Response Essay – Women, Intimacy, and Sexual Violence in Korean Dramas

On the first day of class, we watched Emma Hampsten’s Hitchcock video essay entitled “Women, Intimacy, and Sexual Violence in Hitchcock Films.” The video was simple but effective, and the contrast between Doris Day’s song “Que Sera” and the images of violence against women was incredibly upsetting and incredibly powerful. For our response essay assignment, my mind gravitated back to this Hitchcock video, and I thought about a version of this concept with visuals from Korean Dramas instead of Hitchcock films. As an avid K-drama fan, abusive behaviors framed as romantic gestures are commonly present in this type of genre. Many of the scenes I chose to include involved nonconsensual kissing and grabbing of a woman’s body. I wanted to use the template of Emma’s video to show that violence against women onscreen is a pervasive problem that transcends borders.


For the multiscreen exercise, I noticed that both Spirited Away and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind had an extended train sequence. I decided to place them side by side within the frame in order to showcase their visual similarities. Because I used animation and live-action footage, this combination also created a strong contrast which made the video visually striking. Creating a frame that could accommodate two screens was a difficult task, but it was fun to subtly change settings until I got the perfect size I was looking for. I think the combination of visuals from both films brought the pensive feeling present within both scenes even further forward.


For my deformation exercise, I chose to experiment with the spatial aspect of the frame. I cropped the frame into three unconnected segments and then isolated the color in the middle segment, drawing attention to the center. I chose a clip of Chihiro and her parents crossing through the tunnel of the spirit world for the first time. Through my isolation of different sections of the shot, it looks as if the characters themselves are waking across the screen and crossing through each separate frame, entering and leaving the world of color. 


In this exercise, I combined lyrics from Joyce Kwon’s song “Ruby 6” with the visuals of Spirited Away‘s train scene. The lyrics are the yearning to find “home” during a long journey, and they immediately reminded me of Chihiro and No-Face sitting together on the train, reflecting on the journey behind and ahead of them. I’d never done much voiceover work before, and recording myself was more difficult that I had expected. It took several takes before I found the proper inflection that I wanted to use, but I wholly enjoyed the experience.

Final Essay – Grief, Memory, and Ted Lasso

For my response essay, I chose to explore the show Ted Lasso, my initial experience watching it, and my personal relationship to the show’s central character. I watched the show at a time when I was grieving the death of my grandfather. The central character Ted Lasso’s kind interactions with others reminded me of my grandfather, and watching the show turned into a cathartic experience. I tried to capture some of this feeling through the desktop documentary format, but I unfortunately had difficulty fully conveying the full weight of the show’s impact on me.