Just seen news that China’s vast appetite for co-productions with other nations seems to have crept across the boarder into the DPRK. “Promise in Pyongyang” received its first screening on June 27, 2012 and by the looks of the preview video on youtube (which I can’t say for certain is genuine) it looks like a beautifully-shot tale revolving around the Mass Games.
My first thoughts on seeing the preview are how good Pyongyang looks in these scenes. The DPRK film industry has been surviving on archaic technology which means even contemporary films look like they were made 20 years ago. Obviously the Chinese cash and equipment have been put to good use.
The language appears to be in Korean and Chinese, but what is most curious is that the subtitling is in Chinese and English. Perhaps they are looking to crack the international market? Or maybe they are just adhering to the convention of all films being released domestically in China have both subtitles.
Below is the release information Rodong Sinmun about the film’s preview in Pyongyang.
A preview of the DPRK-China co-produced film “Promise in Pyongyang” took place at Taedongmun Cinema on June 27.
Present there were Pak Chun Nam, vice-minister of Culture who is director of the General Bureau of Film, officials of ministries, and movie creators and artistes, media reporters and editors.
Attending it were members of the Chinese film delegation headed by Tong Gang, director of the film management bureau of the Chinese State Administration of Radio, Film and Television, Ambassador Liu Hongcai and staff members of the Chinese embassy in Pyongyang, Chinese people staying and Chinese students studying in the DPRK.
Source: Rodong Sinmun
11 thoughts on “Promise in Pyongyang: North Korea-China co-production”
Adam Cathcart at Sino-NK also mentions this film. He links to a Global Times article which seems to be quite frank about the problems the Chinese prodiucers faced in dealing with the North Korean authorities, and mentions several other story ideas that were rejected. It also touches on national differences in film style: “The Chinese director preferred a realistic way of acting, while the North Korean director asked actors to perform in an exaggerated manner. North Korean actors and actresses sometimes tense up upon filming. The Chinese director filmed secretly during rehearsals to capture natural moments.”
That’s great. Thanks for pointing out the article… although it claims it’s the first DPRK co-production in over 60 years, I seem to recall Ten Zan – Ultimate Mission (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0254814/) was an Italian-DPRK co-production. It is a film I really should write about soon.
And there were at least two Soviet-North Korean co-productions, Bereg spaseniya and Utomlyonnoye solntse (both 1988).
Re Ten Zan, have you read Johannes Schönherr’s interview with Ferdinando Baldi?
P.S. I forogt to add a link: Utomlyonnoye solntse.
Yes, great article. Hope to have an interview with Johannes on the site in the future.
I’m looking forward to this. It looks like it will have a similar theme to ‘On the Green Carpet’, but with a better story and faaaaar better production.
Pingback: 아리랑 or 평양에서의 약속? | 동북아경 (N.E.A.T.)
Derek Elley, former Variety Asia senior editor and Head of the Jury at the 2010 Pyongyang Film Festival, had this to say about the movie: http://www.filmbiz.asia/reviews/meet-in-pyongyang
Can’t wait to watch this !! It should be the first Nort Korean movie totally close to our standars for cinema and style of movies. And it could also find a way to the European market (maybe France)
Pingback: Changes in the North Korean Media Landscape | SinoMondiale
Pingback: Collaboration and adaptation for inspiration – the second SOAS Years of Radical Change conference | London Korean Links