beccatoria: (Default)
Well, I finally did it. I vidded my beloved kdrama. Epicness.

Title: Matches to Paperdolls
Video: The Great Queen Seondeok // MBC
Audio: Matches to Paperdolls // Dessa
Summary: Mishil, Deokman, war in every arena, odds it would be madness to play.
Notes: With many thanks to [ profile] cyborganize for the beta.

Direct download available here. 45 megs approx. RightClickSaveAs.

Password: vidses

Cross-posted to [ profile] vidding and [ profile] kdramas

Other vids available here.
beccatoria: (ancient korean queen of my heart)
SO. Remember that time I became completely obsessed with a kdrama about the first ruling queen of the kingdom of Silla in Korea?

Well, since I'm damn sure that upwards of two whole people might be interested in this, I MADE CLIPS. Fair warning, this spoils the shit out of the ten-ep stretch where the whole conflict between the hero and the villain explodes into open warfare. I figure that most of you who want to check this out either won't mind that, or will enjoy the idea of seeing the SUPER DRAMATIC EYEBROW SHOTS OF DOOM AND MILITARY COUPS without having to watch forty plus hours of telly first.

I mean, let's be serious, spoilerphobes, were you really going to watch it? Wait, you were? AWESOME, here's the link - - the rest of you, TO THE CLIPS!

(There are like 15, so I put the 3 best ones outside the lj-cuts and bolded them. If in doubt, just watch those!)

Our Players )

Clip #1 )

Clip #2
Later part of the scene clipped above - Bidam attempts to convince his estranged, secret mother that since she's just realised she's spent a large part of her life chasing something smaller and more pointless than she could understand, she might as well have some sort of come-to-Jesus moment and be done with it. She doesn't really agree.

Clips #3 - #10 )

Clip #11
So ultimately, it all comes down to this - one last summit before total war. I'll let it speak for itself.

Clip #12 )

Clip #13
And then, Misil's final scene. I feel it's important to note here that she ultimately surrenders not because she's lost, militarily, but because a subordinate's decision has forced her into a position where success will irreparably weaken the nation's borders, and if that happens, at her hand, she has already lost in every way that matters.

Clips #14 - #15 )
beccatoria: (ancient korean queen of my heart)
Okay, okay so yes, fine, three year old Korean sageuk dramas are still occupying vast tracts of my mind, but I just realised something that I find kind of nifty.

I was struggling to articulate to myself what exactly it was that I found refreshing about Deokman (the main character) and her personality and attitudes but everything I put together about her willingness to be wrong, to make mistakes, to check with other people, rather than relying on natural brilliance, made it sound...I don't know. All wrong. Until I figured out that, using the time-honoured Fandom Sorting Hat tradition, I can explain it all by saying, she's in Hufflepuff. But it honestly took me this long to notice.

Whatever fandom this show has is probably mostly (a) in Korean and (b) in 2009, but my guess would be that most people would have sorted her into Gryffindor, both out of good-guy protagonist tradition and because, frankly, she's brave and daring enough to be, any day of the week. She's also smart and ambitious, and you could argue for any of the houses if you wanted to, but it's her Hufflepuffian attributes I find most interesting precisely because she's also smart, she's also capable of manipulation, she's also brave and tenacious.

The pernicious stereotype about Hufflepuff is that they got the consolation prize. That having the quality of being willing to work hard for success is somehow lesser, like it implies they didn't have the natural talent to achieve success without it. I imagine it ties into the fact that "cool" means being perceived to have succeeded without investment or effort.

Deokman has an abundance of natural talents, all of which she employs. But her core facet, I'd argue, is her willingness to learn, her imagination and vision, her flexibility. Her ability to admit when she is unsure, to ask when she needs information, to consider her failures objectively and learn from them. To listen again and again, with sincerity, to people she fundamentally disagrees with, and use their questions to sharpen her own position. To admit when an enemy's question has assisted her by clarifying something in her own mind, without ever giving credence to the implication this makes her weak, somehow, or her enemy correct. To admit she doesn't know everything and is still learning. And I think that's why it fits so perfectly. Hufflepuffs don't work hard because they're worse at everything than everyone else so they have to. Deokman could have coasted by on her intellect, on her social skills and on her at times stupidly fearless bravery, but then, she probably would have been caught in the same trap as her opponents - viewing the world from a comfortable position and assuming it is the only position available.

Obviously I'm going to contrast this with Mishil (the villain) momentarily, but what actually provoked me into this revelation was another character - Chunchu - Deokman's nephew. He's quite obviously in Slytherin, and is a good example of a character who can be a superlative manipulator, and a character who struggles to do anything that's not at least partially out of enlightened self-interest, but who is not evil, who ultimately ends up on the side of our heroine, and not only because he's been backed into that position.

Chunchu appears, plays everyone effortlessly for a while, follows the one skill he has in abundance, with confidence. But ultimately this fails him. He's a better politician than Deokman, he may even be smarter than her, but he underestimates Mishil's charismatic terror, and he underestimates his aunt's dogged determination and ability to see and respond to facts without ego, he overestimates his own ability to see the situation as it really is, and ends up swept to the sidelines of their power battle, forced to pick sides in a conflagration he had hoped to use to force others to pick his side.

Which brings us to Mishil, again the character I'm sure fandom would paint as Slytherin incarnate, and to be fair, not without reason. But I'd label her Ravenclaw without a second though, and not just because she wears so much purple. Like Chunchu she is a superlative manipulator, possessed of extraordinary ambition and incredible intelligence. But somehow with Chunchu I feel his skill with social manipulation proves his intellect, while with Mishil I feel it's because she is so intelligent that she is able to employ such sly control. Chunchu enjoys making the ants march with a single word, Mishil only cares about the end results, where the ants are going and what they'll do for her when they get there; the word was the means to that end.

So yes. That was what I was thinking about on the bus home from work. Productive times!

It's nice to know I can still fall in love with a show enough to want to type up crazy long posts about what Hogwarts House they'd get sorted into. *facepalm* (But no, really, it is).

And look at that! No one's in Gryffindor! (Okay, actually, Yushin, the guy I imagine most of fandom WOULD put in Hufflepuff, totally is. But no one else!)
beccatoria: (Default)
Some of you may have been reading my twitter feed and may therefore be aware that over the past three weeks I have become completely obsessed with a Korean Sageuk (Historical) Drama. IT'S THIS ONE AND IT IS GLORIOUS.


Streaming within the US on Hulu - subtitled

Streaming outside the US with fansubs

Okay, I will level with you. This show is 62 hours long. And I found some of the early episodes kinda campy, which I think was mostly just me acclimating to a certain amount of culture clash in terms of visual storytelling and acting styles as well as requiring slightly more attention than usual due to subtitles. But you know what? It just kept getting better and better and now that I've seen it all, I can say with absolute sincerity that this is one of the best fucking TV shows I have ever seen.

It's enormous in scope - it tells the tale of Queen Seondeok of Silla, the first female monarch in Korean history, and, I believe, in recorded East Asian history. It was, at the time, forbidden for a woman to govern a country. Information on the historical figure can be found here. The TV show tells a fictionalised version of her life; with 62 hours to work with, it's unsurprisingly detailed in its account of more than forty years of history with a huge number of subplots and minor characters, but the centrepiece is the remarkable, glorious power struggle between its two female protagonists.

Deokman (the name of Queen Seondeok before her coronation) and Mishil (a noblewoman and consort to several kings who has been not-so-secretly controlling the court for decades) take on the roles of Mulan-as-Luke-Skywalker and the Catherine De Medici of Ancient Korea respectively as they brawl across every arena from the personal to the political, on the battlefield and in temples, they fight each other with the economy and with science and with the people they love. It’s about individuals versus institutions. It’s about power and love and ambition and dreams.

It made me cry. Nearly nothing on telly makes me cry. It pulled my soul out through my chest, broke it, and then pushed it back into my throat.

I wanted to keep this relatively short, so consider the above my recommendation. But for the interested, and those not averse to some spoilers, there's...just so much more I want to babble about, I will do so after the cut.

This story, this story, these people. )

Damn, but I loved this show.

Apparently it was a total ratings juggernaut, which is just awesome.

June 2016

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