Park Chan-wook (Hangul: 박찬욱 Korean pronunciation: [pak̚t͡ɕʰanuk̚ ]; born August 23, 1963) is a South Korean film director, screenwriter, producer, and former film critic. One of the most acclaimed and popular filmmakers in his native country, Park is best known for his films Joint Security Area (2000), Thirst (2009), The Handmaiden (2016) and what has become known as The Vengeance Trilogy, consisting of Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance (2002), Oldboy (2003) and Lady Vengeance (2005).
Park Chan-wook at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival
|Other names||Bakridamae (박리다매)|
Former film critic
|Awards||Bogwan Order of Cultural Merit (2004)|
|Revised Romanization||Bak Chanuk|
Park was born and raised in Seoul, and studied philosophy at Sogang University, where he started a cinema-club called the "Sogang Film Community" and published a number of articles on contemporary cinema. Originally intending to be an art critic, upon seeing Vertigo he resolved to try to become a filmmaker. After graduation, he wrote articles on film for journals, and soon became an assistant director of films like Kkamdong, directed by Yu Yeong-jin, and Watercolor painting in a Rainy Day, directed by Kwak Jae-yong (My Sassy Girl).
His debut feature film was The Moon Is... the Sun's Dream (1992), and after five years, he made his second film Trio. Park's early films were not successful at the box office, and he pursued a career as a film critic to make a living.
In 2000, Park directed Joint Security Area, which was a great success both commercially and critically, even surpassing Kang Je-gyu's Shiri as the most-watched film ever made in South Korea. This success made it possible for him to make his next film more independently - Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance is the result of this creative freedom.
After winning the Grand Prix at the 2004 Cannes Film Festival for the film Oldboy, a journalist asked, "in your film, why is the vengeance repeating?". According to Park, he decided to make three consecutive films with revenge as the central theme. Park said his films are about the utter futility of vengeance and how it wreaks havoc on the lives of everyone involved.
His unofficially titled Vengeance Trilogy consists of Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance, Oldboy and Lady Vengeance. It was not originally intended to be a trilogy. Lady Vengeance was distributed by Tartan Films for American theatrical release in April 2006.
Park is regarded as one of the most popular film directors in Korea, with three of his last five feature films (Joint Security Area, Oldboy and Lady Vengeance) all drawing audiences of over 3 million. This makes Park the director of three films in the thirty all-time highest-grossing films in South Korea. (9th, 29th, 26th respectively as of January 2007).
American director Quentin Tarantino is an avowed fan of Park. As the head judge at the 2004 Cannes Film Festival, he personally pushed for Park's Oldboy to be awarded the Palme d'Or (the honor eventually went to Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11). Oldboy garnered the Grand Prix, the second-highest honor in the competition. Tarantino also regards Park's Joint Security Area to be one of "the top twenty films made since 1992."
In 2006, he was the member of official section jury at the 63rd Venice International Film Festival.
In February 2007, Park won the Alfred Bauer Prize at the 57th Berlin International Film Festival. The award, named after the festival's founder and in praise of movies opening up new perspectives, went to Park for his film, I'm a Cyborg, But That's OK.
In 2009, Park directed his first vampire film, Thirst starring Song Kang-ho which won Prix du Jury along with Fish Tank, directed by Andrea Arnold at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival. He considered directing Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy but ultimately turned it down.
In 2011, Park said his new fantasy-horror film Paranmanjang (Night Fishing) was shot entirely on the iPhone. The film was co-directed with Park's younger brother, Park Chan-kyong who never had any experience on film directing. It was nominated for Berlinale Shorts during the 2011 Berlin Film Festival, which won Golden Bear for Best Short Film.
In 2013, Park directed his first English-language film, Stoker. He said he learned to accelerate the production process and completed filming in 480 hours. Although Park does speak English, he used an interpreter on set. On why the script attracted his attention, Park said: "It wasn't a script that tried to explain everything and left many things as questions, so it leads the audience to find answers for themselves and that's what I liked about the script... I like telling big stories through small, artificially created worlds." On March 2, 2013, Park appeared on a panel discussion about the movie Stoker, held at the Freer Gallery of Art in the Smithsonian's Museums of Asian Art.
In 2014, Park directed a short film commissioned by luxury brand Ermenegildo Zegna, co-written by himself, Ayako Fujitani, Chung Chung-hoon and Michael Werwie, scored by Clint Mansell, and starring Jack Huston and Daniel Wu, and which previously screened at the Rome International Film Festival and the Busan International Film Festival.
In September 2014, it was announced that Park would adapt Fingersmith, a historical crime novel by Sarah Waters. The film entered production in mid-2015 and ended on October 31, 2015. That film ended up becoming The Handmaiden and premiered in competition to rave reviews at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival, where Artistic Director Seong-hie Ryu won the Vulcain Prize for the Technical Arts and also where it got nominated for both the Palme d' Or and Queer Palm; the film also won Best New Actress (Tae-ri Kim), The Buil Readers' Jury Award and Best Art Direction (Seong-hie Ryu) at the 2016 Buil Film Awards. The film holds a 95% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and saw box office success in several countries, including South Korea, the United States and the United Kingdom.
In January 2018, it was reported that Park's next project will be a TV miniseries adaptation of The Little Drummer Girl, a best-selling novel by John le Carré. It will star Michael Shannon, Florence Pugh, and Alexander Skarsgård.
In October 2014, it was announced that Park had signed on to direct the sci-fi body-swap film, Second Born.
Park was raised in a devout Catholic family in Korea, and describes himself as an atheist. He has collaborated with his younger brother, Park Chan-kyong, who is a media artist. He dedicated his career tribute to his wife Kim Eun-Hee at the 15th Marrakech International Film Festival.
|1992||The Moon Is... the Sun's Dream||Yes||Yes||No|
|Joint Security Area||Yes||Yes||No|
|2002||Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance||Yes||Yes||No|
|A Bizarre Love Triangle||No||Yes||No|
|Boy Goes to Heaven||No||Yes||No|
|2006||I'm a Cyborg, But That's OK||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|2008||Crush and Blush||No||Yes||Yes|
|The Truth Beneath||No||Yes||No|
|2018||The Little Drummer Girl||Yes||No||Executive||6 episodes|
|2003||If You Were Me (segment "Never Ending Peace And Love")||Yes||Yes||No|
|2004||Three... Extremes (segment "Cut")||Yes||Yes||No|
|60 Seconds of Solitude in Year Zero (segment from "Cut")||Yes||Yes||No|
|2013||Day Trip||Yes*||Yes||No|
|V (music video for Lee Jung-hyun)||Yes*||Yes||No|
|2014||A Rose Reborn||Yes||Yes||No|
* directed with his brother Park Chan-kyong
Recurring cast in Park Chan-wook's filmsEdit
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- "Watch: Bold, Beautiful 7-Minute Supercut Tribute To The Films Of Park Chan-Wook". Indiewire.com. Retrieved 2017-03-10.
- "Cannes 09: Park Chan-Wook's 'Thirst' Is An Absurdist Treat That Becomes Muddled; Overstays Its Welcome". Theplaylist.net. Retrieved 2017-03-10.
- Chan-wook, Park. (2005-12-10). Park's Montage (essay). 마음 산책. "Introduction about the author, and the prologue". ISBN 89-89351-81-2.
- "Dialogue: Park Chan-wook". The Hollywood Reporter. May 14, 2004. Retrieved 2007-07-14.
- "A.V. Club interview with Park Chan-wook". Avclub.com. Retrieved 2009-08-28.
- "Yellow Sea Rising: The Resurrection of South Korean Cinema". Blockmuseum.northwestern.edu. Archived from the original on 2010-06-09. Retrieved 2009-08-30.
- McConkey, Rachael. "Contemporary South Korean Auteurs". Traumafilm.com. Retrieved 2008-05-07.
- "Palisades Tartan unleashes the 8-Disc VENGEANCE TRILOGY Box". Fangoria.com. Archived from the original on 15 October 2009. Retrieved 6 November 2017.
- "The New Cult Canon: Oldboy". Avclub.com. October 1, 2008. Retrieved 2009-08-28.
- "China's Tuya's Marriage wins Berlin film festival". Rawstory.com. February 17, 2007. Archived from the original on April 8, 2008. Retrieved 2008-05-07.
- Lee, Rachel (March 29, 2012). "Park Chan-wook stalks a thriller with 'Stoker'". Korea JoongAng Daily. Archived from the original on April 18, 2012. Retrieved April 1, 2012.
- "'Oldboy' director shoots new horror film on iPhone 4". CNN. January 11, 2011. Retrieved 2011-01-11.
- Kay, Jeremy (September 1, 2011). "Shooting begins on Stoker for Scott Free, Searchlight, Indian Paintbrush". Screen Daily. Retrieved September 2, 2011.
- STOKER Featurette: "Director's Vision". YouTube. FoxSearchlight. 5 March 2013. Retrieved 29 November 2016.
- "Korean Film Festival DC 2013". 28 February 2013. Retrieved April 10, 2018.
- Akande, Zainab. "Watch: Park Chan-wook's Fashionista Thriller Starring Jack Huston and Jason Wu - IndieWire". www.indiewire.com. Retrieved 6 November 2017.
- Kim, Nemo (3 September 2014). "Park Chan-wook to Shoot Sexy Crime Story 'Fingersmith'". Variety.com. Retrieved 6 November 2017.
- "FIRST LOOK AT PARK CHAN-WOOK'S FINGERSMITH ADAPTATION THE HANDMAID". JoBlo. Retrieved November 3, 2015.
- "Ah-ga-ssi". IMDb.com. Retrieved 6 November 2017.
- "The Handmaiden (Ah-Ga-Ssi)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 26 February 2019.
- "The Handmaiden". Box Office Mojo. IMDb. Retrieved 26 February 2019.
- "Michael Shannon Joins Park Chan-Wook's AMC Series 'The Little Drummer Girl'". Collider. 25 January 2018. Retrieved 29 May 2018.
- "Park Chan-wook Signs On For Body-Swapping Sci-Fi Thriller". ScreenCrush. Retrieved 6 November 2017.
- Dale, Martin (10 December 2015). "Park Chan-wook Talks About Next Pic The Handmaiden". Variety. Retrieved 23 November 2018.
- Murphy, Mekado (30 July 2009). "Faith and Fangs: An Interview With Park Chan-wook". Artbeats. Retrieved 21 April 2019.
Were there issues of faith in your own life that made you interested in creating this character?: "I grew up in a very Catholic family. Up until puberty, I would go to a Catholic church every week. That is where I started to take an interest in religion, although currently I have no faith. But I had been made aware of a sense of guilt that is unique to Catholics."
- "박찬욱의 몽타주". Book.naver.com. Retrieved 6 November 2017.
- "박찬욱의 몽타주". Book.daum.net. Retrieved 6 November 2017.
- "박찬욱의 오마주". Book.naver.com. Retrieved 6 November 2017.
- "박찬욱의 오마주". Book.daum.net. Retrieved 6 November 2017.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Park Chan-wook.|
- Park Chan-wook on IMDb
- Park Chan-wook at Rotten Tomatoes
- Park Chan-wook at the Korean Movie Database
- Park Chan-wook at AllMovie
- Park Chan-Wook to make korean horror Movie using only iPhone at Korean Horror Movies
- Park Chan-wook: monographic website (Italian & English)
- Cineseoul profile (Korean)
- HanCinema Director Page
- Park Chan-wook at FEARnet
- SuicideGirls interview with Park Chan-wook by Daniel Robert Epstein
- July 2009 Interview with Park Chan-wook at the Korea Society (Audio)
- Park Chan-wook on Naver