When Adub told me he was DJing an 80’S after party for the opening night of the PAAFF (Philadelphia Asian American Film & Filmmakers) 2015 Film Festival, I didn’t really know what to expect other than great tunes spun by ADUB and the Mighty Mike Saga. To say the very least, I was definitely blown away by the whole night.

To start off, the movie, “Seoul Searching”, was absolutely amazing. Yes, maybe I’m biased because I love the 80’s and John Hughes films, but it was a damn good film. Director Benson Lee (a Philadelphia native) was in attendance and gave an informational Q&A after the film. He revealed insight not only into how and why he made the film, but also how it took him nearly 16 years to complete. I think a lot of that time was spent finding just the right cast if you ask me. The movie was described as:

“An ’80s romantic teen comedy about a group of diverse Korean teens desperately trying to connect with one another – in the end only to find themselves. Set against the backdrop of 1980s Seoul Korea and inspired by a summer exchange program that Writer/Director Benson Lee attended in the summer of ‘86, this John Hughes-esque Teen Comedy tells a universal coming-of-age story chock full of pop culture tropes, teen hijinks, and first love.”

Instantly I was intrigued. The movie itself really does put you right into the 80’s right from the opening scene. It doesn’t even matter that the backdrop for the film is South Korea; the setting still comes across loud and clear. The film included very few subtitles, which makes it much more accessible. Each character was representative of a classic 80’s stereotype too.

Now buzzing just from an awesome dive into 80’s culture, we found our way into the 80’s Prom-themed after party. As we walked in through a giant balloon archway and past the photo booth (essential for those cheesy 80’s school pics we took back in the day at school dances), we found ourselves in much more than just a school dance. They had a delectable Korean buffet set up for us to munch on, and an open bar with Korean beer and tequila among some other fine wines and spirits. Two of the city’s top DJs were spinning on the decks, and there was one hell of an awesome costume contest run by Jason Richardson of the J-1 Cons.

The Bottom Line

Tummies full and with plenty to drink, we enjoyed not only the music, food, and drink, but the energy too. The movie left everyone in a very happy and outgoing mood. Which was actually one of greatest things about the 80’s. Definitely one of the best 80’s-related experiences I’ve had in a very long time. I highly recommend you take the opportunity to see “Seoul Searching” when it comes out in theaters. Mr. Lee did definitely say he would bring it to his hometown of Philadelphia, so hopefully we won’t have to wait too long. By the way, the soundtrack was amazing; most of the songs included in the film were top hits from the 80’s. Check it out.

See the photos here!  Courtesy of Dyana So!


Cast: Justin Chon, Jessika Van, 차인표 (Cha In-pyo), Teo Yoo, Esteban Ahn, 강별 (Kang Byul), Rosalina Leigh, Sue Son, Crystal Kay, Heejun Han, Uatchet Jin Juch, Nekhebet Kum Juch