The Korea Herald


Five Korean films head to this year’s Cannes Film Festival

By Kim Da-sol

Published : May 15, 2023 - 15:41

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Song Joong-ki from “Hopeless” (Plus M Entertainment) Song Joong-ki from “Hopeless” (Plus M Entertainment)

Five Korean films have been invited to this year’s Cannes International Film Festival, which kicks off in the French resort town on Tuesday. Kim Chang-hoon’s “Hopeless,” Kim Jee-woon’s “Cobweb,” Hong Sang-soo’s “In Our Day,” Kim Tae-gon’s “Project Silence” and Jason Yu’s “Sleep” will be shown at the festival.

No South Korean film has been selected to compete for the main prize, the Palme d’Or, at the 76th edition of the festival, which runs until May 27.

“Hopeless” and “Cobweb” were invited in the Un Certain Regard and Out of Competition categories, respectively.

“Cobweb,” Kim Jee-woon’s first feature film in 13 years and his third project to be screened at Cannes, stars veteran actor Song Kang-ho, who won the best actor award at Cannes last year.

“Cobweb” revolves around the struggles of a film director, played by Song, in the 1970s when the industry languished due to government censorship and unsupportive actors. The cast includes actors Lim Soo-jeong, Oh Jeong-se, Jeon Yeo-been and Jung Soo-jung.

“Cobweb” follows Kim’s 2005 film “A Bittersweet Life” and 2008 film “The Good, The Bad, the Weird” that were invited to noncompetition sections. Both also featured Song as the main protagonist.

“Hopeless” will be screened in the Un Certain Regard section that focuses on art house films.

Featuring actor Song Joong-ki, the film revolves around Yun-kyu (Hong Sa-bin), who wants to escape from his everyday struggles. One day, Yun-kyu meets crime organization underboss Chi-gun (Song) and becomes entangled in risky situations.

Both Song Kang-ho and Song Joong-ki are expected to appear at the red carpet event with the directors and other cast members.

“In Our Day” (Finecut) “In Our Day” (Finecut)

Meanwhile, director Hong Sang-soo’s “In Our Day” was selected as the closing film for the Cannes Directors’ Fortnight section.

“In Our Day,” starring Kim Min-hee, Ki Joo-bong and Song Seon-mi, is director Hong’s 12th film at the festival.

“Sleep” (Lotte Entertainment) “Sleep” (Lotte Entertainment)

Jason Yu’s horror film “Sleep” has been invited for Cannes Critics’ Week, which focuses on first and second features by emerging directors.

Yu is a former assistant to director Bong Joon-ho of Oscar-winning film “Parasite” (2019).

The film starring Lee Sun-kyun and Jung Yu-mi tells a story of newlyweds with husband showing strange behavior while asleep.

Last but not least, Kim Tae-gon’s “Project Silence,” starring Lee Sun-kyun and Ju Ji-hoon, has been invited to the Midnight Screening section, an out-of-competition section dedicated to films with popular appeal and artistic value.

“Project Silence” tells a story about people who are stranded on a collapsing bridge amid thick fog. Kim previously produced films such as “The Queen of Crime” (2016) and “The King of Jokgu” (2013).

There is a possibility for director Kim Chang-hoon of “Hopeless” or Jason Yu of “Sleep” to come home with the Camera D’or award, according to industry insiders. The award is presented for the best first feature film in Cannes sections including Directors’ Fortnight and International Critics’ Week. The winner, selected by an independent jury, is announced at the closing ceremony on May 27.