It will pass, someday: Gothic ethereality and introspection in RM’s Mono

RM’s second mixtape, Mono, dropped on 23 October 2018 almost two and a half years after the self-titled RM, which was released on 20 March 2015. Mono was accompanied by a music video for the final track “Forever Rain” with lyric videos released for “Seoul” and “Moonchild” on 23 and 24 October respectively. It followed J-Hope’s earlier […]

The Top 5 Gothic KPOP Music Videos

Dr Colette Balmain applies her specialism in Gothic Cinema to the world of KPOP – perfect for the Halloween season… ‘Gothic forces its readers, viewers, and listeners to identify the ghosts that haunt them…’ (Isabella van Elferan, 2012, Gothic Music, p. 15). 1. SHINee “Married to the Music” (2015) “Married to the Music” doesn’t sound […]

The end of the journey: desire, recognition and redemption in BTS’s “IDOL”

Dr Colette Balmain examines the culmination of the BTS Love Yourself series: “IDOL” is the lead single from BTS’s final album in the “Love Yourself” series. The series comprises one extended storyworld music video, Love Yourself 起 Wonder; one mini album, Love Yourself 承 Her; one full length album, Love Yourself 轉 Tear; and one […]

The Garden of the Forking Paths: Difference and Repetition in BTS “Epiphany”

Dr Colette Balmain examines the BTS comeback trailer for Love Yourself 結 Answer: “Epiphany” is the comeback trailer for BTS’ last entry in the LOVE YOURSELF Series: Love Yourself 結 Answer. LOVE YOURSELF is a transmedia and multimedia project involving the expansion of the BTS Universe through the construction of a metafictional storyworld established by Music […]

Artistry, Creativity & Emotionality: Choreographies of the self in “Fake Love”

Dr Colette Balmain examines the lead single from BTS’s Love Yourself 轉 Tear: “Fake Love” is the lead single from BTS’ third studio album Love Yourself 轉 Tear (they have also released three Japanese studio albums, two repackages, five EPs and two single albums to date) and follows, both temporally and thematically, the comeback trailer “Singularity” […]

Trajectories of Meaning in “Singularity” – the BTS Comeback Trailer: Love Yourself 轉 Tear

Dr Colette Balmain analyses the comeback trailer for BTS’s third studio album: From Serendipity to Singularity: A Universe of Meaning “Singularity” is the comeback trailer for BTS’ third studio or full length album, Love Yourself: Tear which will be released on 18th May 2018. This follows up the mini album or EP, Love Yourself: Her […]

Neverland: Holland’s ground-breaking K-pop debut in context

Dr Colette Balmain discusses the controversial debut MV from Korea’s “first openly gay” KPOP idol. “Never lose self-esteem and be confident” (Holland, 2018) On 22st January 2018, at exactly midnight KST, Holland released his debut single and MV “Neverland”.  Since its release, “Neverland” has racked up over 6 million views on YouTube and Holland has […]

Crossroads of Youth – a constantly-evolving performance of Korea’s earliest silent film

Crossroads of Youth is one of Korea’s earliest silent films, which would have at the time had narration by a byeonsa (the Korean equivalent of the Japanese benshi). The function of the byeonsa was to tell the story in the absence of diagetic dialogue (which in Western cinema was told through intertitles), in addition to […]

Film Review: The Man From Nowhere

Colette Balmain reviews the opening film of LKFF 2010 The Man From Nowhere (아저씨- Ajeossi) (Lee Jeong-beom, 2010) Cha Tae-sik (Won Bin), is a man shrouded in mystery, a loner who runs a small pawnshop and who is positioned on the margins of society. His only meaningful relationship is with the young girl, So-mi (Kim […]

Dr Yeon’s introduction to Korean

Not only am I lucky enough to be studying Korean for free at the Korean Cultural Centre in London, but I managed to obtain a ticket to a special lecture (again free) on the Korean Language by Dr Jaehoon Yeon, Senior Reader in Korean Language and Literature, SOAS, on Wednesday, 27th October 2010. The Centre […]