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With Netflix K-shows being renewed left and right, what better a time to talk about Kingdom than this tense moment before season three gets the green light, too? In other words, I couldn’t wait. How could I resist Gianna, focus of this month’s discussion? For whatever reason, when Kingdom: Ashin of the North was released, my first thought was Blood: The Last Vampire, and together, they may say something about international star-making.
On television recently, a deep look at all the institutional rot in Baltimore governance that’s developed in the years following the mostly fictional The Wire. David Simon and Ed Burns’s We Own This City is a compelling but very dry horror movie in slow-motion, featuring an eerily lived-in central performance by Jon Bernthal.
“The word is a portmanteau for when “gap,” people with power, abuse “eul,” those who work for them. And in South Korea’s deeply hierarchical society, where one’s social standing is determined by profession, job title and wealth, hardly anyone has escaped its claws. More recently, though, gapjil has triggered a backlash. On websites, street banners and even stickers in public bathrooms, government agencies, the police, civic groups and corporations are offering “gapjil hotlines” encouraging citizens to blow the whistle on officials and bosses who abuse their authority.”
“Best Director went to Park Chan-wook for Decision to Leave, which had been considered a top contender for the Palme in its own right.”
On the Watchlist
I recently learned about an intriguing Mongolian filmmaker, who has at least two movies about warrior princesses. Finding these movies will be the trick, but if I do manage to see them, hopefully “The Conquerors II” will follow.
An article in the Chosunilbo from 2009 grants us the optimistic Korean perspective on Blood: The Last Vampire, that “Although the film has not done well at the Korean box office, [Gianna Jun] has opened up a path to Hollywood for other Korean actors to follow.” Well, that’s not exactly what happened, and most Americans wouldn’t see her again until 2021, when Gianna returned to the international stage with a far more successful blockbuster, Kingdom: Ashin of the North.
Music Selection: “Dear Rose,” Oh My Girl