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Poll

What's your favorite film by Chan-wook Park?

haven't seen any
0 (0%)
don't like any
0 (0%)
other
0 (0%)
Joint Security Area
2 (4.8%)
Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance
3 (7.1%)
Oldboy
19 (45.2%)
Lady Vengeance
6 (14.3%)
I'm a Cyborg, But That's OK
0 (0%)
Thirst
5 (11.9%)
Stoker
2 (4.8%)
The Handmaiden
5 (11.9%)
The Little Drummer Girl
0 (0%)
Decision to Leave
0 (0%)

Total Members Voted: 42

Author Topic: Park, Chan-wook  (Read 12090 times)

verbALs

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Re: Park, Chan-wook - Director's Best
« Reply #20 on: April 06, 2012, 05:17:15 PM »
Make sure your modem is disconnected afterwards. I hear it can run up quite a bill otherwise.
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jim brown

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Re: Park, Chan-wook - Director's Best
« Reply #21 on: April 06, 2012, 05:35:49 PM »
Make sure your modem is disconnected afterwards. I hear it can run up quite a bill otherwise.

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Dave the Necrobumper

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Re: Park, Chan-wook - Director's Best
« Reply #22 on: April 08, 2012, 02:37:12 PM »
Oldboy
Thirst
JSA

jdc

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Re: Park, Chan-wook - Director's Best
« Reply #23 on: April 21, 2012, 03:19:59 AM »
I suppose I could flip a coin, Thirst or Oldboy
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FLYmeatwad

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Re: Park, Chan-wook - Director's Best
« Reply #24 on: March 23, 2013, 05:04:27 PM »
Stoker

It's always interesting to see how an artist transitions from one medium to another, whether it be a painter stepping behind a camera or a novelist turning in to a screen writer. Yet with Stoker, director Park Chan-wook is not moving mediums but is actually breaking language barriers. If that isn't already a massive challenge to take on in what is the first English language film from the Korean visionary, then why not add in an extended metaphor of the physical and sexual awakenings that define the adolescent experience? If there's one thing that everyone can universally understand it would definitely the teenage psyche.

Filtered mostly through the eyes of India Stoker (Mia Wasikowska) in the wake of her father's death, Park Chan-wook creates this visually off-kilter world that takes many cues from the Gothic both in its aesthetic choices and character behavior. Early on in the film, at India's father's funeral, her Uncle Charlie (Matthew Goode) inexplicably appears out of nowhere (to the point where India didn't even know he existed) and begins living with India and her mother Evelyn (Nicole Kidman). From there he begins seducing Evelyn as the film begins to reveal his true intentions and the menacing reality behind Charlie's patented leer.

[gap here for where I used spoilers in the blog post]

[return to non-spoilers]

But beyond the flimsy script, there's a ton worth loving about what is going on in Stoker. Specifically, the actual way the camera functions is something of a marvel. Now a large part of the mood that Park Chan-wook creates also falls on some spectacular editing that helps to unsettle the viewer. Though the film isn't exactly scary, creepy, or even too hard to track, a sense of manic energy does pervade even the most serene scenes. Transitions and cuts between characters create associations that seem to amount to a good deal (even if the reality proves to be less so), creating a visual splendor that is hard not to be charmed by after only moments.

There are also a few great performances tucked in here. I never felt a sense of dread when it came to Goode's Uncle Charlie, but the way he was able to engulf just about every scene he was in is admirable. Nicole Kidman gives what is probably the film's most varied performance, and even though her character is kind of simplistic she does bring a sense of emotion to the role. But Mia Wasikowska, in an divisive turn as India, was my favorite. Much of the time she scowls, but it's what's bubbling underneath of the surface, what she's able to communicate in how she moves, that makes her so captivating.

While I would have liked to be more taken with Park Chan-wook's English language debut, I can't give him much of the blame. The script is so all over the place that, despite feigning focus, it reveals its flimsiness by the end. However, if one is able to overlook the less than satisfying plot there is certainly more than enough to appreciate and enjoy about the actual act of watching the film. It's always great to see a master at work.

For a rating and some other thoughts, check out my blog post, I reckon.

Antares

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Re: Park, Chan-wook - Director's Best
« Reply #25 on: April 23, 2013, 07:06:00 PM »
Lady Vengeance
Oldboy

Masterpiece (100-91) | Classic (90-80) | Entertaining (79-69) | Mediocre (68-58) | Cinemuck (57-21) | Crap (20-0)

1SO

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Re: Park, Chan-wook
« Reply #26 on: April 23, 2013, 10:03:03 PM »
1. Sympathy For Mr. Vengeance
2. Oldboy
3. Joint Security Area

4. Stoker
5. Thirst
6. I'm a Cyborg, But That's Okay

7. The Handmaiden
8. Simpan (Judgment)
9. Lady Vengeance
« Last Edit: August 05, 2021, 08:34:03 AM by 1SO »

goodguy

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Re: Park, Chan-wook - Director's Best
« Reply #27 on: June 09, 2013, 10:49:36 PM »
Stoker
Ah-ga-ssi (The Handmaiden)
Oldboy

I wish Stoker wouldn't fall so completely apart towards the end. Mia Wasikowska shines all the way through, though.
Oldboy single-handedly put my interest in Asian cinema on hold for several years.
« Last Edit: December 20, 2016, 08:52:42 PM by goodguy »

1SO

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Re: Park, Chan-wook - Director's Best
« Reply #28 on: June 10, 2013, 12:44:58 AM »
Oldboy single-handedly put my interest in Asian cinema on hold for several years.

Your lack of detail is what makes you such a fascinating enigma.

1SO

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Re: Park, Chan-wook - Director's Best
« Reply #29 on: November 20, 2013, 11:57:41 AM »
Stoker
* * *

For a long stretch this was a very handsomely mounted film, but it was so interested in textures and sounds that I was losing interest thinking the story was going nowhere. Turns out I was quite wrong and there's a point (the moment of shall we say 'sexual awakening') where I realized a lot was happening, it was just happening in a very multi-layered way. The sound design was too much, and I get that it was going for muchness but even within that... What I enjoyed was the editing, tying in multiple events and random moments. By the end, every major action tied into another big event from the past and a smaller symbolic one. Ultimately my biggest problem is that Matthew Goode is not a strong actor and miscast in a very important role.
« Last Edit: August 04, 2021, 08:36:39 AM by 1SO »