Visualization of Movies in Written Critique
Jason Bechervaise (Department of Theater & Film, Ph.D. ‘17)
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"Three films a day, three books a week and records of great music would be enough to make me happy to the day I die" is a famous quotation of a French director François Roland Truffaut. Jason Bechervaise (Department of Theater & Film, Ph.D. ‘17) is a man who fits in perfectly into this. With the passion and love for Korean movies, Bechervaise has traveled all over the world, and into an unknown territory in 2010.
Who Bechervaise is
Jason Bechervaise works as a movie critic at the Screen International. In addition, he writes columns for the Korea Times and the Seoul Magazine once a week. Bechervaise not only writes, but he also made appearances on the Arirang TV radio station, TBS eFM, and EBS radio, where he introduces Korean movies and a selection of Golden Globe Award-winning films. Although there is numerous work that he is currently working on, Jason says that there are special seasons when he is most busy. “The Cannes Film Festival, Bucheon International Fantastic Film Festival, Busan International Film Festival, Jeonju International Film Festival- these movie festival seasons are when I am the busiest. I not only write reviews about movies but also give critiques for some of them."
Since Bechervaise started studying Korean cinema in England, he naturally considered about moving to Korea. “Although I could see movies in England, it was just not enough. I could meet people in the Korean film industry more freely as well,” he added. Bechervaise says that he used to hold movie subscriptions after having seen the “Memories of Murder”. Since then, Bechervaise started studying the Korean culture and history in order to understand Korean movies more deeply. His life changed accordingly. “I gained interest in those fields, started writing academic papers and essays on Korean films and studied more about Korea,” said Bechervaise.
Life in motion
Bechervaise says that there things that are chaotic in Korea which makes it a better place to live in. “I would put this country in three words: colorful, exciting, and energetic." In the UK, a kind of order exists that lasts a long period of time when getting something done, which makes things boring. In contrast, everything has to be fast in Korea. “There’s no country in the world that can be considered as being perfect. Korea's like my second hometown,” said Bechervaise.
Although Bechervaise had a hard time and still finds it difficult to use Korean perfectly, his goal is to write his movie reviews in Korean as well as in English. Although Bechervaise prefers to watch Korean movies without subtitles for a better understanding of film techniques and storyline, historical dramas are still quite hard for Jason to understand without subtitles. “Most movie previews do not have subtitles, although there are some exceptions. I think I would get better at Korean as time goes."
The biggest merits of Korean movies that Bechervaise pointed out were about how they convey social issues. “Not only the storytelling, but also the film techniques used by the Korean filmmakers are so creative." He explained that the mise-en-scene and the editing is portrayed in a beautiful way in Korean movies, which is something that can't be seen in other countries' films. “There are so many talented people that create movies in such a great way. It’s interesting to see how they portray social issues to the viewers so well,” praised Bechervaise.
Bechervaise wishes to continue with his work in the Korean movie industry, and let more great films in the Korean language be known to the world. As they are exciting and always something to watch for Bechervaise, he watches about 250 films every year. With his adventures in Korea, and as a foreign Korean movie critic, film fanatics could do well to keep track of Bechervaise's movie reviews.
Kim Seung-jun firstname.lastname@example.org
Photos by Moon Hana
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