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April 30th, 2005

Apr. 30th, 2005

Writing has been subsumed for a while by my job as organizer of HWA's upcoming Stoker Awards weekend. *Sigh*...

However, I've made time for some entertainment (lest I go insane from all this Stoker madness):

MOVIE: Say You Love Me - Okay, actually it's a television show, not a movie, and it's my first Korean series. These Korean series are the hot things in Asia right now, with huge followings in Japan, Hong Kong, etc. This one interested me because it stars Yeom Jung-ah, whom I've raved before on LJ (she's the stepmother in the best horror film of the 21st century, A Tale of Two Sisters). Unlike American television, most Asian series seem to be miniseries, with around 20 episodes, shot on video but with very high production values. This one concerns young people in the Korean film business, and here's Yeom's first scene: She strides angrily into an office, busts up a vase, and threatens the shocked executive with a jagged shard while blood gushes down her arm; turns out she's a movie producer and this guy's a distributor who's hijacked all her profits. After he agrees to cough up the money, she staggers out to her car, collapses, and, while trembling violently, tells herself she's a thug now. Amazing. Can't wait to see more (if I can get the damn cheap DVD to actually finish playing).

BOOK: The Book and the Sword by Louis Cha (aka Jin Yong) - never heard of Louis Cha? He's probably the bestselling Chinese author of the 20th century. Imagine the epic fantasy of Tolkien combined with the prolific output and huge success of Stephen King, and you'll have some idea. Sadly, this is only the second of his books to be translated into English (I long for the day when my Chinese is good enough to read him without translation!). This was actually Cha's first novel; it's set in 18th century China and centers on secret societies, the Manchus, kung fu sifus who can fly, teenaged girls dressed as sword-swinging boys, and amazing amounts of action. I'd read western fantasy all the time if it was this much fun.