Friday, January 30, 2015

Charles vs. Matt

Over at the excellent Gusts of Popular Feeling, Matt reviews the recently released Korean drama "Ode to My Father" (Korean title: Gukjae Shijang, i.e., "International Market"). He follows this up with more extensive research and commentary on the historical events referenced in the film. Both of his posts are well worth your while.

At Liminality, meanwhile, my buddy Charles offers his own perspective on the same film—parts of which worked for him, parts of which didn't.

Both Matt and Charles mention the problem of melodrama in Korean TV and cinema, which is one of the main reasons why I avoid most Korean TV and cinema. You may recall that I also complained about the weepiness of the movie "Interstellar," in which director Christopher Nolan seemed determined to shake off his image as a "cerebral" filmmaker in favor of being perceived as someone capable of genuine pathos.

That said, melodrama is much more of a problem in Korea than it is in the English-speaking West: the screaming, the crying, those unbearably interminable soliloquies—strangely contrasting with the near-total lack of passionate kissing. Korean melodrama usually plays like one long, blaring symphony of sexual frustration: whenever I watch two Korean characters fighting on TV or in a movie, I almost always end up thinking Things would be so much better if they just fucked. It's what Han Solo was really trying to say to Princess Leia:

LEIA: You're imagining things.

HAN: Am I? Then why're you following me? Afraid I was gonna leave without giving you a goodbye fuck?

LEIA: I'd just as soon fuck a Wookie.

HAN: I can arrange that! You could use a good fuck!

So say we all.



  1. There was something else I wanted to mention in my review, but it seemed a bit out of place. If I have time next week, I may come back to it, because it was something that kind of bothered me.

    I'll have to give Matt's review a read and see what he said.

  2. While this documentary is not "on" on topic, it touches on both your fondness of film and the Internet. If you haven't already seen "The Internet's Own Boy: The Story of Aaron Swartz," you might want to reserve an hour and forty-five minutes to do so. You won't be disappointed that you did.

    Inadequate is too inadequate a word but it is how I find myself feeling about myself after watching all that he was able to accomplish in such a short lifetime. And, of course, furious at the current resident of the White House and his lackeys who allowed what transpired to occur and may have encouraged it.

    For those who say "life sucks and then you die," well life doesn't suck quite so much for those who believe in the Internet as we know it because of one Aaron Swartz.



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