Jang Jin

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This is a Korean name; the family name is Jang.
Jang Jin
Jang Jin from acrofan.jpg
Born (1971-02-24) February 24, 1971 (age 43)
Seoul, South Korea
Education Seoul Institute of the Arts
Theater
Occupation Film director, Theatre director, Playwright, Screenwriter, Film producer, Actor
Years active 1995-present
Spouse(s) Cha Young-eun (m. 2007)
Korean name
Hangul 장진
Hanja
Revised Romanization Jang Jin
McCune–Reischauer Chang Chin
Website
http://www.filmitsuda.com/

Jang Jin (born February 24, 1971) is a South Korean film director, theatre director, playwright, screenwriter, film producer, actor and TV personality.[1]

Considered one of the most distinctive voices to emerge from the 1990s Korean cinema renaissance, Jang's unique filmmaking style mixes unconventional storylines, quirky characters, dry and subversive humor, comic twists, sharp puns, stagy presentation, a keen observation of society, and humanism. Jang’s films do not sell millions of tickets but he has nurtured a faithful fan base that appreciates his "Jang Jin-ish" style.[2]

Career[edit]

Jang Jin dreamed of becoming a musician in middle school, but his ambition changed when he saw his first theater play in his freshman year of high school. As a high school student, he acted in more than 40 plays, receiving good reviews and a few awards for his performances. After majoring in theater studies at Seoul Institute of the Arts, he joined the writing team for the SBS variety show Good Friends in the mid 1990s. He created his own portion Hollywood Message, which he wrote and edited by himself, where he would take famous scenes from some of the most popular Hollywood films showing in theaters, and make parodies, add silly popups, mix scenes from different films together to form a bizarre, unique collage of images. Because of his contribution, ratings for the show surged to unexpected heights.[3]

In January 1995, Jang entered newspaper daily The Chosun Ilbo's annual literary contest with Cheonho-dong Crossroad, his first full-fledged script. Using three characters which would feature in most of his theater plays and early films (Hwa-yi, Dal-soo and Deok-bae), his new and creative brand of storytelling won over the judges, who awarded him the top prize. He wrote his first stage play Heotang ("labor in vain") at the age of 21 while serving his military duty,[4] and his followup Clumsy People,[5][6][7] not only granted him lots of praise, but was also a big success, and allowed actress Song Chae-hwan to win the Best Actress Award at the Seoul Theater Festival. At the same time, he was helping adapt Song Jae-hee's original into what became A Hot Roof, a feminist comedy where a group of women from all walks of life protest their position in society from the roof of a building, while their husbands and the rest of the city try to cope with all that in the midst of one of the hottest summers Korea had ever seen.[3]

It would take another few years before Jang could start working full-time in Chungmuro, but during that time, he built a reputation as one of the most brilliant theater directors in the country, with unique scripts and characters who came across as real even in the most surreal of situations. His 1997 play Taxi Driver was a huge success, displaying his wit and talent for snappy dialogue. The original starred Choi Min-sik as Deok-bae, a taxi driver from the countryside who decides to come to the city, buys a private taxi after his mother sold some land, and hopes to finally make a change in his miserable life.[3]

The success of his theater plays raised his profile in the industry. Veteran TV drama director Kim Jong-hak commissioned Jang for a script, but the project was delayed. Jang decided to shop around his script, which led to his debut feature 1998 comedy The Happenings (though only half of what he shot ended up in the final cut).[3]

In 1999 Jang founded the theater troupe Suda, and among his regulars were Jung Gyu-soo, Shin Ha-kyun, Jung Jae-young and Jang Young-nam. After working on the play Magic Time, he then shot his second film The Spy, an underrated comedy starring Yoo Oh-sung as a North Korean spy trying to steal the magic formula of the South's "super pig" to combat the famine.[3]

The rest of Jang's career brought him to the top of Korea's A-list directors, with the same brand of "Jang Jin style" crowd pleasers, such as Guns & Talks, a black comedy about four talkative assassins. In 2000 Jang established his own film production outfit Film It Suda, hiring his "family" of fellow writers, producers and directors. Their first production was the three-part omnibus No Comment in 2002.[3][8]

With his theater and film successes, Jang was finally able to move on to producing and his real passion, writing. But the huge flop of the 2003 melodrama A Man Who Went to Mars (also known as A Letter from Mars, which Jang wrote) brought the company's future to a serious crossroad: either focus on hot items or risk losing everything. Though the aftermath of the film's failure was felt even in 2004, romantic comedy Someone Special had a decent box office performance despite the film's low budget, as well as glowing reviews for its stars Lee Na-young and Jung Jae-young.[9][10] Jang then focused on adapting his successful 2000 theater play Leave When They're Applauding into the big screen. The result was 2005's Murder, Take One, about a homicide case being broadcast live for 48 hours, a whodunit with a campy take on the ratings-obsessed media and the viewers' craze for reality TV.[3][11][12][13][14]

But it would be another of the company's films that became one of the biggest critical and commercial successes of 2005. Adapted by Jang from his same-titled 2002 play,[15] Welcome to Dongmakgol is the story of a remote mountain village where North and South Korean soldiers as well as an American soldier are stranded during the Korean War. The fantasy dramedy was the debut feature of Park Kwang-hyun, one of several of Jang's colleagues from his theater days who joined Film It Suda.[12]

In August 2005 Jang served as theatre director for the first time on a play he didn't write himself. He directed his fellow Seoul Institute of the Arts alumni in a staging of Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman. The play commemorated the 43rd anniversary for Dongnang Arts Center affiliated to the institute and the 100th birthday of the late Yu Chi-jin, founder of the institute and the nation's first amphitheater.[16]

After his doing his takes on the gangster genre (2006's Righteous Ties[17][18]) and the melodrama genre (2007's father-centered My Son[19][20]), Jang wrote the witty script for Ra Hee-chan's Going by the Book, about a mock bank robbery drill that turns embarrassingly real.[1][21] He also injected an enhanced comic effect into the screenplay of Public Enemy Returns, the third installment in Kang Woo-suk's series on tough detective Kang Cheol-jung (played by Sol Kyung-gu).[22]

His feel-good political satire Good Morning President was the opening film of the 2009 Busan International Film Festival.[23][24][25][26] At the MBC Drama Awards that year, Jang won a Special Award for his 2008 radio show segment Radio Book Club on MBC Standard FM.

His next films, 2010 ensemble comedy The Quiz Show Scandal[27][28] and 2011 melodrama Romantic Heaven,[29][30][31] though well-reviewed, were less successful at the box office.

Besides being the CEO of Film It Suda,[32] he is also co-founder of the film production company KnJ Entertainment Inc. alongside friend Kang Woo-suk.

Jang was a judge on the first and second seasons of Korea's Got Talent.[33] He wrote and directed the first three seasons of sketch comedy show Saturday Night Live Korea and anchored SNL Korea's version of Weekend Update.[34][35][36][37] Jang says he believes satirical comedies can change society for the better.[38][39]

Personal life[edit]

In May 2007, he married then-grad student Cha Young-eun. They have two sons.[40]

Filmography[edit]

Year
English Title
Korean Title
Credited as
Notes
1994
Hollywood Message 헐리웃통신
Writer, Editor
Portion of variety show Good Friends
(좋은 친구들, SBS)
1995
A Hot Roof 개같은 날의 오후
Writer
Cameo
1996
Do You Believe in Jazz 너희가 재즈를 믿느냐
Writer
1997
Trio 삼인조
Writer
1998
Soonpoong Clinic 순풍산부인과
Actor
Sitcom (SBS)
1998
The Happenings 기막힌 사내들
Director, Writer
1999
The Spy 간첩 리철진
Director, Writer
2000
Ditto 동감
Writer
2000
A Terrible Day 극단적 하루
Director, Writer
Short film
2001
Guns & Talks 킬러들의 수다
Director, Writer
Cameo
2002
아버지 몰래
Director
Short film
2002
No Comment 묻지마 패밀리
Producer, Writer
2003
Nursery Story 한뼘드라마
Actor
One-episode drama (MBC)
2003
A Man Who Went to Mars 화성으로 간 사나이
Writer
2004
Someone Special 아는 여자
Director, Writer, Producer
Cameo
2004
Has the Shower Ended? 소나기는 그쳤나요?
Director
Short film from 1.3.6[41]
2005
Murder, Take One 박수칠 때 떠나라
Director, Writer
2005
Welcome to Dongmakgol 웰컴 투 동막골
Producer, Writer
2005
Someone Grateful 고마운 사람
Director
Short film from If You Were Me 2
(다섯 개의 시선)[42][43]
2006
Righteous Ties 거룩한 계보
Director, Writer
Cameo
2007
My Son 아들
Director, Writer
2007
Going by the Book 바르게 살자
Producer, Writer
2008
U-Turn 유턴
Director, Writer
Short film for SsangYong Actyon (OCN)[44]
2008
Public Enemy Returns 강철중: 공공의 적 1-1
Writer
2009
Good Morning, President 굿모닝 프레지던트
Director, Writer
2010
The Quiz Show Scandal 퀴즈 왕
Director, Writer, Actor
2010
The Recipe 된장
Producer, Writer
2011
Romantic Heaven 로맨틱 헤븐
Director, Writer
2011-2012
Korea's Got Talent 코리아 갓 탤런트
Judge
Reality talent show (season 1-2, tvN)
2011-2012
Saturday Night Live Korea SNL코리아
Director, Writer, Actor
Sketch comedy show (season 1-3, tvN)
2014
Man on High Heels 하이힐
Director, Writer
2015
We are Brothers 우리는 형제입니다
Director, Writer

Theater[edit]

Year
English Title
Korean Title
Credited as
Restagings
Notes
1995
Heotang 허탕
Playwright, Director
1999, 2012
1995
Clumsy People 서툰 사람들
Playwright, Director
2004, 2007, 2008,
2009, 2010, 2012
1997
Taxi Driver 택시드리벌
Playwright, Director
2000, 2004
1999
Magic Time 매직타임
Playwright, Director
2000
Leave When They're Applauding 박수칠 때 떠나라
Playwright, Director
Adapted into 2005 film
Murder, Take One
2002
Welcome to Dongmakgol 웰컴 투 동막골
Playwright, Director
Adapted into 2005 film
Welcome to Dongmakgol
2004
Return to Hamlet 리턴 투 햄릿
Playwright, Director
2011, 2012
2005
Death of a Salesman 세일즈맨의 죽음
Director
2012
2011
Romeo Landing on Earth 로미오 지구 착륙기
Playwright, Director
2013
December: Unfinished Song 디셈버: 끝나지 않은 노래
Director, Playwright

Awards[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Chungmuro's "multimedia", director Jang Jin". KBS Global via Hancinema. 7 November 2007. 
  2. ^ "Jang Jin". Korean Film Biz Zone. Retrieved 2012-08-02. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g "K-FILM REVIEWS: 박수칠 때 떠나라 (Murder, Take One)". Twitch Film. 2 January 2006. 
  4. ^ Lee, Claire (1 July 2012). "Jang Jin shares his ‘not so funny’ earlier years". The Korea Herald. 
  5. ^ Cho, Chung-un (17 December 2007). "Jang Jin's robbery-romance farce takes the Daehangno stage". The Korea Herald via Hancinema. 
  6. ^ "This Week's Cultural News VCR 1". Arirang News via Hancinema. 24 February 2012. 
  7. ^ "This Week's Cultural News VCR 1". Arirang News. 24 February 2012. 
  8. ^ Kim, Kyu Hyun. "No Comment". Koreanfilm.org. Retrieved 2012-08-05. 
  9. ^ Soh, Joon (24 June 2004). "A Woman I Know - Shows Even Oddballs Fall in Love". The Korea Times via Hancinema. 
  10. ^ Yang, Sung-jin (24 June 2004). "Someone Special defies conventions". The Korea Herald via Hancinema. 
  11. ^ Min, Dong-yong (4 August 2005). "Who Killed Her? Investigation Broadcast Live for 48 Hours". The Dong-a Ilbo. 
  12. ^ a b Kim, Tae-jong (7 August 2005). "Playwright Takes On Big Screen". The Korea Times via Hancinema. 
  13. ^ "Jang Jin Announces New Film '거룩한 계보' (Noble Lineage)". Twitch Film. 10 August 2005. 
  14. ^ Yang, Sung-jin (11 August 2005). "The Big Scene showcases a clever detective thriller". The Korea Herald via Hancinema. 
  15. ^ Bae Keun-min, Kim Tae-jong (27 December 2005). "Plays, Films Feel Synergy Effect". The Korea Times via Hancinema. 
  16. ^ Bae, Keun-min (29 August 2005). "Director Jang Returns to Theatrical Play". The Korea Times via Hancinema. 
  17. ^ Yang, Sung-jin (16 October 2006). "Jang Jin breathes life into gangster film". The Korea Herald via Hancinema. 
  18. ^ Park, Soo-mee (14 February 2007). "Humor and logic play push and pelt". Korea JoongAng Daily. 
  19. ^ Yi, Chang-ho (11 April 2007). "JANG Jin explores Father and Son relations". Korean Film Biz Zone. 
  20. ^ Kim, Tae-jong (24 April 2007). "Movies Reflect on Contemporary Fathers". The Korea Times. 
  21. ^ Yang, Sung-jin (27 September 2007). "Going by the Book relies on Jang's comedy". The Korea Herald via Hancinema. 
  22. ^ Yang, Sung-jin (3 June 2008). "New Public Enemy upgrades humor". The Korea Herald via Hancinema. 
  23. ^ Lee, Hyo-won (22 September 2009). "Actor Jang Dong-kun Returns as President". The Korea Times. 
  24. ^ Park, Sun-young (25 September 2009). "Korean stars take turns playing president". Korea JoongAng Daily. 
  25. ^ Lee, Ji-hye (8 October 2009). "Jang says not calling for a fight with President". 10Asia. 
  26. ^ Lee, Ji-hye (9 November 2009). "Director Jang Jin's Movie Picks". 10Asia. 
  27. ^ Elley, Derek (2 November 2010). "The Quiz Show Scandal". Film Business Asia. 
  28. ^ Edwards, Russell (11 November 2010). "The Quiz Show Scandal". Variety. 
  29. ^ Kim, No-ah (24 March 2011). "This Week's Cultural News". Arirang News. 
  30. ^ "Director Jang Jin, "Kim Soo-ro was different than usual"". Hancinema. 15 March 2011. 
  31. ^ Lee, Ga-on (30 March 2011). "Film director Jang Jin's Song Picks". 10Asia. 
  32. ^ "Film director Jang Jin to found theatrical company next year". KBS Global via Hancinema. 27 December 2006. 
  33. ^ Chung, Ah-young (21 August 2011). "Dancer Joo wins Korea's Got Talent". The Korea Times. 
  34. ^ Oh, Mi-jung (25 November 2011). "Jang Jin Takes Matters Into His Own Hands for SNLK". enewsWorld. 
  35. ^ Choi, Eun-hwa (23 November 2011). "Jang Jin to Debut as Newscaster in Comedy Show". enewsWorld. 
  36. ^ Lee, In-kyung (26 December 2011). "SNLK's Jang Jin Gains Popularity with his Political Satire". enewsWorld. 
  37. ^ Jeon, Su-mi (27 May 2012). "Jang Jin Compares Diablo 3 to Chanel Handbags on SNLK". enewsWorld. 
  38. ^ Noh, Hyun-gi (27 November 2011). "'Live from Seoul, It's Saturday Night!'". The Korea Times. 
  39. ^ Sung, So-young (27 January 2012). "Sketch comedies are back, with more bite". Korea JoongAng Daily. 
  40. ^ "Director Jang Jin's wife, "I fell in love with her at first sight"". Hancinema. 2 January 2012. 
  41. ^ Soh, Joon (25 August 2004). "Short Films About Environment to Be Made". The Korea Times via Hancinema. 
  42. ^ "Human Rights Commission to Produce Second Omnibus Film". The Chosun Ilbo. 25 August 2004. 
  43. ^ Park, Soo-mee (16 November 2006). "Six creative films in one". Korea JoongAng Daily. 
  44. ^ "So Ji-sub, Lee Yeon-hee act as lovers in short film". Hancinema. 27 March 2008. 
  45. ^ "The Winners of International Cinema Competition of 30th FIFF Announced". Fajr International Film Festival. 6 February 2012. 
  46. ^ "Drama on racism in France crowned best film at Iranian festival". Tehran Times. 7 February 2012. 

External links[edit]