Friday, 19 June 2009

Jackie Chan Mystery

From time to time I find myself watching things on TV here in Korea over and over again. I've seen certain things so many times that I know what line is coming next - a sure sign of being here too long. One thing that has always puzzled me is this. The film, Drunken Master is a staple of Korean cable TV and is on probably at least once every two or three weeks but... for some reason that I can't work out or find on the Internet, the film is in two languages.

What I mean is that of course this being a Hong Kong/Chinese action film the language spoken is Cantonese not English. When it's on TV here in Korea there are Korean subtitles but the spoken language is half in Cantonese and then half of it is in English (badly dubbed but very funny American accents). The alternation between languages is seemingly random and without thought and has no baring on the plot whatsoever. It remains a mystery to me but must be something to do with various dubbing's of the film distributed. Despite this, the film remains a delight.

Korea loves Jackie Chan, and why not? What is not to love about this guy? I think Korea loves the fact that firstly many of his (earlier) films are excellent. Korea also loves Martial Arts so many people will have seen his films over the years and perhaps taken more out of them than other audiences. Jackie Chan is also Asian and a star in Hollywood. Korean stars are rare in America. For me, his style brings back early childhood memories of films by Buster Keaton and Harold Lloyd. I await the next time I come across the Korean Jackie Chan mystery.

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