Lyn Jensen's Blog: Manga, Music, and Politics

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Location: Anaheim, California, United States

Regular contributor ("Carson City Limits" and other content) for Random Lengths (circulation 56,000) in San Pedro, CA, 2001-present. Manga reviewer: LA Alternative (circulation 150,000), 2005-2006. Some manga reviews also ran in NY Press around this time. Entertainment reporting: Music Connection (circulation 75,000), 1983-1906. Travel writing: Oakland Tribune (1998) and Life After 50 (2006). Other bylines: Goldmine, Star Hits, Los Angeles Reader, Los Angeles Times, Long Beach Press Telegram, Blade, BAM, Daily Breeze, LA Weekly. Specializations include community news reporting, writing reviews (book, theater, concert, film, music), copywriting, resumes, editing, travel writing, publicity, screenwriting, lecturing, and content development. Education: B. A. Theater Arts, UCLA. Post-grad work, Education, Chapman University.

Monday, April 5, 2010

DVD REVIEW: Gay in Korea With No Regret

Last year I sent this review of the DVD No Regret (it's a gay-themed Korean film, the DVD is sub-titled) to several gay papers and some mainstream media, too, but nobody ran it. So I'm posting it here:

DVD REVIEW: Gay in Korea With No Regret

Many people have heard about bar hostesses who drink and socialize and sometimes more with men in sleazy bars in certain Asian cities, but there are also bar hosts who service women or gay men. No Regret, an award-winning South Korean feature film now available on DVD from Here! and Liberation Entertainment takes a realistic look at a gay bar host’s life in Seoul.

“Divided by class, united by passion,” says the DVD jacket blurb, along with, “a romantic drama that interweaves the bliss of love with the harsh realities of class distinction.”

With a plot that juxtaposes homoerotic relationships against class struggle, No Regret is essentially a standard prostitute-and-john story with a few twists. An orphan factory hand perceives himself as dishonored by the boss’ son, so he quits and goes to Seoul where he’s driven into prostitution. The boss’s son comes looking for him. The two men spend the rest of the story trying to overcome the restrictions Korean society places upon them.

This film’s rated R but dances on the edge of softcore NC-17 territory, with raunchy and violent elements as the two male leads undergo a power struggle. There’s no “woman” in this relationship, things are much more complicated than simple stereotypes.

No Regret previously enjoyed a brief theatrical release and played a few film festivals as well. Perhaps its success will prove a breakout for the gay Asian film scene. You may purchase it online at such outlets as amazon.com or check with your favorite DVD retailer.