Wednesday, November 25, 2015         


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'The Thieves' most popular closing film in HIFF history

By Jeff Chung


The 32nd Annual Hawaii International Film Festival ended last week with the South Korean film "The Thieves." While the movie broke the record in home country box office receipts with more than 13 million tickets sold, it also broke a record at HIFF last week as the most popular closing night film ever — originally scheduled with three screenings at 6:30 p.m., after much demand, two more screenings were added at 9:30, and after that shortly sold out, a sixth screening at 10 was added.

Director Dong-hoon Choi, his wife, Soo-hyun Ahn (also the film's producer), and family made an appearance, thanks to Korean Air. Director Choi said he was interested in the relationship between the thief characters more than the story of the actual theft. He worked on developing a complicated twist among all the characters and doesn't believe that his film should be compared to Hollywood's "Ocean's Eleven."

Anderson Le, programmer for HIFF, told Choi that the film basically revived the careers of actors Gianna Jun and Hye-su Kim. (At the Busan International Film Festival a few weeks ago, I coincidentally shared an elevator with film actor Yun-seok Kim, and I was surprised to hear him talk to his assistant in the same manner as his character Macau Park.)

Choi also said he wrote the scenario in Busan and that's the reason why the story takes place in Hong Kong, Macau and Busan.

Because of the immense success of "The Thieves," HIFF has asked Choi and his wife to return with their next big hit, hopefully with a link to Hawaii.


"Tasty Life"

Episodes 31 and 32

Today, 6:45 p.m.: Sung-joo is shocked and hurt about Jae-hyuk's suspicions. Jae-hyuk tries to fight it, but Shin-yong keeps adding to his doubts. When Jung-hyun finds out that Tae-hyung is sick at home after the breakup, she goes to his house to see him. In-chul is having trouble with his hand and has trouble operating. This problem leaves little room for him to think about anything else, but Shin-yong accuses him of being involved with Sung-joo every chance she gets. Shin-yong's father overhears them arguing.

Today, 7:45 p.m.: Jae-hyuk's father suspects that In-chul had an affair after he overhears an argument between Shin-yong and In-chul. Shin-yong finds out that it'll be difficult for her to get pregnant and has an outburst in front of her mother. Tae-hyung leaves on a trip to try to forget Jung-hyun. His mother calls Jung-hyun to help, and the two end up eloping. Jae-hyuk's father has In-chul's old scandal looked into further and finds out that the woman he had an affair with was Sung-joo, but he doesn't believe it until he overhears a conversation between In-chul and Sung-joo.


Episodes 13 and 14

Monday, 7:45 p.m.: Choi Young learns to smile again thanks to Eun-soo. But Gi Cheol plans to oust the king and put Deok-heung on the throne. The queen's sincerity to help the king finally moves the king to confess his love for the queen. Gi Cheol and Deok-heung make a deal about the throne and Eun-soo.

Tuesday, 7:45 p.m.: Choi Il-shin and the new officials accuse Choi Young of bribery. Choi Young realizes he's getting in the way of the king's new policy and decides to leave the palace with Eun-soo. Choi Young pleads guilty to the bribery charge and is jailed. But he breaks out of jail and leaves with Eun-soo.

"To the Beautiful You"

Episodes 11 and 12

Wednesday, 7:45 p.m.: Han-na announces she and Tae-joon are dating during a live interview. Tae-joon and Jae-hee are depressed about the scandal. Tae-joon stays quiet about his scandal with Han-na to protect the secret that Jae-hee is a girl. Unable to keeps his feelings for Jae-hee bottled up, Tae-joon decides to tell Han-na he won't let her control him with Jae-hee's secret.

Thursday, 7:45 p.m.: Eun-gyeol finally confesses his feelings to Jae-hee, and Jae-hee is taken aback by his sincerity. Eun-gyeol's confession make things very awkward between him and Jae-hee. Tae-joon is also bothered by Eun-gyeol's confession. Jae-hee asks Min-woo for advice, and Min-woo decides to take Jae-hee on volunteer work to take her mind off things.

"Five Fingers"

Episodes 13 and 14

Friday, 7:45 p.m.: In-ha confesses his feelings for Dami, but Dami turns him down. In-ha is tormented by feelings of defeat and despair. In-ha's torment fans Young-ran's hatred for Ji-ho. Woo-jin goes to see Attorney Choi about the recording of a witness's testimony.

Saturday, 7:45 p.m.: In-ha wins a composing contest and asks Dami to play his music and makes an offer she can't refuse. Woo-jin learns that Ji-ho is Dami's boyfriend and tells Dami, his sister, to break up with him. Dami can't understand why her brother would ask her to break up with Ji-ho.

Jeff Chung is general manager of KBFD TV, which televises Korean dramas with English subtitles. Reach him at 521-8066 or

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