The 22nd Busan International Film Festival Korean Cinema Retrospective spotlights actor Shin Seong-il (1937 ~) who has a unique and legendary stardom in Korean film history. He started his career with Romantic Papa directed by Shin Sang-ok in 1960 and has now starred in over 500 movies.
He started his career as a famous teenage star in 1960s and maintained his career until the 2000s, the achievements made in these years showcase his talent is a remarkable actor. Director Park Chan-wook said, “If there is Mifune Toshiro in Japan, Marcello Mastroianni in Italy, Gregory Peck in America and Alain Delon in France, we have Shin Seong-il. For all the times and places, never was there a country that both film industry and art are so dependent on one person. Without understanding Shin Seong-il, it is hard to get grasp of Korean film history nor Korean modern cultural history”.
Sadly, it has been revealed that he is now fighting lung cancer; however, he retains his chiseled look and well-built figure back. Numerous films such as The Barefooted Young (1964), Keep Silent When Leaving (1964), Dangerous Youth (1966), and A Burning Youth (1966) made him a major star. He also received more attention by becoming part of a famous star couple after marrying Um Aing-ran. In 1964, the same year they were married, the couple starred in 26 movies. After the marriage, in addition to Um Aing-ran, Shin Seong-il partnered with different top actresses like Kim Ji-mee, Yoon Jeong-hee, and Moon Hee. A total of 51 of his movies were screened on theaters in 1967, and it shows how popular he was. Shin became a national actor starring in movies made by renowned directors of the 60s such as Kim Kee-duk, Lee Man-hee, Kim Soo-yong, Chung Jin Woo, and Lee Seong-gu as well as built a solid career after the 70s. Movies such as Heavenly homecoming to stars (1974), Winter Woman (1977) and Gilsotteum (1985) confirmed his presence showing his appealing and diverse acting. He starred in Door to the Night in 2013 and tried to continue his career through new films; however, he is bravely fighting cancer now.
The Busan International Film Festival is going to screen his 8 major works through this year’s Korean Cinema Retrospective: The Barefooted Young, Early Rain, Mist, The General’s Mustache, Eunuch, A Day Off, Heavenly homecoming to stars, and Gilsotteum. The true colors of actor Shin Seong-il can be seen at this year’s Korean Cinema Retrospective.
* Korean Cinema Retrospective Screenings
The Barefooted Young (1964), Director KIM Kee-duk
Early Rain (1966), Director CHUNG Jin Woo
Mist (1967), Director KIM Soo-yong
The General’s Mustache (1968), Director LEE Seong-gu
Eunuch (1968), Director SHIN Sang-ok
A Day Off (1968), Director LEE Man-hee
Heavenly homecoming to stars (1974), Director LEE Jangho
Gilsotteum (1985), Director IM Kwontaek