Culture

Culture - South China Morning Post
  1. 3/5 starsWhile we wait for a likely third season to materialise, Netflix invites us to return to the Kingdom saga this summer through this prequel origin story. Ashin of the North is a feature-length special that clues us in on the mysterious Ashin, played by superstar Jun Ji-hyun, who appeared in the closing moments of the second season.Following a dense preamble that outlines the geopolitics of the Jurchen forces, officials of the ancient Korean Joseon kingdom and the Seongjeoyain tribe…
  2. Eunice Yeung places her hands on her belly – she is seven months pregnant with her first child. “I’m having a boy and all I want is for him to grow up respecting women.”She’s heard many stories where that has not been the case.Yeung is a Hong Kong-based therapist specialising in support for trauma survivors. As well as running her own private practice she works as a part-time counsellor at RainLily, the city’s first sexual violence crisis centre for women.“The girls that come to RainLily for…
  3. Haiti has been plunged into another crisis following the assassination of President Jovenel Moise. Known today for its wretched litany of natural and man-made catastrophes, most people are unaware of Haiti’s inspiring past as the first nation in Latin America and the Caribbean to achieve independence from European rule, in 1804, and the only country in history that was founded by a successful slave rebellion.However, two centuries of misgovernance, political instability, endemic corruption and…
  4. The TV drama Itaewon Class, about a young entrepreneur who seeks to avenge his father’s death by taking down his rival at a powerful corporation, has built a loyal global following on Netflix.But media executive Jeongin Hong believes there is even more potential for the 2020 Korean-language series.Hong, whose company JTBC Studios produces the show, wants to develop an English version of the series with the potential help of wiip – a Hollywood company behind HBO’s Mare of Easttown and other…
  5. Afterparties: Stories by Anthony Veasna So, pub. Ecco PressWhen Anthony Veasna So died in December, aged just 28, he left behind a reputation as an author on the brink of stardom, a powerful voice for other Khmer youth growing up in America in the shadow of the collective tragedy of their parents’ and grandparents’ generations.Now, a collection of his short stories, Afterparties, has been published, helping his fiction to reach a larger audience. Many of the tales have already appeared in…
  6. “We said, ‘if we are allowed to sing in English, we must’.”So says Benny Andersson of Swedish pop group Abba in This Is Pop, a new Netflix documentary that dropped in June – but these words could just have easily been uttered by a member of BTS.The K-pop group’s Permission to Dance, which topped the US Billboard’s Hot 100 in the week beginning July 18, is their fifth No 1 on the prestigious music chart. Of those five, only one – last year’s Life Goes On – was in Korean; the rest have been in…
  7. Looking for a career change and entry into a pandemic-proof business? The answer may lie in your own backyard, but be warned: places in the pecking order are defended robustly and the really big money never trickles down.According to the makers of true-crime drugs documentary Traffickers: Inside the Golden Triangle, business has seldom been better. Far from making a dent in profits, Covid-19 has helped pay dividends to people invested in narcotics in the region bordering Thailand, Laos and…
  8. One of the beautiful things about martial arts films is the different influences that are present in them: real-life combat forms like hung gar and wing chun kung fu, and circus skills like wirework and trampolining, to name a few.But the main influence on martial arts as they are depicted on screen is certainly Peking opera – or more accurately Chinese opera, as martial arts films choreography also draws from many regional Chinese opera forms.The first martial arts film, The Burning of the Red…
  9. Netflix’s new reality series Sexy Beasts asks singles to find romance while wearing fantastical, highly detailed prosthetics. When the trailer debuted last month, it appeared to be the vibrantly coloured love child of The Masked Singer and Love Is Blind, and was described with confused-but-can’t-look-away adjectives like surreal, bizarre and deranged.One Twitter user said it best: “I’m appalled and disgusted and will definitely be tuning in.”But the concept isn’t new. In fact, Sexy Beasts is a…
  10. After debuting with the little seen drama Scripting Your Destiny earlier this year, TVing, South Korea’s hot new streaming service, is back with its second original drama, The Witch’s Diner, an eight-episode supernatural series based on the novel Come to the Witch’s Restaurant.An ethereal Song Ji-hyo, with reddish hair, a hypnotic pair of contact lenses and some velvety dresses, plays Jo Hee-ra, the titular witch, beckoning lost souls into her decadently decked out eatery and promising them a…