Korean cinema, which boasts a long history of over 100 years, has been at the forefront of cinema especially in recent years after the great success of Parasitethe award-winning Oscar, BAFTA, Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild film of 2019.
South Korea is back at the 75th Cannes Film Festival, which kicks off on May 17, and will present five Korean works, including one by Squid gameby Lee Jung-jae, the SAG winner and Golden Globe nominee who will make his directorial debut.
The latest installment of the international festival will also see two works by South Korean CJ Entertainment, the company that has produced / distributed many other major Korean films (including visionary Korean director Park Chan-wook, BAFTA winner The handmaid as well as Parasite and other Bong Joon-ho films, such as Murder Mystery Mother and Hollywood action thriller snowdrop) compete for the Palme d’Or, the festival’s highest award.
This year marks the first time that two Korean works have been selected for the competition in the highest category since 2017, which saw Bong’s Okja (with Tilda Swinton, Jake Gyllenhaal and Minariby Steven Yeun) and Hong Sang-soo The day after (a melodrama starring The handmaid(Kim Min-hee on a married man’s affair) compete for the Palme d’Or.
Here, we take a closer look at the compelling Korean films that will be presented at the 2022 Cannes Film Festival.
Decision to leave
The highly anticipated new film from the aforementioned Park Chan-wook, which will be competing for the Palme d’Or at the festival in 2022, marks its fourth film to be presented at Cannes. Others of him include noir action thrillers Old boy (which won the festival’s Grand Prix in 2004), horror film Thirst (winner of the Jury Prize in 2009) e The handmaid (which was selected for the Palme d’Or in 2016).
With Chinese actress Tang Wei and Park Hae-il (the Korean actor from Bong’s The host And Memories of murder) as well as Go Kyung-Pyo (recently seen in Netflix’s gripping K-drama DP in 2021), the film sees police officer Hae-jun (played by Park) investigating the death of a man in the mountains, who develops mixed feelings of suspicion and interest in Seo-rae, the deceased’s mysterious wife (played by Tang).
An intriguing teaser clip from the film, released by CJ Entertainment on May 6, offers a glimpse into the intense exchanges between the two, from affectionate glances to chilling glances, culminating in Hae-jun urgently heading to the screen before filming stops. on Seo -rae looking back from the water’s edge.
Park is also known for his work as an executive producer on The snowdrop series (2020 to 2022), the TV series adaptation of Bong’s film of the same name, as well as directing and producing The little drummer series in 2018, with Alexander Skarsgard and Florence Pugh, and directing Stoker, the 2013 thriller starring Nicole Kidman and Mia Wasikowska.
Decision to leave is scheduled for general release on June 29, 2022.
The upcoming film by Japanese director Hirokazu Kore-eda, who received the Palme d’Or in 2018 for his film Shopliftersit is also in the running for first prize at the festival in 2022.
Scoring Kore-eda’s first Korean film and the eighth film invited to the festival, Broker follows a journey of “unexpected encounters surrounding a baby box,” describes CJ Entertainment, where mothers anonymously leave babies they are unable to raise.
The heartwarming film features a star-studded lineup including Parasite actor Song Kang-ho (who plays one of the mediators trying to relocate the children) as well as IU (aka Lee Ji-eun, recently seen on Hotel Della Luna on Netflix). The K-pop singer-songwriter, who plays a young mother in the film, opens the film’s teaser trailer with a disturbing lullaby about her baby. She returns to her baby after leaving the baby in the box.
The film also stars Song’s co-star The hostBae Doona (seen mainly recently in The silent sea and also known by Kingdom and other series on Netflix), who plays a detective pursuing the team of baby brokers.
Broker is scheduled for general release in June 2022. The exact date has yet to be announced.
Squid game actor Lee Jung-jae (who played contestant # 456, one of the main characters expected to return in the next season of Netflix’s hit K-drama) also stars in his directorial debut Hunt, which will be present among the films of the festival Midnight projections.
Lee, who was also involved in developing the script for Huntingstars alongside his best friend and fellow Korean film veteran Jung Woo-sung (who is the executive producer of The silent sea) as well as Squid game‘s Heo Sung-tae, who played contestant No. 101 of the series, the gangster who fell to his death during the ground of the glass bridge of Stepping Stone).
The upcoming film marks an epic reunion of Lee and Jung, who are working together on the big screen for the first time in 22 years since their last film together (City of the Rising Sun) in 1999.
The spy action thriller sees two South Korean National Security Agency agents – Park Pyeong-ho (played by Lee) and Kim Jeong-do (played by Jung) – attempting to track down a spy in the inside the organization and see each other as the prime suspect during the investigation, describes the Artist Company, the Korean entertainment agency co-founded by Lee and Jung.
The 2022 festival marks Lee’s return to Cannes following her first appearance in 2010 for an erotic thriller The maid, the remake of the 1960s Korean film of the same name, in which he stars with Korean actress Jeon Do-yeon and Academy Award winner Youn Yuh-jung. The film also competed for the Palme d’Or that year.
Recalling his first visit to Cannes, Lee said: “It was so good, as a film actor, I always wanted to go to Cannes. At the time, I was wondering if I would ever be able to go back. So I “I am very grateful to be returning to the festival as a director”, in a video released on May 5th on the official Artist Company YouTube channel.
He asked for more details on his next film, the Squid game the actor simply noted that “much desired” by fans, audiences can expect to see many of Lee and Jung’s “two takes” on screen.
Lee said he hopes there will be “a lot of talk” about the film during the festival, adding it Hunting should be released in a general version in the summer of 2022.
See a poster for Hunting shared on Lee’s official Instagram account here.
The next Sohee
The next Soheeprotagonist BrokerBae Doona, will be the closing film of the Critics’ Week of the Cannes Film Festival 2022, the parallel program of the festival, running since 1962, which shows the first and second feature films by directors from all over the world.
Directed by Jung July, the film marks the director’s first new film in eight years following the 2014 crime drama The girl at my door also starring Bae, who was shortlisted for the festival’s Un Certain Regard category that year.
Jung’s latest work follows a detective (played by Bae) investigating the death of a high school student named Sohee, who begins a vocational training program in a call center and after dealing with the stressful pressures of working for a ” greedy company ”too hard to bear, describes the Critics’ Week website.
The next Sohee marks one of 11 Korean films in total that have been invited to the festival’s Critics Week to date. Others include Han Jun-hee’s 2015 film Coin cabinet girlthe 1999 film Happy ending by Jung Ji-woo and the 1998 film by Hur Jin-ho Christmas in August.
Known as Gakjil in Korean, Person is among the nine works selected from 3,507 films presented from over 140 countries to compete in the short film category of the festival.
Directed by Moon Soo-jin, the six-minute short film explores “a character created in an attempt to avoid criticism from outsiders,” according to South Korea Kyungyang and other Korean media, marks the first Korean animated film to be invited to the Cannes Film Festival.
The film, which was Moon’s graduation project at Korea National University of Arts in Seoul, was also selected to participate in France’s Annecy International Animated Film Festival in 2022, described as “the world’s largest event dedicated to animation ”And the Croatian animated film festival Animafest Zagreb, both of which will take place in June 2022.
The winner of the Palme d’Or for the short film will be announced on May 28 at the festival’s closing ceremony.