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I am getting an irresisible urge to dig out my DVDs of Bichunmoo the Mainland/Korean wuxia/period co-production (my Chinese version DVDs - the Korean version hacked the drama considerably to make it shorter).

Years ago, I got my greedy hands on it, watched part of it, became obsessed but then didn't have the time, got sidetracked, and didn't go back. And it's a complete shame because it's not only a well-written, emotional drama, but it's also a drama that hits all my narrative kinks (and fixes all the problems I had with the movie version. Both were based on a famous manga).

For those of you who have no idea what I am talking about, Bichunmoo is about a pair of star-crossed lovers played by Joo Jin Mo and Park Ji Yoon. He's the sole survivor of a famous murdered martial arts family. She's a hidden aristocrat. Their love cannot be for many many reasons, but they valiantly try anyway and fail. When they meet years later, she's a woman married to his former best friend, believing her lover dead. And he's a rebel leader who's been through hell and has held on to the one perfect thing in his life - the memory of her.

I think Bichunmoo would be a great gateway drama for (a) people who like period kdramas but never tried a Mainland one; (b) vice-versa (c) people who have never tried a period drama of any sort but are curious.

I haven't seen any other kdrama/cdrama period collaborations (I don't know if they exist even), but Bichunmoo is a great reason why they should be made - the mix fixes certain problems with both cdramas and kdramas and takes only strengths from their respective traditions.

From cdramas, it took cinematography (the shots are much more beautiful and fluid than they are in period kdramas which often tend to be static and staged), the 'grim fairytale' feel of well-made wuxia, and an epic larger-than-life romanticism that even kdramas, good as they are at romance, cannot match (I have never seen sweeping romantic epic moments the way period cdramas do them).

From kdramas, it took a certain understated feel (both in fights, which feel much more real than wire-fu and acting - there are no crazy old sages mugging for all it's worth and the leads do not succumb to overacting eiher a la Chinese Paladin), a stronger and more unified narrative (as opposed to a lot of wuxias which feel picaresque), and kdrama's almost overbearing focus on all possible nuances of relationships, romantic and not.

And as both countries do epic, larger-than-life doom so perfectly, well...

Anyway, I am restarting tomorrow. Anyone want to join me? Have a MV. It features one of the OST songs, which is, actually, my favorite drama song ever:

More MVs )


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November 2012

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