Popular Culture Feeds on Disaster
- onNovember 1, 2014
- Vol.13 Autumn 2011
- byAn Shihwan
How We Handle Disasters
Since the second half of the 2000s, Korean film protagonists have been fighting tooth and nail to protect their families. Korean thrillers from 2010 such as Midnight F.M., Man of Vendetta, and No Mercy, seems telling of the subconscious anxiety surrounding Korea. The radio host of Midnight F.M., the pastor of Man of Vendetta, and the medical examiner specializing in autopsies—all characters who have appeared dedicated to their jobs in the public arena—become roped into the antagonists’ game (which all involves a daughter held hostage) and watch as their work ethic falls apart. Ensnared by a game they cannot quit, all characters fail to hold onto their public (work) identity. The pastor becomes corrupt, the radio host loses faith in broadcasting, and the defenders of the law find themselves out of legal bounds. Their only identity that remains, the last identity they struggle to defend, is a private one—as a mother or father. In these films, it appears that the destruction of a public identity and the defense of a private identity are two sides of the same coin.
Man of Vendetta (2010); Midnight F.M. (2010)
What Monsters Live By