A CLOSER LOOK AT KOREAN CINEMA AT FANTASIA!

July 18th, 2009 14:15:00

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A choice stage for South Korean cinema, Fantasia is proud to
present a solid line-up hailing from The Land of the Morning Calm. Fresh works from
renowned veterans such as Lee Yoon-ki (My Dear Enemy) and newly discovered classics in
the making (Breathless by Yang Ik-june) are crowding this year’s festival and giving us a
glimpse at the diversity and vitality of this country’s industry.

Far from being one-dimensional, South Korean cinema is recognized for tackling every
possible genre with intelligence and success. The industry continues to prove itself as a cradle
of creativity as confirmed by the numerous selections and awards garnered by South Korean
movies on the international circuit this year.

• The 2009 official selection is a vibrant portrait of the multifaceted and proficient
heirs of South Korea’s cinematic legacy. From microbudget offerings (DAYTIME
DRINKING
) to big studio blockbusters (PRIVATE EYE), from hilarious comedies
(CRUSH AND BLUSH) to heart-wrenching dramas (BREATHLESS) and a dash of
suspenseful thrillers (THE CHASER). Here’s an overview of must-see debut features :

CRUSH AND BLUSH – Canadian Premiere
South Korea Dir: Lee Kyoung-mi


A side-splitting burlesque comedy from newcomer Lee Kyoung-mi, this movie credits
Park Chan-wook (THIRST) as producer and co-writer. Kong Hyo-jin, winner of the
best actress prize at this year’s Korean Film Awards, shines in a stellar cast in a
performance that is somewhere between Almodovar’s first works and a less
psychopathic version of Glenn Close in Fatal Attraction. Among many honours,
CRUSH AND BLUSH was awarded best screenplay at the Blue Dragon Awards as
well as an audacity award at the New York Asian Film Festival.
Screenings: Saturday, July 18th at 8:00 p.m. (Concordia Hall Theatre), and
Monday, July 20th at 3:00 p.m. (J.A. De Sève)

BREATHLESS – Canadian Premiere, Hosted by director, writer, producer
and actor Yang Ik-june
South Korea Dir: Yang Ik-june


Yang Ik-june’s maiden effort is a powerful masterpiece which explores the gloomiest
corners of Seoul teeming not only with crooks but also noble folks just trying to
maintain what’s left of their dignity. With solid performances by Yang Ik-june and
Kim Kkobbi, this touching drama reminiscent of Takeshi Kitano (VIOLENT COP)
and Bong Joon-ho (MEMORIES OF MURDER), in certainly one of this year’s best
discoveries. Recognized internationally, it won the First VPRO prize at the Tiger
Awards held during the Rotterdam International Film Festival and Best Debut Feature
at the New York Asian Film Festival.
Screening: Sunday, July 26th at 10:00 p.m. (Concordia Hall Theatre)

THE CHASER – Canadian Premiere
South Korea Dir: Na Hong-jin


THE CHASER holds its own in the midst of all those great classics that launched the
new wave of South Korean genre cinema. The script is a cunning blend of dark
humour, blatant cruelty and social commentary. Kim Yun-seok as an ex-policeman
turned pimp and Ha Jung-woo as a bloodthirsty killer deliver an impressive
engagement. Na Hong-jin manages to create a first work that is both fascinating and
incredibly intense. An official selection at Cannes 2008. An American version with
Leonardo di Caprio is under discussion.
Screenings: Friday, July 17th at 9:15 p.m. and Monday, July 20th at 5:35 pm.
(Concordia Hall Theatre)

PRIVATE EYE – Internationale Premiere
South Korea Dir: Park Dae-min


A shrewd detective and a brilliant young doctor team up in order to stop a terrifying
serial killer. Unfortunately for them, they have no clue what they have stumbled
upon. A classic detective story in the spirit of Sherlock Holmes, Park Dae-min was
quite obviously inspired by the works of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle when crafting his
first feature film. The extensive task of recreating a turn of the century Korea was
aptly accomplished by the good people who previously impressed us with THE
GOOD, THE BAD, THE WEIRD.
Screenings: Saturday, July 25th at 1:35 p.m. (Concordia Hall Theatre) and
Wednesday, July 29th at 7:40 p.m. (J.A. De Sève)

ROUGH CUT – Canadian Premiere
South Korea Dir: Jang Hun


When an arrogant actor offends a dangerous gangster, he can’t foresee that they will
one day end up on the same set. What’s more, the fight scenes are all 100% real.
Produced and co-written by Kim Ki-Duk, this premiere effort from Jang Hun signals a
major talent on the rise, as this up and coming director is obviously ready to step out
of his mentor’s shadow. Keep an eye out for him in the near future.
Screening: Saturday, July 25th at 6:30 p.m. (Concordia Hall Theatre)

ANTIQUE – Canadian Premiere
South Korea Dir: Min Kyu-dong


The popular manga ANTIQUE BAKERY has been adapted into a television series, an
anime and now finally, a feature film will follow the adventures of Fumi Yoshinaga’s
unforgettable characters. This colourful, funny and visually stunning comedy which
hides a darker side with a perfectly intertwined psychological aspect, was a huge hit in
its native South Korea.
Screenings: Monday, July 27th at 7:20 p.m. (Concordia Hall Theatre)

• Fantasia’s 2009 South Korean line-up also delivers a number of new features from
well established directors. Fans of art house cinema, action and historical dramas will
not want to miss these:

MY DEAR ENEMY – Canadian Premiere
South Korea Dir: Lee Yoon-ki


A beautifully shot dramedy with a sultry jazz score, MY DEAR ENEMY takes us on a
scenic tour of Seoul. Right from the first exquisite scene, it becomes clear that this is
an incomparable film created by a very talented director. Lee Yoon-ki serves up a
visual feast and transforms a day in the life of two completely contradictory
individuals into an unforgettable cinematic experience. Jeon Do-yeon (Best Actress at
Cannes 2008 for SECRET SUNSHINE) and Ha Jung-woo (THE CHASER)
predominate this exceptional and absolutely must-see film.
Screenings: Friday, July 24th at 7:30 p.m. (Concordia Hall Theatre), and
Monday, July 27th at 9:30 p.m. (Salle J.A. de Sève)

THE DIVINE WEAPON - Canadian Premiere
South Korea Dir: Kim Yoo-jin


This historical saga ripe with grand scale action sequences, epic power struggles and
breathtaking martial arts scenes, transports us to the heart of the Joseon dynasty
right as a devastating secret weapon, similar to a missile, is being built. Kim Yoo-jin
crafts an entertaining movie that manages to be simultaneously funny and riveting all
the while shedding some light on little known events of Korean history. Unless you
already knew that missiles were being built in that part of the world during the
1600s…
Screenings: Wednesday, July 22th at 4:15 p.m. (Concordia Hall Theater), and
Monday, July 27th at 1:00 p.m. (Salle J.A. de Sève)

PORTRAIT OF A BEAUTY – Canadian Premi ere
South Korea Dir: Jeon Yun-su


The man behind the beloved LE GRAND CHEF is back to show us something
completely different. One constant does remain however, as Jeon Yun-su still
manages to created images filled with awe-inspiring beauty. After having recreated the
manga universe, he now turns towards paintings as he recreated on screen the
masterpieces of artist Shin Yoon-bok who’s life he retells basing himself on the
hypothesis that he could actually have been a woman. Sensual and touching,
PORTRAIT OF A BEAUTY must be savoured on the silver screen.
Screenings: Sunday, July 19th at 7:35 p.m. (Concordia Hall Theatre), and
Tuesday, July 21th at 3:30 p.m (Salle J.A. de Sève)

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