In Search of Lost Time (Marcel Proust)

Published on November 1, 2007 by in Dramas


In the drama My Lovely Samsoon, on the beautiful island of Jeju, Kim Samsoon (Kim Sun-a) tells Dr Henry Kim (Daniel Henney) about the famous French cake – the Madeleine. Samsoon is a patisserie by profession and was trained at the famous Le Cordon Bleu cooking school in France. She explains to Henry in faltering English (really cute), the association of the Madeleine and the French book In Search of Lost Time by Marcel Proust.

The drama stills illustrate.

Madeleine is most famous cookie in France

Samsoon continues to tell Henry about how the author
of the book writes about dipping the cookie in tea and discovers how
wonderful that is. She encourages Henry to try it.

Henry says…Hmmmm…delicious.
“I’ve heard about it (the book), but I haven’t read it yet.”

“This is sexy cookie”
(pronounce it the Kim Samsoon way – “sekshi cookie“)

Madeleines are perhaps most famous outside France for their association with involuntary memory in the Marcel Proust novel À la recherche du temps perdu (Remembrance of Things Past in the first translation, more recently translated as In Search of Lost Time), in which the narrator experiences an awakening upon tasting a madeleine with limeflower tea:

“She sent out for one of those short, plump little cakes called petites madeleines, which look as though they had been moulded in the fluted scallop of a pilgrim’s shell. And soon, mechanically, weary after a dull day with the prospect of a depressing morrow, I raised to my lips a spoonful of the tea in which I had soaked a morsel of the cake. No sooner had the warm liquid, and the crumbs with it, touched my palate than a shudder ran through my whole body, and I stopped, intent upon the extraordinary changes that were taking place…at once the vicissitudes of life had become indifferent to me, its disasters innocuous, its brevity illusory…”
— Remembrance of Things Past, Volume 1: Swann’s Way.

While Samsoon is having her little tea party with Henry, both their respective beaus are rekindling their old romance – bringing to remembrance things in the past.

I commend the writers for weaving the little tea party in the hotel lobby, madeleines and what’s happening upstairs via a passage in literature. It’s just so seamless and cleverly done.

In Search of Lost Time or Remembrance of Things Past (French: À la recherche du temps perdu) is a semi-autobiographical novel in seven volumes by Marcel Proust (1871 – 1922). This book is pretty heavy reading though.

Front & back cover of In Search of Lost Time Volume 1:
The Way by Swann’s Penguin Literature

In Search of Lost Time Volume 1 (Marcel Proust)
The Way by Swann’s – Amazon Online Reader

Purchase the book on Amazon:
In Search of Lost Time: Proust 6-pack (Proust Complete)

Reference: Wikipedia


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A Tale of Two Sisters (2003)

Published on October 31, 2007 by in Movies

I don’t like watching horror movies because the creepy parts are automatically played on a loop in my head – days or weeks after the show. But since its Halloween, I’ve made an exception just for the occasion.

After many sleepless nights worrying about a long-haired, pale-white ghost with blood-shot eyes in a black dress standing over me on my bed, I bring you a K-popped!-style review of A Tale of Two Sisters.

Korean title: 장화, 홍련 (Jang-hwa, Hong-ryeon)

What’s popping:

A slow burning chiller about two sisters who are wary of their unstable stepmother, Eun-joo (Yeom Jung-ah, 염정아). Oh, but there is so much more behind the tense relationship because in this horror flick, what you see is not what you get.

Suffice to say that you won’t be sure who’s living and who’s dead until all is revealed. Reminds me of Nicole Kidman’s The Others or Bruce Willis’ Sixth Sense. However, it is entertaining in its own way and the revelation isn’t a letdown at all. The persons who are affected by a certain incident have something in common and they’re not even aware of it!

Living dead: ‘You know what girls? I see dead people.’

Creepy moments include the part when elder sister Su-mi (Im Su-jung, 임서정) has a nightmare. It took me a week to shake off the feeling of a long (and messy)-haired entity in a black dress crawling across the foot of my bed. Brrr…goosebumps.

The DVD for the movie is being sold at an affordable price at Speedy Video. Only RM10 for a copy with English subtitles! We grabbed it because we wanted to watch actress-in-demand, Im Su-jung doing her thang.

Trivia: The movie is a remake of The Story of Janghwa and Hongryeon (1924), which was also the 1st film made entirely by Koreans. Prior to this, the Japanese typically handled cinematography.

The story is based on the folklore of two sisters killed by their stepmother. The spirits of the girls cannot rest and haunt the village they once lived, searching for justice. Since that time, this popular tale has been remade no less than 7 times. And this is the most recent one. – Seoul magazine, August 2007 (Issue #49).

The plot:

Two sisters return home after a long stay at the hospital. Their stepmother tries to make them feel at home but the elder of the two, Su-mi, is hostile towards her while Su-yeon (Moon Geun-young, 문근영) is just plain scared of her.

Su-mi (left, Im) and Su-yeon (Moon) react to their
punishment of “no TV” for a whole month.

Creepy things start to happen in the house. A dinner guest suddenly convulses into a fit during dinner, things go bump in the night and Su-mi seems to be overly protective of her younger sister.

The story comes to a head when we see the stepmother going berserk, and drags a bloodied sack all over the house.

Watch it:

Get the DVD please…and Happy Halloween!

Pics credit: HanCinema

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Hallyu stars celebrate Halloween!

Published on October 31, 2007 by in Buzz, Fashion


In this special Halloween post, we let the Hallyu stars show you how to wear the colour orange without looking like a giant pumpkin (pardon the pun Rooster ;-) .

  • Jeon Ji-hyeon - girl, you look really sassy in those orange track pants

  • Comedian Park Kyung-rim in a cheerful skirt and blouse ensemble. She shows you how to mix and match in orange!
  • Song Hye-kyo wears orange boots and gets away with it!
  • Kim Tae-hee avoiding the sun with a wide brimmed orange straw hat

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Kim Ah-Joong in a polka dot dress

200 Pounds Beauty star Kim Ah-Joong was invited to a fashion show at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Seoul yesterday (Oct 29).

Check out the polka dot dress she had on :-) .

The 25-year-old seems to like dressing up in black and adding a dash of colour to complete her look, usually with a red accessory. Check out how she dressed up at the Chunsa Film Awards on Sept 14. Similar concept.

Source & Pics credit: Hankooki

Stars at the 2007 Chunsa Film Awards

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Miss Korea, please be modest

Published on October 29, 2007 by in Fashion

Modesty seems like a thing of the past on the red carpet today. Reigning Miss Korea 2007 Lee Ji-sun (24) appeared at the inaugural Chungmuro International Film Festival recently, dressed in a yellow-orange creation which brought a vibrant splash of colour to the red carpet, but the dress also showed off a lot of skin.

What do you think? Is such blatant exposure suitable for a reigning beauty queen representing her country? Or was it a fashion faux pas?

Source & pic credit: Osen

Stars at the inaugural Chungmuro International Film Festival

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Love in Asia

What’s popping:

Interesting documentary about foreigners living in Korea. Mainly focusing on interracial marriages and how the foreign spouse adapts to life in Korea.

The episode I caught last night had three stories. The first followed Sri Lankan Dinuka as she and her Korean husband, along with their young son Seul-chan, return to her homeland.

The 2nd story focuses on Pakistani Imran, his hearing impaired wife Hyun-wu and their infant son. In their story, we saw Hyun-wu going for ear surgery soon after childbirth so she can “listen to my husband’s voice and my son’s cries”. Awww….

Halmeoni (Granny) Mariam Johari in a pretty hanbok!

Finally, a story close to home wrapped up the episode – the moving tale of Granny Mariam binti Johari (86), a Malaysian native who went to Korea 61 years ago. She left behind her son and two daughters because she was in love with a Korean man. She followed him back to Korea in 1946 and has been stranded in the country ever since.

We saw how after her plea to see her family was aired on TV, she was given legal alien status by the Korean government, issued a passport and sponsored by the TV program to return to Johor Bahru, Malaysia to meet her family.

Reunion: Halmeoni Mariam with her son
Jelani (70, left) and eldest daughter Ramlah (72).

Wow, she got a hero’s welcome and enjoyed a grand celebration while she was here. Press conferences, silat (Malay martial arts) performances, kompang (Malay hand drum) and bunga mangga (flower displays) entourage all thrown in!

Family portrait: Halmeoni Mariam with her Korean
and Malaysian families.

Tears flowed freely while watching the segment. What a touching story. Oh, and Granny Mariam kept her promise (although 61 years late) to her youngest daughter Jamnah and brought her many boxes of cookies when she visited. *sniff*sniff*

할머니 마리얌 화이팅!

The plot:

  • Stories about interracial families and their love which transcends borders.
  • Stories about foreign workers coming to Korea in search of the “Korean Dream”.
  • Love in Asia connects Korea to the rest of Asia.

Watch it:

  • KBS World (Astro Channel 303)
  • Saturday
  • 10.40pm to 11.40pm
  • Korean with English subtitles

Pics credit: Love in Asia @ KBS World

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Music Bank

Korean title: 뮤직뱅그 (Myu-jik Baeng-keu)

What’s popping:

Just managed to catch the program this week and it rocks. Filled with the latest K-pop tracks and live performances that just wanna make you throw your hands in the air…and wave them like you just don’t care…, this music chart show is one of the better programs on KBS World.

Hosted by Haha (pic above, right) and Lee Hyeon-ji, this week’s offering (hey, it was shown on Oct 5 in Korea. We are getting later episodes?) saw Eru bouncing back on the Comeback Stage and Wonder Girls and Big Bang sharing the Special Stage.

The boys crushed the girls in the performance (watch the video below!). Both groups sang its latest hits with each group sportingly singing the other group’s track.

While Wonder Girls‘ bubblegummy Tell Me only appeals to teenyboppers, Big Bang‘s edgier Lie rocked even this blogger who is well out of her *cough* teens.

The boys’ song, which has a more across the board appeal, also topped the music download chart. They were pitted against Baek Ji-young’s Love is Enough.

Since Big Bang won, the boys (along with Wonder Girls) had the honour of the encore performance.

Man, Lie sticks in your head like super glue doesn’t it, boy, boy?

I’m so sorry but I love you다 거짓말
이야 몰랐어 이제야 알았어 네가 필요해
I’m so sorry but I love you
날카로운 말 홧김에 나도 모르게 널 떠나보냈지만…

Other singers who graced the stage included Shin Hye-sung and Super Junior.

The plot:

Lots of live performances. A fantastic program to keep up-to-date with the latest in K-pop music. Fast-paced and entertaining…boy, boy!

Watch it:

  • Astro KBS World (Channel 303)
  • Every Saturday
  • 3.10pm to 4pm
  • English subtitles available. Boy! Boy!

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Stars at the inaugural Chungmuro International Film Festival

Published on October 26, 2007 by in Movies

Stars attended the first ever Chungmuro International Film Festival, which kicked off yesterday (Oct 25) in Seoul. The film festival runs until Nov 2 and is held at the Chungmu Art Hall and theatres in Jung-gu district, Seoul.

Th festival, which adopts the theme Discovery, Restoration and Creation, seeks to discover the diverse traditions of global cinemas, acknowledge and reintroduce Korean film history to audiences and the international film community, and to create a new cinematic culture in response to the rapid changes in 21st century media.

Arrivals to the event include:

Hwanjini star Ha Ji-won is asking:
“Hey, you want a piece of me?”

Actress Jun Hye-bin poses like a pretty flower.

Oh Lee Jung-jae, the polka-dotted bow tie is a no-no.
How I wish a Typhoon would come and blow it away.

Actress Kang Soo-yeon’s body is wrinkling.
Or is that her protruding rib bones?

Actress Lee Hye-young is showing us her
Kimchi Cheese Smile because oops, her
“third nipple” is showing.

Miss Korea 2007 Lee Ji-sun is a ray of sunshine
on the red carpet in her yellow dress.

Director Park Chan-wook and Kang Soo-yeon
played MCs.

Source: Seoul Help Center for Foreigners
Pics credit: Hankooki

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Sloppy Inquiry Agency opens shop @ KBS World

Lee Min-ki fans rejoice! The Love Truly actor’s latest drama entitled A Sloppy Inquiry Agency is/will be airing on KBS World (Astro Channel 303) this month (Oct 2007).

The reason for the uncertainty is because of the ambiguous online program schedule at Astro’s website.

According to it, Lee Min-ki‘s drama started airing on Oct 22 (Monday) at 9pm. However, the schedule also states that I’m Your Teacher aired at 9pm on the same day as well. Two programs sharing a time slot? How does that work? Unfortunately, I didn’t tune into KBS World that night so I can’t confirm which show aired.

Anyway, I checked the schedule for the upcoming Monday (Oct 29) and yes, A Sloppy Inquiry Agency is scheduled to air.

The series is a comedy about ordinary people with big dreams. Take Min-ki’s character for example. The 22-year-old plays Mu-yul a Taekwondo master who owns a gym. Business isn’t so good and he’s hoping that interest in the sport will pick up again when the Korean Taekwondo athletes win medals at the 2008 Beijing Olympics (fingers crossed, of course).

Watch the drama or else Min-ki’s gonna
Taekwondo you into a pulp!

One day, while having lunch at a private eye’s office, a client mistakes him for an employee and offers him a job! His adventure begins when he embarks upon the hunt for King Gojong’s treasure.


Want to watch the show? Remember this:

  • Channel: Astro 303 – KBS World
  • Day: Monday and Tuesday
  • Time: 9pm – 10.10pm, repeats at 3am the following day

It’ll most likely be in Korean with English subtitles. Oh, what joy! *skips around the room*

More on the drama @ K-popped!
Lee Min-ki’s new drama – Evasive Inquiry Agency

Pics credit: A Sloppy Inquiry Agency @ KBS World

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Hyun Bin’s the “It” guy on 8TV

Someone at 8TV is like Orchid – infatuated with Hyun Bin. Why? Because the My Lovely Sam-soon actor appears on the terrestrial channel the entire week! Seriously.

And tomorrow (Oct 27), the 25-year-old’s movie A Millionaire’s First Love (pic below) will be airing at 8.30pm on the network.

Man enuff: Hyunbin has no problems donning a French maid
costume ‘cos he’s man enough. Grrr….

The TV station should invite Hyun Bin sshi to Malaysia for a fan meeting for the benefit of all K-popped! Malaysians :-P .

What other Hyunbin shows are on 8TV? Snow Queen runs at prime time (8.30pm) from Monday to Friday. Meanwhile, My Lovely Sam-soon is aired on Saturday and Sunday at 4pm.

Hyunbin, enough fan meetings in Korea and Japan already. When are you gonna fly your fine self down to Malaysia and grace us with your presence? And please, sing for us!

Hyunbin’s shows on 8TV

I want more Hyun Bin!

Pic credit: HanCinema

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