Fest showcases Korean films
This year's showcase of recent feature movies from South Korea, courtesy of the Hawaii International Film Festival, includes a box-office hit, a melodrama, something called "trot singing," a female boxer and, of course, a serial drama heartthrob and rising hallyu star.
Third Annual K-Fest Showcase
Presented by the Hawaii International Film Festival:
» On screen: Friday through Sunday
» Place: Regal Dole Cannery Stadium 18
» Tickets: $10; $9 military, students and seniors
» Call: 550-8457 or visit www.hiff.org
» Note: Movie trailers available on Oceanic Time Warner Cable digital channel 680
He's 24-year-old actor-model Hyun Bin, award-winning star of the recent drama "The Snow Queen" and previously "My Lovely Sam-Soon." His latest movie, "A Millionaire's First Love," shows on Sunday.
The best of the rest include "Voice of a Murderer," the highest-grossing movie to date this year in Korea; "For Horowitz," a multiple nominee in this year's Grand Bell Awards in its home country and a winner in the Best New Director category for Kwon Hyeong-jin; "Highway Star," which has rejuvenated interest in the traditional swing music genre known as trot; and "Miracle on 1st Street," a dramedy which asks the question: Can a lowly gangster and a female boxer find true happiness?
The schedule for this weekend is listed below.
» Noon: "The Perfect Couple"
An anti-romantic comedy and police thriller rolled into one. A TV reporter and police detective are involved in making a reality show about his police work, but after long hours together they get on each other's nerves.
» 3 p.m.: "My Tutor Friend 2"
Sequel to the 2003 box-office hit features a new cast with the same comic situations that center on culture shock and language mishaps. A Japanese-Korean exchange student travels to Seoul in hopes of seeing a student she fell in love with back home. When she arrives at her new university, she learns that the young man is in the army. At her guesthouse, she receives language lessons from the owner's grating and insensitive son. Ah, love is just around the corner ... Repeats Saturday
» 6:30 p.m.: "Miracle on 1st Street"
Popular actors Lim Chang-jung and Ha Ji-won join forces again with director Yoon Je-gyun in this comic melodrama about a gangster who has a change of heart when he's sent by his boss to evict slum dwellers from a neighborhood earmarked for redevelopment. It's all thanks to a female boxer and a group of children.
» 8:45 p.m.: "My Son"
Director-writer Jang Jin attempts a fresh take on the family drama. A man decides that on his one-day release from prison he'll try to reconnect with his grown son after years of separation.
» Noon: "Voice of a Murderer"
Based on a real-life, unsolved child kidnapping in 1991 -- which ended, after 44 days, with the 9-year-old's body found in Seoul's Han River. The drama is largely told through the parents. A boy is abducted and the kidnapper demands $100,000. The tension builds as the kidnapper constantly outwits the police when they try to capture him during a series of failed money drops. Seol Gyeong-gu stars as the despairing father.
» 3 p.m. "My Tutor Friend 2"
See 3 p.m. Friday.
» 6 p.m. "For Horowitz" (pictured above)
A melodrama starring Uhm Jung-hwa, also from the popular serial drama "My Lovely Sam-Soon." A piano teacher, who once dreamed of becoming a famous pianist like Vladimir Horowitz, discovers that one of her students is actually a prodigy. She enters the boy into his first competition, projecting her own desires for fame and fortune. But she discovers the boy has some mommy issues ... and cue the tears.
» 8:45 p.m. "Miracle on 1st Street"
See 6:30 p.m. Friday.
» Noon: "A Millionaire's First Love"
A Korean version of "Love Story." An arrogant and spoiled rich kid thinks he's going to inherit a huge sum from his wealthy grandfather's real estate ventures. But first he's forced to go to a tiny high school in a remote, rural village to get his diploma. There, he meets a clever young girl who is dying from heart disease.
» 3 p.m. "Highway Star"
The lead singer in a heavy-metal band is groomed for stardom by the owner of a small record label in Seoul. The hitch is that the label exclusively records trot music, a kind of swing beloved by the old (akin to Japanese enka), but despised by the young. So the singer becomes an embarrassed masked performer and ends up an overnight sensation.
» 6 p.m. "The Perfect Couple"
See Noon Friday.
» 8:45 p.m. "For Horowitz"
See 6 p.m. Saturday.