Following the worldwide success of his previous feature Chunhyang, Veteran Korean director Im Kwon-taek has started production of his 98th film. Titled Chwi-hwa-seon in Korean, the film chronicles the true story of 19th century painter Jang Seung-eop, whose free lifestyle and eccentric personality earned him as much fame as his accomplished painting (the title refers to the artist's habit of painting while drunk).
Im says that with this feature he hopes to give increased exposure to the painting of Korea and all of Asia. Shooting began on July 16 after a short ceremony attended by many prominent figures in the film industry.
For this film, Im will once again team with longtime collaborators Taehung Pictures production company and cinematographer Chung Il-sung. Award-winning actor Choi Min-shik of Shiri and Happy End has been cast to take the title role, with Ahn Sung-ki (MUSA: The Warrior) and Kim Yeo-jin (Peppermint Candy) complementing a supporting cast of debut actors. The film is expected to take seven months to complete, placing it in line to be considered for the 2002 Cannes Film Festival.
Director Im Kwon-taek is informally known as the father of Korean cinema. After directing scores of conventional genre films in his youth, Im gained widespread acclaim for his 1981 release Mandala and has since produced a string of challenging works with largely traditional themes. His most recent feature Chunhyang was the first Korean film to compete at the Cannes Film Festival and later grossed close to $800,000 in a U.S. release by Lot 47.