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Chan-wook Park

Directed by: Chan-wook Park
(Show East)
Have you been feeling a deficiency of real thrills in your revenge thrillers? Perhaps a lack of imagination or a hesitancy of the director to take real risks? Check out Oldboy, the most heralded of a new wave of Korean films. Min-sik Choi is Dae-su Oh, a bit of a bad ass who, without knowing why, is imprisoned for 15 years in a hotel room. While there he fills books with lists of everyone he may have wronged, planning vengeance once he’s free. When he finally gets out, half mad and warped by post-hypnotic suggestion, he begins to realize the plot against him continues in the larger prison of the world, even as he beats bits of truth out of his antagonists. As slick as early Luc Besson, with wildly creative camerawork, torture sequences and fight scenes, the film continually surprises. The operatic finale, weaving revelations of incest with acts of self-mutilation — it’s more fun than it sounds — is as intense as it is bloody.
-Carsten Knox

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