Oct 27, 2006


"Family Ties" starring Moon Sori

I saw this film at a special screening at TIFF.
It's a gem of a film. IF you have the chance, do see it!
It was also viewed at the Toronto International Film Festival.

I found a great review for this film at Variety.com
Contains spoilers, so be careful!

♪   ♪   ♪

Posted: Thurs., Jun. 29, 2006, 1:25pm

Family Ties
(Gajokeui Tansaeng)

(South Korea) A Lotte Entertainment release and presentation, in association with Nexus Investment Corp., IMX, JK Sparkle, Blue Storm, of a Blue Storm production. (International sales: Cineclick Asia, Seoul.) Produced by Bae Yong-guk, Jeong Tae-woon. Executive producer, Kim Gwang-seob. Co-executive producers, Min Bong-shik, Lee Jin-sang, Son Il-hyeong, Jong Myun-yeong. Directed by Kim Tae-yong. Screenplay, Seong Gi-yeong, Kim.

With: Mun So-ri, Go Du-shim, Eom Tae-woong, Gong Hyo-jin, Kim Hye-ok, Bong Tae-gyu, Jeong Yu-mi, Ryu Seung-beom, Lee Ra-hye, Kim Heui-su.


Blood isn't necessarily thicker than water in "Family Ties," a cleverly constructed dramedy centered on an extended, dysfunctional brood. Pic is blessed with a fine cast, a sharp eye for social manners (or lack of them) and a three-part structure which teases the viewer until the final moments. This first solo feature by helmer Kim Tae-yong, co-director of the very different supernatural drama "Memento Mori" (2000), deserves consideration by fest selectors looking for intelligent, accessible fare.
On local release in mid-May, film garnered positive local reviews but was completely miss-sold as a goofy/happy family comedy. (Same ad campaign was used for its Cannes market screenings.) Pic tanked, with less than 200,000 admissions in three weeks, despite a fine cast led by actress Mun So-ri ("Oasis," "A Good Lawyer's Wife").

In its roughly 35-minute long sections, film first intros Mi-ra (Mun), owner of a small eatery, who's visited out of the blue by her ex-jailbird brother, Hyeong-cheol (Eom Tae-woong), and his new wife, the much older and very maternal Mu-shin (Go Du-shim). Unenthusiastically letting them stay over, Mi-ra has her patience tested when the emotionally unstable Hyeong-cheol starts verbally abusing her fiance at dinner.

Mixture of low-key humor and moments of social unease continues when Mu-shin's young step-daughter by her ex-husband also turns up, and Mi-ra is expected to take her in, too. Then, one day, Hyeong-cheol disappears as suddenly as he arrived.

Second seg centers on Seon-gyeong (Gong Hyo-jin), who's clearly upset when her former b.f., Jun-ho (Ryu Seung-beom), turns up with his new g.f., who's an old school chum of hers. Unhappy and planning to move abroad, Seon-gyeong later visits her mom, Mae-ja (Kim Hye-ok), owner of a failing clothing store, and ends up insulting the latter's latest lover, a married man. Turns out Seon-gyeong also has a kid half-brother, Gyeong-seok (Bong Tae-gyu), who lives with her mom.

The various threads connecting all these characters, as well as the exact time lapse between the first two segs, becomes clear in the third section, which takes place several years later. As the pieces fall into place between the members of the extended family, script pulls a surreal, typically Korean twist, followed by a coda that intros a missing member of the dysfunctional group.

Film's visual style -- largely handheld, though not distractingly -- is all in the service of the actors and perfs. Go is aces as the older woman with a history and blends well with the more reined-in Mun as the lonely Mi-ra. Ensemble between the rest of the cast, even including the well-known Ryu ("Crying Fist"), is tops.

Camera (color, widescreen), Jo Yong-gyu; editor, Seong Su-ah; music, Jo Seong-woo; art director, Kim Jun; costumes, Gang Yun-shim; sound (Dolby Digital), Kim Yeong-mun. Reviewed at Cannes Film Festival (market), May 18, 2006. Running time: 112 MIN.

"26 Years Diary" English Program & Trailer

AND, check out the trailer by Sony Pictures.

(click the box that looks like this : 予告編 )

Oct 24, 2006

Autumn in Tokyo

He stayed in this room.

These guys stayed in this hotel, too.... 40 years ago...

He slept in this bed.

He ate at this table.

and he took a bath here!

Oct 23, 2006

"26 Years Diary " at TIFF and Red Carpet Ceremony

And, Lee Junki for "The King and the Clown"

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

English VOD page for TIFF

(Including Greetings from the Stage-

offers English & Japanese translations♪)


Oct 16, 2006

Announcing ""26 Years Diary" at PIFF (revised)

I am proud to announce the first public viewing of "26 Years Diary" at the Pusan International Film Festival TODAY! I would like to congratulate all the staff and actors for their efforts in making this film a reality. Happiebb has kindly given a thorough introduction (as usual^^) on the background of this film, so if you are interested, please check it out. Through this film, I hope that many people will get to know the wonderful young man called Lee Soo Hyun who continues to be a great inspiration to us all.

I am proud to announce the first public viewing of "26 Years Diary" at the Pusan International Film Festival TODAY! I would like to congratulate all the staff and actors for their efforts in making this film a reality.

(If you are interested in the making of this film, I am in the midst of translating Director Handou's blog - a detailed "behind-the-scenes" account from the conception of this film (sorry, that part is not translated yet!) Please check my LINK SECTION.

At the beginning of the year on January 26, a press conference of this film was held in a hotel in Tokyo, directly following the ceremony commemorating the death of Lee Soo Hyun. The members of satovic's site B.S.J. were invited to this event as we have been supporting the scholarship foundation in honor of this young man.

Most of the main cast on the Korea side were present that day.
Everyone was very friendly, and they all willingly gave us their autographs on our brochures.

One thing that pleases us BSJ members very much is the fact that our favorite "aboji" will be playing the role of Lee Soo Hyun's father.

He kindly signed the book I brought with me.

누군가 번역해 주실 수 있습니까?

We are praying for you!

Praying for your safety and swift recovery ...

Oct 12, 2006

satovic's site B.S.J. hibernates on weekdays

This is a summary of satovic’s announcement to B.S.J. members she posted on Oct.2:

B.S.J. has made the decision to close the site as a “rest period” until the new drama “The Legend” is aired on TV.

It was the day after the planetarium event we held in August, that I came up with the idea of closing our site for awhile.

Thanks to all of you who gathered that day and the staffs that supported the event, I felt that we were able to create the liveliest, happiest and warmest atmosphere that could ever be hoped for – just like in all of our past events, I had thought that this was possible because all of us immersed ourselves in Yong Joon, and were mesmerized by him together.

The day after the event, I received an e-mail from a male magazine reporter who had come to our gathering. He claimed that “he hadn’t experienced an atmosphere so free and warm in a long time”. It just so happened that I received a similar comment from Professor Uchida who had participated in our Yon-Yon Academic Conference in Kyoto (please refer to the AERA article), and the reporter from Kyoto Shimbun (newspaper) who came to our Okan Art Exhibit”told us that he had never seen such a place that was so “free of barriers”.

Think for a moment. If the people who were not members of our group were able to immerse themselves in the same feeling, it probably means that we had created something a bit different from the simple “oh our prince is so handsome … sighs…” world, right?

I think this was made possible as all the people who had gathered there felt compassion towards others, emitting warm waves that were void of self-centeredness and greed, and enjoyed themselves.

When I read the reporter’s message though, I was struck with another thought.
“Oh, no! Wasn’t I born to create a place like this through ayurveda? What have I being doing the past two years? I had not made any effort at all…”
I reprimanded myself.

I think each of you have your own“homework",too.
So, I would like to suggest that we get away from our PCs during the first half of the week, and tackle our homework. Then on weekends, we can immerse ourselves in the wonderful world of Yong Joon just like always!

At first, I thought about closing the site completely for half a year, but since it is my greatest joy to meet all of you here on this board, I came up with the idea I just talked about. I will miss you terribly during the first half of the week.
But it is only a “hibernation” for the few months until the new drama begins, and I think to be able to support wuri prince on the LOONG run, a period of rest like this is necessary. So, I hope you will understand and support the new system.

Even during this hibernation, the photos and posting that are already on the site is available for you to enjoy.

We will be closing on October 10th, and re-open on Friday.

Looking forward to your weekend postings!

Here is the link to B.S.J. http://club.brokore.com/club.asp?cid=a0100077

Oct 9, 2006

Maestro Seikyo Kim at Brokore Land (revised) ♪

☆ I added some of Maestro's comments from the talks show.
I would say the audience was 99.9% BYJ family.
Ha ha, he knew it too!

YES, he mentioned Yong Joon-ssi at the Saitama Arena.
YES, he said he never experienced any thing like it.
Watching (and listening to) the STAR and 30.0000 fans
- "you people were quite loud, you know!

There was no way I could hear the orchestra!"

He also referred to his encounter with Sohn-san and his decision to join IMX. He being a Korean born in Japan, is not familiar with the Korean language (he claims he is only bilingual in English and Kansai-ben, a dialect in the Osaka area^^).
Sohn-san on the other hand is a Korean born in Korea, but having studied here in Japan he is AMAZINGLY fluent in Japanese (like
wuri fumi-san!) He also lived in other parts of the world, so he is very much a cosmopolitan.

The maestro said he was very attracted to Sohn-san's character.
Also, the two of them are almost the same age, and as Seikyo-nim had been interested in collaborating with people of his own generation, the meeting occurred at just the right time.
Lucky for us!

He also shared the story that Sohn-san wanted him to be "attentive to
what he wore in front of the public" - I guess he wanted to make sure that Seikyo-nim came off as a MAESTRO.
The funny part is, Seikyo-nim is not particularly interested in being seen as a diginified maestro. He only wants more people to come to the concert hall to experience the greatness of music itself - he doesn't want people to come to see HIM (I personally think it is most unfortunate that he has his back turned to the audience all the time^^).
He considers himself as a carrier of the music created by the
great composers like Beethoven, Mozart, Strauss, Takemitsu....

I told him that I wanted to share his autograph with my friends overseas.
So, he addressed me as "flowerbossa"!
(I asked him to sign my "Brokore Magazine No.2")

He was very nice AND really handsome!
I mentioned to him that I went to Ms. Maki Mori's recital the other day
(he often collaborates with her), and he told me that they will be performing together again next year.
(also with possibilities of a recording!)

I shook his hand ... it was a nice, firm grip...

(If you read Japanese, there is a short reference to this talk session in Mr. Atsushi Yamao's blog.
Mr. Yamao is a music writer and was the MC of the event.)