The unfavorable attention Kim Yu-na has been receiving in the press lately, far from discrediting her brilliant career, rather illustrates the fickle nature of fame and success in Korea, and can only tarnish whatever esteem her renown has brought to the “land of the morning calm”. Since May 8, Kim has been teaching at a girls’ high school in order to fulfill the requirements of Korea University, where the Olympic gold medal winning figure skater is completing a degree in physical education. One of the highest paid athletes in the world, Kim has endorsed the likes of Samsung, LG, Hyundai, KB Kookmin Bank (South Korea’s national bank), Nike and Korean Air. Just in case you haven’t been following the circus act, a Yonsei University psychology professor, appearing on a radio talk show, accused Kim’s teaching as self-promotion, and questioned whether a school should give credits to someone who spends most of their time abroad and hardly attends class, adding that, “We give too many privileges such as exemptions from mandatory military service. This idolizing of certain sports stars is only shown in immature societies.” Kim’s agency has vowed to take legal action against the outspoken professor.
Mark this date in your calendars – June 9th. Yes, that’s the day Café Noir will at last be available on DVD. Admittedly, we’re not a little disappointed that we won’t be getting a shiny Blu-ray in our greedy little mitts, but hey, this isn’t The Avengers or anything! There have been petitions for a limited edition Blu-ray by fans on the web, but prospects look dim at the moment. Shin Hya-gyun makes a lead appearance in the remarkable debut feature by noted film critic Jeong Seong-il. The 38 year-old actor has already starred in a couple dozen films, most notably in Joon Hwan-jang’s outrageously brilliant Save the Green Planet, in which he plays a troubled man who kidnaps an executive, believing him to be a space alien, and in Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance, Park Chan-wook’s criminally under-appreciated precursor to his celebrated vengeance trilogy. More recently, Shin Ha-gyun took on the role of an arrogant neurosurgeon in the hospital drama Brain, for which he took home several awards. Extras include commentaries by director Jeong Seong-il, actor Shin Ha-gyun and actresses Kim Hye-na and Yozo. The DVD comes with a 16-page booklet. Café Noir screened at the Venice International Film Festival, the Rotterdam International Film Festival and the LA International Film Festival.