Park Chan-wook

I’ve now lost count of the number of times that Park Chan-wook has come to London. But it’s always nice to see him, especially when there’s his latest film to enjoy as part of a retrospective of his work at the London East Asia Film Festival. We got to see the amazing Handmaiden at the BFI […]

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Brief review: Park Chan-wook’s Handmaiden

by Philip Gowman 9 October 2016
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I’ll leave others to do the detailed review of Park Chan-wook’s Handmaiden (아가씨), which screened at the London Film Festival this week and which will return later in the month at the London East Asia Film Festival. Suffice it to say that it’s gorgeous-looking, both in terms of costume and interiors, great story-telling and totally […]

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Event news: Park Chan-wook retrospective @LEAFF 2016

by Philip Gowman 4 September 2016
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The London East Asia Film Festival, in its first full outing (20-30 October), hosts a Park Chan-wook retrospective, including a screening of his 2016 movie Handmaiden. The director will be present for that screening, and to introduce a remastering of his Lady Vengeance. It’s nice that a few of his shorts will be screened as […]

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Festival film review: Bitter, Sweet, Seoul

by Philip Gowman 16 November 2014
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Bitter, Sweet, Seoul is an ambitious crowd-sourced project in which people from around the world were invited by the Seoul Metropolitan Government to submit videos which would be made into feature length film. Directors (and brothers) Park Chan-wook and Park Chan-kyong (collectively PARKing CHANce) were commissioned to organise the submissions, attracted to the project by […]

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Cho Young-wuk on waltzes, playgrounds and working with Park Chan-wook

by Philip Gowman 5 October 2014
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So much has changed over the past few years. Nearly 10 years ago Asia House organised the London premiere screening of Lady Vengeance including a Q&A with the director, Park Chan-wook. It was hard not to squirm in embarrassment at the shallowness of some of the questions from the audience, and the moderator could have […]

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Lady Vengeance continues the Choi Min-sik season at the KCC

by Philip Gowman 25 August 2013
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Is it wrong like Lady Vengeance? I have to admit it’s one of my guilty pleasures. I sense in Lady V a slightly cocky director consciously aiming his work at an international audience for the first time, after the success of Oldboy. After all, Koreans don’t need to have it explained that prisoners might want […]

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Joint Security Area screens at the Terracotta Film Club

by Philip Gowman 27 July 2013
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If you haven’t yet managed to see the film that launched Park Chan-wook’s career, try this Wednesday at the Prince Charles Cinema (6:45pm on 31 July), courtesy of the Terracotta Film Club. JSA: JOINT SECURITY AREA: A tense thriller where an incident one night jeopardises the delicately balanced North and South Korean ceasefire agreement. Set […]

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Stoker fails to impress FT

by Philip Gowman 18 July 2013
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Oh dear. The FT really doesn’t like Park Chan-wook’s Stoker. “Stoker aims for enigmatic but bulleyes incoherent instead,” says Raphael Abraham, reviewing the DVD release in the Weekend edition on 6 July 2013. “Park Chan-wook constructs every shot with maximum flourish while plotlines appear fitfully and then die from neglect,” he adds, concluding that “after […]

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Stoker: not one of Park’s best, but definitely worth a look

by Philip Gowman 28 February 2013
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Kim Ji-woon’s Hollywood debut, The Last Stand, created virtually no buzz and vanished from London screens within a couple of weeks of opening. Stoker, having created some positive vibes at Sundance, played to a packed house at a preview screening at the BFI on 27 February before it has its main UK opening on 1 […]

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Park Chan-wook picks his cultural highlights in the Observer

by Philip Gowman 24 February 2013
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Park Chan-wook is featured in “On My Radar” in today’s Observer, to mark the release of Stoker. He’s generous enough to plug Kim Ji-woon’s The Last Stand and Ryu Seung-wan’s The Berlin File, and says he has read all of the “dark, scary and erotic” novels of Sarah Waters that have been translated into Korean. […]

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Park Chan-wook’s Night Fishing released on R3 DVD

by Philip Gowman 9 July 2012
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One of the highlights of last year’s London Korean Film Fest last year, so I’m told, was Park Chan-wook’s iPhone-shot short movie Night Fishing. I just didn’t get a chance to see it. But thankfully it’s out on subtitled Region 3 DVD later this month at YesAsia: http://tinyurl.com/cwh6p5x. It’ll soon be in my shopping cart.

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Korean shorts win at Berlinale 2011

by Philip Gowman 21 February 2011
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Korea is first and second in Berlinale short film section. The Park brothers’ iPhone-filmed Night Fishing wins, with Yang Hyo-joo winning the Silver Bear for The Unbroken, which is a short film about two swindlers who are involved in a real accident one evening after contriving a fake car accident to claim insurance payments. http://bit.ly/guyH9Z […]

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LKL’s top 10 K-films of the noughties

by Philip Gowman 26 January 2010
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Mark Russell led the way with his fascinating list of films of the decade – in which the biggest shock was that there was no Park Chan-wook. GI Korea also has a list, which redresses the balance somewhat. So here is mine. Over the years I’ve been reasonably diligent in giving marks out of 10 […]

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Park Chan-wook’s most embarrassing DVD

by Philip Gowman 22 January 2010
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This week’s Time Out has a brief interview with Park Chan-wook, to celebrate the UK DVD release of Thirst. The subject? His 2,000-strong DVD collection. For an obscure recommendation from his shelves, Park tips Sanjay Gupta’s Zinda, the Bollywood film that seems to be based on Oldboy. “A man, taken and locked up for 14 […]

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A Bollywood take on Oldboy

by Philip Gowman 20 January 2010
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Park Chan-wook: one of the obscurest DVDs in his collection is Zinda, the Indian movie that appears to be based on Oldboy (source: interview in today’s Time Out magazine). #

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Is Lady Vengeance REALLY the best Korean film of the decade?

by Philip Gowman 8 November 2009
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That’s what The Times seems to think. I’ve never had much confidence in that paper when it comes to Korean film (one of their critics in particular, Wendy Ide, seems to have a complete downer on the country), but I’m not sure that many informed Korean film buffs would agree with the choice of Lady […]

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Saharial reviews Thirst

by Saharial 12 October 2009
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5th October 2009 Curzon Cinema, Soho, London Being a big fan of Park Chan-wook’s Vengeance Trilogy, I was definitely excited and keen to see Thirst (박쥐; Bakjwi) his newest release that won the Jury prize at Cannes this year. The story is of Sang-hyun (Song Kang-ho), a priest who willingly undergoes a medical experiment to […]

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