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`Old Boy' Director Explores Dark Side of Humanity in New Film

2004/08/09 Source

By Kim Tae-jong
Staff Reporter

Would you be able to kill an innocent child to save your wife's life? Although it sounds like a really bizarre or even ridiculous question, "Old Boy" director Park Chan-wook uses it to explore the dark side of human psychology in his upcoming short film.

Park made his 30-minute film "Cut" as part of "Three, Monster", a compilation of three short horror tales by Park, Fruit Chan of China and Takashi Mike of Japan.

"I wanted to explore the moment when a person has to make the most difficult decision of their life", said Park in a news conference after a preview screening of the film last week. "So my film is basically about when people are thrown into a severe dilemma".

In his film "Cut", a man (Im Won-hee) kidnaps Yoo Ji-ho (Lee Byung-hun), a rich and handsome film director, and takes him, his wife (Kang Hye-jung) and a random innocent child to a film studio that exactly resembles Yoo's luxurious house. The intruder demands that Yoo kill the child, and for every five minutes the director hesitates, he cuts off one of the fingers of Yoo's wife, a classical pianist.

The intruder's motivation is simple. He thinks Yoo Ji-ho has never done anything bad so he wants to see him doing something really evil.

"As the film progresses, the story will build tension but, at the same time, presents a strange and bizarre sense of humor", Park said, adding that he considers the film a "grotesque black comedy".

Revenge and cruelty have been the main theme of Park's last two movies, part of a trilogy of films about revenge. The 2002 film "Poksunun Naui Kot" ("Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance") told of one man's search for retribution after his daughter is kidnapped, while last year's "Old Boy", which garnered Park the grand prize of the jury at the 57th Cannes Film Festival in May, presented a story about a man trying to find those responsible for locking him up in a cell for 15 years. Park is currently preparing to make the last of the trilogy, "Chinjolhan Kumjassi" ("Sympathy for Lady Vengeance"), a story about a vampire.

But rather than revenge, Park says the movie "Cut" deals more with hatred as its theme. "The intruder is a kind of representative of the poor and ugly who only have hatred for the inequality between the haves and have-nots".

Park first debuted as film director with the film "Tal-un Haega Kkunun Kkum (Moon Is a Dream of the Sun)" in 1994, but he started to gain fame and popularity from the mega hit of 2002, "JSA - Joint Security Area".

And Park also co-established Nine Directors, a production company, with eight other local directors last month. They include Bong Joon-ho of the film "Salinui Chuok" ("Memories of Murder", Kim Ji-woon of "Changhwa, Hongryun ("A Tale of Two Sisters") and Kim Seong-su of "Yongo Wanjon Chongbok ("Please Teach Me English").

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