The Korea Herald


[Herald Interview] Kim Jee-woon has high hopes of Korean cinema revival through 'Cobweb'

By Kim Da-sol

Published : Sept. 25, 2023 - 15:07

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Director Kim Jee-woon (Barunson EA) Director Kim Jee-woon (Barunson EA)

Just like director Kim Yeol in “Cobweb,” the film's 58-year-old director, Kim Jee-won, is adamant about what he does as a filmmaker.

“Amid the unprecedented crisis that Korean cinema is facing, all I ask for (regarding the release of my film) is for ‘Cobweb’ to create a momentum for the revival of the Korean cinema,” Kim told The Korea Herald in an interview in Seoul on Sept. 21.

Kim was behind hit projects like “The Good, The Bad, The Strange” (2008), “I Saw the Devil” (2010) and “The Age of Shadows” (2016).

“A healthy film industry really requires a good balance, birth of many quality-rather than-quantity films here,” he said, adding that he wants to empower fellow filmmakers to never lose their passion in movie making.

Kim said “Cobweb” reminded him a lot of the early days of his career. Responding to comments that “Cobweb” is too new to attract a wide range of audience, Kim drew the example of his debut film “The Quiet Family” (1998).

The film was called "unconventional and risky," Kim recalled.

"There was a list of criteria for successful films, but ‘The Quiet Family’ did not meet any of those criteria," he said.

"It had the entire family as the protagonists, instead of one or two top leads. It was a mixed genre film, neither comedy nor horror, and had an open ending."

But “The Quiet Family” was received favorably by critics and the audience, as well as achieved a good score at the box office.

“Whenever I receive a question on my film’s popular appeal, I can confidently talk about it because I’ve gone through various trials,” he said.

Kim also mentioned his good partnership with Song. “Cobweb” is their fifth project together.

“Why I value Song really has to do with his natural charm and his humanity," he said.

"No matter the role, Song seamlessly becomes the character. His power of owning the scene and the set with his unique type of humor and wit is what I personally share with him. I tend to express the ironic humor through Song,” said Kim.

“Cobweb” opens in theaters on Sept. 27.

Song Kang-ho (left) and director Kim Jee-woon (right) (Barunson EA) Song Kang-ho (left) and director Kim Jee-woon (right) (Barunson EA)