“I think right now, the most exciting cinema in the world is coming out of Korea. Park Chan-wook is amazing.” QUENTIN TARANTINO
“A purveyor of slick, violent yarns with stylishly choreographed set-pieces and a leavening strain of hip, ironic humour ... Park Chan-wook is the epitome of Asian cool.” GEOFFREY MACNAB, THE GUARDIAN
“Park has cited Hitchcock, along with Brian De Palma and David Cronenberg, as a primary inspiration for a boy of work that has established him as South Korea’s most celebrated director.” MIKE HALE, NEW YORK TIMES
For the past decade, South Korean shock waver Park Chan-wook has been a poster child for cinema’s so-called “Asian Extreme” movement. He is a director of hyper-stylized, hyper-violent films that sit uneasily, at least as far as some uncomfortable critics are concerned, between exploitation movie and high cinematic art. Park’s works are frequently compared to those of fellow traveller Quentin Tarantino, who is an admirer. Park has recently made something of a crossover to Hollywood: Stoker, his first English-language feature, staring Mia Wasikowska, Nicole Kidman, and Matthew Goode, was released earlier this year, while Spike Lee’s remake of Park’s 2003 cult hit Oldboy is set for a fall release, with Samuel L. Jackson, Josh Brolin, and Elizabeth Olsen heading the cast. Park’s signature achievement is his Vengeance Trilogy, made up of Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance (2002), the aforementioned Oldboy, and Lady Vengeance (2005). The films are self-contained and not narratively connected, but have been dubbed a trilogy because of their common thematic concerns (revenge, as one might expect, looms large) and Park’s overarching — and hyper, and hair-raising — aesthetic.