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 Author| Post time 17-5-2012 01:05 PM | Show all posts
May 17, 2012

Two Korean Movies in Running for Palme d'Or at Cannes
Source: Chosunilbo

The Cannes Film Festival kicks off on Wednesday with 22 films vying for the coveted Palme d'Or, the highest honor awarded to the best feature film in the official competition. Two Korean movies -- Hong Sang-soo's "In Another Country" and Im Sang-soo's "The Taste of Money" -- are among those competing for the top prize.

Another three Korean films have been invited to non-competitive sections of the world's leading movie festival, including the Directors' Fortnight.

After Im Kwon-taek's "Chunhyang" became the first Korean film to be invited to the festival in 2000, domestic movies have making waves at the event for the last decade. Im picked up the Best Director Award in 2002 with "Chihwaseon," while Park Chan-wook won the Grand Prix for his violent tale of punishment and redemption, "Oldboy," in 2004, and Jeon Do-yeon won the Best Actress Award for her role in "Secret Sunshine" in 2007.

Hong has had eight films approved for entry at Cannes since "The Power of Kangwon Province" appeared there in 1998. And this year marks his third time in the official selection for feature films after "Woman Is the Future of Man" and "Tale of Cinema." His latest film, "In Another Country," tells the tale of a tourist who arrives at a coastal village in Korea and stars French actress Isabelle Huppert, a two-time winner of the Best Actress Award at Cannes.

As for Im, this is the second time one of his films has featured in the official competition after "The Housemaid" in 2010. "The Taste of Money" takes a critical look at the super rich by focusing on the story of a middle-aged woman who uses her wealth to seduce a young male secretary.

Yeun Sang-ho's animated feature film "The King of Pigs" and Hur Jin-ho's "Dangerous Liaisons" will also feature in this year's Directors' Fortnight. The latter stars Korea's leading actor Jang Dong-gun and was co-produced with a Chinese company.

Shin Su-won's "Circle Line," which revolves around the head of a household who must come to terms with having lost his position as breadwinner, joins the short film section.

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 Author| Post time 17-5-2012 11:32 PM | Show all posts
May 17, 2012

Choi Siwon's mug becomes the face of coffee (and Twitter)
By Carla Sunwoo []

Choi Siwon from Super Junior has managed to dominate two unlikely industries in one day.

On May 14, Choi was named as not only the new face of instant-coffee-in-a-cup brand Caffe Latte, but also the Korean with the most followers on Twitter.

The Korean coffee brand said that it chose Choi because he exudes the strength and smoothness that its coffee embodies.

Meanwhile, Chois Twitter account exceeded 200,000 followers on the same day that he was named the new face of Caffe Latte, proving just how popular he is worldwide.


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 Author| Post time 17-5-2012 11:35 PM | Show all posts
May 17, 2012

Jung Ryeo-won rubs shoulders with royalty
By Carla Sunwoo []

Actress Jung Ryeo-won was invited to a gala dinner hosted by Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary of Denmark on Monday night.

The high-class event was held at Shilla Hotel in Jangchung-dong in central Seoul and was attended by various key figures from Korean politics and the business sector.

Ever the fashionista, Jung rocked a blue unbalanced dress, giving Princess Mary, who is renowned in Europe as a fashionista herself, a run for her money. Jung was seated at the same table as the royal couple and was seen conversing with them throughout the night.

No doubt Princess Mary and Jung had a lot to talk about starting with Jungs involvement in increasing awareness for Denmark as she is the face of the Danish jewelry brand Pilgrim in Korea.

Another topic of the night could have been Australia, which is Princess Marys homeland, a place where she also met her royal beau, and also a time of short-term residency for Jung who studied there.

Of the night Jung said, Ive always had an interest in Denmark due to Pilgrim, and it was such an honor to be invited by the royal couple. I am looking forward to taking a more active part in increasing awareness for the jewelry brand. Meanwhile the Danish royalty were in town from May 10 until 15 and took part in promoting their country at the 2012 Yeosu Expo.


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 Author| Post time 17-5-2012 11:38 PM | Show all posts
May 17, 2012

Police indict head of Seoul gang for blackmailing actor Lee Byung-hun

By Carla Sunwoo

The mobster who tried to blackmail Lee Byung-hun back in 2009 has been booked for attempting to extort money out of the Hallyu actor.

The Seoul Central District Prosecutors Office said yesterday that it had indicted the gang member who joined forces with Lees ex-girlfriend to blackmail Lee with a medical record that showed that Lees ex, a Korean-Canadian gymnast, had an abortion.

The athlete had vented to the mobster, surnamed Jang, about her ex-lover after they parted ways, and the gangster agreed to help her out by threatening Lee that hed tarnish the stars image by releasing pictures and medical records.

It wasnt only Lee who suffered. His uncle, the head of his entertainment agency and his manager received threats from Jang.

Through its investigation, the police tracked down Jang, who is the head of a gang based in Seoul and has had trouble with the law in the past.

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 Author| Post time 17-5-2012 11:42 PM | Show all posts
May 17, 2012

Kong Hyo-jin channels her inner designer for Los Angeles Project

As if modeling for the brand wasnt enough: Actress Kong Hyo-jin has now designed a selected line of apparel for the multi-brand fashion shop Los Angeles Project.

For the brand located inside Shinsegae Department Stores nationwide, Kong has brought her imagination to showcase some interesting outfits including neon-colored and patterned items that will be sold under the name LAP by Kong Hyo-jin.

The department store label said it chose Kong as she is an iconic fashionista who is looked up to by women in their 20s and 30s.

Every outfit she wears becomes a must-have item among her followers, a representative from LAP said. In this collection she designed, you can see her charisma coming through and it blended perfectly with the brand.

The outfits bearing Kongs name will be available in stores from mid-May. Last year, a survey conducted by portal Web site Ezyday from Dec. 9 to 16 found that Kong was Korean netizens favorite actress of the year.

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 Author| Post time 18-5-2012 12:26 PM | Show all posts
May 17, 2012

Um Jung-hwa & Lee Ki-kwang
Source: KBS Global

What does the dancing queen and the guy with a pair of dancing shoes have in common? They both recently saw their personal twitter accounts get hacked.

Lee posted up on his twitter on May 17th, "I don't know who did it, but it seems that somebody other than myself has used my ID. I hope something like this doesn't happen again. Please."

Um, who's currently staying overseas also experienced something similar. From her personal twitter account came postings featuring ads for diet products along with the website. The singer/actress later
announced, "I've been hacked. The tweets posted in English are not mine. I'm currently overseas so I can't change my password right away."

A few moments later though, she posted, "I changed it".

It appears that there are more people than ever, curious about the private lives of lebrities. This is a good time as any to brush up on basic internet privacy and safety measures!

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 Author| Post time 18-5-2012 04:41 PM | Show all posts
May 18, 2012

"Hallyu," Korean wave, will not last 5 years
60 percent of foreigners say Korean craze will cool down

By Kim Susan Se-jeong The Korea Times l Nate

Top, Girls Generation, a popular K-pop group, pose with actor and co-guest Bill Murray
on The Late Show with David Letterman on January 31. / Bottom left, K-pop girl group
T-ara take part in a photo shoot. / Bottom right, Lee Byung-hun
poses for the cameras at a press launch for a TV drama.

Hallyu will cool down in four years.

Six out of 10 foreigners believe the recent fad for Korean culture D K-pop, movies and TV dramas and soap operas D will decline over the next few years.

Sixty percent of 3,600 people in nine countries, including China, Japan, Thailand, the United States and France, are doubtful that hallyu, the Korean wave, will see lasting international success, according to a survey by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism and the Korea Foundation for International Culture Exchange (KOFICE).

Hallyu, which started with the popular Korean drama Winter Sonata in 2002 and continued with K-pops Girls Generation, is still hot all over the world. Therefore, Koreans, currently drunk on the international Korean culture craze, are shocked at the surveys results. The main reason foreigners doubted hallyus continued success is because they are tired of standardized content, as 20.5 percent of respondents said.

Hypersexual dancing, lyrics and clothing are common among K-pop idols, and teen singers. Korean drama series repeatedly revisit topics such as adulterous affairs, revenge and secrets surrounding the birth or identity of characters, making it difficult to move increasingly desensitized audiences.

Experts believe it is time hallyu had a makeover.

Korea needs to sell its unique story to win over other countries, integrating the nations traditions into Korean pop culture, said experts. Content that isnt original and diverse will not survive in the market. It is essential to diversify the stories in the media, said an official from the culture ministry. We also need to encourage financial investment in media, because you cant create a masterpiece with just a great story and an idea.

In todays society, stories equal money. A unique story will help make a drama, movie, game or animation a success.

The worldwide bestselling, Harry Potter series, shows how powerful new stories can be. The brand value of JK Rowlings seven-volume series rose to $15 billion over a decade, landing the author $1 billion in profits. The series about the apprentice wizard comprised of seven books, eight films, various games and a theme park, that opened in Florida in 2010, and has contributed an estimated $6 trillion to the British economy annually. This is equivalent to profits that Samsung Electronics, the largest Korean business, made in the first quarter of last year.

There are a few successful media stories for hallyu as well.

The number of tourists visiting Namiseom, a small island on the Han River in Chuncheon, hit a record 2.3 million last year. Eighteen percent, or 400,000, were foreigners. This is the result of Winter Sonatas success. The popular Korean drama, starring Choi Ji-woo and Bae Yong-joon, aired from January to March 2002, using Namiseom as its backdrop.

It became the first hallyu hit as middle-aged Japanese women flocked to see the setting for the show after it aired. Namiseom uses a method of storytelling, in its tours, recreating the narrative at every corner of the island for tourists. It calls itself the Republic of Nami, and makes visitors pass through an immigration bureau. Many believe that unique programs like this and celebrations like National Day for foreigners also contribute to attracting tourists.

Seoul Forum 2012 released plans to help globalize hallyu in the Dynasty Hall of the Shilla Hotel in Seoul on May 16 and 17.

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 Author| Post time 20-5-2012 11:07 PM | Show all posts
May 18, 2012

At 64, Yoon Yeo-jeong won't let age get in the way of a sex scene
Kim Hyo-eun, Cho Jae-eun Korea JoongAng Daily

Actress relives her risque days from the 1970s as she heads to Cannes yet again

Actress Yoon Yeo-jeong will step onto the red carpet at the Cannes Film Festival for the second time this year. By Kwon Hyuk-jae
For the second time in her career, Yoon Yeo-jeong will walk down the red carpet at the Cannes Film Festival this year - and shes getting a lot of attention from the press.

Two films in which she stars - the erotic thriller The Taste of Money by director Im Sang-soo and In Another Country by director Hong Sang-soo - were picked to compete for the Palme dOr this year at the worlds top film festival.

In The Taste of Money, Yoon reunites with Im for the fourth time, playing a ruthless middle-aged wife of a wealthy, conglomerate-owning family.

The film features Yoons character, Baek Geum-ok, in a tangled relationship with her young private male secretary.

She becomes the center of the drama that unfolds and touches upon the ever-popular themes of corruption, greed and sex.

In In Another Country, she stars alongside French actress Isabelle Huppert in a small seaside town in Korea.

The actress first time at Cannes was also with Im back in 2010 for her role in his film The Housemaid, the award-winning remake of late Kim Ki-youngs film from 1960. She played the head housemaid in an upper-class family.

The last time [at Cannes], I just went without really knowing anything. I just did what Do-yeon [actress Jeon Do-yeon who won best actress at Cannes in 2007] told me to do. But this time, maybe I can take the lead, said Yoon with a laugh.

The 2010 film Ha Ha Ha, which was also a collaboration between Yoon and Hong, also made an appearance at the Cannes festival and took home the Prix Un Certain Regard.

In that film, Yoon played a supporting role as the mother of one of the lead characters.

Her two films this year feature the veteran actress in quite polarizing roles.

In In Another Country, Yoon plays an unrefined country woman who interacts with Hupperts character when she comes on a visit to Buan County, North Jeolla.

In The Taste of Money, she plays a businesswoman who thinks she can conquer all. She also appears in her first on-camera sex scene, a quite unexpected requirement for the actress.

I didnt know there was such a scene when I began, Yoon, 64, said. After I found out, I was really surprised and asked the director, Dont you think the audience would be offended to see an old woman naked on screen??

The director answered, I wrote in the scene intending on that very thing,? she continued. It was hard to try and look undaunted during filming.

Though today Yoon is better known for more family-friendly television dramas and films, she made her acting debut in the 1970s playing extremely risque roles in a number of critically praised, experimental films by late director Kim Ki-young, including The Insect Woman (1972) and Woman of Fire (1971).

The two films are part of Kims housemaid trilogy, while the third film is The Housemaid, which was remade by Im in 2010.

Many actors shy away from working with him because he is provocative and daring, but that is how he views the world, Yoon said of working with Im.

When you become my age, you start to accept other peoples tastes.

When asked which filmmaker she thinks might take home the coveted grand prize at Cannes this year, she simply said, [To guess] would be the act of a foolish old person.

Some people might perceive the fact that I am filming two TV dramas [The King 2 Hearts and You Tumbled into My Life] at the same time as excessively greedy for an old actress like myself, she added.

I dont mind being called an old actress, but I do worry about how to carry on my acting career without looking like an old fool.

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 Author| Post time 20-5-2012 11:54 PM | Show all posts
May 20, 2012

Jung Jun-ha marries flight attendant
By Joo Kyung-don Korea JoongAng Daily

Comedian Jung Jun-ha tied the knot with his long-time girlfriend at the Silla Hotel in central Seoul yesterday.

The day that I never thought would come has finally arrived, Jung wrote on Twitter late Saturday night. Its a very strange feeling, and Im thrilled.

I know I cant answer all of your questions, but this old bachelor will make good family, he added.

The 41-year-old told media earlier this month that he would marry his girlfriend, who is 10 years his junior. The two have been dating for four years, and Jungs fiancee is reported to be a Korean-Japanese flight attendant.

Actor Lee Soon-jae, who appeared in the sitcom High Kick along with Jung, was the wedding officiant.

Comedian Lee Hwi-jae hosted the wedding ceremony. Singers Shin Seung-hun, Bada and Sweet Sorrow performed wedding songs on the big day, much to the delight of guests.

Jung and his new wife have not revealed the location of their honeymoon.

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 Author| Post time 20-5-2012 11:57 PM | Show all posts
May 20, 2012

Celebrity guests at Jung Jun Ha's wedding
Source: Nate


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 Author| Post time 20-5-2012 11:59 PM | Show all posts
May 20, 2012

Kim Soo-hyun has a friend crush
By Carla Sunwoo Korea JoongAng Daily

Actor Kim Soo-hyun sat down for an in-depth interview with Ilgan Sports to discuss his schedule, best celebrity buddy and encounter with dream girl Kaya Scodelario.

In the article published on Friday, Kim said that he was spending all his time shooting commercials.

Today we shot for 14 hours straight. I am going to need a lot of time off when all this ends, he said.

Yet despite his busy schedule, Kim still makes time for his good friend and fellow actor Jung Il-woo, whom he met while filming The Moon Embracing the Sun.

When we met, Jung said he had something to confess. Then he went on to say I think I like you. Naturally, I confessed I liked him too, Kim said.

Kim added that he is currently single and had butterflies when meeting his celebrity crush, British actor Kaya Scodelario, to shoot ads for the accessories brand J. Estina.

Kaya learned the word oppa [a friendly term for older men] just for me. She was very cute, but the language barrier kept us from connecting, he explained.

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 Author| Post time 21-5-2012 12:22 AM | Show all posts
May 21, 2012

Ryu Seung-ryong moves beyond stereotypes
By Jung Hyun-mok [] Korea JoongAng Daily

I wanted to avoid the obvious Casanova character and create one of my own.

Actor Ryu Seung-ryong says he aims to dispel stereotypes
and avoid typical characters when taking on roles. [JoongAng Ilbo]

Judging solely by his appearance, Ryu Seung-ryong would appear to be an archetypical masculine actor. Some of his fans even hesitate to approach him for autographs because he can be so intimidating.

Hes played up this image in a number of movies including The Front Line as an officer of the North Koreas Peoples Army and in War of the Arrows as a general of the Ching Dynasty.

Most recently, he plays a ladies man in All About My Wife, released on Friday, who attempts to seduce a woman at the request of her unhappily married husband looking for a divorce.

But in his personal life, he has a rather unexpected hobby: gardening. The actor often spends time planting flowers at his home garden in a suburban area of Seoul.

When filming War of the Arrows, the crew found it amusing when Ryu took photographs of small flowers on street while he wore a suit of armor.

And though the actor has been quite successful in playing his tough guy roles, he has also worked to dispel stereotypes in some of his other works, perhaps because he does the same at home when off the set.

In Quiz King, he plays a gambling husband who fears his wife, and in the drama Personal Taste his character is a quite masculine gay man. War of the Arrows has him playing a hard-nosed general who actually cares for the well-being of his subordinates.

The JoongAng Ilbo sat down with Ryu recently to get a sense of what this man of contradictions is really like.

Q. Did you draw inspiration from any particular character for your role in All About My Wife?

A. No, I wanted to avoid the obvious Casanova character and create one of my own. My character is somewhat cliched but also naughty, a little different from the stereotypical ladies man. He is also more humane and sensitive than the stereotype typically allows.

How else did you prepare for the role?

I first read the book The Art of Seduction. I also studied the so-called pickup artists material. Although there were some cheesy lines, I acted with sincerity, even when I had to milk a cow as naturally as possible in front of Jung-in [the female character].

What did you learn about seduction from the materials?

You have to listen to a womans emotions and lead her along. To be successful, you have to listen carefully and tell her she is beautiful. Self-control and patience are also important elements.

As a man, I was ready to punch your character by the end of the movie. What do you think about that?

That means I have successfully fulfilled my responsibility as an actor. My actor was created to open peoples eyes to the importance of communication in marriage.

How did you feel about playing this kind of character?

I have played naughty characters in several movies such as 7th Grade Civil Servant, Quiz King and The Recipe. I only needed to show more of what I have inside of me. In War of the Arrows and The Front Line, I always had to show angry eyes, but this time, puppy eyes were more appropriate.

What do you mean when you say you do not like typical characters?

When I played the North Korean general in The Front Line, I laughed quite emotionally at the end of the movie to show that North Korean soldiers also have human emotions. In that way, I dispelled a stereotype that audience members might have had about a typical North Korean soldier. In the same vein, in War of the Arrows, I tried to show that not all army generals are heartless killers.

What is acting to you?

When I act in a movie, Im always learning something new. For War of the Arrows, I studied horseback riding. For All About My Wife, I learned dancing, foreign languages, cooking, sand art and even how to milk a cow. But then again, once a movie ends, I quickly return to normal life. Acting is a job with a lot of contrasts where in one moment I must learn something new but in the other quickly lose a habit and replace it with something new.

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 Author| Post time 21-5-2012 12:52 AM | Show all posts
May 19, 2012

Yu-ri of Girls' Generation Shines in TV Drama 'Fashion King'
Source: ChosunIlbo

All nine members of Girls' Generation have sweated and toiled to give fans what they want since they debuted five years ago, which helps explain the girl group's mammoth popularity, and Yu-ri is seen as one of its hardest-working members.

Yu-ri, who is currently starring in the SBS drama "Fashion King," said she has always harbored ambitions of being not just a singer but an actress.

"Even when I was a trainee some 10 years ago, I always wanted to act," Yu-ri said. "I took acting lessons and read many scenarios," she added.

"I'm so happy to have got this chance to act in a TV drama. I held about 10 meetings with the director before filming started. He did not know much about me and had no idea about my acting ability, so he gave me a lot of advice."

Fellow band member Yoon-a appeared in the 2008 TV drama "You Are My Destiny," while Jessica followed suit recently in "Wild Romance." This makes Yu-ri something of a late starter given her decade-long dream, and the same is true of her popularity within the band among fans, which also emerged later than most of the other members.

Each of the members has been at the center of attention at one time or another, but Yu-ri has built up her reputation gradually through hard work. SM Entertainment is notorious for its intense training program, encouraging the girls to practice from dawn till dusk to get their moves down perfectly, and Yu-ri has seemed to thrive in this environment.

Actors Yoo Ah-in, Lee Je-hoon and Shin Se-kyung, who appear on "Fashion King" with Yu-ri, are among the hottest young stars in Korea right now. They are also recognized for their acting abilities. But rather than being intimidated, Yu-ri asks them for tips and advice, and tries to learn from them.

Yu-ri's fans call her the "black pearl," partly in recognition of her dark complexion, but also because a pearl takes a long time to form within its shell -- just as Yu-ri has kept stretching herself to become a shining "jewel" among the group.

However, such hard work and endurance has now become a matter of routine for her and the other members of Girls' Generation, and this may be what has kept them at the top of their game for so long.

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 Author| Post time 21-5-2012 02:21 PM | Show all posts
May 21, 2012

Ha Jung-woo, Ha Ji-won Voted Most Popular Movie Stars

Ha Jung-woo (left) and Ha Ji-won

Ha Jung-woo and Ha Ji-won have been voted the most popular actor and actress in Korea in an email poll by the Chosun Ilbo and the nation's largest film ticketing site MaxMovie.

Some 25,784 people voted from April 18 to May 5. The two drew 10.1 and 13.7 percent of the votes respectively. But Song Kang-ho and Jeon Do-yeon were chosen as the best -- as opposed to most popular -- actor and actress, with 18 and 23.3 percent.

Since the poll targeted online users of MaxMovie who had been to the cinema at least once last year, it probably reflects moviegoers' preferences more accurately than other surveys.

Popularity vs. Acting Skills

Comparison with a similar survey in April last year reveals that people prefer actors with both acting skills and popular appeal. Ha Jung-woo soared from eighth place in the popularity list in 2011 to the top this year after he appeared in a series of recent hit movies including "The Client," "Love Fiction," and "Nameless Gangster."

New entrants on the list are Park Hae-il (fourth with 8.7 percent), Kim Yoon-seok (sixth with 4 percent), and Choi Min-sik (eighth with 3.6 percent). All the three impressed moviegoers with their acting skills in box office hits such as "Arrow - The Ultimate Weapon," "Punch," or "Nameless Gangster."

In contrast, Won Bin and Kang Dong-won, who ranked first and third respectively last year, fell to fifth and ninth place since they have not appeared in any films released this year. Jang Dong-gun and Lee Byung-hun did not make the list although they took the No. 6 and 10 spots last year.

Nine of the 10 most popular actors were also on the list of the most skilled actors, with the exception of Kang Dong-won in the former and Sol Kyung-gu in the latter.

But among actresses, only six found their names on both of the lists. Moon So-ri (fifth with 6.1 percent), Yoon Yeo-jeong (sixth with 3.8 percent), Kim Hye-ja (ninth with 2.5 percent) and Kim Yun-jin (10th with 2.5 percent) were voted as having good acting skills but not on the popularity list, suggesting that the popularity of actresses has less correlation with their acting skills than their male counterparts.

Among directors, Bong Joon-ho was picked as the best with 19.8 percent. Im Kwon-taek slipped from the top last year to third place with 9.22 percent. Kang Woo-suk and Kang Je-gyu, star directors in the 1990s and the early 2000s, ranked in the top 10 but were outperformed by Bong and Park Chan-wook (second place with 9.68 percent), who are becoming well known overseas.

Kang Je-gyu saw his ranking fall from third in 2011 to sixth (3.84 percent) this year after his film "My Way" tanked. Kang Woo-suk managed to hold on to fourth place but he garnered a mere 5.72 percent, down from last years 14.1 percent.

This year's top 10 list has the same names on it as last year's, with the exception of Byun Young-joo (eighth with 3.50 percent), but the order changed. "Once established, directors' recognition appears to last longer than actors," MaxMovie analyzed.

Theater Attendance

When asked about their favorite ways of watching films, 82.5 percent said going to movie theaters, up from last year's 66.1 percent. Next came downloading movies on the Internet at 8.1 percent, down from 27.7 percent last year. A glut of 3D movies seems to attract people to cinemas.

The Korean article here


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 Author| Post time 21-5-2012 06:54 PM | Show all posts
May 21, 2012

Two Local Films Invited to Cannes Film Festival
Source: KBS Global

The Cannes Film Festival opens on May 16 with 22 entries from the world vying for the "Palme d'Or" award.

In the international film festival that continues through May 27, two local films including In Another Country, a film by Hong Sang-soo, and "The Taste of Money," a film by Im Sang-soo, have been invited to the official competition category, making fans anxious for the award win.

Korean Director Hong Sang-soo has been invited to the Cannes Film Festival for the eighth time since he was invited for his film "The Power of Kangwon Province" in 1998. He won the grand prize in "A certain glance" section with his film "Hahaha" in 2010. Director Im Sang-soo has been invited for the second time after he was invited with "The Housemaid" in 2010.

Beyond director Yeon Sang-ho's animation "The King of Pigs" and Hur Jin-ho's "Dangerous Liaisons," chosen as noticable films each, have been invited and will be featured in the Directors' Fortnight section.

Thousands of film-related people, critics and journalists swarmed this year's festival being held at the southern French port city Cannes.

American actress Marilyn Monroe was selected as the festival's icon this year and her image was featured on a large poster. A selection of films from many countries in Europe and Asia and the United States will be presented during the festival with American Director Wes Anderson's "Moonrise Kingdom" cutting the tape.

Meanwhile, among over 1,800 films vying for the competition, no film by female directors advanced to the final competition section, raising allegations on sexual discrimination, which the festival organizers denied. [Yonhap]

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 Author| Post time 21-5-2012 11:11 PM | Show all posts
May 21, 2012

Lee Jang-woo shapes-up for new role
By Carla Sunwoo Korea JoongAng Daily

Actor Lee Jang-woo has shed seven kilos for his role in the upcoming MBC drama I Do I Do.

Image of svelte Lee began circulating online and netizens complimented Lee on his new physique.

I cant wait for the show to begin, said one fan while another said that Lee will own the character.

Lee is set to play the role of a twenty-something year old counterfeit shoe designer who attempts to undergo a transformation to become the designer of a luxury fashion label.

The 25-year old is best known for being paired-up with T-aras Eunjung on the part-reality, part-fiction hit We Got Married (2012).

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 Author| Post time 21-5-2012 11:15 PM | Show all posts
May 21, 2012

Lee Jong-suk has a milk date with fans
By Carla Sunwoo Korea JoongAng Daily

Actor Lee Jong-suk held a milk-themed fan meet entitled Cinema Take-out Milk Party at CGV Cinemas in Yongsan, central Seoul where 100 lucky fans were treated to a screening of the movie Korea, in which Lee appears.

At the event Lee took the time to promote Take-out Milk, a brand of milk that he models for.

Two fans who wore the best milk themed outfit were also asked to come onto the stage, where they were given a chance to pose with the actor.

In addition, Lee signed autographs and even made a surprise call to an unsuspecting fan.

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 Author| Post time 21-5-2012 11:17 PM | Show all posts
May 21, 2012

'Always' to hit cinemas in Japan
By Carla Sunwoo Korea JoongAng Daily

To mark the Japanese premiere of their hit film Always, actors So Ji-sub and Han Hyo-joo will attend a meet-and-greet event with fans on June 7 in Tokyo.

The announcement was made on Saturday through the official Web site of the Korean movie that is set to open in cinemas in Japan on June 30.

The tragic love story starring two of the finest Hallyu actors is about a retired boxer who meets a woman who is losing her sight.

Always was the opening film at last years Busan International Film Festival.

Back in January, So and Han attended the Hua Hin International Film Festival in Thailand where the film was one of 50 selected screenings.

The film was also shown in some 40 theaters in Thailand from Feb. 2. The movie opened in Korea in October of last year and was a box office hit.

On Sunday, So attended the opening of the Dutayeon So Ji-sub Gallery, an art gallery in Yanggu, Gangwon that exhibits various pictures of the Hallyu actor.

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 Author| Post time 21-5-2012 11:20 PM | Show all posts
May 21, 2012

Lee Joon-gi shows off trip to Canada
Source: Korea JoongAng Daily

Actor Lee Joon-gi revealed pictures from his recent trip to Canada, just months after being discharged from the Army.

Shots of Lees downtime in British Columbia can be seen in the June edition of beauty and lifestyle magazine Allure Korea.

Lee also said he was pumped for his new project, the drama Arang and the Magistrate, in which he will star opposite actress Shin Min-a.

During my time in the military, I was inspired by the works of my peers, Lee said. Thus I will bring a profound sense of zeal and passion toward my new work.

The Hallyu entertainer said he didnt take his fame for granted.

Its such a privilege to have a fan base and support of this scale as an actor. I feel so blessed.

Back in April, Lee proved that he had more than acting and good looks going for him when his Japanese single made it onto Oricons weekly top-10 chart. The single Deucer was released in Japan on March 15 and was the No. 1 song on numerous charts. By Carla Sunwoo

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 Author| Post time 22-5-2012 01:08 PM | Show all posts
May 21, 2012

Song says new role is very 'Alice in Wonderland'
By Jean Oh Korea Herald

Viewers might be wavering over which program to tune in to come next weekend when two brand new series, MBCs Dr. Jin and SBS A Gentlemans Dignity (working title), go head to head.

While actor Song Seung-heon, who is starring in Dr. Jin, sincerely wishes fellow actor Jang Dong-gun and his drama, A Gentlemans Dignity the best, he did not mince words when it came to the desired outcome.

I would like his series to do well, but I would like ours to do a tad bit better, Song, 35, said at the series press conference in Seoul Thursday.

The cast of MBC's "Dr. Jin" (from left) Lee Bum-soo, Lee So-yeon,
Song Seung-heon, Park Min-young, Kim Jae-joong attend the drama's
press conference in Seoul on Thursday. (Lee Sang-sub/The Korea Herald)

Song has the advantage of having stayed in the drama game after a five-year hiatus from 2003 to 2008. That said, Song admitted that he is stepping out of his comfort zone with Dr. Jin.

As an actor, I have been kind of avoiding the historical romance genre, its true, he admitted. Its a challenging genre. But then I saw the script for Dr. Jin and I really wanted to do it.

Song revealed that he liked the fact that his first period piece would feature him as a modern man who has traveled back in time to the Joseon Dynasty.

It is like Alice in Wonderland, he said. Playing a modern day guy who interacts with Joseon period people is fun.

Before this, I was already aware of the popularity of the Japanese comic series, Song said. Looking at the script, revamped with Korean sentiment, I could not resist jumping on board.

The upcoming series is an adaptation of Motoka Murakamis comic book series Jin, changing the setting from Edo-period Japan to the Joseon period, and replacing real-life historical figure Sakamoto Ryoma (who was depicted in the original) with Joseon political figure Yi Ha-eung, who will be portrayed by actor Lee Bum-soo.

Song is tackling the role of the protagonist, neurosurgeon Dr. Jin, with actress Park Min-young playing his love interest both in the 21st century and in 1860. JYJ boy band member Kim Jae-joong is playing Dr. Jins rival for the Joseon Dynasty heroines affections in his first role in a historical piece.

Kim revealed that he received a couple of tips from fellow boy band member Park Yu-chun, who starred alongside actress Park in KBS historical romance Seonggyungwan Scandal in 2010.

He said, Min-young is an excellent actress, so work hard at doing a good job, said Kim, 26.

Park, known for her feisty and cheery roles in dramas like KBS Glory Jaein, revealed that this work represents a departure from previous characters.

My Joseon Dynasty character will be passive, the 26-year old actress said, adding that that does not mean she is weak.

She possesses a very powerful energy.

Dr. Jin starts airing May 26 on Saturday and Sunday nights at 9:50 p.m. on MBC.

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