South Korean filmmakers do genre like few others, pumping out original work and adaptations that are both inventive and hyper aware of their contextual placement in the world of cinema (unlike many Hollywood adaptations). The last decade has provided a platform for these films and their directors to find huge international audiences and critical acclaim. Park Chan-wook’s viscerally bruising “Oldboy” might be the greatest example as such, taking home the Grand Prix at Cannes in 2004 (jury president Quentin Tarantino pushed for the film to be awarded the Palme d’Or) and inspiring a shoddy American remake.
Park’s career began the same year as Tarantino’s in 1992, with the little seen crime thriller “The Moon Is The Sun’s Dream.” Several more films followed, but it wasn’t until 2000’s “Joint Security Area,” which smashed records at the South Korean box office, that Park really took off. ‘The Vengeance Trilogy’ followed soon after (“Oldboy” being the second entry in the trilogy), establishing the helmer as an international voice.
A new supercut from Hello Wizard is an excellent primer for the intense brutality, immaculate framing and the scores of vengeance throughout Park’s relatively short career. Starting with “Joint Security Area” and running through his most recent, rather disappointing English language debut “Stoker,” the video highlights the stylistic flare and the meditative and maddening moments amid the violence, all to the pulsing songs by Emily Wells and Jo Yeong-wook.
Check out the supercut below. Got a favorite Park film? Holding out hope for the upcoming “Fingersmith”? Let us know in the comments.