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Lee Jung-hyang’s La Quotidienne

Ruslan Pak’s Hanaan

Jo Bum-gu’s Quick

Omnibus title I’m Sorry, Thank You Korea in Cannes

From the Croisette return of Kim Ki-duk to buzzed-about new films from emerging film-makers, Jean Noh profiles the hottest Korean films in Official Selection and the market here in Cannes

ALWAYS (WORKING TITLE) Director Song Il-gon, whose films include the critically acclaimed Spider Forest and Flower Island, as well as Picnic, which won the Cannes jury prize for best short film in 1999, is shooting a romance starring hot pan-Asian stars So Ji-Sub (Sophie’s Revenge) and Han Hyo-joo (TV drama Brilliant Leg- acy). So stars as a water-delivery man with a violent past who falls in love with a strange blind woman played by Han. Their darkly interconnected fates take him abroad where he takes part in fights to raise money for her surgery, while she is left to wonder where he has gone. Korean release is set for autumn 2011. Int’l sales Showbox Mediaplex

ARIRANG Kim Ki-duk returns to Cannes with his first documentary, four years after his Breath (Soom) screened in Competition. Named after a Korean folk song which is something of an unofficial national anthem, Arirang sees Kim take to the solitude of a mountain to examine his life and films. The film screens in Un Certain Regard. Int’l sales FineCut

THE DAY HE ARRIVES Also screening in Un Certain Regard, where his Hahaha took the top prize last year, auteur Hong Sang-soo’s The Day He Arrives

takes place over a single day and follows a regional college professor visiting Seoul. Yu Jun-sang, Kim Sang-joong, Song Sun-mi and Kim Bo-kyung star. Int’l sales FineCut

HANAAN Now in post, this Uzbekistan-Korea co- production is building buzz as the Uzbek answer to Trainspotting. The story of young ethnic Koreans displaced in Uzbekistan, Hanaan is the feature debut of Ruslan Pak, a fourth generation Korean in the former USSR who has won critical acclaim for his shorts including 2006’s One Shoot, which was invited to the Berlinale Talent Campus. A previous Paris Project entry, Hanaan is produced by Ellen YD Kim and EK Heo. Int’l sales M-line Distribution

I’M SORRY, THANK YOU An omnibus film telling the stories of ani- mals that are adopted, abandoned, and who help solve conflicts between humans, I’m Sorry, Thank You is made up of sections directed by a number of artistically and/or commercially proven directors: Song Il-gon (Spider Forest), Oh Joum-kyun (Viva! Love), Park Heung-sik (Bravo, My Life) and Yim Soon-rye (Forever The Moment). Int’l sales M-line Distribution

LA QUOTIDIENNE Lee Jung-hyang, the director of the coming- of-age hit The Way Home, returns with another human drama. Starring Song Hye- kyo (Hwang Jin-yi) and Nam Ji-hyun (TV’s The Great Queen Seondeok) it tells the story of a woman who has lost her fiancé in a hit- and-run accident, but has forgiven the 15-year-old perpetrator. When she starts shooting an anti-death penalty documen- tary, she is forced to look back on her pain. Int’l sales Mirovision

MERRY CHRISTMAS, NORTH! Comedy and high jinks in a family movie about a young village boy who discovers a toy robot which has been sent to North Korea in a Christmas balloon from the South. This feature debut is co-directed by Kim Sung-hoon and Jung Sung-san. A noted shorts director, Kim worked as assist- ant director to Kim Ki-duk, while Jung is a defector from North Korea who has worked on the screenplays of hits Shiri and Joint Security Area and directed a number of musical performances. Int’l sales 9ers

QUICK Now in production, Quick is billed as a two- wheeled version of Luc Besson’s Taxi with non-stop urban motorbike action. Block- buster Haeundae director JK Youn is pro-

ducing with Jo Bum-gu (Bar Legend) directing. The cast includes Lee Min-ki and Kang Ye-won from Haeundae. Quick is pro- duced by CJ Entertainment and JK Film. Int’l sales CJ Entertainment;

WHITE Horror film White makes its market pre- miere at Cannes. From the directing team of Kim Gok and Kim Sun (Exhausted, Anti Gas Skin), the film stars K-pop girl group T-ara’s lead singer Eunjung and rising star Hwang Woo-seul-hye in a story about a struggling girl group that finds a mysteri- ous music video and decides to release it as their new single. Int’l sales CJ Entertainment;

THE YELLOW SEA (AKATHEMURDERER) Na Hong-jin, whose hit serial killer film The Chaser screened in the 2008 Cannes Mid- night section, is returning to the Croisette with his second feature, The Yellow Sea (aka The Murderer), in Un Certain Regard. A story of conspiracy and betrayal, the thriller stars Ha Jung-woo as a debt-ridden Korean- Chinese man who goes to Seoul on an assas- sination mission. Kim Yun-seok plays the shady character who coerces him into the job and then hunts him down. Int’l sales Showbox Mediaplex

May 14, 2011 Screen International at the Cannes Film Festival 41 n

Song Il-gon’s Always

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