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Wrap Up of Korean Cinema in Year's First Half Updated: 2007-07-30 12:00:00 KST

Wrap Up of Korean Cinema in Year's First Half
Looks like the year's first half was a disappointment for Korea's film industry, especially since the strong performance of domestic blockbusters like ''The Host'' last year.
Son Heekyung has a wrap up of Korean cinema in the first six months and has a preview of what to expect for the rest of the year.
Shaky, unstable and overshadowed.
These are a few words to describe the overall mood in Korea's film industry during the first six months of the year.
Domestic movies took a beating from Hollywood at the box office starting with ''Spider-Man 3'' in May, followed by ''Pirates of the Caribbean,’’ ''Shrek the Third'' and ''Transformers.''
Korean cinema did start the year on a hopeful note with the release of a drama based on a real, high-profile kidnapping in the 1990s.

''With the Korean film 'Voice of a Murderer' selling more than three million tickets in the first half of the year, the general mood of Korean cinema in the first six months can be described as anything but 'gloomy.' And from the looks of things, the second half sure seems to bring more good news.''

Critics here say films based on true stories will remain hot, continuing a trend that caught on earlier this year.
A good example is the drama ''Splendid Vacation.''
Just four days after its nationwide release last Wednesday, it has drawn more than a million moviegoers.
The film that deals with the 1980 Gwangju massacre in which over 200 students and protestors died topped this past weekend's box office, a first for a Korean film in five weeks.
Another reality-based drama set to hit screens later this second half is ''Women's Team Handball.''
It shows the burning desire to win by Korea's national handball team at the 2004 Athens Olympics.

''The cinematic outlook for the second half appears rosy given that some of Korea's leading directors are poised to release new works. Audiences will also find more films they can relate to. Among the highlights are 'The Good Bad Weirdo' a Korean version of the Western, and the sci-fi flick 'D-War.''

D-War's Director Shim Hyungrae worked with Hollywood actors and crew and a production budget of 30 million U.S. dollars to complete the film.
The English-language film took six years to complete and is one of just a few big-budget works to merge talent from both sides of the Pacific.
Now, after a disappointing first half that saw not a single domestic blockbuster such hybrid efforts may just be what the industry needs.

Son Heekyung, Arirang News.
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