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 새 물결 운동 - An A to Z of Contemporary Korean Cinema 
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Thu Jan 20, 2011 10:47 pm
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Trip wrote:
That's mah baby, going nowhere. In fact, I've an entry saved half-done :\
Newie is very short, no meat, but nice-looking :P

Oh, good. I've downloaded the Imamura you mentioned. Or at least, I've downloaded one of them.

Did you put any more thought into that other thread we were planning, at all?

leevesofgrass wrote:
A Korean movie thread. Nice.

I recently saw The Man From Nowhere (2010) and it was just OK. Starred Bin Won from Mother and TaeGukGi.

You know, I completely forgot he was in Taegukgi. I knew I'd seen him somewhere else but couldn't place it.

That film is due for a rewatch, to be fair. I won't be featuring it here, but will be mentioning Kang Je-gyu at some point.

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Fri Jan 21, 2011 8:42 am
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JediMoonShyne wrote:
There's probably less chance of it being as good if Bong isn't involved, but for once I don't see any problem with them running out a sequel or prequel or whatever it is they want to do. Besides, if the director isn't on board then I'm doubting they would get such stars as Song Kang-ho and Bae Doo-na to sign up, either.


Given that they don't even have a director yet, I'll give them the benefit of the doubt on the quality of the film for now. I do hope it's good, however.

The plot may have changed since this article, but here is what was known about the possible storyline for the film: http://www.scifijapan.com/articles/2008 ... st-2-news/

I actually thought it all sounded fairly promising but who knows what changes it's undergone since then.

I wonder whatever happened to the plans for a separate Chinese Host 2 or the proposed Korean TV series based on the property. If I recall correctly, after the huge success of the first film (I don't know about now but in 2007 it was the higest-grossing domestic film in Korea) the distributor unveiled a "kitchen sink" approach for continuing the potential franchise. Personally, I'd rather they just keep it simple and make a single sequel movie and maybe another after that, I don't know. All the extra stuff was a little ridiculous though.

Oh, here's an article on that "Kitchen Sink" approach: http://www.scifijapan.com/articles/2007 ... -the-host/

Apparently there were supposed to be a series of ten minute short films based on the property and one of them had already begun work at the time. I wonder what happened to those.

A couple more articles:

The Host 2 Update
The Host 2 - Chinese Version
The Host 2 Gets Foreign Investment

Personally, I think the best thing to come out of this so far was the following .gif someone posted after the Chinese version was announced:

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Fri Jan 21, 2011 8:55 am
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JediMoonShyne wrote:
Oh, good. I've downloaded the Imamura you mentioned. Or at least, I've downloaded one of them.

Did you put any more thought into that other thread we were planning, at all?

I hope it's the colourful epic one.

Not yet.

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Fri Jan 21, 2011 10:38 am
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It occurs to me that this could be a handy thread now that I am taking Korean again this semester.

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Fri Jan 21, 2011 10:59 am
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Trip wrote:
I hope it's the colourful epic one.

Actually, it's the black and white one. :oops:

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Fri Jan 21, 2011 4:22 pm
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Sat Jan 22, 2011 4:05 am
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blowsies

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Sat Jan 22, 2011 9:32 am
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That bridge to nowhere...


Sat Jan 22, 2011 9:34 am
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That's a lot of The Power of Kangwon Province! As I look at those caps, I realize that it's grown on me. I think it's my second favorite Hong. (Still nowhere near Woman on the Beach, though.)

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Sat Jan 22, 2011 2:19 pm
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The coming-of-age drama has been a Hollywood staple for decades, so it's to be expected that this particular genre of film should inspire one or two filmmakers in an emerging industry such as Korean cinema. Kwak Ji-kyun's Plum Blossom, which seems like the kind of movie young Korean audiences in the nineties may have flocked to yet is today oddly obscure, tells the tale of two high school students and their struggles with love and sex through puberty and beyond. Ja-hyo has just transferred to the school, and is immediately jumped by Ha-ra, the most rebellious and beautiful girl in his new class. Ha-ra throws herself at him, dominating all of their encounters, and making Ja-hyo's first sexual experience one that is both cold and submissive. Of course, once the pair have slept together, Ja-hyo is unable to return this obsessive love, leading to the depression and eventual suicide of Ha-ra. Later, Ja-hyo throws himself into a bunch of similar relationships while at college, including a promising one with an older nurse named Nam-ok, yet is unable to rediscover that innocence he once had. Meanwhile, Su-in falls in love with his high school teacher, yet is unable to tell her his feelings due to a condition he picked up during childhood which sends him into some kind of irresistible coma whenever things become too overwhelming. He, too, attempts to forget about these experiences, in this case by finding an older girl at college.

As previously mentioned, it's difficult to understand why Plum Blossom (also known as Youth) isn't more popular than it appears to be these days, for it seems to check all the boxes. Not only does it star a handful of young up-and-coming actors, but is also considered quite controversial for its time, dealing with a number of taboo topics and featuring a sex scene every ten minutes or so. Thus, it has all the makings of a cult movie, but of course this doesn't necessarily ensure quality. Plum Blossom seems to draw its inspiration evenly from the popular coming-of-age high school movies in the west (all the typical characters are here, from the nerds to the jocks) and the drama/romance movies of Korean cinema during the nineties. As such, it doesn't really have much of an identity, and I'm sure that most people discovering it today are probably doing so through the talented young actress Bae Doo-na, who appears here in one of her earlier roles. Bae, who learned acting from her former stage actress mother, is quoted in an interview as saying that she was initially unsure as to whether to take the role in Plum Blossom, given all the nudity. Apparently, it was her mother who pushed her into doing the film: "Does it make sense for an actress to avoid bed scenes because she is afraid of taking off her clothes and showing her body?" Good experience, then, for Hirokazu Koreeda's latest film, which sees her play a conscious blow-up doll.

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Sat Jan 22, 2011 4:22 pm
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Epistemophobia wrote:
That bridge to nowhere...

What do you think it represents, Bear? A road to loneliness, perhaps?

I wanted to mention it earlier, but the cross-narrative elements seemed the more important thing to write about at the time.

Shieldmaiden wrote:
That's a lot of The Power of Kangwon Province! As I look at those caps, I realize that it's grown on me. I think it's my second favorite Hong. (Still nowhere near Woman on the Beach, though.)

See, I wanted to rewatch and review Woman on the Beach for this thread, but three Hongs seemed more than enough.

Have you seen Virgin Stripped Bare by Her Bachelors? I'll be writing about that for 'V'.

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Sun Jan 23, 2011 3:24 am
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No Bae Doo-na fans?

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Sun Jan 23, 2011 7:53 am
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JediMoonShyne wrote:
Have you seen Virgin Stripped Bare by Her Bachelors? I'll be writing about that for 'V'.
I have, but I should probably give it another chance. It was the first one I'd seen by Hong. I hope your write-up will help me gain a new appreciation for it. No pressure! :P

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No Bae Doo-na fans?
I'm a fan! I've seen her in Barking Dogs, Take Care of My Cat, The Host, and Linda Linda Linda.

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Sun Jan 23, 2011 12:08 pm
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Linda Lindaaaaaa!

Linda Linda Lindaaaa-aaa!

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Sun Jan 23, 2011 12:09 pm
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Trip wrote:
Linda Lindaaaaaa!

Linda Linda Lindaaaa-aaa!

See, I was expecting to see your name next to this thread when I woke up.

But, I was expecting it to be a comment more along the lines of: "Nice bum!"

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Sun Jan 23, 2011 6:03 pm
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Nah, his ass is a bit boring.

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Sun Jan 23, 2011 6:25 pm
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Trip wrote:
Nah, his ass is a bit boring.

Also, Korean.

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Sun Jan 23, 2011 6:28 pm
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JediMoonShyne wrote:
Also, Korean.

We don't all see things by race, Jedi!

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Sun Jan 23, 2011 6:31 pm
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JediMoonShyne wrote:
No Bae Doo-na fans?


Quite the opposite, in fact. She's sort of becoming my go-to girl in Korean Cinema in the way that I latched onto Toho films when initially dabbling in Japanese cinema (outside giant monsters, that is), Jeunet in French Cinema, or Wong Kar-Wai for Hong Kong cinema. I always tend to latch onto someone or something - an actor, a director, studio, etc. - when I make my initial forays into a country's filmography and I can't really say why.

Needless to say, Plum Blossom is downloading now. I'll check out some more films from this thread later too.

고맙습니다 and all that. :)

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-Eiji Tsuburaya


Sun Jan 23, 2011 6:47 pm
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jedi, do you know anything about untold scandal?


Sun Jan 23, 2011 11:12 pm
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ledfloyd wrote:
jedi, do you know anything about untold scandal?

Check out the upper of the rip on KG. It's been a while since I've seen it, but I'm planning a rewatch for 'U'.

If you're going through Jeon Do-yeon's filmography, I'd suggest checking out Happy End and The Contact first!

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Sun Jan 23, 2011 11:45 pm
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JediMoonShyne wrote:
Check out the upper of the rip on KG. It's been a while since I've seen it, but I'm planning a rewatch for 'U'.

If you're going through Jeon Do-yeon's filmography, I'd suggest checking out Happy End and The Contact first!

well this one is streaming on netflix, so i'll probably end up checking it out first because of convenience. i will keep the other two in mind though. i feel like i've already seen her best work in secret sunshine. that's a performance that's going to be hard to top.


Sun Jan 23, 2011 11:57 pm
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I haven't seen The Scandal but I have seen Dasepo Naughty Girls and that's quite fun. It's not for everyone though as the humor is very Korean, meaning you should see some Korean comedies before seeing something as outrageous as Dasepo.

Don't know if I can handle an umpteenth telling of Les Liaisons Dangereuses so I'm not sure if I'll watch The Scandal.

Edit: Thought you were talking about the director. Never mind.


Sun Jan 23, 2011 11:59 pm
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Mon Jan 24, 2011 6:57 am
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Is Plum Blossom better than Peppermint Candy, or did you feel you had enough Lee there?


Mon Jan 24, 2011 7:01 am
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MrCarmady wrote:
Is Plum Blossom better than Peppermint Candy, or did you feel you had enough Lee there?

Ha, definitely not.

I wanted to feature most of the main players at least once, and - where possible - pick films that were new to me.

Have you seen either?

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Mon Jan 24, 2011 7:23 am
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I've seen the latter, and despite slightly crap subtitles and me watching it on the day when builders near my house were obnoxiously loud, I was in awe. So simple, yet so heartbreaking. Probably even better on a re-watch, I bet (and some knowledge of Korean history would help, of which I have little)
You missed this link:
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0114119/


Mon Jan 24, 2011 7:39 am
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DaiKamonohashi wrote:
Quite the opposite, in fact. She's sort of becoming my go-to girl in Korean Cinema in the way that I latched onto Toho films when initially dabbling in Japanese cinema (outside giant monsters, that is), Jeunet in French Cinema, or Wong Kar-Wai for Hong Kong cinema. I always tend to latch onto someone or something - an actor, a director, studio, etc. - when I make my initial forays into a country's filmography and I can't really say why.

Well, that's certainly the easiest way to do it. I'm not sure quite which director I latched onto when discovering contemporary Korean cinema, but it was probably Park Chan-wook. I'm sure his Vengeance Trilogy and its impressive western distribution introduced quite a few people to Korean cinema, and that can't be a bad thing - in fact, I think his Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance was the first Bae Doo-na film I saw! One thing I also forgot to mention when dwelling on Bae in the last write-up is that she is one of the few actresses working today who has successfully crossed the border and gained recognition outside Korea. Have you seen Linda Linda Linda or Air Doll at all?

DaiKamonohashi wrote:
고맙습니다 and all that. :)

천만에요 :)

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Mon Jan 24, 2011 5:27 pm
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As the youngest member of the recently relocated Kang family, Mi-na is bored. "It's been thirteen days since we moved here from the city...", she complains, as Kim Ji-woon's debut feature The Quiet Family begins, "... and still, nothing has happened." The problem is that Mi-na's father, the domineering Dae-goo, has moved his family out into the wilderness from Seoul to open a mountain lodge in order to profit from weary travelers. Or rather, the problem is that there doesn't appear to be many weary travellers around at this time of year. Deflated by this lack of activity, the cynical Mi-na does what any normal 17-year-old would do in such a situation and succumbs to the power of television, and is thus largely unaware of the increasingly absurd events that occur around her. Shunning a conventional approach and allowing us an early look the horror elements that would pervade director Kim's later A Tale of Two Sisters, The Quiet Family is a brash experimental black comedy that uses such themes as family dysfunction and sudden violence in order to satirise modern-day Korean society. As is typical with most of Kim's work, there is a certain amount of style used here to complement the substance, including a number of breathtaking long takes in which the camera weaves up and down the halls of Misty Lodge, all of which are set to rousing western pop music, giving the film and its family an overall bouncy and eccentric feeling, rather than a sinster edge.

While The Quiet Family contains many of Kim's directorial trademarks, it still remains relatively obscure internationally. The same can be said of his follow-up, the grappler-comedy The Foul King, which was released a couple of years later and also features the popular actor Song Kang-ho. The reason for this is because these earlier films were picked up by a Hong Kong-based distribution company, whereas his A Tale of Two Sisters and A Bittersweet Life were released on the impressive Tartan Asia Extreme label. Indeed, more people will have heard of Takashi Miike's Tartan-distributed Happiness of the Katakuris, which is actually a loose remake of The Quiet Family. The real strength here is the comedic chemistry that Kim and his impressive ensemble cast manage to conjure. With all the absurdity that occurs, one might forgive it for descending into silliness on occasion, but it is a testament to the actors that this rarely happens. Perhaps most impressive is the hilarious on-screen relationship between Song Kang-ho and Choi Min-sik, as the family son and uncle respectively. Kim closes the curtains on his quiet family by offering us a curious parting scene that shows Mi-na, the daughter, standing outside the lodge during winter. This, coupled with the increasingly wild things that happen to the surrounding family and her earlier narrative sequence, leads us to believe that perhaps everything was a product of this young girl's TV-influenced imagination.

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Tue Jan 25, 2011 7:19 am
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I read the first paragraph and thought "sounds like Happiness of the Katakuris", but I wasn't going to post that because I thought it would make me sound like an ill-informed idiot. I should trust my judgement more. And if you could continue mentioning non-Korean films, that would be good.


Tue Jan 25, 2011 8:37 am
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That was a fun one.

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Tue Jan 25, 2011 10:13 am
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Cult Icon wrote:
That was a fun one.

It was indeed.

Still my favourite Kim Ji-woon, I think.

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Tue Jan 25, 2011 4:25 pm
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JediMoonShyne wrote:
Have you seen Linda Linda Linda or Air Doll at all?


I have not yet but they're both on my to-do list!

I just finished the first half of Plum Blossom and I loved it. I want to finish it tonight but it's much much much too late now. Oh well, I'll wrap it up in the morning.

Anyway, Bae Doo-na's character in this is ADORABLE. She's quickly becoming my newest movie crush. XD

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-Eiji Tsuburaya


Tue Jan 25, 2011 5:35 pm
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Partial amnesia, or short-term memory loss, is one of those plot devices that world cinema can never quite escape. It seems to exist only in the movies, and usually in those that feature some kind of romantic meandering. In this case, the unfortunate soul is Jin-soo (Lee Jung-jae, also seen in Lee Jae-yong's The Affair), an introverted weather man who experiences a terrible car accident - a sequence set to Judy Garland's rendition of Somewhere Over the Rainbow, from The Wizard of Oz - that causes him, quite conveniently, to forget his entire love life up to this point. Upon recovery, Jin-soo begins unearthing things from his past in order to rediscover the identity of a mysterious woman who now haunts his present - a woman known only as Rainbow. His chief helper is a pretty local girl and old college friend called Jeong-hee (Jang Jin-young), who takes a vested interest in the romantic plight of poor Jin-soo, seemingly as a way to get over her own recent break-up with one of his close friends. With some help from others, the pair begin to piece together Jin-soo's past, slowly gaining sight of his elusive ex-flame while at the same time developing fond but awkward feelings for each other. Eventually, Jin-soo begins to realise that perhaps his past is best left as it is, and that the woman he has been searching for so futilely isn't worth all the effort, especially since there is now a new love in his life.

Over the Rainbow is a romantic melodrama of varying quality. At its best, and usually when the two main actors are interacting, it can be an insightful look at the importance of even the most fleeting memories and influence others have upon us throughout our lives, but at its worst descends into some kind of prime-time soap opera, where heavy-handed plot developments and overwrought music reign supreme. Perhaps the most redeeming quality here though is that the film is aware, and almost proud of this fact. The plot is full of recurring themes from many of cinema's most memorable romantic movies (one example being the amnesia plot device that was mentioned earlier), and even goes as far as to borrow much of its music from such sources: Singin' in the Rain is also featured alongside Somewhere Over the Rainbow. As with most films in which characters are preoccupied over events that happened in the past, Over the Rainbow also embraces the frequent use of flash-back scenes in which we see Jin-soo during his college years. These are of course designed to walk the audience through the character's process of recollection, yet do little to ease what is already a rather convoluted plot and handful of glaring holes. Ultimately, the film's embracing of melodramatic conventions is its undoing, but there is good acting work to be seen here, especially from the lead duo.

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Wed Jan 26, 2011 5:19 am
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Post Re: 새 물결 운동 - An A to Z of Contemporary Korean Cinema

I'm much weary of Asian romantic comedies in general. The few I've seen are long and often fluffy. Although one Korean example I do have a soft spot for is My Sassy Girl. There is a sequel called Windstruck that I have yet to watch.

I watched a Korean film a few nights ago called The Art of Fighting which featured a dark twist on the Karate Kid tale. Besides some good dark humor it was not memorable.


Wed Jan 26, 2011 6:21 am
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Post Re: 새 물결 운동 - An A to Z of Contemporary Korean Cinema

My Sassy Girl is that one that''s been Checked and Favorited up the wazoo on WolfyChecksMovies, isn't it?

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Wed Jan 26, 2011 11:02 am
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Trip wrote:
My Sassy Girl is that one that''s been Checked and Favorited up the wazoo on WolfyChecksMovies, isn't it?

Yep. Wolf's going to go down drop quickly soon though, there are people with 3 or 4k more films then him now.


Wed Jan 26, 2011 1:16 pm
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Trip wrote:
My Sassy Girl is that one that''s been Checked and Favorited up the wazoo on WolfyChecksMovies, isn't it?

That's the one.

I'm not a huge fan myself, but it has been rather influential.

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Wed Jan 26, 2011 4:28 pm
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Post Re: 새 물결 운동 - An A to Z of Contemporary Korean Cinema

Image

Image Image Image Image
Image Image Image Image
Image Image Image Image

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Thu Jan 27, 2011 2:48 am
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We should make mock Korean posters of American movies. So easy.

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Thu Jan 27, 2011 2:52 am
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Trip wrote:
We should make mock Korean posters of American movies. So easy.

Or, just post real Korean posters of American movies:

Image Image Image

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Thu Jan 27, 2011 3:24 am
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Post Re: 새 물결 운동 - An A to Z of Contemporary Korean Cinema

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Of all the influential films to have washed ashore as part of Korean cinema's newest "New Wave", Kang Je-gyu's Shiri (also written Shiri) is by far the most explosive - explosive in all senses of the word. As the first Hollywood-style big-budget blockbuster to find success in Korea's post-boom society, it paved the way for a number of financially successful domestic products, and practically single-handedly helped Korea reclaim its national box office from that year on. Financed in part by electronics giants Samsung, Shiri is a conscious attempt by director Kang to recreate the high-octane action movies - and the classic dual-plot narrative structure - that became popular in the commercial American movies of the eighties, but also draws its inspiration from the Hong Kong cinema of John Woo, Tsui Hark, etc. Maximising the film's potential for success at the domestic box office, producers cast perennial favourites Han Suk-gyu and Choi Min-sik as opposing secret agents, however, no one could predict just how successful the film would become. Shiri immediately passed Im Kwon-taek Seopyeonje as the highest-drawing Korean film in history, and eventually (five weeks later) overtook James Cameron's Titanic on its way to becoming the country's most-seen film in history. The success of Shiri was of course a revelation, and provided the Korean film industry with a business blueprint for subsequent successes such as Kwak Kyung-taek Friend, which was released two years later.

Not only did the emergence of Shiri have an important effect on Korean cinema, it also had an important effect on Korean society - particularly the male members of this society. In his landmark book, The Remasculinization of Korean Cinema, writer Kim Kyung-hyun picks out such films as Shiri and the later Joint Security Area (Park Chan-wook) as critical steps in what he refers to as a restoration of the country's masculinity that was lost as a consequence of its crippling military history. Just as Hollywood blockbusters did during the Reagan era, these films - and, to a lesser extent, Korea's popular gangster cinema - engaged male audiences in a way that none had done so before. Suddenly, male characters in commercial Korean cinema were upstanding, well-proportioned men doing professional jobs and clad in smart suits. Quite a contrast, one can note, from the pathetic male characters that were seen in Song Neung-han's No. 3, which was released a few years earlier and featured many of the same actors. Also presented differently here are South Korea's Northern neighbours, who for the first time were portrayed on screen as actual human beings. This is referenced in the film's title, which takes its name from the freshwater fish indigenous to the streams of the DMZ, or swath of land dividing North and South. Like the fish, Shiri knows no boundaries nor differences between the two sides, instead existing as a symbol for the country's hopes of reunification.

Image Image

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Sat Jan 29, 2011 9:25 pm
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Post Re: 새 물결 운동 - An A to Z of Contemporary Korean Cinema

Not masculinity!


Sun Jan 30, 2011 4:05 am
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I enjoyed seeing Yunjin Kim in Shiri. It had a great cast, but a rather silly plot.

Pathetic male characters... like in Mother and all of Hong Sang-soo's films?

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Sun Jan 30, 2011 5:39 am
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Post Re: 새 물결 운동 - An A to Z of Contemporary Korean Cinema

Shieldmaiden wrote:
I enjoyed seeing Yunjin Kim in Shiri. It had a great cast, but a rather silly plot.

Pathetic male characters... like in Mother and all of Hong Sang-soo's films?

Very silly.

Exactly, all of Hong Sang-soo's films! But Mother doesn't count, as it features a strong female character.

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Sun Jan 30, 2011 5:41 am
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JediMoonShyne wrote:
But Mother doesn't count, as it features a strong female character.
Wasn't she surrounded by pathetic men?

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Sun Jan 30, 2011 5:46 am
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Shieldmaiden wrote:
Wasn't she surrounded by pathetic men?

She was, but I see that as more of a conscious decision by Bong. Part of the reason he makes the character of Do-joon mentally impaired, for example, is to further emphasise the importance of her role in his life. She is forever fighting an uphill battle, though that's what mothers are supposed to do.

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Sun Jan 30, 2011 7:38 am
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JediMoonShyne wrote:
She was, but I see that as more of a conscious decision by Bong. Part of the reason he makes the character of Do-joon mentally impaired, for example, is to further emphasise the importance of her role in his life. She is forever fighting an uphill battle, though that's what mothers are supposed to do.
Fair enough. It's certainly not the same thing as in Hong's films. In Woman on the Beach, the inadequacy of Korean men is brought up several times in conversation!

Oh, and I somehow let it slip by before, but I really enjoyed The Quiet Family. I think it's much better than The Happiness of the Katakuris.

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Sun Jan 30, 2011 7:50 am
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Shieldmaiden wrote:
Fair enough. It's certainly not the same thing as in Hong's films. In Woman on the Beach, the inadequacy of Korean men is brought up several times in conversation!

Oh, and I somehow let it slip by before, but I really enjoyed The Quiet Family. I think it's much better than The Happiness of the Katakuris.

Well, yeah, most if not all of the men in Hong's films are inadequate in some way. The difference between Hong's male protagonists and those of, say, Kim Ki-duk is that they usually come from middle or upper class backgrounds. They are intellectuals in comparison, whereas most of the male characters that Kim creates live on the lowest rung of the social ladder. Thus, Hong's males are used to some kind of success, be it professionally or financially, so are dismayed at their impotence when it comes to dealing with the opposite sex. That said, the females in Hong's films are just as flawed. In fact, most of his characters are dishonest and deceptive, regardless of sex. And as Kim Kyung-hyun writes, alcohol often plays an important part:

"Hong's characters are always conniving, never direct, immediate, and transparent in their relationship to the real, and can only reveal their true feelings after a few drinks. The desire and the will that have been restrained and ordained by bureaucratic order, social decorum, and formal etiquettes seep out of their repressive containments when their words become slurred and their body movements staggered."

I'm glad you enjoyed The Quiet Family! I'm not a huge fan of the work of Kim Ji-woon, but that one is a lot of fun.

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Sun Jan 30, 2011 8:47 pm
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