Matching outfits at the movies

Bri Heath

This year, the San Diego Asian Film Festival featured “Make Yourself At Home,” about an arranged marriage between a Korean and a Korean-American.

The film centralized around the dark things from the wife’s past. Sookhy, the wife, decides she needs an “English name,” and wishes to be called Julie – the same as her new husband Peter’s neighbor. After Peter bizarrely dies, Sookhy becomes obsessed with the neighbors, ends up falling for the husband, John, and spends all her time at their home.

Sookhy once remarked to Julie how she loved her hair, and Julie responded that she liked Sookhy’s. Due to this, the women decided to dye Julie’s hair to match hers and dress in matching outfits. This becomes confusing later, when, after a struggle, one Julie is in the house, and because of the storyline, it’s uncertain which one she is.

After the showing was over, the producer and director of the film, who were both in attendance, participated in a question and answer panel with audience members.

Soopum Sohn is the director and writer of the movie. Sohn says the film took a year to edit, which is longer than usual; but he wanted to get everything how he wanted. It also took a year to write, and a month to shoot, which he says is pretty much the standard for independent films. Not an expert, he has however, written and directed several independent films, including one entitled “Fish in the Sea Is Not Thirsty.”

A scene he says wasn’t easy to film was one in which “unknown Julie” must wear bandages over her eyes because of her injuries, due to the fact that he wasn’t sure how much to show. Also, the scene where the women dyed Julie’s hair to match Sookhy’s, he said was difficult to shoot. Due to location difficulties, the shot of John wheeling Julie out of the hospital was also problematic.

Sohn also says he had problems procuring an actress to play the role of the mother, because he needed someone who spoke both Korean and English, and was appropriate for the role. However, he had no problems getting the actress for the part of Sookhy, Hye-kyo Song, which surprised audience members since according to both him and producer Somyung Sohn, she is seen as somewhat of a superstar in Korea. According to them, she saw a copy of the script that Arno Frisch, who played John, had read it, loved it and volunteered for the part.

In the flick, a scene takes place where the mother drowns herself in John and Julie’s pool, her revenge on the wife for “killing” her son. However, Soopum says he doesn’t wish to give away a lot, because it’s supposed to be suggestive and influential. “This film is about death. identity. name… how we ended up in this type of body. because we didn’t choose to. Sometimes when you see yourself, it’s like, oh, how we ended up in this body?”

Sohn declares that he decided to focus on arranged marriages because he’s very interested in that process and experience. He says that picking one’s “English name” does happen quite often with immigrants. “If you say ‘Oh, my name’s John,’ it’s simpler than ‘My name is Soopum.'”

Several booths were set up at the fair, some selling jewelry or t-shirts, some selling videos – including “Make Yourself At Home.” There was also a lounge area where live music was performed. The San Diego Asian Film Festival takes place annually at the Hazard Center Ultrastar Theatre.