Preface: 2015 K-Popcorn Book P2

Hello. This is Professor AKIA. Thinking about turning that into Doc AKIA.
But that is another matter.
In 2016, I was writing a review collection of 2015 Korean movies. However, life took hold and I had to give it up.Now in 2017, it has becomes somewhat of irrelevant.  So, I decided to just release what I had written up to that point on this blog. This is part 2.

Greetings. I am “Professor” AKIA.
Who am I?
Well…I’m not an actual “professor” but just a lowly blogger reviewing Korean movies at with that screen handle. In terms of my background, I’m a somewhat ageing native Korean male living in Seoul Korean now but I’ve spent quite some time in the states. I have always loved movies and storytelling from the earliest of my memories. And, during my childhood, the movies I saw were primarily from Hollywood since the movie industry in Korea was still in its infancy then. How far things have come! Considering the type of movies I was nurtured by, it would not be inaccurate to say I was a “Hollywood kid” and I’m in no way ashamed to call myself by that term. And I’m not alone in this. One clear trend of the 2015 in regards to Korean cinema is the rise of the Hollywood kids. They are those movie makers who grew up with Hollywood and are now desperately trying to grasp back to what they’ve seen and find something to actually say in their movies. This personal background leads me to view Korean movies in a unique “outsider” manner unlike many Korean critics who tend to be positively biased towards the industry. And I bring that view to this book.

This book is mostly a collection of my 2015 Korean movie reviews which I had previously published on my blog. I have re-edited them for the new format and grouped them to accompany new or existing editorials and think-pieces regarding specific themes and topics about Korean cinema and Korean society

as a whole. I also toss in some tidbits of random information here and there. This is NOT a consumer guide to what to watch. I do not expect most of you to go out and grab a copy of a movie based on my review scores. A lot of them wouldn’t be easy to find anyway. And to be frank, pound for pound, you’ll get more out of mainstream and mainstream-adjacent Hollywood movies on a pure enjoyment scale. Hollywood movies are still superior in terms of basic storytelling. They are the major league to our minor league. They are heavy weights to our middle weights. In many ways, Korean movies feel like the senior class of a good University theater program. We have learned a lot and have developed some not too shabby skills. However, we are still working on the internal and intangible soft-skills that are not easy to learn.

This is also not a book for those eclectic cinephiles who like the fancy foreign movies for the novelty factor of not being from Hollywood. I mostly deal with mainstream Korean movies which are like Hollywood movies but then are not. Considering the foreign eyes that I bump into over here in Korea, there is a definite niche market for that cinephile audience. However, that is not my target audience. My book is not just for the folks that are hardcore fans of Korea and Korean entertainment. Some know a lot about Korea and have watched a lot of what its cinema has to offer. Some have just seen the few eclectic Korean movies that end up washing up on their beaches. A lot of people have no idea what Korean cinema is. “Yes, there is Old boy (2003) and The Host (2006)!” But those are already over a decade old. So, this book is written on the assumption that you know very little about Korean cinema. In fact, knowing anything about Korea is not a prerequisite to reading this book. However, an enthusiasm about movies is recommended especially in the area of Hollywood movies from the 80s and 90s. I tend to use refer to movies from that period to describe the Korean movies I review.

I assume that the person reading this little book of mine actually put in a few cents so that I can feel some validation for my efforts. So, thank you. You’re making my day. So, Please enjoy this book and once again thanks for actually putting in a few cents in my little collection box so that I can delude myself that I’m not wasting my life. This is the awkward sarcasm I mentioned just a moment ago. Brace yourself. More to come.

Korean Movie References 
“Old boy” (2003)

“The Host” (2006)


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