[HanCinema's Digest] Cinema Snippets

Korea's "City of Film" gets a serious cash injection, Justin Lowe reviews Cho Ui-seok's "Master", Netflix's first Korean original series will be web comic, and for the first time in over a decade a Japanese anime has topped Korea's charts.

"Busan Invests USD 12 Million for City of Film"

The coastal city of Busan will get a massive injection of funds to further its status as Korea's "City of Film". According to KoBiz, the Busan City Government will invest $12 million this year to develop its cinema scene. The city already hosts one of Asia's premiere celebrations of cinema, the Busan International Film Festival (BIFF), and now the city's top officials are seeking to cement Busan's role in driving K-cinema by allocating funds across the board to ensure that this aspect of the Korean Wave keeps rolling...


""Master": Film Review"

Justin Lowe reviews Cho Ui-seok's new action crime flick "Master" for the Hollywood Reporter. The film, which stars Lee Byung-hun, Gang Dong-won and Kim Woo-bin, opened in Korea late last month in pole position in the box office and is quickly approaching 7 million admissions. As Justin rightly notes, "This timely financial thriller could benefit from a worldwide wave of dissatisfaction with elected officials and multinational corporations", but is it good enough to stand as more than a timely political commentary?


"Netflix Is Turning A Popular Web Comic Into A Korean Drama"

The massive online streaming service Netflix has chosen to adapt a popular webtoon series as its first South Korean production. "Love Alarm" is based on the graphic novelist Chon Kye-young's webcomic of the same name that tells the story of "a software developer who creates an app that tells users if someone within 10 meters has a crush on them". I know I don't need to tell Korean cinephiles this, but watch this space...


"South Korea Box Office: Japan's 'Your Name' Tops Charts Amid Political Tensions"

This is special: for the first time in over a decade a Japanese anime entered at the top of South Korea's box office; Makoto Shinkai's "Your Name" banked $8.1 million (31.4%) over the Jan. 6~8 weekend. "The anime film's strong performance here has been noted by onlookers near and far, especially given escalating political tensions between Korea and Japan", writes Lee Hyo-won, but the success of the film is less of a surprise once you realise the film is within striking distance of the highest-grossing anime of all time: "Spirited Away" (2001). Currently, "Your Name" has grossed $283 million worldwide, whereas Hayao Miyazaki's iconic film sits on $289 million. Will "Your Name" have the legs to become Japan's new anime champion? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below...