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Korean cowboy "The Good, the Bad, the Weird" charms at Cannes

2008/05/29 Source

"The Good, the Bad, the Weird" had a good reception at Cannes Film Festival. It is a movie about men on a chase about a treasure map and takes place in the 1930s, in the Japanese colony of Manchuria.

It was first revealed through a press conference on the 24th. On the same day, executive chairman of the Cannes Film Festival Thierry Fremaux volunteered to host the conference. Sean Penn, Natalie Portman, and other Hollywood stars attended.

Director Kim Jee-woon said, "It's great to have a warm welcome in a foreign place. We filmed for nine months going back and forth from Korea to China. The actors and staff went through a lot with hot temperatures in the Gobi Desert in China.

Director Kim said that the movie showing in Cannes and the movie premiering in Korea had different endings. "The Korean version has more humor and action, and it is more entertaining so the whole family can enjoy it".

He said that he got a lot of his inspiration from Director Clint Eastwood's 1992 movie "Unforgiven". He said, "I wasn't particularly aiming to make the Western genre popular in Asia. It's enough that I can revive the Manchurian Western genre in Korea".

Lee Byung-hun said, "I wondered if I should get some information while watching a Western movie, but I didn't because I thought I would copy the character exactly. It's true that it was overwhelming to make a creative evil character that was hard to express. But it was a chance for me to have a new experience. Although this character is evil and willing to risk his life to become the best, he is an introvert and focuses on the small details. I focused on portraying a character that wasn't greedy for money but was willing to kill someone because of fame, someone with depth".

Jung Woo-sung met with Korea's press on the 23rd and said, "I'm glad that the movie first showed at Cannes Film Festival. I think I can proudly step on the red carpet because of the good reviews from foreign movie critics".

He also said, "I hope for more opportunities to film movies with a great cast, such as Lee Byung-hun and Song Kang-ho. It's hard to meet actors with ability, but if those actors want to come together, there needs to be a great scenario. In that sense, "The Good, the Bad, the Weird" has all these characteristics".

Song Kang-ho couldn't hide his proud look as he said, "I'm glad that I was again invited to the world's best film festival following last year for "Secret Sunshine". The Korean movie industry seems inactive, but I hope that this is a way to advertise the industry so it may find its pride once again. I feel that this is the first movie in a while that the whole family can enjoy. I'm proud that I can show my kids how hard I worked to shoot this film".

As much as it is a Western, it has dangerous scenes. Jung Woo-sung said, "There was a time I kept filming without knowing my arm was broken. The scene with the horse was dangerous, for they were race horses".

Song Kang-ho remembered running to catch the train on a hill with rarefied air. "I breathed in air with a portable oxygen tank, ran, breathed, and then ran. It was harder than I thought to run for it 2000 meters above sea level".

There were hardships while filming for three months in China. Still, Song Kang-ho said, "There were some communication problems, but on resting days, we played soccer and the losing team paid for dinner. We got along".

"The Good, the Bad, the Weird" will be marketed in France and China. At the Cannes Film Festival, they sold copyright rights to Hollywood's Mel Gibson's movie company Icon Pictures, Benelux, Russia, Germany, Turkey, England, and Singapore.

It premiers in July in Korea.

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