In this Episode: Pierce gives us a news roundup and has a chat to independent film actress Kim Kkobbi…
KOFIC recently launched "Korean Cinema Today", a bimonthly podcast that's all about the wonderful world of Korean cinema. Hosted by Pierce Conran, the show features the latest Korean cinema news, features, discussions, and interviews with special guests from the industry.
This episode of KOFIC's Korean Cinema Today was divided into two segments, the first has Pierce discussing some Korean film news, and the second features an interview with actress Kim Kkobbi ("Breathless", "Pluto"). The first segment seems to be from last year and mentions the box office figures from the last week of December; but Pierce also highlights a few Korean news items that are worth mentioning again.
Coming up later this month is the 43rd International Film Festival Rotterdam, an event in which Korean films have done very well in over the years. At the festival, Pierce tells us, Noh Young-seok's "Intruders" will be featured under the "bright future' section of the competition. As mentioned, many Korean films have been honoured there in the past, these successes include Hong Sang-soo's "The Day a Pig Fell Into the Well" (1996), Park Chan-ok's "Jealousy Is My Middle Name" (2002) and "Paju" (2009), "Breathless" by Yang Ik-june, and Park Jung-bum's debut "The Journals of Musan" (2010).
There are also a few words spent on Lee Wonsuk's upcoming drama "The Tailors", which stars Han Suk-kyu, Go Soo, Park Shin-hye, Yoo Yeon-seok, Ma Dong-seok, and Shin So-yul. The film is about tailors who make traditional clothes for the royal family during the Joseon era, and have a sort of a face off when the clothes are present to the king and queen. The film does not have a release date as of yet, so keep an eye open for this one later in the year.
In this first half, Pierce talks about the box office for the last week of December, mentioning CGV's huge success as it recorded more than a hundred-million admissions last year. Interesting, CGV also has theatres in the U.S.A, China and Vietnam, and is now the 5th largest distributor in the world. Last year, Korea's film industry reported impressive figures that equated to 4.2 tickets per capita, indicating that Koreans are some of the most active filmgoers in the world.
Spike Lee's version of "Old Boy" is coming to Korean audience next week, and now there is news that "I Saw the Devil" will also be getting a U.S. facelift. There are no directors or writers attached to the project as of yet, only that the production house "1984 Private Defence Contractors" has picked it up (the same team that brought us "Dredd", "The Grey", and "Killing them Softy").
The second segment of this week's podcast was dedicated to an interview with independent film actress: Kim Kkobbi. Here, her and Pierce have a good chat about her career, recent projects, and her thoughts on the industry and experiences. Kim has been in a number of productions both in Korea and Japan, but first grabbed everyone's attention in Yang Ik-june's "Breathless". Kim shares the story of how her career took-off, saying that when she was an extra her crying was so good that it grabbed the director's attention. The extra's handler then put her in an audition for, her first feature film, "Jealousy Is My Middle Name" (2002). It's a great little interview and I would encourage you all to take a listen to hear this young star's thoughts on the industry, some funny on-set incidents, and to hear what Kim will be up to in the near future.
THOUGHTS ON THIS EPISODE:
I am not sure why they chose to release two separate sections to this episode, so you will have to download both/switch if you want the 'full' episode 4. The first segment was a little out-dated and presented news and figures that have already passed, and so for that, and its choppy presentation, I've scored this episode lower that the last. The interview with Kim Kkobbi was very light and gave a lot of informative on the actress's projects and work. I really enjoyed hearing about some her experiences and why she enjoys what she's doing, but I also would have like to seen tougher, more probing, questions posed that got a little more out of her. Her English was not the best, but Pierce was a great host that seemed to make her comfortable and she ended up articulating her thoughts and feelings rather well.
The Korea Cinema Today podcast is available for free on iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/kr/podcast/korean-cinema-today/id763335169?l=en&mt=2
Episode 2: New Direction for Korean Film Maverick
Episode 3: Korean Film Critic Darcy Paquet Reflects on 2003
Special Episode: Korean Cinema in 2013
Did you enjoy this episode? Share your thoughts on this podcast with others in the comment section below.
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