Friday, August 14, 2009

Chang Seo-hee Publicizes Gwangu Design Biennale

Chang Seo-hee Publicizes Gwangu Design Biennale

Actress Chang Seo-hee has been named as honorary PR ambassador for the 2009 Gwangju Design Biennale. She received her appointment certificate on August 12 at the Gwangju Biennale Conference Room in Gwangju. In the photo she speaks to a group of journalists. Chang Seo-hee named as honorary PR ambassador for Gwangju Design Biennale Actress Chang Seo-hee, who has been named PR ambassador for the 2009 Gwangju Design Biennale, pledged on August 12 to do her best to publicize the event in Korea and abroad. Receiving her appointment certificate at the conference room of the Gwangju Biennale Foundation, Chang said, "I already knew a lot about the Gwangju Design Biennale but I didn't have a chance to participate so far. I willingly accepted the offer to act as PR ambassador." Chang is a Korean Wave star who is very popular in Taiwan, China and Mongolia. Her popularity has soared recently for her role in the SBS series "Cruel Temptation," which has been exported to 10 countries. The actress has been busy promoting the series abroad. She pledged to publicize the Gwangju Biennale in Korea and overseas, saying that it is more popular abroad for its artistic and traditional aspects and that she wants to contribute to improving its status through her overseas activities. Meanwhile, appointment certificates have been also given to interpreters, management agents and volunteers. The 2009 Gwangju Design Biennale will kick off September 18 and will run through November 4. Apart from Chang, other PR ambassadors of the event include comedian Kim Yong-man and Japanese beauty expert Ikoshi. Source: KBS Global

Korean Actor So Ji-sub to Court Zhang Ziyi Onscreen

Korean Actor So Ji-sub to Court Zhang Ziyi Onscreen
South Korean heartthrob So Ji-sub is shyly knocking on the hearts of Chinese fans through "Sophie's Revenge" opposite superstar Zhang Ziyi.

The 31-year-old's first Chinese language film comes not long after completing the mandatory two-year military service and making a strong rebound with the 2008 box office success "Rough Cut" and hit TV series "Cain and Abel."

"After getting out of the military I wanted to challenge myself as an actor with new projects, and China is a new start," So told a packed press conference room in Seoul, Thursday.

"A lot of Korean actors are debuting overseas, but I hope people won't judge them by their debut piece, since it is a stepping stone," he said. "People say that my role is smaller than they expected but I'm not well known in China, and I am grateful for the opportunity to have worked on a great project with a great cast and crew."

The actor appeared chic in a simple black suit and a diamond stud sparkled on his left ear. He said starring in a lighthearted romantic comedy was a fresh relief from his usual hardboiled roles, but having to deliver lines in Chinese was a great challenge.

"Sophie's Revenge" marks a new adventure for his co-star as well. Zhang trades in her martial arts moves and period costumes for slapstick, romance and producing skills.

The film is the "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" star's debut as a producer. Directed by Chinese helmer Evan Jin, the movie is about a feisty cartoonist Sophie (Zhang), who is heartbroken when her perfect fiance Jeff (So) leaves her for another woman ― not just any woman but the glamorous movie star Anna. She meets a photographer Gordon (Peter Ho), who is apparently Anna's ex, and she persuades him to be her accomplice in undertaking the perfect revenge.

Zhang said that producing was tough but enjoyable, and spoke about the reasons for casting So. "So Ji-sub is obviously incredibly handsome. He was always diligent and hardworking, making commendable efforts to work in a foreign language. I've worked on English and Japanese lines before so I know how hard it is," she said. "Even though his role wasn't very big I think it's the beginning of something. I would love to work with him in the future."

She added that So was well received in China, and fans, including elderly female fans in their 60s and 70s, cheered for him at press events in Beijing and Shanghai, among other cities.

The project, moreover, was exciting for the 30-year-old actress since it marks her first romantic comedy in her 10-year acting career.

"It was a big change," she said, but also said her new character hit home base. "Sophie's character coincides with my real personality about 60 to 70 percent. I can be bright and adorable, even though I played a lot of strong personas before," said the screen beauty, who was pretty in cotton candy pink like her cheerful character.

So, like many people, had to forget Zhang's onscreen charisma. "I have seen most of her works so I had the impression that she would be strong and kind of rough, but she is very much like her character Sophie ― down-to-earth, cute and lovely in demeanor,'' he said, "but she was charismatic as a producer."

Zhang also showered her co-stars with compliments. When told that So is known as "So ganji" among Korean fans for being able to pull off any fashion style, she said that he was stylish in all his outfits in the film, in tuxedos to casual outfits, and in particular when he is wearing only a towel.

So, meanwhile, said it was regretful that his kissing scene with Zhang ended in one cut.

"Sophie's Revenge" is coming to theaters Aug. 20. Distributed by CJ Entertainment.

Credits:, image from


Kim’s Autobiography Takes Life of Its Own

By Lee Hyo-won
Staff Reporter

A scene from “Treeless Mountain,” which features two non-professional children
/ Courtesy of CJ Entertainment

Director Kim So-yong has only two feature films under her belt, but both works have already hot-wired the international film festival circuit, including the Pusan (Busan), Berlinale and Sundance events, and picked up prizes along the way.

Her second piece, "Treeless Mountain,'' coming to theaters here Aug. 27, is another autobiographical piece about growing pains. Existential struggles, family crises and raw human emotions speak across different languages and cultures ― so it is no mystery why Kim's films are so well received near and far.

"I wanted to understand more about what happened when I was young. People do it differently; some people see a therapist or write. I tell a story through characters,'' Kim told The Korea Times in an interview, Tuesday, in Seoul.

Kim's first work, "In Between Days,'' delves into her experience as an immigrant teenager adapting to her new American home, while "Treeless'' goes further back into her childhood days.

"'In Between Days' didn't take long to write because as teenagers we all go through the same existential crisis and question whether `I am an adult.' But `Treeless' was a long process. I wanted to make this film before `In Between Days,' but I didn't feel ready yet. Childhood days are more intense. It's very personal and you start forming your own sense of self, of `I am a person,''' she said.

Kim was born in Busan. Her grandmother raised her there for a while before she and her sister were able to join their mother in the United States. "Treeless'' is dedicated to her grandmother.

The movie is about seven-year-old Jin and her four-year-old sister Bin, who are left in the care of an alcoholic aunt while their mother searches for their missing father. They wait for their mother in earnest while busily filling the piggy bank she gave them. But the mother does not keep her promise to return once the piggy bank is full, and Jin and Bin are again forced to move, this time to their grandparents' house.

It was the strong autobiographical nature of the film that made her wait to make it ― she had to separate herself from it. "That's when I know when a script is ready. It's intimate and personal when you write it, but it's not ready if I can't give it its own life,'' she said. "I knew that Jin was not like me, and that Bin was not like my sister. I had to find my actors,'' she said.

What differentiates her works is that they aren't simple mirrors of memory. They may have been inspired by individual experiences and be products of a certain heritage and culture, but ultimately they become something new.

This is achieved through Kim's unique audiovisual language ― telling a story by extracting raw emotions from non-professional actors, capturing spatial relationships within the frame and forgoing superfluous background music to set the mood.

In her 2007 interview about ``In Between Days,'' she asked The Korea Times to print a notice seeking two non-actors for "Treeless.'' She visited one school after another and auditioned numerous children, but when she saw Kim Hee-yeon (Jin) and Kim Song-hee (Bin), she knew right away that she had found the right children.

"Hee-yeon is very straightforward and direct, and she even corrected my Korean. But I thought she was too pretty. Amy (from `In Between Days') is not very pretty but she is very compelling and her face reflects everything. I doubted whether Hee-yeon had the charisma,'' she said. But she gained confidence in her judgment thanks to her husband, producer and fellow director Bradley Rust Gray.

Kim first met Song-hee through photographs. "I saw a close-up picture of her smiling and another of her in a group. She was super interesting, and almost looked like an old lady ― her soul has a certain gravity,'' she said.

But Kim hesitated. Song-hee was an orphan under foster care, and Kim worried about the emotional and psychological impact of having to play a character that is abandoned by her mother. ``But everyone, including the head of the orphanage, was positive about it, saying it would be a great chance for the child to build confidence and feel a sense of achievement,'' she said.

She would tell the children the lines before shooting each scene. ``The process was similar to `In Between Days' but I had to simplify and analyze everything I had to explain before giving directions. It made me much more efficient. You become analytical as you get older but these kids just accepted it,'' she said.

But the children weren't simply like parrots; Kim kept the camera rolling ― even though the budget was doubling with the use of so much film ― so that the children could make the lines their own and act like themselves. She used a lot of close-up shots of the children's faces and created a very limited frame to reflect the frustrations of the characters.

She needed professional actors for the adult roles ― Kim Mi-hyang (``Secret Sunshine'') as the aunt, and strong screen persona Lee Su-a (``Poison'') as the mother. ``I needed them to set the mood for scenes in order for the kids to react,'' she said.

The result was something like a documentary ― natural and utterly believable, with the viewer feeling everything through the gestures of the children.

``I didn't intend that, but it's a great compliment. I had people in Berlin or the United States get angry and ask, why don't Korean social workers come and take care of the kids, and I had to explain that this was fiction,'' she said.

Did the director relive her memories while shooting in her hometown? "I was just immersed in my work, and busy taking care of Sky,'' she said, referring to her two-and-a-half-year-old daughter.

"Everything was the same, and I did reconnect with the past as I went through the emotional script of the children every morning. It put everything in perspective. But it wasn't a self-searching thing. Instead I made fond memories with my hometown as an adult, drinking coffee and working every morning at this bakery,'' she said, adding with a smile, "Now I feel nostalgic."

Kim said she plans to work on another family drama, about an immature young father learning life lessons from his seven-year-old daughter.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Iris Pics

kim Hyun Joong Captures

some screen caps of the F4

there have been some instances when images didnt enlarge this time be assured that they will!

sorry for the past mistakes.

!News News News!

Cult classic goes bump in the night
They're back. KBS' cult classic "Korean Ghost Stories" is returning to the small screen this summer. Titled "2009 Korean Ghost Stories," the series is looking to continue a tradition that was revived last year. After a nine-year hiatus, the 2008 revival paid homage to a time-honored KBS custom that started in 1977. Double-digit viewer ratings for last year's series -- a reported average of 17.7 percent -- testified to its continuing popularity. "Korean Ghost Stories" still had its mojo. Now, KBS is testing the waters with yet another set of old-school ghost stories, starting tonight. So, what can we expect from this summer's installment? First off, two more tales were added to the mix, for a total of 10. A vampire will be kicking things off this year, proof that even KBS has not managed to escape the recent vampire craze. Also, this time around, the computer graphics give the 2009 version a bit more oomph. A diverse line-up of vindictive ghosts will exact their revenge this summer, while inanimate objects, i.e. a wooden doll and a cursed book, will take on a life of their own. Fans, however, can rest assured that the cheesy special effects and costuming that gave the original its cult status haven't changed much over the years. Neither has the overall content of the series, which will feature iconic figures like the nine-tailed fox. This year, singer and actress Jeon Hye-bin will be tackling the classic role of the nine-tailed fox. "I feel like it is a love story," said actress Jeon at a press conference held last week. Jeon revealed the difficulties she faced with the slit-eyed lenses she wore for her role as a fox. "The lenses kept moving," she said. "So I couldn't blink. ... We tended to film in the dark and I couldn't see well because of the lenses." For actor Kim Ji-suk, who plays a vampire in the first episode of "2009 Korean Ghost Stories," the challenges he faced were more or less in the department of romance. "The first kiss scene was very hard," he joked, looking at co-star Lee Young-eun. "She had her lips clamped firmly." "There were a lot of outtakes for the kiss scenes," quipped Kim, who revealed that the characters lock lips twice in the upcoming episode. When asked what he thinks about the recent popularity of vampires, Kim answered: "A male vampire can come across as sexy. Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise were sexy." Will Kim make for a seductive vampire? Tune into "2009 Korean Ghost Stories" on KBS 2 TV, tonight at 9:55 p.m. to find out.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Iris Gets A Slot

News of Iris has been a little quiet lately, even as its star Lee Byung-heon readies for his Hollywood debut in the upcoming action flick GI Joe.

The 20 billion won production ($15 million) of KBS drama has finally been given a concrete slot on the schedule: It premieres following the Yoon Eun-hye drama My Fair Lady (aka Please Take Care of the Young Lady) in October.

Iris has shot in Japan and Hungary, and this latest announcement spurs the production into gear for its shoots at home. Originally, KBS had planned to air the Han Hyo-joo/Jang Hyuk drama Chuno in this time slot, but as they are still working out the details of Chuno’s run, they have instead moved Irisforward.

The drama stars a bevy of high-profile stars, including Lee Byung-heon (The Good, The Bad, The Weird), perennial CF favorite Kim Tae-hee (Love Story in Harvard), a surprisingly badass-looking Jung Jun-ho (Last Scandal of My Life), sexy Kim So-yeon (Gourmet), Kim Seung-woo (How to Meet a Perfect Neighbor), and Big Bang’s TOP.

Via No Cut News

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Kim Bum everyones fav

Hyun and Song Become a Couple

By Han Sang-hee
Staff Reporter

Hyun Bin and Song Hye-kyo

Hyun Bin and Song Hye-kyo, the starring duo in the drama “Worlds Within,” have become a real couple off-screen.

According to Hyun’s agency, A.M. Entertainment, the two 27-year-olds developed into a couple two months ago, after spending time as friends on and off the set of last year’s KBS drama.

The program received poor ratings, but made headlines because it starred the young hallyu stars and was backed by famous screenwriter Noh Heekyung.

The two actors portrayed drama producers struggling to create the perfect soap opera, while still maintaining their relationship. Despite the ratings, the series garnered fans who enjoyed watching the couple and appreciated Noh’s realistic storyline and script.

Hyun is currently filming the drama “Friends, Our Story,” while Song is taking time off to look for her next project. Hyun, who made his debut in 2003 with the television drama “Bodyguard,” became a household name in Korea with the drama “My Lovely Sam-soon” in 2005.

The picky, yet cute, character touched other Asian fans as well, placing him onto the roster of hallyu stars. Song entered the entertainment business when she was 15, through the 1997 television series “Wedding Dress.”

Starring in various films and dramas, she became famous around Asia for her work in the popular series “Full House,” which she starred in with singer and actor Rain.


CHINESE COLOR MAG SCANS - Credit TripleS HK, DvOkada-ss501japan
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COLOR - Aug Issue

Taiwan 7-Watch - Aug Issue

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Credit to suri89 from 0606hj daum cafe smile.gif