Wednesday, March 21


Virgin Stripped Bare By Her Bachelors: the Blog-a-Thon directory

You've come to the right place. This post is the hub of the Virgin Stripped Bare By Her Bachelors Blog-a-Thon being held all day today, March 21st, 2007. It will be updated with links to other blog entries on Hong Sang-soo's 2000 film, also known as Oh! Soo-jung, as they come in. If you have written (or drawn, podcasted, etc.) something about this film today, please leave a comment below or e-mail me with an alert.

The contributions are already coming in, starting with Squish's review at the Film Vituperatem, presented in his usual segmented reviewing style- only moreso, as befitting this divisive film.

Oggs Cruz in his write-up of the film at his Oggs' Movie Thoughts talks about his "metaphorical devirginization, into Hong Sang-soo's cinema" and then of Soo-jung's devirginization.

David Gray starts a piece that he e-mailed me for publication here that begins with the "image of a tram halted in mid-air", and works out from that crucial point in the film.

Adam Hartzell has posted an essay using a Chuck Stephens line as a jumping-off point to a much larger discussion of "doubt" at Notes Inspired By the Film, his new blog adjunct to

And my own first piece, a reflection on my original experience with the film, and why I selected it for this Blog-a-Thon, is now up as well. I've also written what amounts to a "dog ate my homework" note. Hopefully my kind (and smart! and extremely good-looking, all of you!) readers are more understanding than Mr. Holmes, Social Studies, 7th Grade.

Philip of London Korean Links has posted a delightful contribution that assesses the access to Hong's films in the UK and contemplates Rashomon, kissing, and his own mixed feelings about Hong. Sometimes "rambling" (his word) can be a hell of a lot of fun to read.

UPDATE 3/22/07:

Michael Guillen, proprietor of the Evening Class, brought his trusty digital recorder to the q-and-a following last night's screening of Virgin Stripped Bare By Her Bachelors at the Pacific Film Archive, as part of the SF International Asian American Film Festival. However, Director Hong is soft-spoken enough that Michael felt the recording would be better represented by this reconstruction than an attempt at a literal transcription. It was cross-posted at Twitch. I can't think of a more fitting way to present a discussion of a film that, as Michael puts it, "says so much about the limitations if not the fabrications of memory".

UPDATE 3/23/07:

Jennifer Young sent me her transcription of the greater portion of Hong's q-and-a from the previous night's screening of Woman on the Beach. Though he doesn't speak specifically on Virgin Stripped Bare By Her Bachelors here, most of his comments lean enough toward the general, encompassing and illuminating all his films, that I think it's well worth including them.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Those are the "official" entries so far. I'm expecting a few more after-the-official-deadline pieces to come in, so continue to look back in the next day or so.

A hearty thanks to Andy, Atom, David, Girish, Philip, Samuel, Thom and the sf360 staff for helping me spread the word about this event, as well as anyone else I'm overlooking.

Here are a few links to other articles on the film, which were published long before I even thought of, much less announced this Blog-a-Thon (let me know if I’ve left any out):

acquarello at Strictly Film School.

Michael Atkinson at the Village Voice.

Marshall Deutelbaum has indicated that his essay, "The Deceptive Design of Hong Sangsoo’s Virgin Stripped Bare by Her Bachelors," which appeared in the November, 2005 issue of New Review of Film and Television Studies, is available at in its entirety on line here.

Darcy Paquet and Adam Hartzell at

I'm in.
Here's to many participants in your old school blog-a-thon!
I'm planning on going to the PFA screening so my contribution may be a little "late". But the appetite is whetted.
So far it seems the articles are split as to the perspective of each story. Some say his/hers other say neither or both. I found that conundrum of questionable truth to be both the most enjoyable and most frustrating aspect of this film's theme.
My feeble effort is up here:
I went out drinking with Hong Sang-soo last night and my body is positively pickled this morning from soju. I have no feeling in my extremities, I keep getting my syllables all mixed up, and I'm trying desperately to conveniently forget some of the things I said to him last night.

Which is all by way of saying that my contribution will be a day or two late once this haze goes away.
Thanks, all of you, for your contributions and promises of future contributions.

Late entries are fine of course, though I can't promise the links will be posted as quickly in the main body of the post.

Squish, I'm not surprised that there's disagreement between entries; in fact, you could say that hoped/planned it to be so, when I picked this film to 'thon about!
I was unable to get an English subtitled DVD here. Sorry I'm not participating. My filmgoing plans have been somewhat shot by knowing that I'm a Cyborg, but that's OK is only shown in a Thai dubbed version in Chiang Mai.
Great, now I'm really disappointed I couldn't make today's PFA screening. Thanks, Brian!
Peter, perhaps you can take comfort in knowing that those of us stateside have just as much of an opportunity of seeing Park's new film subtitled as you do.

Brad, it was a terrific screening and a wonderful q-and-a. And I even was able to have Hong sign a DVD afterwards. I've had a great time immersing myself in his filmography over the past several days, and it only continues...
I've been kicking myself, repeatedly, for not taking part in this.

Still, it's been a real joy to read so much about a film that means the world to me.
hey filmbrain,

you can still take part. as you can see, pieces are drifting in just like ones thoughts after watching a Hong film.
Thanks for stopping by, filmbrain! I'm glad you've enjoyed the pieces collected here.

Even if the Blog-a-Thon is "officially" over, I'll probably keep updating as long as material comes in.
Brian: I hate to say it, but I've come to the realization that I'm not going to be able to participate in the 'thon. But I've still got the DVD to watch and a relatively free weekend in which to watch it, so I will write something up after I've seen it, post my piece and link to this section on your blog so that readers can get much more interesting insights than I'm likely to offer. It pains me to have to beg off like this, but my ambition definitely outstretched my schedule this time around. And I'm going to avoid reading anything linked her until I've seen the movie too- don't want to spoil either the movie or the fun of reading all these great contributions!
Great Blogathon Brian! I'm sorry I couldn't participate, but I didn't have time to re-watch this beautiful film... I appreciate all the rich and various appreciation. :)
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