I love Koreatown in the springtime…

Wherein I blog about all things Korean in Los Angeles

I made myself cry March 8, 2007

Filed under: kdramas — Raven @ 6:55 pm
Tags: ,

Last night was a first for me. It was the first time something I was writing made me cry.

Okay, that’s a lie. But it was the first time I’ve cried because what I was writing was GOOD. And that’s true. Granted, I was in an emotional mood already, having been crying off and on for the past four hours or so as I finished up the final four episodes of the Korean TV drama My Girl (see photo). The Korean letters, in case anyone is wondering, read: ma-i geol (I don’t think my transliteration is standard, but just try pronouncing it and you’ll see it’s Koreanized English for the series title).

So anyway, after finishing the drama, I opened up my novel to remind myself where I was. I usually do that last thing before I sign off the computer every night, because if I want to write at lunch the next day at work, it helps if I remember where I left off the night before. But this time I ended up writing a bit more. And while I was writing I started thinking about the relationships between my characters and how sad their lives were, and before I knew it I was crying a little. Not a lot, but still. It was a first for me. A good first. I wonder how many more times I’ll make myself cry now that I’ve started. I have a feeling this novel could get very cry-worthy as I keep going with it. There’s going to be some pretty emotional stuff coming to the fore for my characters. And I love these characters. So we’ll see.


The Lake House **spoilers** June 16, 2006

Filed under: movies & film — Raven @ 9:16 pm
Tags: , ,

It was a lot messier than the Korean original timewise, and even Il Mare had some problems there. I mean, I didn’t think the final scene was in the right time. Some of the things that had already happened in the future wouldn’t happen if the final scene took place… but anyway. Il Mare worked anyway.

This one didn’t for me. Maybe it would have if I hadn’t rewatched Il Mare last weekend and had it fresh in my mind. It was like me reading the Brokeback short story before I saw the movie. I didn’t come to it fresh, so I couldn’t take it in the same way. I always had something else in the back of my mind as I was watching. In this case, it was Il Mare.

They changed one thing I thought made Il Mare so emotionally affecting, namely the girl’s love for the guy she couldn’t have, the guy she had lost (not the lake house guy). So at the end…

***major spoilers***

…when the girl goes racing to save the lake house guy, she’s not saving him from something she caused. So the emotional impact is lessened. And in this version it wasn’t as clear what she was saving him from. We knew, but we hadn’t seen what led up to it as clearly, we hadn’t seen her ask him to go there (because she didn’t). In Il Mare enough things were implied but enough things were also shown. This one didn’t show enough. And what it did show was the wrong things, the wrong relationships, not things that grabbed me as strongly or raised the stakes high enough for me.

So I didn’t think it measured up to the original. I didn’t really expect it to but, you know, if I had been the one doing the adaptation, I would only have changed the things I thought were weak in Il Mare. Not the things these writers changed.

Maybe I’m too melodramatic. It’s possible. But I certainly wouldn’t have cut the things that made me cry in Il Mare. The exact mailbox scene was in this one, the same scene of the girl collapsing on her knees and holding onto the mailbox the way she did in Il Mare. But it didn’t work the same way. Because the lead-up was missing.

The Lake House was also missing a unifying theme. Or rather, I could see that the writers had made an effort to put in a “the right things at the right time and no sooner” theme, but it wasn’t reflected in all the major relationships the way I thought it should have been.

I don’t remember a unifying theme in Il Mare at all, but hey, Il Mare made me cry. I think I’m addicted to movies that make me cry…

I give The Lake House two stars.


Il Mare, or the Sea of Tears June 11, 2006

Filed under: movies & film — Raven @ 1:55 am
Tags: ,

I don’t remember crying the first time I watched Il Mare. I cried this time. The impossible love, the yearning for a love that can’t be, the self-sacrifice out of love… I want to write movies that will make people cry. I want to write movies that will make ME cry. I’m afraid, um, that means I aspire to write Korean romantic dramas.

Not necessarily, though. I cried at Tsotsi, and that one I saw in the theater, where I’m more reserved about crying. It’s the self-sacrifice that gets me. Self-sacrifice out of love, and the loss of love, the love you can’t have for reasons beyond your control. It doesn’t have to be romantic. It wasn’t in Tsotsi. But it has to be real, and it has to be impossible. And then I’ll cry.

I guess there’s a reason why everything I write, or at least all the good things I write, all the things that work, are ultimately about love. Usually it’s a difficult love, a love that maybe everybody involved wishes weren’t there. But it is. And they have to deal with it.

I’ve been writing that theme for as long as I can remember. I don’t know why. But I guess there’s something I’m looking for or something I need to resolve.