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27 December 2003
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Korea Life Blog - Updated Non-update

My Christmas present to myself has been to take 4 days off from everything including going to the health club (I can almost see my stomach getting bigger as I sit here doing nothing), writing, and updating my blog (well, I guess this is technically an update). Check back soon, maybe tomorrow evening. I plan on going to Jongro in Seoul to watch the new Korean movie Silmido after reading this article in the Korea Herald:

Cinecore to screen Korean films with English subtitles

Foreigners residing in Korea who wanted to view Korean films had to wait for the release of a DVD with English subtitles. If an experiment by Cinecore theater and Seoul Selection bookstore is a success, they may no longer have to wait.

Cinecore theater plans to regularly screen Korean films with English subtitles to enable expatriates to enjoy them like Korean audiences do: on the big screen when they are released.

"Silmido," directed by Kang Woo-suk, will kick off the program tomorrow with one English-subtitled screening per day on weekends and holidays until Jan. 11. The screening time will be 4 p.m. on Sundays and holidays, and 6:30 p.m. on Saturdays and days immediately preceding holidays.

The theater is also currently in negotiations to bring "Maljukgeori Janhoksa," set for release on Jan. 16, and "Taegukki," set for release on Feb. 6, as the next titles to follow "Silmido."

In the past, Korean films such as "Oasis," "Wonderful Days" and "Untold Scandal" have screened with English subtitles, but this is the first time for a theater to commit to a long-term arrangement.

"Screening Korean films with English subtitles will not only be a good opportunity to introduce Korean culture to foreigners, but also a good chance to gauge the possibility of Korean films venturing overseas by getting an early response," said Hank Kim, owner of Seoul Selection bookstore, which specializes in introducing Korean culture to expatriates through books and multimedia products.

Cinecore theater is located near Jongno 3-ga Subway Station on Line No. 1, 3 or 5, exit No. 15.

This is why I read the newspaper everyday. I always wished they would and wondered why they didn't provide a venue to see new Korean movies with English subtitles. Because there is an extremely limited selection of DVDs at the rental shop in Nowhere-dong, I have seen very few Korean films. I could watch them more often at the DVD bangs, where I did see these three: Classic, The Way Home, And Stray Dog, but usually that's where I catch up on American movies that I missed in the theaters (not to mention I'm not always watching the screen). While I'm not sure exactly what this theater is like, I'm pretty excited. I hope they get a good turnout and continue to screen new titles. If you're reading this and your in Korea, be sure to check it out and show your support.

As for the film, Silmido, it has gotten mixed reviews. The Korea Herald has called it one of the best films of the year (although I'm not sure how much of a compliment this really is) This review in the Korea Times cuts that down a little. However, compared to most Korean movie reviews (I can't remember ever reading a positive one), the movie doesn't sound too bad and the plot is based on a very interesting true story. Click the link if you're curious. There's a little more information on this blog.

What was supposed to be a couple of sentences has now become an official blog update. And as an added bonus here is a picture of what Julie gave me for Christmas:

Ah, a nice striped sky-blue sweater and a bottle of Vaseline moisturizer, the perfect, well thought-out combination. Thanks, Julie, and I especially liked the other "gifts!" :D


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