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GreenCine Movie Talk
Foreign
From Albania to Zaire, there's a whole world out there.
183

Old Boy (Oldboy)
Topic by: lizzoqops
Posted: May 27, 2004 - 9:07 AM PDT
Last Reply: July 18, 2004 - 4:54 PM PDT

page  1  2      prev | next
author topic: Old Boy (Oldboy)
lizzoqops
post #1  on May 27, 2004 - 9:07 AM PDT  
Has anyone seen this? I watched it last night. Damn fine movie. Very close in spirit to "Public Enemy". Action, suspense, wonderful characters you can empathize with, even when they do heinous things. Great ending. Really deserved that Grand Prix.
markhl
post #2  on May 27, 2004 - 10:55 AM PDT  
> On May 27, 2004 - 9:07 AM PDT lizzoqops wrote:
> Has anyone seen this? I watched it last night. Damn fine movie. Very close in spirit to "Public Enemy". Action, suspense, wonderful characters you can empathize with, even when they do heinous things. Great ending. Really deserved that Grand Prix.


You know lizzo.. do you ever feel that we're the only ones that give a damn about korean cinema sometimes? :p

I think most work with the the lead Choi Min-Sik turn out to be quite good. He's pretty highly regarded by almost everyone in Korea. He's been known to bring a lot to his roles from extensive preparation/commitment. I think there was even a movie in the past where he needed to play a homeless person I think and he actually was homeless for a month to bring reality to the role. If there is any justice in the world, he'll win an award at one of the major festivals in the near future (before any other korean actor - except possible Ahn Sung-Ki who has been around a lot longer with a good, although not flashy, track record). Choi Min-Sik also quite amazing in Failan in case you haven't seen it yet (you probably did though)
ColonelKong
post #3  on May 27, 2004 - 11:20 AM PDT  
I want to see this movie, and also the same director's previous film, Sympathy For Mr. Vengence. I wonder if either film is coming to R1 DVD anytime soon (I am multi-region capable, I want these movies to be available in R1 because it makes them a lot easier to rent). When it's released, I'm also interested in seeing the third part of this trilogy, Sympathy For Lady Vengence. (I wonder if Quentin Tarantino wishes he had used that title)

I've only seen five Korean films so far (Nowhere To Hide, Shiri, Tell Me Something, Ring Virus, The Foul King [I've only seen the Cantonese-dubbed version on the crappy Tai Seng DVD, arrgggh!]), but I'm interested in seeing more. How many other Korean films carried by GC are must sees? (I have Chan-wook Park's Joint Security Area on my queue, and a couple of other Korean films.) Other than Chan-wook Park, what other Korean filmmakers are attracting a lot of attention these days? Is there a Korean Takashi Miike waiting to be discovered by US audiences? (Park hasn't made nearly enough films to earn that label yet)
lizzoqops
post #4  on May 27, 2004 - 12:34 PM PDT  
> On May 27, 2004 - 10:55 AM PDT markhl wrote:
> ---------------------------------

>
> You know lizzo.. do you ever feel that we're the only ones that give a damn about korean cinema sometimes? :p
>
I hope that's not true. I assume it's our job to enlighten the masses. And by masses, I just mean some of the people here who like good movies, and are missing out on the Asian side.

And it's sometimes your job to enlighten me...I haven't seen Failan, I keep meaning to. I must queue that now. I would watch Choi Min-Sik read the newspaper for 2 hours after "OldBoy".
dpowers
post #5  on May 27, 2004 - 12:51 PM PDT  
the other shame about failan is that letter from an unknown woman still isn't out on DVD so the two can be compared, east/west, now/then, etc.
lizzoqops
post #6  on May 27, 2004 - 1:09 PM PDT  
Ha! I already had "Failan" in my queue. Don't cha hate when that happens?

I'm guessing the big three directors would be Chan Wook Park, Kim Ki-Duk, and Chang Dong Lee. Most of their stuff is available on Region 3 only. There are rental alternatives to Greencine when it comes to different regions. I wish Greencine would carry the other region stuff, I've been multi-region for years, but it doesn't look like that's gonna happen anytime soon.

Anyway, some of the essentials that Greencine DOES carry:
My Sassy Girl (everyone loves this movie...I liked it ok)
The Quiet Family (Happiness of the Katakuris, without the music)
Chunhyang (this is a very stylised period piece, but done in an interesting way)
Il Mare (I usually avoid romantic movies, but I don't think this was sappy, it was also done in an interesting way)

Back to Choi Min-Sik...he did win the best actor award at Cannes, didn't he? That's a nice award to have.
markhl
post #7  on May 27, 2004 - 1:59 PM PDT  
> On May 27, 2004 - 11:20 AM PDT ColonelKong wrote:
> I want to see this movie, and also the same director's previous film, Sympathy For Mr. Vengence.

Me too. I haven't been able to get my hands on them yet.

>I wonder if either film is coming to R1 DVD anytime soon

I think I had a rant in one of the other boards but yeah.. the korean filmakers are doing a pretty bad job getting it over here. The recent trend has been for companies like Amblin to pick up the very good ones and to be remaking it for years with no product in sight. It doesn't help that the versions of korean movies most commonly available through services like GC are of very poor quality since it comes though the chinese distributors. Recently, I decided to re-watch Tell Me Something on DVD and the dubbing (which I was curious about) was horrendous. I think there were some funny artifacts on the korean audio track too. Odd.

> (I am multi-region capable, I want these movies to be available in R1 because it makes them a lot easier to rent).

Well, there are new non-R1 region rental services popping up. I'll probably try one when I find a little more time to watch movies.


> How many other Korean films carried by GC are must sees?

Not TOO many IMHO. It's an eclectic and odd selection from my viewpoint. Good for a taste of various genres but quite lacking.


> Other than Chan-wook Park, what other Korean filmmakers are attracting a lot of attention these days?

It's kinda odd because we were suprised by that director making a film like Old Boy.. It's not to say he's not talented but I always thought he'd be back to making more main stream movies like JSA. Hmm.. who's attracting attention nowadays.. I guess the first name would be Kang Je-gyu (directed Shiri and Taeguki - which basically broke all sorts of records in early parts of 2004) who is pretty much a "blockbuster" director type.. At the other end is Kim Ki Duk who is always around to offer a very confusing but beautifully shot movie. His Samaria (2004) was the best of the ones I've seen from him in my mind but some criticize him for becoming less edgy (I call it being accessible to more than 10 people).. He won at Berlin after all.. not too shabby.. I'd like to throw out more names but there's a bunch of young directors (including women! which surprised me a bit) who have offered rather impressive first efforts but needs to be consistent and continue improving to become name-worthy.


Is there a Korean Takashi Miike waiting to be discovered by US audiences? (Park hasn't made nearly enough films to earn that label yet)

No? :) At the current level of viewing of Miike Takashi's works, I consider his work to be innovative and great entertainment-wise but without significant deeper meaning. Do you need that? not really.. but I find koreans, in general, frown upon that kind of entertainment. The aforementioned title, Sympathy for Mr. Vengence, was not received too well simply for its excessive violence. I should reserve my formal judgement until I've had a chance to see Park Chan-Wook's latter two movies but perhaps the director that is most analogous to Miike Takashi is Kim Ki-Duk. Try checking out The Isle for a taste of this eccentric director. He does not shy away from violence nor stick to main stream material..
markhl
post #8  on May 27, 2004 - 2:15 PM PDT  
> On May 27, 2004 - 1:09 PM PDT lizzoqops wrote:
> I'm guessing the big three directors would be Chan Wook Park, Kim Ki-Duk, and Chang Dong Lee.

I don't think we considered Park Chan-Wook "big" aside from the blockbuster JSA.. but korean moviegoers are changing so they're starting to be more accepting of more innovative work. Censorship has drastically decreased apparently after being rather oppressive in the 80s and early 90s (which is part of the reason for the more creative work coming out of Korea recently). Lee Chang-Dong is busy being the Minister of Culture but I heard that he's planning to return to making movies afterwards. I'm eagerly waiting to see him return (screw culture! who needs culture? I want more movies like Oasis! :))


> Back to Choi Min-Sik...he did win the best actor award
at Cannes, didn't he? That's a nice award to have.

No.. he hasn't won any international awards to my knowledge. He's been the lead actor when Im Kwon-Taek won best director at Cannes 2002 for Chi-hwa-seon in addition to being the lead in Old Boy. I guess he's setting himself up for an award. Failan is in a very similar, festival-type, mold but it came before the festivals started paying attention to korean cinema in large part. Even koreans think that it's a very french movie :) Cannes would have loved that one and Choi Min Sik might've won an actor's award for that.. a bit before its time.. a very impressive resume (and I haven't tossed in Happy End in which he was also good in but the film itself is not rave-worthy)


P.S. Is Il Mare really a must-see? Oh right.. I almost forgot.. you're a girl :p
lizzoqops
post #9  on May 27, 2004 - 7:16 PM PDT  
> On May 27, 2004 - 2:15 PM PDT markhl wrote:
> ---------------------------------

> I don't think we considered Park Chan-Wook "big" aside from the blockbuster JSA.. but korean moviegoers are changing so they're starting to be more accepting of more innovative work. Censorship has drastically decreased apparently after being rather oppressive in the 80s and early 90s (which is part of the reason for the more creative work coming out of Korea recently). Lee Chang-Dong is busy being the Minister of Culture but I heard that he's planning to return to making movies afterwards. I'm eagerly waiting to see him return (screw culture! who needs culture? I want more movies like Oasis! :))
>

Well, by "big" I guess I mean by those English speaking devotees who watch Korean movies (besides you and me). KFCCinema forum-ers, asiandvdguide forum-ers, places like that. Those are the three Korean directors who get the most attention.

I think I read somewhere that Lee Chang-Dong may already be up to something, but I'm not positive.

I'm really not having any trouble at all seeing Korean movies, almost all of the dvds that come out of Korea have English subs. It's really nice, compared to a lot of Japanese movies (Miike) that aren't released with subs in Japan. There's usually a huge wait before we get to see those. I'm just not sure if it's cool to mention other places or choices for people to get those movies.

>
> > Back to Choi Min-Sik...he did win the best actor award
> at Cannes, didn't he? That's a nice award to have.
>
> No.. he hasn't won any international awards to my knowledge.

You're right, the acting award went to the 14 year old Japanese actor in Kore-eda's "Nobody Knows". I need to see that too.

> P.S. Is Il Mare really a must-see? Oh right.. I almost forgot.. you're a girl :p
> ---------------------------------

Not a girl, a woman. And not a must-see for me, for the Colonel. I know it was girly, but you must've seen it or you wouldn't know about it : )


markhl
post #10  on May 27, 2004 - 7:45 PM PDT  
> On May 27, 2004 - 7:16 PM PDT lizzoqops wrote:
> Well, by "big" I guess I mean by those English speaking devotees who watch Korean movies (besides you and me).

Oh right.. I forgot Travis...

> I think I read somewhere that Lee Chang-Dong may already be up to something, but I'm not positive.

Oooh.. baby.. it'd be hard to upstage Oasis but one can only hope for more from him...

> I'm really not having any trouble at all seeing Korean movies, almost all of the dvds that come out of Korea have English subs.

Yeah.. once you escape with a multi-region DVD player, you have pretty easy access to higher quality korean DVDs. SOME services, that will remain nameless, has recently made it even more convenient - I don't plan to name any but if they're non-R1, they're not in competition with GC technically, no?)

> You're right, the acting award went to the 14 year old Japanese actor in Kore-eda's "Nobody Knows". I need to see that too.

You japanese cinema freak :) *chuckle* The only reason I'm not as ravenous in my japaneses cinema consumption is that I don't hear as much buzz about them. Lack of a network I suppose.. hamano, the token GC rich and japanese guy rolled into one totoro roll, is too busy making abstract icons to be of use in this regard..

> Not a girl, a woman. And not a must-see for me, for the Colonel. I know it was girly, but you must've seen it or you wouldn't know about it : )

Sorry.. woman. I'm fighting my age every step of the way. Yes I saw Il Mare and I didn't think it was half bad but at the same time, I had watched quite a few "dramas" growing up as well so the style didn't phase me at all. I just didn't want to throw any unsuspecting people into that type of movie without a serious warning. Bad first impressions are hard to forget..
dpowers
post #11  on May 27, 2004 - 9:02 PM PDT  
"did you know failan was a remake of a famous foreigner-directed hollywood film based on an austrian novella?"
"i didn't. is it very similar?"
"it is, except that failan is set many steps down the social ladder. in the original film, set in 1900 vienna and elsewhere, the boy who gets the letters is a former musician and high class playboy, facing a similar end as the boy in failan. the girl's status is lower, but her relationship with the boy is a little more complicated."
"why complicated."
"because - well, mainly because the ending has more to do with the boy's relationship with the girl - sort of predictably for max öphuls, the story winds around like a ballroom dance, all the story elements coming back in a swirl at the end."
"so, failan is set among lower social groups, because that's modern point of view..."
"that and, there's another parallel. a famous original/remake melodrama pair earlier on, all that heaven allows and ali: fear eats the soul, followed that pattern. first one was a presentation of different ways of living a high-class european life, and the second, a story of a street-level person faced with a moral dilemma surrounding a foreign illegal."
"that could be a coincidence."
"it could be, except that failan has some really obvious new german elements that could be taken as nods to fassbinder. like was just said, even in south korea, the film has a euro feel."
"hmm."
dpowers
post #12  on May 27, 2004 - 10:04 PM PDT  
"but isn't it... ophüls?"
"hey it's my dream, i can make it øfùls if i wanna."
kamapuaa
post #13  on May 28, 2004 - 1:15 AM PDT  
This has come up before - walking past the UA theater in SF, I saw that "Oasis" will be coming out there on June 25th (maybe my date is off, but only by a day or two). Movie looks great and has gotten excellent reviews - on the other hand, it does have big opening-night competition, in the form of "White Chicks."
lizzoqops
post #14  on May 28, 2004 - 4:58 AM PDT  
<----moving Failan up in my queue....
markhl
post #15  on May 28, 2004 - 10:32 AM PDT  
You must talk to yourself a lot in public dpowers.. you are one strange cat.. I mean.. frog.. I mean.. bald person... Now I have yet another movie to watch (you've peaked my curiosity).. I swear.. I'm not sure if I'm gaining ground or losing ground on my queue... Anyway, the european style and inspiration is all but certain with one important exception. Failan-fans absolutely detest it being classified into an unconventional love story (that the film you mentioned sounds like - I don't know for sure of course) because most (including myself) feel that the movie is primarily about the man played by Choi Min-Sik and the development/resolution of his character. Failan, as a character, does not stand independently no matter how poignant her "side" of the story is.

BTW, in case you couldn't tell or don't recognize (for all of you watching), the lead actress is actually chinese (pretty famous one at that) and she does actually speak what-sounds-like-korean in Failan. :) I'm not sure if the realistically struggling effort was good acting or if that was her actual level... All of her sentences were awkwardly formal, very simplified, and short. It made her hardships even more painful (not sarcastically) to watch for the korean audience I think..
lizzoqops
post #16  on May 28, 2004 - 11:51 AM PDT  
It's getting close to spoilers in here, must proceed at own risk.

On another note, "Green Snake" has magically appeared at my house. I can't wait to watch that one.
dpowers
post #17  on May 28, 2004 - 12:07 PM PDT  
i'm scary looking, so talking to myself in public is okay. plus i have a plan to get a mobile phone headset. no phone but run the cord into my pocket and nobody will be the wiser.

yeah actually that was my nit with failan. joan fontaine's performance in the original was knockout. cecilia does good with what she got, though, a little spooky, even.
lizzoqops
post #18  on May 28, 2004 - 4:45 PM PDT  
> On May 28, 2004 - 11:51 AM PDT lizzoqops wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> It's getting close to spoilers in here, must proceed at own risk.
>
> On another note, "Green Snake" has magically appeared at my house. I can't wait to watch that one.
> ---------------------------------

I meant "Green Fish". I swear, an edit button would be nice.
markhl
post #19  on May 30, 2004 - 9:38 AM PDT  
> On May 28, 2004 - 4:45 PM PDT lizzoqops wrote:
> I meant "Green Fish". I swear, an edit button would be nice.


Well, I didn't want to assume that all movie references point to korean ones. After all, there's a Green Snake film as well..

Green Fish (1997) might not look too impressive compared to the recent ones but considering the time at which it came out, it's quite good. It's also quite a jump from this to directing Oasis (2002) two movies from now. Korean cinema changed so much within those years.. I'm still in disbelief somewhat..
lizzoqops
post #20  on June 20, 2004 - 7:42 PM PDT  
Ok, I've watched "Failan". Choi min-sik was his usual wonderful self but the movie was not great. It was good, but I saw the ending coming a mile away. No "Oldboy". I liked "Happy End" more. Still digging.
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