Football. I know. We are, justifiably, obsessed with it. Brazil is doing well in the Qatar Cup, this Friday (9) will compete in the quarterfinals. Not really we relaxed in the game against South Korea. Honestly, I was already tense since last Saturday when I went to interview actor Park Hae-soo.
I met the star of “Round 6”, the most successful series to date on Netflix, at the latest edition of CCXP, the big entertainment party in São Paulo. He came to talk about this story that he starred in and also about his new work, the Korean version of “La Casa de Papel”.
When I arrived at the event, it was as if I had entered another frequency, away from all this World Cup frege. Or, still, as if I had embarked for destinations far from our planet, sometimes in distance, sometimes in time.
Before meeting Hae-soo, I had plenty of time to wander around the ultra-sophisticated booths that the big entertainment companies had set up in that huge space. And, from a ride in Barbie’s car to usurped thrones, I had the chance to live other adventures.
Not that I’m a big fan of the “fantasy” genre. “Game of Thrones”, for example, I only started watching in the fourth season, when it was already an inevitable pop phenomenon. I’m also waiting a bit to dive into “House of the Dragon”, unsure that I really want to go back to Westeros, the setting of both sagas.
But I was certainly an exception at that event. Circulating there, tens of thousands of people were precisely looking for what in tourism some call exotic destinations.
And I started thinking about how these imaginary places are also capable of taking us on a journey. The strength of this pop culture at CCXP is such that I wouldn’t doubt that a good part of those visitors preferred to “inhabit” those destinations.
From Avalonia (from Disney’s new animated film, “Mundo Estranho”) to Pandora (to which we’ll soon return in “Avatar: O Caminho das Águas”), all visits were possible for anyone willing to believe. I myself, at least for a few moments, indulged in several of them.
And I couldn’t help but make the connection with the itineraries we always talk about in this space, all of them a form of escapism. Let no one doubt it: I would never trade a real destination for an imaginary one. But I had to think about the possibility that this could also be a big trip for millions of people.
Speaking of which, my current favorite series is about tourists in a fictional luxury hotel chain, “White Lotus” (HBO). Last year’s first season was set in Hawaii, and the current one takes place in Sicily.
In both locations, tourists travel to paradisiacal places but forget to leave their problems at home. The result is… disastrous; sometimes funny.
But these are stories that take place in real places, like the stupendous city of Taormina, in the current season. Will we even give up visiting these destinations up close?
By the allure of CCXP, story creators are working hard to actually make this an option. And maybe it won’t take long for a whole generation to think that the strange world is not the one made of pixels, but of rock, water, plants and sand.
A transition that South Korea itself is helping to take shape. I talked about this with Park Hae-soon, who is part of this movement called “Hallyu”, the Korean pop wave. And, of course, he’s happy to be a part of it.
Ah, if only they were that successful in football… Croatia, wait!
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