[HanCinema's Hall of Fame] "The Chaser" 2013/11/09, In the Spotlight this Week:"The Chaser" by Na Hong-jin
In 2005, self-confessed cannibal and serial killer Yoo Young-chul was sentenced to death for twenty counts of murder by the Seoul Central District Court. His victims included mostly prostitutes and the wealthy, stating, in front of the cameras, that: "Women shouldn't be sluts, and the rich should know what they've done". Three years after his sentences was carried out, Na Hong-jin made his directing debut with the intense and disturbing "The Chaser", a psychological thriller that drew inspiration from Yoo's grizzly and blood-soaked story and remains one of the most gripping and spell-binding entries into the genre. Over five million local filmgoers gorged themselves on Na's terrifying cinematic imagining at the time, and it wasn't just the real-world horrors that lured them in. The film employed the prestigious acting talents of both Ha Jeong-woo ("The Terror Live", "The Berlin File") and Kim Yoon-seok ("Hwayi : A Monster Boy", "Sea Fog"), both of whom were recalled by Na for his sophomore feature "The Yellow Sea" in 2010. These two silver screen stars at the heart of Na's urban thriller, bringing to life Na's cruel and unusual collision of an ex-cop pimp and his cannibalistic counter,...More
(42) Park Chan-wook: Director with blood-coated lens 2012/07/04, Source,
Director Park Chan-wook, left, waves as he is awarded with actor Choi Min-shik for the grand prix for the film "Old Boy" during the award ceremony of the 57th Cannes Film Festival in Cannes on May 24, 2004. / Korea Times file
By Andrew Salmon Tension and violence sell, but this may not be apparent to the vast majority of fans of "hallyu", the much-discussed "Korean Wave" of pop culture that has swept outward from the shores of the peninsula since, roughly, the turn of the millennium. The two standout genres of hallyu, in sales terms, are clearly K-pop and K-soaps. Of the former, Korean management companies have come up with a winning formula, churning out a range of cute, well-trained and above all wholesome boy- and girl-bands whose appeal is very different from the rebellious, opinionated, drug-spattered figures who stagger across the stage of Western rock 'n roll. Soap is similarly sugar-coated: Most dramas are centered upon pretty boys and pretty girls in pretty clothes and pretty houses/landscapes engaging in genteel, "no-sex-please-we're-Korean" romances,...More
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