South Korean auteur behind ‘Oldboy’ returns with ‘pure’ love story

Filmmaker Park Chan-wook, identified for his ultra-violent thrillers that helped catapult South Korean cinema onto the worldwide stage, is again with an altogether totally different work-a restrained but deeply emotional love story. “Choice to Depart” arrives after the world-smashing success of South Korean leisure, together with Bong Joon-ho’s “Parasite” and Netflix’s “Squid Sport”, and has been the top-grossing home movie in South Korea since opening final week.

It stars Chinese language star Tang Wei and Korean actor Park Hae-il, who performs a detective investigating a person’s deadly plunge from a mountain. He falls for the sufferer’s mysterious spouse, whom he suspects of being behind her husband’s demise. The movie has already gained Park the Greatest Director prize at this 12 months’s Cannes Movie Pageant, which had beforehand awarded him the Grand Prix for his 2003 cult-classic revenge thriller “Oldboy”.

Nonetheless, in contrast to lots of his earlier works, “Choice to Depart” comprises virtually no grownup or graphically violent scenes. IndieWire has referred to as it “probably the most romantic film of the 12 months (up to now)”, whereas early evaluations praised it as a gorgeously rendered love story marked by magnificence and restraint.

“I agree that it’s a romantic movie, and I needed to make such a film,” Park mentioned in an interview with reporters in Seoul final month. The 58-year-old mentioned he began fascinated about the venture whereas engaged on the BBC’s English-language miniseries “The Little Drummer Woman”. Set towards the backdrop of the Israeli-Palestinian battle, Park discovered himself craving to do one thing different-away from politics and disputes.

(FILES) On this file image taken on Could 28, 2022, South Korean director Park Chan-Wook poses throughout a photocall after he gained the Greatest Director prize for the movie “Choice to Depart (Heojil Kyolshim)” throughout the closing ceremony of the seventy fifth version of the Cannes Movie Pageant in Cannes, southern France. – Movie-maker Park Chan-wook, identified for his ultra-violent thrillers that helped catapult South Korean cinema onto the worldwide stage, is again with an altogether totally different work — a restrained but deeply emotional love story. (Photograph by Loic VENANCE / AFP) / NO USE AFTER JULY 17, 2022 04:46:02 GMT – TO GO WITH AFP STORY SKOREA-CANNES-FILM-DIRECTOR,INTERVIEW BY CLAIRE LEE – TO GO WITH AFP STORY SKOREA-CANNES-FILM-DIRECTOR,INTERVIEW BY CLAIRE LEE

“I needed to make a movie that’s pure-pure within the sense that it’s trustworthy to the fundamentals of cinema as an artwork kind whereas no parts apart from the theme of affection get in the way in which,” he mentioned. The result’s a poetic exploration of time, loss and longing, combining Park’s signature lush cinematography with the audience-arresting sexual pressure simmering between the well-mannered detective and beguiling homicide suspect.

The 2 characters are a departure from Park’s earlier, extra excessive characters-like the repressed Catholic priest-turned-vampire within the horror flick “Thirst” and a person held captive for 15 years in “Oldboy”. The director has mentioned earlier than that love tales, similar to his blood-lusty tales of revenge, reveal how “human beings primarily are”. Even so, not one of the characters in his films have a lot widespread floor with him.

“I’m by no means an individual who goes after such romantic beliefs or lives my life that method. I are usually very life like and pragmatic,” mentioned the soft-spoken auteur. “I’m the type of filmmaker who has a giant hole between my life and the flicks I’ve made.”

‘Arthouse’ barrier

Park has lengthy been credited for uplifting a technology of filmmakers behind the “Korean noir” genre-movies about bloody crimes, brutal revenge or the prison underworld, offered with luxurious cinematography. One such director, Bong Joon-ho, turned the primary South Korean to win the highest Palme d’Or prize at Cannes for his darkish comedy “Parasite” in 2019. It was additionally the primary non-English-language movie to win the Oscar’s Greatest Image.

Whereas Park believes he has at all times directed his films for most people, he recognises that “South Korean movies, Asian movies and international movies are nonetheless being consumed as arthouse cinema” exterior the area. “Regardless of how they’re made, that’s how they’re being categorised as,” he mentioned. “I don’t suppose that’s splendid. However ‘Parasite’ has damaged that barrier.” Critics say his “Oldboy” paved the essential method for South Korean cinema’s world triumph, however Park has been making acutely aware efforts to additionally work on non-Korean tasks.

Other than “The Little Drummer Woman”, he produced Bong’s first English-language movie, 2013’s “Snowpiercer”, and made his personal Hollywood debut that 12 months with “Stoker” starring Nicole Kidman and Mia Wasikowska. His subsequent venture is with HBO-an espionage drama sequence primarily based on Viet Thanh Nguyen’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel “The Sympathizer”, which can characteristic Robert Downey Jr. Park mentioned the worldwide leisure business wants extra worldwide collaborations.

“It’s essential how your films are being perceived proper now, however you additionally ponder whether your movies will survive and be remembered,” he mentioned. “There is no such thing as a method for me to know what viewers 50 or 100 years from now would suppose. But the slightest trace you may nonetheless get is by responses from at this time’s international viewers,” he added. – AFP



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