Saturday, September 30, 2006

Ha Ji-won's Beauty to Brighten Walls in Cannes

The giant, strikingly beautiful face of Ha Ji-won will adorn walls all over Cannes during the international audiovisual content market show MIPCOM 2006 running there from Oct 9-13, the posters advertising the historical TV drama Hwang Jin-I.

KBS Media, which is involved in bringing Korean pop culture to foreign audiences, says at the main entrance to the largest venue, the Palais des Festivals, will be a large visual from the early days of shooting the story of the famous Chosun-era gisaeng (female entertainer).

But those involved are trying to persuade MIPCOM to switch those images of the actress for a newer one, which they think is even more stunning: it depicts her lying down and looking over her shoulder with a decorative wig on her head and clad in a jeogori (short jacket).

Those in charge of the PR for Hwang Jin-I say they plan to unveil a total of five posters, and they have already heard from people who want to buy the series.

doozy: Wow, the poster is so colorful and beautiful! The red really stands out. Upon first glance, I couldn't even tell that it is Ha Ji Won. She looks really different in the poster.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Korean Wave Makes Inroads into India

The Korean Wave or Korean pop culture craze is set to sweep the world’s second most populous country, as the KBS hit drama Emperor of the Sea began airing in India on July 23. It is the first-ever Korean drama to be broadcast in that country, which has a population of 1.1 billion.

Also, last Saturday on Sept. 24, the MBC hit drama A Jewel in the Palace began airing there during prime time.

It may be premature to say that Emperor of the Sea, which is being aired nationwide through the country’s state-owned DDTV, will become a big success, because the viewing rate initially recorded no higher than 0.8 percent. However, it should be taken into account that it is being shown on Sunday morning, and the viewing rate has increased to 4 percent since its first episode. A Jewel in the Palace is also being carried on DDTV.

Emperor of the Sea is a large-scale maritime war drama, while A Jewel in the Palace is a story about Jang Geum, a female royal cook who overcomes many difficulties to become the chief of royal physicians. Thus, the two dramas can potentially draw a different response from Indian viewers.

The Korean Embassy in India said that they had seen locals respond very enthusiastically to the Korean dramas. "Indian viewers who watched A Jewel in the Palace told us that they marveled at the colorful royal costumes and various foods, and that the way the drama is unfolding is very unique and mysterious, causing curiosity," it said.

Local newspapers have also shown great interest. The Hindustan Times reported, "A Jewel in the Palace is the life story of the first female royal doctor during the Joseon period."

"A Jewel in the Palace" will be aired in India over the next two years. DDTV said that an enthusiastic response could increase the number of times it is aired per day.

"With Emperor of the Sea and A Jewel in the Palace at the forefront, Korean dramas are likely to captivate Indian viewers," embassy official Kim Seung-ho said Monday. "We are planning to hold a joint event in cooperation with India where Korean dramas and films are systematically promoted."
Source: KBS Global

doozy: Dang, the Korean Wave is everywhere! I'm currently watching bits of A Jewel in the Palace again on AZNTV during the weekends. Although the drama is long, it is very addicting. I can definitely see why it's so popular, not only in Korea but also overseas.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Park Si Yeon New Pics

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Credits: isplus/ lovekoreastar
Special thanks to ripgal @ for posting the pictures.

doozy: Since the blog's name is inspired by My Girl, I'm making this post to show support to all four main cast members. "Mukgu-fied" has featured Lee Dong Wook, Lee Da Hae, Lee Joon Ki, and now, Park Si Yeon. My favorite picture from this set is the sixth one. She looks very pretty!

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

AIL Episode 02: The Mysterious Man

Last episode, Eun Ho unintentionally embarassed Dong Jin in public. Hence, at the beginning of episode 2, Dong Jin plans to introduce Eun Ho to a man that has all the characteristics that she dislikes as a way to take revenge. However, his plan falls flat because on the meeting date, the new man is not who Dong Jin thought he would be.

The mysterious man

Who is he? Well for now, we know him as Min Hyeon Joong, a person who has met Eun Ho previously on her wedding day to Dong Jin. However, Eun Ho has no recollection of ever meeting him. She goes through her wedding photos and discovers that he was actually there. Hyeon Joong remembers many particular things about Eun Ho even though it has been a few years since the wedding day. During this time, there is an incident at Eun Ho's gym. Someone has been stealing Eun Ho's underwear from her locker. Thus, she misunderstood that Hyeon Joong is that stalker. Eun Ho is worried and calls Dong Jin out to tell him about her troubles. Concerned for Eun Ho, Dong Jin and Dr. Gong go to Hyeon Joong's workplace to spy on him. This leads to a hilarious scene!

As it turns out, Hyeon Joong is not the stalker and while helping Eun Ho catch the real stalker, he is hurt. Thus, Eun Ho accompanies him to the hospital. In the meantime, Dong Jin is trying to get a hold of Eun Ho to tell her about what he has found out about this new man but is unable to contact her since she left her phone at the gym and Ji Ho doesn't want to pick up the home phone. Desperate, he calls Hyeon Joong's phone only to hear Eun Ho's voice on the other line and at the same time, a nurse saying "Room 407." Not knowing that they are at the hospital, Dong Jin thinks that it is a hotel room number and that they are spending the night together. In disbelief, he stays up all night!

The next morning, he goes to Eun Ho's workplace to ask slyly about last night's event, telling her that she shouldn't be "so easy or else her value will drop." They then have their usual sarcastic banter. It is here that Dong Jin meets Eun Ho's childhood friend Kim Mi Yeon. This is a funny scene because when Mi Yeon walks in, all Dong Jin could focus on is her "chest area." And Eun Ho gives the "eesh, typical man" type of facial expression. While this is happening, Eun Ho narrates that she begins to regret introducing them to each other.

Not able to get a clear answer from Eun Ho about whether or not Hyeon Joong and her slept together, Dong Jin's mind is preoccupied the whole time he is at work. He is extremely bothered about what he thinks has happened between Hyeon Joong and Eun Ho. However, after getting a call from Dr. Gong (who used food to bribe Ji Ho for information) about what really happened on the previous night, Dong Jin is happy again.

New Characters

Na Yu Ri (a.k.a. "Demon in Black")

She is Eun Ho's friend. They met when she went to Eun Ho's gym for help with her knee problem. She wrestles for fun and is known as "Demon in Black" in the wrestling ring.

Kim Mi Yeon

She is from Eun Ho's hometown and was her childhood friend. They meet again at the gym when Eun Ho is teaching a swim class. She is able to recognize Mi Yeon because Mi Yeon's daughter looks exactly like her when she was little.

Tarzan and Jane
A very funny scene in this episode that also brings up an interesting point. Do most, if not all, women like to be saved by a big, strong man; be it consciously or subconsciously?

This scene made laugh out loud because Le Ha Na (the actress who plays Ji Ho) is hilarious and has great comedic timing!

JH = Ji Ho | DG = Dr. Gong

JH: That guy, Min Hyeon Joong saved Unni yesterday.
That's it.
You know Tarzan, right?

DG: The one in movies?

JH: Yes.
Why does Jane like Tarzan so much?
"Please help me, Tarzan!"
Because of these words, he will surely go to her right away. Uh uuuuhhhhhh uhhhhh uhhhh uhhhh uhhhh! (You know that sound that Tarzan makes while pounding at his chest? Ji Ho makes the same sound while telling Dr. Gong her theory.)
"Don't worry, Jane!"
To whichever guy that had saved her before.
She is destined to be attracted to that guy.
Batman, Superman, Spiderman...
Why do all these similar stories able to adapt to movies all the time?
Is it because these women have the mentality to feel protected?
It'll stimulate that thing.
That's right, I'd get attracted by those kinds of men too if it was me.

DG: Who?

JH: Justice Bao.
When Justice Bao says, "Open the beheading knife!"
My whole body cells were jumping with life.
(She is spitting a little when she said this, which makes it even funnier! Dr. Gong almost choked up when she says this. Ji Ho gets turned on when Justice Bao says that line! Haha!)
Special thanks to WITH S2 for providing the English subtitles.

doozy: Episode 2 shows that Dong Jin still worries and cares deeply for Eun Ho, which makes me think whether or not he's aware of his feelings. If he isn't, then he'll know eventually. However, if he is aware, then what is it that's keeping them from reuniting?

Monday, September 25, 2006

Lee Sabi Gains Lively Following in Japan

Korea’s first Playboy model and actress Lee Sabi has gained a lively following in Japan. Her latest diet video, which follows the release of her yogha poses on her website, looks set to become a mega hit in the island country, with 40,000 advance orders already in.

A spokesman for the video production company said such huge advance orders are unusual. "I think Lee’s perfect poses and the video’s personalized exercise prescriptions appeal to the Japanese market." With the video, which consists of a section each focused on the upper body, the lower body and the whole body, people can intensively take care of the part where they especially want to reduce fat, the firm says.

doozy: If you've seen My Girl, Lee Sabi plays Gong Chan's loyal secretary. She can also be seen in the recent drama One Fine Day.
Playboy model?! Eh?! Does that mean the same thing in Korea as it does in America? Well, after searching further into this, I found out that it does mean the same thing. I am suprised. Click here if you'd like to read more about this topic.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Ha Ji-won’s Agonizing Road to Period Drama

The actress Ha Ji-won came close to despair while practicing the wide range of skills needed for her role as "Hwang Jin-I," a famous Chosun-era gisaeng or female entertainer, in a new KBS mini-series. Her head endured the leaden weight of a big decorative wig or gachae. Ha confessed to the suffering, saying, "The gachae is too heavy. My neck is already stiff, although I’ve only filmed three episodes. It’s too painful to sleep." Her fingers are blistered and bruised due to hours of practicing the gayageum, a 12-stringed Korean harp, and geomungo, the six-stringed zither at which the Chosun-era entertainers excelled. Ha is even practicing even tightrope-walking.

To keep up her strength, she is eating eels, which are believed to be good for stamina. And her pains are rewarded with a sense achievement: after all, she now has several skills she never dreamed of. "I want to break away from the typical image of gisaeng and create a new one to win approval from women," she says.
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doozy: Wow... Now, that is suffering for your art! And man, this is an episode-drama so Ha Ji Won is going to be in pain for a while. Be strong, Ha Ji Won sshi! For what it's worth, you look gorgeous in the traditional costume. Those pictures above are breathtakingly beautiful! I love the colors and the extravagance of the hanboks. I like her poses as well. She looks very regal and sophisticated.

Exciting News

It's official! The King and the Clown has been chosen to represent Korea in the Oscar Awards for Best Foreign Film Category. WOOT WOOT! I'll definitely be watching the Oscars next year. In the past, I didn't really care for this category because well frankly, I didn't know those movies that were nominated. However, this is exciting news! The King and the Clown, bbashya!

Lee Soo Young

Lee Soo Young is one of my favorite Korean artists. I love her voice! My most favorite song of hers is "La La La." I've watched several of her MVs and it seems like her signature mark is tragic love story because either someone dies, they all die, and/or there's been some sort of tragic accident. Oh, and another thing. Most of the MVs have multiple parts. Wait. Perhaps, not just MVs from Lee Soo Young, but almost all of the ones that I've seen. Quite depressing, if you ask me. Here, if you haven't seen them already, watch the ones below and you'll know what I mean.

"La La La" by Lee Soo Young

This MV is more creepy than sad.

Translation by: JuJu_Bar @ soompi forums

Before I realized so, I forgot that you had left.
I'm like this, an idiot without a good sense.
When I hear the phone ring, I keep thinking that it's you.
I even cleared my throat before answering the phone.

Habits are scary. It doesn't happen as I command it in my mind.
Because I'm more used to love rather than separation.

I'll try to forget our love and our memories, even if it won't work, I'll try to forget like there wasn't anything in the first place.

Lalalalala. Lalala. Lalalala. Lalala. Lalala. Lalala.

When I was shopping, I absentmindedly shopped for your things also.
Without speaking, I put back the items like an idiot.
"If there's a good movie, we have to see it together,"
Without knowing, I have those kind of thoughts.

Did you have moments like these? At least once?
Or did it just stop right after we broke up?

I'll try to change, like how you changed.
Now, I'm going to love again.
When time goes by, and I keep living life,
I'll probably get used to somebody else, too.

I'll try to forget our love and our memories, even if it won't work, I'll try to forget like there wasn't anything in the first place.

Lalalalala. Lalala. Lalalala. Lalala. Lalala. Lalala.

You should forget me, and
I'll try to change, like how you changed.
Now, I'm going to love again.
When time goes by, and I keep living life,
I'll probably get used to somebody else, too.

I'll try to forget our love and our memories, even if it won't work, I'll try to forget like there wasn't anything in the first place.

Lalalalala. Lalala. Lalalala. Lalala. Lalala. Lalala.

"Grace" by Lee Soo Young

Special thanks to the subbing team and hypergrl09 and seirin for uploading the videos.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Lee Jun-ki Appears in Korea-Japan Joint Film

Actor Lee Jun-ki has been cast in the Korea-Japan joint production First Snow directed by Han Sang-hee, who earned a reputation for producing music videos by working with famous singers including Rain and Ivy.

The Japanese Sponichi Shimbun reported Wednesday that Lee had participated in the movie's first shoot in Kyoto on Monday, with rising Japanese actress Aoi Miyazaki playing opposite his character.

Lee plays a Korean university student who moves to Japan when his father gets a job there as an exchange professor. He has a brief but romantic fling with a high school girl (Miyazaki) with a complicated and difficult family background.

The film is co-sponsored by CJ Entertainment and Kadokawa Herald Pictures and produced by Guardtec, which also produced Lee’s recent film Fly Daddy Fly.

The two stars expressed their hopes in shooting the film. "I hope this film helps improve friendly relations between the two nations," Lee said. Miyazaki, who is appearing in a foreign film for the first time, said, "I will study Korean hard so that I can speak it naturally and act naturally."

The 21-year-old actress rose to stardom through her role in Nana, which became a big hit in Japan last year. Despite her short career, she has been recognized for her performances several times. She received the best actress award at the Festival des 3Continents in 2002 and the young actress award at the Nikkan Sports Film Award.

First Snow will end shooting by the end of the year and be released concurrently in Korea and Japan next spring.
Source: KBS Global

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Bi in Vietnam

A friend of mine went to Vietnam recently and took a picture Bi's advertisement at the airport and sent it to me as a present. Haha, crazy girl! Thank you!

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Speaking of which, the teaser poster for Bi (Jung Ji Hoon)'s new movie is out!

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The teaser poster of director Park Chan Wook's new movie Cyborg jiman gwenchanah (Cyborg but okay) was revealed with the two main cast, Lim Soo Jeong and Jeong Ji Hoon.

The photo shoot for the teaser poster took place on Jeong Ji Hoon's birthday this past 25th of June. The poster features the main catchphrase 'This Year's Couple of Shinsegye Mental Hospital' along with Lim Soo Jeong's cunning smile and Jeong Ji Hoon proudly wearing a peculiar paper mask.

Cyborg jiman gwenchanah (Cyborg but okay) is a romantic comedy drawing the love story of a girl that believes she is a cyborg (played by Lim Soo Jeong) and a guy who says it doesn't matter if she is a cyborg (played by Jeong Ji Hoon). The movie is scheduled to be released in early December.
[Copyright © 2006 Goodday News/Goodday E&I Inc. All rights reserved.]

doozy: I'm definitely looking forward to this movie! The teaser poster looks oddly happy, but I guess it fits the movie since the movie takes place in a mental institution.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

The Leading Actress of Queen of Snow Announced

Remember a while back I posted the news about Hyun Bin's upcoming drama Queen of Snow? Recently, the production company announced who the leading actress would be. If you're interested, read the news below for more details.

The production company "Yoon’s Color" announces that Sung Yoo Ri (25) and Hyun Bin (24) will lead the drama Queen of Snow scheduled to be aired by KBS2 around Christmas. This drama attracts attention because the PD is Lee Hyung Min who produced and directed the popular drama I’m Sorry, I Love You and the script writers are the duo Kim Eun Hee and Yoon Eun Kyung who wrote for Winter Love Song.

SYR plays the role Bo Ra who behaves arrogantly and cynically like an icy princess. She falls in love with her destined love Tae Woong (played by Hyun Bin) who lives in a third-class boxing gymnasium. The filming team just returned to Korea after the initial shooting in New Zealand. The PD Lee Hyung Min states, "Currently, the scenery in New Zealand is beautiful. I am amazed by Hyun Bin’s performance in his transformed role. I anticipate seeing what image SYR would present to TV viewers in this drama. I believe that it would be an unquestionably big surprise." SYR’s previous drama was One Fine Day while HB’s was My Name is Kim Sam Soon.

doozy: Like I've said before, I'll watch this to support Hyun Bin. However, no comment on Sung Yoo Ri.

S. Korea Faces Tough Decision To Pick Its Choice For Foreign Film Oscar

By Kim Hyun

SEOUL, Sept. 19 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's movie agency on Tuesday faced a tough decision to pick its contender for next year's foreign film Oscar, with three movies vying for the status with an equally distinctive aura.

Two of them are box office record holders -- The King and the Clown by Lee Joon-ik and The Host by Bong Joon-ho. Time by Kim Ki-duk, the low-budget, less popular movie, was backed by the director's overseas recognition.

With no history of the Academy nominating a Korean movie, local experts are upbeat that chances are higher than ever this time with the renaissance of home-grown movies.

"We used to invite five jurors to make the decision and this year we have seven, because we decided each work has a good quality to compete in the Oscar race," said Tae Eun-jung, an official of the Korean Film Council that will make the submission to the U.S. Academy's Foreign Language Film Award Committee.

An Academy award or merely its nomination will provide a powerful backdrop for the movie to reach the huge U.S. market, she said.

The main criteria include the quality of the film, the possibility of its commercial success in the United States and the marketing ability of its distributor. The seven jurors, who are directors, producers, critics, journalists and scholars, will announce their pick this week, the council said.

The King and the Clown is a period drama revolving around two low-class clowns and the real-life merciless King Yeonsan in the late 15th century. Its lower-class humor, brilliant depiction of Korea's traditional tight-rope walking and the deftly-woven plot broke the local viewer record of 12.3 million in March.

While the clown story delivers traditional Korea, The Host received critical acclaim at home and abroad with its tasty mix of political satire, humanity and gender-bending story telling. With the story of a family fighting a monster of the Han River, the movie is now screened in Japan, Hong Kong and France and is eyeing the U.S. market.

The low-budget movie Time is referred to as Kim's most friendly work, which toned down his uncomfortable depiction of brutal reality. The director, who is popular abroad and controversial at home, tells the story of a woman who makes the extreme decision of plastic surgery to keep her bored lover.
Source: Yonhap News

doozy: What a tough decision indeed! What movie to pick so that the chances of taking home the Oscar are highest? If the The King and the Clown is chosen, I can't really be certain of its victory because the American critics might not like the film. Plus, the homosexuality undertone of the movie might be compared to that of Brokeback Mountain. As for The Host, I've heard nothing but good praises for it and it's doing very well at the box office, so it's likely to be the film of choice. On the other hand, since the movie deals with political issues that presented the Americans in a bad light, I'm also uncertain of whether or not it is a good contender for the Oscar Awards. I haven't seen Time so can't really comment on the movie.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Korean Wave: Its Potential and Challenges

K-pop continues to run strong in Southeast Asia and other parts of the world.

Thailand for one, whose Korean wave or "Hallyu" sparked off with Korea's unexpected performance in 2002 Korea/Japan World Cup and the Korea's popular historical drama Daejanggeum, (aka Jewel in the Palace) in 2005 is airing more and more Korean dramas and movies nowadays. Similar examples can also be found in other parts of Asian countries.

While Korean pop songs drove many to study the language, Korean games deprived sleep of many game lovers around the world. The translated novels, comic books and monthly magazines from Korea are also showing sharp increase in sales. Then there's spread of Korean food as another major contributor to "Hallyu". All in all, wherever we go it has become increasingly easier to meet with people who's got at least one thing to say about Korea.

Hallyu Drama: Complicated – Subtle – Emotional

Why are Korean dramas and movies received so well in other countries? We asked twelve office workers in Thai in 20s. Here are their answers;

- A complicated, subtle and emotional plot that is uniquely "Korean"
- Sad love stories that suit Thai sentiment and good-looking actors and singers.
- Great acting that makes it easy to emphasize with the characters and good manners towards fans.
- Opportunity to learn about Korean culture (e.g.) A glimpse into 16th century Korean court through Daejanggeum
- More creative than local dramas.
- Unique personality found within the actors as shown through dramas

Meanwhile those in their 50s or above pointed out to;

- Similar trails of thoughts and sentiments
- Production methods
- Themes of drama/ movies
- Portrayal of reality

All this is good for Korea in greatly improving the overall image of the country, the people and even our products. It's not just big things like cell phone and electronic appliances but little things like stationeries too. It's no longer uncommon to see downtown Korean restaurants in Bangkok packed with locals and foreigners out together to savor Kimchi, Bulgogi, Kalbi and other Korean dishes.

Adverse effects of Hallyu

Unfortunately the road to perfection still lies afar as new challenges continue to emerge in forms of internal and external conflict.

Internal conflicts list problem rising within Korean agencies; their high-handed attitude toward locals inviting "Hallyu"; unilateral proceeding of events regardless of local schedule; internal conflict within the task teams; excessive demands of celebrities; misunderstandings due to language barrier; problems rising from contracts; brokers who take advantage of the situation while playing in-between; insufficient marketing and so forth.

External conflict rises from response of local authority that starts taking a wary stance against seemingly excessive inflow of Hallyu; restricting playing hours for Korean games while encouraging development of local games; increasing broadcasting hours of local performances and reports; accusing Korea's lack of reciprocity in cultural exchange and so forth.

These are the reasons that make us realize there's still a lot to overcome before we can be fully confident about Hallyu's future. So what are the things we could do to establish Hallyu as a certified world brand?

First of all we need to be aware our counterparts. At the receiving end of Korean popular culture are those with equal pride of their country and culture. Think of the consequences when we downplay that pride.

Second, we need to define what "Hallyu" is. The concept should not limit itself to movies, dramas and pop songs. Koreans should be at the center of Hallyu and everything else that makes us "Korean". There's language, soccer, Taekwondo, food, our custom, our policy, our system, our product and even the way we act. That is what forms the overall image of Korea – something that's keenly linked with our daily lives. Movies and dramas simply stand as prior examples of promoting that knowledge abroad.

Third, we need to stand firm against external challenges. This includes continuous collecting and analyzing of responses and trends of the nations that import Koreans goods and culture. We should also be notice that China and Japan, which despite their long influence in Southeast Asia is taking a more measured steps in spreading their popular culture. However the influence these countries are having over food, language, concert, sumo, kung fu, tourist resort, extension of investment and college exchanges promises to pose a big challenge to Hallyu.

Four, there is a need to establish Screen Gate system and other professional consulting body to decide on the direction of Hallyu as a main organization for Korean culture. It would be hard to maintain favorable image of Hallyu if we just keep on releasing anything we can sale. We need some kind of system to assure only quality products for our buyers, especially when it comes to movies and dramas.

Such body would also help resolve various conflicts that stem from intervention of unreliable brokers that lead to possible distrust as well as other contract-related conflicts rising from language barrier. It's good for business, too since we can set adequate prices for our products and better identify the response and opinions of our counterparts. Based on these findings we'd be able to further develop and promote cultural contents that lead the market.

Illegal copies abound

Five, we need to prevent spreading of illegal copies. Easier said than done – but we need to tackle it anyways. According to Naiyason Chantrasri, president of Thai's Open - World Entertainment International Co., Ltd. There are indescribable amount of copies of Korean drams, movies, music, photos and even Internet games sold at just 1/8 ~ 1/10 of original prices. The quality of illegal copies was bad at first but getting better and better these days posing as a big obstacle to spreading Hallyu. He called for the need of state-level measures and cooperation between countries.

Another worrisome fact to rapid spread of counterfeit goods in case of dramas and movies is that it's either dubbed or subtitle in Chinese, easily misleading the crowds to think of them as from China. Although such dubbing was required by foreign buyers as one of the conditions for purchasing Korean dramas such turn of events leaves us increasingly uneasy.

Six, in order to upgrade the spreading of Hallyu we need to identify what strikes the chord of each society when supplying our goods. It's a synergy effect for all, in other words. We make an extended and systemic supply of things that are most in demand to our customers. A friendly soccer match, Taekwondo demonstration, traditional dance performance or Hanbok fashion show could be some of those examples.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Alone In Love Episode 1: Can We Start Over Again?

Character Introduction

Gam Woo Sung as Lee Dong Jin
He works as a manager at a bookstore. He is divorced from Eun Ho for almost two years.

Son Ye Jin as Eun Ho
She is a physical fitness trainer at a gym. She is Dong Jin's ex-wife.

Gong Joon Pyo as Dr. Gong
He is the head of the OBGYN department at a hospital. However, he has a fear of labor and the birth process. He is Dong Jin's classmate bestfriend.

Lee Ha Na as Ji Ho
She is Eun Ho's sister. She has a very carefree and quirky personality. At twenty-three years of age, she is still unemployed and lives with her sister.

Episode one of Alone In Love opens with Eun Ho recalling her baptism to Dong Jin at their anniversary dinner. As it turns out, they were married at this hotel and thus, each year the hotel sends them coupons for a free couple dinner on the anniversary of their marriage. Although Dong Jin and Eun Ho have been divorced now for almost two years, they still take advantage of this benefit. The dinner scene was a hilarious introduction into the drama because of the witty and sarcastic banter between the two.

Episode one shows us that even though two people are legally separate on paper, they are not completely gone from each other's lives as their paths may cross coincidentally or not on many occassions. First, there is the settling of the money issue. Second is returning what you'd once borrowed from each other. Then, there are also the coffee shop that you visit as a part of your everyday routine and the bar that you come to relax with your friends. Hence, your life is still very much connected with your previous significant other even though the two of you have split.
Meeting at their child's grave.

Since their divorce, Dong Jin and Eun Ho have been leading their lives like this. They're still a part of each other lives, meeting on several occassion, and throwing out sarcastic banter back and forth like they are old friends. Even when they are not with each other, they're reminded of the times they spent with the other person; like Dong Jin remembering his first date with Eun Ho while he is on his first blind date after their divorce. It's also difficult to not be a part of the other person's life because they share the same friends, especially Dr. Gong wants them to reunite and would try to make that happen at any chance that he gets.

Towards the end of episode one, Eun Ho is confused about her feelings for Dong Jin. She is unsure as to whether or not the feelings are out of love or just pure concern for someone that you've known for a long time. She misses the old times that she spent with Dong Jin but there are flaws and bad habits of his that she can't stand. Thus, she calls into a radio show to ask for advice. The advice that she receives is to treat the other person like she's his mother, meaning to forgive and overlook the person's flaws like a mother would for her child.

And so, Eun Ho sets a dinner date with Dong Jin to tell him that she wants to start over again with him. However, it was to no avail because 1) Dong Jin isn't paying attention to what Eun Ho is saying and 2) it is here that Dong Jin, playing matchmaker, introduces a man to Eun Ho. Dong Jin chooses to introduce this man to Eun Ho because he thought the new man stands for everything that Eun Ho hates. However, he is surprised when things do not go as planned. End of episode one.

Noteworthy Scenes

The picture taken at the anniversary dinner.

The same picture on Eun Ho's refrigerator.

The "fantastic four" hanging out on Ji Ho's birthday.

A hilarious scene! The atmosphere is silent and calm when Eun Ho, irritated by what Dong Jin has said earlier, yells out for "Taxi!" Dong Jin's reaction is classic.

Uh oh! Psycho alert! This pervert was making the employee very uncomfortable. Dong Jin saw the situation and stood up for his employee. However, his kindness was repayed with a misunderstanding that resulted in a funny moment when the pervert took revenge against Dong Jin for embarassing him in the bookstore. Watch the scene and you'll know what I'm talking about. Poor Dong Jin! The next day, he was still traumatized by the experience.

doozy: The first episode has a mix of funny moments and quiet, reflective moments. Already, I can feel the chemistry that the cast has together as they play off one another. There is this subtleness appeal to the first episode that draws in viewers who appreciates it, and I'm one of them. This episode earns a Hershey's chocolate.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

I Had A Bad Day

Today was a bad day at work. I don't think I've ever been this angry and feeling so insulted before due to a work-related matter. What happened? Oh, I'll tell you what happened.
See, at work we have several levels of managers. There's the main manager and then there's his boss, whom I shall refer to as A from here onward. (As to what the letter A stands for, you can use your imagination.) A does not work with us in the store on a regular basis; he only comes in about every five weeks to check up on us and see how we're doing. (Well, more like to yell at us but I'll get into that later.) Before today, I had always thought of him as a relatively understanding and friendly person. Well, after today, not anymore!
Anyway, yesterday A came in with another manager and spent a short time at the store, which was strange. Today, I arrived at work and A was there and looked to be evaluating the store. My direct manager didn't look too good so I was kind of worried. As it turned out, we were very short staffed for the shift and he had to call in several people to start work earlier than their scheduled time. To add salt to the wound, we were unexpectedly extremely busy today. Not only that, at a time when we needed more people to work, A needed to discuss something with my manager, so they were gone for what seemed like days. It was so busy that I don't even remember when was the last time I worked this hard and on an empty stomach, no less! Long story short, we were swamped so A had to stay longer at the store to help us out. During the shift, I conversed with A in the form of small talks and commented to A about how I'm a bit tired. And so, he offered to cover for me so that I can take a water break. I drank my water and went back to continue working at the position but A said, "You're back, already?! That break was too short so take a few more minutes and then come back." I thought, "Wow, how nice of him!" When I came back, A said that he felt tired already even though he had only been working at the position for few minutes. He also commented that he couldn't imagine doing this everyday and wondered how we can work the position everyday. When it slowed down a little bit, A went into the office to write up his evaluation. After he completed the evaluation, he smiled and said "bye" to everyone. In my opinion based on working there for quite a long time, I believed we handled the rush relatively good, considering the situation. Little did I know, what I thought was not even close to what was written on the evaluation and the things that were said by A afterward.
A short while after A left the store, there was a phone call for my manager and lo and behold, it was A on the other line. My manager took the phone call and came back looking pissed! Not knowing the whole situation and what was said between the two of them, I made a stupid comment which I now regret saying.
During the mid afternoon, when the night shift was starting, I saw a few new associates coming in to work. Since there were now plenty of people working and it wasn't that busy, I was sent home early. When my co-worker took over my position for me, he said, "Wow, I didn't know I was allowed to be at this position anymore after what happened!" Puzzled, I asked him what he meant by that. He told me that apparently, A said that the associates who work this position at the store couldn't handle the rush, so A called in associates from other stores who can handle the work. I was in disbelief and had that "Huh?! What the heck?!" look on my face as I couldn't believe that A actually had made that comment. Looking for confirmation, I talked to my manager. Unfortunately, it was true! I read the evaluation and it was not just bad, it was horrible. According to my manager, A called in after he left the store and said that unless the associates work the position like a certain associate, whom I shall refer to as mini A, we were deemed as "not good enough." I've observed and worked with mini A several times and he is not that great. All he has going for him is speed, minus the quality. Upon hearing this, I was furious! Furious! Why am I angry? I'm angry because of the crappy standard that we were being compared to. To be touting and emphasizing quality at meetings, reciting "quality over speed" while training new associates, and having the word "quality" in the store's slogan, how ironic and downright sad that A gave mini A such high marks when he doesn't work with mini A on a regular basis and evaluated the rest of us as "not good enough." In addition, I'm disappointed because I realized what kind of a person A is. Like a coin, he has two faces. A superficial happy face when he smiles at you and then turns around and stabs you in the back. If he thought that we weren't doing a good job while he was at the store, then tell us to our faces what we did wrong and how we could improve. Don't leave and then call the store to tell our manager and having us hear it from our manager. That's just shady, cowardice, and wrong! As of today, I lost all respect for A.
In summary, everytime I encounter a bad situation in life, I would try to make something positive out of the situation by reflecting on whether I've gotten something out of the experience by learning a good lesson. Well, a lesson is learnt here, dear reader. I've learn about what kind of person A really is. Although, it was unpleasant, it was good to know. Oh and another thing, the quote that I had on the LDH banner was really applicable and helpful. "NO ONE can make you feel inferior without your permision." Well, A, take your !@#$%^&*() elsewhere! You certainly do not have my permission. I won't allow it!

Friday, September 15, 2006

Han Ga In For Blu:pepe Fall 2006

Free Image Hosting at        Free Image Hosting at
Image credit: bestiz + suejinners

doozy: Han Ga In is one of the most beautiful Korean actresses. And her look is au-naturale! I really like the clothes in these ads. There is a casual, yet elegant feel to them.
The thumbnails are unexpectedly small! All the more reason to click on them to view these gorgeous pictures.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Bi (Rain) to Launch World Tour in December

Nice poster!

Singer Rain will give a free-of-charge concert ahead of his world tour slated for December. Some 40,000 fans have been invited to the concert, which will be held October 13 at the Jamsil Olympic Stadium in Seoul under the theme, "Rain’s Coming."

The concert will herald the beginning of Rain’s five-month world tour, which will cover 12 countries, including the United States, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Singapore, China and Japan. Audiences will be invited to donate money to help physically challenged people.

Rain’s world tour will be produced by globally renowned concert producers including Jamie King, who also produced and choreographed concerts for Madonna, Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera. Rain met with King in July in the United States to discuss the preparations. Other prominent figures involved include Tom Hudak, who produced concerts for The Eagles and Prince, and Roy Bennet, who was in charge of lighting at the U.S. MTV Video Music Awards. The scale and quality of Rain’s upcoming tour will be comparable with the global tours of the world’s top artists, and will likely serve as an opportunity for the domestic performance sector to develop further.

Lee In-kwang, CEO of StarM, which is organizing Rain’s tour, said that the upcoming concert in Seoul will serve as a starting point for Rain’s advancement to the global market, and that the charity aspect of the concert will be its most important part because Rain feels great responsibility as a big star.

He also added that one-fourth of the audience will comprise foreign fans and music experts. Rain will donate a part of his world tour proceeds to needy and starving children in underdeveloped countries. StarM will begin distributing tickets to Rain’s concert nationwide this month.
Source: KBS Global

doozy: Bi's coming! Get your umbrellas ready! Heehee.
Aw, no! I guess they've given out already the free tickets for the concert in Seoul. Oh, well. There's always the chance to go see Bi when he comes to the U.S. Although it's for a worthy cause, I hope the concert ticket won't be that expensive. It's sweet and charitable of Bi to use his star power for good!

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

New Song on Playlist

The Origin of Love (from Hedwig and the Angry Inch OST)
Lyrics provided by:
Edit: doozy

When the Earth was still flat
and the clouds made of fire
and the mountains stretched up to the sky
sometimes higher

Folks roamed the earth
like big rolling kegs
they had two sets of arms
they had two sets of legs

They had two faces
peering out of one giant head
so they could watch all around them
as they talked while they read

And they never knew nothing of love
It was before
The Origin Of Love
Origin of love
The origin of Love
Origin of love

Now there was three sexes then
One that looked like two men
glued up back too back
They called the children of the Sun

And similar of shape and girth
was the children of the earth
they looked like two girls
rolled up in one

And the children of the Moon
Were like a fork shaped on a spoon
They were part Sun part Earth
part daughter part son

The Origin of Love

Now the gods grew quite scared
of our strength and defiance
And Thor said :"I'm gonna kill them all
With my hammer like I killed the giants."

But Zeus said:"No, you better let me
use my lightning like scissors
Like I cut the legs of the whales
dinosaurs and the lizards.

And then he grabbed up some bolts
He let out a laugh
He said:"I'll split them right down the middle
I'm gonna cut them right up in half.

And the storm clouds gathered above
Into great balls of fire

And then fire shot down
From the sky in bolts
Like shining blades of a knife
And they ripped right through the flesh
Of the children of the Sun and the Moon and the Earth

And some Indian god sewed the wound up
To a hole full around to a belly
to remind us of the price we pay

And Osiris, and the gods of the Nile
gathered up a big storm
to blow a hurricane
to scatter us away.
A flood of wind and rain
a sea of tidal waves
to wash us all away
and if we don't behave
They cut us down again
And we'll be hopping round on one foot
and looking through one eye

The last time I saw you
we were just split in two
you was looking at me
I was looking at you

You had a way so familiar
I could not recognize
cause you had blood on your face
I had blood in my eyes
But I could swear by your expression
that the pain down in your soul
was the same as the one down in mine

That's the pain that cuts a straight line
down through the heart
We call it love
we wrapped our armes around each other
tried to shove ourselves back together
we was making love
making love

It was a cold dark evening
such a long time ago
By the mighty hand of Joe

It was a sad story
how we became lonely two-leg creatures
It was the story of the Origin of Love
That's The origin of love
The Origin of love (x3)

Are Korean Movie Stars Too Expensive?

The Korean film industry continues to grow at an alarming pace. After Silmido opened an era of 10-million ticket sellers in 2004, four more films quickly followed suit. The Host recently set a new record, taking the top spot from the King and the Clown ,which itself brought more than 12.3 million Koreans to the theaters earlier this year. But the growth in the industry means the amount Chungmuro’s biggest names are charging for appearances on the big screen is also shooting through the roof. How does it compare to overall production costs?

How Much Do They Make?

The rates stars charge are a good way to gauge their popularity. Currently, Bae Yong-joon is Korea’s highest paid actor. In last year’s April Snow, the actor was estimated to have earned at least twice the W300 million(US$1=W959) he got for his work on Untold Scandal in 2003.

By using the buzz generated by Bae Yong-joon’s popularity, only in the early stages of production the film was exported to Japan for US$7 million and subsequently raked in W23 billion with its successful run. Choi Min-sik, Song Kang-ho and Seol Kyung-gu are known as the Three Musketeers of Chungmuro for their ability to bring box office success, and they command around W500 million per film. Then there are Lee Byung-hun and Cha Seung-won, who each get about W350 million per movie, and of course Jang Dong-gun, whose appearance in Taegukgi: The Brotherhood of War helped take that film above the 10 million tickets mark.

Among the women, Lee Young-ae and Jeon Ji-hyun are at the top, each getting about W350 million-W400 million for their work, while Jeon Do-yeon and Jang Jin-young get W300 million -W350 million for their appearances.

Hollywood Prices

It is hard to make a direct comparison between the price of Korean stars and their foreign counterparts, due to the fact that the scope of distribution is different, as is the size of the market. Tom Cruise made the most money last year of any Hollywood actor, according to the U.S.’ Quigley Publishing, which has every year since 1932 researched producers and theaters owners to find out who the top 10 earners are.

Tom Cruise confirmed his popularity with War of the Worlds, after winning back the top spot with Vanilla Sky. Johnny Depp was second, followed by Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt, who starred in Mr. and Mrs. Smith. According to Hollywood sources, Tom Cruise earns $28 million-$30 million per film: a sum 56 times greater than the highest-earning Korean screen star. Tom Hanks came second with $27 million-$28 million, and Johnny Depp followed with $26 million. Julia Roberts and Cameron Diaz get about $20 million per film, while Nicole Kidman, Jessica Alba and Angelina Jolie earn around $15 million.