Wednesday’s Link Attack: Details Emerge in Australia Murder; Multicultural Education in Seoul; Korean Street Food
Author: Young Rae Kim
Posted: November 27th, 2013
Filed Under: BLOG
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China’s Airspace Claim Inflames Ties to South Korea, Too
New York Times

South Korea’s foreign minister warned on Wednesday that China’s recent attempt to police the sky over a vast area in the East China Sea was worsening tensions in a region already strained by territorial disputes.

China’s so-called air defense identification zone covered not only a group of islands that both Japan and China claim but also a submerged rock that both China and South Korea want to control.

The dispute over the submerged rock has never been as fierce as China’s dispute over the islands with Japan, but the new air patrol zone drew strong protests from South Korea, threatening to heighten tensions with Beijing. Seoul said it would not recognize the Chinese zone and would maintain its jurisdictional right to waters around the rock, which is called Ieodo in Korea and Suyan Rock in China.

Brisbane teen ‘looking for thrill kill’
9 News (Australia)

The teen accused of fatally bashing a South Korean student in a Brisbane park had fantasised about murder since he was a child, police will allege.

Detectives believe Alex Reuben McEwan, 19, was hunting for a random victim when he attacked 22-year-old Eunji Ban in an inner-city park as she walked to work as a hotel cleaner in the early hours of Sunday morning, the Courier-Mail reports.

McEwan, an apprentice spray painter, was arrested late on Monday after a tip-off to police.

He was allegedly wearing a fresh plaster cast for a broken hand he sustained in the attack.

Culturally mixed, united in learning
Korea Times

A fourth grader, Kaya, didn’t have a care in the world while playing soccer with friends after classes Tuesday on the grounds of Seoul Itaewon Elementary School.

Merrily and slightly roughly, Kaya and fellow fourth graders were kicking, running and scoring goals, shouting out mostly in Korean but with a mix of English

Kaya, who would only give his first name, was born to an Indian father and a Korean mother.

Tokyo, Seoul clash over artifacts taken to Japan during colonial period
South China Morning Post

There is growing anger in South Korea over an exhibition of ancient Korean artefacts that are on loan from a museum in Tokyo, with a Japanese legal expert warning that “emotional” demands by the media are likely to strain ties that are already at breaking point.

“Both countries have ratified the conventions that cover these artefacts so the situation seems to be more legal than nationalistic, but the South Korean media is becoming more and more emotional and that is certain to accelerate the nationalistic tendencies,” said Toshiyuki Kono, a professor in the faculty of law at Kyushu University and an expert in the trade of ancient artefacts.

Under the headline “Stolen national treasures come home for 90 days”, The JoongAng Daily on November 21 said visitors to an exhibition of treasures from the Gaya period at the Yangsan Museum, in South Gyeongsang province, were “stunned” that the items were only on loan from the Tokyo National Museum.

College-bound graduate seeks help for buying an assistance van
The Issaquah Press (Washington)

Local volunteers hope to make a college transition easy for one student.

Jae Kim graduated from Issaquah High School this year and is excited about starting Bellevue College in January. She has cerebral palsy, and while Issaquah High School provided assistance in transportation, she will need to find her own way to future education.

In response, a group of local residents have started a campaign to raise $50,000 to buy Kim and her family a gently used van, complete with lift assistance. They hope to find help from the community to take this large worry off Kim’s entry into college.

Kangta to represent ‘voice’ of Korea
Korea Times

Kangta, a former member of Korean boy band H.O.T., will attend the “Voice of World” concert as a representative of Korea.

The world-wide event, organized by China’s Zhejiang TV, has invited judges and contenders of a survival audition program “The Voice,” whose regional editions have been aired throughout countries like the U.S., U.K., Germany, China as well as Korea.

Kang, 34, a former judge of the first and second season of “Voice of Korea,” will attend the special event with his mentee and second season winner Lee Ye-jun, to be held on Saturday at the Wukesong stadium in Beijing, China.

MUSIC VIDEO: Never Shout Never Ft. Dia Frampton – “Under The Mistletoe”
Under the Gun Review

Earlier today, Never Shout Never partnered up with Alternative Press to release a music video for “Under The Mistletoe,” which is the first single off their brand new EP, titled The Xmas EP. You can view it for yourself by following the jump.

Throughout the tender tune, Dia Frampton aids frontman Christofer Drew on vocals, resulting in a warm, easy-to-listen-to arrangement that even goes so far as to rival more established holiday carols. In addition to “Under The Mistletoe,” this EP also features three classic Christmas sing-alongs to put you in the holiday spirit.

South Korean Web Giant Naver to Support Indie Cinema
Hollywood Reporter

South Korea’s biggest online search engine Naver has signed a pact with the Association of Korean Independent Film & Video (KIFV) to promote local independent films, the partners announced Wednesday.

The memorandum of understanding (MOU) covers online services, as well as offline events, such as local independent film festivals.

The two parties will in January launch what they called an “online theater” for screening indie films. They will also create a database for independent filmmakers and actors. They will also co-sponsor local genre events, including the Seoul Independent Film Festival that kicks off Thursday, and the Seoul Independent Documentary Film & Video Festival that will take place in March. Films featured in the festival will be shown on Naver.

Asia TV Success Stories: Korean Dramas, Asian Animation
Variety

Aside from Hong Kong’s kung fu movies, Korean dramas and Asian animation are the two genres of local content that have the most success crossing borders within Asia.

Long-running Korean series play everywhere from Mongolia to the Middle East, Eastern Europe to Mexico, which otherwise have little connection with Korean culture. Japanese newspaper Nihon Keizai Shimbun recently reported that all four terrestrial and six satellite channels in Japan were airing Korean drama, amounting to more than 93 hours of Korean content per week.

MBC’s historical medical drama “Jewel in the Palace” this year celebrates its 10th anniversary, a decade in which South Korean TV drama exports have climbed in value from just $8 million in 2001 to $155 million in 2011, the latest data available. Most are sold as completed shows, but others have been sold as formats.

‘Oldboy’ movie review: Spike Lee’s remake of a 2003 Korean cult film makes some fixes
Washington Post

There’s a nice Hitchcockian quality to the new “Oldboy,” Spike Lee’s remake of Korean director Park Chan-wook’s cult film of revenge and regret. Which is kind of weird, considering that the source material is not Hitchcockian in the least.

It’s a strange, yet not entirely unsatisfying, fit. In trying to adapt the source material — not just the 2003 film, but the late 1990s Japanese manga series on which it was based — Lee and writer Mark Protosevich (“The Cell”) have jettisoned some details while significantly reshaping others, all the while keeping the essential outlines of the baroque and quite frankly bizarre tale of punishment and redemption intact.

“Oldboy” is grand opera shoved into the shoebox of a murder mystery.

As in the original, Lee’s “Oldboy” revolves around a man (Josh Brolin, here given the Everyman moniker of Joe) who wakes up after a bender to find that he’s been imprisoned in what seems to be a seedy, windowless hotel room where he’s fed, through a hole in the locked door, the same carryout Chinese dumplings every day for the next 20 years. (In the manga, it was 10 years; in the first film, 15. I guess that’s inflation for you.)

More Details on Han Ye Seul and Teddy’s Relationship in Woman Sense Magazine
soompi

The December 2013 issue of women’s magazine Woman Sense revealed further details behind actress Han Ye Seul and YG Entertainment hip hop producer Teddy Park’s relationship. The article contains information from multiple unnamed sources close to the couple. The reporter stated that the magazine spent two months covering the story in order to verify the couple’s relationship, which was ascertained through various channels.

The two met through a mutual acquaintance at the beginning of this year, and became a couple after May. Han Ye Seul and Teddy share something in common; both grew up in the US (California). A source close to the couple stated, “Teddy and Han Ye Seul are serious about one another. Both are working in different fields, and naturally that led to curiosity about each other’s work. Furthermore, they share similar feelings having lived overseas for a long time.”

Han Ye Seul has been on hiatus from entertainment activities for a while, but Teddy’s been actively producing for 2NE1 and G-Dragon, so their dates are usually early in the morning to fit Teddy’s schedule. Another close source explained, “Teddy usually starts working late at night. He works on songs almost every day as he produces most of YG artist’s songs. He goes on dates with Han Ye Seul after he finishes work early in the morning.”

LPGA’s Koreans Make Statement With Golf, English
AP via ABC News

This kind of conversation was rare five years ago on the LPGA Tour. For starters, it involved Vin Scully.

So Yeon Ryu was chatting on the putting green when the topic of her name came up. The LPGA makes sure everyone pronounces it correctly as “Yoo.” So why is it that Scully referred to rookie left-hander Hyun-Jin Ryu as “REE-yoo?”

“Oh, the Dodgers’ pitcher? He’s a really good guy,” she said. “Maybe that can be a nickname for him.”

Fresh from the street
Korea Times US

One of Seoul’s biggest attractions as a food destination is that its culinary offerings are not confined to restaurants. An amazing variety of food is available at the food carts and trucks that are a common sight along the streets of leisure and business districts, providing pleasure and refuge for the city’s famously overworked citizens.

It could be said that the city’s street-food culture was more vibrant from the 1960s to the early 1990s. But vendors now struggle to compete with franchised fast-food chains, the dull but relentless juggernauts that now dominate the inexpensive eating industry.

Rain to Join Bruce Willis, John Cusack in Upcoming Thriller
Author: James S. Kim
Posted: November 26th, 2013
Filed Under: BLOG
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Rain is back in Hollywood. No, not the one that brings traffic to a standstill, but rather the hearts of countless girls as a K-pop icon.

In his first project since being discharged from mandatory military service in South Korea, Rain, whose real name is Jung Ji-hoon, will be starring alongside Bruce Willis in Brian A. Miller’s The Prince. The K-pop megastar is no stranger to action thrillers, as he made his silver screen debut in Speed Racer, then garnered a lead role in Ninja Assassin. He also acted in R2B: Return to Base, a Korean action drama.

Rain will be joining other notable cast members, including John Cusack, Jason Patric, rapper Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson and Jonathan Schaech. The Hollywood Reporter said production will begin after Thanksgiving in Alabama, and the movie is being co-produced and financed by Union Investment Partners, a Korea-based company. Continue Reading »

Friday’s Link Attack: NKorea’s Latest Prisoner; Why John Cho is Awesome; 2NE1′s CL Appears Nude in Video
Author: Young Rae Kim
Posted: November 22nd, 2013
Filed Under: BLOG
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Is American man said detained in North Korea a bargaining chip?
CNN

It was supposed to be the trip of a lifetime for Merrill Newman, a Korean War veteran who had long wanted to go to North Korea.

It ended, according to his family, with the detention of Newman, 85, when he was pulled off a plane at Pyongyang’s Sunan International Airport five minutes before it was to depart.

Newman, of Palo Alto, California, has not been seen nor heard from since October 26, the day he and a traveling companion wrapped up a 10-day organized tour of North Korea, his son, Jeff Newman, told CNN.

Suicide rates are falling almost everywhere in the developed world but South Korea
Quartz

Last month, the South Korean government released some encouraging news. For the first time in six years, suicide rates had fallen in the country that’s long been known as the suicide capital of the developed world. There were 28 self-inflicted deaths per 100,000 people in 2012, an 11% decline from the year before.
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Still, that’s the highest rate of any developed country and more than twice that of the US or the average of the 34 OECD countries. What’s more, a new report this week from the OECD paints a bleaker picture. Over the past two decades South Korea’s suicide rate, while experiencing occasional dips, has trended upwards. Meanwhile, most developed countries are seeing their rates fall.

Two U.S. soldiers killed during military drill
Yonhap News

A U.S. army vehicle fell into a river in northern South Korea during military training, killing two American soldiers, military and police officials said Friday.

Soldiers in a U.S. Army Humvee were taking part in a brigade field training exercise in the vicinity of the Rodriguez Live Fire Complex and fell into the Hantan River in Yeoncheon, Gyeonggi Province, on Thursday, the U.S. Forces Korea said.

Dining With Dear Leader
Slate

The restaurant’s fluorescent lights dim and give way to multicolored spots as an upbeat synthesized tune begins to play. Three waitresses—nearly identical with their red aprons, pale smiling faces, and jet black hair—rush onto the small stage, each clutching a microphone and dancing in unison as they sing the North Korean classic “Pan Gap Sumnida” (“Nice to Meet You”) while scenes from their homeland flash on a television behind them.

This is Phnom Penh’s Pyongyang Restaurant, part of a pan-Asian chain established in the 1990s that now has about 100 branches scattered across China, Indonesia, Russia, Myanmar, Thailand, and Nepal. Despite functioning like regular—if kitschy—restaurants, they are believed to be a part of Bureau 39, a secretive arm of the Korean Workers’ Party that acquires and launders foreign currency for the cash-strapped Hermit Kingdom through ventures as diverse as agricultural exports, arms sales, and methamphetamine production.

Korea Succeeds in 3D Printer-enabled Face Transplant
KBS

Korean doctors and researchers have successfully used an artificial object made with a 3D printer for a face transplant.

Doctors Lee Jong-won and Kim Seong-won at Seoul St. Mary’s Hospital and Professor Jo Dong-woo at Pohang University of Science and Technology say they developed a support structure for the respiratory tract using 3D print technology. The transplant was made on a six-year-old boy from Mongolia with a face deformity.

South Korea Expected to Buy Lockheed Fighter Jets
New York Times

South Korea announced revised requirements Friday for a new generation of fighter jets it plans to buy, effectively leaving Lockheed Martin’s F-35A stealth jet as the only viable bidder for the country’s largest-ever arms acquisition program.

South Korea will buy 40 “high-capability stealth fighter jets” from 2018 to 2024 to increase its air force’s ability to penetrate the air defense of North Korea and strike its nuclear and missile facilities, the Defense Ministry said in a statement following a meeting of its Joint Chiefs of Staff.

’48 Hours’ to tackle death of Juliana Redding with Times reporter
Los Angeles Times

The brutal killing of aspiring Hollywood actress Juliana Redding will be the focus of Saturday night’s episode of “48 Hours.” And the CBS News production will get a special assist from L.A. Times reporter Jack Leonard.

Leonard reported on the 2008 slaying and the subsequent trial of Kelly Soo Park in the Times.

Park was accused of murdering Redding on behalf of Redding’s ex-boyfriend, a wealthy Marina Del Rey surgeon who is believed to have fled the country when Park was arrested in 2010. Park was acquitted by a jury in June.

5 Reasons ‘Sleepy Hollow’ Star John Cho is Awesome
Hollywoood.com

Most recently, he’s lit up our screens as the tortured and surprisingly good-natured demon servant Andy Brooks on this season’s freshman hit Sleepy Hollow, and we’ve also enjoyed his performances in the two Star Trek reboots, the ever-hilarious Harold and Kumar trilogy, and on the small screen in Go On and FlashForward.

5. His undead-servant-of-Moloch character on Sleepy Hollow is already a fan favorite, and for good reason. Who else could be so likable for someone with such murky intentions? When he griped about helping a centuries-old flayed witch dig up her bones (that’s pretty much Sleepy Hollow in a nutshell, by the way) in the episode “Blood Moon” it was one of the best moments on the show so far.

CL Appears Nude in 2NE1′s New Music Video
Chosun Ilbo

The music video for girl group 2NE1’s new song “Missing You” has been generating much buzz since it was released Wednesday due to CL’s brief nude scene.

In the video, which depicts the sadness of longing for a past lover, CL appears without clothes for about 10 seconds. She is one of the four members of the group.

S. Korean pitcher signs record-high contract with Japan team
Global Post

Relief pitcher Oh Seung-hwan of the Samsung Lions decided to move to Japan’s Hanshin Tigers on a record-breaking, first-term contract, his agency said Friday.

The 31-year-old signed on for two years with the Nippon Professional Baseball team for 300 million Japanese yen (US$2.9 million) a year with a signing bonus of 200 million yen. With 50 million yen in annual incentives, Oh can receive up to 900 million yen from the Hanshin Tigers. The amount is the highest among his three predecessors including Lee Seung-yeop in 2004, Kim Tae-kyun in 2009 and Lee Dae-ho in 2011.

Actress Lee Young-ae hosts Korean food dinner with foreign diplomats
Yonhap News

South Korean actress Lee Young-ae, who is also popular in other Asian countries for her lead role in the smash-hit epic series “Daejanggeum,” threw a traditional Korean food dinner for foreign diplomats in Seoul, a local TV network said Friday.

The event was taped Wednesday for “Lee Young-ae’s Dinner,” a SBS documentary hosted by the actress and set to air on New Year’s Day on the lunar calendar, SBS said.

Wednesday’s Link Attack: Koreans ‘Hot Shots’ in Auto Design; Top Chef’s Brian Huskey; Are Asian Men Undateable?
Author: Young Rae Kim
Posted: November 20th, 2013
Filed Under: BLOG
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Kim Jong-un ordered propaganda war against Park gov’t: official
Yonhap News via Korea Herald

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un was found to have ordered an intensified propaganda war against the Park Geun-hye administration last month in a possible policy shift, a South Korean government official said Wednesday.

The official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said South Korean authorities picked up intelligence that Kim ordered Kim Yang-gon, the head of United Front Department of the ruling Workers’ Party of Korea, to lash out at Park and her government.

The United Front and its head is in charge of inter-Korean relations and exercises power over the North’s spy agency.

Fisherman’s return stirs mixed emotions in Korean village
Reuters

The recent return of a South Korean fisherman abducted by North Korea more than 40 years ago has reopened wounds in a small island village that lost 17 other men in a Cold War conflict that still simmers today.

Jeon Wook-pyo, who reappeared in South Korea in September after escaping from the North through China, has since paid a brief visit to Nongso – a remote outpost of around 170 people on the southern island of Geoje, about five hours drive from Seoul – but he won’t be settling back there.

“It wasn’t a nice feeling that he reminded me of my husband. There was nothing to feel good about,” said 82-year-old Ok Chul-soon, whose husband skippered one of two fishing boats that were seized with all hands, including Jeon, by North Korean patrol boats near disputed waters in December 1972.

She acknowledged Jeon’s return was welcome, but said she was too upset to stay throughout his visit, adding they would meet privately at some time so she could ask for news of her husband.

Reports: South Korean Arrested in Pyongyang a Christian Missionary
Voice of America

Media reports say a South Korean man arrested this month in Pyongyang is a Christian missionary, who was working there to help North Korean refugees.

The Wednesday reports, by the French news agency and South Korea’s Dong-A Ilbo, identified the man as 50-year-old Kim Jeong-Wook.

His family and other Christian activists told the news outlets that Kim had been helping North Koreans who escaped their homeland to China for years.

They say Kim was arrested after traveling to Pyongyang to check on the wellbeing of several refugees who had been repatriated by Beijing.

78% of Koreans Support Reunification
Chosun Ilbo

Seventy-eight percent of Koreans now support reunification of the peninsula, according to a survey released by the Hyundai Research Institute on Tuesday.

But the younger people are, the less urgent they believe reunification to be. Support was at only 66.8 percent among those in their 20s, 74.9 percent among those in their 30s, 84.6 percent among those in their 40s, and 84.2 percent among the over-50s.

Among academics and other experts, support is almost unanimous with 98.1 percent.

The divide becomes clearer in answer to the more specific question whether reunification would be in the national interest. Some 67 percent of the general public said yes compared to 98.1 percent of experts.

Most believe it will take more than a decade, with 55.4 percent of the general public and 68.6 percent of experts, followed by six to 10 years.

5 men extradited to U.S. in North Korean meth case
CNN

U.S. drug agents in Thailand took custody of five men wanted in the United States on allegations of being part of a drug ring that sought to traffic in North Korean methamphetamine and other drugs, CNN has learned.

The men, who have British, Filipino, Taiwanese and Slovak citizenship, were being flown to New York to face charges, according to a source.

Thai authorities announced the arrests after the men were turned over to U.S. authorities. A U.S. law enforcement official said the charges would be made public soon.

The men are part of a broader investigation that federal prosecutors made public in September, filing charges against a group of former U.S. and European ex-military men in a murder-for-hire and drug-importation plot.

Washington urged to block expulsion of Korean-American
Yonhap News

Local civic groups called on the United States Wednesday to take action to protect an American businessman of Korean descent from being deported from South Korea after serving a prison term here for pro-North Korea espionage charges.

Michael Chang, whose Korean name is Chang Min-ho, recently finished serving a seven-year jail term in South Korea for gathering classified information and engaging in pro-North Korean propaganda activities in violation of the anti-Communist National Security Law.

However, he is currently being kept at the Cheongju Immigration Processing Center until he can be ejected from South Korea after the Justice Ministry ordered him to leave the country.

“The U.S. government has shown no position on Chang while making special efforts to secure the freedom of Kenneth Bae, a Korean-American who is in a North Korean jail,” said an alliance of South Korean civic and human rights groups working to win the release of conscientious prisoners in a statement.

Insight: Work ethic, comic hero make Koreans hot shots in car design
Reuters

In today’s auto industry, where famed Japanese quality and durability are increasingly a given, design is king and, among designers, South Koreans are hot property.

From General Motors’ bold Chevrolet Camaro to the quintessential British gentlemen’s Bentley, more top models carry the flair and signature of a group of designers from South Korea, which some have dubbed “Asia’s Italy” for its impact on car design, fashion and aesthetics.

As competition in the industry becomes ever more cut-throat, partly as gaps in quality and technology narrow, automakers need bolder, edgier designs to differentiate. From a global talent pool, South Koreans stand out.

Hyundai will sell a hydrogen fuel cell SUV in 2014, 300-mile range expected
Extreme Tech

Hydrogen, not Botox or movie openings, is the talk of LA this week. Hyundai says it will begin selling a hydrogen-powered Tucson compact SUV in 2014. It’s one of several auto show announcements this week in Los Angeles and Tokyo about hydrogen fuel cell vehicles being readied for production. Hyundai says this will be the first mass-market hydrogen vehicle available in the US.

The hydrogen Hyundai Tucson is one of the highlights of the 2013 Los Angeles International Show, with press days Wednesday and Thursday. Hyundai sees a big future for hydrogen-powered vehicles because volume production might push down the cost of hydrogen fuel technology down faster than with the lithium-ion battery technology necessary for EVs and plug-in hybrids.

Is he the next Top Chef winner?
Korea Times US

Will another Korean come away with the title of Top Chef? Stay tuned.

On the heels of Korean American chef Kristen Kish, who won last year’s aforementioned reality TV competition crowning the best chef in America, another Korean chef is among the 19 contestants vying for this year’s title.

Making Season 11 of Top Chef all the more intriguing is L.A.’s own Brian Huskey. The 32-year old Research & Development chef for critically acclaimed restaurants Paiche, Picca, and Mo-chica, also happens to be the oldest son of a well-known real-estate mogul in the Korean community – Han Huskey and his wife Sookie.

Ailee’s Popularity Rises Following Nude Photo Scandal
PopDust

Multiple K-pop stars over the past year have received considerable backlash from fans and the public for offences as small as not smiling on stage or misusing a word in an interview, but Ailee –who recently had a batch of nude photos leak online– appears to be benefiting from her scandal.

Since the photos hit the web, Ailee’s surged ahead in the fan-voted polls for the 2013 MAMA Awards. She’s now ranking first for Best Female Artist, surpassing Lee Hyori who was previously leading, as well as first in the Best Female Vocal Performance category, beating out last week’s leader, IU.

While it’s obvious that Ailee’s scandal has given her the extra votes to surpass formidable competition like Hyori and IU, you can’t say that she doesn’t deserve to be where she is. Her last two pop singles, “I’ll Show You” and “U&I,” were both huge hits, and she’s also featured on the third most successful single of the year, Baechigi’s “Shower of Tears.”

Spike Lee on “re-interpreting” South Korean action thriller “Oldboy”
CBS News

Veteran director Spike Lee is packing in the action with his latest film, “Oldboy.”

The new mystery thriller is based off of the 2003 South Korean classic of the same name from Chan-wook Park. The original was noted for its brutal fight scenes and fierce depiction of violence, much of which was kept in tact for Lee’s adaptation.

While the plot details between the two films are fairly similar, the 56-year-old director recently told CBSNews.com that he doesn’t want audiences to see his latest work as just another retread.

“We’re not really calling it a remake, we’re calling it a re-interpretation,” Lee said.

The latest “Oldboy” stars Josh Brolin as Joe Doucette, an alcoholic businessman who gets kidnapped and cryptically held in solitary confinement for two decades. Doucette is suddenly released by his unknown captors and soon must find out who was behind the plot in order to save his daughter.

‘Oldboy’ Reimagines a Korean Tale of Revenge
New York Times

“Rage doesn’t have to fester for years, but revenge?” the director Spike Lee said, as he rapidly autographed 50 movie posters in a downtown Manhattan hotel suite. “That stuff takes time. It’s the oldest staple of films, in stories. It goes back to the Bible.”

In Mr. Lee’s new film, “Oldboy,”Josh Brolin plays Joe Doucett, an alcoholic ad man and negligent father who is imprisoned in a small, mysterious room for 20 years for no evident reason. Believing that he was framed for his wife’s murder, and that his daughter was abducted, Joe’s rage ferments until it is distilled into pure blood lust.

When Joe is finally uncorked from captivity, he is so monomaniacally bent on vengeance that his unnamed city itself seems to bend to his will. In one shot, Joe, wearing a grim black suit and a murderous scowl, literally glides through city streets, which scroll beneath him like moving sidewalks. He seems propelled toward his revenge, as if pulled by some unseen force.

WATCH PRISCILLA AHN’S VIDEO FOR “LEAVE IT OPEN”
Noisey.com

Georgia-born singer, Priscilla Ahn, first made waves back in 2008 with “Dream,” a mellow, softly sung acoustic ditty with the clarity of tone and mainstream appeal of Norah Jones (in fact, they shared the same label), and a simple, black and white video that’s been viewed over seven million times. In the interim since then, the 29-year-old singer has released three full length records, but to be frank, this is the first track that’s really made us sit up and pay attention, and it seems Dave Sitek—who released “Leave It Open” on his Federal Prison imprint—is similarly enamored.

It’s easy to hear why. On “Leave It Open” Priscilla trades her trad, stripped blueprint for Casio beats and chillwave synths, with her airy vocals floating and falling in daydreamy echoes. It’s the kind of song best listened to sun-drunk and flat on your back, while reality slips away over the horizon. Meanwhile, the video—premiered above—raises several pertinent questions such as:

Jeremy Lin, Again
Grantland

On Thursday night, Jeremy Lin stood in the visitor’s locker room of a familiar building surrounded by a throng of New York City reporters whom he must have vaguely recognized. The reporters asked Lin how it felt being back in the city and all the usual revenge-narrative questions, and Lin did what Lin always does — he was polite and noncommittal and thanked everyone and talked about how he was happy that the Rockets had beaten the Knicks. Patrick Beverley, who now starts ahead of Lin as Houston’s point guard, sat across the way, a towel draped over his lap. He seemed amused by the whole spectacle, although not in any malicious or snarky way. “I’m just glad I don’t have a locker anywhere near his,” he said. When Chandler Parsons came out of the shower, he corralled a Rockets team employee. “You gotta help me out,” Parsons said. The team employee gathered up all the bass in his voice and began edging his way through the mass of bodies and recorders and cameras to Parson’s locker, adjacent to Lin’s.

The scene, while lively, almost felt like a chore for the gathered press. Jeremy Lin’s return to Madison Square Garden is still a story, albeit one with diminishing returns. On Thursday night, even the fans couldn’t muster up too much enthusiasm for Lin’s return. There were a few boos when he went to the foul line or checked in at the scorer’s table and certainly more Asian dudes than one would usually find at Madison Square Garden in mid-November.

Hyun-Jin Ryu Bobbleheads Are Coming
Korea Times US

Wednesday, May 28, 2014 vs. the Cincinnati Reds.

Mark your calendar: Ryu Hyun-jin bobbleheads are coming to Dodger Stadium.

The Los Angeles Dodgers have handed out 10 bobblehead dolls in each of the last two seasons. They are always the best attended giveaway nights, to a point where the Dodgers build ticket packages built around them.

Lydia Ko reunited with Michelle Wie for pro debut
TVNZ

Lydia Ko has been paired with American Michelle Wie for her first venture into the professional golfing ranks tomorrow.

The duo are well aquainted with one another from their time competing among the amateur ranks, with Wie today taking to Twitter to voice her excitement at the news of their pairing.

“Excited to play with @Lko424 at her first tournament as a pro! #ifeelold,” Wie said.

As a former teenage sensation, Wie enjoyed a similar path to success as Ko, before turning pro shortly before her 16th birthday in 2005.

Are Asian Men Undateable?
PolicyMic

The online dating website “Are You Interested” recently surveyed more than 2.4 million interactions on its site and confirmed what many of us suspect: America loves Asian women.

In fact, Asian female users are more likely to get messages, including inappropriate ones, from male users of any race other than Asian. This trend, popularly dubbed “yellow fever,” is not a new phenomenon, springing instead from an attraction to what some observers say is the exotic appeal of Asian women, and a self-indulging fantasy of being with women who are seen as docile and submissive.

While Asian women seem to be in high demand, Asian men do not. Asian female and non-Asian male pairings are seen to be common, but Asian men are often left out of the discussion over interracial relationships entirely. As one of my black female friends put it, “Asian men, along with black women, are probably the least desirable people.”

Deflecting An Asteroid, With Paintballs
WNPR

When you think about ways to deflect an asteroid, your mind probably immediately jumps to heavy artillery. Things like lasers. Or Bruce Willis-style nuclear bombs. But Sung Wook Paek is working on a much lower-key approach to preventing Armageddon: paintballs.

Paek, a graduate student at MIT, one day found himself riding a bike and thinking about how we could deflect an asteroid hurtling toward earth. He said cherry blossoms were in bloom on MIT’s campus, and he was navigating across a path littered with little balls of fruit.

“Whenever I rode my bicycle on [the fruit], it popped up and made my bicycle tire dirty,” Peak said. Then the idea hit him: exploding balls of color — probably not the first thing that pops into your mind when you think about diverting a planet-destroying asteroid, but Paek’s idea is brilliant in its simplicity.

November Issue: Korean French Actress Pom Klementieff Makes US Debut in ‘Oldboy’ Remake
Author: Steve Han
Posted: November 20th, 2013
Filed Under: Back Issues , BLOG , November 2013
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Photo by Gillestoucas.com.

Resilient

Korean French actress Pom Klementieff overcomes a brutal audition, as well as personal tragedy, to make her American film debut in Spike Lee’s remake of Oldboy.

by STEVE HAN

Spike Lee kept provoking Pom Klementieff. “I see in your resume that you did some boxing, but I just can’t see it,” he would say, seemingly displeased with her martial arts skills.

Klementieff was horrified. The Korean French actress, so eager to work with the man responsible for movies like Do The Right Thing (1989) and Inside Man (2006), had prepared for two months with a stuntman in Paris. Now, called back for a second audition in front of Lee himself, her chance to star in the Hollywood remake of Oldboy appeared to be dwindling.

He asked her bluntly, “Do you want the part?”

“Of course,” Klementieff replied.

Hunching forward on the edge of his chair, Lee told her, “Then show me.” Continue Reading »

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