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Monday, May 29, 2006

. . world cup . .

World Cup is arriving in 2 weeks time and I just can't wait! I'm not a usual soccer fanatic, and definitely not a fan in soccer gambling, I just love the hype when everyone get together to cheer and boo!

One team, however, that I will definitely keep my eyes on is the Korean team! I've mentioned many entries ago that me and Korea, somehow has this fate going on and Korea never failed to amaze me in many ways. It wasn't just the entertainment that caught me. 4 years ago this time, I wasn't yet a big fan of Kdrama or any K-artists, but I was crazily supporting Korean soccer team. I was very pleasantly surprised because they suddenly emerged from big names like Germany, Brazil, as a pretty strong team, yet representing Asia.

That is Yong Joon watching the World Cup in 2002. When I first came upon the photos and clips of him watching soccer, I was quite amused because I didn't know he was that of a sporty guy (yes I know I was totally wrong coz I later found out that he does like sports too!) and probably too busy. Compare to Kim Seung Woo who almost jumped off his seat, Yong Joon was the quieter one cheering and clapping. But his facial expression when he got excited, it is almost too cute to describe.. hehe!

Will Yong Joon be able to catch the World Cup again this year? *cross finger*

Thursday, May 25, 2006

. . aera interview part 2 . .

AERA Special Edition No.51 9/30 issue
Evolving Hanryu (Korean Wave) - Bae Yongjoon "April Snow" (Part 2)

During this interview, he looked at me straight in the eye and would never diert a look even a moment. Even while I took notes with my face down, he gazed at me with earnest look. Indeed, he is a man of concentration. Though in quiet tone, when it came to the talk on acting, he began to express his thought with enthusiasm, gesturing with his hands.

It is 11 years since he debuted. It usually cannot be possible for the man who has continuously been a top star to throw away all of his own acting style, in addition, among exceptionally big expectations on him from domestic and from foreign. Bae Yongjoon, however, dislikes more than anything living peacefully in the image fixed as an actor.

I revealed our hope to him, who said that he still had not escaped from Insoo completely, that we would like to have the image of Insoo as a concept of the photographs for this ‘AERA’. For an instant, he looked puzzled, as he came here in bright clothes, but immediately he nodded, saying "I understand."

How cruel thing I said to him to return to the role in hardship! Having a bit of thought we should change the concept and seeing him, he already showed an earnest expression. Once standing in front of a camera, he took a deep breath as if he toned his feeling. In a moment, a smiling face disappeared and his look began to wear melancholy. Only his deep signs and shutter sounds were sounding in the room. [Chris: I'm so very impressed by Yong Joon's professionalism.. totally. If I'm the reporter, you will see my jaw dropping on the floor]

I imagine it was seriously hard for you to throw away all your acting style in the past. Why did you dare to do that, though your 'perfectionism' is what no one can imitate?

BYJ : (Thinking for a while) As you said, so far I liked 'perfection' and never failed to think that there should be a correct answer. In other words, in my behavior as well, I had been searching for a 'correct answer'. But, in so doing, I think, I might have constructed a kind of frame, in which I have been shutting myself up.

You mean, not only about the films, but you are talking about your way of thinking and living your life, aren’t you?

BYJ : Yes. This time, however, I think I could break the frame by myself through this work, and could broaden the width of my understanding. Say, I came to think that love can take various forms.

In this film Insoo was seriously hurt and was put into an agony by his wife’s betrayal, but he ironically let himself into doing the same thing. Through experiencing the moments in such ironical situation with inconsistencies, I felt various things. Can the relationship between Insoo and Seoyoung be called love?

In the beginning I could not grasp even the outline of the relationship of the two. Since I had wanted to have a correct answer for everything, I was so confused and had a hard time. In such confusion, however, I gradually came to accept it. There might not be a 'correct' answer. Various forms of love can exist.

And I realized love is what one believe in. I think it is the hardest time when one cannot believe in love.

You have thrown away all of your acting style in such a big work like this in the midst of surrounding expectation. Is it from your confidence that you still could accomplish- it in the end?

BYJ : (with a bit shy smiling face) Surely, I think I can do, for anything, when I believe I will definitely make it. And even when I may not make it, I will try my best to the last moment to achieve it. If it turns out to be a failure, I will not regret. This time also, since I believed so, I could take up this project and could obtain a lot from it.

On the day of crank-up of this film, after the final shooting, Bae Yongjoon felt hard to leave there and was standing on the highway with Director Hur Jinho for over 30 minutes. He, who had been Insoo himself, felt there still was something left to be shot and could not help missing.

Just after the crank-up, I asked him about his feeling, and he answered like this: ( AERA, August 1st , 2005 issue) - "I felt the end of shooting as a beginning of something. Because, I thought too many things while doing this work. How should I live as a human being? I thought it over and about love as well. I think it a good chance for me to reflect upon myself as an actor."

This sincerity with which he considers anything in earnest is the very posture he has consistently kept.

As for the works Bae Yongjoon appeared, there are not a few excellent works which carefully projected the social backgrounds of Korea This is also the result of the fact that he himself has selected the works thoughtfully.

Just like 'April Snow' of this time, I think you have been outstanding in your selection of the works. What is your priority when you decide the work?

BYJ : 'April Snow' is an exceptional case where I decided to appear before the scenario was completed. So far, I always read the scenario first and think how far I can recreate and develop it as an actor. For, the fate of an actor is to evolve himself through the works. And I also think it important to be able to feel any charm from the role I would play. I try to find any similarity in myself as well. For, while in performance I have to live completely as the character even though it happens to be a thorough unfamiliar figure to me.

It is a great pleasure to experience various lives other than my own thanks to being an actor. And it is another charm of this occupation that I can make some impression and influence on a number of people through my works.

. . aera interview part 1 . .

AERA Special Edition No.51 9/30 issue
Evolving Hanryu (Korean Wave) - Bae Yongjoon "April Snow" (Part 1)

From "April Snow" he makes love evolving.

Is there any Asian star who has been loved by a large number of people this much?

Bae Yongjoon, an actor who has gained popularity and passionate support not only in Japan but in various parts of Asia as well. In his second starring film "April Snow", he challenged the difficult role who agonizes in love. His natural performance painfully shakes the hearts of the audience.

What does he think and will aim for now that he has reached a fresh ground as an actor? He talked about his determination quietly but passionately.

Interviewer and writer: Rumi Hayashi ( Books Editorial Division)
Photographer : Osamu Kobayashi (Photographing Center)

On the final day of coverage in his visit to Japan, and that, as the last scheduled coverage, Bae Yongjoon appeared in the interview gallantly with that smile in which not a tint of fatigue was impressed, though he must have managed to finish awfully hard schedules.

Valiant appearance and overflowing dignity. He performed an ordinary man in this film, but still, the word 'young noble' did fit him who was standing in front of this writer. Maybe because of his longer hair, he looked more youthful than in the film, and the figure slimmer than before impressed his good style.

On seeing me, he walked towards me for shaking hands. As soon as I greeted him in Korean, he answered back ‘Omeni kakarete ureshii desu.( Glad to see you.)’ in beautiful Japanese in that low voice.

"April Snow (Original Title "Wea Chul")" is an extraordinary talked-about film which will be simultaneously released in 10 Asian countries, and for whose press conference in Japan more than 1,100 mass media people gathered. I imagine the pressure put on his shoulder seems unfathomably big.

Insoo he played is a difficult role who, in the agony of being betrayed by his wife, is getting to know a new love. In the press conference in Korea, he said, "I almost feel ashamed as if I were exposing my own experience."

I hear you haven’t seen the film in Seoul and in Japan, either. Why?

BYJ : To be honest, I feel tense very much. The working style I took in this film was what I have been wanting to but couldn’t do in the past. Because this is the work which was shot by such a new methodology for the first time, I am much worried about how the audience will respond to my new acting. When I come back to Seoul, I think I will watch the film in secret with the audience in the theater. Thus, I would like to enjoy the film in the same air with other people.

In that case, you have to disguise yourself in costume, don’t you? Hahaha, but it will be nice!

In the film I can see, in particular, the weak part as well as the unbeautiful part , and pitifulness in man. I know you all had a hard time in shooting the film, but how come you became able to do such a natural performance?

BYJ :This time I determined that I would live a life as the man, Insoo, not to mention in the site of shooting but also in the hours other than shooting. So far I had prepared myself thoroughly for the role I would play before entering the performance. When I didn’t complete the situation or the emotional magnitude of the role yet, I almost impossibly couldn’t act in front of a camera.

But, this time, instead of acting through words, I tried to feel the emotion, what I feel in each moment, rather than act it. And I was supposed to create the situation itself by myself. Without any preparation, without any calculation. If any preparation I was allowed to do, it was only a preparation for the heart which will determine to become a man himself.

This work, of course, was very hard for me, but while advancing, I came to have somewhat a strange feeling. I unawares came to be able to express or react to spontaneously what I couldn’t feel in the past from time to time. I gradually came to make such things without noticing.

Because I had never thought that I could express such feelings and actions in front of a camera, it was a new discovery for me. In that sense, this is a work which served a big harvest for me. Finishing this work, I can expect myself in the next work, and in the further following work. I think I have grown to be able to learn various things.

To quote the scenes concretely, I find a reality in the figure which is not smart, such as in the scenes where drunken Insoo bangs the door wrongly, or where he cries in his motel room alone. I almost believe that it may be the real figure of Bae Yongjoonssi yourself.

BYJ : Ah, that is an impressive scene for me, too. In the scene where Insoo cries in a motel alone, if it were old me, I would have calculated immediately, thinking of the position of the camera, of the angle in which I am shot, and would have considered I have to show myself like this and that. I would have thought it is important to have a communication with a camera. That is, I had always cared about beforehand how I would be shot. This time, however, I did not think at all how I acted. I was only thinking I would like to be faithful to the feeling at that time. That’s all.

In that scene I cried with nasal mucus flowing. But, I didn’t even realize it at all. If formerly, when I had a running nose in such a crying scene, I would have definitely wiped it or hidden it, would have done something like that. At that time, however, because I was actually crying without noticing it, I found it on the monitor later, "Ah, I had a running nose!" [Chris: I remembered the whole theatre was giggling away when we all saw that scene. And yeah, I was surprised, too, that Yong Joon would allow that to be shown.]

The scene where Insoo gets drunk and goes to sleep in the room of Seoyoung is also impressive. Insoo who wakes up in the next morning with his hair disheveled looks very innocent and strikingly real. [Chris: And extremely cute and sexy! *giggles*]

BYJ : That’s right. The wake-up scene you talked about now is the only scene in this film which the director gave me OK for the first time by one take. It’s the only scene completed by one take, for the first and the last.

With this work, I rather think that the director gave us OK comparatively soon in the scenes we express strong feelings. For example, for the scene where I burst into tears while drinking alcohol together with his junior, the scene where I get drunk and knock on the door of a motel, and the scene where I cry alone in a motel, OK came out by about 2 takes.

I heard there were only a few scenes which the director gave OK sign quite easily, weren’t there?

BYJ : Yes, we shot one scene at least 15 times, and as many as 60 times at most, over and over again. In that aspect, Director Hur Jinho may have something common with me in respect of being a ‘perfectionist’.

At such time, what kind of conversation did you have with the director?

BYJ : Since he just told me "Try to turn completely into a person", I had no choice but to do what the character might feel.

In this work, there were almost no situation and lines which had been completely decided beforehand. We talked with the director scene by scene, and sometimes roughly discussed what Insoo might have thought at a certain time. But, he didn’t give us any decisive advice. He said it was the most important for the work to express what we felt by ourselves to the last. To say about him most, he would just say "Oh, that may be right." (laughter) So, I feel we have created the film at each moment.

The director simply told us "Well, let's start." But, since nothing wasn't decided then, I didn't understand what I should do. For example, there was a scene where Insoo and Seoyoung were standing. He gave no direction at all to us except for the two persons being there. So I asked him "What should I do?", and he just said, "Just be standing there." That's it! I was totally puzzled. I thought still there should be anything more. For a while, I felt very awkward. Then the director said OK! Wondering why this was OK, I asked him and was said, "That awkward feeling was good." He told me that performance should be not what actors make but what comes spontaneously out of the feeling they feel at the moment. I think I have studied and felt a lot from Director Hur Jinho.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

. . drop dead gorgeous . .

Everybody, Let's .....

..... SCREAM!!!!

Sunday, May 21, 2006

. . music player guide . .

It's... 4.19am on a Sunday morning right now and I'm still typing away. I didn't want to waste the weekend time sleeping away because sleeping always makes the day past faster and I really don't want Monday to come by too fast! So I decided to post this guide which I promised some of you to create your own music player on your website or blog! Please note that these codes are not written by me. I just happened to found this great player one day and after experimenting the codes and stuff, managed to get it all up and running! Below are a few things you need to have before you proceed:

1. A website builder that allows ample space for uploading your mp3 files and allow enough bandwidth. I strongly recommend www.freewebs.com. (Note that you will have to be a member for one week before you can really upload more than 500KB of files)

2. Download this > flash_mp3_player.zip and get it unzipped.

3. Lotsa files and folders in the zipped file but not to worry, u really only need to work on 3 files, i.e, config.xml, mp3player.swf, playlist.xml.

4. Create a folder called 'mp3' in your website builder and upload whichever songs u want to play on your site. The bigger the file size, the longer it takes to download and some people who visit ur site may not have a good speed to download files, u may want to make sure ur files are not that huge in size.

Moving on to editing the 3 files that I mentioned above. For xml files, they are just like HTML files, you can use Notepad (Start > Programs > Accessories > Notepad) to edit.

1. Mp3player.swf - just upload this file onto your website builder. No editing needs to done for this.

2. Playlist.xml - this file is where you edit the address of your songs (eg. 'http://www.webbuilder.com/mp3/song.mp3')which you have uploaded. Inside the file, you will see the example of how the code should look like. Basically you just need to edit the address of your song (within the location code) and the song title (within the annotation code). After you are done editing, upload into your webbuilder (but not into the mp3 folder).

3. Config.xml - this file is where you configure your player to ur liking. Take a look at the codes, you will get to realised that you can actually choose to autostart your player, to shuffle the songs, to adjust the volume, to repeat your songs in the playlist..etc. Those that you want them to happen, change the code from 'false' to 'true'. For colours wise, you can try playing with the colour that you may want for your site. You can use the colour chart and see which suits the best. Upload the file into your webbuilder after you are done.

4. Please see this > code file for the code on what to enter in your blog codes. Just edit the address of your files in the codes. You can also adjust the width and height in the codes. Choose the appropriate place where you want to display your player.

Violaaa... your player should be up and running for you! Let me know if you are encountering problem by emailing me to luvjoonoppa@yahoo.com.sg!! Enjoy!!

. . ppilku . .

Just found out the name of the debut movie which Yong Joon started out his acting career in. The name of the movie is called "Ppiku". Maybe I'm the last person in Yong Joon's world to have found this out.. haha! I'm gonna do more research on it now!

Movie Name: Ppilku a.k.a. 삘구 (Bilgu)

Debut: Production began in 1993 or 1994, completed in 1995, released on 18th July 1997

Directed by: Yu Jin Seon

Starred: Lee Min-Woo (Ppilku), Kim Kyum Yong, Kim Ki-Yeon, Hong Il Kwon, Bae Yong Joon, Kim Seung Su, Lee Sye Chang, Won Ki Jun

Runtime: 97 mins

More info: PpilKu is a Korean movie that began production from 1993 or 1994. Ppilku completed filming in 1995. However, it was not only until 1997 before it was finally released into the general public. The movie has a runtime of 97 minutes. The content of the movie is loosely based on Salut D'Amour, a KBS drama series filmed in 1994.

Ppilku tells about a group of high school boys who were attracted to a sexy school teacher who was assigned to be the form teacher the class the boys were in. One of the boys, Ppilku, formed relations with the teacher.

Amazingly, despite so many years since its debut, this film is reproduced in the form of DVD and on sale in Amazon Japan (here). From my point of view, I think it is because it starred Yong Joon, despite him being only a small-time actor in this movie.


. . jae-ho and yong joon . .

I'm accompanied by Yong Joon at my bedside almost every night these days before I go to sleep and the moment I woke up, he is almost the first person I saw every morning! Had been watching "Have We Really Loved" these days and I'm so hooked to it! Honestly, I did not finish watching it on my 1st round and this is my 2nd time and definitely will not be my last of course!

I've seen reviews and lotsa posts about the fans' feelings after watching this drama, but I usually tried to refrain from reading them because they usually contained the spoilers and I don't want to know them before I finish watching. I'm currently on disc 20 and like what many fans felt after watching the drama, it was hell of a roller-coaster ride of emotions... sadness, pain, anger, happiness.. all rolled into one. If you haven't watch it, you should really head down to the nearest video shop to buy it or rent it!

Jae-ho, the mentioned of this name, my heart sometimes felt this pain as if an arrow had hit right through it. Being the strong man, brother, friend and nephew that he wants to portrayed to everyone, was in fact a really fragile and lonely figure, yearning for someone to love and only one saw the real him and could make him feel loved. The way Yong Joon acted as Jae-ho in this drama, made me feel that he was as if acting his real life out, hiding behind a fictional character. Of course, both have many differences in each lives, but still there is this similarity that I can't really describe it. Maybe he is just too good in acting, but still.. ya know... hmmm.. Can't help but recall the time he attended the recent wedding ceremony and mentioned that he was full of envious for the couple.

I think I know what the story ending is going to be like and I hope I'm wrong because I want it to be a happy ending. For now, a good big box of tissue is what I will need most. Will talk more about my feelings for this show later.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

. . its been a while . .

Been missing in the Yong Joon scene for quite a while, popping once a while in the usual forums I've always been visiting. Thank goodness for those who always keep the forums updated, you know who you are and I sincerely thank you from the bottom of my heart! I haven't had the time to browse and read but you guys offered me a one-stop station for any updated news of Yong Joon!

It had been kind of a busy and stressful 2 weeks at my new workplace, it's just sad that I can't seek as much comfort in Yong Joon land as I used to whenever I felt stressed or just want to take a breather from work. Yeah I'm serious, seeing Yong Joon's face and smile really does made my day a little less gloomy and cheered me up a bit and it's back to work in a happier mood. Well, don't really have that much private space in the new co. thus I wouldn't dare to do so. Maybe once I'm more used to the place and its culture, probably I'll slip in more often.

I'm missing Yong Joon as much as ever, thus I'm rewatching 'Have We Really Loved' all over again every night. These days, he is always the last person before I fell asleep. :)

PS: For those who are curious on how to have this music box in your blog, drop me a mail to luvjoonoppa@yahoo.com.sg and I will try to draft a guide on how to do so. *wink*