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Life with Culture: Why 'Minari' is earning so much global praise
  • March 03, 2021

Life with Culture:
Why 'Minari' is earning so much global praise

Updated: 2021-02-26 15:25:01 KST


It's Friday, and that means it's time for our weekly 'Life with Culture' segment.
Our arts and culture correspondent Kim Bo-kyoung is in the studio to share with us all the exciting news from the culture sector.
Bo-kyoung I heard that there was a virtual press conference for the hit movie 'Minari' this morning?

That's right Conn-young, the press conference this morning was highly anticipated because the movie 'Minari' has already won 74 awards and 157 nominations from well-recognized film festivals and critic associations from around the world.
This includes winning the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival, and the recent nomination for best foreign language film at this year's Golden Globe Awards.
There are high expectations that it could also be nominated for the 93rd annual Academy Awards. When asked why this movie was able to connect with so many people, the director said he believes it's because the film deals with the universal values of humanity and love.

"I think it has to do with human beings and relationships and I think we all as people around the world wrestle with the things that Lee family is wrestling with -- the idea of how we love each other in difficult situation. I think a lot of people relate to that, it doesn’t matter what country we are from and I just feel honored that people are finding a way into this story."

Not just the movie, but the acting, especially Youn yuh-jung who played the grandmother, is also getting a lot of praise, right?

That's right. This is Youn's first American feature film, and she has already scooped up 26 awards including best supporting actress from the National Board of Review.
She also has been nominated for best supporting actress by the Screen Actors Guild Awards, and now eyes are on the chances of an Oscar nomination.
During the conference, she said she is honored but added that she cannot get too excited as she hasn't won those big awards yet.

"Actually I got only one prize. I am just hearing from others about the awards I got. I am not a Hollywood actress and as I didn't have any experience of this, I am just thinking 'Oh, there are many awards because the country is big.'"

I heard that the cast shot the film like a real family and perhaps that is the reason why lots of critics are lauding the movie.

Well, you are right. The actors themselves said that they were like a real family.
Youn Yuh-jung and Han yeri stayed together when shooting the film and Han said the whole cast would join together for dinner. ( )
She also said that such frequent gatherings gave them time to polish each other's lines.
Since the plot focuses on an immigrant family who went to rural Arkansas to pursue the American Dream, the cast feeling like real family members might have been the key to the success.
Steven Yeun also mentioned how refreshed he felt right after reading the script focused on family.

"We tried to polish the translated lines to make them more conversational. Before the actual shooting, we would also polish the scripts to make it more natural in Korean -- one week of scripts before every week of shooting begins."

"I think for me as an American as a Korean-American actor, usually when you get scripts about people of colored minorities it’s usually explanatory. It usually explains culture to the viewers because the viewer is assumed to be a majority white audience. when I read Issac‘s script it was just about this family. To me, if felt like reading a script from Korea like as people that happen to be Korean."

Well, I am sure lots of people are excited about watching the movie in person when it's released here on Wednesday next week. Apart from movies, what cultural events are happening over this long holiday weekend?

The concert 'Cinema Paradiso' features an orchestra and opera singers performing ( ) the theme songs from well-known movies at Seongnam Arts Center.
I am pretty sure lots of people would have seen the movie 'The Priests' which was released in 2015 and led to a lot of interest in exorcism. The occult movie has been turned into a musical, which can be seen at Uniplex in Daehak-ro.
As the last part of Seoul Donhwamun Traditional Theater's 'Undang-yeogwan Concert', Ahn sook-sun -- known as the first lady of Korea's traditional musical storytelling 'pansori', will present her show online.
The kids musical 'The Haunted House' has come back for season four on its official Naver TV channel.
The National Theater Company of Korea is performing 'Hamlet' on its official online theater. It's free to watch, but viewers should make a reservation before 5 PM the day before.
Lastly, those visiting Gangnam-gu District might want to visit the 'Michelangelo Exhibition' where they can enjoy digitally restored masterpieces along with media art.

Thank you Bo-kyoung as always. I will see you next week.

Thank you.