mother is a whore

The fact that it’s been years since I’ve last posted (maybe before I had Adam even) says a lot.  I am not sure I like this film as much as I’m affected by it.  Not sure if it’s a good way, but I can say that I think this is a work of an exciting film maker.  The film is by Lee Sang-Woo, part of a trilogy (?); there’s at least one other in the series called “My Father is a Dog” that I’m trying to find a way to watch but can’t find it.  I can say that the film is hard core in its content but not in the usual way.  For instance, you’d expect sex and even violence from just the title; but none of it is straightforward–everything is twisted.  Lee has been compared to Kim Ki Duk; in fact he got his start by working for Kim.  But his stuff is so harsh that “Mother is a Whore” was banned for years (made in 2009) in Korea and just recently came out.

Watch it here:,-2009/

(click on #4 below the screen and onwards)

Let me know what you think.  I almost can’t write critically about it yet, for some reason.  Maybe because there are aspects of the film that do not seem to fit.  It’s about poverty, religion, family, love, sex (its many faces: violence, desire, need, love, hetero-, homo-)–but everything somehow fits.

The Wire

Since I am addicted to On Demand, I’ve been watching this HBO series the last couple of weeks. I’m on the early part of Season Three; Season Four is supposed to begin in September. Has anyone seen this?

I have to say that overall, I’m really liking it. It’s basically a cop show set in Baltimore, focused on a special detail that tracks medium to large cases. Season one was about cracking a drug circuit (which is still ongoing), the second season was a port investigation, and the third is also drug-related but has widened to treat city government corruption. Continue reading The Wire


Because this movie was a commercial success in Korea, I had imagined it to be very different. I had anticipated the humor, which was certainly there (although I’m not sure if it was as funny in translation), but the “serious” subject matter was a surprise to me. Overall, I thought the film was an interesting mixture of fantasy and a cautionary tale, with a sci-fi/comic book visual aesthetic.

If you haven’t seen it don’t read any more.
Continue reading oldboy

harold and kumar; better luck tomorrow

Okay, I also enjoyed Harold and Kumar immensely. Definitely better than dude where’s my car–actually didn’t like this much. Back to H&K, despite the enjoyment I was a bit troubled by the way it dealt with racism. Its basic position was that what goes around comes around; the racists will get what they deserve in the end, so Harold and Kumar need not get directly involved. A bit troubling? (I still feel bad for the convenient store clerk who was deserted by the two.)

A very different kind of movie but similar in its Asian American connection, Better Luck Tomorrow, also seemed to skirt around the problem of racism. The movie’s interest in class issues was interesting, but that seemed to have resulted in failing to treat with satisfaction what seems to be the more foundational problem of racism.