The “Cinema Design” class
I have chosen the Cinema for my free subject, because in France I love going to the cinema and have debates with my friends about the film we just saw.
When I chose my class, I had the opportunity to take a cinema class, “Cinema Design”. It was a 3h each week.
In this class, I was the only French, there were also three Dutch girls, one English girl, two girls from Hong Kong and one from Vancouver. The rest around ten students were Korean students. It was good to have different students from different countries with different point of view of the Cinema.
During our class, we learnt how to use a camera, a micro and how to make a film on the app Final Cut Pro.
We also learnt the difference between the movement, like travelling, zoom and the difference between shots, close shots, American shots…
During the semester I had to make my own movie, about a social fact.
I chose to do a cigarette’s advertising, because it is something new, and can be fun to give a real message in an ad. I chose to do an ad because it has something to deal with my major, business furthermore; I tried to give an idea of the “French touch” in the cinema, like in the “new wave”. That’s why chose to do an ad for the French brand GAULOISE.
I decided to take my friend Clement Pinon as actor. The pitch is a man is walking in the streets with no goals, he wears a black coat, he is serious. The image is in black and white to show how sad the life is for our protagonist. Suddenly he stop walking, take a cigarette’s pack of his jacket, light one, smokes on it and BAM colours are back there are flowers everywhere, the man is like transported on the top of a mountain. All this thinks to the cigarette thinks to GAULOISE. Pack shot: “Gauloise, put some colours in your life”
Here is the film:
Movie Theater in Korea
As I love going to the cinema in France, here in Korea I had to see how the cinema experience is in Korea. I had the chance to see three movies in the Korea, two marvel movies Deadpool and Captain America and one gangster movie Triple 9. The experience was incredible because all auditoriums are huge!
In Korean cinemas, you can choose your seat, eat a lot different things like in the US (this is actually a bad point), there are some “premium” auditorium where you can eat a real dinner and seat in big sofa (around 30€ the ticket).
But next to that, the quality of the movies choice is amazing, there are everything! Half of the movies are from Korea, 40%from the US and the rest from other countries for example I found French movies like un peu, beaucoup, aveuglement from Clovis Cornillac or Two days in New York from Julie Delpy. All this movies are in their original version with English subtitles that’s why everybody can go to the Cinema and that’s why Cinema has a huge place in the Korean Culture. In France half of the movies are in French version, it’s to bad, because with a French version you lose the actor performance, some sound mix and you can’t have a totally immersion.
The Korean Cinema is very important. There are a lot of famous director and it is well represented in the world.
For example, the movie director Park Chan Wook won in 2003 the “Grand prix du jury” in the Cannes Festival with his movie Old Boy.
In 2009 he won the “prix du jury” in the same festival for his Vampire movie Thirst.
He was this year in the Cannes competition with the movie Mademoiselle with two other Korean directors, Na Hong-Jin with the stranger and Sang-ho Yeon with Train to Busan. Unfortunately, none of these movies won something this year.
The Korean Cinema is famous for its violence and its thriller. I had seen a lot of these movies before coming here and I taught that all this violence, wasn’t just imagination, maybe Korea is very marked by a daily violence. But actually no, Korea is one of the safest countries in the world, street are very peaceful and quite.
It is very cool than the Korean cinema is one of the most bloody and violent cinema in the world whereas people are very nice. It is a good example for us, in French cinema where when a director for example Gaspar Noé last year made a movie Love, Directly all sort of association tried to prohibit the movie because of the “sex scene”. I think the censorship is too important in France because association think that all the violence/sex in movies can affect in the bad way teenagers. I think that this a misunderstanding of the problem like the Korean example show us the opposite.
Most significant local news story during your semester
For this article, I have chosen to talk about the weekend of 14/15 may. With other exchange students, for this date, it was Buddha’s birthday, we stayed in a temple for two days. It was an incredible experience. Here is the diary of it:
5am: we wake up early in order to take the bus at 7am.
7am: We are in the bus, Félicien and Guillaume miss the bus. Fortunately they take another one at 9.
10am: we arrive at Beopjusa. It is a little city in the campaign. We wait for the other, we are 90 to go to the temple.
12am: we go to the temple for the check-in, we will stay in house just next to the Buddhist’ temple. We have to change our clothes. We have to wear traditional’ clothes. They give us our rooms, men and women are separated, we are 10 in the same room, we will have to sleep on the floor.
2pm: in pairs we go in the sacred area. It is impressive there are a lot of monuments like a big Buddha statue, a pagoda, and a huge temple. We have a free time to enjoy the place.
4pm: We sit in at the ceremony in the big temple. The environment is very peaceful and Zen. The “religious” ceremony is very different from the ceremonies we have in Europe. First the Buddhism is not a religion but a way of life/thinking. Here there are drum beats and monks sing. We have to bow ourselves like monks in order to show respect to Buddha.
6pm: After the ceremony we have lunch. we live a typical monk day, we eat the same dinner, rice with vegetables. There is not a lot of flavour but it is ok.
7pm: We go back in the city with monks in order to celebrate the Buddha birthday and to participate top the lantern festival. It is wonderful on the way there are a lots of lanterns in trees. In the city, Koreans take picture of us, I think they are not use to see tourists with traditional clothes. We see a big firework and we go back to the temple.
9pm: We are supposed to go to bed because tomorrow we have to wake up at 3am. With Guillaume and Clément we decide to go back in the sacred area, it is night, lanterns light statues and monuments it is unbelievable. I bring my camera and I try to take nice pictures.
3am : We wake up, it is difficult but I am happy to do it. We go directly to the big temple and we start the morning chanting with monks. It is dark outside but the ambience is very atypical.
4 am: we go back to the housing and we do 108 Protestations. Buddhists do that because bowing practice means that your body and your mind become one. It is very good to take away lazy mind, desire mind and angry mind.
6am: Breakfast: same as yesterday dinner, rice with vegetable.
7am: Hiking to Sujeongbong Peak. We climb a mountain during one hour in order to go to the peak. Their we meditate during 10 min. It is very peaceful to hear the sound of the wind and the nature, we can talk of the sound of silence. Since 3 months I live in Seoul, I never felt an experience like that, in Seoul there is noise everywhere, this city never sleep. Even if we live in a huge tower at the 26 floor we steal hear traffic and sirens all day and night long.
10am: Tea Ceremony, We learn to serve tea as monks do.
12am: checkout. We give our clothes back and we live the temple.
Conclusion: This experience was amazing. I had no idea how Buddhism’ monks live. I am not sure I will have another opportunity to do that in my life. The Buddhism culture is very interesting and different from ours. Actually I already now a lot about Buddhism because my mother is Buddhist
South Korea is a democracy. The President is elected by the direct vote of the people For a five year term.
Presentation of country’s government (Government’s political orientation)
The actual President is Park Geun-hye, she was elected in December 2012 for her first term.
The government is composed of three independent branches: the Executive branch; the Legislative branch composed of 300 four-year term members of the National Assembly; and the Judiciary branch, which includes fourteen six-year term Supreme Court justices.
Regional geopolitical political context
There are seventeen regional local governments and 227 basic local governments. The heads of the local governments and the members of local councils are each elected for a four-year term.
External regional conflicts or tensions
In its foreign relations, South Korea is primarily concerned with North Korea. In 1948, the two Koreas established their respective governments
Between 1950-1953 it was the Korean War between north and south. In 1950 north Korea started an Invasion of SouthKorea. It was the first military action of the Cold War. The United States helped South Korea because it was a fight against the communism. That’s why China helped North Korea.
Finally, 5 millions soldiers and civilians lost their live. In july 1953, the Korean War came to an end.
. Defined as two different countries under international law, the joined the United Nations simultaneously in September 1991.
This two countries are very different. One is a dictatorship, the other a democracy. There are a lot of tensions between the two states.
Internal conflicts or tensions (political, ethnic or religious…)
Korea is very different from France. We can see that in customs. For example it is very rude to blow his nose in public, better to sniff. It is also ok to spit in the street.
I remember the first day I arrived, we take the subway, it is like war, and everybody shakes everybody in order to have a seat. If someone shakes you, normally in France you say that you are sorry, here, they say nothing until the really hurt you.
About food, Korean people are used to eat spicy, there is always the same starter in any restaurants “kimchi” it is a sort of cabbage with a red spicy sauce.
There is also rice in all dishes, and you have to drink soju it is a Korean alcohol very cheap and very strong. It is common to see Korean drunk people from any age totally drunk in the street between 8 and 11 pm. This is very weird but it is tradition to drink soju with your meal.
First one of the most important symbols in Korea is the national flag. It is everywhere, in the street, on the building, in shops… Koreans are very proud of their country. The flag is composed of a white rectangular background, a red and blue Taeguk in the center that symbolize the Yin and the Yang and four black trigrams on each corner of the flag. The black trigrams represent the air, the earth, the fire and the water.
Korean people don’t use the Latin alphabet; they have their own alphabet.. I am learning Korean, it is quite difficult because each sign correspond to a French letter our sound but after you have to know how to read a word and what this word means. So with this alphabet it is harder to learn Korean than any European language I think.
There are a lot of different celebrations in Korea such as in France. For example, Korean celebrates Buddha’s Birthday. It is the 8th day of the fourth month, it is a lantern festival.
They also celebrate every full moon.
All Korean looks very polite. To say hello to you, they always bend themselves. And say hello a lot of time. When you buy something or someone gives you something, when you say thank you in Korean “Kanshamnida”, they always respond “né” it means that they accept your thank you, it is a sort of your welcome but they always say that.
Koreans are also use to sleep or eat on the floor. In traditional house or restaurant, you can do that. We did a trip in a south city of Korea, Busan. Here we stay 3 days in a guesthouse and sleep on the floor, it was nice because we were seven in the same room.
Another different cultural habit is about couple. There are a lot of young couple in Korea, the boy and the girl use to wear exactly same clothes. It likes twins, it is very funny because in France, it is impossible to find exactly the same clothes in women and men shops. Here in Korea there are a lot of unisex shops for couples. At the beginning it is weird to see that, because I think that if you do the same in France this kind of habits is impossible. But it is sweet; I will do the same in France just to see how other people react.
Welcoming week end
Before starting courses, we had a welcoming weekend in PyongChang ski station. It is the station that will welcome the winter olympics games in 2018. This weekend was organised by a student, « Robert Marks ». We were 150 students. It was a very good idea from HanYang to make an event like this one, because when you are a foreign student it is difficult to integrate your self in a new country. We arrived the Friday evening, ate in restaurants and did party. Next day on Saturday, we rented ski stuff and clothes. During all day long we skied. It was very cool to ski in Korea! The weather was sunny and they were not too much people in the station.
University name/location/short history/housing
I choose five courses, Business communication, Asian Business and marketing, Marketing management, Korean survival class and Film and Video Graphic Design. I choose the last one as extra course because I love cinema. My courses are one monday, thuesday and wednesday. It is intense, on wednesday I have course from 10 am to 8 pm.
The level in Korea is the same than our. We have a lot of group presentation to do. In Asian Business and marketing and Business communication, there are only foreign students. Both of them are older than us, they are in fourth or fifth year. That’s why the English level is high. For example I had a presentation in Asia business with an American and a finland guy. We had to read a twenty pages case and present it to the rest of the class. For my partners it took twenty minutes to read and understand it, for me one hour.. But they were patient and we did a very good presentation.
On the other side, in the Marketing Management class, we are just 4 foreign students, the teacher mixed us with Korean students, and they are quite good in English. They are very shy, they let me talk because they think that I have an other point of view. That’s a different way of working, a good way.
Korean survival class is the more difficult class. As I studied chinese for 5 years, I thought it will be easier for me. I was wrong. Korean is very different from chinese. In Mandarin, there are some keys (sort of draw), each key means something and you put all these keys together to have a words. In Korean there are sorts of keys but it is an alphabet. It is hard to understand it because you have to learn the keys, what do they mean, how to say them, and how to write them (there is a specific order). So when you know how to fix all this, you can try to talk and write Korean.
For Film and Video Graphic Design, class is different; we study some advert or movie. On the first class, we learnt the different shots, like travelling or zoom. The class after, we were on team and we had to elaborate the scenario of an interview, find a place to shoot it and find the disposition of the different cameras. The week after, we shoot the interview, it was very fun. We are going to watch the Korean movie old boy next week.
Cultural differencies in the classroom
In classroom, Korean students are like in the metro, on their phone. I don't know how the can follow the course but interact with the teacher between two sms.
It is funny because in HanYang, a lot of korean students wear clothes from the university it is like a crew. It remember me the movie 'grease'
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