Saturday, November 27, 2010

The 2010 Blue Dragons. (Plus: Korean Films on Netflix)

The news coming out of Korea these days is upsetting so... let's direct our focus on something beautiful from thereabouts: the movies. The 31st annual Blue Dragon Awards were held this weekend in Seoul. Here are the winners and a few comments. [photo and info sources]

Picture: The Secret Reunion
This is an espionage thriller involving North and South Korean spies. It stars the seemingly ubiquitous Song Kang-ho who you've probably seen if you've ever seen a South Korean picture. He previously starred in the monster flick The Host, the disturbing vampire romance Thirst and the drama Secret Sunshine. The Secret Reunion won the top prize over kidnapping thriller The Man From Nowhere, Moss, epic action flick Woochi and the erotic Cannes drama The Housemaid (a remake of a classic). Lee Chang-dong's awesome Poetry (my review) was not nominated. Apparently he has a rough history with this awards body.
Director: Kang Woo-seok (Moss)
Actor: Jung Jae-young (Moss)
Actress: Yun Jeong-hee (Poetry) and Soo Ae (Late Night FM)
Supporting Actor: Yu Hae-jin (Moss)
Supporting Actress: Yoon Yeo-jung (The Housemaid)

Steamy trailer for The Housemaid starring the brilliant
Do-Yeo Jeon from Secret Sunshine.

New Actor: Choi Seung-hyun also known as T.O.P. (71: Into The Fire)
New Actress: Lee Min-jung (Cyrano Agency)
New Director: Kim Gwang-shik (My Gangster Boyfriend)
Screenplay: Kim Hyun-seok (Cyrano Agency)
Art Direction:
Lee Ha-joon (The Housemaid)
The Secret Reunion
Lighting: I Saw the Devil
Music: Mowg (I Saw the Devil)

Technical Effects: Park Jung-ryul (The Man From Nowhere)
Popularity Awards:
Won Bin, T.O.P., Jo Yeo-jung, Sohn Ye-jin
Box Office Award: The Man From Nowhere

A couple more things just because.

You may remember popular star Won Bin (or Bin Won) from two previous Oscar submissions (Mother, which was released in the US to great acclaim early this year, and Tae Guk Gi: The Brotherhood of War). He escorted child star Kim Sae-ron down the red carpet. They co-starred in the Box Office champ The Man From Nowhere which rather confusingly has two separate additional titles depending on which websites you go to. It's also known as Ajusshi and This Man.

This is Soo Ae (Late Nite FM). Either Soo Ae is exceptionally popular as a celebrity or she's a magnificent actress because she somehow tied Jeong Hee-yoon who was so moving as the ailing grandmother in Lee Chang-dong's Poetry (see my review) for "Best Actress".

And like all awards shows they have cheesy musical numbers. Here's KARA performing "Jumping"

Bin Wo
Are any of these films available on Netflix? The answer is "not yet" but you can save the following four to your queues for when they're released: THE HOUSEMAID, POETRY, WOOCHI and THE SECRET REUNION. If you'd like to catch up on recent Korean titles that made something of an international splash try THIRST (instant watch) or MOTHER (instant watch).

Kang-ho Song

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