I love Koreatown in the springtime…

Wherein I blog about all things Korean in Los Angeles

Secret Sunshine Revealed January 14, 2008

Filed under: movies & film — Raven @ 12:52 am
Tags: , , ,

It turns out the “yang” in Secret Sunshine’s Korean title (Miryang/Milyang) actually doesn’t mean sunshine, it means the place where the sun is shining, which doesn’t come across in the English title at all (although it does explain the final image a lot better). I learned this at the Q&A after the screening of Secret Sunshine at LACMA, the very same Q&A which was so notably NOT attended by Quentin Tarantino, despite all advertisement to the contrary. Oh well. Lee Chang Dong was there, and it’s his film. I never figured out why Tarantino was supposed to be there to begin with. Apparently neither did Tarantino.

The people behind me were convinced the movie was about whether God exists or not, but the movie is actually about a woman trying to deal with her grief. I assume that woman, played by Jeon Do Yeon, is the place where the sun is or is not shining. In case you couldn’t tell, I really like the concept of the place where the sun is shining.

If you can only see one movie about grief this year, see this one instead of Grace Is Gone (well, actually they’re both from last year, but whatever). I thought this one did a much better job of capturing the way a person really would respond to grief. And Jeon Do Yeon deserves all the praise she’s getting. She had to carry the movie.

The only thing I couldn’t figure out was why Song Kang Ho’s character stuck with her. Incidentally, the more I see Song Kang Ho the more I appreciate him as an actor. The first time I thought he was okay, but he keeps getting better and better.


Lee Chang Dong at LACMA January 4, 2008

Filed under: movies & film — Raven @ 5:32 pm
Tags: , ,

Wow, I really suck at letting people know about Korean-related events in advance. At least this notification is slightly in advance. The films of Lee Chang Dong are currently showing at LACMA. For details go here. There was one film last night, one tonight, and two tomorrow, so there’s still time! I’ll be at the second film tomorrow, the Secret Sunshine screening hosted by Quentin Tarantino and followed by a Q&A with Lee Chang Dong himself. At least, I’ll be there if my ticket has come in the mail by then (it’s not here yet).

Please note the film at 5pm tomorrow, Green Fish, is Lee’s debut film and admission is free (those two things are really unrelated).

P.S. The DARI Awards post is still upcoming, I promise.


Secret Sunshine December 13, 2007

Filed under: movies & film — Raven @ 1:43 am
Tags: , ,

In case anybody is up late or gets up really early and doesn’t have to go to work tomorrow (I guess it’s really today now: Thursday Dec. 13), you should know that the Korean film Secret Sunshine (Milyang) is playing at the Laemmle Sunset 5 at 11am. It’s been there since last Friday, and I really should have posted this waaaay earlier, especially since the 13th is the last day the film will be there. I haven’t managed to see it yet, and I’m not sure if I’m going to make it or not. So far this week I haven’t been up as early as 11am even once. But if I don’t go I’ll feel I’m letting down the Korean film industry, which I’m sure could use the support. Why does Laemmle have to show the film in the morning? Let me guess. Because they don’t think many people are going to show up, and they figure the ones who do will be dedicated enough to get there for it.

I guess we’ll find out how dedicated I am.

Here’s an interesting article about the film, which showed at Cannes, and its director, Lee Chang Dong, former minister of culture in Korea. Song Kang Ho*, one of the few Korean actors whose name some average Americans may recognize, is also in this film.

*Who am I kidding, most people probably either don’t know Song Kang Ho at all or else know him as “that guy who was in that Korean monster movie.” 🙂