Some Korean Movie Suggestions
[more movies added] So, we all are (correction, most are) awaiting for the new Korean for English speakers to arrive. I thought it might be nice for me to suggest some of my favorite Korean movies, and I believe most are available in Amazon. Movies are fun and also help you learn a language (once you can connect to it). I will try not to spoil these while trying to give a better description than google. ☺
택시운전사 (A Taxi Driver) - based on a true story, it speaks of the terrible incident in the city of 광주 (Gwangju). The government is seriously hiding something that no one knows, until a German reporter (sort of) befriends a taxi driver to find it out.
국제시장 (Ode to my Father) - After Douglas MacArthur's rescue at 흥남 (Hungnam), 덕수 (Duk-soo) gets in all sorts of mishaps while trying to find his sister and father, whom he lost during the rescue. It shows the true aspects of how Koreans struggled after the war.
써니 (Sunny) - It's the 1980's and a friendship has begun between seven teen girls. Vowing to keep in touch, they turn to their ways. The story is focused on 나미 (Nami) who discovers their terminally-ill ex-leader of the group, 써니. Her last wish is to see them all together again, and 나미 tries to find all of them. (Warning, there is a scene where the language is full of cussing, as they were having a competition)
해적 (Pirates) - The newly founded nation of 조선 (Joseon) has gotten a royal seal from the Emperor of Ming. Unfortunately, while transporting the royal seal via ocean, a whale swallows it. It is now up to the pirates, bandits, and mercenaries to find it, for the government is threatening to rid of their very existence.
명랑 (The Admiral) - Based on a true story. It's 1597, and 이순신 (Admiral Yi) is head of a tiny fleet of 12 warships. The enemy, the Japanese, are steadily approaching and if he fails to protect Korea, they will be doomed. It shows accurate portrayal of why Koreans despise most Japanese (please watch with an open mind).
엽기적인 그녀 (My Sassy Girl) - 겨누's (Gyeonu's) Life is not really all that great, until he meets a girl who is extremely sassy and, well, unpredictable. Their relationship at first is very strained, but they learn to love and respect each other in this hilarious movie.
임금님의 사건수첩 (The King's Case Note) - The king has gotten a new chronicler with many hidden talents. When there are rumors of the kingdom's future, it's up to the king and his faithful chronicler to find out what's true.
Please bear in mind these movies are not really meant for young children. I would rate all of them (except A Taxi Driver) as PG-13. A Taxi Driver, I would say, would be closer to R. I hope you enjoy these movies, and learn a little more about Koreans! Any comments or questions I'll happily try to reply. Have fun and take care! ☺
Caution! Watching Korean drama can be highly addictive. So, for those with difficulty controlling their compulsions, it might be wise to stick to movies as Toggitang suggests, and thus limit escape from reality to a couple of hours at a time. For those of you with a sharply honed sense of discipline, you might venture to Drama Fever https://www.dramafever.com/browse/genre/all/popular, or Viki https://www.viki.com/explore?country=korea&type=series
I feel I must repeat my warning,though. It is not uncommon for a person with serious will power issues to watch 8 or 9 episodes in a row, and suddenly come to realize the sun is already up again.
Both are free services if you want to put up with the ads, and offer very reasonable "ad-free" monthly rates. Viki has recently added a feature that really aids learning--subtitles in both Hangul and English on some of the episodes, with volunteers working madly to increase the total.
But don't say I didn't warn you.
What you said is the warning that needs to be told to everyone before beginning their venture into Korean dramas. Like even as a warning label before the episode like the do for shows like Cops or Untold Stories of the ER.
You start a show and tell yourself "I will only watch one episode for now and then go (do whatever it is you need to do)". But that is a lie cause once that episode is over you have to watch the next one cause the previous episode had a cliff hanger that you need resolved now. And it's just a vicious cycle of enjoyment. And then before you know it you are sucked in, 3 months have passed by and you have no idea how that happened, and your friends and family don't understand at all why you must watch them.
But that's okay cause there is a whole group of people you end up meeting who totally understand and approve of your fall into the dark depths of addiction to Korean dramas.
Now back to me watching My Sassy Girl.
Been watching Korean Dramas since Stairway to Heaven came out in 2003. Never lost the obsession and it's hopeless to try and stop now lol. It usually take 2-3 days to finish one, unless I really have nothing else to do and then can go through a 16-24 eps series in a little over one day.
i adore korean movies and series ... "General" is great. and yesterday i finished watching "Healer" - an awesome series
"Vicious cycle of enjoyment" perfectly captures the condition that often results from exposure to Korean serial dramas. As I poke at these keys, dialogue is emanating from the next room where my wife is reliving the 60-or-so episodes of https://www.viki.com/tv/651c-dong-yi for the 5th or 6th time.
Judging from many comments like the following, she is not alone--"Dong Yi will be forever my number one saeguk. Don't let the episodes number turn you off, it will keep you interested until the end and you ended up wishing there are more. All leads and supports are outstanding. Some scenes will keep you on the edge of your seat, good thing it's already finished so there's no dreaded waiting that comes with a new show. This drama has everything; action, political scheming, romance, comedy. I lost count how many time I rewatch this show over and over just because it's been my fav ever since I watched it the first time."
Dong-yi is on my watchlist. And has been for a while now. Because of its length I haven't started it yet cause I know that I will get sucked in and right now I don't really have the time available to do so. I also enjoy saeguk. They are a whole other level of addiction for me since historical costuming is why I chose the major I am in right now.
I don't know if you are old enough to have watched it on screen, but I remember I enjoyed the movie very much
The "Dong Yi" sets, costuming, and performances are truly amazing, well worth the 60+ hour investment of time. (My Lady might consider a rationing regimen to lend practicality to the endeavor.) I feel the historical dramas give great insight toward appreciating and understanding the Korean culture. Unfortunately, the kings throughout it's history have not been as magnanimous as King Sukjong, which may explain the current veneration of the North Koreans for their "Dear Leader.". He behaves much as kings have throughout history. (Israel, unfortunately has suffered a similar historical fate.)
The following internet article may pique your interest further.
Did Dong Yi and King Sukjong really have a long romance?
Well, the answer is – we don’t know. Because there’s very little information to be found about Dong Yi in the history books. All that’s known about her is that she came from the cheonin, servant class, then was noticed by the king, became a concubine, and eventually received the title Bin – the top rank for a royal concubine – when she gave birth to King Sukjong’s son. She was given the name Sukbin and her son became King Yeongjo who reined for 52 years and was the longest reigning king in Joseon history.
One of the reasons there is so little information about her in the history books is that she came from the servant class. In the introduction to the novel Dong Yi, I read that in general, there is not very much information available about the royal concubines, as record keeping in the Joseon period focused on the king. But if the concubines came from the upper classes, the names and positions of their family members were more likely to be recorded. As Dong Yi came from the servant class, it would have been awkward to write anything about her, so information about her background was purposely avoided. That seems to be why there is less information available about her than other concubines. In fact, Dong Yi was not even her real name and there is no record of what her real name was; she is just known as Sukbin. (Choi was her real family name though.)
So, the drama is fiction, as nobody knows what really happened. Perhaps they really did have a romance. But some of the scenes are definitely unrealistic – for example, the scenes when King Sukjong (disguised as a yangban) and Dong Yi go outside the palace and spend time together drinking and eating at the hostelry. Because of the strict Confucian society rules about relationships between men and women at that time, they would probably not have been able to sit so casually together without attracting attention. But King Yeongjo, Dong Yi’s son, was known to go out of the palace secretly to find out how the ordinary people lived. So perhaps this is where the idea for those scenes in the drama came from. King Yeongjo (probably since his mother came from the servant class) changed some of the laws about marriage between the lower and upper classes which led to the servant class eventually dying out.
♪ Ooh, I do, I do, I do, I do, I do-o-o-o~ Yeah! ♪ I can't say my favorite song, but my tops are The World was Wide Enough, Who Lives Who Dies, History Has its Eyes, Satisfied, Yorktown, Aaron Burr, Sir, Story of Tonight, Schuyler Sisters, Stay Alive, Dear Theodosia, Non Stop, What'd I Miss, Take A Break, The Room Where it Happens, My Shot, Guns and Ships, Hurricane, oh goodness there's more. I give up typing but you get the idea. But I won't forget to write ONE LAST TIME ♪