park chan wook It masterfully interacts with the three senses beyond sight and sound. He sharpened his attention to detail with his childhood Watching foreign films without subtitles On USFK Network (alternative entertainment was few). Having to read faces and interpret gestures gave him a unique way to consume stories – and ultimately tell them.
Much has been written about the way Park’s films discuss the futility of revenge, but there is a lot more to unpack regarding their study of people sensitive to subtle stimuli that awaken their repressed desires – and often consequentialism to it. Never have the themes and motifs of his films coalesced more vividly than in his most recent projects, Decision to leave.
“Moon … Dream of the Sun” (1992); Unbound
A successful photographer’s life is turned upside down by his brother’s criminal and romantic tangles. Neither Metacritic nor Rotten Tomatoes listed the first feature that Park himself disowned.
It’s a worth watching for fans of the director, who must have had an easier time digesting The moon… the sun’s dreamof audiences who watched the film in 1992 without objective reference points for Park’s later work. However, the film’s stark color contrasts and odd editing choices may alienate even the most true fan.
“The Trio” (1997); Unbound
Park’s sophomore effort is also a movie we all wish we could all forget. triple is an action comedy about a suicide saxophonist, a single mother searching for her child, and a mentally helpless monster who unites and embarks on a criminal spree.
Letterboxd reviews from the few who’ve seen the movie agree that it’s disjointed and tough problems triple Engaged for the first time with Park. Their work is cut short for them, as the film is much more difficult to track down The moon… the sun’s dream. as such, triple It became something of an underground curiosity.
“I’m a cyborg, but that’s fine” (2006); Unbound
There is no list for I’m a cyborg, but that’s fine on Metacritic, but this isn’t another obscure fiasco from his early career (he has a 92 percent approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes). Young Joon (Im-soo Jung) works on an assembly line and thinks she’s a cyborg; il soon (rain) is an electrician who suffers from kleptomania and anxiety that his body is literally shrinking into oblivion. The two fall in love after meeting in a psychiatric hospital.
A playful piece of magical realism, I am a cyborg Different from the typical Park movie. The contrast of the romantic comedies with his other works was not accidental. After completing the blood-soaked revenge trilogy, he wanted to make a proper movie for his little daughter.
8. “Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance” (2002); 56
Unable to pay for his sister’s kidney transplant, a deaf steelworker resorts to kidnapping his employer’s daughter. The second half follows the bereaved father who takes justice into his own hands. Being one of Park Chan Wook’s films, every man’s quest for revenge proves futile.
Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance (The first in the unofficial revenge trilogy, which also includes big boyAnd theVengeance lady)It touches on the divisions in Korea that have been exacerbated by global consumer capitalism, a topic that the director also addressed joint security areaAnd the the maid. The film, visually stunning but narratively impractical, shows Park’s growth as an artist but is still far from his later accomplishments.
7. “Joint Security Area” (2000). 58
It is located on the demilitarized border separating North and South Korea. joint security area It begins after a fatal altercation. Send a mediator from Switzerland to investigate the incident and prevent the outbreak of a hot war on the Korean Peninsula. The film is split between procedural and flashback shots that show a budding camaraderie between the officers on both sides of Show 38.
The conflict between commitment and desire may not be as clear here as it is thirstAnd the stokerAnd the Decision to leavebut you can find evidence of this in a scene that includes Song Kang Ho And a chocolate moon pie. Plus, the art serves as a bridge between the four men (not to mention the luster of freshly polished shoes). The movie is much better than Metacritic’s mediocre score suggests.
6. “Stalker” (2013); 58
India Stocker (Mia WasikowskaThe father passed away on her eighteenth birthday. Her mother is emotionally unstable (Nicole KidmanIt appears to be the only family left until the mysterious deceased patriarch’s brother Stoker, Charlie.Matthew Good), arrives at the funeral. Although the two have never met, they share a supernatural perception of what surrounds them.
Park’s first English-language project retains the hallmarks he’s always celebrated: intoxicating romantic cinematography (stoker Filmed by Park’s longtime DP, chung hoon chung), sensory sound design, and rich avatar scene transitions. it’s a shame stokerArranged by Metacritic points closest to it Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance From the maid.
5. “Thirst” (2009); 73
A Catholic priest takes part in a drug experiment that causes unintended side effects, including cravings for blood and sex. He begins to wonder if he can faithfully perform his clerical duties.
until Decision to leave, this delicate, twisted romance of a venomous vampire was the clearest expression of Park Chan-wook’s objective interests. The protagonists of both films abdicate their formal obligations to succumb to the ‘increased sensory awareness’ accompanying stimuli. thirst Park isn’t the most acclaimed movie, but there is no entry in his works that is likely to please horror fans.
4. “Lady Vengeance” (2005); 75
com ja (Lee Young Ae) from prison after serving 13 years for a crime she did not commit. Immediately relinquishing the saint figure who had commuted her sentence, she began a violent rampage to punish the man responsible for the time she had lost with her daughter.
Vengeance ladyCompletes the Park trilogy and responds to it in some ways Quentin Tarantino‘s kill Billseries. While Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance And the big boy Expressing a clear position on the unintended ruin one has reaped by bringing justice into one’s own hands, Vengeance lady It ends with a healing act of revenge that goes against Park’s overarching message.
3. “Old Boy” (2003); 77
dai su (Choi Min Sik) wakes up after a night of drunken turmoil in the room where he will spend the next decade. It cures families of Dae Soo’s alcoholism and sharpens his sensory perception. After being inexplicably released one day as kidnapped, he seeks revenge but discovers his responsibility for the absurd fate he suffered.
You can’t tell from the box office, but the excessive and funny violence big boy Park is the most watched and influential movie. Tarantino widely declared his love for him, and Spike Lee directed a new English-language version in 2013.
2. “The Maid” (2016); 84
Park films usually have a lush and sensual atmosphere, but no more than his entry into the erotic cinema, the maid. The film is set in Japan occupied Korea around 1930, and revolves around two women at opposite ends of the social ladder – Hideko (Kim Min HeeImprisoned in the estate of her wealthy uncle sympathetic to imperialism, while Seok HeeKim Tae Ri) Country Housemaid – Falls in love and complicates the scheme of the Drifters to enrich himself.
Park uses a historical setting to emphasize Korea’s current political challenges. Hideko is exploited by her uncle in the service of a Japanese art form. Moreover, Japanese is spoken to denote high social standing, while Korean is used in the silent intimate scenes between the two main characters.
1. “Decision to leave” (2022); 85
sweaty investigatorpark hai il(He threatens his marriage and his professional integrity after he falls in love with the widow of a murder suspect)Tang Wei). writing for the movie of the week, Jay Lodge describes the disturbing romance as “a sincere spiritual attraction between two people who know nothing – but somehow see everything – about each other”. sharing with Jonathan Deem And the Barry Jenkins A talent for capturing evocative close-up photos, Park mines the faces of his actors into every detail. The likable mannerisms, after all, were how the director thought the codes of movies he had seen as a child.
What encourages a person to radically change his life? The film suggests that this decision was not shaped by reason, but the sensory details—the occasional touch, a faint scent of perfume drifting from a bandage—that fuels Hye Joon’s obsession with Seo-rae. Park’s camera abounds with the mundane routine of cleaning the dinner table as a sacred ritual. You’ll have to make a conscious effort not to faint during Hae-jun and Seo-rae’s first meal together, or visit them in the rain at Songgwangsa Temple. However you end up feeling the way the movie solves its central mystery, these are the moments that make a great impression and make Park Chan-wook’s new cinematic dessert especially delicious.
Keep reading: How to watch Park Chan Wook’s decision to leave