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Film

More Korean

More Korean Netflix Series

by Barry Normal

Two more series I can recommend having thoroughly enjoyed them:

Diary Of A Prosecutor

South Koreans do psychopaths really well and there is a great one in this series who is a successful Seoul prosecutor who steps on the wrong toes and gets sent to a provincial city. Slight spoiler alert is usually the psychopaths turn out to have a good heart; they just got messed up early or are ambitiously doing what you just have to do! Although sometimes they are just plain old evil!!

What happens with a lot of South Korean Netflix series is they start really well and then become very, very, slow. Probably because they have to fill 16 episodes. The shortist I’ve seen is 12 and the longest 20.

But the Diary Of A Prosecutor is a bit like a Perry Mason without the murders with a different case or continuation of a case each episode, and the characters are really well drawn; a commonality in South Korean drama. This one did not get slow for me.

I really like the humility of their series. They are about regular people doing regular jobs dealing with everyday issues and they bring out the dignity and meaning in everyday lives.

Misaeng – Incomplete Life

When this started it reminded me of one of those Russian art house films where nothing much happens. It has that kind of downbeat feeling to it, but things begin happening soon.

It is about a big South Korean international trading company and one of the teams. Against the bosses wishes they have to take on this kid in his 20s who doesn’t have a university degree (point of contention for his peers). Turns out he was recommended by one of the big bosses who likes Go. He was a Go champion who quit. Things get interesting when he helps resolve difficult deals using his Go strategies.

This series is 20 episodes and I enjoyed unreservedly each one until the 20th! It suddenly turns into a Hollywood blockbuster. Weird is not the word. Out of context are words. But nevertheless a great watch and as usual excellent character portrayal and humility abounds. Real people in real life.

And something worth saying about both these is that Mrs. Normal liked them too and she won’t watch anything scary or with lots of killings in them.

One last thought: You can watch dubbed into English or most other languages, but I prefer the original Korean with English subtitles.

Categories
Film

Silence

The Fluency of Silence

The Fluency of Silence

I was on a Zoom call with some French friends the other day and mentioned coming across some Tweets (eXes?) about Keanu Reeves.

Immediately they said “Keanu? We call him “Canoo.”

Canoo? Whatever! But why Canoo Reeves? 

Well, this Tweet had quotes from Keanu and one of them really caught my fancy, the title of this blog, “The Fluency of Silence.” 

So in the interest of weirdness, wisdom and what do we expect from the man who starred in the Matrix movies? Here they are, because they are not so weird and in the opinion of yours truly, quite wise:

“If you’re too tired to speak, sit next to me, because I too, am fluent in silence.”

“I dream of a day where I walk down the street & hear people talk about morality, sustainability & philosophy instead of the Kardashians.”

“Sometimes we get so caught up in our daily lives that we forget to take the time out to enjoy the beauty in life. It’s like we’re zombies. Look up and take your headphones out. Say ‘Hi’ to someone you see and maybe give a hug to someone who looks like they’re hurting.”

“Someone told me the other day that he felt bad for single people because they are lonely…I said that’s not true I’m single & I don’t feel lonely. I take myself out to eat. Once you know how to take care of yourself company becomes an option and not a necessity.”

“I don’t understand why people get mad when they get rejected by somebody or something. They have done you a favor by not wasting your time and playing with you.”

“Money doesn’t mean anything to me. I’ve made a lot of money, but I want to enjoy life and not stress myself building my bank account…I give lots away and live simply, mostly out of a suitcase in hotels. We all know that good health is much more important.”

Amen to that! Join one of our keep fit classes – online or live!!

Categories
Film

Korean

South Korean Netflix

by Film and TV Critic Barry Normal

Certain employees of Healthy Generations already have a medium to serious addiction to South Korean Netflix series and I am here tonight to tell you about two of these productions: One a series and the other a film; I give 5 stars to each.

It began with CEO Crockett’s friend Stephan the German who lives in a small town on the Provencal coast just outside Marseille, La Ciotat: the town where the movies began with the Lumiere brothers. Click here to see their very first movie of a train arriving at La Ciotat station in 1896. What better person than Stephan to start a celluloid addiction?

The Extraordinary Attorney Woo is a 12 part series about an autistic girl, top of her year at law college who can’t get a job because of her condition until one of the two top law companies in Seoul decide to hire her for political reasons partly because of her ability to quote every statute on the South Korean law off by heart and partly because of her mysterious family origins. This series has one of the best endings I have ever seen, full of hope and satisfaction.

The film is Miss Granny and is about an old women who could always sing really well but whose life took a different and harder turn as a young woman. When old she gets the chance to follow her singing dreams with her grandson after visiting the Young Picture Shop to get her funerary picture taken. It is one of the funniest films I have seen in ages and the music is excellent.

You may have been put off South Korean programs after hearing about “Squid Game”. But the Attorney Woo and Miss Granny showcase a huge part of South Korea’s entertainment culture which is lighthearted, funny, poignant and an introduction into a completely different culture.

I like to listen to the original soundtrack with English subtitles but you can have a dubbed English version.

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Film

The Mule

The Mule

It is so unusual to see films about real people in real situations nowadays but “The Mule” is exactly that. Clint Eastwood stars as Earl Stone, a man who is ninety years old, broke, alone, and facing foreclosure of his business. His family have turned against him and when he turns up to his granddaughter’s engagement party he gets thrown out. A young Mexican/American overhears he has money problems, follows him outside and offers him a job that simply requires him to drive. Easy enough, but, unbeknownst to Earl, he’s just signed on as a drug courier for a Mexican cartel. 

If you like Clint Eastwood films this is a good one. You can get it for free if you are signed up for Amazon Prime or even getting a free one month. But beware! If you forget to end the trial after 30 days and you have watched a film they won’t refund.

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Film

Last Christmas

Last Christmas

I really enjoyed this film. It’s a sweet romcom with a cosmic twist and quite a few good jokes. If you didn’t see it yet highly recommended. You can watch for free on BBC iPLAYER until 25th January or thereabouts https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/m0012wqp/last-christmas

After 25th January and right now it is available on various platforms for £2.49.

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Film

Galaxy Quest

Galaxy Quest

If you like Star Trek you will enjoy this spoof comedy film. The cast of an old science fiction adventure series (very much like Star Trek) make their living at fan conventions and promotional appearances. The captain is approached by real aliens who have recreated the spaceship and machines from their television series “Galaxy Quest” and want the cast to help them because they are being pursued by the evil warlord Sarris. They think “Galaxy Quest” was all real.

What’s not to like? However if you never liked Star Trek – indeed avoid this movie. One-time avid Star Trek fanatic Lord Sprocket of Barnsbury commented, “I was utterly charmed by this film and would recommend it to any fellow Trekkie!”

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Film

Fancy a Film

Fancy a Film? for September

New blog series recommending films to watch. We are starting out with light stuff – no wars, shoot-em-ups or large-scale killings. This September we are going totally French with three films:

Funny comedy – “Le Placard” (The Closet)

Touching relationship – “My Afternoons With Margueritte”

A good story – “Moliere”

We are not doing any links because there are so many places you can watch and it depends who you are signed up with and if they have that particular film. If not, you can usually buy or rent often for less than a fiver.