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Gangnam Style Gallops Into Busan
South Korean popstar and worldwide viral hit Psy returned to his native country for a mini concert. Clad in black disco pants and his signature sleeveless shirt, he told the crowd of 1,500 at BIFF’s Lotte Night Party: Red Secret, “I’m Psy, the guy who is celebrating the highlight of his career ten years after its debut.” His hit song, which has been viewed on YouTube more than 200 million times, was performed last in the set, encore-style.
Recent Korean Film Survey Suggests Preferential Treatment
The Korea Film Council submitted a summary report of the Korean film industry to South Korea’s National Assembly last week, in which it contained rare surveys on the country’s film distribution system by local film professionals. In the report 86.6% of 492 film professionals said Korean multiplex theater owners are “unfair” in selecting films between their affiliates and other producers. Up to 67.2% said local theaters are “unfair” in allocating screens. Chun Byung-hun, a lawmaker who initiated the survey, said the report is a telling sign of films that are playing in theaters now, citing that Gwanghae: The Man Who Became King, which opened on 689 screens last month and sold 6 million tickets in just 20 days, was backed by CJ Entertainment, which also runs the country’s largest theater chain CGV. “Even without discussing film quality, it’s hard to deny that the backing of major multiplex theaters was an absolute factor of the films’ success,” Chun said.
B•E•D Pushes the Envelope
Despite racy subject matter, the cast of Park Chul-soo’s BIFF world premiere say they were comfortable baring it all. Veteran director Park Chul-soo’s film features just three characters: B, a married man who has an affair with another man’s wife, E, behind the back of his own wife, D. But the numerous nude scenes in the erotic drama about a menage a trois were not as challenging for the actors as everyone expected. “I’m a married woman, so I gave it a lot of thought before taking the role — but my husband recognized that I’m a professional actor,” said Lee Min-a on Sunday at BIFF, where the film bowed. “The first day, I did four or five hours of scenes in bed, but I felt very relaxed. We did a lot of impromptu dialogue and I forgot I had no clothes on.” Director Park said that he “hypnotized” the cast to keep them calm by always speaking to them in a “very soft voice.”
Five Standouts at the Asian Project Market
Now into its 15th edition, the Asian Project Market kicks off this year with an elevated pedigree: Choi Dong-hoon’s The Thieves makes a triumphant return to Busan this year as the most-watched domestic film in Korean film history; Edwin’s Postcards from the Zoo and Hur Jin-ho’s Dangerous Liaisons also return to the festival after carving official berths at Berlin and Cannes respectively. Reps from Twentieth Century Fox, Universal and Warner Bros will look for projects at the APM. Here, THR highlights five projects to keep an eye on.
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