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MARGARET CHO & GREEN CHAIR
Sexually explicit. Parental Guidance is advised.
I thought it would be fun to do one non-South Korean film because Margaret Cho is Korean. Green Chair is a perfect choice though. I mean, Margaret is already the All-American Girl. What an interesting time.
There is often a news story in the states about some hot blonde teacher being taken to jail after relations with a student, but what happens afterwards? What if the student picks you up, now almost at the age of consent? What if the student really loves you and never felt violated or molested? Well, maybe a lot of forbidden sex.
An Asian comedian was a rare commodity when Comedy Central began. Any white comedian would have the luxury of doing their act about whatever they chose, black too. A Korean female comedian had some explaining to do. Margaret walked that line of trying to be the All-American girl that she was, but noticed quickly that doing some material about her mother and the accent people were used to, as well as innocent prejudices that she witnessed, created consistent laughter. Additionally her openness about sexuality and ties to the gay community made her an anomaly and interest grew. She didn’t have to say, I’m a feminist, she just described an aggressive grasping at equality on all levels. It was beautiful.
Park Chul-soo is a very non-judgmental director. He doesn’t seem concerned with opinions, he just lets the characters go, and they go. I don’t know how easy this film would be to watch with others. Have you ever been watching a movie and a sex scene begins and things get very quiet. In Green Chair, Kim Mun-hee (Jung Suh/Jung Seo, who has had the most interesting indie career I’ve seen) has only received a small sentence for her crime. She’s not sure now if she’s doing the right thing. She and Seo-hyun (Shim Ji-ho) are both our main characters, and both their opinions count, just like in any relationship.
Margaret’s career exploded in Y2K once she got over a lot of her addiction and self-esteem issues, attempting to fit the Hollywood mold. She released a book and performed a one woman show called “I’m the One That I Want” explaining her weight struggles, problems with her sitcom (one of the first to show an all Asian family, though mixed) and general misunderstanding of her lifestyle choices … and of course what her mom thought. Cho’s impression of her mother always seems to make an appearance in her specials giving yet another opinion on they way a Korean-American feels and sees things. Her act (Revolution, Assassin, Notorious C.H.O.) has become stronger and more open as the years go by and she’s become a strong activist. Considering her tattoo obsession I’m not entirely sure she’s fully comfortable with herself, but we all have to be and do what we want and if we’re not hurting someone else … so be it. Love is the key. Hate is the lock.
After many sexual climaxes our cinematic climax is a pure joy, a party where we debate the modern controversies dealt with in the film. Every side is represented. Some people won’t make it this far and I understand. The film wasn’t released for almost two years until outside interest grew. Why watch something new when we can be comfortable, lazily taking in the same old thing?
Special Thanks to Tom Giammarco for assistance.