26 de out de 2008

Warai no Daigaku (filme, 2001)

University of Laughs, or Warai no Daigaku, in japanese, is a wonderful film! If you didn´t see it yet, don´t miss the opportunity of watching it on dvd. I´d love to see Hwang Jeong-min in this play! Actually I was thinking that this story could be played with sucess at any stage of the world, since most of the countries had to go through some obscure period of censorship in their history. And many artists learned that when an artist is forced to work within censorship, they can sometimes create something better than they ever could when having complete artistic freedom.

Hwang Jeong-min to Star in New Play

Korean movie actor Hwang Jeong-min will star in a new play, "University of Laughs", comedy based on the story of an artist's freedom of expression when faced with censorship, set in 1940 Japan. The play was written by Japanese dramatist Koki Mitani.

A young playwright (Hwang) comes up against a government censor (Song Yeong-chang ) to put a comedy on stage. The censor's job is to prevent anything political or taboo from getting into the pre-war media, but this particular censor has a thing against comedy, too.

The play was originally performed at Parco Theatre in Shibuya, Tokyo, Japan in 1997 to high acclaim. It was also made into a film which was then released in 2004 by Toho Studios, and directed by Hoshii Mamoru.

Hwang began his acting career in theaters, as a musical actor in Subway Line No. 1 (1994), Jesus Christ Superstar, Cats and Nine.
"I think a movie is the art of a director but the play is the art of an actor", he said.

The play will be shown in Korea for the first time as the ninth work of the Yeongeuk Yeoljeon 2 (Best Plays Series) programmed by veteran actor Jo Jae-hyeon. The play will be staged at Dongsoong Art Center in central Seoul Oct. 24 to Nov. 30.

Hwang Jeong-min Filmography
The Waikiki Brothers (2001)
A Good Lawyer's Wife
Bloody Tie
You are my Sunshine (2005) * best actor award at the Blue Dragon Film Festival
Black House (by Shin Tae-ra, 2007)
Happiness (by Heo Jin-ho , 2007)
A Man Once a Superman (by Jeong Yoon-cheol, 2008)

Warai no Daigaku (University of Laughs/ Escola do Riso)/ Japan/ 2004/ 121 min/Comedy
Director: Mamoru Hoshi
Writer: Koki Mitani
Producer - Yumiko Shigeoka
Cast: Koji Yakusho, Goro Inagaki
Cinematographer - Hiroshi Takase
Editor - Masaki Yamamoto
Sound/Sound Designer - Yasushi Tanaka
Music Score - Yusuke Honma
Production Designer - Takeshi Shimizu

Based on 1996 play by Koki Mitani, Mamoru Hoshi's comedy Warai no Daigaku (University of Laughs) is set in 1940, during Worls War II, wen an naive playwright, Hajime Tsubaki (actor Goro Inagaki, from j-pop group SMAP), try to get his play, Romilet and Julio, past the censorship from Mutsuo Sakisaka (actor Koji Yakusho, Yudan Taiteki). A censor that proudly describes himself as “a man who has never laughed”.

15 de out de 2008

Choi Min-sik is Back with "Himalaya"

Choi Min-sik is Back with Himalaya, Where the Wind Dwells

“I felt like I was riding a new car just out of a warehouse, starting from zero mileage. Now my heart is full of all sorts of ambiguous emotions - I’m proud, relieved and empty, as if a passionate love is over.” Choi Min-sik made his appearance at the open talk session during the Pusan International Film Festival, last Monday, after three years of absence (Sympathy for Lady Vengeance, 2005).

Choi stars in Jeon Soo-il´s “Himalaya, Where the Wind Dwells.

In the movie, Choi (the only Korean in the film) is fired from his job, and is enlisted to help his factory-owning brother to visit a village in the Himalayas, in order to deliver the remains of a Nepalese migrant worker who died in an accident in Korea, to his family.

“I was thirsty, and I was hungry,” he says. “I felt both scared and ecstatic in front of the imposing mountain range,” he recalled of the shoot. “It was an extremely difficult task, but I was happy to endure that hardship. No matter what the outcome may be, I am glad I chose this film.”

Sources: chosun.com, varietyasiaonline.com

Himalaya, Where the Wind Dwells /Barami mumoonun got, Himalaya
(South Korea, 95 min., Korean, English, Nepalese dialogue)
Directed, written by Jeon Soo-il (The Bird Who Stops in the Air).
Produced by Kim Dong-joo, Jeon Soo-il, Show East, Zonbo Media, Dongnyuk Films
Cast: Choi Min-sik, Tsering Kipale Gurung, Tsering Sherpa.
Camera (color), Kim Sung-tai; editor, Kim In-soo, Noh Bong-seo; music, Kim Hyung-suk; production designer, Cho Youn-ah.
Presented at the Pusan Film Festival (Korean Panorama)
To be released in Korea next spring.

14 de out de 2008

The 13th Pusan International Film Festival

The 13th Pusan International Film Festival (PIFF Awards)

The Awards

New Currents competition section(this year shared between two films):
Land of Scarecrows (Korea) and Naked of Defenses (Japan)

Scarecrows, directed by Roh Gyung-tae, is a collection of stories of isolated people including one about a transgender woman who wants to become a man. The jury said “a very powerful film about somebody who's trying to find the sexual identify. It’s a touching film about a woman who wants to be somebody else in the modern world that influenced her with pollution around her. It´s a very truthful picture and items about the pollutions and sexuality. You can’t define the character’s own self or way out of things because strong vision to search of identify and such was a fresh for us.”

Naked of Defenses (by Ichii Masahide) portrays a female worker at a plastics factory and delves into her past memories. The jury said “is about childless woman who meets pregnant woman in the factory. It is well directed and acted with realistic and identifying characters. It´s a film that comes from a heart. It also a well narrated and realistically portrayed about two women and has an unusual style.

The Jury also made two special mentions, one for Baek Seung Bin's Members of the Funeral (South Korea) and the other was for Yang Jin's Er Dong (China).

Other Winners

Sonje Award

Girl by Hong Sunghoon (South Korea) – “While the film has a precise and subtle mise en scene., it lets the audience free flowing into the secret of human heart.”

Andong by Rommel Tolentino Milo (Philippines) – “The director has excavated a truthful story from the midst of the city dumpsite and told it with witty humor and brilliant performance.”

PIFF Mecenat Award

Old Partner by Lee Chung-ryoul (South Korea) – “This film portrays land and labor, aging and death, and friendship between human and animal through the relationship between an old farmer and a bull who have lived together for 40 years. It is the film’s purpose to obtain the meaning of existence of the daily lives in a farm village with precise camera.”

Mental by Soda Kazuhiro (Japan) – “To draw the curtain between normality and what normality calls abnormality is the purpose of this film. But more than that, the curtain is drawn upon a beautiful theater, Yamamoto’s office, where beautiful characters slowly enlarge the world with their joyful sadness.”

Fipresci Award
Jalainur by Ye Zhao (China)

Members of the Funeral by Baek Seung-bin (South Korea) – “For its excellent structure, unforgettable characters and ironical life situations – hinting at the complexity that lies beneath contemporary Korean society.”

Treeless Mountain by Kim So-young (South Korea/U.S.) – “The filmmaker perfectly captured the feelings of abandonment by parents we have all experienced one time or another, creating a heartfelt story.”

KNN Movie Award (Audience Award)
"100" by Chris Martinez (Philippines)

The complete list: http://www.piff.org/
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