Scanner Messed Up

Hi there,

I’m fighting my scanner —  something bad happened to it, I think — and so I am still trying to scan those pages from the story for you. In the meantime, I promised I’d post about your essay homework, so here is the information:

Our class will not have a midterm exam. Instead, we will have a midterm essay. The midterm essay is due on the Tuesday of Week 9, which I believe is October 28th.

Your essay should discuss the depiction of some “minority,” “foreign,” or “immigrant” group in a film from your own culture (or language). That is, if you are Korean, you should look at a Korean film, and if you are Taiwanese, you should look at a Taiwanese film (or, if you can’t find one appropriate, then a Chinese-language film).

I discussed one example in class, which is the movie 괴물 (The Host). I talked about how we could discuss why there are so many Americans and some Southeast Asians in the movie, and why they are significant characters in the film, as well as what their specific actions, behaviour, and clothing tell us about the characters and about their social significance.

Other examples I mentioned were ê³ ì–‘ì�´ë¥¼ 부íƒ�í•´ (Take Care of My Cat) which has some Chinese-Koreans as major characters (and I think also has a brief appearance by Southeast Asian immigrants). Another example I mentioned was the Korean SF film Yesterday (the title is the same in Korean) which has some Chinese immigrant workers/criminals in it. Another great example is 삼거리극장 (The Midnight Ballad for the Ghost Theater)  — you can get a glance at the ghost in the background of that video, or in this trailer — which has several ghosts; one of them is the ghost of a Japanese soldier. I know two more examples: one is the film Welcome to Dongmakgol (the title, again, is the same in Korean) which features several American characters, and an old 1970s film called Woman Detective Mary (ì—¬ìž� 형사 마리) which depicts foreign men in some shocking ways, and also seems to depict Hong Kong drug smugglers in Seoul in 1975.

A few pointers:

  • It’s not always a good film that gives you the most to talk about. In fact, of all the films above, the two that I could talk about the most are the last two, and I don’t think they’re very good movies at all. But there’s a lot to talk about in each.
  • The more you surprise me, the better you’ll do. So if you go and write an essay on one of the films above, then I’ll be less surprised. For the Korean students, it might be a good idea to visit the Korean Film Archive, since they have many films you can watch at the archive, on DVD or in video tape format. (Students from abroad have an advantage here in that I know only a small number of films from Taiwan or China, but Korean students have an advantage since thereare manymore resources for them here.)
  • If you have no idea where to look, you might take an afternoon to visit the KOFA archive; they even have a library in Bucheon! (I haven’t visited, though, but I do know the main collection is in West Seoul, where the excellent Cinematheque KOFA is located.

Your essay should be

  1. in English,
  2. approximately 2000 words,
  3. formatted appropriately (ie. 12-point Courier New font, double-spaced, 1-inch (2.5 cm) margins, page numbers, your name and the title in the header

Two last notes:

DO NOT COME TO CLASS LATE. I know some of you won’t be ready to hand it in at the beginning of class. It’s better you put it in my mailbox at 8pm than for you to come to class late to hand in your essay. I will accept the essay anytime on October 28th, so don’t miss classtime to print it out.

And DO NOT PUT OFF THIS ESSAY! You won’t be able to do any writing during exam week, so you really should start on this essay now.

I’ll try find a good example essay on depiction for you to check out soon, and keep working on getting my scanner to work today.

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