Article. Lee Jiyeon, Im Sooyeon (CINE21 Reporter), Na Wonyoung (Music Critic)
Design. Jeon Yurim


Lee Jiyeon: “What should we do now?” In a recent episode of Run BTS, the boy band was asked this from the production staff. Their responses included 7-on-7 kick volleyball, sepak takraw, farming, and pole dance. All of these were full-body activities that we as viewers had little trouble visualizing how the members would look engaging in them. The team chose to start with aerial yoga, which was suggested by Jung Kook. These full-body activities, often humorously called “human capacity enhancement programs,” have always brought joy to fans by showing another side to this boy band who usually appear almost superhuman during their stage performances. In the 100th episode special of Run BTS, the band played kick volleyball and showed us how their colorful style carries over into many activities, albeit a little different each time. In that sense BTS’ attempt at aerial yoga did not disappoint ARMY. We hear the members soon start to lament for their straining muscles, some urgently call the instructor, and in general show a much more human side as each struggles valiantly with the hammock specially prepared in BTS’ signature purple. Still, one of the many memorable moments is when the steely core strength of these seasoned performers come through to hold the poses. Another familiar Run BTS moment that makes us smile is the initially upbeat yoga instructor running on fumes at the end while the members still have energy left to burn. This is the BTS we know and love, people just like us who simply commit their all no matter the outcome, and always dust themselves off to try again after every failure.

Everything Everywhere All At Once

Im Sooyeon (CINE21 Reporter): The multiverse is no longer the sole purview of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). Everything Everywhere All At Once – also fondly called “Michelle Yeoh-Verse” – shows us the multi-universe concept of worlds emerging from probability-based calculations in a much more compelling way than the recent Marvel hero movies. Michelle Yeo is Evelyn Wang, a Chinese American barely scraping by with a struggling dry-cleaning business. Then Alpha Waymond appears before her. He is her husband, Waymond (Ke Huy Quan), from the alternate universe of Alphaverse who looks exactly like the Waymond she has always known, but exudes a completely different aura. He explains that there are an infinite number of universes split apart by our every decision in life and driven by the laws of probability. In each of these universes there exists a different Evelyn, but the only Evelyn who can prevail against the absolute evil incarnate, Jobu Tupaki, and prevent the collapse of the multiverse is the protagonist Evelyn who appears to be incapable of doing anything well. But the very misfortunes of this Evelyn converts into boundless possibilities as she connects with the Evelyns of different universes : the accomplished cook, the kung fu master, the actor, and many others. As these talents flow into her, our familiar Evelyn steps up as the hero capable of anything. Moreover, the multiverse frame cleverly juggles a wide variety of film references ranging from the Indiana Jones series, Ratatouille2001 : A Space Odyssey, and more. It is also a great scaffolding for the film when frolicking uninhibited through the complete Michelle Yeoh filmography that showcases her incredible range across multiple genres including action, wuxia, historical films, and drama over the span of almost four decades. Ultimately, Everything Everywhere All At Once is a validation of existence in this very moment. It succeeds in rising above the trap of cynicism (represented in the film as a bagel) that many multiverse plots eventually seem to fall into. The film argues incredibly convincingly that the existential being who awakens to infinite possibilities that quantum mechanics and philosophical theories establish, will also find a way to harness these forces to realize the calling that has brought it into existence.

“topic” (baehyuni)

Na Wonyoung (Music Critic): “Carried away on a fleeting sensation, this lazy body, not even one word to say?” So baehyuni begins to riff on any topic that comes to mind. One moment she coasts on the beat track as if following her stream of consciousness, then she says, “Break it down,” almost like casting a spell, just to turn around and immediately splash and stomp across pools of staticky sound before realigning with the song’s initial musical trajectory. In this world where one may intentionally fly off the track because one is able to return just as effortlessly, perhaps the first rule is this : “Anywhere, plink, drop your conscious mind.” The chorus and interjections free-range across the song and the rap is intentionally mumbled as if these elements all have free will and may become travelling companions who have “Come to pick me up.” The themes “topic” lists per its intention to “Remove the obstacles that are our thoughts,” may feel rather arbitrary. However it all comes together as a delicate syncopation when the song remembers a regular rhythm during moments of self-awareness induced by lyrics like “Just don’t say mean things, you a coward?” Or, when the easy opening of the song as light as “The flight of a butterfly” rising on a stream of sound much later comes full circle to reveal itself as subtle foreshadowing of some arcane order that is delicate but persistent “Like whistling air.” These all display the “Messy yet clean” architect-like ability of baehyuni who last year wrote and composed one of the most unique pop albums of 2021, “WEWE.” In the end, great improvisation is possible only after rules and techniques have been firmly grasped. In 2021’s “part-time job,” wondering if this song was “Maybe, a traditional work song turned into sheet music,” and using her many masterfully acquired techniques to confess “I will never be a seonbi(Virtuous scholars of the past who dedicated their lives to public service),” baehyuni remains equally gutsy in “topic” where she flips a lyrical middle finger in “Save your ‘I’ll make you a star’ schtick and f***k off,” (If I may be so bold to directly quote the lyrics here on this page). As the curious method in the madness of the chaotic poetry of baehyuni flows free to find its own path as “The way my animal roommates trot along/ Guided by scents in the grass,” baehyuni’s instincts always deliver no matter the topic because the opened inner eye can “See far into the distance,” and a job is a job, not a status symbol.