Friday, August 11, 2006

hur jin-ho's next film....and april snow

remember director hur jin-ho? yup, the quiet, intelligent, sensitive guy who gave us a beautiful film called April Snow. he'll have another film to make and here's a short article from about his latest project ~~

New Hur Jin-ho film HAPPINESS
by Darcy Paquet

A bit of news about our old friend Hur Jin-ho. Hwang Jeong-min (male lead of 'You're My Sunshine') and Im Soo-jung (star of the just released 'Sugar Lump')are cast to play in HAPPINESS, his fourth feature after CHRISTMAS IN AUGUST, ONE FINE SPRING DAY, and APRIL SNOW.

The film is a love story about two people who meet while battling serious illnesses. So it doesn't sound like a major departure for him in terms of subject matter, though personally I don't think I mind. Some directors are good enough at the little things that they can make an interesting film regardless of the overarching structure.

Hur's last film APRIL SNOW took a lot of abuse from critics and online, though I think most of the bile was aimed at the stars. It will be nice to have another film from Hur with good actors and fewer distractions. I'm hoping he puts more dialogue into this one, too -- conversations between characters are often the best part of his films.

It will start shooting in early September, and they're aiming for a release next spring.

ok, our beloved April Snow was mentioned by Darcy and he made a quick note on why he thinks AS was 'disliked' by some quarters. Darcy actually liked AS. he mentioned the film in his 2005 top 10 films list in, to quote ~

"Choosing only 10 films out of those 70 for my top ten list involved quite a bit of anxiety and hair-pulling, even after excluding worthy titles like The Peter Pan Project or Sa-kwa which screened at festivals this year, but which will get their commercial release next year. The Unforgiven, Crying Fist, You Are My Sunshine, Geochilmaru: The Showdown, Love is a Crazy Thing, Green Chair, A Bittersweet Life, April Snow, Bravo My Life and Blue Swallow by themselves would have made a worthy top-ten list, but instead they rank as films that I exclude with much regret."

he mentioned that the beating was mainly aimed at the stars, or should i say, aimed at yong joon? most of the negative write ups i saw in the net mentioned yong joon. as we all know, most of these write ups compared yong joon's AS performance in his WLS persona. well, can't help them about that if that's what they think but still, i feel kindda sad that some ppl got sideswept with their celebrity preconceptions and missed seeing what yong joon conveyed to the audience in bringing out the character of insoo in the film.

below is a reply on darcy's article. not sure if this is a result of a preconceived notion or simply an objective take on yong joon's performance in AS ~~

"thought April Snow could be better with a different lead actor. Not that Bae Yong Joon is a bad actor, I think he isn't but he certainly was trying too hard and the character always remained in the shadow of his Yon sama fame. It probably is something that can't be helped with since his fame grew even more after Untold Scandal (which is a film I really like) and I think severely hurt the film."

i've actually read a number of articles in the net about his 'yonsama' fame/image but what is this anyway? does it have something to do with him maintaining a certain image that will please his fans, particularly his japanese fans? or, has it something to do with his immense popularity around asia & that his persona as an actor was overshadowed by his persona as a megastar? geez, this is getting to be quite confusing @@ !! and why am i making this hard on myself ?? bottom line is i can take what others have to say about yong joon, be it not nice or not very nice. for me, i like yong joon coz i find him a complex case of a simple guy...simply fascinating!! and i'm so looking forward for more great films from him in the future.

and yes, i still would like yong joon to do a film with kim ki duk !! perhaps a film that is totally out of yong joon's mold would shake the 'others' and make them finally see the light that surrounds and glows around a very good actor named bae yong joon ^^


Anonymous jaime said...

Hi frances,

thanks for sharing the director Hur's news. I totally disagree with Paquet about "It will be nice for Hur to have the next film with good????? actors and fewer distractions". He's implicating that the actors used in AS's not good enough?! His choice of words is totally contradicting, if he thought BYJ's acting is good in WS and US, but he doesn't like him in AS. He should have used the phrase "an alternate actor" or "less famous actor", NOT simply using "good". He's misleading the readers to think BYJ is not a good actor.

I cannot think of a better actor who has such subtle acting and controlled manner which is instrumental in Insoo's character. The only guilt that BYJ has is he's TOO BEAUTIFUL which may not be convincing enough for us to believe that his wife could have an affair!

I agree with you, Minhyung's character is so attractive, it's hard to shake him off; but it doesn't mean that we can't continue to appreciate his other roles. Harrison Ford is always Indiana Jones to me, but I also enjoy watching him play Jack Ryan.

5:24 AM  
Blogger tiffany said...

Hmm... what can I say. BYJ was distracting because the media chose to put the spotlight on him. And they can't help but put the spotlight on him because of his fame, especially outside of Korea.

Would another actor have played it better? I don't know. But another actor may have played it differently. Each actor brings their feel to the character.

Actually, I think most of the movie critics do like the movie, but they didn't like all the hype surrounding it....

And of all HJH's movies, I like Christmas in August the best.

8:42 AM  
Blogger frances said...

hi jaime,
likewise, i got confused on how he phrased the 'good actors' thing. i would like to think that he meant 'equally good actors but fewer distractions' :)

i must admit that i'm guilty of getting briefly distracted in the film and the culprits are his handsome face and great body *blush*

10:24 AM  
Blogger frances said...

hello tiffany,
i also think that his fame played a vital role in creating the hype that eventually diverted the attention of some critics & moviegoers & made them lose their focus to better appreciate the film's true value.

and i still feel that its unfair to 'punish' a film just because it starred a very popular actor.

10:26 AM  
Blogger mrs a said...

Hello Francis,

This was interesting! I was really surprised about this article and saddened that they feel compelled to put the blame on our man it wasn't as successful as they wanted. Perhaps the subject matter was sorta deep for most viewers. That is not the actors fault. If this man has so many fans supporting him then that shows how talented and special HE TRULY IS.Some people will blame anyone that is more successful or they are JUST envious of them. Pretty pathetic!

10:08 PM  
Blogger marissa said...

Again it goes back to people always associating him to his WLS character. It brought him the fame that we enjoys right now but in some way it limits some people from appreciating him as an actor.

7:29 PM  
Blogger frances said...

hi mrs a & marissa ^^
for some, yong joon's fame has become too big for their own comfort that they are very quick in downplaying his talent as an actor & focus instead on his image as a famous star.

its a pity that they missed appreciating AS as it is coz they got boxed in & the lucky ones are those who were able to see AS w/ open minds and unbiased opinions.

6:56 PM  

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