Archive for October, 2008

1. 지금만나러갑니다  (いま, 會いにゆきます: Be With You, 2004) 
This movie would be the saddest movie that I’ve watched during my entire life. I can’t remember how much I cried watching this film. I believe this movie would be an excellent choice for a person who wants to cry.

2. 말할 수 없는 비밀 (不能說的秘密: Secret, 2007) 
This is the only sad Hong Kong film that I’ve watched. This movie was well made and it was able to break my old prejudices on Hong Kong films. The interesting part about this film is that the male main character is actually the director of the film. The piano battle within the film is fascinating enough to grab audience’s attention.

3. 태양의 노래 (タイヨウのうた: Midnight Sun, 2006)
This film has an interesting story plot and the original sound tracks are also good to listen to. The female actor of this film is an actual singer and her songs are extremely good. For a week after watching the film, I only listened to the song she sang in the film. It would be interesting to watch how the couples grow their relationships through music.

4. 세상의 중심에서 사랑을 외치다 (世界の中心で, 愛をさけぶ: Crying Out Love In The Center Of The World, 2004)
This movie is the most recent sad Japanese movie I watched. The film was actually published as a book first. Although the film is not the perfect representation of the book, the film is still sad enough to touch viewers’ minds. I was especially touched by the lines that the characters in the film said. My favorite line is, “I was always here, ever since you were born.”

5. 다만, 널 사랑하고 있어 (ただ、君を愛してる: Heavenly Forest, 2006)
Although this movie was sad, I thought it was weaker compared to the rest of the movies that I’ve stated above. However, the movie was able to grab my attention with interesting story plot and a huge irony. I’m pretty sure that no one would regret watching this film.

6. 눈물이 주룩주룩 (淚そうそう: Tears For You, 2006)
This movie was the very first sad Japanese movie I’ve watched. After watching this film, I got interested in Japanese films and started searching for some good sad movies. With beautiful story plot, this movie is one of the films that I would never forget.

My favorite scene (piano battle) from the movie, “Secret” :


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In the novel, Things Fall Apart, readers were able to discover the concept of diaspora frequently. Briefly, diaspora means a dispersion of people or a group from homogenious entity. The church was where we were able to see diaspora more easily; the dispersion of the Ibo people through the itroduction of Christianity was a fine example of what diaspora is.  At first the Ibo people resisted such change as an immoral betrayal; yet as the time progressed, more Ibo people found themselves under the control of white men and Christianity. I believe in a sense such change was negative, as the Ibo people lost their true identity and culture. More over, such change was never peaceful. As the Ibo people disperse like they are falling apart, I believe the title “Things Fall Apart” itself was meant to represent diaspora. 

Unlike the Ibo people, I, myself, is experiencing Korean American diaspora today.

The first example of my Korean American diaspora is from the school, Seoul International School. I am a Korean with a Korean passport; it is no doubt that I speak Korean as my main language. However, whenever I go to school, which is an international school, I have to use English. I also learn about western tradition, culture, and history from the school. Such continuous education of western knowledge is limitting my knowledge about Korean culture. I forgot how to write ‘hanja,’ traditional Korean characters; I even forgot some of the famouse hitorical figures of Korean history. Whenever I notice myself from not knowing certain parts of Korean history or culture, I feel like I am dispersed from the identity as a Korean. Such diaspora is experienced widely by international school students.

The second example of Korean American diaspora is the fast-food restaurant. Korean fast-food culture had been hugely influenced by the western culture. Pizza, hamburger, and other cheesy foods were never the type of food Koreans used to eat. Since when Koreans started eating bread from rice? Fast food industry had become a significant industry in Korea today that one can’t underestimate its emerging progress. Today’s Korean culture had changed a lot from eating plain rice to cheesy breads.

Korean Burger King

Korean Burger King - represents Korean fast-food culture

Last but not least, the third example of Korean American diaspora would be fashion. Traditional Koreans were ‘hanbok,’ not mini-skirts. Koreans’ way of dressing had been hugely influenced by the western culture. Today if we go around the streets, mini-skirts, ornated T-shirts, and etc are easily noticed as almost everyone wears such clothes. However, if we go back time, 99.9% of the Koreans would have been wearing hanbok. It is kind of interesting to see how influential western culture was as the whole concept of dressing had been changed. Here we recognized the dispersion of Koreans from traditional identity.

Hanbok had been transformed into mini-skirt (influence of the western culture)

Hanbok had been transformed into mini-skirt (influence of the western culture)

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The Second Coming

William Butler Yeats: “The Second Coming” (1921)

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the center cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand;
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out When a vast image out of Spiritus
Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.
The darkness drops again; but now I know
That twenty centuries
of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

The above poem by William Butler Yeats was written after the devastation of the First World War, when the Europeans were trying to recover from the damages by the war. Seemingly, the overall image of the poem relates to unbalance, chaos, and disorder. The following lines of the poem can easily prove such image produced by the poem: The ceremony of innocence is drowned; The best lack all conviction, while the worst; Are full of passionate intensity . Throughout the poem, Yeats mention the phrase ‘Things Fall Apart’ commonly. I believe such phrase mainly mean the overall devastation of the Europe after the World War I. More generally ‘Things Fall Apart’ would mean society breaking apart through disorder and chaos.

Interestingly the title of the poem is the ‘Second Coming.’ The phrase generally refers to the second coming of the Jesus, or the rebirth of Jesus as wha the Bible says. It is believed that the return of the Jesus would happen when the end of the World was about to come. Apparently, the Bible mentions that the Jesus returned to clear clamors of the world. The following site has much more specific details of Biblical references of the second coming: The Second Coming of Jesus Christ.


Second Coming of the Jesus

Second Coming of the Jesus

In the poem “Second Coming,” Yeats seem to have similar biblical reference of the second coming. In Yeat’s poem, the second coming happens when the end of Europe is about to occur. Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle, And what rough beast, its hour come round at last Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born? Although the above lines show image of the break and disorder as a beast, the idea of second coming occuring at the time of nightmare is very similar to the Biblical second coming. In the poem the nightmare would probably mean the devastation of Europe, which is like the end of Europe.
 In the novel, “Things Fall Apart,” by Chinua Achebe, similar kind of chaos occurs as the Nigerian society is about to fall apart by the arrival of the white men on the land. The Ibo people face religious and social chaos through the Europeans. In this case the “rough beat” that “slouches toward Bethlehem to be born” (reference from the poem “Second Coming”) would be the Europeans going to the Ibo town to create destruction and chaos.



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