[ENTERTAINMENT]There she is, the worst actor of the yearIt's every filmmaker's and actor's dream to tread on a red carpet at a movie festival or award ceremony -- though never on that red walkway at Korea's Ready-Stop Film Festival.
In this booming era of film festivals, Korea's Ready-Stop Film Festival is perhaps the most daring one of all, where the "winners" are in fact the losers, as the festival celebrates the worst films of the year -- worst film, director, actor and actress, along with the worst popular film of the year.
The title of the festival, "Ready-Stop," is a parody of the director's signal to begin shooting, "Ready, go." The festival began last year, calling itself the Korean version of the Golden Raspberry Awards, the anti-Academy Awards.
Last year's honored (or dishonored) big winner was the sword and sorcery epic "Bichonmu," and its stars Shin Hyun-jun and Kim Hee-seon.
"This is an alternative film festival," said an organizer, "to examine the local movie industry and make it more safe and sound. The local movie scene has seen an unexpectedly great development over the past couple of years, thus it is necessary to have a look at it with composure."
Be it a necessary good or evil, the festival has been met with enthusiasm from moviegoers. Instead of having a committee unilaterally decide the winners, the festival invites everyone to vote on its Web site, www.readystop.net. More than 5,000 had visited the festival's Web site as of Thursday. Based on the results of that vote, the committee of the festival, composed of cultural figures, will decide on the worst film and director.
Among the 61 films that opened in theaters between April 1, 2001 and April 30, 2002, the biggest vote-getters in the festival include "Summer Time," "Jopok Manura" (My Wife Is a Gangster) and "Norangmeori 2" (Yellow Hair 2).
"My Wife Is a Gangster" was commercially a huge success, it even sold the remake rights to Miramax, but apparently it left some viewers unsatisfied.
"Summer Time" is the story of a neglected married woman having an affair with a young man in the student democracy movement. It was most notable for the extensive nudity and sex scenes that featured the former pop star Kim Ji-hyun. Kim is also a favorite for the worst actress award.
She has some stiff competition, however. The star of "Yellow Hair 2," the transsexual Ha Ri-su, is in the mix. Kim Hee-seon, last year's winner, is also in the running once again, this time for "Waniwa Junha" (Wani and Junha).
This year's Ready-Stop show takes place Monday, providing an instant rebuttal to the Grand Bell Awards, which were held Sunday. Any movie fans who are interested are welcome. The festival takes place at Cosfe, a cafe exclusively dedicated to movies, near Hongik University. The organization announced that it has sent invitations to all nominees, but it's doubtful that many will show.
To get to the venue, get off at Hongdae Station on the No. 2 subway line and take exit No. 6. For more information and map, visit the Web site.
by Chun Su-jin
with the Korea JoongAng Daily
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