I have to agree with Dave Kehr when he says the connections made (by a professor) between Virginia Tech shooter Cho Seung-Hui and Chan-wook Park’s classic film OldBoy, are “ridiculous as well as faintly racist.”
UPDATE: When I read Dave Kehr’s blog post, and the link in question, I was in such a hurry that I did not notice that the Virginia Tech professor who made the OldBoy connection was none other than blogger/filmmaker (and yes, VA Tech professor) Paul Harrill. On his bog today, Paul reports back on how his message to authorities may have been blown out of proportion. He apologizes, and looks onward:
I should have said nothing, done nothing, and ignored it all. I made the mistake of attempting to make sense of the nonsensical, assuming that my comment could be a simple footnote to a single still image, and above all, presuming that a person can have any control over any comment he feeds to the Media Machine.
This morning I awoke to several emails and blog comments accusing me of everything from racism against South Koreans to blaming cinema for the carnage on Monday. And all day I have been courted by several major media outlets salivating for an interview with me, as if I could somehow explain the events of Monday to them by way of a movie. How sad. How absurd. The answer to all of these individuals has been “No.”
Let me be clear: My comparison of these two images was not meant to suggest in ANY way that movies, any movie, “made him do it.” Likewise, my comparison of these two images is IN NO WAY an attempt to make ANY generalizations based on racial, nationalistic, or any other sorts of lines.
Regardless, the OldBoy connection has taken on a life of its own in the media. Do a Google News search for “Virginia Tech” + “OldBoy,” and there are literally thousands of articles found.