Malaysian illustrator Tang Yau Hoong cleverly uses negative space to create some fascinating illustrations that make you stop and think for a while. His works look simple, yet are complicated little puzzles you can’t not love solving them! We celebrate episode 350 by sitting down and discussing art, film, and more! Read below for the full Q&A…
What is the design culture like in Malaysia at the moment? Is it a thriving location for creativity?
Although in general there are still not much attention being paid to art and design industry here but I do think it is growing. Especially more mainstream media are starting to cover art and design news. It is not easy to make a living at making art in Malaysia but I can see many artists are still passionate and positive about all possibilities. Whereas the design industry could be a good place for designers to pursue their career because of the more consistent commercial work opportunities.
Many people underestimate the technical style of The Art of Negative Space. What kind of creative process do you go to in order to execute a clever idea that translates well on paper?
This is a tough question. To me, there is no specific way or formula to come up with an idea. But I think we can somehow try to make it work with iterative process. I do a lot of sketching and brainstorming. Combining different elements and reconstructing everything I can think of could work. Sometimes I just need to keep thinking and eventually I will get the idea.
And when you begin an illustration, is it a major concern of yours that the art works on a variety of mediums such as clothes? Or is that just an added bonus?
Most of the time I try to create illustrations that are applicable on various media. But I don’t think restriction is a bad thing all the time because sometimes this actually opens up more possibilities in terms of composition and perspective as I do not need to worry that the final art might not look good on certain media.
One of your pieces that really jumps out at me is your poem illustrations that are all greyscaled in nature. What brought upon this decision? Was it strictly a printing situation where costs were concerned?
This is a personal project that I collaborated with a poet friend, eL. At first, we both just wanted to create a series of illustrations that goes well with his poems. Turned out black and white works really well. Cost is one of the concern but I think at the end we like it monochrome too. His poems are very imaginative and visual which inspired my illustrations a lot.
What are some of your favorite Asian films or anime?
Some of the Asian films I could think of now are works by Wong Kar Wai, Jia ZhangKe, Shunji Iwai, Edward Yang. I do not watch a lot of anime, but Mcdull, a Hong Kong cartoon is brilliant. I am also a manga fan of Naoki Urasawa, Minoru Furuya and Mitsuru Adachi.
If you had to describe the importance of communicative art in today’s world – what would you say?
A picture is worth a thousand words, although this is cliche. It is no doubt the the average time we spend on a single page, website, etc is reducing so I think communicative art is really important in this sense.
As a self taught creative well-versed in many disciplines, what is your personal take on formal education? Do you recommend it to other artists or do you feel your route was more beneficial?
I think anyone who feels like going to formal education might as well do it. There is no certain way or formula. My stance is neutral in terms of learning new skills. However, the experience we get in formal education is priceless because the older we get the lesser our inclination to further study. Sometimes when i think of this I wonder what would I be if I had formal design training.
You made a great series where you stated how fascinated you were with light. Are there any surreal items or things you’d like to concentrate on for a future series of illustrations?
I have a couple of series I would like to do in the near future. They will be some similar elements involved such as nature and animals, and could also be a continuation of my previous works.
What else is ahead for you in 2014?
So far, regular commissions have been keeping me busy enough. I might want to focus on my personal projects more later this year.
Lastly, any advice you could offer up to a budding young artist?
Work hard, be positive and appreciate every opportunity because any step we take could be a stepping stone to better outcome.
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In another dimension the Devil King Sadao is only one step away from conquering the world when he is beaten by Hero Emilia and forced to drift to the other world: modern-day Tokyo. As “conquering the world” are the only skills the Devil King possesses – and are obviously unnecessary in his new situation – he must work as a freeter to pay for his living expenses. But the anime starts out with some pretty decent action sequences and the backdrop to our story—in the world Ignora, Satan decides to declare war on humans because he wants there to be peace for all devils and demons and evil things (fair enough).
The Devil is a Part-Timer is a series of light novels in Japan, and also has two manga adaptations that might be worth checking out as well. This series is enveloped in the supernatural and uses the plot device of the battle between light and darkness. However, the main focus isn’t necessarily on good vs. evil or angels vs. demons. Instead, the series focuses on a very comedic twist that most wouldn’t see coming. Beyond that, for the most part, the rest of Maou-sama is quite entertaining has it details Satan and Alciel encounters with others from Ente Isla such as the Hero, Emi Yusa (who is also stuck on Earth), and people on Earth such as Satan’s MgRonalds co-worker, Chiho that play their parts in both the realm of pure tomfoolery and action-driven points. Maou-sama is more comedy than it is action, so its comical effect certainly does rely on its characters a great deal; which I feel that it does not utilize as effectively and efficiently as possible, but still manages to get the job done.
But the real fun of this series revolves around the day-to-day living. Mao, working at MgRonalds (yes, it’s exactly what you’re thinking), must earn money to pay for food and rent for he and Ashiya, while Ashiya stays at home all day to clean, cook and manage the budget. Meanwhile, Emi is forced to work at a call center to make ends meet while trying to keep tabs on Mao. And with other characters coming over who can’t return to Ente Isla, plus the people they meet in Tokyo, it’s all fun for the audience. It’s almost a foregone conclusion that there will be a second season, considering where the first leaves off and how much more story there is to be told. The Devil is a Part-Timer! may not push the boundaries of anime experimentation with new fight sequences or character design, but it provides a thoroughly fun story with plenty of humor and character growth to keep the audience more than entertained throughout.
A topic that will continue to be debated is whether there is an existence after we die, and more specifically, if there is a God and a Devil. Regardless which way one may view this topic, it is something that will continue to be prominent in society. The world of anime, like any form of storytelling, spins their renditions and takes on the subject, sometimes with drama and deep philosophical views and other with comedy and lightheartedness. FUNimation brings us The Devil is a Part-Timer!, a different approach to the world of the Devil and those that would stand against him. And FUNimation has a real winner here.
In 1777 Korea, King Jeong-jo (Hyun Bin) learns that assassin Eul-Soo (Jo Jung-suk) and two palace servants (Jung Jae-young and Jung Eun-chae) have been ordered to kill him. He has survived many other assassination attempts in the past by members of the Noron faction who are also responsible for murdering his father. Gwang-baek (Jae-hyeon Jo) has been training the assassins to kill ever since their were young orphans. Complicating matters, one of Jeong-jo’s servants confesses to Jeong-jo that he had known Eul-Soo since they were very young when both were raised by the pernicious Gwang-baek. Tensions between Queen Jeongsun (Han Ji-min), Jeong-jo’s grandmother, and his mother, Lady Hyegyeong (Kim Sung-ryung) also arise.
Director Lee Jae-Kyoo keeps the suspense building a gradual pace as more details emerge that escalate the assassination threat against the King. This isn’t a simple good vs. evil story, though, because it has complexities as you learn more and more about the characters’ histories and the dynamics of their relationship which aren’t black-and-white. The way that Jae-Kyoo informs you about those histories, though, lacks subtlety because he resorts to flashbacks rather excessively. Imagine being told a very compelling story that has you at the edge-of-year seat when, all-of-a-sudden, the storyteller stops the story to provide some vivid exposition every 15 minutes or so before returning to the story. He or she not a particularly effective storyteller because by pausing the story so many times, it loses its dramatic momentum. The same can be said for director Lee Jae-Kyoo. If those flashbacks were to be condensed and/or omitted while being referred to somehow briefly in the main story instead, The Fatal Encounterwould have been consistently captivating and shorter than 2 hours and 15 minutes. Fortunately, the action sequences aren’t excessive or particularly gory for that matter, so at least the director knows that the characters and the ensuing drama are more important than mind-numbing action scenes.
Aesthetically, the production values are all top-notch. Everything from the cinematography to the set design, costume design, lighting and make-up look exquisite and add a richness to the film as well as some eye candy. It’s worth noting that The Fatal Encounter surpassed The Amazing Spider-Man at the Korean box office, and it right deserves that major feat. Hopefully, one day, American audiences will embrace such sophisticated thrillers made for adults and turn them into blockbusters instead of supporting the constant onslaught of vapid, bloated, uninspired comic book movies, but I’m not going to be holding my breath for that moment to arrive anytime soon.
Elephante is a progressive & electro house producer/DJ based in Los Angeles. Most recently he caught my attention by remixing Calvin Harris’ “Summer’. He striped the original’s dance-pop elements and replace them for an electrified progressive explosion. It adds the extra velocity that fuels every listeners fire with uplifting synths and piano. But this song adds trap-like drum lines giving this remix more flavor than many remixes have to offer. It was that kind of talent that really urged myself to stop what I was doing and showcase Elephante in this episode of the Creative Spotlight. Read below for the full Q&A…
Let’s first talk about all these aliases: Elephante. Why’d you choose that name?
It’s a reference to the phrase “elephant in the room”. I used to work a desk job, and the elephant was that I was really unhappy and hated it even though it was a really good job, and all I wanted to do was make music. So the name was about “becoming the elephante”, and just embracing what I always wanted to do but was too scared to.
Also, elephants are dope – they like stomp around and make cool noise and stuff.
And except being a great producer, are you having some regular “every day” job?
Nope, full time noise-maker!
From a marketing standpoint, its quite smart to remix popular songs by established artists to gain exposure. Was that the idea behind it or do you appreciate the challenge of remixing well known songs with your own spin?
It’s a combination of both. Obviously getting your name out there in the beginning is extremely difficult, and remixing big names helps get people’s attention. But, musically it’s exciting because people are familiar with the original, so you can really show off and get weird with it, and people can see what you did. At the same time, people love the original, so you gotta be extra careful not to f*ck it up. Which I’ve definitely done before, not that fun.
Is there a secret to your sound? Can you describe a bit about your creative process/synth sound detail?
Lots of time and coffee :) I usually start on piano or guitar and figure out a cool melody or harmony. From there, sometimes it’s beautiful and easy, and I can see the whole song before I make anything, like my Dark Horse remix. Other times I will try a million things and hate it all and want to bash my head in, like Team. But in general it’s a lot of repeating the same section 8 million times, twisting a bunch of knobs, and imagining different things and just going with whatever sounds the coolest. I also sing and yell a lot, jump around, imagine Swedish House Mafia playing it at a festival, etc. My neighbors don’t really like me.
What are some bands you’d love to work with that you haven’t had a chance to either remix their songs or meet in person?
JOHN MAYER. Only sort of kidding, I grew up on singer songwriter and indie rock, so working with Johnny boy or like Bon Iver or Passion Pit would be amazing. As far as more contemporary dance acts, right now I’m a big fan of Galantis and Seven Lions, and then weirder hard stuff like Dog Blood (RIP), Botnek, etc.
How do you feel about where progressive/electronic music has come as a whole?
I think it’s a really exciting place to be right now. It gets kind of a bad rap for being generic and all sounding the same, but there’s so much good music pushing the envelope.
What are some of your favorite Asian films?
I’m a big fan of anything Kurosawa of course. Battle Royale was also awesome. Recently I watched “Rikyu” on a flight – the whole Zen aspect was really beautiful. But then I watched Katy Perry’s documentary afterward, so it sorta cancelled out.
Piracy is the root of all problems young producers meet in their journey. Is it possible to stop it? Can you earn for living from solely selling your work digitally?
I don’t really think of it as a problem; as a young artist I actually want everyone to pirate my music. There is so much music out there to listen to that having someone spend 5 minutes on my song out of all their choices is a huge honor. I mean, they chose to listen to my song rather than watch a cat video, that means a lot. At the end of the day, I just want to make music that people love. Hopefully it makes enough of an impact that people will be willing to pay $20 to come see me play live, or if I do try to sell my music, say, “Hey that Elephante guy is pretty cool, I think my mom has a iTunes gift card I can steal”.
What plans do you have for the duration of the year? Any surprises or announcements?
Working on a bunch of original songs through the end of the summer, touring starting fall/winter. A lot of exciting stuff happening, can’t give away too much now
Lastly, any advice you can offer up to a novice producer to progress his/her skillset?
Listen to alot of music, but really LISTEN. Try to figure out what your favorite artists are doing and try to copy them. Like seriously, try to figure out how they do it and then try to do it better. It takes a LOT of work to get better. Youtube is really helpful for beginners. There’s no magic really, just keep being brave and trying new things and keep messing stuff up, because you will mess up. I have 100s of tracks that make me want to throw up, and I even hate the stuff I made a month ago. But, I’ve found that’s the best way to learn and get better.
Our protagonist works as a chief in the city. He collapses mysteriously at work and ends up stuck in some kind of waking coma. Baffled doctors leave him to his friends/family who take him to his father in the middle of god-only-knows-where. And then the journey begins.. With a genuine ‘wait, did that just happen?’ moment. It’s a dreamy, brooding film, with a tiny cast, shot around a massively isolated and elevated farm in the middle of a wet, steamy jungle. I don’t remember much about the score but the ambient jungle noises work perfectly with the mysterious, menacing and unpredictable setting. It seems like the perfect place to film such a story.
Dialogue is at times minimal, which is going to irritate some, with a few ‘just please have a conversation about what just happened’ moments. And this would usually annoy me, BUT it somehow works. It slowly makes sense as you begin to understand what might be going on in the heads of the two main characters – who are coming to terms with both what’s going on and the world around them. And when a third party turns up with a lot to say it’s both jarring and a joy to watch.
The actions of one of the leads is also, initially, a little hard to fathom. But considering his age, the setting and a few plot developments you should eventually swallow it. This is a completely different world we’re dealing with here, and these characters have issues to say the least. The violence is handled well and carries the same sense of bizarre wonder the rest of the film drags along with it. One of the final scenes is genuinely tense and compelling. It forces you to fill in a lot of gaps as it very slowly unravels, so patience and imagination is required. It does thankfully wrap up well I thought.
Soul is quite a strange movie. It’s typified by a brooding atmosphere that never lets up. It’s downbeat more than thrilling and that may be a challenge for some viewers. It’s certainly a film that operates in a minor key and you need to be able to get into its unusual rhythms in order to be able to take anything away from it. Whatever the case, it’s certainly very beautifully shot, with some great shots of the mountainous, woodland area in particular. The ambient humming soundtrack compliments the images and gave off a sort of Twin Peaks-ominous-mountain-forest vibe. It’s certainly distinctive. The story-line on the other hand is slow paced, a little too slow-paced at times in all honesty. And I don’t think I necessarily completely got it if I am truthful, there may have been a cultural gap here I suspect. It seemed to tap into Taiwanese ideas about the spirit world which I didn’t really understand. But that’s hardly the film’s fault. On the other hand, the slightly surreal setting was pleasingly weird, with characters using a small monorail to ascend and descend the mountain. On the whole, an interesting, downbeat psychological drama. Not for all tastes but interesting as an example of Taiwanese cinema.
In a beautiful and riveting opening sequence set in the midst of a Thai rain-forest we are thrust straight into the overall tone of the movie. The whole six minute scene is made in one take, where the camera is seemingly detached from the action and only stumbles upon it from time to time capturing a rape scene and several minutes later the perpetrators are lying dead in the water.
From this we are transported into the lives of a town-dwelling marriage of well-off professionals May and Nop. As in the opening sequence there lives are detached from each other only occasionally touching each other as if almost by chance. Nop is engulfed in his photography as a means to escape his failing marriage, whilst May finds solace in the arms of her coworker Korn. Without much enthusiasm May and Nop plan an escape into the wilderness and go camping in the forest. Even here in the midst of nature and cut off from other companionship they hardly intertwine and seem to exist separately. Until one night Nop wanders off in the forest only to disappear…
Extremely consistent in eeriness it captivates the senses. Much thanks to the camera-work, which is terrific and beautiful stuff, albeit most of it is made with a hand-held camera making it almost reminiscent of “Blair Witch Project” (albeit with way better results). Given that this movie almost watches like a horror film it must be noted, that it is much more than just a typical genre movie. It remains creepy throughout shying away however from actually being a shock thriller or Asian horror. The ending leaves much unexplained and it would probably help a lot to be better acquainted with local mythology. Without it you can assume various plot points, but are ultimately left with many questions unanswered that seem solely cultural. Additionally the version I saw seemed to be missing a significant portion of the last 30 or so minutes and various situations seemed to have not been filmed or cut out.
All in all I found movie captivating and inspiring, although somewhat slow and drags on unnecessarily at times. The ending is not entirely satisfactory and slightly bland, but I admittedly preferred that it left so much to self-interpretation. Made a significant enough impression on me to search out other Pen-Ek Ratanaruang movies and note him down as an auteur filmmaker.
KOJI is an artist, activist, and adventurer from Pennsylvania. Oh, he’s also been into music since he was 11. Recently I got the vinyl bug and saw that Koji was releasing a vinyl this week with brand new cover art. What perfect time then now to introduce him and his music to the Creative Spotlight? We sat down and chatted about his tour, his charity work and of course, the new music. Read below for the full Q&A…
You are an artist who definitely favors quality over quantity. Do you enjoy crafting EP’s and singles that are heavy on content rather than broad spread out projects that could potentially feel bloated?
My focus is to make work that feels truthful. That intention governs how I look at all projects whether that be a single, ep, or full length. It’s a joyful, challenging, and illuminating process.
Could you tell us a bit about your creative process when crafting a melody or lyric?
Nearly everything is improvised. There are songs in my catalog that were played straight through and then I had to transcribe the chords and lyrics from memory right after improvising them. I think more about narrative or referencing records when I’m creating full band arrangements or sequencing songs, but the initial spark in the process is very raw. I’m very careful not to overwork things and maintain a big picture perspective. There’s a harmony I am always searching for.
Touch a bit about your decision to tour South Africa and the troubles that come with that (delay in tour dates, initial pressures, etc.)?
There were personal issues that led to that final decision. I rarely cancel shows and refuse to unless it’s absolutely necessary. I am still looking forward to playing South Africa and getting a chance to experience a new culture through the lens of a musician and volunteer. We’re working hard on rescheduling for early 2015. It will be a dream come true when it happens.
So, your participation in a charity event that helped combat the violence of the Lord’s Resistance Army in the region of central Africa was or was not inspired by your tour going over there?
The LRA operates in central Africa and I do intend to visit the region soon. South Africa is a very different environment geographically, culturally, politically. Everywhere is interesting to me and especially the story of people in a place. Narrative is powerful. Social impact has always come hand in hand with my music. When I was 11 and 12 years old, I gravitated to bands with a political message whether that was The Clash, Propaghandi, or Refused. I didn’t know about genres or sub-genres, so on a conceptual level I could link these very different sounds. It just completely blew me away that music could act as a platform for a message, let alone some sort of emotional release. It took me a little while longer to make the connection between the punk bands I was listening to and the folk music my dad had showed me as a kid.
Years later when I was a freshman in art school, I remember a friend telling me that there were children who were being abducted in central Africa and forced to fight in rebel armies like the LRA. In addition, there were thousands of children who would leave their villages every night to sleep in hospital hallways, church basements, and parking lots in order to avoid abduction. I was shocked and felt my public education and the news media had failed me, failed us as a society. This was at a time when my friends and I didn’t have smart phones, GPS units, or fast internet. People didn’t have the sense that they were a global citizen and globalization was a term I was only familiar with because of the loss of jobs in Pennsylvania. When I got involved with this issue, I met former child soldiers and people displaced by the conflict. It put a human face to the issue. This inspired me to devote my life to not just my creative pursuits and social justice causes in the US, but to be a voice for peace and equality for all people around the world.
Tell us a bit about your first online performance! This is a pretty cool innovation in live music, something that YouTube has been doing for some time, but not accessible by most artists. As an artist how important is it to embrace virtual performances?
I love new experiences in music, so it was something I thought I’d try out. My friends Brian Marquis and Vinnie Caruana have done shows before and had a good time. To be honest, I thought it would be weird, but it turned out to be fun. I loved that people could comment in real time and we could have a group discussion afterwards. Nothing will replace being in front of live music with your friends, but StageIt is something cool if you don’t have a show to play or to see on a given night.
Are you a fan of the vinyl resurgence that is erupting right now? You released some material on vinyl, is there a significant upgrade in sound quality or physical packaging? What brought upon that decision to release your music in this medium?
I’ve sold more vinyl over any other format during the last few years and it’s something that is exciting to me both as an artist and a fan. There’s something about the ritual of buying a piece of music and experiencing the art and liner notes that is very special to me–no matter what format. The democratization of the tools to make music and art and the ready to access to so much information and media is incredible. But along with that, people spend much less time with music because of streaming services with an endless amount of content and we lose some of the physicality of not just our experience in the arts, but also life. For that reason, I can see myself continuing to treasure making and collecting records, tapes, and CD’s.
What are some of your favorite Asian films or anime?
I was raised on Akira Kurosawa films such as Seven Samurai and Kagemusha. I loved Zatoichi, the blind swordsman. Bruce Lee’s films and writings are works I continue to return even now. Asian cinema and the portrayal of Asians in American media have definitely had a major impact on my life. As a kid in the States, I only ever saw Asian people portrayed positively in a very violent way. Otherwise, it was bucked tooth caricatures. As a teenager, I found artists like Takashi Murakami, Hayao Miyazaki or Rei Kawakubo who are involved with many disciplines of art. Their work and the fact that they transcended from Japan to the West’s consciousness made me feel, as an Asian American, that there was a place in culture for someone like me. What I saw in the media was very important in constructing a sense of identity because I did not have many Asian peers growing up in central Pennsylvania. My experiences made me recognize the important role the arts can play in disenfranchising or empowering a person.
So as we know you’re touring in 2015. How will those dates differ from your UK tour? Any surprises or do you perform based off the energy a certain crowds demographic gives off?
I’ve been so fortunate to be able to tour the US and UK so many times. Last fall, I got to tour Europe and Japan for the first time. Those trips highlighted how different live show dynamics can be (for instance, Japanese people do not “woo”) and how beautiful it is that people of all nationalities, ethnicities, genders, religions, sexualities, etc. can connect over this thing called music. Getting to know the world through touring has been so educational, inspiring, and grounding. I felt like traveling from coast to coast in the United States made me fall in love with America and better know what it means to be an American. After traveling the world, I am realizing more and more what it means to be human. I am eternally grateful for the opportunity.
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“Code Black,” which is the term used to describe the common situation in which the Los Angeles County (public) hospital emergency room is full, takes us into what looks like complete chaos, groups of doctors and nurses surrounding patients on tables to treat gunshot wounds, stabbings, heart attacks and presumably bad headaches. In some graphic takes, we are privy, like the interns and medical students who sit in the balcony as spectators, to surgery involving attempts at CPR some of which are unsuccessful, and invasive procedures involving the placement of instruments deep inside the hapless patients’ ribs, chests, and abdomens. We take a look at the masses of people who sit close together on upholstered chairs looking as though they’re waiting for Godot, not a single one of them using the time to read, to do puzzles, or distract themselves to make the time go by more quickly.
When the county received a spanking new hospital paid for by the taxpayers, an additional problem arose. More government regulations were put into place requiring doctors to spend additional time filling out forms rather than dealing wholly with patients. One young doctor is put off by the separation he now feels from the patients.
The director is kidding himself if he thinks this isn’t a political doc, or at least an issue film, but that doesn’t mean he’s not noble in his romantic view of healthcare. And it’s always an interesting angle to focus on the doctors as heroes, rather than the patients as subjects that the audience can relate to (see Escape Fire: The Fight to Rescue American Healthcare for a more conventional doc that does this, too). Code Black is never boring and actually blows through its brief 78 minutes so quickly that it leaves us wanting more — in all areas, including information, history, character study, arguments, solutions, medical procedures, but maybe not gripes. With all the medical TV series out there playing this stuff for soapy drama, this doc shows us something far more stimulating, visually and intellectually, and I’d be interested in seeing it continue.
With more and more doctors turning away men, women, and children who do not have insurance, emergency rooms are filled with patients who can spend 12 to 18 hours waiting to see a doctor. Most of those who come to this ER are working-class people. The title of the film, Code Black, refers to these inhumane jammed waiting rooms where sick people are intermixed with screaming children, mentally deranged street people, and victims of violence. A handful of zealous residents try to set up a new system for moving patients from the waiting room to a face-to-face session with a doctor but the experiment fails when there aren’t enough nurses (many nurses have quit because of poor pay). Three cheers for the young doctors in Code Black; we hope and pray that they will not burnout or compromise their ardent idealism.
This is a solid action/thriller that should engage and entertain fans of Korean action cinema, Don’t expect it to have the staying power of films like Joint Security Area or The Man From Nowhere, but The Suspect is well worth adding to your line-up of films to watch all the same. The story revolve around Ji Dong-cheol (Gong Yoo), a former North Korean super’spy who defected after being betrayed by his superiors and nearly killed. Working in South Korea as a chauffeur for a millionaire CEO, he finds himself framed for murder when his boss is assassinated by masked intruders. Ji goes on the run, being hotly pursued by a relentless government agent, Col. Min, who bears a grudge relating to a previous encounter between the two during an operation in Hong Kong which resulted in Min’s being demoted. Also hot on Ji’s trail is a female documentary filmmaker (Yoo Da-in) who’s working on a project about defectors. Meanwhile, Jin attempts to discover the whereabouts of his missing wife and daughter who may have been killed by his former bosses.
In Short it all adds up to “fine Movie”, which means a fun time can be had anyway. The super-charged pace, with its non-stop assassins and fights and intrigue and car crashes, will certainly never bore. Ultimately, The Suspect is a decent Korean spy entry that offers no challenges and leaves no lasting memories.
Pretty much a Korean “Bourne movie”. Spies, secrets, double agents, betrayal, vengeance, action, you get it all. Solid performances from all the main cast. The writing is a bit of a B-grade but overall production values are top notch. I got two main problems with it. First one is the runtime. For such a fast paced action thriller, it’s at least half an hour too long.
But the main problem is the camera. It’s not the usual slightly shaky style to underline the action. Remember the second Bourne movie? Yeah, well, this is worse. Much worse. In most shots, you won’t know what’s happening at all. They probably fixed a non-stabilized camera on a kangaroo and let him run amok through the city. My head actually started to hurt while trying to decipher what’s going on on the screen all the time. Avoid if you’re sensitive to these kind of things. It ruined it for me.