[KS] Olympus Has Fallen. As have Hollywood's standards. Again

Afostercarter at aol.com Afostercarter at aol.com
Sat Apr 20 05:19:15 EDT 2013

Dear friends and colleagues:
Having been preoccupied by the real-life crisis on the  peninsula,
I was unaware (until kindly alerted by my godson, Lewis  Kilminster)
that those evil North Koreans have attacked the White  House!
- in a newly released movie, Olympus Has  Fallen.
Judging by reviews, this film is every bit as dire as one  would fear;
see eg http://www.guardian.co.uk/film/2013/apr/18/olympus-has-fallen-review
But this is becoming rather a Hollywood bad habit; a cliche,  even.
Other instances include the videogame Homefront, of  which I wrote
in 2011 at   http://38north.org/2011/03/homefront/
(do read the lively discussion; comments are still coming  in)
- and the 2012 remake of Red Dawn. Are there yet  others? (I exempt
the 2002 James Bond fim Die Another Day, which to my  mind handled
the North Korean aspect with some nuance. Others disagree, I  know.)
Here in the UK, the Korean studies community has risen up  in rare unity
to condemn a recent BBC undercover documentary on North Korea:  see
th-korea   (and much debate on the Korean Studies  List)
Is it utopian to suggest that Koreanists in the US, plus  others concerned
- Korean-American groups, for interest - might consider some  form of
public protest, and/or dialogue with Hollywood (is that  possible?).
Far be it from me to defend the DPRK government. But it  doesn't help
when our mass media caricature the issues and create cartoon  villains.
(Not to mention hypocrisy. Both Homefront and Red  Dawn II were to have 
had China as bad guy, but chickened out so as not to lose  that market.)
Meanwhile the real Korea seems to be calming down. Let's hope  so.
Aidan FC
Aidan  Foster-Carter 
Honorary Senior Research Fellow in  Sociology & Modern Korea,  Leeds 
University,  UK 
E: _afostercarter at aol.com_ (mailto:afostercarter at aol.com)      
_afostercarter at yahoo.com_ (mailto:afostercarter at yahoo.com)    W: _www.aidanfc.net_ 
Skype:  Aidan.Foster.Carter                          Twitter:  @fcaidan   
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