Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Bulgasari is the name of a friend’s experimental noise music series based out of Seoul. Musicians include Sato Yukie, Chulkie Hong, Joonyong Choi, and Han-gil Ryu. They are very awesome. Check out their site here.

Bulgasari is also North Korea’s Godzilla cult classic made in 1985. A feared monster, yet gentle friend to peasants, chews his way through iron and leads a revolt against the king, ruthlessly destroying the king’s army (thousands of North Korean soldiers were drafted as “extras”). Kim Jong-Il, an insatiable cineaste, was so insistent on having this film made that he kidnapped South Korea’s renowned director, Shin Sang Ok, and his actress wife, Choi Eun-Hi, so that Shin could direct the film and Choi could be the star.

Before Shin, North Korean films had titles like “The County Party Chief Secretary” and “The Fate of a Self-Defense Corps Man.” After the abduction (and after 5 years in a re-education camp), Shin was reunited with Choi in Pyongyang. Then, Kim Jong Il gave him 3 mil a year, a studio, and 700 employees at his disposal. Bulgasari was born.

I actually met the director Shin when I was a kid. He and his wife escaped their North Korean minders in Vienna and made their way to L.A. where they hid in my childhood friend’s home for a few years. The man wore shades and a silk neck scarf even when he lounged around the house, watching TV. I guess Kim Jong-Il passed on a few fashion tips to Shin before he fled.


At 8:17 PM , Blogger BBRK said...

betty here~ you should check out what the Relay boys are doing nowadays~! Daytripper & the Relay Crew got a crazy grant/funding from the Seoul Arts Foundation and they have been bringing in tons of musicians from Europe & Japan! Last night show was awesome! We've stopped plugging our ears a long time ago!


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