South Korea's cinema boom continues to echo through Hollywood, with the country's acting talent heading Stateside and Korean stories regularly remade. Yet these Americanised versions often end up drained of the weirdness that made them so bracing. It's like trying to make coleslaw out of kimchi. Here are five things that Korean cinema does better.
Inventive murder weapons
There's no right to bear arms in the South Korean constitution, but it doesn't say anything about hammers. In Hollywood you can simply spray the bad guy with bullets; in Korea, you've got to think out of the box. The toolbox, most often. Oldboy and The Chaser said it with hammers; The Isle deployed fish hooks (many viewers are still recovering); other novel weaponry has included pliers, golf clubs, dumbbells, or simply bare hands. All »
- Steve Rose
Wong Kar Wai’s The Grandmaster has scored the highest number of nominations for the upcoming Asia Pacific Film Festival (Apff) awards, which are being held in Macau for the second consecutive year (Dec 13-15).
The Grandmaster scooped nine nods, including best film, best director, best actor (Tony Leung Chiu-wai) and best actress (Zhang Ziyi). It was followed by Bong Joon-ho’s Snowpiercer with seven nominations, including best director, best supporting actor (Song Kang-ho) and best supporting actress (Tilda Swinton).
Also scoring multiple nominations are Ritesh Batra’s The Lunchbox with six nods, Tsai Ming-liang’s Stray Dogs and Hirokazu Kore-eda’s Like Father, Like Son with five apiece, and Anthony Chen’s Ilo Ilo with four.
Best Short Film and Outstanding Achievement awards will also be announced at the ceremony to be held at the Venetian Macau.
Hong Kong producer Nansun Shi, who was recently awarded France’s Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, will head this »
- email@example.com (Liz Shackleton)
Indiewire will provide regular updates of our predictions for the Golden Globe Award nominations through December 12th, when the nominations are announced. Here's our take on the best actress in a drama category, which -- like the Oscars -- seems to be down to Cate Blanchett v. Sandra Bullock. Judi Dench and Emma Thompson are all but assured to be joining them, leaving one slot up for grabs (that would have been taken by Meryl Streep, but "August: Osage County" is competing in the comedy/musical categories). If "American Hustle" is all that it could be, that last slot is likely going to Amy Adams. But there's room for surprise in the final slot (or if they end up offering six nominees, which they do from time to time). You have to hand it to the Globes for offering nominations in this category to great performances in tiny films »
- Peter Knegt
We've got a new trailer for Tom Hiddleston's vampire thriller Only Lovers Left Alive, and a new clip featuring Hiddleston sucking away on a blood popsicle and playing chess. I guess that's something I could see Loki doing. The movie was directed by Jim Jarmusch and also stars Tilda Swinton, Mia Wasikowska, John Hurt, and Anton Yelchin.
Set against the romantic desolation of Detroit and Tangier, an underground musician, deeply depressed by the direction of human activities, reunites with his resilient and enigmatic lover. Their love story has already endured several centuries at least, but their debauched idyll is soon disrupted by her wild and uncontrollable younger sister. Can these wise but fragile outsiders continue to survive as the modern world collapses around them?
The movie has made the festival rounds, and the reviews seem to have been pretty positive. As far as I can tell there's no official »
- Joey Paur
It boasts an impressive cast, Jim Jarmusch’s signature gritty visuals, a slew of accolades already and now, Only Lovers Left Alive has released its newest trailer, this time for Japan. But while there’s little difference between the two international spots that are already out, with the slew of photos and the Russian poster that is now now available online — well, can you say exciting?
The Russian poster (below) features Tilda Swinton and Tom Hiddleston as vampiric lovers Adam and Eve, with Mia Wasikowska positioned in the background. While details on the plot have been vague for non-festival goers, to say the least, the basic narrative is as follows: Hiddleston and Swinton are estranged, centuries-old lovers, whose reunion is interrupted by Eve’s sister Ava (Wasikowska’s) arrival. Little else is known, although in all fairness, the meaty package of talent is bait for audiences enough. Per Jarmusch standard, »
- Viv Mah
If you’ve been paying attention to the troubled post-production period of Bong Joon-Ho’s Snowpiercer, you’re likely aware that there has been a considerable amount of conflict between the director and Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein over cuts to the post-apocalyptic thriller. Now, however, Bong seems more optimistic about the possibility that his version of Snowpiercer may end up in U.S. theaters after all.
While presenting a black-and-white version of his film Mother at the Mar del Plata Film Festival earlier this week, Bong made the follow statement about the current status of edits to Snowpiercer:
I stayed in New York for two weeks before coming here to Mar del Plata, mostly because of this matter. And the good news is that after all the speculation and comments about that 20-minute cut, and considering the original version that was released in Korea and France also will be »
- Isaac Feldberg
For over a month now we've been talking about the edits Harvey Weinstein made for the Us release of Bong Joo-ho's Snowpiercer. Yep, no matter how you slice it they suck, but there may be light at the end of this tunnel.
THR reports that Joon-ho said, in a press conference Wednesday at the Mar del Plata Film Fest, that his talks with the Weinstein Company are now more about releasing the original cut of Snowpiercer instead of a shorter and faster version made by the distributor.
“I stayed in New York for two weeks before coming here to Mar del Plata, mostly because of this matter,” said the director. “And the good news is that after all the speculation and comments about that 20-minute cut, and considering the original version that was released in Korea and France also will be released in Japan and Hong Kong, we have been »
- Uncle Creepy
Snowpiercer could arrive in an uncut version.
Director Bong Joon-ho has said that he "has faith" that Harvey Weinstein will abandon his plans for a severe edit of the Korean film, reports The Playlist.
"I stayed in New York for two weeks before coming here to Mar del Plata, mostly because of this matter, and the good news is that after all the speculation and comments about that 20-minute cut, and considering the original version that was released in Korea and France also will be released in Japan and Hong Kong, we have been talking a lot about keeping the original cut for the Us release, so what I can say is... have faith," the director said at the Mar del Plata Film Festival this week.
It is set in a »
Set against the romantic desolation of Detroit and Tangier, an underground musician, deeply depressed by the direction of human activities, reunites with his resilient and enigmatic lover. Their love story has already endured several centuries at least, but their debauched idyll is soon disrupted by her wild and uncontrollable younger sister. Can these wise but fragile outsiders continue to survive as the modern world collapses around them? Starring: Tilda Swinton, Tom Hiddleston, Mia Wasikowska, John Hurt, Anton Yelchin and Jeffrey Wright. Directed By Jim Jarmusch. Written By Jim Jarmusch. Screenplay By Jim Jarmusch. »
We predicted Snowpiercer would break into Cannes of 2013. That didn’t happen. We began to think about Toronto….and nope. Normally we would never associate Park City with a film that had a production budget that tallies up to the production budget of say….ten year’s worth of Next film selections combined, but seeing that there has been loads of positive press, and there is a badly needed window of opportunity left for a North American premiere this might be great timing for South Korea’s box-office favorite to unveil on U.S soil, plus there might be a chance that the final edit would have finally been approved by both parties. Bong Joon-ho might not have been at the fest as a director, but he has a connection with the fest as the writer on Park Ki-Yong’s Motel Cactus (’98) and was invited as a jury member for the 2011 edition. »
- Eric Lavallee
The holiday season is fast approaching with the new year not far behind. One upcoming 2014 film you’ve no doubt noticed we’re fans of is Jim Jarmusch’s “Only Lovers Left Alive.” During its lap through festivals across the globe, many of The Playlist team succumbed to its charms. On the heels of the recent batch of photos from the vampiric film released earlier this week, a new poster and trailer have been released online. First up is a Russian poster that features Tilda Swinton and Tom Hiddleston in all their long-haired glory—and poor Mia Wasikowska relegated to the background. One can only hope that the U.S. poster will be more inspired. In case you can’t gather it from the poster, the film centers on Swinton and HIddleston as two ancient and estranged vampire lovers who reunite to spend time together only to have their bliss »
- Cain Rodriguez
Is Harvey Weinstein finally getting the message? Over the past few months, mostly internet based fury has centered around Bong Joon-ho's apocalyptic thriller "Snowpiercer," and Harvey Weinstein's wishes to take his cinematic switchblade to it. The director himself was said to be privately "furious" about having to cut his film, while Chris Evans, Tilda Swinton and screenwriter Kelly Masterson have all expressed their varying degrees of dismay at the movie being potentially chopped up. But it seems this whole saga may have a happy ending. Speaking at the Mar del Plata Film Festival this week (where he's unveiling a black-and-white version of "Mother"), Bong Joon-ho addressed the controversy around "Snowpiercer" by peppering it with hints that stateside fans won't have anything to worry about. “I stayed in New York for two weeks before coming here to Mar del Plata, mostly because of this matter,” the helmer explained. “And the »
- Kevin Jagernauth
Director of the much delayed Snowpiercer, Bong Joon Ho, has faith that Us audiences will see his original cut, as opposed to the distributor’s cut at the hands of Harvey Weinstein. News broke months ago about 20 minutes being cut from the Us release, and a few weeks back it was announced that the Director’s cut was receiving better scores from test audiences. At the Mal del Plata Film Festival, Bong was able to discuss certain aspects of the upcoming release, and some future project ideas:
I stayed in New York for two weeks before coming here to Mar del Plata, mostly because of this matter. And the good news is that after all the speculation and comments about that 20-minute cut, and considering the original version that was released in Korea and France also will be released in Japan and Hong Kong, we have been talking a lot »
- Luke Ryan Baldock
Since the Oscars introduced the supporting awards at the 9th annual ceremony in 1936, there have been only two years when all four acting winners hailed from outside the United States. The first was back in 1964 when the winners were three Brits -- Rex Harrison ("My Fair Lady"), Julie Andrews ("Mary Poppins") and Peter Ustinov ("Topkapi") -- and Russian-born Lila Kedrova ("Zorba the Greek"). And the second came at the 80th ceremony in 2007, when two Brits -- Daniel Day-Lewis ("There Will Be Blood") and Tilda Swinton ("Michael Clayton") -- were joined by Marion Cotillard ("La Vie en Rose"), who made Oscar history by giving the first French language performance to be so honored, and Javier Bardem ("No Country for Old Men"), the first Spanish actor to win an Oscar. Could this year mark the third time that happens? Australian Cate Blanchett ("Blue »
Bong Joon-ho's sci-fi hit "Snowpiercer" swept the 33rd Korean Association of Film Critics Awards on November 18, scoring not only Best Picture, but also Best Director and Cinematography. The dystopian thriller set aboard a train is one of Korea's most expensive films to date, and has been an international success, selling to a record 167 countries and earning one of the highest box office grosses of the year. It stars Chris Evans and Tilda Swinton, among many others in a sprawling cast. (Check out the film's trailer here; character posters here.) Han Jae-rim's costume drama about a fortune teller, "The Face Reader," also took home multiple awards, including Best Actor, Supporting Actor and Music. That film recently did well at the 50th Dae Jong Film Awards, Korea's equivalent to the Oscars. No stateside release date has been set yet for "Snowpiercer," though it has distribution with the Weinstein Company. Word is, Harvey »
- Beth Hanna
Sorry, non-lovers, it looks like you’re out of luck in Jim Jarmusch’s new film, Only Lovers Left Alive. Still, take solace in the fact that those lovers left alive are living in the ruins of Detroit, which is hardly living at all. Really, you’re better off dead. Or at the very least undead.
That is the situation in which Tilda Swinton and Tom Hiddleston find themselves in this new bumper crop of pictures from the film. They’re vampires, you see, and very much look the part. While that’s not a huge leap for Swinton, fans of the ever-charming Hiddleston may be surprised to see him looking a bit pale and bloodlusty.
Hiddleston, of course, is best known for his scene-stealing work as Loki in Thor, The Avengers, and Thor: The Dark World. Swinton was recently in the disturbing indie drama We Need to Talk about Kevin »
- Jeremy Clymer
People who’ve seen the documentary Lost in La Mancha know about director Terry Gilliam’s ill-fated efforts to bring the story of Don Quixote to the screen. That film reported on just one of many attempts by Gilliam to bring the story of Quixote to life. Now he’s announced a seventh attempt to complete the seemingly jinxed project.
Terry Gilliam is nothing if not determined. The Monty Python alumni has been doggedly resolute in striving to get his vision of the classic Miguel de Cervantes story “the Misadventures of Don Quixote” made since the 1990s. His script, “The Man Who Killed Don Quixote” has been a near-obsession of his for almost 20 years. He’s had six failed attempts to realize his dream project and now he’s trying again. You have to admire his stick-to-it-iveness.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Rob Young)
Since the Weinsteins have still not yet seen fit to announce a release date in either the U.S or UK we’ve been on the hunt for alternate source and although Taiwan came out as a possible back in August, it looks like good ol Hong Kong will save the day once again. It Arrived there Nov 28, which should almost guarantee a DVD release around January. Finally! Synopsis: Directed by Bong Joon-ho(The Host), starring Chris Evans(Captain America: The First Avenger), Song Kang-ho(The Host), Tilda Swinton(The Curious Case of Benjamin Button), Jamie Bell(Billy Elliot), Ko Asung(The Host). “Snowpiercer” is set in a future where, after a failed experiment to stop global warming, an Ice Age kills off all life on the planet except for the inhabitants of the Snowpiercer, a train that travels around the globe and is powered by a sacred perpetual-motion engine. »
As 2013 draws to a close, we're already taking a look at what's coming in 2014. One film you'll probably hear us continuously advocate for is Jim Jarmusch's "Only Lovers Left Alive." From Cannes to Toronto to New York to London, it has dipped its fangs into the neck of The Playlist team and rendered us helpless to its charms. Now, a plethora of new images have arrived as an excuse for us to talk about this one again. Starringn Tilda Swinton and Tom Hiddleston, the movie is mostly set against the backdrop of a ravaged Detroit, where Adam lives in isolation, creating beautiful music. But he sees little hope in humanity or continuing his eternal existence, when his longtime lover Eve arrives to try and help him out of his funk. But their union is interrupted by the arrival of Eve's troublemaking sister Ava (Mia Wasikowska) and what follows is a gorgeous meditation on art, »
- Kevin Jagernauth
Is Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt‘s son going to be a tween movie star? Who was Tilda Swinton spotted with in Paris? Will The Hunger Games: Catching Fire show all of the scenes fans of the books are clamoring for?
Ireland Baldwin went on a twitter rant this weekend to defend her father from charges that he’s homophobic. She admitted to Alec Baldwin‘s past problems with anger management, but said that he “is far from a homophobe or a racist.” [Us Magazine] Could Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt’s oldest son be the next tween movie star? Maddox Jolie-Pitt is reportedly a favorite to play Battling Boy on the big screen. [Radar Online] Tilda Swinton was spotted on a romantic walk in Paris with her lover, Sandro Kopp. Swinton is 15 years older than Kopp. [Celebitchy] Fans of the The Hunger Games have been speculating for months about which famous scenes from the »
- Meghan O'Keefe
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