Noxious Reed

Rex Reed writes film reviews for the NY Observer. He wrote a short review for Park Chan-Wook’s Old Boy. Damn thing is SERIOUSLY offensive to me. I am half-korean [on my dad’s side]. All Pakistanis are. It is one of those nationalist pipe-dreams. Legend goes that under Ayub’s dictatorship, we were so advanced that the South Koreans came over to take notes on how to be the bestest little developing nation. Of course, they turned around and became the bestest nation and, here we sit, with a pipe and a dream. But, I digress. This is what Mr. Reed wrote:

For sewage in a cocktail shaker, there is Oldboy, a noxious helping of Korean Grand Guignol as pointless as it is shocking. What else can you expect from a nation weaned on kimchi, a mixture of raw garlic and cabbage buried underground until it rots, dug up from the grave and then served in earthenware pots sold at the Seoul airport as souvenirs? Directed by Chan-wook Park, a film-festival ìcomerî in this nation of emerging cinematic schlock…

What else can you expect from a nation? How is that appropriate? If he didn’t like the movie, say that. Don’t pen racial stereotypes of a nation. I doubt he started his review of Passion with “what else can you expect from a nation weaned on tobbaccer-chew and Dr. Pepper…”. I am almost peeved enough to drop him an email. But he may be out shopping.

unrelated: I will post my trip pics tomorrow. Or later. Also stay tuned for my thoughts on becoming a card-carrying American Orientalist.

unrelated 2: Seriously?.

5 Replies to “Noxious Reed”

  1. The joke, of course, is on Reed, who has never been a good guide to great cinema.

    Oldboy got 4 stars (highest rating) from Roger Ebert, probably America’s most respected film critic, and also won the Grand Jury Prize at the Cannes film festival.

    Reed is entitled to his own opinion, but it’s clear he has a problem with challenging films that make demands on the viewer. And his comments indicting Korea as a nation are at least ignorant, if not racist.

  2. cinematic schlock? an american daring to write about cinematic schlock? grrrrrrr…. seriously. and what is his problem with kimchi? (does anyone rememeber the mash episode when the fat doctor from boston thought that a pot of kimchi was a mine….)

    has anyone seen joint security area? man i love that film…

  3. Ain’t that something: Rex Reed – shoplifting. Was his ill will toward all of Korea a lapse in memory as well?? That mofo deserves a flogging.

    Sepoy – YOU is half-Korean???? Dude, you keep holding out on me.

Comments are closed.