize for six consecutive years, including this year. Korean directors have also been making a clean sweep at international film festivals in recent years. Lee Chang-dong won the best director prize for "Oasis" at the 2002 Venice Film Festival, while Kim Ki-duk won the Silver Bear for best director at this year's Berlin Festival.

Im won the Best Director Award at the Cannes Film Festival in 2002 for "Chihwaseon", a film about famous Joseon Dynasty painter and tippler Chang Seung-eop. This marks the second time Im has been invited to participate at Venice; the first was in 1987 for "The Surrogate Woman". Kang Soo-yeon won the best actress award that year for her portrayal of a woman who gives birth to other couples' children.

"Low Life" follows the story of a man struggling to survive amid the violence and corruption that characterized an authoritarian Korea from the 1950s to the 1970s. Cho Seung-woo plays Tae-woong, the lead character, and Kim Gyu-ri plays his wife, Hae-ok.

Roughly 20 entries are competing for best film in "Venezia 61". "Upstream", a competing section reserved for more experimental films, will be replaced this year by "Venezia Digital", a competing category showcasing digital films. The festival opens Sept. 1.

By Iris Moon

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