Professor Robert Kelly’s news interview becomes an internet sensation

1 week ago, Robert Kelly was living a fairly anonymous existence.

I guess few people knew anything about him.

This was until an unexpected incident involving his two kids and an unlocked door.

in the interview Kelly was responding to some serious questions about the possibility of a shift in North Korean relations when the door wis opened and his young daughter comes into the room. He tries to push her away but moments later another toddler interrupts him, and then his wife enters looking shocked and quickly shoos the children out of the room.

The clip has been watched an astonishing 1 million times on Youtube. All very harmless and un-objectionable you might think. But what happened next reveals some slightly unpleasant facts in people’s attitudes to  inter-racial relationships.

You can see clearly from the video that the woman is most likely to be the kids’ mother form the fact that she is confident enough to forcefully drag them out of the room. Yet it seems that many people assumed for whatever reason that she was simply a nanny, I guess because what else would an Asian woman in that situation be?

Then there have been some accusations of bad parenting levelled at the dad, for not allowing the children some time on camera, and secondly, suggestions that the mother should have kept a closer watch on the children in the first place.

Then there were people who have something against the parents for being a different race, as thought that were a particular crime.

It all goes to show that you can never get it right. You just have to do the best that you can.


The other North Korea

I’m looking at the latest cover of Newsweek. A full-page headshot of a grinning Kim Jong-un stares out. His hair is flecked with several grey strands makes him seem much older. His haircut, completely shaved two inches above the ears means he is instantly recognisable. He looks almost comical, like one of Orwell’s pigs in Animal Farm when they start behaving like humans. Underneath, the caption Killer Instinct Is North Korea’s Kim Jong Un out of control?


Continue reading The other North Korea

10 million ticket films: What they reveal about Korean audiences

For a small country, South Korea has a very healthy film industry. It is sometimes considered to be one of the healthiest from industries.

South Korean films have always done well at the Home Box office, often doing better than American giants such as Star Wars and Titanic.

The measure by which a film is deeemed successful is in the number of tickets sold. The magic number for Korean films is 10 million.

So far no more than twenty films have done this. Nevertheless, in a small country, a film which sells 10 million tickets has been seen by a remarkable 1 in 5 of the population.

Here are the 14 movies to have achieved this remarkable feat:

명량 Roaring Currents

It’s a historical epic about the battles between Korea and Japan in the 14th Century. It broke the record for the most tickets sold in the shortest time

Ode to My Father

Although the film was heavily criticised in some quarters showing the dictatorhsip of Chung Hee in too much of a favourable light, it was a massive success in 2015.

Veteran (2015)


Also starring Hwang Jung Min, this was the second biggest film of 2015.

The Host (2006 film)


This is the only film on the list to have reached audiences outside Korea, which says a lots maybe about the inward-looking nature of the other films.

The Thieves (2012)

An all-star cast for this one.It’s nothing that you haven’t already seen before.


Miracle in Cell No.7


Masquerade (2012)


The King and the Clown (2005)


It looks almost the same as Masquerade, however, this film was made 7 years earlier.

Taegukgi (2004)


A decent film with some good war scenes.

Train to Busan (2016)

The first Korean zombie film isn’t half as good as many earlier Korean horror films.

What’s interesting about the list is most of the acclaimed Korean films which win foreign awards are not here. There’s nothing from Kim Ki Duk, Park Chann Wook or Lee Chang Dong. In fact, most of these films have not been distributed in England or US. Yet, all of these films were extremely popular in South Korea. If you look at the population, it’s clear that an incredible 1 in 5 people saw these films in the cinema. It’s a sign of how popular cinema still is in this small but prosperous country.