Essays Pairing South Korean Films with Stand-Up Comedians
from the novel KOCO
I have read several novels written by comedians. They are some pretty dark people. It is difficult when you live and breathe comedy to find laughs in common life. Stand-up comedy is an honest profession for the most part, one of the few. These people are beyond human to me. The best of them have a magic amount of charisma.
One day I found them on the Comedy Channel, as it was called. It became Comedy Central. It was unorganized and fun like MTV used to be (believe it or not the M stands for music). They just played stand-up comedy really. They had a few funny people doing some strange shows. It was hard to switch the station.
Growing up I had some friends, but had a lot of trouble connecting. I kept finding my ideas spoken by this select group. I felt less alone, even though I still was.
Yeah, okay, wah wah. What about the Korean films? You a commie?
No. I am going to compare one South Korean film with one comedian. This will (hopefully) make sense as you go. I find it sad. You might enjoy two very different things that will never meet, like white chocolate and break dancing or pinball and ambient music.
What I’m trying to do is wait patiently until you’re calm in a hammock, listening to some Higher Intelligence Agency, just about to fade out. I then throw a pinball in right in your face. You’re going to pick up your left eye and thank me, possibly in Korean.
Korean films have a better chance of being something you know little about. Comedy is big here (North America). Movies with words at the bottom are small here (also North America). Some of the movies I will talk about have not even made it to our commercial market, especially if they aren’t horror, war, the horrors of war, or war horror (warror).
Korean films are beautifully shot, especially the ones made after 2000. The plots can be quite original, though I do admit that some share a specific pattern. Often the films I’ll be speaking about defy even South Korea’s rules.
You may notice I’m typing in bold. There is a reason besides the fact that I am very bold. I like reading reviews of films I have already seen. Some people have to place a bunch of asterisks and such and say SPOILER ALERT. I am not going to do that. If it is not bold, it is probably a spoiler (or some extra information). Avoid if you want. Maybe you’ll never watch a South Korean film, but you enjoy reading the book. Maybe you don’t like surprises. Maybe I should just begin.
If you ever get overwhelmed by my amazing writing, feel free to put the book down (with a lenticular unicorn bookmark) and take in a coral sunset. When it is twilight and you have been bitten by insects, walk back in your love shack and continue our journey.
I may make the essay personal, I may skim the film or I may try to write down the entire plot. I may know the comedian well, I may have just found out about them. Each essay is an experiment already, at the end if you’re still around I’ve included various reviews of other South Korean films, most of them rated with a patented Key lime pie 8 slice scale, though my bias will give each film four slices for being Korean. Sorry about that.
During conversations (arguments) I often relate the subject to something from a Korean film or end up quoting a comedian for their wealth of philosophy. I just think Korean films and comedians should meet. And you should meet them. They have a great personality.