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Two Films Go to Cannes

2007/04/20 | Permalink | Source

By Seo Dong-shin
Staff Reporter

Films by two renowned South Korean directors are heading to this year's competition section of Cannes Film Festival, arguably the world's most prestigious film festival.

The two films are Lee Chang-dong's "Miryang", the English title of which is "Secret Sunshine", and Kim Ki-duk's "Sum", or in English "Breath".

The selection of Korean films for the competition, to which about 20 films are invited annually, comes two years after director Hong Sang-soo's "Tale of Cinema" was showcased at the festival in 2005. The selected films will vie for the prestigious Palme d'Or, the most-coveted award at the French film festival.

"Secret Sunshine" marks Lee's comeback as a director after a five year hiatus. The highly acclaimed director, whose previous works include "Peppermint Candy" and "Oasis", served as the minister of culture and tourism in 2003-2004.

The cast in "Secret Sunshine" features top local stars like actor Song Kang-ho and actress Jeon Do-youn. It portrays an unusual love story between a woman who has lost her husband and a man who owns a car center in the husband's hometown. The film is due for release in South Korea on May 24.

Kim, whose credits include "Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter... And Spring" and "Bad Guy", underwent a crisis last year as a critically-acclaimed director who was popular abroad but not so at home _ he declared he would no longer release his films in Korea. But with "Breath", which deals with a relationship between a criminal on death row and a woman whose husband is having an affair, the director is said to have become milder than in the past, both in his work and in person.

If Kim wins the Palme d'Or at Cannes, it would mean a triple crown for the 46-year-old director. In 2004, he won two of the Best Director awards at two other prestigious film festivals _ at the Berlin International Film Festival with "Samaria", and at the Venice Film Festival with "3-Iron".

"Breath" is set to be released in South Korea next Thursday.

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