Shock Corridor Cinema presents OLDBOY (Chan-woo Park, 2004).
- Recipient of the Cannes Film Festival's Grand Jury Award, 2004 -
More than any single Korean film as yet released stateside, Park Chanwook's OLDBOY crystallizes the reigning characteristic of its national new wave: narratives driven by unbound emotionalism, and often driven like kamikaze stock cars. You can practically hear the cinephiliac sigh of satisfaction—here, finally, is an importable cinema that is neither Miramax-homogeneous nor benumbed by desolate art-film torpor. --village voice
Shock Corridor continues its month long penchant for sadism (truth be told, this film will seem like Disney to viewers when compared to SALO) by presenting this stylish postmodern revenge film. Not unlike KILL BILL, Park's film pays playful homage to other works of the same genre while never letting go of the simplicities of the genre's conventions. However, unlike Tarrantino's film which which employs pastiche for comic relief and film geek charm, OLDBOY puts a darker spin on the self- referential game. The protagonist, "a mopey middle aged - middle classer" wakes up in a sealed space, dressed up to resemble a sleazy hotel room complete with cable television. Following years of entrapment he scripts a journal in an effort to identify the person responsible for his imprisonment. Narrating after the fact, Oh Daesu seeks to locate his oppressor in a character that may remind viewers of Clint Eastwood's "man with no name" from Leone's Dollar Trilogy. Oh, did i mention OLDBOY's victim is drugged? This angle spins the visuals and film's narrative into a vortex of sultry paranoia and to dazzling effect - one that is not unlike restrained Cronnenberg. Not to be found at a video store or movie house near you.
trailer (requires flash): http://films.tartanfilmsusa.com/oldboy/
village voice review: http://www.villagevoice.com/film/0512,atkinson1,62315,20.html