Hollywood

After Oscars Success, again great is to come

After Parasite’s historic success at the 2020 Oscars, the planet soon could also be seeing more of the film’s
now-beloved ensemble cast. the varied actors who comprised the film’s wealthy Park family and therefore the
plucky, impoverished Kims were each already big stars reception in South Korea . But after becoming the
surprise darlings of this year’s awards season, culminating during a best picture win, producers and sales
agents are anticipating an Oscars bump befitting their new-found global name recognition.

Korean acting legend Song Kang-ho, who played the patriarch of the Kim family in Parasite, was far and away
the biggest name of the cast, having starred in many of the foremost influential Korean films of the past two
decades, including Bong Joon Ho’s prior hits Memories of Murder, The Host andSnowpiercer, also as
acclaimed works from Park Chan-wook (Joint Security Area, Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance), Kim Jeewoon (The Good, the Bad, the Weird), Lee Chang-dong (Secret Sunshine) et al. . Shortly
after Parasite’s release, Song told THR that he had little interest in “crossing over” to Hollywood.
“Although I only make Korean films, helping these films be universal and have global influence is
something that suits me better,” he said.
After having helped Parasite achieve just that, Song appears unlikely to vary course. he’s currently
shooting a big-budget Korean disaster film, Emergency Declaration, directed by Han Jae-rim and costarring fellow A-list actor Lee Byung-hun.
Choi Woo-shik, who played Kim Ki-woo, the son of the poor family, appears presumably to form a postOscar international pivot. Raised in Canada, Choi is bilingual and was recently offered the lead role in
A24’s upcoming Korea-set romance Past Lives, produced by Scott Rudin. Choi’s agency in Seoul
tells THR that he’s still reviewing the part. within the meantime, he’s busy shooting the upcoming Korean
police thriller The Policeman’s Lineage, supported a best-selling Japanese novel. Choi also stars within the
dystopian thriller Time to Hunt, one among just two high-profile Korean titles premiering at this year’s Berlinale.
“The film has certainly attracted more buzz among the reporters and buyers after the Oscar
announcement,” says a representative for All That Cinema, Time to Hunt’s PR company. Contents Panda,
which is handling international sales on the title, similarly says it’s received a surprise boost in buyer
interest after the Oscars because of Choi’s starring presence.
Lee Sun-kyun, who played the detached and deep-voiced Park family patriarch, is about to star in director
Byun Sunghyun’s upcoming film King Maker, playing a presidential campaign strategist within the 1960s.
Perhaps the foremost memorable breakout star of Parasite for international audiences, Park So-dam, who
played the Kim family daughter, aka the sly “Miss Jessica,” an “art tutor from Illinois,” was exposed to
international audiences before the Oscars. Park’s Seoul-based agency Artist Company tells THR that she
already has received several Hollywood offers, but that they’re remaining cautious. “Nothing has been
decided yet, but we are hospitable exploring roles that best suit the actor,” workplace spokesman says.
Cho Yeo-jeong, who memorably played the naive wife and mother of the Park family in Parasite,
tells THR that she also already has been approached with several offers from international studios. She
realizes the Oscar halo tends to be fleeting, so she’s trying to find another indelible character, perhaps one
with a touch more backbone this point . “I still haven’t made up my mind,” she says. “I’ve also got another
offers for Korean movies and I’m thinking very carefully about what should come next.”

The surreal, psychological drama from director Antoneta Kastrati was Kosovo’s entry within the 2020 best international feature Oscar category.
Taking a back U.S. audiences’ growing appetite for unusual foreign-language drama, Synergetic Distribution has picked up North American rights to Zana, a surreal feature from Kosovar director Antoneta Kastrati.

Zana premiered in Toronto last year, where it drew rave reviews for its haunting story of post-traumatic stress and therefore the psychological scars of war, inspired by Kastrati’s own tragic case history .

The plot of Zana also features a touch of horror about it. Set during a small Kosovar town 10 years after the top of the Balkan Wars , Lume (Adriana Matoshi), who remains traumatized from losing her young daughter within the war, is struggling from her husband Ilir (Astrit Kabashi) to urge pregnant. As an increasingly desperate Ilir attempts more and more extreme methods, from psychologists to quack medical cures to holy men and even an exorcist, his mother Remzije (Fatmire Sahiti) pushes him to exchange his current wife with a younger model.

The film was Kosovo’s entry for the 2020 Best International Feature Oscar.

“Zana may be a deftly directed visual experience, which allows audiences to attach to its characters on a private level. it is a film made to be watched on the large screen,” said Anatol Chavez, head of acquisitions at Synergetic Distribution, who negotiated the affect Miguel Govea and Brett Walker at sales group alief.

Synergetic Distribution is planning a platform release for Zana within the U.S. starting in May/June of this year. Alief is handling world sales and is shopping the film to international buyers at the ecu Film Market in Berlin.

Lohan will play a detective within the film, which Angel Oaks is selling at the ecu Film Market in Berlin.
Lindsay Lohan looks to possess lined up her next feature, this point playing a detective alongside Oscar nominee Mickey Rourke (The Wrestler) in supernatural thriller Cursed.

The Hollywood Reporter understands that the star – last seen within the MTV reality series Lindsay Lohan’s Beach Club and as a judge on The Masked Singer Australia – has entered final negotiations to seem within the film, written by Ian Holt and directed by Steven R. Monroe, who helmed the 2010 remake of cult classic I Spit on Your Grave.

Angel Oak Films and Alt House Productions will produce, with Angel Oak representing the film – which is slated to start out principal photography this summer – at the ecu Film Market in Berlin.

Cursed tells the story of renowned psychiatrist Dr. David Elder (Rourke), who teams up with detective Mary Branigan (Lohan) during a race to prevent an escaped psychiatric patient from killing five people held hostage during a remote house. The film’s casting was handled by Debra McCarthy.

Los Angeles/Brussels-based Angel Oak Films is that the new production and sales banner headed up by Pascal Borno, Alain Gillissen and B.I. Rosen. New York-based Alt House Productions is led by Holt, Michael Alden and Mike Kuciak.

Despite a lifetime ban from filmmaking, the awardwinning helmer shot his Berlin competition entry ‘There
Is No Evil’ secretly . Now, facing prison time, he refuses
to back down: “I have made my decision to talk out.”
For Mohammad Rasoulof, the stakes couldn’t be higher.
The award-winning Iranian director made his new movie, there’s No Evil, in secret, after his last film, A
Man of Integrity, landed him a lifetime working ban from the regime in Tehran for “spreading propaganda”
against the Islamic republic. He was also sentenced to a year in prison and spent his time, while
shooting there’s No Evil, trying to appeal the conviction.
“On the ultimate day of shooting, I got the text from the court. They upheld the sentence. I’m getting to jail,”
Rasoulof tells THR, matter-of-factly, in an interview conducted via Skype from his range in Iran.
He has yet to be locked up, and there’s No Evil was accepted for competition at the Berlinale, where it
will premiere Feb. 28.
Rasoulof won’t be there. the govt seized his passport in 2017 after he returned to Iran from the
Cannes festival , where a person of Integrity won the highest prize of the Un Certain Regard section.
“Everyone asked me, ‘Why did you come back?’ But it had been obvious to me. this is often my home,” says
Rasoulof. “There was never any question of me leaving my country [permanently].”
To make there’s No Evil, despite his government-imposed ban,
Rasoulof had friends submit the applications for shooting permits on his behalf. “My name didn’t appear
anywhere on the paperwork,” he says. “And I found out the movie as four short films, each with its own
director, its own production unit, a bit like four separate movies. Because the govt doesn’t pay as
much attention to shorts. It’s easier to urge things through.”
Berlin International festival
For scenes shot publicly places, including the Tehran airport, Rasoulof stayed home, sending in his
assistant directors with a pre-approved shot list. “Only in scenes out of the town , where I could feel more
free, was I ready to get on set and work directly with the actors,” he says.
The film traces four interlocking stories revolving around one theme: How can a private , even
under a despotic regime, show moral courage? The stories all connect on to the difficulty of Iran’s death
penalty and government-sanctioned killing of dissents and political opponents.
Rasoulof says there’s No Evil may be a more direct critique of his
government than he has dared in his films within the past. While much of Rasoulof’s work depicts the political
struggles of ordinary Iranians, it had been often done, as is typical in Iranian cinema, during a subtle or allegorical
manner.
“This allegorical style has its roots in our culture, which matches back centuries, in our poetry, our art, which
tends to not say things directly,” he says. “But i would like to interrupt thereupon , because i feel this allegorical
aesthetic has become a sort of submission, how of accepting the oppression of the regime.”
Being honest, regardless of the cost, is Rasoulof’s mission with there’s No Evil. In one story, a conscripted
solider is forced to make a decision whether or to not participate in an execution. In another, a person who “avoids
politics” sees how his passive acceptance of the regime features a direct, and devastating, impact on others.
“An oppressive regime like ours puts you struggling every day; little sacrifices, little lies and
hypocrisies you’ve got to undergo ,” Rasoulof says. “Generally you set up with it without focusing an excessive amount of
on the injustice of it all. But once i made a decision to point out how this technique works, I needed to also show how
you can react or resist or refuse.”
Rasoulof knows his new film, however it’s received in Berlin, could make things even worse for him.
“There might be a price to pay,” he says. “But I even have made my decision to talk out — regardless of the
consequences.”
One of his hopes is that Iranians who see his movie — all of Rasoulof’s films are banned in Iran
but circulate via an underground system of DVDs — will understand that even within the worst conditions,
even under threat of death, there’s “a way of claiming no.”
Rasoulof believes many in Iran share his opinions of the regime and says he’s heartened by recent mass
antigovernment protests. “It is unprecedented ,” he says. “For the primary time, there’s a well-liked anger among
the Iranian folks that even the govt cannot ignore.”

Earlier this year, while giving a class at the Lumière Festival in France, Bong theorized about Parasite’s globe-spanning appeal. “The film talks about two opposing families — about the rich versus the poor — which may be a universal theme, because we all sleep in an equivalent country now: that of capitalism.”

The issues of income inequality and barriers to upward mobility are arguably nowhere more resonant than in China, where many millions are lifted out of poverty over the past three decades, but where inequality has similarly soared. during a paper published last spring, celebrated French economist Thomas Piketty estimated that the share of income getting to China’s wealthiest 1 percent has risen from 6 percent in 1978 to about 14 percent in 2015 — surpassing the rates in such countries as France (10 percent) and fast approaching the us (20 percent).

Parasite’s China market potential was recognized by a number of the primary buyers who saw it at Cannes. Several well-connected sources in Beijing tell THR that the film sold to a Chinese distributor during Cannes’ Marche du Film in May. But South Korean studio giant CJ Entertainment remains mum on its China ambitions for the blockbuster. When asked about distribution plans there, a CJ representative would only say, “Nothing is set yet.” (CJ also declined to mention which Chinese company currently holds the local release rights.)

With China’s 70,000 cinemas still pack up to stop the spread of the coronavirus, dozens of high-profile films previously set for release — both local tentpoles and Hollywood imports — are awaiting rescheduling. because of the backlog, Parasite would likely need to wait months to attain a release date even within the better of circumstances. Insiders believe the film’s problems in China extend far beyond the present health crisis, however.

Thanks to a long-simmering geopolitical dispute between Beijing and Seoul, no Korean film has played in Chinese cinemas since Showbox Entertainment’s action blockbuster Assassination opened there in September 2015.

Throughout the 2010s, Korean entertainment — from K-pop to moviemaking — was rapidly ascendant among the Chinese public, with Korean drama and reality TV formats, especially , commanding a number of the very best licensing fees of any content category among local TV networks and streaming platforms.

But in July 2016, China’s media regulators instituted an abrupt ban on all Korean content entering the country. Although never officially acknowledged, the block was understood to be retaliation for Seoul’s decision to put in a U.S.-made missile defence system , referred to as THAAD (Terminal High Altitude Area Defense), on the Korea . Seoul argued that the missile system was only intended as deterrence against North Korea , but Beijing contented that the installation of an American missile system on its geographic doorstep was a severe impingement on its sovereignty.

Last summer, it seemed like Parasite was set to secure the primary new exception to China’s ban on Korean film screenings. China’s influential FIRST festival , held within the Qinghai province, scheduled Parasite as its closing screening — and anticipation of the event was feverish. Days before the festival was set to start , however, Parasite was abruptly pulled from the lineup, with organizers citing unspecified “technical reasons” — the common euphemism for censorship problems.

Some speculated that Parasite’s violent ending might be responsible , while others have argued that the film’s critique of income inequality might be unwelcome to the ruling Communist Party during a time of slowing economic process and growing social grievance. But the foremost well-connected insiders tell THR that the film’s Korean provenance is more likely responsible .

“As of now, we don’t see that there are drastic changes within the policy direction by the Chinese government,” says a politician at the Korean Film Commission in Seoul.

Amid such ongoing challenges, Chinese film lovers are presumably to ascertain Parasite online — maybe even via legal means, if CJ is particularly lucky.

In 2017, Barry Jenkins’ gay coming-of-age drama Moonlight, riding its Oscar best picture win, scored a surprise special screening slot during the government-backed Beijing International festival — considered a coup given Chinese regulators’ often repressive handling of storytelling featuring gay characters. But lo and behold, several weeks before the festival began, Moonlight was discreetly yanked from the lineup (organizers told THR that government figures indeed objected to the film’s “gay content”).

Yet Moonlight still managed to stream in China because of a affect online video giant iQiyi. Several Korean titles even have scored discreet streaming deals in recent years, including Lee Chang-dong’s 2019 critical favorite Burning and therefore the 2018 monster film, Monstrum, which were both sold to Chinese video platforms by Seoul-based sales outfit Finecut.

“It are going to be difficult to travel back to the pre- THAAD period and export purely Korean films” to Chinese cinemas, says Goo Jongsang, a professor of media communications at South Korea’s Dongseo University. “Korean companies should now search for other means of cooperation.”

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