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Ko - production in Busan
  • Memories of the Sword
  • by Pierce Conran /  Aug 10, 2015
  •  
    2015121 MIN | Action, Drama
    DIRECTOR PARK Heung-sik
    CAST LEE Byung-hun, JEON Do-yeon, KIM Go-eun
    RELEASE DATE August 13, 2015
    CONTACT Lotte Shopping Lotte Entertainment Co.,Ltd
    Tel +82 2 3470 3523
    Fax +82 2 3470 3549
    E-mail international@lotte.net
     
    16 years after The Harmonium In My Memory, LEE Byung-hun and JEON Do-yeon grace the screen together once more in Memories of the Sword, an epic tale of betrayal and swordplay that is a million miles away from their previous subdued romantic drama. Joining them is newcomer KIM Go-eun and at the helm is veteran filmmaker PARK Heung-sik, who previously directed JEON in I Wish I Had a Wife (2001) and My Mother, The Mermaid (2004).
     
    A trio of ace swordfighters leads a revolt during the Goryeo Dynasty but just when they think the battle was won, Poong-chun (BAE Soo-bin) dies at the hands the treacherous Deok-ki (LEE Byung-hun), who then tries but fails to enlist Seol-rang (JEON Do-yeon) to his side. She escapes with Poong-chun’s sword and his daughter. 18 years later, Seol-rang, now blind, is teaching Seol-hee (KIM Go-eun) the ways of the sword, and Deok-ki has become one of the most powerful men in the land. One day Deok-ki and Seol-hee cross paths and soon all three find themselves on a trajectory that can only end in bloodshed.
     
    Reminiscent of the period epics of neighboring China, Memories of the Sword features extensive wire work as it echoes wuxia classics such as Ang LEE’s Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2001) or ZHANG Yimou’s Hero (2002) and House of Flying Daggers (2004). The emphasis of the action is on the movement of the characters, which is frequently foregrounded through the use of slow motion and their interactions with the elements, such as snowflakes, in swordplay showcases that are reminiscent of LEE Myung-se’s balletic period action piece The Duelist (2005).
     
    Sporting a USD 10 million budget, which can be seen through the film’s ornate production design and costumes, as well as practical and digital effects, Memories of the Sword actually began production around two years ago and took a little longer than usual time to finally secure a release date. It also marks the first big-budget production of director PARK, who has been known for his sensitive dramas. Clearly, he has caught the bug for period filmmaking as his next project will be the Joseon Era drama Hae-eo-hwa (Korean title which means talking flowers), which stars HAN Hyo-joo and is currently shooting.
     
    The first big period film since The Treacherous, the epic and star-driven Memories of the Sword is set to enter a busy marketplace at the height of summer, where it will be forced to contend with local hits such as Assassination and Veteran and the successful Hollywood tentpole Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation. Period fans won’t have to wait long for their next fix however, as LEE Joon-ik’s The Throne, starring SONG Kang-ho and YOO Ah-in, is set to debut in September, just in time for the Chuseok holiday.
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