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Still the Heyday of Song Gang-ho

Posted April. 06, 2004 22:12,   


How is the forecast of the film industry after Silmido and Taeguki stormed theatres nationwide, ushering in the 10 million-audience era?

The Dong-A Ilbo movie team gave a survey to 13 filmmakers and critics with question categories such as “Actor/Actress in Power” and “Director in Power.” They rated actors, actresses, and directors on a 10-point scale.

The best “Actor in Power” was found to be Song Gang-ho, with a point total of 9.46. Following in second place was Choi Min-sik with a point total of 8.48. Third place belonged to Seol Gyeong-gu, with a point total of 8.17.

The victory of Song Gang-ho was more remarkable in the sense that it went against the strong winds of major successes of Silmido and Taeguki. Film Critic Kim Young-jin praised the actor, saying, “He is the best actor with character in Korean films, and audiences are absolutely attracted to him.”

Of course the “10 million” legend was not without deep impact. Soel Gyeong-gu of Silmido emerged in the third place, described as “a multi-faceted actor who can transcend the boundaries of art movies or box-office movies.” Chang Dong-gun and Won Bin came in fourth place with 7.67 points, and the ninth place with 2.83 points, respectively, thanks to Taeguki.

The biggest competition was for the “Director in Power” title. Kang Woo-suk and Kang Je-gyu were hard on the competition, with Woo-suk’s 9.37 points winning first place. Je-gyu’s 9.24 points were right behind him.

The most noticeable fact is that there is an increased number of new faces. Film Critic Joen Chan-il says, “Until the late 90s, the Han Seok-gyu and Shim Eun-ha structure was in place, but later on, the Korean film industry is now facing a multiple king and queen era, with many players in the game.”

They say, even though he recorded first place, Song is not in absolute power. They say Song is strong in ticket-power and comedy, while Choi Min-sik and Seol Gyeong-gu are strong in acting and charisma.

Compared to those in their thirties, Chang Dong-gun and Kwon Sang-woo are forming young acting power. Chang demonstrates ups and downs in his various movies, but it is forecast that his era is finally starting up with Taeguki.

Kwon Sang-woo debuted with “HwaSanGo” and recorded successes in a row after that. He is the most coveted actor of the day. He is the most popular among teenagers and audiences in their twenties. However, it is also said that “his success really depends on which director he meets.”

Actress in Power is comparatively weaker than its male counterpart. Jeon Ji-hyun with 6.45 points and Jeon Do-yeon with 3.45 points won the fifth place and seventh place, respectively.

The critics speak of Han Seok-gyu and Shim Eun-ha, the highest stars of the nineties, and that they could be facing changes in their career.

“Shin Eun-ha: the Goddess. The best ticket power of all the actresses. Just show your face on screen.” -Film Critic Shin Young-sup.

“Han Seok-gyu. He might be put off by other Big Three, but he can be emperor again with a hit at any minute.” – LJ Film Critic Lee Seung-jae.

Gab-Sik Kim dunanworld@donga.com