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Cinematic Outlook Brightens for 2nd Half Updated: 2007-06-12 12:00:00 KST

Cinematic Outlook Brightens for 2nd Half
It's been a lackluster first half so far for Korean cinema.
But with the scheduled release of some anticipated works, film critics say they detect a positive shift for the rest of the year.
Son Heekyung has this preview of what to expect from Korean filmmakers in the months ahead.
Just how the Korean film industry will shape up in the second half of the year remains a bit of a mystery.
But after a disappointing first half that saw no domestic blockbusters what many hope for is all too clear.
Movie critics give a thumbs-up to the industry outlook thanks in part to the release of the drama ''Hwang Jini'' last week.
''Hwang Jini'' about the celebrated gisaeng, or female entertainers of the Joseon Dynasty topped last week's online ticket sales to overtake Hollywood for the first time in seven weeks.

''Many say this period drama is a beacon of hope for the sluggish Korean film industry. Movie critics say the second half of the year will be similar to the first, a mixture of films from true-life stories to melodrama.''

Critics say movies, based on real-life stories will stay hot, continuing a trend in film that caught on earlier this year.
A case in point is ''Nice Vacation'' which deals with the 1980 Gwangju massacre, which left hundreds of students and protesters dead.

''The film has a combination of a solid plot and realistic visuals and around 10 million US dollars went into producing this film. The fact that well-known actors and actresses star in it is piquing the curiosity of filmgoers.''

This upcoming film release looks at how hundreds of innocent villagers were reportedly killed by US soldiers during the Korean War.
Another much-awaited film this year is the melodrama ''Never Forever'', which won rave reviews at Sundance and other international film festivals.
Its profile is sharpened by the unique mix of stars from Korea and Hollywood.

''The first half of the year proved that big budget productions and large-scale films don't necessarily win over filmgoers. The cinematic outlook for the second half appears rosy. Some of Korea's famous directors are expected to release new work and audiences will find more films they can relate to.''

Cartoonist Huh Youngman's remake of a cartoon about a cooking competition is set for release later this year.
And expect audiences to fight it out to see ''The Good Bad Weirdo,''
a Korean rendition of the good ol' Western.

Son Heekyung, Arirang News.
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