Lee Eun-ju: A Korean Star

3rd September 2021

As a prelude to some blogs about my favourite Korean films, I would like to post a little tribute to one of my favourite actors, Lee Eun-ju (also known as Lee Eun-joo). The actress, who was also a talented pianist, appeared in some of my favourite Korean films of the early 2000s.

Lee Eun Joo - mỹ nhân tự sát sau cảnh nóng, gây thương xót suốt 14 năm

Lee Eun-ju was born in Gunsan, south-west Korea, on December 22nd 1980, and studied piano when she was at school. At sixteen, she won a modelling contest. From there, she moved into TV dramas and then movies.

One of her earliest roles was in Hong Sang-soo’s ‘Virgin Stripped Bare by her Bachelors” (2000). This art film, shot in black & white, tells the story of how two people meet, and is told in flashbacks showing different perspectives and while some events are similar, others are very different.

The film is one of my top Korean movies. Anthony Leong writes that Lee Eun-ju “delivers the standout performance,” and her charisma is “one of the highlights,” of the film.

S. Korean Star Lee Eun Joo has Commited Suicide - Ent_Pic - Pictures -  Newsgd

The following year, Lee Eun-ju appeared in the reincarnation love-story, ‘Bungee Jumping of their Own’ (2001). She plays a shy girl who falls in love, eventually, with a young man with whom she shares an umbrella during a storm. However, after planning to meet one day, she fails to appear and is never seen again. I will not spoil the film (too much) but many years later, the young man, now a teacher, meets a boy student who shares many of his old lover’s mannerisms.

Lee Eun Joo - Tin tức mới nhất 24h qua - VnExpress

The theme of boy meets girl – falls in love – one of them dies is stepped up a notch in another one of my personal favourite Korean films, ‘Lovers’ Concerto’ (2002). I even watched it (again) last night, to prepare for this blog. Lee Eun-ju shows her acting skills, as she portrays a young lady who is by turns spoilt, unreasonable, tender, loving and so fragile. With her charm and charisma, she really lights up the screen.

Unfortunately, Lee Eun-ju found her last film, The Scarlet Letter’ (2004) a very traumatic experience, along with the subsequent poor reception and backlash. The film, her family assert, caused her to fall into a deep depression, exacerbated by insomnia. On February 22 2004, Lee Eun-ju took her own life. She was only twenty-four.

Lee Eun-joo - Photo Gallery (故 이은주) @ HanCinema

How heartbreaking that someone with so much to offer should be so unhappy. How heartbreaking to think of all the films she could have made. How amazing that an actress with just thirteen film credits should be in two of my absolute favourites.

Thank you so much … miss you so much

매우 감사합니다 ... 당신이 너무 그리워

Lee Eun-ju 1980 – 2004

Grasshopper Educational: 121 Minutes to 180 Minutes
Virgin Stripped Bare by Her Bachelors (2000)
Bungee Jumping of Their Own (Region-All)
Bungee Jumping of Their Own (2001)
Lover's Concerto - AsianWiki
Lovers’ Concerto (2002)

Sources

Leong, Anthony C.Y. ‘Korean Cinema: The New Hong Kong’ (2002) Trafford

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lee_Eun-ju#Life_and_career

https://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=vi&u=https://zingnews.vn/lee-eun-joo-my-nhan-tu-sat-sau-canh-nong-gay-thuong-xot-suot-14-nam-post919445.html&prev=sear

Adult Speaking Class, Level 3. Theme: Crime and punishment.

1st February 2020

Contents

Free speaking: Students’ personal experiences.

Listening practice: A non-native speaker talks about a crime.

Reading exercise: Sherlock Holmes

Vocabulary: exercises

Warm up game: Eyewitness

Crime and detection. Being an eyewitness. 

Crime and Punishment

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This is a famous book by the Russian author Fyodor Dostoevsky. Give students five to ten minutes to research information about him, then present it to the class. This practises extracting relevant information. Reading verbatim from Wiki or other sites is forbidden !

Warm up game:

Eyewitness: Show students a slide or picture of three people for two minutes. Tell them that today some computers were stolen from the office and these people were seen. Ask them to describe the people they just saw. Prompt for as much detail as possible. This will test the students’ ability to use adjectives and learn new vocabulary from each other:

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Do you like detective shows ? Which are your favourites ?

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The above shows are from USA, UK & South Korea. Detective shows are popular all over the world. Even famous film directors can write detective novels:

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By the famous Indian director Satyajit Ray

An eyewitness account: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7RuFGkqYAL4

Look for new vocabulary and expressions – this is a Romanian man living in London.

FREE SPEAKING

Have you witnessed any crimes ? 

Image result for crime eyewitness

Vocabulary:

procedure / happened / suddenly / officially / relatively / contents / grabbed

I was walking with a friend along Main Street, around 4 in the morning. The street was ………….quiet, just some tourists and a little traffic. 

I was wearing a small bag, strung across my shoulder. A security guard was behind me, talking to a person in a car. …….., a motorbike came towards me on the pavement. He stopped, …………..my strap, then drove away.

Naturally, I shouted but it was too late; he was gone. My friend was worried but I told her it was OK, nobody was hurt. The ………of the bag were really worthless: pens, some medicine, a book, but also my designer glasses.

The security guard was comical in his incompetence. He shook his head, mouth open wide, and said, “It all ………. so quickly, there was nothing I could do.” 

I should, …….. , have reported it to the police, that was the ……….. but people told me the thief would never be found. What I learnt from this unfortunate experience was to be very careful and never walk around with valuables.

Could you be a good eyewitness ? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x6fRH5MLBIU

What information is helpful to the police ? (1.46 – 1.50)

Detective story: 

type of popular literature in which a crime is introduced and investigated and the culpritis revealed.

The traditional elements of the detective story are: 

(1) the seemingly perfect crime; 

(2) the wrongly accused suspect at whom circumstantial evidence points;

(3) the bungling of dim-witted police; 

(4) the greater powers of observation and superior mind of the detective .

(5) the startling and unexpected , in which the detective reveals how the identity of the culprit was ascertained.

Detective stories frequently operate on the principle that superficially convincing evidence is ultimately irrelevant.

The first detective story was “The Murders in the Rue Morgue” by Edgar Allan Poe, published in April 1841.

The greatest of all fictional detectives, Sherlock Holmes, along with his loyal companion Dr. Watson, made his first appearance in Arthur (later Sir Arthur) Conan Doyle’s novel A Study in Scarlet (1887) and continued into the 20th century in such collections of stories as The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes (1894) and the longer Hound of the Baskervilles (1902).

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Basil Rathbone as Sherlock Holmes

New Vocabulary Practice:

What is the ……… for reporting a crime. (noun)

Most of what we learnt on the first day was ………… (adj)

His wife ……….. (verb) him of eating the cake but the real ….. (noun) was the dog !

Jet Mart had two cases of Tiger beer boosted (stolen). In Mr Wall’s house, there were two cases of Tiger beer but, his lawyer defended, this is not proof, merely ……….. …………….

Reading exercise: 

An extract from a Sherlock Holmes short story: http://www.eastoftheweb.com/short-stories/UBooks/AdveDanc.shtml#2