Explore dramas on Netflix

I’ve learnt to get on with Netflix. Many times in the past, I’ve subscribed then aborted attempts to watch something for the sake of it.

Recently, it’s come up with some goodies – Like Water For Chocolate, Blue Velvet. I’ve even stuck with Grace and Frankie!

But two of the current bests have to be Midnight Diner: Tokyo Stories (Japan) and Rookie Historian: Goo Hae-Ryung (South Korea). They are delightful in their story-telling with a blend of humour, a good splash of modernity, great timing and hooks. Lighting in the cinematography is natural and relaxing. Costumes, exquisite.

I admit I love a good story from Japan, Korea, Taiwan and China – they are absolutely worth it. I am biased of course. I love Zhang Yimou and other 5th Generation Directors, Kurosawa, Ang Lee, Kim ki-duk. From the days of international film cinemas in the 80’s, through to HMV and their decent DVD selection and now Netflix, East and South East Asian directors of film and tv dramas have influenced me and kept strong my love of this artform.

Go explore beyond the usual!

Review Rookie Historian

Midnight Diner on Netflix



Murder on the Mound Extract (in editing mode)

Walking along the busy street, Jake noticed that there was something flitting about again. He wondered if Iain could see it. He seemed not to. Then again he was looking at his phone, probably texting some girl. They strolled down to the statue and went into the big department store – a crazy mixed up building which he used to get lost in a lot when he was a small kid with his mum. There was always interesting stuff in there for mums and other people in the family. Something flitted past again. This time Iain noticed.

“What was that?! “ he stood startled. “It was bigger than a fly – it was enormous. Where did it go?” Iain looked round about himself.

“Don’t know”, said Jake. “But I’ve already seen it twice today. Looks kinda small and round. Moves fast. I think its got wings, but couldn’t say.”  

They chose their presents – a box of Turkish delight for Jake’s mum, and Belgian chocolates for Iain’s. They both nodded in approval at each other’s ideas. Time was moving fast, it was getting close to home time. The boys decided to go over to the mound and check out the film company.

Dusk had arrived, the sun had long since gone, and the sky was grey and blue. A large, full moon, which had been in the sky all day, looked bigger now above the monument on Prince’s Street. Jake had an idea.

“Let’s go up the monument. We got time, and we can see the film crew from there with our phones, if we want to zoom in that is.” Iain thought this was a great idea. They paid and shot up the four levels of winding staircase to the top. There was no one around, it was nearly closing time, as the attendant pointed out. He asked them not to hang about and he would be locking up at five promptly. It was now four o’clock, they had plenty of time they thought.

At the top of the monument they could see for quite a distance. It was a clear night, the smoke over the railway station had gone. The birds were all chattering away and roosting in the ledges of the buildings, most of them were starlings. At the mound they could see a small film crew, maybe no more than fifteen people standing about, drinking coffee and chatting. Jake noticed the flying object again. He grabbed Iain, and pointed in front of them. “There”, he whispered. “It looks like a really small bird”. Iain saw it too, it was tiny, round and fast. It darted about, sometimes landing on the monument, sometimes flying through the air, at a huge speed, like a little fighter plane.

“It can’t be a humming bird” said Jake”It would freeze here, it must be a native species, and so tiny, I’ve never noticed them before. Wonder if they’ve always been around, and what they are doing just darting about everywhere?”

Iain shrugged his shoulders. The bird they were watching landed in front of them on the rail. Iain got out his phone and took a photo. “Right we can check that out when we get back home.” The small bird looked at Jake and Iain for a split second, then bombed off down into the park, out of sight. They turned their attention to the film crew, both lads watching what was going on through their phone cameras. Nothing too interesting was going on, but they had taken a few film and photo shots. More for investigation when they got home.

Time was rolling on, they decided to go down on to the street and  wait for the bus home. It was dark now, but still busy. The city never stopped being busy it seems. Both the boys were tired and ready for some dinner. Jake and Iain got off the number twenty- six bus, nodding at the driver in a thank you kind-of-way, and went off to their own homes.

“Speak to you tonight” said Iain. Jake nodded.