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This Week's Cultural News

2011/02/17 | 503 views |  | Permalink | Source

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The Korean musical "Tears of Heaven", aimed at making tours around the world, is making headlines in Korea! With an unparalleled crew consisting of members such as composer Frank Wildhorn and Gabriel Barre, famous for the production of "Sweeney Todd", "Tears of Heaven" is a perfect combination of music, acting and art.

[Interview : Gabriel Barre, Producer] "It's a story of love and loss, of betrayal and forgiveness, of the price we all pay for the war and the ramifications of the war and the losses as they reverberate through generations".

"Tears of Heaven" gained its inspiration from Jo Sung-mo's hit single of 2000, "Do You Know". The song's music video featured the love story between a Korean soldier and a Vietnamese girl during the Vietnam War. This love story was revived in the musical "Tears of Heaven".

The story takes place in Vietnam in 1967. Jun , a Korean soldier, leaves behind Linh , his love, and goes to the front lines as the Vietnam War breaks out. Linh, all alone, goes through much hardship, and the ruins from the war make their love look all the more beautiful.
[Interview : Yun Gong-ju, Role of "Linh"] "The stage effects are original and different from those usually seen in musicals. I hope that everyone is looking forward to "Tears of Heaven". Its dramatic storyline has become more robust and the musical sequences are now more varied".

The star-studded cast of "Tears of Heaven" has completely packed the venue every day. The casting of Asian superstar Kim Junsu [김준수] from the boy band JYJ as the main character Jun has created even more sensation.

[Interview : Kim Jun-su, Role of "Jun"] "I think emotions should be at the forefront when you are onstage, even though sometimes the songs are more important. These feelings of freedom have attracted me further into musicals".

Because of his reputation as an outstanding musical actor, there is lots of anticipation from the public to see him onstage.

There's one more actor to pay attention to. Brad Little plays the role of Colonel Grayson, who disrupts the love Linh and Jun share. Fans will have a good opportunity to see the famous actor from the Broadway production "The Phantom of the Opera" perform live on the stage in "Tears of Heaven".

[Interview : Brad Little, Role of "Colonel Grayson"] "Everyone's bound to be lonely all the way down to the set and these wonderful ".

[Interview : Lee Hae-ri, Role of "Linh"] "This is a production that will make viewers think about love, whether it is between a couple or among family".

Scenes from everyday life in Korea during the early and middle of the 20th century, a time of great upheaval, and the path to Gwanghwamun, with Mt. Bukak as a backdrop and characterized by a haetae statue, have been revived through art.

How did foreigners of that time look at Korea[Interview : Im Jae-rin, Curator] "The works in this exhibition feature ancient Korean traditions and culture seen from the point of view of foreigners who were affectionate towards Korea. The works are simple, but deep enough to portray the tenacity of Koreans".

The arrival of English painter Elizabeth Keith in Korea coincided with the March 1st movement. She travelled around Korea for three months, during which she absorbed even trivial sights, and expressed the dignity of Koreans living under the Japanese rule through her works.

Lilian May Miller, whose father was the American General Consul to Seoul, was enthralled when she made a chance visit to her family. She then drew what Korea looked like at that time, using Western shading techniques.

[Interview : Jeong Gyu-hyeok, Visitor] "To have a foreigner judge Koreans and cleanly represent them in art is very touching".

German painter Willy Seiler immortalized the scenes that followed the end of the Korean War. He meticulously portrayed Koreans weary of the war, from children to grandfathers.

Paul Jacoulet's works were characterized by thin lines and bright colors.
These hybrid works that combine Western and Eastern styles will provide a window into early 20th century Korea.

[Interview : Kim Mi-hyeon, Visitor] "I was pleased to find out that foreign artists created pictures based on Korean culture. The figures in the pictures were Asian, but had Western features for eyes and noses, and I was fascinated and amused by this mixture of portrayals".

The movie "Late Autumn - 2010" shows Anna, an emotionally scarred woman, and Hoon, a seemingly random man, meet as if preset by destiny.

Hoon a male escort, meets Anna, a convict in her seventh year of her sentence, who is on a three-day furlough due to her mother's death, in a bus headed for Seattle.

[Interview : Kim Tae-yong, Director] "Our key theme during filming was "fog"."

Hoon is played by one of Korea's most handsome stars, Hyun Bin.

[Interview : Kim Tae-yong, Director] "Hyun Bin is very good looking, dignified and overflowing with self-confidence. However, he also has a melancholic air".

[Interview : Kim Tae-yong, Director] "Tang Wei was fearless, dignified and very curious".

[Interview : Hyun Bin, Role of "Hoon"] "I didn't think about how I would take in Tang's reactions while acting. But I think I was able to pair up with her easily".

A story that depicts the short meeting between Anna, who feels even lonelier after seeing her family for the first time in seven years, and Hoon, an escort whose appointment with a client was cancelled. How will their lives change after they meet

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