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Top South Korean Films      

Top South Korean Films
Get some pop corn, it's Korean drama! Sit back on a comfortable sofa because we are about to tell you the top 10 South Korean films, according to Gail Kavanagh and published in Listverse.
The popularity of South Korean films has rapidly grown in the past few years. Since they have their own peculiarities, they offer a nice alternative to western films. South Korean cinema produces films in all genres: romance, suspense, comedy and fantasy.
If you are looking for a change from western films, you can find the must-watch South Korean films below:
The first one is titled “Musa”. In 2001, when Seong-Soo Kim directed this epic film, it was the most expensive movie ever made in the country. The story of the film revolves around the kidnapping of a Ming princess and how she grows through her experiences from a spoilt royal into a commanding woman. This character is played by Hidden Dragon star Zhang Ziyi.
“Old Boy” is an exciting film with an original plot. The main character - Oh Dai-Su - is imprisoned for 15 years in a hotel room by someone he doesn't know and for something he can't remember. Suddenly, Dae-Su is inexplicably released. The film is based on a Japanese manga and it is highly entertaining and surprising.
“The Chaser” tells the story of Joong-Ho who changes his respectable profession as a detective to become a pimp. The plot thickens when he starts facing financial ruin because his prostitutes start disappearing mysteriously. Since the police doesn't seem to do anything about it, Joong-Ho makes use of his former skills to uncover what happened to the girls. What he find is horrific and will revolt anyone, yet the film has been widely acclaimed.

Male Korean Actors in Hollywood      

Male Korean Actors in Hollywood
They have it all it takes to succeed in Hollywood. They are good-looking, they are talented, they have nice bodies, they can play characters in drama, action, and comedy shows and they drive the ladies crazy. They are male Korean actors that should get more screen time in Hollywood for the industry's sake.
As the Korean phenomenon keeps growing, it is not just k-pop idols who are making it in the international markets. South Korean actors, with their good looks and dramatic skills - are also attracting the eyes of foreign producers.
These actors have their devoted fans and could really have a good impact in Hollywood movies. Here is a list of South Koreans who would make the big screen look good.
Korean-born American actor, Steven Yeun has become worldwide famous with his role of Glenn Rhee in the AMC television series The Walking Dead, as part of the main cast. However, before Yeun has also starred in an independent film, a couple of shorts and guest-starred in American TV show The Big Bang Theory. His charisma has won him countless both male and female fans at an international level.
John Cho is a Korean-American actor and musician who has starred as Harold Lee in the comedy films Harold & Kumar and played the character John, MILF Guy No. 2 who made fashionabe the term “MILF” in the American Pie films. Undeniably, he has made many people laugh with his funny performances and would be an asset to any comedy movie.
Other notable actors we would like to see more in the big screen are two actors who played in Fast & Furious, which are Sung Kang and Rick Yune, Tim Kang who starred in The Mentalist, Lee Byung Hun from G.I. Joe, And Julien Kang - High Kick Through the Roof.

Psy’s Quotes      

Psy's Quotes
South Korean pop artist, Psy took the world by storm a few years ago with his single “Gangnam Style”. Since then, everyone has followed his career and tried to learn his horse-riding dance moves. As a tribute, we have gathered a few of his famous quotes which can reveal some details about the personality of this world-famous icon and some of his secrets.
“The world's most famous and popular language is music.”
“My lifetime role model and hero is Freddie Mercury of Queen.”
“I try to dress classy and dance cheesy.”
“I'm a bit jealous. Until two days ago someone told me I am the most famous Korean in the world.”
“Gangnam is a territory in Seoul, Korea. I describe it as noble at the daytime and going crazy at the night time. I compare ladies to the territory. So - noble at the daytime, going crazy at the night time - and the lyrics says I am the right guy for the lady who is like that.”
“We are just at the studio, me and my choreographers, we are spending like 30 nights and we are thinking, what is my next dance move? Because in Korea there are huge expectations about my dancing. So it was a lot of pressure.”
“All the people in Korea are cheering me like I'm a gold medalist or something, so I have a responsibility to my country.”
“Before ‘Gangnam Style' I was not a good attitude artist.”
“I just made my album. I did my best. And I uploaded the video just to ‘YouTube.‘ That was all.”
“I need to show the world that my final goal is to perform huge concerts like Madonna.”
“I never expected I would become a K-pop star.”
“I'm not that good-looking.”

Top Restaurants in Seoul      

Top Restaurants in Seoul
Seoul locals stand out at an international level for dining out on a regular basis. This lifestyle is partly due to their long office hours and partly due to the vibrant culinary scene of the city - the restaurants are open through the night.
The city's wide selection of restaurants, bars and market stalls comprise the riches of Korean cuisine, which is now being appreciated for its complexity and sophistication, and has surpassed the traditional favourites of barbecue and kimchee.
Here is a guide to the best dining experiences in Seoul according to Thomas Storey.
If you are looking for a real Korean taste, go to Song Jook Heon, which is a restaurant that specialises in hanjeongsik which is the most lavish and luxurious type of Korean cuisine. A huge variety of smaller side dishes are combined with a main dish of meat, fish or a hot pot to make a fancy banquet. This type of cuisine originated in the royal palaces and aristocratic homes of ancient Korea, and these distinguished origins are still palpable in the abundance of dishes - up to 30 - on offer in a traditional Hanjeongsik.
Byeokje Galbi, which specialises in beef or Hanu, focuses on the more carnivorous side of the Korean food spectrum. The main element is galbi, which is the Korean grilled or barbecued meat that has become famous throughout the globe. The pieces of Hanu are barbecued on the table in front of diners, along with a variety of side dishes. This process is part of the social atmosphere and also guarantees the freshness of the meal. In Byeokje Galbi, the quality of the meat is extremely important.
Eulji Myun Oak is a restaurant that has been serving Naengmyeon - a refreshing Korean staple - for over 30 years and is one of the most beloved restaurants amongst locals for its family feel and the sheer quality of its Naengmyeon recipe. This classic Korean dish consists of cold noodles made from either buckwheat or potatoes, stewed in vinegary beed broth and served cold with cucumbers, pears, boiled egg, a spicy mustard sauce and occasionally toped off with cold braised beef.

South Korea's working hours dilemma      

South Korea's working hours dilemma
As one of the four Asian tigers, South Korea maintained an exceptionally high growth rate and rapid industrialisation between the early 1960s and 1990s. Today, along with Hong Kong, Taiwan and Singapore, this Asian Dragon has developed into an advanced and high-income economy.
As South Korea has become a world leader in manufacturing information technology, the demands at work have increased. The stakes are high and the nation needs to maintain its high standards in order to compete at a global scale and retain its world-leading position.
These demands have changed people's lifestyles as they work more than office hours in an extremely competitive environment. This situation has created a work-life imbalance that mostly affects women.
In order to restore work-life balance amongst its citizens, the South Korean government has recently implemented a Five-Day Working Policy, which makes Saturday an official non-working day and cuts weekly work hours from 44 to 40.
However, according to a study, this policy has not have the desired effect. According to a national survey of urban Korean households - called the Korean Labour and Income Panel Survey - the policy did not result in greater life satisfaction for men or women; nevertheless, women report liking the measure slightly more than men.
The comfort from having more hours at home was counterbalanced by increasing stress at work as the hours were fewer but the demands remained the same.
The study, which was published in the Journal of Happiness Studies, puts forward two explanations for this situation. Accordingly, either less working hours are not resulting in the benefits they are meant to or work stress escalates when production hours are cut.
In any case, the shorter work week was supposed to be a benefit for individuals and that is not the way it turned out to be. However, time will tell if South Koreans will be able to adjust to less office hours or if the demands from employers need to decrease and how that will affect the economy.

Wonder Girls in Billboard Hot 100      

Wonder Girls in Billboard Hot 100
Wonder Girls, one of South Korea's top girl groups, are the first Korean singers to enter the top 100 of main Billboard chart in 2009.
After five months of being released in the United States, their single “Nobody” ranked 76th on the Billboard Hot 100, which is one of the two most important charts in the country. This is especially significant as the US music market is the largest in the world. This chart lists the top 100 songs of the moment regardless of genre and is frequently used as the standard measure for ranking songs in the U.S.
The song –which was written by Park Jin-young- had already taken Asia by storm, turning Wonder Girls' five members into K-pop superstars. Their sensual and striking voices and moves along their catchy and contagious single caused sensation and furor inside and outside of South Korea's boundaries.
The band made their debut in the United States with the release of an album in English after signing a management contract with the Jonas Group and Hollywood's Creative Artist Agency (CAA). This was the agency chosen to manage the band's career in the U.S.
This acknowledgement of Wonder Girls by the Billboard Top 100 is a milestone for K-pop music and the band members (Sun, Yenny, Mimi, Sohee and Yubin). Undeniably, the key to the U.S. music market opens the doors to the rest of the world. And this proves that Wonder Girls really are “the girls who can amaze the world”.
In 2010, the band entered the Chinese market with the compilation album Wonder Girls that included Chinese language versions of “Tell Me”, “Nobody”, and “So Hot”. In 2012, the group signed with DefStar Records, a subsidiary of Sony Music Japan, for their Japanese debut.
In late 2012, Wonder Girls announced the group would be going on provisional break owing to Sunye's marriage.

Psy Puts South Korea on Tourists Map      

Psy Puts South Korea on the Tourists' Map
Trendy, posh and affluent, Gangnam is a popular district in South Korea for its Beverly Hills' lifestyle. This Seoul's postcode is not only the capital's hub for luxury shopping, fancy brunches and cocktails, but is also home to some of South Korea's music agencies, a dashing touch that frosts the area with a “cool”, chic and attractive mist.
PSY's K-pop song “Gangnam Style” was inspired in this area while its video –which garnered over a billion views on YouTube and it has become the website's most watched video of all time- was shot in the Gangnam District. While the song tells about singer's lifestyle –who is said to have Gangnam's style-, the music video shows PSY dancing on top of the Asem building with the Trade Tower in the background. Both buildings are part of World Trade Centre Seoul (WTO Seoul), also known as COEX.
The catchy song, the contagious “crossing reins” dance routine, and the explosively spellbinding video that went viral have raised international awareness of the district. Indeed, last year witnessed the origin of a phenomenon known as “Holidays Gangnam Style”, as South Korea recorded best year ever for tourism in 2012. Precisely, according to the country's Culture Minister, the Asian country saw some 11.1 million visitors last year, a figure that was up 13.4% on 2011.
Tourists from neighbouring countries like Japan and China were the prevalent visitors. 3.51 million Japanese tourists and over 2.83 million Chinese travellers visited South Korea last year -a rise of 24.7% on the latter figure in comparison with the previous year. According to official projections, more visitors will fly into Seoul this year.
The Korean Tourism Organisation has set up a “Gangnam tour” –a K-Pop-themed tourist attraction- for music lovers wanting to visit the glitzy suburb. The tour will include the opportunity to learn to dance like South Korean star with K-Pop dance academies offering courses in the popular music genre.
There is also a plan to have a monument to Korean pop music on the streets and new square for concerts and performances off the road and in between the pavement will be printed with the handprints of South Korea's biggest pop stars.

South Korea’s Aerotropolis      

South Korea's Aerotropolis
An aerotropolis is an urban plan in which the layout, infrastructure and economy is centred around an airport, existing as an airport city. It can also be defined as “a city planned around its airport, or more broadly, as a city less connected to tis land-bound neighbours than to its peers thousands of miles away”, according to Greg Lindsay, co-author of “Aerotropolis: The Way We'll Live Next”.
In his book, co-written with John Kasarda, Lindsay argues that aerotropolis are the future of the global city which is an amalgam of made-to-order office parks, convention hotels, cargo complexes and even factories, in a global network whose fast-moving packets are people and goods instead of data. He believes that the old real-estate rule of “location, location, location” is being swapped for the new rule of “accessibility, accessibility, accessibility.”
The authors argue that aerotropolis will change the way we live. “The aerotropolis is tailor-made for today's world, in which no nation reliably dominates and every nation must fight for its place in the global economy”, Lindsay stated. “It is at once a new model of urbanism and the newest weapon in the widening competition for wealth and security.”
“Cities have always formed around transportation –ports and harbours and then train stations,” states Lindsay. “Air travel is the only way to connect globally, and now, more frequently, cities will grow around airports.”
Songdo International Business District is built around the Incheon International Airport. This condition has made Songdo a compelling aerotropolis which is three and a half hours flying time to one third of the world's population. The Incheon International Airport's condition of massive gateway makes Songdo IBD a suitable business hub for all of Northeast Asia.
The new Incheon International Airport serves as a main centre for Korean Air, Asiana Airlines and Polar Air Cargo. Also, Incheon International Airport is at the moment Asia's eighth busiest airport in terms of passengers, the world's fifth busiest airport as to cargo and freight, and the world's eleventh busiest airport in terms of international passengers in 2006. In 2009, Skytrax ranked the airport the best in the world, giving it a full 5-star ranking.
In 2001, the South Korean government approached a New York-based about developing a city that, by being bear the newly opened airport in Incheon would attract multinational corporations and possibly turn the region into the world's gateway to northeast Asia. “The idea was that it would be an international business district and that foreigners would find this a convenient place to set up business,” said former U.S. ambassador to South Korea, Thomas Hubbard, when the project began.
Songdo is still under construction as its importance as a business and residential hub grows.

Successful social marketing boosts       

Successful social marketing boosts global fascination for K-pop acts
The local social media market in Korea is relatively closed off from the outside world, which makes it problematic for non-Korean Internet or mobile users to search for anything related to K-pop in the English language.
It is almost impossible to search for English content on K-pop or hallyu by using local social media services, such as Cyworld, the Korean version of Facebook, or Me2day, the Korean version of Twitter.
However, in recent times Korean artists started to move away from local SNS to more open and global SNS such as YouTube, Twitter and Facebook. According to an expert, this tendency is causing the Korean wave to shift gear “from fad to phenomena.”
“The Internet became synonymous with going international. ‘Popularity' of a music artist is no longer measured purely by sales figures or airplay rotations but also views, tweets, and like,” said Bernie Cho, president of DFSB Kollective, a creative content group that also distributes K-pop digitally on iTunes.
“K-pop's success on social media is now translating online busyness into offline business opportunities for Korean idol acts on tours and indie acts at festivals.”
If a K-pop music video attracts more than 1 million views, for instance, it will produce “a meaningful revenue” big enough to dole out profits to members of a K-pop group, Cho said.
This phenomenon of turning online fever into offline tours is exemplified in 16-year-old guitarist Jung Sung-ha, whose YouTube videos have garnered over a million views and counting.
S.M. Entertainment was the first major entertainment agency to build a strategic partnership with YouTube and join the most-visited video site channel under the name S.M. Town in August 2006. YG Entertainment followed suit in January 2008, and JYP Entertainment, in December 2008.
These three major entertainment agencies went on to open other social media channels like Facebook pages, which allowed them to interact with fans across international boundaries on a real-time basis.
Before the agencies disclose their K-pop artists' music video or music files online, they release teaser videos and photos on social media platforms in order to build up fans' excitement or maximise upcoming K-pop music.
“Several years ago when we first created our official channel on YouTube, we thought K-pop music videos would easily resonate with global fans if they had quality content. And in hindsight, our strategy worked perfectly,” said Kim Eun-a, spokesperson for S.M. She said that was when the K-pop started to make a meaningful impact on the global market.
David Cho, marketing team head of the music business division at CJ E&M, said the key to successful K-pop social marketing is “crowdsourcing”.
“Crowdsourcing will bring about interactive communication between producers and consumers where producers can reflect the interests and ideas of the masses in their creative products,” he said.
According to a report by Park-Han-woo, associate professor in Yeungnam University's media and communication department, it was not major broadcasters or professional agencies but amateur fans who actually helped exemplify the viral power of K-pop.
Park's report –which tracked the Twitter network of K-pop from November 1st to February 15th- showed that regions including Asia, America and Europe had their major “network hubs” for K-pop created by common Twitter users, bloggers and hallyu websites.

The Dark Side of Fame: Sasaeng Stalkers      

The Dark Side of Fame: Sasaeng Stalkers
Since its beginnings, K-pop has awakened idol adoration in young fans that will fly long distance and spend a vast quantity of money on merchandise and concert tickets. Euphoria and dedication team up in a symbiotic relationship that economically sustains K-pop celebrities.
In fact, K-pop stars are known for a common phrase: “We are nothing without our fans”.
However, the quandary starts when fans' devotion crosses the line of sanity to become scary, creepy stalkers willing to poison, offer sexual favours, install hidden cameras in their idols' homes and cars or send them letters written in menstrual blood.
K-pop groupies, fans or stalkers… there is a new breed of followers who make K-pop idols' lives real nightmares. How are they called? “Sasaeng” or “private fans” –female, starting as young as 13 to about 22- whose obsession with their idols have driven them to commit horrible and disturbing deeds.
What started out as groups of teenaged girls banding together to support their K-pop idols has turned into a chilling, violent cult who have made it their vital goal to ensure that they are noticed by their idols, by hook or by crook.
Top K-wave stars targeted include JYJ, TVXQ, B2ST, Jang Geun Suk, Big Bang, Super Junior, SHINee and SS501's Kim Hyun Joong.
Korean managers speaking to Korean media have revealed that popular stars have between 500 to 1,000 sasaeng fans. On a daily basis, idols have at least 100 full-time stalkers on their hind.
JYJ and TVXQ, especially, have been victims of this persecution. For instance, TVXQ's phone lines have been tapped and personal conversations recorded, while their apartment was broken into and sasaeng attempted to kiss them while they were sleeping. Alarmingly so, TVXQ's Yunho was poisoned by an anti-fan who gave him a drink with an adhesive mixed in and after this he had to get his stomach pumped. Likewise, JYJ's Yoochum had sasaeng fans installing spy cameras in his parking lot and taking pictures of him.
Sasaeng's eccentricities are not limited to terrorising their idols, but it also affects their lifestyles. After a full day of stalking, instead of sleeping at home, they spend the night at Internet cafes; many skip schools while others drop out completely. Their lives are full of these K-pop stars memorabilia, shared information about their idols whereabouts and private life on social media plus K-pop photos all around.
Rumours point at some sasaeng earn money by prostitution to support their day-to-day stalking which is an expensive quest as many of the sasaeng hire special taxi drivers to follow their idols or even hire companies to spy on their idols.

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