No one makes thrillers like Park Chan-wook does, whether you’re watching a film like Oldboy, Lady Vengeance, or The Handmaiden, they always feel like there’s much more going on beyond the usual mystery at hand. This is where now, with Decision to Leave, Park Chan-wook goes forth with making a film clearly echoing the films of Alfred Hitchcock and the like, and he shows himself to be the closest thing we have to a modern-day equivalent. Like The Handmaiden, it’s very evidently romantic, but also just deeply twisted in ways that tap into the darkest desires of those around you, to the point that the central mystery isn’t the entire thrill as much as it is the whole world that Park builds to surround it.
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It’s inevitable that after a passing year one must go about with talking upon what they’ve witnessed while time had gone on and with 2016 gone, a great year of cinema has indeed passed upon us and we’re only hoping for even more with a new one. In this blog entry, what I wish to cover are some of the best and worst films that I caught all throughout 2016 as of February 25, 2017. Continue reading →
It took me three viewings to realize everything that I loved most about Park Chan-wook’s The Handmaiden, for the director’s twisted erotic thriller has proven to be his best work since Oldboy – another thriller almost as demented, if not, maybe even more. If last year already had found its own lesbian treasure through Todd Haynes’s Carol, then it’s safe to say another one has arisen from The Handmaiden. I knew something eluded me on my first go but it was on a third viewing where it was easy enough for myself to solidify The Handmaiden as one of my favourites of the year, and maybe even the decade at that.
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To follow up the underwhelming Three comes a sequel, Three… Extremes which not only brings together some more recognizable names to the table but also what has come along is a more consistently effective trio of short films that ultimately left a much more heightened impact compared to what originally had come by. If Three… Extremes got American distribution first because of these shorts were much better overall, perhaps I can see why that would have been the case. Given a distaste I have for anthology films especially when collaborative efforts are never usually consistent, Three… Extremes was nice to watch in the sense that everything seems to have flowed together perfectly – bringing me back to Kwaidan. Continue reading →