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Korean films receive spotlight at Cannes

Two Korean films compete for the Palme d’Or at the 65th Cannes International Festival: Im Sang-soo’s The Taste of Money (left) and Hong Sangsoo’s In Another Country (right) (images courtesy of Synergy and Jeonwonsa).

The eyes of the world’s movie fans will be on the forthcoming Cannes Film Festival, which kicks off on May 16. For its 65th edition on the Riviera, five movies directed by Korean filmmakers will join the lineup of artistic creations embracing innovation and a creative spark.

Having topped Cannes’ Un Certain Regard category with Kim Ki-duk’s Arirang last year, Korean films have continuously garnered attention and critical praise at one of the most acknowledged annual festivals. This year’s competition slate will premiere an enriching mix of world cinema including two Korean feature films -- Hong Sangsoo’s In Another Country and Im Sang-soo’s The Taste of Money.

A still from In Another Country (photo courtesy of Jeonwonsa)A still from In Another Country (photo courtesy of Jeonwonsa)

Hong Sangsoo, who won the top prize in the Un Certain Regard section at Cannes with his film Hahaha in 2010, returns to the red carpet once again this year, competing for the Palme d’Or with In Another Country. Starring French actress Isabelle Huppert who performs three different women each named Anne, Hong’s latest movie depicts each Anne’s adventure to a seaside town and their encounter with a group of Korean people. Hong, the author of an enticing filmography, including Cannes-recognized The Day He Arrives, Woman Is the Future of Man, and Tale of Cinema, has been one of Cannes’ favored Korean artists, having his filmography enter the official selection eight times.

Im Sang-soo, who ‘premiered’ at Cannes with his critically acclaimed remake of The Housemaid in the 2010 lineup alongside Poetry by Lee Chang-dong, came back with another astonishing thriller, The Taste of Money.

Also screened in Cannes’ parallel sections are Circleline by Shin Suwon and The King of Pigs, a thriller animation by Yeun Sang-ho. Shin Suwon’s directorial debut, Circleline was included among the short and medium-length films in the International Critics’ Week, dedicated to showcasing rookie directors’ inaugural works. Other Korean films previously presented in the International Critics’ Week section were Lee Chang-dong’s Peppermint Candy and Bong Joon-ho’s The Host. Yeun Sang-ho, invited to the Directors’ Fortnight parallel section, was also nominated for the Golden Camera Award.

Dangerous Liaisons co-stars Korean actor Jang Dong-gun and Chinese actresses Zhang Ziyi and Cecilia Cheung Pak-Chi (images courtesy of Daisy Entertainment). Dangerous Liaisons co-stars Korean actor Jang Dong-gun and Chinese actresses Zhang Ziyi and Cecilia Cheung Pak-Chi (images courtesy of Daisy Entertainment).

Dangerous Liaisons by Heo Jin-ho was selected for the Directors’ Fortnight section as well. The film, a Korean-Chinese collaboration which follows the 2003 Korean adaption of Untold Scandal based on the novel by Pierre Choderlos de Laclos, will star Jang Dong-gun alongside Zhang Ziyi and Cecilia Cheung Pak-Chi.

While the festive fever sweeps the Croisette, residents in Korea are also invited to get a glimpse of the annual film festival at movie theaters, along with successive releases of the Cannes’ official selection: The Taste of Money -- slated to premiere on May 17 -- and In Another Country, premiering on May 31.

Throughout the month of May, the Korean Film Archive is presenting an online showcase featuring a wide range of Korean classics dating from the ‘50s to the ‘90s, which have been presented at diverse international film festivals. To view the program schedule, sign up at Korean Movie Database website (Korean only) or go to Korean Film Archive Youtube video and you can get access to an archive of over 400 Korean films, including those offered free of charge.

The film festival runs through May 27. For more information, please visit Cannes Festival's official website.

By Hwang Dana Staff Writer


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