Martial Arts Fantasy '무영검' ('Shadowless Sword') had a production meeting on September 26 at Hilton Hotel in Seoul, to celebrate the end of its 5 month long shoot in China, and announce the films' release for November 18. Yoon So-Yi even had a martial arts showcase which impressed the press with her flexibility and able moves (which you can see in the clip below). This is the second film from director Kim Young-Joon, after his 2000 debut '비천무' ('Bichunmoo'), its 6.4 Billion Won budget was partly funded by New Line Cinema, and it's also the first to be set in the Balhae period (渤海, AD 698~926).
YTN Report (Clips from the Production Meeting, Clips From The Film) (Downloadable, 6.8mb, Windows Media)
The cast and director answered a few questions regarding the film:
Press: Compared to 'Bichunmoo', what kind of film is 'Shadowless Sword'?
Director Kim Young-Joon: Back when we started shooting 'Bichunmoo', we didn't have enough time, and there were a lot of trial and errors because Martial Arts films in Korea had basically become extinct in the last 20 years. After finishing 'Bichunmoo', I took what I learned there, rested a little, and after 6 months I went right into another Martial Arts film. This time I really wanted to do it well, the way I prepared for, so it was a really nice chance for me.
Press: Introduce your characters, and the reason why you chose this film.
Lee Seo-Jin: It's a character who experiences many changes, and requires a wide range of acting. At the beginning he's a man who can't fight so he runs away to save himself, but later he helps Balhae rise again. That was a really beautiful aspect about the character.
Yoon So-Yi: The fact that, unlike in other Martial Arts Films, it's actually a woman protecting men was really appealing, so it was a quick approval for me. My character's goal is to simply protect Lee Seo-Jin's character as an absolute Martial Arts master. I followed the example of many Hong Kong films were women play characters who have strong masculine traits (and even pretend to be men). A good example would be Anita Mui in '東方三俠' ('The Heroic Trio').
Lee Gi-Yong: Just like her, I liked the idea of a woman becoming a man's bodyguard. She Faithfully looks after Shin Hyun-Joon's character, and would do everything for him.
Shin Hyun-Joon: Finally going to work on one of my best and closest friends, director Kim's follow up to 'Bichunmoo' after a long 4 years of waiting made me happy, more than anything else. Of course my character is a villain in terms of characterization, but I didn't think that way. After all, he's a man of and for Balhae.
Press: What are the differences between Korean and Chinese 武俠 (Wuxia, Chivalrous Martial Arts)?
Kim: Chinese people are familiar with Beijing Opera, its exaggerated motions and its culture, so it's inevitable that no matter how exaggerated the Wuxia is, they enjoy that. In contrast, Korean viewers prefer realistic acting, even though personally I think it's silly to think of making realistic Wuxia. Wuxia is fantasy, so it's impossible not to exaggerate it, and on top of that I think viewers find a sense of catharsis through that exaggeration. Of course we made the action a little more realistic compared to Chinese films, and we worked hard to preserve its tragic beauty.
Via Chosun Ilbo