Just got into Pusan via the KTX bullet train from Seoul. The bullet train is an express train goes between the two cities in about two hours. It was nice to see the countryside as we went 280 km/hr and know that even though a city like Seoul which is hyper-westernized, hyper-modernized and hyper-consumerized, Korea is still Korea and there are still rice fields and little villages.
After finally feeling a bit comfortable after spending the past week in Seoul, it was sad that I had to leave. But it was for a good reason… PUSAN INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL! The official international premiere of my film West 32nd will be this week and it is very exciting. I just checked into the hotel and they totally hooked it up here at the Paradise Hotel. I am remembering back in 2005 when The Motel was playing here I was in the Chosun Westin. I think this place is a bit better. There’s a lot of amenities and this is really much more central to the hub of activity.
I’m really excited (and scared) to see how real Koreans react to the movie. I am ready for pitchforks and torches. Luckily I have a great entourage with me — a lot of the actors John Cho, Grace Park, Jun Kim, Lanny Kim, Hans Kim and even Jeong Jun Ho will all be here. I rode down with Lanny and Hans. Soon we’ll be having a big reuinion with a bunch of the production people too. It should be fun. The thing I love most about Koreans is that they do it style. Tonight is the opening night ceremony and then after party and all the soju of the world will be flowing through the shores of this seaside festival for the next week. I’ll try to give daily updates.
KOREA FUN FACTS:
Here are two new phrases I have learned since being in Korea:
요라 (yo-la) I am sure my LA K-town friends already knew this one, but it is common slang for saying “very.” It is like saying “totally” if you are a surfer dude stuck in 1985 or “hella” if you are a slam poet in San Francisco stuck in 1995. I am trying to train myself to say it more. Supposedly, it is most common amongst 13-year-old girls in Korea.