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‘First’ Korean Gay Movie Opens in US + Real-Life Gay Gangster

No Regret Korean gay movie Lee Young-Hoon
‘First’ Korean gay movie: Lee Young-Hoon in No Regret.

‘First’ Korean gay movie opens in the United States: ‘No Regret’

Ramon Novarro biography Beyond Paradise

Leesong Hee-il’s No Regret / Huhwihaji anha, which has been billed as the “first gay film from South Korea” (I’m not sure if that’s true), follows a young man named Sumin (Lee Young-Hoon, in his feature debut), who leaves the orphanage where he grew up to study art design in Seoul. After losing his job at a factory due to cutbacks, Sumin tries to make ends meet by working as a prostitute at a gay bar. Not long after that, he meets Jaemin (Lee Han a.k.a. Kim Nam-gil), who comes from a rich and reactionary family. Things start out well, but various problems begin to surface as their relationship evolves.

A Regent release, No Regret is currently playing in New York City (Cinema Village) and in West Hollywood (Sunset 5). The film is also scheduled to open in Palm Desert, Calif., (Cinemas Palme d’Or, Aug. 1), Portland (Living Room Theaters, Aug. 22), and San Francisco (Landmark Lumiere, Aug. 29).

Director Leesong Hee-il movies

According to the IMDb, No Regret is Leesong Hee-il’s first solo feature-film, following his work with Choi Jin-sung and So Joon-moon on Dongbaek-kkot, which somehow got translated into the meandering Camellia Project: Three Queer Stories at Bogil Island (2005), and one segment in the omnibus feature Sajaseongeo (2002), which consists of four erotic stories.

Korean gay movie ‘No Regret’ cast

Besides Lee Young-Hoon and Lee Han / Kim Nam-gil, Leesong Hee-il’s No Regret features Jo Hyeon-cheol, Kim Dong-wook, Jeong Seung-kil, Kim Hwa-yeong, Lee Seung-cheol, and Kim Jeong-hwa. No Regret co-star Lee Han has one previous film credit: Kim Young-nam’s romance tale Don’t Look Back / Nae cheongchun-ege goham, released in 2005. No Regret opened in South Korea in November 2006.

Lee Young-Hoon in Leesong Hee-il’s No Regret photo: Regent Releasing.

A Very British Gangster Donal MacIntyre
A Very British Gangster.

Dominic Noonan: A Very British (Gay) Gangster

At the Irish Voice/, Cahir O’Doherty talks with Irish investigative journalist-turned-film director Donal MacIntyre about his documentary A Very British Gangster:

“Watching A Very British Gangster, the award winning documentary film which opens here on July 18, you have to wonder if director Donal MacIntyre has a bit of a death wish. After all he’s been consorting with men who make Al Pacino and Robert DiNiro’s [sic] famous screen characters look like sweethearts.

“’I first met Dominic Noonan, the head of the crime family, in Britain’s high security Belmarsh Crown Court,’ MacIntyre told the Irish Voice. ‘He told me, “Everybody I know wants to kill you. My brother was asked to whack you – I can see the job isn’t done.” It’s a chat-up line you’ll remember. It led me on an unforgettable path.'”


As per O’Doherty’s article, Noonan – who is actually Irish, not British (but the film is set in Manchester) – legally changed his name to “the aristocratic sounding” Lattlay Fottfoy, “an acronym for the family motto: ‘Look after those that look after you, fuck off those that fuck off you.'”

Ah, lest I forget…

O’Doherty’s article is called “The Gay Gangster.” And here’s why:

“Halfway through the new film we learn that the mysterious, heavyset father of two is in fact gay, and surprisingly enough this unexpected information only serves to make him more intimidating. There are still some people who think gay men can never be tough guys, after all; here in America the Mafia usually whacks any leader who’s discovered to be gay.

“But across the sea in Britain the hardest nut in the Manchester criminal underworld is an openly gay Irish man. So clearly someone needs to upgrade their idea of what a gay person looks like.”

Those who would like to learn more about that much talked about “queer sensibility” should probably take a look at A Very British Gangster, which opens on July 18 at Cinema Village Theater, 22 East 12th Street, in New York City, and at the Culver Plaza in Los Angeles.

Outfest Awards

2008 Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Film Festival: July 9-21

Grand Jury Awards:

Outstanding U.S. Dramatic Feature:
WERE THE WORLD MINE directed by Thomas Gustafson

Ramon Novarro biography Beyond Paradise

Outstanding International Dramatic Feature:
XXY directed by Lucia Puenzo

Outstanding Documentary Feature:
SEX POSITIVE directed by Daryl Wein

Outstanding Actor in a Feature Film:

Outstanding Actress in a Feature Film:
Nicole Bilderback in THE NEW TWENTY

Outstanding Screenwriting:
James Bolton, screenwriter, DREAM BOY

Outstanding Dramatic Short:
COUNTERTRANSFERENCE directed by Madeleine Olnek

Outstanding Documentary Short:
LA CORONA (THE CROWN) directed by Amanda Micheli and Isabel Vega

Special Programming Awards:

Outfest Freedom Award:
FOOTBALL UNDER COVER directed by David Assmann and Ayat Najafi

Outstanding Emerging Talent ($5,000 product grant from Kodak):
Dave O’Brien, director, EQUALITY U

Outstanding Artistic Achievement:

Audience Awards:

Outstanding Dramatic Feature:
HAMLET 2 directed by Andrew Fleming

HBO Outstanding First Dramatic Feature ($5,000 cash prize):
WATERCOLORS directed by David Oliveras

Outstanding Documentary Feature:
A PLACE TO LIVE directed by Carolyn Coal

Outstanding Dramatic Short:
I’M JIN-YOUNG directed by Lee Sung-eun

Outstanding Documentary Short:
LA CORONA (THE CROWN) by Amanda Micheli and Isabel Vega

Outstanding Soundtrack:

U.S. Dramatic Features Jury: Calpernia Addams, Cheryl Dunye, Randal Kleiser, Bahman Naraghi

International Dramatic Features Jury: J. Halberstam, Vicci Ho, Barry Sabath

Documentary Features Jury: Kibi Anderson, Maria San Filippo, Rob Williams

Short Film Jury: Jessica Graham, Todd Luoto, Dee Rees

Outfest images

Photos: Brian Putnam

Zelda Williams, Nathaniel David Becker and Tanner Cohen
The stars of Were the World Mine, the jury’s choice for best film: Zelda Williams, Nathaniel David Becker and Tanner Cohen

T. R. Knight, Mark Cornelsen, Kirsten Schaffer
Mark Cornelsen, Outfest executive director Kirsten Schaffer, T. R. Knight

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Coco Valet -

Interesting film… I’ve never heard of Noonan before seeing this documentary… Noonan was very witty… Seems strange that he likes hanging around with youngsters like he does… I heard him say that they’re very loyal but I wonder if that’s the only reason… The mafia over here in the U.S. would not be ok with having a gay among their ranks… He’d get two in the hat as soon as they found out that he’s gay…

Zoe -

I really enjoyed this documentary. It was very informative and I thought Dominic to be a very strong and well respected person in the community. Peace and respect to the Noonan family.

ade -

how can i get this film,please reply to my email

Andre -

Sorry, we don’t have that kind of info. I’d suggest you contact the film’s distributor.

Lily -

C’etait vraiment fantastique. Des acteurs tellement talentueux. Du vrai cinema. Je n’aurai jamais imaginé voir un film coréen gay mais quelle ignorance de ma part. 10/10. je le recommande á tout le monde.


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