Spa night

Spa night

DVD - 2016 | Korean
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Los Angeles' Korean spas serve as meeting place and bridge between past and future for generations of immigrant families; Spa Night explores one Korean-American family's dreams and realities as each struggles with the overlap of personal desire, disillusionment and sense of tradition.
Publisher: Culver City, CA : Strand Releasing Home Video, [2016]
Copyright Date: ©2016
Branch Call Number: SPA
Characteristics: 1 videodisc (approximately 93 minutes) : DVD video, digital ; 12 cm
video file,DVD video,region 1


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Aug 12, 2018

This a terrible movie! First off, the plot is listless and goes nowhere. The main character has no personality whatsoever and rarely speaks. Add to this, the film is short with no real point that you can take away from the movie. While some may call it "real life," I'd disagree. While the story is trying to show that he is exploring his sexuality, he somehow always gets caught and it goes nowhere until he has sex with someone. As if that's the whole point! If it is, then again, the plot and main character are worthless.

The "writer and director" also has a very skewed "vision" of social institutions of culture, especially Korean culture and education. While many in Korean culture would agree with some of the suppositions in this story, it is a false narrative for many Korean families. In fact, the parents are afraid of him having a "white girlfriend" because they won't be able to speak to them even though they live in Los Angeles (duh!) and know some English already.

Then there's the false education narrative. Somehow this character cannot pass the SAT or make it into a college like USC as if that is the only university he can apply or attend. First off, the point of the story is that he couldn't afford it, so what's the point? Again, the director fails to look at the bigger picture. Local community colleges (completely affordable) and other universities like UCLA (duh!) are neglected in this story as though they don't exist! I've known many Korean families who went to community colleges where the story is supposed to take place (Koreatown). The details like this add up to this false narrative about Koreans and education.

Finally, another major issue I have is with the film NOT having music (except at the title and end credit). Music invokes the emotions in a film; without it, this movie is as dull as can be. You're better off watching "Last Life in the Universe," which is better because at least it had something to offer its viewer. This is a bad first movie by a director who does nothing but belittle every character in the story though I felt more concerned for them than the listless main character.

May 27, 2017

a Korean immigrant family and their son's exploration of his sexuality set against the back-drop of a Korean spa for men where both family and and men make connections
interesting first film from Andrew Ahn

May 15, 2017

I thought this movie had a good story and was true to life. The acting by Joe Seo was very real.

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