STOKER Director Park Chan-wook Appears at Retrospective Opening at Moving Image Today
Park Chan-wook, the South Korean director best known for his provocative and thrilling Vengeance Trilogy, will be the subject of a retrospective at Museum of the Moving Image from today, February 28 through March 3, 2013. The series, which is presented in cooperation with The Korea Society, includes four feature films and three rarely screened short films. It opens with a personal appearance by the director at a preview screening of his latest film, Stoker-his first English language picture-which stars Mia Wasikowska and Nicole Kidman, and is being released by Fox Searchlight Pictures in theaters nationwide on March 1.
Park Chan-wook first came to international attention with his 2000 film J.S.A: Joint Security Area, a powerful story about a murder along the demilitarized zone between North and South Korea that was the biggest box-office hit in the history of Korean cinema. Following that success with the release of the intense Vengeance Trilogy-Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance, Oldboy, and Sympathy for Lady Vengeance-Park established himself as one of world cinema's leading stylistic auteurs. Shifting elegantly between different genres, his new film, Stoker, marks the director's English-language debut, though he is already signed on to several upcoming Hollywood films. This richly evocative, gothic coming-of-age tale opens with the death of India Stoker's (Wasikowska) father in a car accident, and the discovery of a mysterious uncle, Charlie (Matthew Goode), who unexpectedly arrives for the funeral. Through her growing closeness to Charlie, she soon uncovers her own destiny.
Chief Curator David Schwartz said, "Park Chan-wook is perhaps best known for his strong and unique style, which combines a visceral, rigorous eye for composition with a macabre sense of humor that inevitably draws comparisons with that of Quentin Tarantino-who, indeed, professes himself a fan. Park's vision goes beyond just superficial stylistic elements, however; his cinematic work as a whole reveals a deep understanding of violence, vengeance, and ultimately, redemption."
In addition to collaborating on the Park Chan-wook retrospective, Museum of the Moving Image and The Korea Society have an ongoing relationship to present a monthly Korean cinema showcase at the Museum.
SCHEDULE FOR 'Park Chan-wook,' FEBRUARY 28-MARCH 3, 2013
All screenings take place at Museum of the Moving Image, 36-01 35 Avenue in Astoria. Screenings are included with Museum admission and free for Museum members unless otherwise noted. Tickets for Friday evening screenings (when the Museum offers free gallery admission) are $12 adults / $9 students and senior citizens.
With director Park Chan-wook in person
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 28, 7:00 P.M.
Dir. Park Chan-wook, 2013, 98 mins. DCP courtesy of Fox Searchlight. With Mia Wasikowska, Nicole Kidman, Matthew Goode. Stoker, the eagerly awaited new film by cult-favorite Korean director Park Chan-wook (Oldboy, Lady Vengeance, Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance), is an English-language thriller rife with the sort of style and atmosphere that makes his other movies nothing short of modern classics of the genre. In the film, India (Mia Wasikowska), upon the death of her father, finds herself sharing a Southern gothic mansion with her mother (Nicole Kidman) and her mysterious-yet-charming Uncle Charlie.
Tickets: $20 public / $12 Museum members / Free for Silver Screen members and above. Tickets for this event are SOLD OUT. Advance reservations are no longer being taken. Tickets may become available at the door on a first-come, first-served standby from 6:00 p.m. onwards.
FRIDAY, MARCH 1, 7:00 P.M.
Dir. Park Chan-wook. 2003, 120 mins. Digital projection. With Choi Min-Sik, Yoo Ji-tae, Kang Hye-jung. In this visually entrancing revenge thriller-the middle, and best known film in Park's Vengeance Trilogy-Choi Min-Sik masterfully plays Oh Dae-su, an ordinary businessman who survives fifteen years of captivity in a single room only to be released and further tormented by his captor. As Oh uncovers the mysteries of his kidnapping, he leaves behind a trail of horrific vengeance. An international box office success, Oldboy cemented director Park's reputation as a master of cruel pulp.
Short Films by Park Chan-wook
SATURDAY, MARCH 2, 3:00 P.M.
Dirs. Park Chan-kyong, Park Chan-wook. 2011, 33 mins. With Lee Jung-hyun, Oh Kwang-rok. A fisherman reels in a fish that transforms into a young woman. She begins talking to him of his long-lost daughter, and it gradually becomes apparent that she is a shaman acting as a medium between the land of the living and the dead. Night Fishing was shot using up to ten iPhones filming simultaneously from different angles. The film won the Golden Bear award at the Berlinale.
N.E.P.A.L. Never Ending Peace and Love
Dir. Park Chan-wook. 2003, 30 mins. With Lee Ji-hyeon, Oh Dal-su. Based on the true tale of Chandra Gurung, a Nepalese woman, who, after losing her ID, was forced to spend over six years in a series of Korean mental institutions when her attempts to communicate in her native tongue were interpreted as mad ravings. N.E.P.A.L. Never Ending Peace and Love is Park's segment of the omnibus feature If You Were Me-a collection of six shorts commissioned by the National Human Rights Commission of Korea.
Dir. Park Chan-wook. 2004, 30 mins. With Lee Byung-hun, Lim Won-hie, Kang Hye-jeong, Lee Dae-yeon. In the stunningly-staged Cut, Park's contribution to the trilogy Three... Extremes, a successful film director is kidnapped by a dissatisfied extra and faces an impossible dilemma; he must decide whether to let his child be killed or watch his wife's fingers cut off one by one. Cut demonstrates Park Chan-wook's wicked sense of humor and assured sense of style.
J.S.A: Joint Security Area
SATURDAY, MARCH 2, 6:00 P.M.
Dir. Park Chan-wook. 2000, 110 mins. With Lee Yeong-ae, Lee Byung-hun, Song Kang-ho, Kim Tae-woo. An incident in the JSA (the demilitarized zone between North and South Korea) leaves two North Korean border guards dead and one South Korean wounded. The Swiss-Korean woman officer heading the neutral enquiry into the skirmish gets nowhere until she stumbles upon a history of secret fraternization between some of the border guards on both sides. J.S.A.: Joint Security Area is an engrossing political thriller about murder, betrayal, and forbidden friendship along the heavily patrolled, mine-laden DMZ. The highly acclaimed J.S.A.: Joint Security Area became the highest grossing film in Korea, and won several Grand Bell awards-South Korea's equivalent of the Oscar.
Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance
SUNDAY, MARCH 3, 3:00 P.M.
Dir. Park Chan-wook. 2002, 129 mins. With Song Kang-ho, Shin Ha-kyun, Bae Doona, Lim Ji-Eun. The first film in Park's Vengeance Trilogy, Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance trails a punky deaf-mute who desperately attempts to secure money for a kidney transplant his ailing sister badly needs. Because his blood type is incompatible and no donors are available, he turns to a group of black-market organ dealers who offer to find a matching kidney in return for one of his, plus ten million won. When the dealers rip him off, Ryu conspires with his girlfriend, a political activist, to kidnap his former boss' young daughter and ransom her for the ten million won.
SUNDAY, MARCH 3, 6:00 P.M.
Dir. Park Chan-wook. 2005, 112 mins. With Lee Yeong-ae, Choi Min-sik, Kim Shi-hoo, Kwon Yea-young. The third and final film of Park's Vengeance Trilogy, Lady Vengeance follows the story of Lee Geum-ja, a woman imprisoned for a crime she did not commit. Lee seeks revenge on the true murderer, who blackmailed her to take the blame for his crime and kidnapped her daughter. With the support of former prison inmates, Lee seeks an unattained redemption with her vengeance. Lady Vengeance features a breakout performance by Lee Yeong-ae in the title role (an American remake starring Charlize Theron has been announced).
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