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 Coop Himmelblau

Can Korean Film Go Global on Psy's Coattails?

WITH THE RISE of pop star Psy and his U.K. and U.S. chart-topping "Gangnam Style" number, Korean popular culture is again on the cusp of an international breakthrough – and the country’s filmmakers are now hoping for a similar westward shift in the export of their works.

Among the movies in position to capitalize on Psy-mania is The Thieves, which will open in the U.S. and Canada on Oct. 12, with its producers hoping to repeat the box-office success the film attained at home, where it generated $13 million in ticket sales and became the most-watched domestic film in Korea.

Satoru Iseki Slams Diaoyu Islands Crisis

VETERAN JAPANESE PRODUCER Satoru Iseki has condemned “nasty politicians in Japan” for enflaming the territorial dispute over Diaoyu Islands, a handful of small, uninhabited landmasses between China and Japan.

In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, the producer of BIFF entry and Genghis Khan biopic An End to Killing said he is troubled by Sino-Japanese tensions because he has a long history of working with the Chinese film industry. “This situation happened because of the provocation of nasty politicians in Japan,” he said. “The average people in Japan don’t care.”

5 Korean Directors Not to Miss at BIFF

SINCE THE BIRTH of the modern blockbuster in Korea — arguably the 1-2-3 punch of Kang Je-kyu’s Shiri (1999), Park Chan-wook’s JSA (2000) and Kwak Kyung-taek’s Friend (2001) — the industry has taken a decidedly muscular turn. A slew of war epics and revenge thrillers (honed to a fine art in Korea) have dominated the box office as well as the boardroom, edging out weepy melodramas and slapstick comedies ever so slightly for the hearts and minds of viewers. Kang, Park and Kwak have become household names, but with those four genres at a saturation point, there’s room for some fresh voices.

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