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Home » 2016 Summer Seminar » films

Movement in East Asia
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8/29/2016 1:38:19 PM

ndaza
ndaza
Posts: 20
Subject: Jellyfish Eyes
Film Review

Film: Jellyfish Eyes
Director: Takashi Murakami
Story by: Takashi Murakami
Screenplay: Yoshihiro Mishimura and Jun Tsugita
Producers: Yoshihiro Nishimura, Chiaki Kasahara and Mana Fukui
Genre: Science Fiction/Fantasy
Release Date in the USA: April 8, 2013


Jellyfish Eyes is a film about a boy Masashi, who has lost his father recently. Two main factors happening in Masashi’s life force him to create an imaginary creature: his dead dad haunts him in his dreams and the mother’s decision to move to a new town. Masashi creates a creature that is a cross between a jellyfish and a toad with green eyes to help him cope with his issues. This creature becomes his pal and his protector. When Masashi goes to his new school, he discovers that there is a trend among his classmates. They all have a creature. As a species these creatures are part of F.R.I.E.N.D (Form Resonance Inner Energy Negative emotion and Disaster prevention) and the plot continues with Masashi finding out that the rest of his classmates communicate with their F.R.I.E.N.D with a device similar to a Smartphone. He also discovers that these creatures love to enter battles among each other.
Jellyfish Eyes is not worthy of an Oscar nomination. It is actually a very bad coming of age story with good vs. evil elements as well as a religious cult and four young villains dressed in all black thrown in the mix.
I chose this film to introduce my unit on Japanese Art. This film has a strong Japanese flavor that combines human actors and animated characters. The fantastical creatures are drawn using otaku techniques (comic book like) as well as kawaii techniques (a term that refers to the meaningful of cuteness) This film is full of creatures that are playful and Pokémon- like that makes it highly relatable to students.
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8/29/2016 5:00:12 PM

victoriachan
victoriachan
Posts: 27
Subject: Movie Review: My Sassy Girl
Movie Review: My Sassy Girl
[font=" helvetica="" neue"]I had seen this movie when I was younger, but watching it a second time now that I'm older with a different lens was enriching. There were a lot of things I missed when I was younger, like the fact that the female lead doesn't ever reveal her name. I think this might be because it was from the perspective of the male lead character, Gyeon-woo. But by not naming her, it makes her the everywoman, and it's empowering to see a woman who defies traditional societal standards. It is a direct contrast to the stereotype that Asian women are meek and subservient. However, I do wonder about the expectations that South Korean women now have of potential suitors because of movies like this. [/font]
[font=" helvetica="" neue"]On a separate note, I found this movie on YouTube in its full length version complete with English subtitles easily. The accessibility speaks to the popularity of this movie even in the U.S. and that people in the U.S. are consuming Korean culture through movies like My Sassy Girl. [/font]
As far as incorporating this movie into my classroom, the only way I can see using this is when I have what's called Breakfast in the Classroom when I have 15 minutes to talk about whatever I want with my students because other than that, my instructional time is dedicated to chemistry. I could use it as a way to get to know my students more and if they haven't explored Korean culture, they can learn more about it. It would be valuable to expose students to other cultures because they are going to be working with people from different walks of life.
edited by victoriachan on 8/29/2016
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8/29/2016 7:07:49 PM

cindyn
cindyn
Posts: 33
Subject: 200 Pound Beauty
I have conflicted feelings about this movie. The story is based on an overweight singer who opts for plastic surgery because she was not treated kindly by the music industry and the general population. She believes her luck will turn around once she has a full body surgery and an identity change. In the beginning, her career and social life is changed for the better. She has men drooling over her and multiple record deal offers. The story then takes a twist, her life begins to crumble because people start to discover the truth behind her perfect face and body. The movie is a light comedy about the superficial world of Korean entertainment. I liked the movie but at the same time I felt this movie sent the wrong message too. It gives the audience the impression that Korea society highly values looks and image.
I would incorporate clips of this video in was "Past Meets Present" project. It gives students a different perspective on beauty and a comparison of what is considered beautiful in Asia and America.
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8/29/2016 8:56:52 PM

EunjeeKang
EunjeeKang
Posts: 21
Subject: War of the Arrows (2011) - World History
This movie was made in Korea and the historical background of this movie is during the 17th century when the new leader of the North East, Qing dynasty invaded Korean peninsula. Although the movie focuses on an amazing archer who saved his sister from the Qing army, it shows how Korea (Joseon dynasty) reacted to the new empire and what the consequences were.
If you are a world history teacher, you can use this film when you teach about the tributary system in North East Asia, and the development of Neo-Confucianism in Korea. You can also discuss how China’s development slowed down between 15th and 19th century while Europe was enjoying its cultural, intellectual, and technological advancement.
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8/29/2016 11:29:27 PM

yreynoso
yreynoso
Posts: 23
Subject: "The Throne" 2015 - Real story from the 18th Century (Originally named Sado)
I recognize that the Asian films can be pretty intense in content and complexity; which makes them more attractive and avoidable to view. While exploring a list of potential independent Asian films, I found “The Throne”, a Korean film about the turbulent drama within the family of King Yeangjo. The Throne, although it has been remade a few times, this version it has remarkable performances which drives viewers into cathartic moments where one cannot but empathize with the Prince Sado after his father, King Yeongjo does the unimaginable in order to preserve ‘the throne’. King Yeongjo faces various ideological and political clashes with his 27-year-old son Sado which he is not willing to tolerate and after a heated confrontation, King Yeongjo ordered his soldiers to lock his son inside a large wooden rice chest, where he is deprived from food, water, and place on the court yard under the intense summer heat. In spite of the multiple requests that the Lady Queen Yi to her husband, their son perished after eight agonizing days.
The quality of dramatic performance and the sophistication of the customs proper of the 18th century drew me into the story immediately. In the beginning I was thinking that this story was going to be too complex for my students in the 9th grade to understand, but as I became more and more invested into the film, I found out that this film was great for my students. One because the plot is layered in various family conflicts where the students should practice their inferential thinking, and two, students will be able to discuss with their partners about the similarities and differences we live in modern societies and how authorities deal with social-political issues, as well as how the average person deal with family conflicts.
I will show the film per episodes, and will discuss the plot and will make predictions on potential outcomes to political and social situations presented. This would give enough material to engage in intellectual conversations that will stimulate higher thinking while improve their oral language skills and enrich their awareness about non-western cultures. Finally, they could evidence their thinking by brainstorming using thinking maps, and poster boards describing the sequence of events in a timeline chart, thus they can make predictions and find possible or alternate solutions to conflicts of that historical time
edited by yreynoso on 8/29/2016
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8/30/2016 8:46:01 AM

mmadruga
mmadruga
Posts: 23
Subject: Culture and experience at India's most famous Theater.
I noticed that most of the Hindi children wore eye liner as seen in the attached photos. Upon inquiry I was advised that mascara is applied to all small Hindi children to ward of evil. This was an interesting social norm that was a constant throughout India and Nepal.I heard very little crying for the amount of suffering I observed., and most of the children seemed happy?
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8/30/2016 10:41:27 PM

hlien
hlien
Posts: 20
Subject: Movie: Xuanzang(2016)
This is a movie about the journey of famous Chinese monk, Xuanzang, who is perhaps the most important historical figure in introducing Buddhism to China. It is also this quest to India that inspired one of the Chinese classic literature, Journey to the West. The main character is played by Huang Xiaoming, one of the premier actors in China today.

The movie depicted the hardships that Xuanzang had to endured and the many dangers he had encountered in traveling from China to India. He also faced great temptations along the way, may it be fame, wealth, or lust. In the end, he made it to India and spend more than a decade in Nalanda monastery perfecting his knowledge of Buddhism and Sanskrit, the original language of in which Buddhism was born. Despite being a foreigner, he was held in high prestige and was honored by the then famous Indian king, Harsha. Xuanzang could have continued to live a life of great comfort in India, but chose to come back to China as he promised when he set out on his quest years ago.

When he came back to China, he was offered a ministerial post by the Tang emperor, who himself was a devoted Buddist. But Xuanzang declined the offer and chose instead to live in seclusion and devoted the rest of his life in the translation of the Buddhist scripts that he had brought back from India.

From a movie viewer's point of view, the movies lacks the whistles and bells the one has to associated with modern movies. It mainly focus on one single character and consist of many silent scenes in which the main characters was in deep contemplations. In many ways, it reminds me of the movie Castaway staring Tom Hank in which a survivor of a shipwreck found himself alone on a island. The movie, however, makes up what it lacks in glamours with meditative philosophical substances. Those who are interested in seeking the Truth will find this movie rewarding. The only catch is: There is no English subtitles version on Youtube.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cjij0GDgGDs
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8/31/2016 9:06:26 PM

mcervantes
mcervantes
Posts: 23
Subject: Film review Eat Drink Man woman
Eat Drink Man Woman

Sihung Lung, the center of the film portrays Master Chu, a famous chef in Taiwan who is widowed and deeply loves his three daughters. They are young adults, however, and fiercely independent…..just like him. He does not know how to express his love, but he obligates them to come to his home for his banquet dinner every weekend.

The film has the most delicious looking meals. It makes your mouth water and the desire to eat these sumptuous meals.

The daughters don't like the ritual, referring to it as 'the Sunday torture.'

The most strong-minded of these, his eldest daughter, is a school teacher. After many years of disinterest in men, she suddenly pursues a handsome, free-spirited volleyball coach and, after their marriage, bullies him into becoming a timid, devout Christian.

The youngest steals the boyfriend away from a college schoolmate. She later creates quite a stir at the family dinner when she quietly says, 'I have an announcement; I'm going to have a baby.'

The story, however, centers on the complicated, loving relationship between Master Chu and his third daughter, Jia-Chien, a successful airline executive. Like him in many ways, she always had wanted to be a master chef, but he bowed to the tradition against women in this profession.

After a traumatic love affair with a philanderer, she almost decides to take a job promotion with the airline and relocate to Europe. Yet, she stays on in Taiwan to help her father recover from the death of his fellow chef and best friend.

Then she tries to find a new wife for him, unwisely targeting an obnoxious older woman who lives nearby. However, he is the next to make a startling family announcement that he is engaged to be married instead to the woman's daughter!!

This modern tale proceeds to take many delightful twists and turns. At the end, Master Chu and Jia-Chien learn to understand each other. He recognizes that she should be the next master chef of his restaurant. She comprehends the depth of his special love for her. As the camera fades away, they address each other simply as 'daughter' and 'father.' They have no more 'announcements' …only with honest and open declarations of love.
Wonderful movie, I would recommend it to everyone.
I would use this film with students to demonstrate the complexities of life and how families relate to one another and how we all can come to understandings in life in order to be happy.
edited by mcervantes on 8/31/2016
edited by mcervantes on 8/31/2016
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9/19/2016 8:38:54 PM

mhagiwara
mhagiwara
Posts: 32
Subject: Ramen Girl
This film follows a young woman named Abbey who has had a string of bad luck, including a breakup with her boyfriend, while in Japan. She figures that her life is spiraling downward with no happy ending in sight. That is until she looks outside of her messy apartment to a ramen shop across the street. She goes to the shop and begins a friendship with the shopkeeper, who is both hesitant to serve her at first, and also feels sorry for her. After more visits to the ramen shop, Abbey asks for a job and is reluctantly given a job that she learns a great deal about Japanese work ethic from.

I like this film because even though it is viewed through the eyes of an American women, the overall tone is very much Japanese. I feel that this film is a great way to introduce Japanese culture, through food of course, to my students. The majority of students know that ramen is, but they do not know how it is served in Japan. This film will not only serve to inform students about the importance of ramen as a food staple in Japan, but also as a way to discuss Japanese work ethic, culture, and people.

If you loved Lost in Translation, this may not be as mature or as sophisticated but it is definitely a fun film that you'll likely enjoy.
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