This is not an informative blog regarding the hagfish. It is, instead, an autobiographical work by me, Ann Murray. I am not a fish. Sorry. This in one form or other, is the story of my mishaps, and also, some of my haps. Fair and Balanced and all that.



Friday, February 17, 2006

Oh Ji Ho Did It-

An Asianflickophiliac is Born
What do you mean there’s no such word? You just read it, didn’t you? So there it is.

If you’re going to get fixated on something, try something new, unusual, or exotic. Or, live big, go for all three.

Asian movies qualify for me on these counts, with a little bit of cheating where new is concerned. I had seen Chinese movies in the past. Only two I think. It’s been a long time.

I went to dinner with my friend Sybil, and her friend Morty. We were in Chinatown in New York City. We ate fish-head soup, complete with fish-head, and I confess here…it was so delicious, I wish I had some now. No lie. I did not vie for the pleasure of the fish’s eyes, but was pleased with the cheek I was offered, as I was a guest. Sybil got the other one.

After this excellent repast, we walked to the movie theatre to see my first, and Sybil and Morty’s probable millionth Chinese movie. I really liked it. People were flying all over the place throwing dangerous looking interesting things at each other, and the women were very tough. The theatre was packed with Chinese people eating wildly out of take-out containers, and cheering on the heroes.

What a great night.

Fast forward to the present where I languish in the midst of unbearable mediocrity, and dullards supreme. Am I discontent with my existence? You betcha.

Enter Oh Ji Ho.

This is Oh Ji Ho.

Click image to enlarge for full impact.

To get into the tangled trail that led me to his presence in the world requires another confession. I have always been attracted to men I considered exotic, or at least unusual in some way. I had a long time love relationship with a man from Haiti. I married a man from Colombia SA. Had a brief affair with a man from India, and friendships with people of many ethnic backgrounds throughout my life. New York is Mecca. Everyone goes there. If you want to meet incredible people, pack your bag and go to New York. It’s one of the greatest cities in the world.

One day, while cruising around the web, I did a search for Asian men for a piece I was going to write. I stumbled over the link for a forum titled Dedicated to the beauty of Asian Men, I clicked on it, and discovered a totally delightful thread that is now a mile long I suspect. It never seems die off. There’s always another one to rave about. I started looking at the men, and thought, “gee, they are beautiful”.

Curiosity drove me on. I’m never satisfied with handsome faces. I want to know about the people behind them. I got the idea to search image files and to follow up from the sites I’d find. Lo, and behold, within a couple of pages of thumbnails, I found the above photograph.

It stopped me dead in my tracks. I could only say to myself, this is the most beautiful man I have ever seen in my entire life. His name was posted there, so I did another search. I came up with a little bit of data. Discovered he was a fashion model, and that he has moved into the movie/television area. It was through this means I found La Belle, the movie I reviewed in the previous post.

La Belle was my first Asian DVD. I had a VHS copy of Shadow of China, which is a Hong Kong made pan Asian effort, that is in English, and produced for the western consumer. By the way, it’s excellent. The music is phenomenally beautiful, and I wish it were available on DVD. It stars John Lone, a talented Asian actor who unfortunately has been used poorly by American filmmakers through type casting. I believe he’s moved on to directing these days. He’s also a choreographer.

La Belle was the real thing. Pure Asian. I got a taste of Korean work, and liked it. I liked it enough to go in search of other movies with Mr. Oh, because I was familiar with him, and let’s face it, he isn’t exactly chopped liver. I ordered my next DVD, which was Love Trilogy. (Commentary on that to follow.) L.T. was on back order, and it was a long time in coming. I had almost given up on it, but one day I got an e-mail telling me it was on the way, and within a couple of days, it was here. And so began the love affair.

I found a great supplier in HK Flix. I bought more movies. I signed up for newsletters from HanBooks, and also, HanCinema. As time passed, I began to explore other works not just from Korea, but also China.

I now state here that I am a hopeless addict. I mainline these DVDs. If I could afford it, I’d spend thousands on them, and on the best possible equipment to play them.

And it’s all Oh Ji Ho’s fault too. I accept no blame whatsoever.

More to come on the subject of Asian delights of the silver screen. In my next post I will tell you where to go to find Asian movies on DVD, and talk a little bit about the ins and outs of shopping for them. I will also periodically comment on the flicks I’ve seen and liked.