PIFF: Day 1, Opening Ceremony

So, yes, PIFF began yesterday. As I’ve mentioned, I managed to score a guest pass, which entitles me to all kinds of cool things. One such thing is the red carpet opening ceremony. The whole scene outside was insane. I’m not sure I can quite describe the sound of a couple hundred Korean girls screaming when they see their favorite movie star arrive. It’s not just that it’s piercing and deafening, but there’s something else in the mix; something primal, guttural. Quite a sound.

It was raining most of the time, which kind of sucked. I didn’t have an umbrella with me. I ran into two of my best students while I was milling about. They had a creative method of saying dry—shopping bags (they’d probably hate me for posting this, but ah well):

It took me a while to get inside. They wouldn’t let me in because I had forgotten to get a ticket, but I called a Korean friend I knew was already there. He came out, said some things to the security people, and I was in.

The “inside” was actually still outside, which was a bit miserable because it was really pouring at this point. Others didn’t really seem to mind though. I didn’t know any of the Korean movie stars people were cheering for. But Ennio Morricone was there. That was cool.

Afterward, I went out with some Korean big-wigs. They took me to an awesome little Japanese place in Haeundae. It was one of those tiny places where everyone sits very close. The interior was decorated entirely in wood, with strange objects and lanterns hanging from the ceiling. In the middle, a woman expertly prepared steaming bowls of broth and minced fish, smiling the whole time and joking with patrons.

I usually hate flash, but it was the only way to capture the steam coming off the soup…

I love the natural frame of this menu board, created by the shadows…

After heaping bowls of soup, some pajon, and copious shots of soju, we went to a nuribang. We sang, we ate, a girl pinched my chubby belly. A good time was had by all.

By the way, while I’m posting PIFF pictures, here’s a shot from a friend’s apartment. He’s got an absolutely stunning pad overlooking Haeundae Beach, where the PIFF visitor’s center is.

Sorry for the scattered organization of this blog post. My hangover is making me feel pretty scattered anyway, so it’s a reflection of my state of mind.

For a report on the actual films, this fellow is promising to post some reviews. I’m hoping to do the same once I actually see something.

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One Response to “PIFF: Day 1, Opening Ceremony”

  1. Haeundae Beach sounds familiar. Is there some history there?

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