Chan-Wook Park

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Chan-Wook Park

Postby John-Locke on Sat Jul 16, 2005 7:22 pm

Favourite Chan-Wook Park?

Personally I switch between JSA and SFMV but Oldboy is all good.
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Postby The Ginger Man on Sat Jul 16, 2005 8:02 pm

Oldboy just worked for me the most. It was all about Min-sik Choi (Dae-su). I've seen a few other of his films and recommend them all. Especially Chihwaseon. Also hear he's in Sympathy for Lady Vengance, so I'll be seeing that eventually.
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Postby Keepcoolbutcare on Fri Feb 10, 2006 4:56 pm

bump...fuck that, Tony Montana at the end of Scarface coke binge.

Park Chan-Wook Interview.

Good 'lil magazine, any of you Brits read it?
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Postby John-Locke on Fri Feb 10, 2006 5:15 pm

Wow what a sucessful thread this one was back on opening day, I've seen Lady Vengeance now and it was maybe his best film for the first 90 minutes but completeley blew it in the final half an hour, still go and see it but don't expect a satisfying ending. Honestly I was a little baffled and without putting words in his mouth I think TITG said he was baffled and disapointed by this too.

Thanks for the bump and the interview KC
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Postby Keepcoolbutcare on Fri Feb 10, 2006 5:22 pm

shame to hear that ya'll didn't like the ending, from what I've read so far I thought the ending was supposed to be amazing.

Either of you assclowns care to review the film at all? I know ya'll went to see it the other day and was discouraged that neither of you posted a review yet...lazy bastards.
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Postby John-Locke on Fri Feb 10, 2006 5:44 pm

I don't want to write a review because I feel I just didn't get it like it was intended, I found things funny that no one else seemed to find funny and didn't find things funny that I thought were extremely dark and disturbing and lots of people were laughing their asses off.

It's not straightforward to understand, pieces of the puzzle are given and they are very easy to second guess in cases which gave the film a very intuitive narrative quality which I adored, visually it's stunning, when he's shooting something he knows how he's going to edit it with the next scene and uses a few neat tricks to slickly move from one scene to another, Lady Vegeanvce herself is extremely beautiful, mesmerisingly so, I can totally understand why all these people are willing to help her in her quest for vengeance.

As I said until the last 30 minutes I only had a few little qualms with the way it was playing out,

SPOILER WARNING

I wasn't sure if her daughter was really there at first, it felt like a dream

But as I said I really just didn't connect with the last 30 minutes or so, I found her actions morally disturbing and the way apparently Park tried to make jokes out of the situation just didn't bode well for me, I love dark comedies but I just didn't find anything to laugh about, maybe my reaction was right and the putzes in the cinema were laughing out of a slight nervousness or something but I think it was meant to be funny andI just didn't get it. I think ultimately it just wasn't the outcome I was hoping for given the brilliance and potential of the previous 90 minutes.

The closing scene itself was just odd, made me walk out of the cinema not knowing what to think really, still a great film but at the bottom of the list for me out of personal preference which strangely has his first film at the top and goes down in chronological order, I guess Time does indeed destroy all things, style over substance IMO.
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Postby fried samurai on Fri Feb 10, 2006 5:46 pm

I watched SFLV the other day and loved it.I actually enjoyed the second half more as it turned into a different sort of film.

For the first 40 min. or so I was thinking ok Park is throwing in every stylistic trick in the book but where's the meat.It's in the second half that you realize it is indeed a revenge film but very different from the previous two.

For one thing unlike the first two films the act of taking revenge involves more than just the main character.And by doing so it allows you to look at different perspectives.Park knows exactly when to turn up the tension machine something he's very good at.I was hoping for an even darker ending but thats a small gripe for an otherwise excellent film.

My friends didn't care for it much and prefered Oldboy.I think its a little unfair to compare it to SFMV and Oldboy because its not a sequel.It only uses revenge as a theme.

Park could've taken the easy route and just duplicate but I really like how he's growing as a filmmaker.Its a film that I believe warrents repeat viewings because alot is going on.

I'm really shitty at reveiwing films and I dont want to spoil anything.I'll say one thing SFLV will probably make my best of 2006 though.
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Postby Keepcoolbutcare on Fri Feb 10, 2006 5:55 pm

John-Locke wrote:I don't want to write a review because I feel I just didn't get it like it was intended, I found things funny that no one else seemed to find funny and didn't find things funny that I thought were extremely dark and disturbing and lots of people were laughing their asses off.


Thanks for the review John.

I'm the same way, in that I'm often giggling 'bout something during a film that nobody else "got"...most likely 'cuz I'm blazed and my mind is off on some tangent...or just 'cuz I'm smarter and have a better sense of humor than the normal art-film snob...no, 'prolly the former...fuck that, the latter...wait, what? Damn devil weed ruining my caboose of thought.

Can't fuckin' wait to see Lady Vengeance, regardless.
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Postby Keepcoolbutcare on Fri Feb 10, 2006 5:59 pm

fried samurai wrote:I'm really shitty at reveiwing films and I dont want to spoil anything.I'll say one thing SFLV will probably make my best of 2006 though.


Malarkey!

That was some good stuff right there, no spoilers yet still able to convey your thoughts on the film. Good show man, don't be shy about reviewing...hell, if you're uncomfortable with reviews use the Zone as your testing ground. You write well enough and with the little I know about your tastes and interests I'm damn interested in any 'lil blurb or opinion you care to share.
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Postby Brocktune on Fri Feb 10, 2006 8:19 pm

i picked lady vengeance, as its the only one ive seen. not for lack of want to see the others however. oh, and i also saw three extremes, which he did one of the vignettes in. ive got to say, i enjoyed the whole thing from start to finish. although, i totally see what you are saying, JL. it was kind of weird. there was stuff that i was laughing at that nobody else was and vice versa. the movie really turns into an animal of a different color two thirds of the way in. it really kind of turns into a ride that im not sure i want to be on. although, from a moral standpoint, by the time we get to the end, i didnt know where the fuck the moral high ground was, or even if there was any. especially not being a parent, and not having ever experienced loss of that caliber, i cant really claim to have any inkling what i would consider morally just if i were in any of those peoples shoes. lady vengeance was confrontational in a way that ive never experienced before. but one thing i was sure of was that here was a director that needs to be allowed to work, and that needs to be seen. ive said before that i had intended to catch mr. vengeance when it ran in one of my local art houses down here. but, i missed it, as it only ran for a week. that was the first id heard of him. but after seeing lady vengeance, i am eagerly anticipating the viewing of his other flicks.
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Postby Ribbons on Fri Feb 10, 2006 8:30 pm

Oh, can someone who saw SYMPATHY FOR MR. VENGEANCE and liked it explain to me what the appeal was? I saw it but I wasn't really taken with it. Didn't really get what all the fuss was about, I guess you could say.
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Postby John-Locke on Fri Feb 10, 2006 8:40 pm

MAJOR SPOILERS
WARNING

I just didn't understand why she felt the need to destroy the lives of all the parents who were none the wiser by involving them in her plan, she would have known she was doing the right kinda thing by getting revenge for them but now they all have to live with it too, also why was she getting revenge for herself? She didn't actually lose anyone to death, if she had lost her kid by confessing she didn't murder the kid all the other kids would never have been killed, I thought this was a fascinating concept to explore on her realisation that he had killed many other kids but her guilt after the initial shock seemed to be brushed over, sure her kid was taken away from her which was bad but at least she was still alive and she had her back now, these parents had lost their kids and got shown a video with their kids murders on it, screams and all. Everything in the film up to and including this scene was brilliant, everything after it was good but as I said the laughs from most people in the audience were extremely distracting as I didn't find much of it laugh out loud funny, the Axe was funny but I don't know why Park wanted to interject comedy there, it could been some intensely powerful stuff but all the scenes with the parents after they saw the tapes were just weird, how people could laugh at that stuff I don't know, okay I got that they were all horrible people (like them being concerned about getting their ransom money back) but what was the point in it??? I would of much rather seen how much pain they could have made the fucker suffer, they could have kept him alive for a long time living in constant agony, thats what I honestly thought they were going to do but making comedy out of the fact they are nervous waiting their turn to stab him was just weird and I honestly just didn't get it.

WTF was with the ending with her sticking her face in the cake? was she killing herself or just disrought? confusing as hell I tells ya.
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Postby John-Locke on Fri Feb 10, 2006 8:46 pm

Ribbons wrote:Oh, can someone who saw SYMPATHY FOR MR. VENGEANCE and liked it explain to me what the appeal was? I saw it but I wasn't really taken with it. Didn't really get what all the fuss was about, I guess you could say.


It's just like a darker than dark comedy with a real nasty undertone, people do really fucked up things in the name of revenge but what they do is actually for misguided reasons, no one (Except the organ thiefs) deserves what they get and no one can escape it either, a cruel film thats quite slow and hard to get into at first but with a horrific last act that is one of the biggest cinematic blows I've ever witnessed, it's like looking at a car wreck you don't want to look but you can't help it.

JSA is Parks most human film IMO, check that out, I'd be suprised if anyone didn't like that.

Have you seen Oldboy Ribbs?
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Postby havocSchultz on Fri Feb 10, 2006 8:50 pm

John-Locke wrote:
I just didn't understand why she felt the need to destroy the lives of all the parents who were none the wiser by involving them in her plan, she would have known she was doing the right kinda thing by getting revenge for them but now they all have to live with it too, also why was she getting revenge for herself? She didn't actually lose anyone to death, if she had lost her kid by confessing she didn't murder the kid all the other kids would never have been killed, I thought this was a fascinating concept to explore on her realisation that he had killed many other kids but her guilt after the initial shock seemed to be brushed over, sure her kid was taken away from her which was bad but at least she was still alive and she had her back now, these parents had lost their kids and got shown a video with their kids murders on it, screams and all. Everything in the film up to and including this scene was brilliant, everything after it was good but as I said the laughs from most people in the audience were extremely distracting as I didn't find much of it laugh out loud funny, the Axe was funny but I don't know why Park wanted to interject comedy there, it could been some intensely powerful stuff but all the scenes with the parents after they saw the tapes were just weird, how people could laugh at that stuff I don't know, okay I got that they were all horrible people (like them being concerned about getting their ransom money back) but what was the point in it??? I would of much rather seen how much pain they could have made the fucker suffer, they could have kept him alive for a long time living in constant agony, thats what I honestly thought they were going to do but making comedy out of the fact they are nervous waiting their turn to stab him was just weird and I honestly just didn't get it.

WTF was with the ending with her sticking her face in the cake? was she killing herself or just disrought? confusing as hell I tells ya.







how the fuck am i supposed to read that - it's all small and shit... deutschbag...





j/k...

i had to pick Oldboy - cause - well - unfortunately - it's the only one I've seen - I saw JSA on the shelves of my local video store a little while ago....hmmm - will have to check it out... and one of the stores around me here just got Mr. Vengeance in for rental...i'll have to check that out eventually as well -


to sum it up - i loved Oldboy - from the little bit i heard/all the raving from this site - i still didn't know what to expect... it was just such a beautiful and confidently done film... the framing - the timing - the way park' just lets it all build... extremely impressed... so with that in mind - i'm sure you'll all tell me that i would enjoy Mr and Mrs vengeance - but what about JSA - and what is it about... and why are JL's letters so damn small up there... it must've taken forever to write that small... :wink:
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Postby John-Locke on Fri Feb 10, 2006 8:58 pm

JSA is now my favourite of Parks films, back when I made this poll I had only seen SFMV the one time, I have since watched it again and found it a little too slow to be my favourite but it still has an edgy rawness that I thought Oldboy Lacked.

JSA is about the North/South Korean border and the small groups of soldiers on each side who's job it is to guard a small crossing, a friendship is formed between two groups and tragedy ineviteble strikes, it teaches you a lot about the real conflict in a non political way and is beautifully shot human film.

Check it out.
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Postby havocSchultz on Fri Feb 10, 2006 9:03 pm

John-Locke wrote:JSA is now my favourite of Parks films, back when I made this poll I had only seen SFMV the one time, I have since watched it again and found it a little too slow to be my favourite but it still has an edgy rawness that I thought Oldboy Lacked.

JSA is about the North/South Korean border and the small groups of soldiers on each side who's job it is to guard a small crossing, a friendship is formed between two groups and tragedy ineviteble happens, it teaches you a lot about the real conflict in a non political way and is beautifully shot.

Check it out.


see - now that was better - that i could read... :wink:

but thanks - sounds cool - i'll have to grab it one of these weekends...which is pretty much all i do now - every weekend - the girlfriend and i just rent movies... so it's a good life... tonight it is Wallace & Gromit and Cookers (some indie horror/thriller i believe...but i'll let you know)... but i ramble - so i'll get back on topic and say thanks - you saying it's your favorite of the bunch actually does mean alot to me... not as much as that time you pulled your fist out 2 seconds too late - but it still means alot...
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Postby Cbabbitt on Fri Feb 10, 2006 9:03 pm

JSA is okay, Mr. Vengeance is excellent, Oldboy is amazing, and....here's my review of LADY VENGEANCE.

http://www.aintitcool.com/display.cgi?id=22169

Didn't care for it. Hated CUT. Just not my taste.
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Postby Ribbons on Fri Feb 10, 2006 9:04 pm

John-Locke wrote:Have you seen Oldboy Ribbs?


Bits and pieces of it, but not the whole thing.
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Postby cinephile2000 on Fri Feb 10, 2006 9:06 pm

I loved Sympathy for Mr. Vengence. I have a thing for slow paced movies. I like them when they take their time. This movie I watched in my room with surround sound and the lights off. I have to say you have not seen this movie until you watch it with surround, with the deaf brother sound plays such an important part in this film. There were moments I grabbed my pillow and yelled at the screen. It hits you hard. I have also seen OLDBOY didn't hit as hard as Sympathy. I really cant wait to see Lady Vengence.
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Postby John-Locke on Fri Feb 10, 2006 9:08 pm

havocSchultz wrote:
John-Locke wrote:JSA is now my favourite of Parks films, back when I made this poll I had only seen SFMV the one time, I have since watched it again and found it a little too slow to be my favourite but it still has an edgy rawness that I thought Oldboy Lacked.

JSA is about the North/South Korean border and the small groups of soldiers on each side who's job it is to guard a small crossing, a friendship is formed between two groups and tragedy ineviteble happens, it teaches you a lot about the real conflict in a non political way and is beautifully shot.

Check it out.


see - now that was better - that i could read... :wink:

but thanks - sounds cool - i'll have to grab it one of these weekends...which is pretty much all i do now - every weekend - the girlfriend and i just rent movies... so it's a good life... tonight it is Wallace & Gromit and Cookers (some indie horror/thriller i believe...but i'll let you know)... but i ramble - so i'll get back on topic and say thanks - you saying it's your favorite of the bunch actually does mean alot to me... not as much as that time you pulled your fist out 2 seconds too late - but it still means alot...


My taste in films is sometimes funny, I've found myself being a sucker for well done emotional shit in the last few years, the themes of Brotherhood and Fellowship etc just kinda had a deep emotional resonanse for me, most people just think it's okay, nothing to sing and dance about but still good, you certainly wont hate it even if you aren't blown away like I was.
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Postby havocSchultz on Fri Feb 10, 2006 9:12 pm

John-Locke wrote:
My taste in films is sometimes funny, I've found myself being a sucker for well done emotional shit in the last few years, the themes of Brotherhood and Fellowship etc just kinda had a deep emotional resonanse for me, most people just think it's okay, nothing to sing and dance about but still good, you certainly wont hate it even if you aren't blown away like I was.


ya - i hear ya - i have a very eclectic taste - depending on my mood - i can find something good in almost anything - at the right time... and i'll put my faith in park just cause of oldboy - if nothing else - i'm sure i'll be blown away just by the visuals and the framing and the composition... he just seems to have one of the surest eyes out there right now...even if the films aren't enjoyable - they're still fun to look at...
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Postby John-Locke on Fri Feb 10, 2006 9:21 pm

Cbabbitt wrote:JSA is okay, Mr. Vengeance is excellent, Oldboy is amazing, and....here's my review of LADY VENGEANCE.

http://www.aintitcool.com/display.cgi?id=22169

Didn't care for it. Hated CUT. Just not my taste.


Very nice review, I agree about all the back stories leading to pretty much nothing, one of them got her a room, one a job another made her a gun etc and apart from the girl living with the monster it all led to nothing even if the set up was nicely done.

You seemed to like the improvised revenge and found it deeply disturbing and powerful yet most of the people in my cinema were laughing intermitantly, was this the case in your cinema? it just totally ruined the experience for me.

Oh and Cbabbitt, where have you been buddy? You haven't been around these here parts for ages until a few days ago unless i'm mistaken?
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Postby Cbabbitt on Fri Feb 10, 2006 9:24 pm

I visit every once in a while.
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Postby dimnix on Fri Feb 10, 2006 9:29 pm

okay, I just read John's thoughts on Lady Vengeance...

and I completely disagree. I really, really liked the movie, both the first 2/3s and the final 3rd (which he didnt like). However, the final third of the movie and it's ending was where it all came together for me, the part of the film that really blew me away.

I think everyone will have similar views to John and I, because the film does go through a pretty major tonal shift at the 2/3 mark. The first two thirds seem to be setting up the ending, and then everything it's been setting up reaches that point... and then everything changes. It all builds to that point and then goes off in a completely different direction once Lady Vengeance makes her discovery.

So it is jarring, to realise you're suddenly watching a completely different story... the fun, quirky revenge plan and jumping around in time that goes on in the first 2/3s is suddenly gone (and some people may feel it was all pointless, much of it having not lead anywhere) , and replaced by something very serious, very disturbing, and very challenging for the audience.

But I thought it was stunningly courageous film-making, forcing the audience to face up to their own primal instincts of revenge. This revenge wasnt fun (like the build up to it had suggested - a build up that had got the audience excited and curious and looking forward to lady vengeance getting her...well, vengeance). So here we are enjoying it, and chan wook park forces us to think deeper... what would you do in this situation? are the actions of the people justified? is that what we need to 'move on' and 'be white' (a phrase from the film)? And personally... I believe I would do exactly what the characters did in that situation. It's a disturbing thing about humankind, and by presenting it in such a challenging way I felt that chan wook park really finished off his vengeance trilogy in an incredible way.


But as a film, there is that tonal change, which is jarring and hense it's a weird movie to form an opinion of. But I was really enjoying the stuff before the tonal shift and was amazed by the stuff following it, so I'm a big fan of the movie. As for my favourite chan wook park film... I need to see lady vengeance again, I havent seen JSA or 3 Extremes, so I dont know. It's a tossup between oldboy and lady vengeance.
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Postby Cbabbitt on Fri Feb 10, 2006 9:29 pm

That extended sequence of brutality was the only interesting segment in the movie. The more I think about Lady Vengeance, the less I like it. It's a mess that leads nowhere. That one segment is startling, though. It's like the similar sequence in M, just gone completely unhinged.
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Postby Ribbons on Fri Feb 10, 2006 9:43 pm

John-Locke wrote:
Ribbons wrote:Oh, can someone who saw SYMPATHY FOR MR. VENGEANCE and liked it explain to me what the appeal was? I saw it but I wasn't really taken with it. Didn't really get what all the fuss was about, I guess you could say.


It's just like a darker than dark comedy with a real nasty undertone, people do really fucked up things in the name of revenge but what they do is actually for misguided reasons, no one (Except the organ thiefs) deserves what they get and no one can escape it either, a cruel film thats quite slow and hard to get into at first but with a horrific last act that is one of the biggest cinematic blows I've ever witnessed, it's like looking at a car wreck you don't want to look but you can't help it.



****SPOILER WARNING IN EFFECT****


I guess I thought it was just kind of needlessly violent. I'm not opposed to violence in film or anything, but all the bloody shocks didn't really seem to add up to anything. Yes, it's sad that these things are happening to these people, but why are we watching them happen in the first place? It's not exactly like the movie was realistic. I don't really know if that's what I meant to say, but I'm not really sure how else to say it. I felt bad for the girl and Ryu(?)'s girlfriend for their grisly deaths the same way I'd feel bad if I saw someone kick a puppy, but that doesn't mean I have to like the movie. On the plus side, it was very gorgeously framed and shot, very stylish -- which I suspect is one of the reasons a lot of people like it.
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Postby John-Locke on Fri Feb 10, 2006 9:44 pm

dimnix wrote:okay, I just read John's thoughts on Lady Vengeance...

and I completely disagree. I really, really liked the movie, both the first 2/3s and the final 3rd (which he didnt like). However, the final third of the movie and it's ending was where it all came together for me, the part of the film that really blew me away.

I think everyone will have similar views to John and I, because the film does go through a pretty major tonal shift at the 2/3 mark. The first two thirds seem to be setting up the ending, and then everything it's been setting up pays off... and then everything changes. It all builds to that point and then goes off in a completely different direction once Lady Vengeance makes her discovery.

So it is jarring, to realise you're suddenly watching a completely different story... the fun, quirky revenge plan and jumping around in time that goes on in the first 2/3s is suddenly gone, and replaced by something very serious, very disturbing, and very challenging for the audience.

But I thought it was stunningly courageous film-making, forcing the audience to face up to their own primal instincts of revenge. This revenge wasnt fun (like the build up to it had suggested - a build up that had got the audience excited and curious and looking forward to lady vengeance getting her...well, vengeance). So here we are enjoying it, and chan wook park forces us to think deeper... what would you do in this situation? are the actions of the people justified? is that what we need to 'move on' and 'be white' (a phrase from the film)? And personally... I believe I would do exactly what the characters did in that situation. It's a disturbing thing about humankind, and by presenting it in such a challenging way I felt that chan wook park really finished off his vengeance trilogy in an incredible way.


But as a film, there is that tonal change, which is jarring and hense it's a weird movie to form an opinion of. But I was really enjoying the stuff before the tonal shift and was amazed by the stuff following it, so I'm a big fan of the movie. As for my favourite chan wook park film... I need to see lady vengeance again, I havent seen JSA or 3 Extremes, so I dont know. It's a tossup between oldboy and lady vengeance.


I think I wanted to have the experience you had but I wasn't allowed to for two reasons

1) Too many deutchbags were laughing when I was sitting there trying to keep myself in what I thought was intended darkness and brutality, but he meant it to be funny, the bit with the axe head being screwed on was meant to be funny, why did Park want to do that? Am I missing something? Why wont any of you guys who've seen it address this point?


2) It struck me as a pretty nasty thing to do on her behalf, I thought the parents didn't need to know and certainly didn't need to help in the act (she could have given them closure by telling them), I actually didn't think what they did was brutal enough but then I guess I'm a sick fuck when it come to revenge on kiddy killers, Of course they would partake but she shouldn't have involved them and she seemed to do this to clear her own conscience instead of getting her revenge (as I said if she was truthful about her involvement with the original kidnapping and lost her own daughter their kids would all be alive) and this would also have been interesting to explore. Also why the need to make all the parents such horrible people? Why did he paint the picture that they got over what they did relatively easily? Why did they only care about getting back their ransom money?

Please, if you can spare the time, address my concerns, everyone who's seen the film here seems to be avoiding the points I raise.
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Postby dimnix on Fri Feb 10, 2006 10:14 pm

John-Locke wrote:I think I wanted to have the experience you had but I wasn't allowed to for two reasons

1) Too many deutchbags were laughing when I was sitting there trying to keep myself in what I thought was intended darkness and brutality, but he meant it to be funny, the bit with the axe head being screwed on was meant to be funny, why did Park want to do that? Am I missing something? Why wont any of you guys who've seen it address this point?


2) It struck me as a pretty nasty thing to do on her behalf, I thought the parents didn't need to know and certainly didn't need to help in the act (she could have given them closure by telling them), I actually didn't think what they did was brutal enough but then I guess I'm a sick fuck when it come to revenge on kiddy killers, Of course they would partake but she shouldn't have involved them and she seemed to do this to clear her own conscience instead of getting her revenge (as I said if she was truthful about her involvement with the original kidnapping and lost her own daughter their kids would all be alive) and this would also have been interesting to explore. Also why the need to make all the parents such horrible people? Why did he paint the picture that they got over what they did relatively easily? Why did they only care about getting back their ransom money?

Please, if you can spare the time, address my concerns, everyone who's seen the film here seems to be avoiding the points I raise.


right, I'll see what I can think of with these points (though it's been a couple months since I saw the movie, and it was quite late at night at BNAT after sitting through several others, so my memory may be a bit vague on the details).

1) weird that people were laughing... was it maybe nervous laughter, people not quite sure how to react to what they were seeing? The BNAT crowd was pretty much silent, some people even leaving the cinema because of the intensity. As for the bit with the axe - that did cause laughs and it was intended to be funny. I think that was included because Chan Wook Park is a quirky film-maker like that, and because of the intense, drawn out scene... I think it was good to have a bit of comedy, just for that one bit to break the intensity for a moment. I really liked that bit, classic chan wook park.

2) It is a nasty thing, no doubt. Her motives for doing exactly that are a bit sketchy. It's not a clear cut good thing to do. But I think that's the intent. She was shocked by what she saw on the tapes, clearly... and as a woman who is on a revenge quest, somebody who has obsessed over her own personal revenge for years... how would she react when she learns that this man has harmed more people and in far more terrible ways than she had realised? She brings them in on it, allows them to take part in the vengeance. The parents themselves are shocked, confused, angry, torn about what's happened and how they will respond. None of the emotions are clear cut or simple - it is an insane situation and in insane situations people tend to act in strange ways. The motives and reactions and actions of everyone involved seem strange at times, the revenge itself is pretty violent, whether or not it's all justifiable is a question never really answered - it's more posed to the audience. It's a messy sequence, and I think thats exactly as it should be. Complex emotions call for a complex scene.

So yeah, you have some good points, but I stick by what I said about the final sequence, I think it's flawless and the best thing in the film
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Postby dimnix on Fri Feb 10, 2006 10:17 pm

Oh, and as for the parents seemingly getting over the events pretty quickly and wanting their ransom money back... I found that all to be pretty realistic, and I dont think any of them really did get over it quickly. It'll haunt them for the rest of their lives, but in the moments immediately following it, they want to move on, forget about it, surpress their emotions. And I suppose, one way of ignoring the bigger issues is to focus on something simple - wheres our ransom money?
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Postby fried samurai on Fri Feb 10, 2006 10:32 pm

My favorite film of Park is SFMV.Its just a lean mean flick that Hollywood doesn't make anymore.Whenever somebody brings up a film like Mystic River and talks about how it's so brutal and portrays how a father would act with the loss of a child.I usually give them this film and watch their jaw drop.JSA is also brilliant though I cringe everytime the Swedish dude speaks(though thankfully its very little)

I'm really suprised that people laughed during SFLV.I didn't find it funny at all.I mean some parts made be smile but I didn't laugh out loud and me and my friends were high as hell.

I used to have a problem with the tonal changes in Korean cinema.I always thought the filmmaker's didn't understands the conventions of film.Take the film Silmildo for instance.It starts off like a Dirty Dozen type of film where all the characters goof around then a rape scene pops out of nowhere.It totally changes the tone of the film and I've seen this done countless times.

It took a Korean critic I chatted with online to explain that I had to stop thinking in Hollywood terms.Mind you I watch tons of foreign cinema but the tonal changes in Korean films always left me a bit baffled.Koreans actually like the blending of genres and demand more challenging scripts.I recently read an article where Koreans were dissapointed with the new film Typhoon because it was too Hollywood-like.

I only brought this up because I've read on more than one occasion people having problems the tone changes in Korean films.I'm no critic just a film lover but maybe its ok to leave certain plot points unanswered.Why does everything have come together perfectly at the end.Or evolve a particular way because the first half lead you to believe it was going in a certain direction.Its the journey thats important(Lynch anyone?)Personally I like WTF? moments in my films.I applaud Park for doing his own thing and I hope he continues to do so.
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Postby John-Locke on Fri Feb 10, 2006 10:48 pm

dimnix wrote:1) weird that people were laughing... was it maybe nervous laughter, people not quite sure how to react to what they were seeing? The BNAT crowd was pretty much silent, some people even leaving the cinema because of the intensity. As for the bit with the axe - that did cause laughs and it was intended to be funny. I think that was included because Chan Wook Park is a quirky film-maker like that, and because of the intense, drawn out scene... I think it was good to have a bit of comedy, just for that one bit to break the intensity for a moment. I really liked that bit, classic chan wook park.


I mention the axe head because it was the only moment I laughed at after the tapes had been shown (for which the cinema was silent) but there seriously were a majority of people laughing at say the woman with the weak heart or the plastic cloths they were putting on, not just one or two points in that sequence but I'd say like a dozen times there was loud laughter coming from around me, I felt like I was missing something but you have reassured me I was in tune with the film, it really made me doubt the way I had read the entire film and distracted me badly.

That was really my only gripe with it, I now like the way as you explain it there is a plan but a spanner is thrown in the works, I can't wait to see it again now

2) It is a nasty thing, no doubt. Her motives for doing exactly that are a bit sketchy. It's not a clear cut good thing to do. But I think that's the intent. She was shocked by what she saw on the tapes, clearly... and as a woman who is on a revenge quest, somebody who has obsessed over her own personal revenge for years... how would she react when she learns that this man has harmed more people and in far more terrible ways than she had realised? She brings them in on it, allows them to take part in the vengeance. The parents themselves are shocked, confused, angry, torn about what's happened and how they will respond. None of the emotions are clear cut or simple - it is an insane situation and in insane situations people tend to act in strange ways. The motives and reactions and actions of everyone involved seem strange at times, the revenge itself is pretty violent, whether or not it's all justifiable is a question never really answered - it's more posed to the audience. It's a messy sequence, and I think thats exactly as it should be. Complex emotions call for a complex scene.


Okay I got most of that when I wasn't being distracted by nervous laughter, I needed the clarification i guess, still it is a slightly morally reprehensible films as far as revenge films go, she only had a daughter put into adoption and yet she killed 3/4 people in the course of her revenge, it's not like Beatrix Kiddo where she believes her kid was killed, she gets her kid back and still want revenge, it's a disturbing series of events to be put through and I don't know why the Policeman (who also had a guilty conscience for his part, telling her which pillow to pick up when he must have smelled a rat and been aware she was lying for some reason) and her decided the parents should be involved, I think I understand it better now just through discussing it with you and by going through it again in my head.

I still didn't think the events after the burial were very gripping particularly and the closure this gave the film left me feeling indifferent about the whole thing, again I need to see this film again with an audience who know how to deal with what they are seeing, I still thought it was a good film I hope I haven't painted a completely negative picture, a sign of a good film is one you want to understand to a fuller degree.

ETA: Thanks a bunch for your detailed reply Dimnix, it's stuff like this that helps me stay in love with the Zone.

This was one of the first ever threads in the zone and it's just tonight, two thirds of a year later that it has become one of my favourite threads for indepth serious fiilm discussion (something we sometimes neglect), thanks to everyone who contributed.
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Postby Keepcoolbutcare on Fri Feb 10, 2006 11:53 pm

Cbabbitt wrote:JSA is okay, Mr. Vengeance is excellent, Oldboy is amazing...


second.

fried samurai wrote:I used to have a problem with the tonal changes in Korean cinema.I always thought the filmmaker's didn't understands the conventions of film....I had to stop thinking in Hollywood terms.Mind you I watch tons of foreign cinema but the tonal changes in Korean films always left me a bit baffled.Koreans actually like the blending of genres and demand more challenging scripts.
I only brought this up because I've read on more than one occasion people having problems the tone changes in Korean films.I'm no critic just a film lover but maybe its ok to leave certain plot points unanswered.Why does everything have come together perfectly at the end.Or evolve a particular way because the first half lead you to believe it was going in a certain direction.Its the journey thats important(Lynch anyone?)Personally I like WTF? moments in my films.I applaud Park for doing his own thing and I hope he continues to do so.


fascinating stuff.

kinda like the dictum of the Hong Kong action cinema of the 80's and early 90's, where comedy, action and melodrama would co-mingle, not only within the same film, but often in the same scene.

we're so accustomed to the "hollywood" way of filmmaking that we're often innately prejudiced against other countries changes to the medium. Sometimes those changes get incorporated into "hollywood" style filmmaking (the Italian neorealists, Hong Kong action aesthetics), other times it's just our "auteurs" who utilize these changes to film language; see Jarmusch co-opting some of the techniques of the legendary Japanese master Ozu.

but it's real hard to beat those prejudices out of some people...
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Postby John-Locke on Mon Feb 13, 2006 7:49 am

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Postby Meat Takeshi on Tue Mar 07, 2006 6:14 am

OK, got back from seeing Sympathy For Lady Vengeance last night.
Absolute quality, director at the top of his game and getting very cocky. I do have one question though... super small text cos Spoilers Coming Up.


What's going on with Jenny, the Aussie couple and the smoke at the end? The smoke wakes her and she goes off to meet her Mom. Is it just the candles going out, or as a guy that came with me suggested and I've subsequently seen on net, were the Aussie couple left to burn by Jenny?
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Postby AtomicHyperbole on Tue Mar 07, 2006 8:47 am

This is one of those threads I really, really want to join in on but haven't seen all of his films save for one - you know, where you're a wannabe fan but just haven't found time for it? ;) Oldboy was a stunning film - gutsy, well shot and with a denouement which left me wondering if what just happened was a good or a bad thing... It just totally hit me from leftfield and sent me reeling from the shock of what happened.

JSA is one of those films I really want to get around to seeing. As for SFMV and SFLV, I'm gonna save up for the inevitable two-disc release.
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Postby Keepcoolbutcare on Thu Mar 09, 2006 9:30 pm

my requirements for likin' a new town...

1. Good video store.

2. Good food.

3. Good nightlife.

4. Lots of women.

Can't speak of the nightlife yet (haven't found a good dive bar with a kickin' jukebox)(also haven't found a job...yet, and since I make anyplace I tend bar in THE place to be, well, the jury's out on that one) but I found a video store with SYMPATHY FOR LADY VENGEANCE!!!

So 2 out of 4 (so far) ain't bad. Can't fuckin' wait to smoke a fatty and let Chan-Wook blow me away, again. Will have some sort of semi-coherent review up by Saturday at 6pm when it's due back. Gotta give up some love for my new town tho'...22,000 titles on ONE of their floors, so even if my love life don't work out, well, at least I got a place to perk up my miserable existence.
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Postby John-Locke on Thu Mar 09, 2006 9:40 pm

Meat Takeshi wrote:What's going on with Jenny, the Aussie couple and the smoke at the end? The smoke wakes her and she goes off to meet her Mom. Is it just the candles going out, or as a guy that came with me suggested and I've subsequently seen on net, were the Aussie couple left to burn by Jenny?


I think you are right, I remember thinking something similar.
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Postby Keepcoolbutcare on Sun Mar 12, 2006 1:18 am

SPOILERIFIC: Avoid if you haven't checked it yet.

"It has to be pretty. Everything should be pretty."

Chan-Wook Park has got it. I don't even know what it is, but the man can flat out direct. Honestly, I can see why other filmmakers grok his stuff, for his framing is impeccable. Couple that with some outlandish production design and some stunning cinematography, and you have a man just oozing with talent.

I'm glad he's got his Vengeance trilogy out of the way. This one didn't pack the punch that Oldboy did, but man oh man did Yeong-ae Lee as our anti-heroine give the performance of the year for a female in this one. I didn't feel for her the way I did for Dae-Su in Oldboy, but that may be due in part to the non-linear narrative that Chan used to tell this story. In many ways tho', she's the more fascinating character. An angel and a witch, someone who'll kill ya' with kindness, but a woman you don't want to piss off...EVAR!

I thought the "twist", having the parents of the deceased children watching their deaths and having them be the arbitors of Mr. Baek's (Dae-Su, aka Min-Sik Choi, aka the star of Oldboy) fate was brilliant...what would you do, huh? You can be as liberal, as anti-death penalty as you wanna be, but to me that decision they came to was a no-brainer.

Black, black comedy, couple of lmao moments sprinkled throughout, some scenes of the good 'ol ultra-violence...yeah, count me in the Chan-Wook Park fanclub, 'cuz I'm checkin' out whatever he does, no matter what.

I recommend fans of the man rent "Three Extremes" for Chan's feature (the second of the three stories, if I recall correctly)...worth a look simply to see some more of that devious prankster in action.

Good stuff, 7.8 out of 10.
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Postby John-Locke on Thu Sep 28, 2006 8:04 am

Chan-Wook's 'I'm A Cyborg, But That's O.K'

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www.kfccinema.com wrote:Park Chan-wook's Upcoming I'm A Cyborg, But That`s Ok, due for an Dec 2006 Release Has finally released an Teaser Trailer.
Set in a mental asylum, it will revolve around a young woman who believes she is a robot, and follow her blossoming romance with a male patient at the hospital. Lim Soo-jung, and Bi(Rain) make up the cast.
Teaser Trailer Links Provided Below.


Teaser Link 1

Teaser Link 2

Teaser Link 3

Teaser Link 4

Teaser Link 5

Teaser Link 6 DIRECT DOWNLOAD

I would have put this in the Trailers thread but this is Chan-Wook Park so it should warrant it's own thread as I'd expect people would want to talk about this, I suppose eventually we can turn this into a review thread once it's been released.

Anyway despite the fact that I don't understand Korean it looks brilliant, visually it looks vibrant and fun, themeatically it looks funny and hopefully touching, almost like the sort of thing Charlie Kaufman might come up with.

I can't wait to see and find out more about this film.
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Postby silentbobafett on Thu Sep 28, 2006 8:44 am

You had me at Chan Wook Park... saw this on the main site... I fucking lvoe this guy! Got to wait till I get home to see it though as I'm at work... but damned if that poster don't look sweet! :-)
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Postby Retardo_Montalban on Thu Sep 28, 2006 9:09 am

Joly crap, a Korean Benny & Joon. This looks awesome, and I want that, no need that picture book with the cat getting it in the end.
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Postby MisterCynic on Fri Sep 29, 2006 3:47 pm

a korean benny and joon sounds awful to me... but it is chanwook park. cut wasnt written very well, but thats been his only 'misstep' as far as im concerned.

just do your vamp movie dude. please.
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Postby Brocktune on Fri Sep 29, 2006 5:28 pm

i dont need to see no fuckin trailer to know that im definitely going to see this at my first opportunity.
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Postby Keepcoolbutcare on Sat Sep 30, 2006 12:30 am

well that was adorable eye candy. man frames his shots like no one else.

so the guy who gave us live squid eating goes cute, huh?

can't wait.
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Postby Retardo_Montalban on Sat Sep 30, 2006 12:48 am

too true. I don't even need to understand what's going on in his movies. I can put the mother fucker on mute and I'm amazed by the film alone.
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Postby AtomicHyperbole on Sat Sep 30, 2006 5:09 am

Deaf sex rulez!

...

I assume that's what you mean?
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Postby Pacino86845 on Fri Jun 15, 2007 12:14 pm

Well I wrote a couple of lines about this in the Movie Journal... I thought I'm a Cyborg, But That's Ok was kinda bland... after JSA, Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance and Oldboy, I was expecting more from Chan-Wook Park. Overindulgent, and too friggin' slow. A hollow shell, nicely dressed to be sure, but this little oddity didn't do much for me.

Chan-Wook Park's use of straight edges and the pastel color scheme are present here as in his previous films, with more baby colors used to highlight the various characters' innocence and child-like qualities.

In the end it was just too difficult to get into the film... the novelty of an insane asylum in a film has long worn out, but that's all this movie seems to want to do. The love story really isn't engaging, the crazy people are all of the "movie crazy people" variety... everything just comes off as a burlesque freak show.

Normally this wouldn't be a huge problem except the story plods along at a snail's pace, with no sense of drama to back the attempted level of emotion conveyed by the characters.

Chan-Wook Park fans may still find things to enjoy (for me, the aesthetics keep this from being horrible), but I can't recommend it to anyone else.

5/10
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Postby Cinema-Suicide on Fri Jun 15, 2007 1:50 pm

Pacino86845 wrote:Well I wrote a couple of lines about this in the Movie Journal... I thought I'm a Cyborg, But That's Ok was kinda bland... after JSA, Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance and Oldboy, I was expecting more from Chan-Wook Park. Overindulgent, and too friggin' slow. A hollow shell, nicely dressed to be sure, but this little oddity didn't do much for me.

Chan-Wook Park's use of straight edges and the pastel color scheme are present here as in his previous films, with more baby colors used to highlight the various characters' innocence and child-like qualities.

In the end it was just too difficult to get into the film... the novelty of an insane asylum in a film has long worn out, but that's all this movie seems to want to do. The love story really isn't engaging, the crazy people are all of the "movie crazy people" variety... everything just comes off as a burlesque freak show.

Normally this wouldn't be a huge problem except the story plods along at a snail's pace, with no sense of drama to back the attempted level of emotion conveyed by the characters.

Chan-Wook Park fans may still find things to enjoy (for me, the aesthetics keep this from being horrible), but I can't recommend it to anyone else.

5/10
I'd heard some negative press about this movie but I chalked it up to being a lull in an otherwise stellar filmography. JSA nearly had in me in tears at the end, I loved Mr. Vengeance and what more can I say about Oldboy that hasn't been said already.

Lady Vengeance had it's moments, but I really felt like CWP was coming down from a really strong start in filmmaking. I thought maybe he was just tired of the revenge thing and was just getting that movie out of the way so he could move on with his career. A little negative press about I'm A Cyborg won't stop me from seeing it, though. He's definitely a director I will always lend my eyes to.

A couple of missteps aside, I still think he's the most exciting director working right now.
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Postby tapehead on Tue Jun 19, 2007 10:50 pm

Pacino86845 wrote:Well I wrote a couple of lines about this in the Movie Journal... I thought I'm a Cyborg, But That's Ok was kinda bland... after JSA, Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance and Oldboy, I was expecting more from Chan-Wook Park. Overindulgent, and too friggin' slow. A hollow shell, nicely dressed to be sure, but this little oddity didn't do much for me.
Chan-Wook Park's use of straight edges and the pastel color scheme are present here as in his previous films, with more baby colors used to highlight the various characters' innocence and child-like qualities.
In the end it was just too difficult to get into the film... the novelty of an insane asylum in a film has long worn out, but that's all this movie seems to want to do. The love story really isn't engaging, the crazy people are all of the "movie crazy people" variety... everything just comes off as a burlesque freak show.
Normally this wouldn't be a huge problem except the story plods along at a snail's pace, with no sense of drama to back the attempted level of emotion conveyed by the characters.
Chan-Wook Park fans may still find things to enjoy (for me, the aesthetics keep this from being horrible), but I can't recommend it to anyone else.
5/10

Good review - disappointing, but good (I read it very carefully)
Was it a festival screening? any chance the film might be refined from the version you saw? How come you saw it befire everybody else?
How 'bout the soundtrack?
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Postby John-Locke on Wed Jun 20, 2007 2:21 am

I'm assuming he bought an Import DVD, I did, I started to watch it and fell asleep after 10 minutes and haven't felt like giving it another go yet.

My gut tells me it's not going to be as good as I had hoped.
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