Wednesday, March 09, 2016

Essays on Pop Culture

I watch alot of movies coming out of Korea these days. Recently I watched "No Tears for the Dead". A really cool movie about a hit man who accidentally kills a little girl and then has to hunt down her mother. He does so reluctantly, but then things start to happen...I'm not going to ruin it.

This is one of many of these films I've watched and they all seem to pull me in and unleash my inner demons. They are evocative, powerful stories that have no morality to them beyond that which governs the characters. There are no messages. No one is lecturing the audience. There seems to just be a story, told in film, with all the consummate acting that comes with a good tale.

Alot of our action films in the United States seem to lack these elements. The story, and the characters, have their own tale to tell, but they have to do it with the backdrop of some greater evil, some morality that plays out in it...whether it is slavery in the South from 150 years ago, or climatologist reports from today.

Its exhausting and makes me shy away from action films these days.

Pop culture can surely be a vehicle to teach people about the artist's world view, lord knows that the undercurrent of the world of Aihrde I created is that "work pays the debt of life," though it is very understated, never a lesson, only the world view of the dwarves, the All Father's favored people. But perhaps subtly is the better route to go in an action movie...or better yet, not at all.

Just tell me the story of beautiful people doing extraordinary things.

Of course there are some that stand out, the Revenant is one, Mad Max anoter.  But its hard to beat the movies coming out of Korea....

No Tears for the Dead....


Anonymous said...

I agree with your assessment with Korean dramas, but a lot of it can get over-the-top. Much of the drama you're describing is the Korean word han which means angst. It has significant historical and cultural meaning to the Korean peoples. It does make for a great movie (i.e. Shiri); however, it can get really dumb.

For example, when I was learning Korean, many fables and stories have unnecessary deaths other than to just have a death even though the lesson is completely different from the death. One such example is a story about a boy and his father who go to the lake to go catch fish. They go out and do not catch any fish for that day. They go out again and again and again, but do not catch any fish. The boy develops leukemia and dies. The father, some time after burying his son, goes to the lake and keeps fishing. The morale of the story - keep preserving, someday you'll catch a fish.

Korean culture has stories like this everywhere and can get a bit jarring at times.

Troll Lord said...

Do they ever catch fish? ha And I guess the fishing and leukemia really aren't connected other than to say "stand back up".