Words after the ending credit, Yeodam
Words after the ending credit, Yeodam
  • Choi Hye-jung
  • 승인 2022.03.13 23:32
  • 수정 2022.03.15 10:31
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Yeodam delivers movie critiques via email and interacts with readers.Photo by Shen Yu-yan
Yeodam delivers movie critiques via email and interacts with readers. Photo by Shen Yu-yan

Whether one is a cinephile or not, it is common to feel overwhelmed with indescribable emotions after watching a movie. To put those feelings into words and comprehend the meanings of movies, the audience turns to movie critics who interpret and analyze the film. Despite the audiences’ desires, most movie critiques are either full of vague expressions or difficult theories and so, fail to connect with the readers’ own feelings.


Ewha student-run email critique Yeodam, on the other hand, allows open discussions regarding movies, adopting a weekly email letter system that delivers a movie critique and solicits feedback from its subscribers. One subscriber pointed out that Yeodam is unique in the way they choose the movie to review and communicate with subscribers.


“Yeodam covers movies with topics that are not commonly addressed by usual critiques,” she said. “I never saw critiques that focus on movies having women athletes as protagonists and reviews from the perspective of a woman in her twenties. I can easily understand how critics got to interpret the movies in the way they did.”


Most of all, she found the dynamic interaction between critics and readers as a charm of Yeodam. When she sends opinions regarding critiques via email or Instagram, Yeodam always sends back thoughtful replies and reflects feedback in the next critique.


To learn how Yeodam has maintained its interactive movie critique email system, Ewha Voice interviewed three of Yeodam’s six founding members, Kwak Sae-rim, Shin Yooan and Park Sung-ha.


Yeodam derived from a group project held in the major course of Humanities, Cultural Arts, and Media, “Humanities Studies and Digital Narrative.” Kwak, majoring in the Department of Korean Language & Literature, was the one who first came up with the concept of an interactive email movie critique, and soon gathered the members.


Yeodam has garnered great subscribers since it sent its first critique in May last year. Acknowledging subscribers’ attention, every member feels responsibility to send quality critiques. Nevertheless, members frequently remind themselves to run Yeodam in accordance with the identities implicated in its name.


“The name ‘Yeodam’ has multiple meanings,” Shin said. “It can be referred to words that remain after a movie ends or an abbreviation of yeo-gi-it-neun-mal, meaning ‘stories that are here.’ It emphasizes that we are writing critiques from the perspective of women in their twenties.”


Six members of Yeodam take turns writing critiques under themes that vary from volume to volume, enabling the readers to read critiques in six different tones and writing styles. Every time members revise and evaluate one another’s work, they are impressed by how diverse the thoughts can be after watching a movie. At the same time, they are often touched and inspired by one another’s writings.


“I especially like the critique of the movie ‘Baseball Girl,’ written by Ye-eun,” Kwak said. “It was a well-timed critique as the public attention was on women athletes just after the Tokyo Olympics. Most notably, self-exposures in writing sounded like a cry to women of our age who were confronting similar troubles.”


Kwak has revealed that she frequently feels concerned about too much self-exposure in her critique. Working with her colleagues, she is working on obtaining the appropriate amount of self-exposure to connect with readers without losing objectivity.


Yeodam published a hard-copy collections for critiques from Volume 1 to 4. Photo provided by Yeodam

The communicative feedback aspect of Yeodam is the product of efforts that have been made to allow subscribers to easily send feedback about the contents of critiques. Despite the satisfaction expressed by most subscribers with this feature, Yeodam constantly looks for new and comfortable channels through which readers can freely leave their comments.


“We receive public assessment regarding the quality of our service each time a volume ends,” Shin said. “When asked why they may be reluctant to write back, most subscribers felt pressured to write fine replies as they had to reveal their names. Realizing this burden, we created an anonymous answering form, and the number of replies has considerably increased.”


Yeodam also hinted about their upcoming projects. Plans are underway to open a Twitter account to share behind-the-scenes about the production to get closer to their subscribers. Also starting on March 7, Yeodam launched a project to send three critiques of movies that made headlines through Academy Awards via a written letter.


“Since we just started Yeodam as a school project, none of us expected that we would come this far,” Shin said. “Yeodam’s continued existence is all thanks to the subscribers who support us and read our critiques. We will send critiques that meet our readers’ expectations as best as we can.”

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