Most astounding, however, was the smashing success of the low budget documentary Old Partner, about an elderly farmer and his cow, which as of May 1 was the best grossing film of the year with close to 3 million tickets sold. 5) Reviewed below: Daytime Drinking (Feb 5) -- Marine Boy (Feb 5) -- The Naked Kitchen (Feb 5) -- Handphone (Feb 19) -- Private Eye (Apr 2) -- Breathless (Apr 10) -- Thirst (Apr 30) -- Like You Know It All (May 14) -- Castaway on the Moon (May 14) -- Mother (May 28) -- A Blood Pledge (Jun 18) -- Bandhobi (Jun 25) -- Chaw (Jul 15) -- Haeundae (Jul 22) -- Possessed (Aug 12) -- The Pot (Aug 20) -- Treeless Mountain (Aug 27) -- Let the Blue River Run (Oct 8) -- Paju (Oct 28) -- A Brand New Life (Oct 29) -- Lost in the Mountains (Nov 12) -- The Actresses (Dec 10) -- Woochi (Dec 23). During a drunken mash-up with his buddies, his best friend Ki-sang (Yook Sang-yup: are these actors' names for real?
) invites him to stay at his relative's guest house (called "pension" in Korea) in the remote resort town of Jeongseon, Kangwon Province.
Hong Sang-soo also turned in a new film Like You Know It All, shot for a tiny fraction of his usual budget.
All three films would be invited to various sections of Cannes.
Lee drew attention with the action drama Asphalt Man and romantic film The Harmonium in My Memory, but it was only in 2000 that he made his big breakthrough with Park Chan-wook's Joint Security Area.
The film broke the box office record and became the highest grossing Korean film at the time.
With so many films produced, and with the budgets of many films having grown out of control, a very small number of Korean films from 2006 ended up turning a profit.
Hong Sang-soo was widely praised for his seventh film Woman on the Beach; The Host won over critical praise to go with its commercial success; and the 11th Pusan International Film Festival boasted a large number of independent films that stirred up excitement among critics.
A number of films shot in a more commercial vein, such as gangster movie A Dirty Carnival, debut film Like a Virgin, drama Family Ties and even the crazy low-budget comedy My Scary Girl earned high praise as well.
In 2001, his popularity continued to climb when he starred in melodramas Beautiful Days and Bungee Jumping of Their Own.
In 2003, he received the Grand Prize at the SBS Drama Awards and Best Actor at the Baeksang Arts Awards for his role in the poker drama All In.