Sunday, September 27, 2009

Good News for Bluray Fans

The Good The Bad The Weird Bluray

Popped into Synnara records this afternoon and discovered that CJ Entertainment have released a bluray edition of 좋은놈 나쁜놈 이상한놈 (The Good The Bad The Weird). This quirky self described "oriental western" directed by 김지운 (Kim Jee-woon) and starring 송강호 (Song Kang-ho), 이병헌 (Lee Byung-hun) and 정우선 (Jung Woo-sung) is well worth a watch. It's not a perfect film, but it is stylishly directed and very enjoyable. I picked up my copy for 33,000 won, though I'm sure if you look around you could find it for a few thousand less. Hopefully this signals the release of a few more Korean bluray titles, my fingers are crossed for a "Mother" bluray disc...

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Rest in Peace Keith Floyd

On Monday 14th September 2009 the world lost a great man, one of the greatest television cooks of the twentieth century and an inspiration to me as I grew up in the 1980's.

Keith Floyd was my childhood food hero. He wasn't stuffy like all the other presenters; he was wild and raucous, he insulted the cameraman, botched up recipes and was insulted by little old French ladies, all the while holding a glass of wine and looking progressively less sober as the program continued.

He had a great passion for food and through his roguish charm he entranced my boyhood self with his visits to kitchens in France and Spain.

Here are some videos of the man himself, I hope you enjoy them as much as I have.

Rest in peace Mr. Floyd.

Old school pizzas...

Being told off...

Liver dumplings...

Nothing to do with Korea, but still very funny...

My dear friend Matthew Steer and his dear friend Jamie Glassman have made a short video. I find it funny, I hope you also enjoy it. It has nothing to do with Korea and a lot to do with t-shirts. Visit their website here if you like this skit.

On a slightly different note, today, as I walked through the back streets of Itaewon I saw a stumbling cockroach vomit onto the pavement... I feel my day is now complete.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Ajosshi and the Freaky Japanese Transvestite Mime Love

Dear Readers,

I'd like to apologise for a lack of recent updates. It's been a hectic old time for me starting rehearsals for a new show, whilst beginning a new training regime and going on a diet. It's all go, go, go at the moment and it has meant it all went a bit stop, stop, stop on this end.

Fear not, I'll be doing my best to post more as I get used to my new whirlwind life...

Last Thursday I headed down to the Mapo Arts Center to check out Gamarjobat, the freaky Japanese punk mime artists. It was well worth going to.

The first half consisted of four very different short shows: The Gamarjobat Show, 20 minutes of frantic slapstick and jokes that hardly gives the audience time to breather; The Kettle, a rather touching story of a kettle's attempts to please its ramen loving owner; The Hypnotist, worth watching if only for the best hypnotizing pose ever; and The Tarai, 10 minutes of guitar playing and beer can stacking.

The Tarai was the only mistep in the whole of the performance, whilst every other sequence kept the audience's attention and filled the room with a sense of anticipation, the guitar playing and can stacking didn't really make any sense, contained no mime and wasn't funny. However, the other fifty minutes were downright hilarious.

After a fifteen minute interval it was on to the second half and Gamarjobat's attempt to re-imagine Charlie Chaplin's film "City Lights" on stage...

As a fan of the original film, I was very skeptical as to how two men could pull off a touching story about the love between a blind girl and a little tramp, but they did it. Forty five minutes of hilarity and beauty, they captivated the audience and drew us into their world completely.

Mime isn't for everybody, it takes great suspension of belief and a certain amount of concentration from the audience, you can't just sit back and let things wash over you, you have to fill in the blanks with your own imagination. Some people may think of mime as just being trapped in a box or walking into the wind, but through mime it is possible to create stories capable of capturing even the most cynical person's heart.

If you're open to seeing a bit of mime this autumn, then I urge you to go watch Gamarjobat. It's not everyone's cup of tea, however, if you're in the mood for freaky Japanese transvestite mime love, then you'll be happy you went.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Freaky Japanese Mime Artists Coming to Seoul

Warning: All videos in this post may contain mime...

If there's one thing you do this September, if there's one single event that you decide to grace with your presence, then it should be at the Mapo Arts Center between the 9th and 27th of September.

Gamarjobat, the freakiest punk mime artists the world has ever seen are performing there with their show "Gamarjobat Silent Comedy". They have toured all over the world, been a smash hit at Edinburgh and have even had a pilot tv programme made by the BBC.

I've booked my tickets to go and if you're a fan of physical comedy then I advise you to do the same.