Awards season is in full swing in Hollywood. The Grammys were held on Sunday, and the biggest pomp-and-circumstances event of them all -- the Oscars -- is less than a couple of weeks away. One of the movies up for several nominations, including Best Picture, is "Les Misérables." But now the film is getting unexpected attention from an unexpected place -- South Korea.
A new video, titled "Les Militaribles," is a 13-minute parody of the original, featuring members of the South Korean Air Force. The short film stars unknown soldiers dealing with the difficulties of regimented military life. In the opening scene, soldiers are made to shovel snow to clear a runway so that jets can take off at a moment's notice to defend the country against impending danger from North Korea.
The parody was produced by the official blog team of the South Korean Air Force; the director majored in video arts in graduate school, and some of the airmen featured had been music school students. The video was not created in protest but rather as a way of celebrating the airmen's shared sacrifice during the two years of mandatory service that young men contribute to their country. In fact, many South Koreans are having feelings of nostalgia regarding the video.
"We wanted to tell our families, our girlfriends, and the people that what we do in the military is hard work, but is necessary for national defense," said 1st. Lt. Chung Da-hoon, who directed the video.
The video's makers hope that the success of the viral sensation "Gangnam Style," which has received more than 1.3 billion views, will help their video to reach an international audience. To date, their "Les Mis" parody has been seen more than 3 million times (due mostly to a tweet from Russell Crowe) and continues to attract viewers. One commenter wrote, "Wow. This is so fantastic!" Another wrote, "I loved Les Mis and it's safe to say I love this too! Great job."