Shanghai projects highlight up-and-comers
Young directors, international co-productions
The challenges of adapting Japanese IP
Frustrations shared at Japan Day seminars
Asian regulars join Cannes' Un Certain Regard
Kawase Naomi's An to open festival sidebar
Shanghai adds four to main competition
Films from China, South Korea, Australia, US
Shanghai sets opening and closing films
China, Hollywood films to bookend festival
Korean actors on A Girl at My Door
Bae Du-na, Kim Sae-ron and Song Sae-byeok
Black & White and global Chinese cinema
Tsai Yueh-hsun and Yu Hsiao-hui in Cannes
A Girl at My Door's July Jung
Director talks Lee Chang-dong and violence in films
Asian auteurs announce new films in Cannes
MK2 boards Jia, Kawase projects
Remake Fever: West to East
Asia looks West for story ideas
Korean stars shine a light on indie cinema
A trend that may determine the fate of indie fare
Goodbye East, Goodbye
Is the lack of Asian films at Cannes the canary in the coal mine?
Fatal Encounter has year's best opening
The Target third-placed in South Korea
Jeon Do-yeon, Jia Zhangke join Cannes jury
Former winners on competition jury
Critics' Week selects Indian animated short
Cannes remains light on Asian features
Zhang Yimou, Kawase Naomi in Cannes
Wang Chao returns to Un Certain Regard
Jia, Chen, Kore-eda earn Cannes awards
Palme d'Or to Tunisia's Blue is the Warmest Colour
Sony Classics takes bite of Lunchbox
Indian crowd pleaser set for US release
Filipino festivals show funding flair
Indie cinema in The Philippines is flourishing thanks to festivals' financing of micro-budget films
Kite remake hauled in by TWC
Jackson stars in action drama
Foursome to make Thai Pitch
Projects seek investors at Cannes
Asian distribs' rush for Eng-lang titles
Pre-market deals for Cannes' Official Selection goodies
Zhang joins Regard jury
Chinese actress to select from 18 contenders
MK2 set to enjoy Sin
Multi-layered Jia drama returns to French sales home
Celluloid snaps Miike film
Competition title finds French seller
Kore-eda, Miike, Jia join Cannes competition
Asian films announced in several sections
Great Gatsby to open Cannes
Australian co-produced drama to screen in 3-D
Chinese, Indian students head for l'Atelier
Cannes development forum 2013 roll call
Spielberg to head Cannes jury
ET director comes home
Campion to head Cannes Cinefondation jury
NZ/Aus director returns to scene of success
Cannes to honour India
Centenary celebrations move to Croisette
Cannes prizes omit Asia; Haneke earns more Love
Questions asked of festival, industry
Driver steers Cannes duo to world sales
Indian films find route to market
Fortissimo charmed by Miss Lovely
India's Un Certain Regard entry finds sales home
Tsai short to close Critics' Week
Walker ponders beauty and strangeness
Cannes selection is lukewarm on Asia
Two South Korean films in main competition
Aus, NZ titles in Cannes shorts competition
Cinefondation makes Japanese pick
Asia offers rich menu to Cannes' selectors
Will the new-look Directors' Fortnight seize its chance?
CJ does things My Way in Cannes
Festivals is marketing platform for Asian super-production
Finecut flags new slate
Korean seller expands slate, extends sales
Cannes announces minor-key Asian line-up
Official Selection includes two Japanese, three Korean titles
Housemaid has warm welcome at home
Korean psychological drama has year's biggest opening
Chang and Kim Seong-ryeong on Target
By Stephen Cremin
Thu, 22 May 2014, 23:59 PM (HKT)
A few hours before the international premiere of The Target 표적 at the Cannes Film Festival, Film Business Asia sat down with actress KIM Seong-ryeong 김성령 | 金成鈴 and director CHANG 창 to discuss genre films, casting and China.
Why did you choose this project?
Chang: I'd seen the original French film, Point Blank, and was impressed by it. I like the fast development of the story and the elements of surprise in the film. Then when the production company and investor offered this film to me, I jumped at it. I was sure I could make the necessary changes to the original to make it a more attractive, contemporary story.
How did you decide on the cast?
Chang: The casting came quite naturally, including the choice of Kim Seong-ryeong. I adjusted the script a little for her. I like her elegance as an actress but I believed I could make her character more intense than the original. I really wanted to change the stereotype of the female police inspector in Korean movies and society. I knew I could achieve that with this actress.
Was this an easy role to accept?
Kim: Frankly, I was very attracted by the performance of the original French actress in the role. I thought that I could also do that. In Korean television dramas, I often play "girly" characters, but I really wanted to seize the opportunity to do something different.
Is it hard to find good scripts in South Korea?
Kim: There are a lot of good scripts in Korea. But one has to say that the Korean film industry is male-centric. So, there aren't that many good roles for women.
Are you directly competing with Lee Mi-suk, Kim Hye-su?
Kim: No, I'm quite different from KIM Hye-su 김혜수 | 金憓秀. She is more glamorous and sexy than me. I'm more often compared to KIM Hui-ae 김희애 | 金喜愛.
Chang: Kim Hye-su and Kim Seong-ryeong have a different "colour". Seong-ryeong is more the charming middle-aged woman and modern mother. Hye-su is much sexier and different. But Kim Hui-ae we can put in the same category.
Are you especially interested in making an action film?
Chang: I'm actually open to many different kinds of genre films. It's very important to follow the rules of the genre in commercial cinema. We have to know how to "cook" the genre. We can classify my first feature Death Bell 고死 피의 중간고사 (2008), as a horror movie, but it has thriller elements as well. The Target is an action film, but there are also thriller elements that I wanted to add to the recipe. I will continue to work in genre films, but I will try to add different elements always.
It's been a few years since Death Bell. Is it hard to get film projects made in South Korea?
Chang: After completing my first film, I focused on music videos for the next two years. There was another film that I prepared for a long time during those six years, but it was postponed. And suddenly I had the chance to make this film, The Target.
Do either of you have an interest in working in China?
Kim: In China, there are a lot of Korean actors that are popular. I was recently invited to work on a Chinese TV drama with a Korean director. I'm open about going to China to work if the conditions are right.
Chang: Cultural exchange between countries is very important. For producer, directors and for actors. I have to focus on that more in the future. Especially in China where there is an enormous market that is developing quickly. Actually, I'm preparing something now in China as a producer
What are the weaknesses of the Korean film industry?
Kim: I don't know that much because I'm an actress. But the industry is too focused on young audiences, especially female audiences. Hence the casting of so many handsome young actors in films. But it's also very important to have audiences aged in their 50s and 60s going to the movies. But the young female audience in South Korea likes me so I'm going to be okay!
Chang: As a director, and this doesn't just relate to the South Korean film industry, I sense that there's a problem with diversity. In the United States, the commercial Hollywood and the independent New York film industries can co-exist. In South Korea, in the 1990s, there was some harmony between the mainstream and independent film circles. But nowadays that's not the case. There is a great deal of pressure to make commercial films. And not just in South Korea but also in China. I believe it's important to maintain government policies to protect an independent film sector.
Do you get offers to star in independent films?
Kim: I haven't yet had the chance, but I want to try. I do theatre, so it's not an issue of salary for me. I want to go where the good roles are.
How did you approach the violence in your film?
Chang: Because this is about movies, we're talking about movie violence. It's a different thing. There needs to be authenticity to the violence in movies. For The Target, I deliberately didn't want there to be stylish action, but hard action.
What projects do you have coming up?
Kim: I'm doing theatre right now so I'll be back on the stage as soon as I return to Seoul. I'm reading the script of a drama now that I'm considering and also preparing for HA Jung-woo 하정우 | 河正佑's Chronicle of a Blood Merchant 허삼관 매혈기. I play a fortune teller in that film.
Chang: I've been developing several projects, including the one in China. And after the box office success of The Target, I now have several more offers. But I haven't decided which one I'll do next.