In the DMZ separating North and South Korea, two North Korean soldiers have been killed, supposedly by one South Korean soldier. But the 11 bullets found in the bodies, together with the 5 remaining bullets in the assassin’s magazine clip, amount to 16 bullets for a gun that should normally hold 15 bullets. The investigating Swiss/Swedish team from the neutral countries overseeing the DMZ suspects that another, unknown party was involved – all of which points to some sort of cover up. The truth is much simpler and much more tragic. —Palm Pictures
A versatile stylist with an aesthetic that straddles the line between the idiosyncratic and the mainstream, Park Chan-wook is best known for his 2000 film Joint Security Area, a powerful story about a murder along the Demilitarized Zone between North and South Korea that became the biggest box-office hit in the history of Korean cinema. (It was later supplanted by the action film Shiri, which also dealt with North-South relations.) Park’s interest in film began in college at Sogang University, where he started the “film gang” club and published a number of critical studies on contemporary cinema. After graduating from the Department of Philosophy, he began working in the film industry as an assistant director to Gwak Jae-young on A Sketch of a Rainy Day (1988). In 1992, he directed his first feature, The Moon Is…the Sun’s Dream, a gangster drama, and shifted gears into comedy with 1997’s Trio, a romp about three pals on the run from the law. Neither of these films gained much recognition… read more
I think this movie is actually a better introduction to Park Chan-Wook, in my opinion, than the Vengeance trilogy. The style is there but not so baroque, and the procedural narrative makes his command of storytelling more clear. Also, it's heartbreaking and humanist. A surprisingly satisfying movie. --PolarisDiB
My only complain here is how formulaic the film's plot was developed. But should everyone really care? All in, the film is captivating beyond immediate elucidating. Each frame is inspired. And as an early work from Park Chan Wok, this may have heralded his arrival in world cinema scene that I believe he did gracefully, effortlessly.
I dvd italiani della trilogia della vendetta che ha reso celebre Park Chan-wook furono una bella scoperta per me. Li recuperai tutti in breve tempo, me li guardai uno dietro l’altro, inorridito e estasiato… read review