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.


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.” πŸ™‚


Korean Film Festival coming up! November 2, 2007

I’m so tempted to just post the press release. But then everybody would know I managed to get my hands on it… Oh wait, I just gave that away. Oh well.

Anyway, the first annual Korean Film Festival in LA (first, that is, according to the release, although I’m positive I heard about one a couple years back) will be taking place November 15-17 at the Fairfax 3 Theaters and will include more than 15 films. I don’t know if there are going to be any panels or Q&A sessions or anything, although I’m hoping so. The opening film will be Driving With My Wife’s Lover (the title alone makes me want to see it), in which a guy finds out his wife is having an affair with a taxi driver, so he seeks out the guy and hires him for a long-distance taxi ride. What he’s hoping to accomplish I don’t know; I guess I have to see it to find out.

The closing film will be a gangster flick called A Show Must Go On and starring Song Kang Ho, although it sounds like it’s less gangster flick and more work/family comedy in a gangster setting. That could be interesting. The festival is sponsored by KOFIC USA (the Korean Film Council, see link to the right), which says this about itself: “KOFIC’s objective has been to increase the awareness and appreciation of Korean films by promoting the development of both Korean and Korean American films.” Hey, I wonder if they’ll give me money to make my Korean-lead movie. But maybe before asking them I should do something like, you know, write the script…

Anyway, this festival is also sponsored by the Korean Cinematheque, the Korea Times, and the Hollywood Reporter, and its theme is: “It’s Alive: Korean Film Genre Hybrids and Hollywood Remakes.” I’ll be there in a professional capacity, as press, but the blog will benefit as well. πŸ™‚