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The Villainess [K-movie]

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feeeels

If you have seen this movie already (and if you haven’t, like, what!?!) then you might think that it is not worthy writing about so why do I have it here?

In that case first thing – it is actually worthy a write because it is so the late 90s type of ‘subtext’ yuri! Nay, you don’t even have to go that far back to find this level of yuri being a thing. it has all the signs of things back then! The circumstances are so hard against the girls, like one has a child, has a man in her life (mostly), there is a BAD END and the screen-time is horrible but despite that there is a silver lining!

Of Fan Fiction Possibilities!

But if I am being honest, even though it has debatable yuri (if you think lesbians are all about kissing, making out and confessions that is), the real reason I am writing about it is two things. One – Kim Ok-bin! Two – the irony!

It is no secret that I adore this woman! I have watched all projects of hers that I know of! Mt favourite role of hers is of course Whispering Corridors 4 – Voice followed by her dark side as a vampire in Thirst (by Park Chan-wook) and then her role as her self in 2009’s Actresses.

Those last two roles are a part of why I am writing about this movie! First Park Chan-wook’s Thirst and the way he brought her all out of her for that role. I saw how Mr Park was very fond of her. Then came The Actresses, where she met, and kind of crushed on, none other than Kim Min-hee! They made it on my list of shippable real life actresses! Especially since there was that promise between them two to co-star in a lesbian movie (pitched by Ok-bin herself).

Then came the The Handmaiden! Even after watching some of the trailers, and I believe after seeing the movie still, maybe, I wished, still wished, and kind of am wishing now, that Mar Park had managed to get Ok-bin for the role of either Hideko or Sook-hee because she could pull of either. She is in reality younger than Kim-Min-hee but on appearances she does come off more as Lady-like, Hideko –like whereas Kim Min-hee could have also pulled off a younger Sook-hee due to appearances!

So, there I was wishing that Ok—bin had grabbed that Sook-hee role and then here comes her first major role in what seems like forever and what is her character’s name in The Villainess?

Sook-hee! SOOK-HEE!

I kid you not! That is her character’s name in this movie! Like, ‘you can’t make this shit up’ as the saying goes! I had to pinch myself to make sure I wasn’t just dreaming! This is just so funny it kind of hurts! Couldn’t get her to play along-side Min-hee but got her to play the character…well, a character with the same name!

I just had to share this moment if disbelief! But beyond that, I quite enjoyed this movie and even though I went in for the action (you won’t believe it but I did not know this was Ok-bin until like a 3rd into the movie when her hair grew longer!!!) but instead what I found was one of my Celebrity crushes Kim- Ok-bin and then some sprinkle of painful yuri!

Yes, like I said there is a BAD END but this is a movie about assassins so it comes with the territory! I was just surprised the main character, Sook-hee (chuckle) even survived by the end. And not only that, there is also the fact that Sook-hee not only had a child from another man (who is waaaaaaay older than her) but she also was with another man, and even though it was a planned relationship, she still fell for him and him her so…

Ah but what else is new, right? veteran yuri citizens know this already and it felt like beating a dead horse after all the progress we have had so I just ignored that and just enjoyed the yuri and action!

The other relevant girl is Min-ju played by Son Min-ji. She was the only one who broke into Sook-hee’s hardened shell at the training facility and dare say, in addition to the baby and that man, she also helped put  a smile of Sook-hee’s face, after a shit of a life she had gone through.

They had their moments that would make even the hardened still ship them, despite there being no hope for them in the movie. First and most important, Min-ju did not just die! She dies saving Sook-hee, and it was one of the bravest ways to go! She jumped between a knife and Sook-hee, a knife that went right through her throat, a moment I knew there was no going back from that, even as she held on long enough to have a final goodbye, which was surprising! I am sure a person would die instantly from that!

In addition to putting a smile back on Sook-hee’s face, Min-ju was also the first person I saw that made her cry again since her father’s death when she was just a young girl. Oh yes, this movie is intense! The things Sook-hee went through as a child…

Anyway, her dying saving Sook-hee was the best act of love in the whole damn movie and so I ship them! The next big moment was during Sook-hee’s release where in front of everyone they shared a moment, HOLDING HANDS, an action actually instigated by Sook-hee herself. Makes me really wish that we got more of their relationship in the facility because they seemed to have grown way closer! Sook-hee asks Min-ju to call her when she gets released into the world in a moment so gay yet so open to the world that…

The third happens much earlier when Sook-hee hasn’t yet learned to smile. They are training and the Bitch-Queen (who later of course strikes up a connection to Sook-hee – befriending) makes Min-ju bleed! Sook-hee wasn’t happy about that. They weren’t yet on speaking terms back then actually and I think this was the moment that they actually connected. Anyway Sook-hee takes up the wooden sword and makes B-Girl bleed right where she made Min-ju bleed! And before she does as she picks up the sword she shares this look with Min-ju that just…

The other comes later when they meet again after Min-ju is released but it is on an assignment! The smile, that pure smile of happiness that Sook-hee gives Min-ju at seeing her again, the heartfelt hug…They took that happiness from us way too soon, as that was the mission that would be their last.

So yeah, no hopes in this movie that I totally loved what we got! This is old school type of yuri. I grew up on it. It defined me! So to me it is yuri.

Anyway, that is all. Jump over for all caps…

Ja

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End of Summer [K-Movie]

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End of Summer / Summer’s Tail 여름의 끝자락

And yet another lovely short movie from Korean because, South Korea is awesome that’s why! And just like the one, literally the last post I put up, End of Summer is also as good as any other movie length feature! This time though the story here is super heavy, lots of FEELs with this one and I am pretty sure it won an award in its year at the festival, which was 2015. The fact that it was one of the selected five, and the only yuri movie in that selection that got the Plain Archive treatment, is testament to that.

Yes, I wanted to get that DVD but I was late to the pre-orders that just a day after release, I was already too late. They were old out! Thank God it was actually already up on Vimeo even before then and with English subtitles too so I was not left in the dark. So you all too will be able to watch it if you want, in case you do not want to be spoiled before you watch it, jump to the end of the post for the link to Vimeo.

This nice short really packs a heavy punch! The fact that it is so real and that the characters are very relatable in addition to what they go through being something so common, makes this one of my favourite shorts but really, the fact that I am writing about it should be telling already.

Yes, if you know that there is something I should know about but haven’t written about despite many comments letting me know about it, it means that I have seen it but that it wasn’t to my palate. Sometimes I have already seen it but it is still in the queue to be written about. For example, I thank you all for the Moon Young (Kim Tae-ri) shout out but do you really think I do not know about that!! You must be crazy! Lovely, but crazy!

True story, even before The Handmaiden, I already knew about Moon Young but only saw a short clip and there was none of that goodness that is in the current version everyone is going crazy about or by the gods, believe you me I would already have blogged about it. As things stand, I only need to find the best version, grab some caps and we are a go!

Same goes for the TV show Night Light. I watched 12 episodes of that show but dropped it because the amount of yuri was equally negated with the amount of hetero and with the same characters! Now, if someone tells me that the crack ship I actually had going in the awesomely developed friendship between Se-jin and Ma-ri, is looking up, then I am all aboard gain. Otherwise, my yuri-sense didn’t tingle at all in the 12 episodes I watch between Se-jin and Yi-kyung. Now, if you are telling me I missed something in the later episodes I did not watch, then I will jump right back in and maybe talk about it.

One last thing before we get back to the topic at hand, this is about Mediafire. Yes, I know many people these days can’t excuse a site that takes more than a second to load but please be patient with MF. It is still one of the best free sites (well, under 200MB) around from the old days and it takes a few seconds for the folders and files to show up so hold off on closing that tab thinking the links or site is broken.

With that out of the way, let’s get it on!

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Alice – CotS [K-Movie]

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Alice – Crack of the Season 앨리스 – 계절의 틈

And yet another wonderful Korean Short movie! Korea is seriously turning into my favourite country right now. Japan is tailing Taiwan in the slacking off department and they are slowly losing my favour. Meanwhile Korea is challenging almost all mediums, with TV shows, blockbuster movies, indies and music. You wouldn’t even think it that they are the most strict about homosexuality of all the major players!

Butt seeing how these gay projects are proving to be quite popular among the people, starting all the way back with Moon Geun-young/Chae-won‘s awesome Painter of the Wind TV show that saw for the first and last time a gay couple win best couple in TV awards in addition to best actress and new comer for both our ladies, then going into Lily Fever that took off in the internets, and all the way to the big guns in our very own Ahgassi, I have a feeling we are in for a ride when it comes to Korea!

Almost all the past four years have seen at least two yuri movies show up in these indie film festivals with this one being from the 2016 rounds. There is one from 2015 that I will be writing about too, that actually made it into one of Plain Archive’s collection of the the best of the best shorts from that year. Too bad I made it too late to reserving my copy as they sold out as soon as it came to the release date. But I learned my lesson and everyday I keep an eye out for The Handmaiden pre-orders to hit so I can grab my copy as soon as possible. I have a feeling those will sell out the very day they are announced!

Any way back to the short at hand…

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Ar Urt [K-Movie]

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Ar Urt 위르트에서

“Movies need to be feature-length to be good”

Said no one ever!

But I bet anything that many people think that way! The Oscars have most definitely though that way for a long time. They give short-features a category of their own instead of putting them with the others. But the fact that they are Oscar worthy, no matter which it is, goes to show that there can be awesome short films out there. This one in particular, my dearest Readers, is such excellency!

Seriously, the movies just keep rolling in, aren’t they? Yeah sure this did not just popup, It was up on YouTube way back in July and it is I that has just stumbled upon it now. But who is to say that there are not a lot more of hidden gems to be discovered for the year? Best be assured, I am on the hunt until the year is over! This is my holiday plan! I am going to be hunting for hidden treasures that are lurking in the interwebs and believe me, if they are there…I WILL FIND THEM!!

But Ar Urt…What a brilliant short film! There are subs and though they are lacking, I am sure you will get the gist of things for sure. I am only mentioning it because the film uses poems and hidden quotations which I think might make it hard for most to grasp because you cannot tell where the art and dialogue differ. But that is what this short film is – a small piece of art that uses word art in conjunction with the story telling and scene composition.

I am a sucker for intelligent plot devices and one of my favourites is when the open scene directly or indirectly connects with the ending scene! I always melt when that happens. It is the first sign that lets me know that I have totally missed something and that I need to go back and re-watch the movie to pick up the dots that connect the final line from point A to B.

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Girl on the Edge [K-Movie]

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Girl on the Edge 여고생

And yet another hidden gem from South Korea! Can we say, best country in yuri cinema? I am inclined to say best country in yuri cinema! They have most definitely stolen this year hands down! No other country comes even close! I mean, you did not even know about this. But we knew about ‘Ahgassi’ and ‘Our Love Story’ and who knows, there might be something else still hidden and waiting to be discovered! I mean I so did not know about this project until literally three days ago and it was by accident! No one mentioned it, I did not see any trailers nor caps on Tumblr or twitter, at least the users I am following none of them knew about this one!

But here we are! Just over a month out of the year and BAM! In our faces!

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The World Of Us [K-Movie]

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So, I finally found this movie! No subtitles as of yet (Not any I have found anyway) but that has never stopped me before and I am damn well not going to let it start now. And so I have watched it in all its raw Korean other-worldly glory and despite not understanding a single word, I was left with one word to describe my feelings afterwards…

WOW!

Just…Wow! I have to wait until the English Subs come out for the long post but I just have to write about this right now! This movie surprised me! I mean, I mentioned it way back in my first post about this movie but this is no childish story! Well, it is a story about childhood, obviously, but it is so real…so human, that it resonated completely with me.

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