Culture

South China Morning Post
  1. The debut series of romance mockumentary Lovestruck in the City (Netflix, two episodes weekly) weighs in with an absorbing helping of both as it follows the adventures in love – or lack thereof – boasted about, admitted to, invented or concealed by six young men and women (three of each) making their way in the big city. Not that the city limits represent any geographical constraints, especially for on-again, off-again couple Jae-won (Ji Chang-wook) and Eun-oh (Kim Ji-won), who do their…
  2. Hong Kong cinema is constantly evolving, and martial arts directors are continually bringing something new to the genre to keep it current. The novel approach of The Storm Riders, released in 1998, was to use digital effects and computer animation in a wuxia film. The resulting martial arts fantasy, based on a popular Hong Kong comic by Ma Wing-shing, was a big hit with audiences in the city. It was helped by the presence of stars Aaron Kwok Fu-shing and Ekin Cheng Yee-kin in the leading roles,…
  3. Tom Verica is used to juggling.As a director, producer and actor for Shonda Rhimes’ production company Shondaland, he’s filmed dozens of episodes of gasp-worthy television. At one point, he was working behind the scenes on Rhimes’ ABC hit Scandal while moonlighting as a character (and sometimes corpse) on its time-slot neighbour How to Get Away with Murder .But it wasn’t until Bridgerton, the bingeable period romance filmed in Britain that’s the first fruit of Rhimes’ US$100 million deal with…
  4. When the Marvel superhero movies reached their box-office-shattering climax in 2019, nobody could have predicted the saga’s next instalment would be a kitsch, black-and-white TV sitcom called WandaVision.But a lot has changed since Iron Man and friends saved the world in that summer’s all-time record-grossing blockbuster Avengers: Endgame (and mopped up some loose plot points in Spider-Man: Far From Home shortly after.)The wildly popular franchise of 23 interconnected movies ground to a halt,…
  5. “Fireworks,” explains Soyeon. “Hope,” adds Miyeon. “Recover,” says Yuqi. To Shuhua: “Salt”. Minnie says it’s “Our youth”. Soojin concludes that it’s “wind”. These are words the six members of (G)I-dle use to describe their new album I Burn.Late at night in Seoul on Shuhua’s 21st birthday, amid a snowstorm that made Soyeon late, the six women were prepping for their return with their first Korean album since last April’s I Trust.I Burn, which dropped on Monday, picks up (G)I-dle’s lyrical…
  6. The Momentous, Uneventful Day by Gideon Haigh, ScribeMy career started in a broom cupboard. It had no windows or phone outlets, but a desk and chair made it my space during the hours I worked at a media company in the 1990s. Even then, having a door I could close was more appealing than being in an open-plan hubbub.This year, millions of people forced to abandon their offices have come to the same conclusion. They may have found other ways to carve out privacy for themselves, but the…
  7. Emma Thompson did it in Ang Lee’s 1995 screen adaptation of Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility, as did Dustin Hoffman in the movie classic The Graduate in 1967. Actors taking on roles that are much younger than their real age – Thompson played a 19-year-old when she was 35 and Hoffman a college student at 30 – is nothing new.But when Zhang Ziyi attempted such a feat recently, the Chinese superstar received a torrent of criticism from audience and critics alike.Monarch Industry, a lavish 80…
  8. An unlikely player entered the conversation this week after the second impeachment of United States President Donald Trump on Wednesday: K-pop girl group Twice.Fans of K-pop, and of Twice in particular, who were in favour of his impeachment had a lot of fun taking to social media to post memes, with one user accumulating more than 100,000 likes for a tweet featuring a picture of the girl group and the caption: “Trump got impeached not once but …”.This isn’t the first time groups of K-pop fans…
  9. As 2021 gets under way, the K-drama production pipelines are steadily filling up. Several major projects have been announced in the past few weeks, including reunions for the stars of Sweet Home and the star and writer of Descendants of the Sun, a Pixar-esque webtoon adaptation and a starry remake of a hit British legal drama. Black Sun Hot Stove League star Min Namkoong has signed on to appear in this new MBC drama. Min will play Han Ji-hyuk, a top agent of South Korea’s National…
  10. 4.5/5 stars A compelling, provocative drama, The Mauritanian is a real gut-punch of a movie. Chronicling the life of Mohamedou Ould Slahi, who spent years locked up in Guantanamo Bay, it’s a long, exhausting but ultimately exhilarating watch, fleshed out with excellent performances and a director who offers a measured and absorbing account of Slahi’s fate. Slahi was arrested and shipped out to Guantanamo, the controversial US detainee centre on Cuban soil, with American intelligence officials…