The original post can be found here.
Prior to our first class as I enrolled in this subject, I admit I was hesitant as my consumption of Asian television and film was almost nonexistent. I went into this screening of a Koran film titled The Host, (2006) directed by Bong Joon-ho with no idea what to expect but left pleasantly surprised and overly excited for the semester ahead.
As an Australian Portuguese individual, throughout my childhood I was exposed to Westernised media, most commonly deriving from the United States of America (USA) and Australia, as this was familiar content for my household to digest. When visiting my Great Grandmother and Grandmother I was exposed to European media which was mostly the Portuguese news and the dearly loved programme Kommisar Rex (1994-2008) which I thoroughly enjoyed. My first encounter of Asian media occurred in primary school as my friends introduced me to the (arguably mainstream) Japanese animes Bleach and Deathnote, however, I did not continue to consume this form of media past this point.
As the live-tweeting experience is not foreign to me I felt comfortable with participating whilst watching the film. Although following the subtitles proved to be challenging at times, the mighty combination of a horror thriller, comedy and daring political commentary captured my attention until the very end. The explicit anti-American dialogue is extremely powerful throughout and is evident at the very start of the film as the American mortician orders his Korean staff members to dump dangerous formaldehyde into the Han River. This scene follows the actions of Albert McFarland in 2000, who instructed his employees to dump embalming waste down the drain at the Yongsan military base. Once Joon-ho heard of this news, it was the starting point of his upcoming film (Wallace, 2006).
In meeting the main cast of the film, the Parks, we are presented with the textbook dysfunctional family, similar to other families in Westernised films, for example, Little Miss Sunshine (2006). Their unusual actions met with a complimentary soundtrack heightened the comedic moments of the film, proving to be the most engaging and arguably my favourite. The narrative of this film is to date the most powerful feature, as 13 years on it is definitely enjoyable, with the political satire also easily applicable to the political climate today.
As an overall experience, BCM320 hit the mark with a great introductory film to the world of Digital Asia, I am definitely excited to participate in the seminars and an autoethnographic approach to my studies.
Wallace, B 2006, ‘Who’s the monster?’, Los Angeles Times, weblog post, November 1st 2006, viewed 2nd August 2019, <https://www.latimes.com/archives/la-xpm-2006-nov-01-et-host1-story.html>