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2007 Already?...

December 31st, 2006 (08:33 am)

The still is from the movie King and the Clown (왕의 남자 / Wang-ui namja). The film is South Korea's submission for the 2007 Foreign Language Oscar, and for about six months in 2006 was the highest-grossing film in Korean history (until supplanted by The Host). I've mentioned both before.

The movie, loosely adapted from a highly acclaimed Korean play of 2000 titled Yi (You, or Sir), revolves around the historical figure of Yeonsan-gun, a Joseon dynasty king renowned for his ruthlessness and insanity, and a mostly fictional troupe of clowns who mock him. Both play and movie are based on a brief passage in the Annals of the Joseon Dynasty which mentions King Yeonsan-gun's favorite clown. It's been called a Korean Brokeback Mountain in the Western press, which isn't very accurate; instead of focusing solely on the relationship between the clowns and the king, the movie skillfully blends in many other subtexts (life, love, politics, fate, etc) making it a subtle and deep, yet highly entertaining, film.

What has this got to do with me? Well, I've been working with a few other people on a fan website for the movie. Rather than going the screaming fan route (not to denigrate screaming fans... but anyone who knows me knows I don't do screaming fan), we're bringing together information, news, and documents about the movie and the historical / political / social context underlying it. We're translating articles from Korean, Chinese, and Japanese websites, as well as bringing over original content, and have been contacting more people that I can describe here to get input and raise awareness. (Some of them you've even heard of.) Right now, when I'm not at work this is pretty much what I'm doing.

So this is your chance: go visit the site, find out more about the movie, and definitely don't be bashful about speaking up!

The movie itself will be released in the U.S. in the spring (as things stand right now).

Website: www.king-and-the-clown.com (www.wang-ui-namja.com)
Forum: www.wang-ui-namja.com/forum
RSS feed: www.wang-ui-namja.com/rss.xml
Contact : lwakasa -at- wang-ui-namja.com