Archive for April, 2002

My Sassy Girl ( Yeopgijeogin geunyeo )

Posted By yonghow on April 15th, 2002

My Sassy Girl ( Yeopgijeogin geunyeo ) stars the devastatingly beautiful girl Jeong Ji Hyun of Il Mare, which by and large is one of my favourite Korean movies of all time. By virtue of this alone I was bent on watching my Sassy Girl, and although it lacks the melancholic sentimentality of Il Mare, is still one heck of a funny and at times romantic movie.

The Korean word `Yupgi’ means ”to be curious about and search for creepy and uncanny things or events.” But it has become a most fashionable pop culture code word, meaning anything nonsensical and implying something creepy but cool and funny. It’s become a buzzword in Korea in recent years, especially in cyberspace. Kim Ho-Sik’s hit serial story on the Internet, [Yupgi Girl], surely played a critical role in spreading and wedging the word “yupgi” into the collective consciousness as the hippest culture code. Yupgi Girl, starring Cha Tae-Hyeon and Jeon Ji-Hyeon, is a film adaptation of Kim’s Internet serial of the same title. The movie follows Kyon-wu (Cha’s) narration, in which Jun Ji-Hyeon is called “the girl.” (This presumably lovely female principal, strangely, doesn’t even have a name, although she is the person who commits herself to all those yupgi demeanors.) Kyon-wu saves a girl who was apparently about to be crushed by an oncoming subway train. What made that sleek girl with glowing long hair and white face almost throw her life away in front of a subway train? Alcohol. As a complement to for this yupgi girl who throws up, dead drunk, on the wig and then on the very bald head of an elderly man in the subway, who becomes angry, hits him with her fists and shouts abusive words at him, Kyon-wu is a light-as-air character who is ready to serve this too high- spirited but pretty girl. The lively, sprightly, refreshingly charming actors, Cha and Jun, are the reasons to go to see this film, which is full of light-hearted laughter for the first 100 minutes before jumping ahead three years into a farfetched leap of plot for the last 20 minutes.

Just to let you in a little on the details of this movie; many of the scenes, costumes, lines were borrowed heavily from a few other korean movies, Il Mare itself included, as sort of comedic parodies. If you pay close attention to what’s actually happening throughout the movie, you’d be sure to spot one many spoofs, connections and hints that would allow you to better understand the somewhat ambiguous ending. There’s a 2 disc dvd set on sale at dvdasian.com, which promises more secrets and easter eggs, and I’m going weak at the knees already.

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No Man’s Land

Posted By yonghow on April 13th, 2002

The movie No Man’s Land was a smorgasbord of various debatable issues and human emotions. At the height of the Bosnian war, Ciki, a Bosnian soldier, hides in a trench in No Man?s Land. Nino, a Serb, is wounded in the same trench, while Cera, a Bosnian soldier, lies unconscious on a spring mine. Both men attract the attention of their respective sides in an attempt to survive their predicament. Soon, the UN troops are called in… This movie is about the casualties of war, for right from the start of the show displays a massacre of troops as they battle at the bloody frontline. This movie is about satire, mocking the stiff and dogmatic bureaucracy of the UN as they stood and gaze in brazen shame as the wounded lay unaided. This movie is about deep poignancy, for as the last shot in the movie slowly tracks out you feel the disconcerting solitude and despair of the wounded as he lies helpless, bereft of any aid. To have envisioned all this ideas and presented them in such a witty, humourous and yet sad movie, I for once agree with the Oscar nomination panel that it truely deserves the award of best foreign film.

( apologies for those who haven’t watched the film ) My favourite shot in the film must be where the Serbian commander decided that to “play safe”, had the entire trench area bombarded by artillery and at this juncture, the two wounded soldiers taking cover in a shelter. The framing was such that each of them were leaning on either side of the entrance of the shelter and henced divided on the left and right of the screen, with the entrance in the middle of the shot and artillery bombing away ouside as they argued on the fault of the party who started the war first. I personally interpretated the framing of the shot with them been divided in the middle as the separation of the Serb and Bosnian people as war wages outside ( the artillery bombing ). Within, the conflict can only be solved by whoever possessing the weapon, as in the case of the Serbian soldier. Cool art direction and photography.

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