So... Shim Hyung-rae directed another movie, called "The Last Godfather" with Harvey Keitel. I'm thinking about seeing it just so I can give you the play-by-play.
looks like... quite a movie. Mr. Shim seems to be pulling a Woody Allen, and starring in the film as well.
You might remember him from Dragon Wars, or D-Wars, a monstrousity of a movie that generated a lot of buzz in Korea because he wrapped it in the Korean flag and played "Arirang" at the end.
I wrote about that patriotism run amok - and how it nearly worked, at least on the homefront, where for a week or two, his movie was above critical reproach, before people finally nodded at each other and admitted, "yah, that actually was a bad movie" -- the same way Star Wars fans spent a short few days in "New Star Wars Movie!" bliss before collectively admitting that The Phantom Menace sucked, too.
(by the way: "Star Wars Episode 1.1 The Phantom Edit" Also known as the Corrector's Edition" - a fan re-editing of The Phantom Menace, is actually a much better movie.)
You can read that post here: "Irony and Uber-Nationalism" - it also features a youtube video at the beginning that was my first introduction to the singer Jang Sa-ik, now one of my favorite Korean artists.
Anyway, the Chosun English is covering Shim Hyung-Rae's latest foray into making movies, "The Last Godfather," and they dropped this doozy of a line, "Although "Dragons Wars" set a record for a Korean film of being released in 2,277 theaters in the U.S., rumor has it that it failed to make a profit."
Which, if you're keeping count, might be the most artful use of mitigating language I've ever encountered. Mitigating language is, of course, the art of saying things more nicely: instead of "No." We say "Sorry, I can't." because it's nicer. Instead of "Give!" we say "Sorry to bother; if you don't mind, could I just use that for a mo'?"
Well, I can't think of a nicer, gentler way to say "Ya tried hard, buddy, but it sucked, and it tanked." than "Although "Dragons Wars" set a record for a Korean film of being released in 2,277 theaters in the U.S., rumor has it that it failed to make a profit." (italics mine)
On the other hand, if somebody handed Shim Hyung-rae the keys to another film, after the monstrosity that was D-wars (and I saw it, in the theater no less: I paid my 8000 won, spent my two hours, so that I have earned the right to say it sucked the big one), at least M. Night Shyamalan can take heart, knowing that he'll probably find work again, too.
(the last airbender was a crime against art and storytelling: as a fan of the cartoon series, I might write about it sometime, but let's just say that "it was a letdown" is about tantamount to saying, "rumor has it that it failed to make a profit")
Oh by the way: happy new year!