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Japanese Critical Success for The Host and Hula Girls

2007/01/29 Source

Bong Joon-ho's "The Host" is considered third best in the top ten of best foreign films by the critics of Japan's influential film magazine Kinema Junbo. The Host replaces last year's Korean entry Im Sang-soo's The President's Last Bang which ranked sixth.

Kinema Junbo's critics awards are the most prestigious recognitions for film in Japan and has a long tradition. The award ceremony will take place on February 10 in Tokyo.

The best Japanese film became "Hula Girls". The film is directed by the Korean-Japanese director LEE Sang-il. The portrayal of struggling young girls overcoming conservative thought while carving out a more promising future for themselves and their town proved to have commercial appeal at the domestic Japanese box office and also at numerous international film festivals, including Pusan International Film Festival's 2006 edition. The film is generally praised for its entertaining and unpretentious against-the-odds story.

Long after its unprecedented box office run, "The Host" keeps receiving attention with international releases and awards. The tale of a family battling a monster which captured their youngest member will next premiere in the U.S., starting February 9. Despite the critical recognition in Japan, the Japanese cinematic release was not as successful as expected. Another 2006 top ten list the influential internet film website Ain't it Cool included "The Host" at number four.

Yi Ch'ang-ho (KOFIC)

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