Thursday, May 04, 2006

Oh Ji-ho - First Take

I initially became aware of Oh Ji-ho sometime last winter while looking through web images to illustrate a piece I was writing. That was the first time I saw this, now very well known. photograph, and thought, “this is the most beautiful man I have ever seen in my entire life."

Click on image to enlarge.
Without exception, he was, and still is, a startlingly handsome man.

I came upon the picture again several times, then discovered there were such things as forums (don’t ask what took me so long) where people talked about all kinds of issues and interests, and actors were often a big part of this talk. That’s how I found out he was a model, and had made a movie that was classified as erotica. “Hmmm", I said

I finally joined my first forum, saw more pictures of him, and read comments about the movie.

The forum was Japan Today (now called CrissCross-Japan) the thread was, A tribute to the beauty of Asian men, and the movie was La Belle.

I like very well produced erotica that relies on sensuality rather than hyper-realistic sexual display. I am not especially interested in hard-core pornography.

I found reviews of La Belle on the web, and through reading them I learned that it was categorized as an art film here in the States, after having been screened at a film festival in New York City.

I also read comments that the film was very beautiful visually, and saw some still photos from it, which proved that to be true. I found out that it was available at HanBooks in an all-region version with English subtitles. Of course I bought it.

So…I saw all of him there was to see without seeing everything, since Korean law forbids full frontal nudity in movies made there. Hey, sometimes we’re better off not knowing the entire truth. Reality can be so crushingly disappointing.

I wanted to look at more of his work, so I began to buy it when I could. I currently own La Belle, I Love You, Silver Knife, Love Trilogy, A Second Proposal, Super Rookie, and Autumn Shower, and am looking forward to adding more as it comes along.

I've discovered that he does comedy very well, and hope there's an opportunity for him to further explore that area in series such as A Second Proposal, or films that are a cut above Silver Knife, but that have the potential to be as zany as it was.

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