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A scene from “A Ballerina Who Loves a B-Boy” (top) and the show “Break Out”
Three Renowned Film Directors Meet in ‘Tokyo!’
BY LEE JI-YOON STAFF WRITER
B-boying Performances Wow New Yorkers
BY LEE JI-YOON STAFF WRITER
orean b-boying theaters made a successful U.S. debut by performing on Off-Broadway stages in New York. The longer, staged form has yet to take hold there. With victories at world competitions and some crews becoming well known too, b-boying has exploded in popularity. While many new attempts are being made to incorporate other artistic genres into b-boying performances, staged works are trying to branch out to overseas audiences. One of the first such pieces is “A Ballerina Who Loved a B-Boy,” which was staged at 37 Arts theater in New York October. As the title suggests, it follows a ballerina who falls for a bboy in a record store. After he shows his b-boying moves, they end up dancing together. Featuring Extreme Crew, a group of Korean break dancers who won the 2007 World B-Boy Championship, the show offers a visual pleasure to experience the collision of the two worlds of ballet and break dancing.
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(From left) Renowned directors Michel Gondry, Leos Carax and Korean Bong Joon-ho
Two kilometers away from the theater, another Korean performance, “Break Out” was shown at the Union Square Theater from Sept. 18 to Nov. 30, extended one month thanks to positive responses. Three prisoners — Tricky, Lump and Dandy — attempt a prison break, and a magic book falls from outer space and gives them the gift of breaking and beat boxing. The show climaxes with a helicopter chasing them in the last five minutes. Before the U.S. debut, it was performed in Malaysia, China and Thailand. The U.S. debuts of the two works were possible after they were shown last year at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland, the world’s largest arts festival, gaining great attention from participants. Their first showings in New York are expected to stimulate other Korean b-boying staged works to reach to the world’s performing arts scene. The Korean Government has hosted the annual International R16 B-boy Championships & Urban Arts Festival since last year to support youth culture by offering a healthy environment for them. For more information on the competition and Korean b-boys, visit the multilingual website www.r16korea.com s
he film “Tokyo!” an international collaboration of Korea, Japan and France, was released on Oct. 23 here, following its French premiere in April and in Japan in August. Set in Tokyo, the 107-minute omnibus movie was produced by three renowned directors Korean Bong Joon-ho, Michel Gondry and Leos Carax both from France. There is nothing in common among the films — except the genre and the fact that they were shot in Tokyo — reflecting their different styles and ideas of filmmaking. In the first segment, “Interior Design,” Michel Gondry, who has been recognized internationally for his previous films “The Science of Sleep” and “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind,” features the increasing problem of irregular employment among young Japanese. His unique explanation of the world, so-called
“The Gondry World,” unfolds as he shows a woman suffering from social indifference and isolation and finally turning into a chair. In “Merde,” Leos Carax, who direct-
ed the famous “Les Amants du PontNeuf (The Lovers on the Bridge)” in 1991, mocks society in the eyes of a strange man who is living in underground sewers and appears out of a manhole to scare people. French actor Denis Lavant, who appeared in Carax’s 1991 film plays the unusual character. Director Bong Joon-ho completes the three-segment project with “Shaking Tokyo.” It explores the problem of hikikomori, a Japanese term referring to those unable to adjust to society and never leave their homes. A hikikomori man falls in love with a pizza delivery girl, played by a famous Japanese actress, Yu Aoi. The man, after locking himself in his home for 10 years, decides to go out to find her, but on that day an earthquake shakes the city. The movie was first opened to the public at the Cannes Film Festival in May. s
Scenes from the movie “Tokyo!”
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