I love Koreatown in the springtime…

Wherein I blog about all things Korean in Los Angeles

No Regret July 29, 2008

Filed under: movies & film — Raven @ 9:00 am
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This movie had been on my radar for a while, ever since JT mentioned it. I finally caught it on Saturday (for those who may be interested, it’s still playing at Laemmle Sunset 5). I can’t write a better synopsis than KOFIC did, so go here for the synop.

I still haven’t made up my mind whether I liked the movie or not. What I do know is it got to me emotionally, and I wouldn’t mind seeing it again (I guess that means I liked it, right?). I understand it was quite controversial when it came out. After all, it’s gay-themed and it has some fairly graphic sex scenes. I know filmmakers often argue that the sex scenes they include are required by the story, and I frequently disagree (Lust, Caution, anyone?), but in this case I felt the scenes, which were completely unromanticized, gave the film a lot of raw power. It’s basically a film about despair, about alienation, about crossing lines, and about two people who can never be together. And the filmmakers didn’t hold back.

I wouldn’t have minded seeing a little more detail on why one character repulsed the other so vehemently right away. I don’t think a lot more detail was needed, but a little. I gathered it was partly due to social/class resentment, but I needed it spelled out a little more. And I would have liked to see a little more resolution at the end, although I’m not exactly sure where the two main characters could go next. Maybe that’s part of the point, that it’s not clear where they can go next. All they have is the moment. But I still feel a film shouldn’t end unless the audience has been given at least some inkling of what will happen after the credits roll.

None of that stopped me from finding the film emotionally affecting, though. I’d even say heartbreaking. Its rawness and the sense of alienation it imparted even in the happy scenes will stay with me for a long time.


My Sassy Straight-to-DVD Girl July 17, 2008

Filed under: movies & film — Raven @ 4:49 pm
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It turns out the English-language remake of My Sassy Girl will not be getting a theatrical release. The folks involved must have realized what I had suspected all along: the movie isn’t worthy of theaters. Judging from the trailer I saw, I think the filmmakers may have replicated all the quirky little scenes but missed the bigger emotional picture.

I can’t link to my source for this news because it was print media (wait, print media still exists?), but I can tell you it was in this month’s issue (July 2008 ) of KoreAm Journal.

I’m hoping to get my hands on a My Sassy Girl screener and give it a watch. If/when I do, I’ll report back. After all, I’ve been judging this movie sight unseen, so I could be completely wrong about it.

Well, probably not.

On the plus side, and also on a new topic, Leo DiCaprio is set to star in a remake of the Korean film The Chaser, which sounds suitably dark (he’ll probably die at the end). He tends to pick his movies well, so I have more hope for this remake than I had for MSG. That news came from KoreAm and this place.


Classes Start Tuesday… July 12, 2008

Filed under: Korean language — Raven @ 12:28 pm

Korean classes at the Korean Cultural Center start up again on July 15. They offer four sessions a year, and all levels are offered in every session, so you can start whenever you want, and if you stop for a while you can go back whenever you want. I took their Basic A class about two years ago and found it really basic, but at least I came out of it able to read the alphabet.

The Korean Cultural Center website can be found here. I was on the language program page when I copied that link, but I think their snazzy new website is one of those where you can only link to the home page. So you might have to click around a little to find the language programs. For what it’s worth, I liked their old website better.

They say you have to pay for the classes in advance, but I’m pretty sure if you show up Tuesday evening with your application and a check they won’t turn you away. The cost is quite reasonable.

I considered taking a class with them this session, but I’m not really ready to go back to class. I’m at the point where I know some words and phrases from watching kdramas, but I can’t spell any of what I know. I’m going to work on learning to spell and picking up some more of the language on my own before I go back to a structured learning environment.

If I were going to Korea anytime soon I’d probably pick up the pace of my language-learning, but I’m not.