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Voice of a Murderer: New Feature from PARK Jin-pyo

2006/12/13 Source

Voice of a Murderer: New Feature from Park Jin-pyo

While many Korean directors such as Im Sang-soo, Kim Ki-duk, and Park Chan-wook are well-established internationally, there are still some to be fully discovered and perhaps no one is more likely to draw the attention of international critics than Park Jin-pyo. His debut film "Too Young To Die" drew controversy from the censorship board for its sensitive portrayal of an elderly couple who rediscover sex. While not a commercial success, many hailed it as one of the most important films of 2002.

PARK's second feature, "You are my Sunshine", enjoyed both commercial and critical success at home, telling the real-life story of a shy farmer who falls in love with a "coffee-girl", a sex-worker who delivers coffee and sex. After their marriage various tragedies befall the couple including the farmer's discovery that his wife now on the run has AIDS. PARK confirmed himself a true actor's director, drawing utterly convincing performances from leads Hwang Jung-min and Jeon Do-yeon. PARK won the Best Director award for the film at Korea's Blue Dragon Awards in 2005.

His latest feature, Voice of a Murderer is also drawn from real-life, this time the case of a kidnapping in 1991 that received national attention. Following the disappearance of LEE Hyeong-ho, a school boy, his distraught parents are threatened by menacing phone-calls for 41 days. While kidnapping is a somewhat frequent theme in Korean film with Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance (2002) as perhaps the best example of this mini-genre, PARK's new faction-drama is sure to offer a unique perspective with perhaps a dash of dark humor.

"Voice of a Murderer" has snagged some big-name Korean acting talent with Sol Kyung-gu (Silmido (2003)), Gang Dong-won (Maundy Thursday ("Our Happy Time" - 2006); "Duelist", 2005), and Kim Young-chul ("A Bittersweet Life" (2005)). Set in a time period when Koreans were emerging as a democracy, with all its attendant travails, the film may invite comparisons to Bong Joon-ho's "Memories of Murder" (2003), set in a similar time-space and also based on a grizzly true story. Voice of a Murderer is slated for release in January 2007.

Nigel D'Sa (KOFIC)

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