|Director Na Hong-jin. (Showbox/Mediaplex)|
South Korean director Na Hong-jin was called a “heavyweight talent” on a list of “20 Directors to Watch” in the Friday edition of The New York Times.
The critics gave the 39-year-old South Korean high points for keeping the viewers’ attention with his second feature “The Yellow Sea,” despite the unfavorable 10 p.m. screening slot at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival.
“Before it was over, this thrillingly visceral movie confirmed Mr. Na as a heavyweight talent,” the critics wrote.
The daily’s film critics Manohla Dargis and A.O. Scott chose the filmmakers from around the world, with the rules that the directors be 40 or younger and that they both agree on the selections.
Na’s debut movie, “The Chaser,” (2008) was “one of those singular movies that bridge the divide between the art house and the multiplex,” they said, noting that the movie drew in Warner Brothers, who bought the remake rights for $1 million. It played at Cannes at midnight in 2008.
“The Chaser” drew the attention of Fox International Productions in Na enough for them to invest in “The Yellow Sea.” It was the first time that Fox put money into a South Korean movie.
A Hollywood remake of “The Yellow Sea” is currently underway.
“If Mr. Na gets to direct, it could be great,” the NYT critics said. (Yonhap News)