When enrolling in this Digital Asia course I wasn’t really sure what I was getting myself into. It seemed that the semester was filled with cultural movie watching, tweeting and blog posting. Something that seemed fun, interesting and something that may put me a little out of my depth. Not only do I not watch many films at all, but rarely ever have I watched a non-Hollywood produced film. I knew this culturally was going to be something new, but I was ready.
Week one of BCM320 was kicked off by watching The Host, a South Korean horror film directed by John Ho Bong. This was a whole new experience for me the film itself and the live-tweeting. I originally found this film hard to follow, I was distracted by live-tweeting and reading the subtitles while also trying to understand what was going on while also not feeling I could relate to the movie due to my cultural differences, but by the end of the film, I felt I had a good grasp on the plot and found myself enjoying watching and engaged in what was happening. The Host seemed to jump from genre to genre throughout the film, having aspects of comedy, drama, horror and also including hints sci-fi, however, it seems that this is normal throughout Asian films, and it is something I should expect upon coming weeks.
To put me further out of my depth that I already was I also had little historical understanding of any American/Asian events, however during the film I quickly discovered through research that parts of the film such as pouring the formaldehyde into the Han River was something that was based on a true event in 2000 at the Seoul military quarters. While I did have very little understanding of the historical and political background behind such events, It didn’t make me feel I could enjoy and understand the movie any less.
While this movie has differing cultural aspects to myself and my upbringing I found that I still enjoyed the film, related with the strong family connection and already I feel I’ve learned about how Asian films differ to films I am used to. I’m still hesitant and unsure what is to come for future BCM320 seminars, however, I’m intrigued and excited.