18 items from 2015
Showbox, one of Korea’s leading financier-distributor, has entered into a co-production partnership agreement with horror specialist Blumhouse Prods. and Ivanhoe Pictures to co-develop and produce six Korean-language genre films over five years.
The deal was announced by Showbox, according to which Blumhouse and Ivanhoe had been looking for a Korean partner and chose Showbox, based on the strength it has previously shown with genre films.
Showbox’s major genre works include horrors “The Red Shoes,” “Possessed,” and “Don’t Click,” and thrillers “The Chaser,” “I Saw the Devil,” and “A Hard Day.” It recently produced the hit nationalist tentpole “Assassination.”
Blumhouse specializes in micro-budget movies, including the “Paranormal Activity,” “Insidious” and “Ouija” franchises. Ivanhoe recently co-produced and co-financed a slate of Asian films with Fox Intl. Prods.
Blumhouse and Showbox will co-develop and produce the films selected under the partnership, and Ivanhoe will fully finance the selections. Showbox will »
- Sonia Kil
An archetypal tale of love, betrayal and revenge among swordplayers of South Korea’s Goryeo dynasty (918-1392), “Memories of the Sword” is a visually arresting but vacuous, instantly forgettable period martial-arts romance. Helmer Park Heung-sik aspires to the vibrant color schemes and multiple twists of Zhang Yimou’s “Hero” and “House of Flying Daggers,” but his underdeveloped screenplay (co-penned with Choi A-reum) and overwrought narrative makes for plodding viewing, squandering the clout of its A-list stars Jeon Do-yeon (“Secret Sunshine”) and Lee Byung-hun (“I Saw the Devil”). The pic took a beating at the domestic B.O. but will have a good stab at overseas ancillary following its U.S. bow.
The Korean title “Hyubnyeo: Kal ui ki-eok,” which roughly translates as “Martial Arts Heroine: Memories of the Sword,” alludes to King Hu’s “A Touch of Zen” (“hyubnyeo” being the Korean Hanja pronunciation of “Xia Nu,” the Chinese title »
- Maggie Lee
Our friends at Well Go USA are preparing their next assault on Us cinema screens with this exclusive clip from Korean period action film, Memories of the Sword. The film, starring Lee Byung-Hun (A Bittersweet Life, G.I. Joe, I Saw the Devil) and Jeon Do-yeon (The Housemaid, Harmonium in My Memory, Secret Sunshine), opens in selected theaters on August 28. Here's what Well Go USA has to say about the film:As the greed and excess of a corrupt Monarchy threatens to destroy the once-glorious Goryeo Dynasty, three legendary warriors lead a revolt to overthrow the empire and save its people. But when deceit and betrayal costs the life of a master swordsman, a plot for justice and revenge is set into motion, raging for decades between...
[Read the whole post on twitchfilm.com...]
The most recent feature from South Korean director Kim Jee-woon (above right) was The Last Stand, but now the director of I Saw the Devil and The Good, the Bad, and the Weird is moving forward on a new movie, with backing from Warner Bros. Secret Agent is Kim’s next feature, and also the first South Korean […]
- Russ Fischer
Warner Bros. is jumping deeper into the Asian market, in South Korea, where the domestic box office booms. The major will finance and handle Korean distribution for Kim Jee-woon's "Secret Agent," a 1930s period drama centered on an organized South Korean uprising during the days of Japanese colonialism in the country. Kim is a cult filmmaker known internationally for uber-violent genre films from the gruesome "I Saw the Devil" (which is getting a Us remake from director Adam Wingard) to his first and only English-language effort, 2013's "The Last Stand" starring Arnold Schwarzenegger. Kim's affectionately weird spaghetti Western homgae "The Good, The Bad, The Weird (2008) made good money at the South Korean box office, which last year became the sixth top market in the world, grossing over $1.5 billion. Read More: In the Works: David Fincher, Kim Jee-woon and David Yates Set to Direct Long-Awaited Graphic Novel Adaptations Looking at the numbers, »
- Ryan Lattanzio
Warner Bros. has officially entered the movie making business in Korea becoming the second major U.S. studio to do so. According to the report at Variety Warner Bros. will finance and distribute its first ever Korean-language movie, Kim Jee-woon's Secret Agent (밀정/Mil-jeong). The studio may decide to bring on other partners later but right now Secret Agent is all theirs. Secret Agent will be a 1930s period drama based on the history of Organization of Righteous Bravery, a part of the armed independence movement during Korea under Japanese rule.Kim Jee-woon is no stranger to the TwitchFilm community. The director of such favorites as A Tale of Two Sisters, A Bittersweet Life, The Good The Bad and the Weird, and I Saw The Devil his films have...
[Read the whole post on twitchfilm.com...]
Busan — Warner Bros. is to finance and distribute its first ever Korean-language movie, “Secret Agent”.
The 1930s period drama is to be directed by top Korean director Kim Jee-woon and star acting icon Song Kang-ho, who previously shared the lead in Kim’s kinetic kimchi Western “The Good, The Bad, The Weird.” Song is also familiar to U.S. audiences from “Snowpiercer.”
Warner becomes the second Hollywood studio to greenlight a Korean-language movie, following Fox Korea’s “Intimate Enemies” and “Slow Video” and its involvement in “The Yellow Sea.”
South Korea has one of the most vibrant film industries in the world. Thanks to high rates of cinema-going it is the world’s sixth largest box office territory, with a cumulative gross last year of $1.52 billion, that puts it far ahead of much larger countries including Russia and Germany. In most years recently local films have accounted for most of the box office, »
- Sonia Kil and Patrick Frater
Song Kang-ho ("Snowpiercer") stars in the film alongside Gong Yoo ("The Suspect") with filming to begin in October in China and Korea. The film will deal with the history of Organization of Righteous Bravery, a part of the armed independence movement during Korea under Japanese rule.
Despite its small size, South Korea has become one of the most thriving box-office markets on the planet. Warner is a direct distributor in the country, and so will handle the Korean theatrical release.
Source: Variety »
- Garth Franklin
Always a film festival that prides itself on giving its audiences a hell of a lineup, filled to the brim with standout titles every year and world premieres for films that are greatly anticipated, the 2015 Fantasia Film Festival has now revealed its final lineup. Like we’ve all come to appreciate, this year is no exception, with films such as Tales Of Halloween, Ant-Man, the greatly anticipated Cop Car (which will be screened with Kevin Bacon in attendance!!) and Jeruzalem all being standout films to look out for, along with a pretty epic list of other films that are sure to leave viewers entertained and excited throughout the entire event (July 14th-August 4th).
If the full lineup wasn’t already enough to make your horror loving heads explode, the new announcement that Fanstasia will host the July 30th premiere of Cody Calahan’s sequel to 2013’s Antisocial, Antisocial 2, »
- Jerry Smith
The 19th Annual Fantasia Film Festival is only a week away, beginning July 14 and running through August 4. And as promised for today, they’ve revealed their full line-up of films screening at 2015’s festival in Montreal.
This year’s line-up boasts 22 World Premieres, 13 International Premieres, and 21 North American Premieres. Both Marvel’s Ant-Man and the animated Miss Hokusai were previously announced, but now they’ve added the much anticipated Attack on Titan movie as their closing night film. Other highlights include the Sundance darlings Cooties, starring Elijah Wood and Rainn Wilson, Cop Car, starring Kevin Bacon and directed by the upcoming Spider-man director Jon Watts, and a trio of films from horror auteur Sion Sono.
See the full line-up announcement of films below via Fantasia’s Facebook page, and be sure to check out their website at fantasiafestival.com for additional information.
36 Countries, 135 Features, and Nearly 300 Short Films
- Including 22 World Premieres, »
- Brian Welk
Editor’s note: Friend of Icons of Fright, Jovy Skol, wrote this little list of his five favorite revenge films. Filled with everything from multiple countries, his picks are pretty solid, and worth checking out if you have yet to do so. -Jerry
An American film crew disappears in the Amazon rain forest while filming a documentary on a cannibal tribe. A rescue mission ensues and the crew’s footage is uncovered, revealing a unconventional colony perverted by Americans who stage some horrific events in order to create excitement for viewers. The natives don’t take kindly to these strangers and show the Americans what happens when you fuck with them. Cannibal Holocaust comes with a lot of baggage, but is worth watching at least once, leaving viewers with the closing line, “Who are the real cannibals?”
Kyung-chul is one sick serial killer with a taste for beautiful women. »
- Jerry Smith
Anyone who's been paying attention knows that for the last decade or so, some of the most exciting cinema, or just cinema period, has come out of South Korea. The nation's produced, since the turn of the century, filmmakers like Park Chan-Wook, Bong Joon-Ho and Kim Jee-Woon, and films like "Sympathy For Mr. Vengeance," "Memories Of Murder" and "I Saw The Devil," to name but a few. Cannes has been a big part of introducing this Korean New Wave to the world, with "Oldboy" and "The Host" among those that screened here, and it was only last year that Jessica flipped for crackerjack thriller "A Hard Day." It's become sort of a tradition that one of the midnight movie slots is filled with a Korean genre pic, and this year the honor has fallen to "Office," the directorial debut of Hong Won-Chan, who co-wrote Korean thriller hits "The Chaser" and "The Yellow Sea. »
- Oliver Lyttelton
Adi Shankar continues to be one of my favourite producers. Both The Grey and Dredd were awesome films, he recently hired Adam Wingard and Simon Barrett to write and direct an adaptation of I Saw the Devil and today, he released a kick ass, dystopian re-imaging of the hit kid's show, Power Rangers.
The short was directed by Jospeh Kahn (Detention) who was once tapped to direct the long in development Neuromance, so I'm not surprised to see a ton of Cyberpunk thrown in here including audio nods to Blade Runner.
For more on why Shankar dec [Continued ...] »
The project has been penned by regular collaborator Simon Barrett, with The Hollywood Reporter revealing that the film “involves a group of college students on a camping trip who discover they are not alone.”
In addition to The Guest, Wingard and Barrett have previously worked together on Autoerotic, You’re Next and What Fun We Were Having, as well as segments of V/H/S, V/H/S/2 and The Abcs of Death, and are also attached to a remake of Kim Jee-woon’s I Saw the Devil.
- Gary Collinson
Somewhere around the hour-and-ten minute mark of Killers, I recapped what had transpired and thought, “Sweet baby Jesus, what else could these maniac “Mo brothers” possibly bash me over the head with?” Violent murders, perverse lawyers, grotesque torture, acidic erasures – then I realized there was still over an hour of carnage left. Expecting more of the same serial-slashing antics, Killers happily breaks from more generic torture-porn mentalities and engages in thoughtful depictions of a “good versus evil” battle that demands blood be spilled on both fronts. All two-hours-and-seventeen minutes are utilized by the Mo brothers, with a little scripting help from Takuji Ushiyama, as their film explores the minds of mass-murderers from a visually relentless, competitive, and unsettling new light.
With life comes the inevitability of death, but there are unjust individuals who love to play God and end other people’s lives prematurely. Nomura Shuhei (Kazuki Kitamura) is such a monster, »
- Matt Donato
While DC and Marvel might already have a lock on several future release dates past the 2015 campaign with the Coen Bros. circling February on their calendars, for the most part, when it comes to American independent and foreign film flavored items, 2016 is still cloudy with a chance of…. 2015 just broke (we already have plenty to look forward to (Top 100 Most Anticipated Foreign Films / Top 25 Most Anticipated Studio Films / Top 100 Most Anticipated American Independent Films – soon!) but we’re already excited about what is in store for several of our favorite auteurs. Here are picks 100 to 6, with our Nicholas Bell providing further analysis on current top five for 2016. Pictured above is Peter Strickland, who sits in our number six spot.
100. Untitled Edward Munch Project – Erik Poppe
97. Imagine – Benoit Graffin
- Eric Lavallee
Seoul — Paramount Pictures has dropped Cj Entertainment as its South Korean distributor for “Terminator: Genisys,” the fifth installment in the “Terminator” series. The sci-fi action film prominently features top Korean star Lee Byung-hun as a T-1000 android.
Cj, which has been Paramount’s long-term releasing partner in Korea for over a decade, revealed the news on Thursday. It previously announced the film on its 2015 distribution slate and included “T5” in a showreel during October’s Busan festival.
“The decision [not to release “Terminator: Genisys” through Cj] was made by Paramount last month as the studio has changed its international distribution strategy for the film,” said Cj.
It is not clear which company will take its place.
“Rights to Terminator Genisys are being sold in Korea. We have a tremendous partner coming aboard and will confirm their association with the project shortly,” a Paramount spokesperson in Los Angeles told Variety, without elaboration.
“The Cj news was a shock for us as well, »
- Sonia Kil and Patrick Frater
If you are a Hollywood film fan, especially those more into the darker R rated genre, then you probably have seen some of producer Adi Shankar’s films. He has been behind the action thrillers The Grey and A Walk Among the Tombstones (both starring Liam Neeson), Lone Survivor (Mark Wahlberg) and Killing Them Softly (Brad Pitt), among others.
Now, the young producer is bringing the Hindi film epic drama Gangs of Wasseypur to the Us. Gangs of Wasseypur is director/writer/producer Anurag Kashyap’s ambitious and extraordinary blood-and-bullets-fueled crime saga that charts 70 years in the lives – and spectacular deaths – of two mafia-like families fighting for control of the coal-mining town of Wasseypur, India. Inspired by the real-life exploits of local gangs the film, Gangs of Wasseypur is produced by Guneet Monga (The Lunchbox), and boasts an incredible cast, including Manoj Bajpayee, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Jaideep Ahlawat, Tigmanshu Dhulia, Piyush Mishra, »
- Stacey Yount
18 items from 2015
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