Holiday Helpings from Seoul, 2020

So, here it is. December 24th, 2020. Christmas Eve. I’m finally living in Seoul, I’ve left Paju, it’s a year and change since I left the United States and the entire world is ENTIRELY DIFFERENT.

I don’t want to dwell on the pandemic too much- after all, this is supposed to be movie talk- but here I am sitting in my apartment, the yacht rock station playing (shuddup, it’s better for writing background music), thinking about friends all over the world. All over the US.

For those of you who know me, you know I’ve loved Korean cinema for well over a decade. Once, I even participated in a Korean Blogathon to get over an intensely bad break-up. FTR, it totally worked!
In this last year, my interest in Korean cinema intensified into something more than what it had been. That was sorta to be expected, right? I live here and all.
What shook me was how deeply and completely I fell in love with…Classic Korean cinema. This is beyond all other kinds of cinemas I’ve ever studied, watched, consumed. It’s devilishly specific and I cannot get enough of it. I am ridiculously addicted to it and my career/training as an archivist only makes this situation more painful: much of it is no longer available, has deteriorated, or is, in some fashion, lost or unaccessible.

There was a link that people were passing around like popcorn before I left for Korea about the Korean Film Archive and their YouTube channel. While I will pursue a more archives-and access-centered piece on the specific topic of the YouTube Channel itself at a later date, I want y’all to know that EVERY. SINGLE. THING. I recommend to you here I watched on that channel. They have been putting films up there for almost 10 years, I think, and they constantly add new things. If something I recommend is no longer on there, it was likely taken down due to a Blu-ray release or something of that sort. And the BR releases are just amazing ๐Ÿ˜ฑ

I have been thinking & planning this list for a while. Some bits of it are clipped from personal emails I have sent to people but the rest…is totally new. I’ve had a lot of people asking me for my selections. I will tell you, flat out, every movie here is one I will BACK 100%.
These films changed me.
LAST VERY IMPORTANT POINT:
Know that classic Korean films are long but they are WORTH IT.
Do not let their running time deter you from watching them. They are like NOTHING you have ever seen or ever will see again.

And now, without, further ado, my holiday gift to you….

I will be listing some films under directors w/bio info & some just as films.
Some I have done a LOT of research into and some I have not. Obvs, you will be able to tell my successes & failures.
Be kind. Also, just watch the movies. They’re just omfgsogreat!
Also? In Korea, many of these are age-restricted because they are, uh, well…you’ll see. So the links I have here go straight to the YouTube channel where they should play fine. Let me know/leave me a message if you have ANY problems….


๊น€๊ธฐ์˜/ KIM Ki-Young

I’m going to start with KIM Ki-young. He was nicknamed Mr. Monster. He’s 100% my favorite favorite favorite. Most people call him a cult director or a horror film guy. His most famous film is The Housemaid/ํ•˜๋…€ (1960) which has been classified as a noir also but I strongly disagree with that classification as well. As you can tell, he is very difficult to classify which is why he is amazing. He was an independent genre filmmaker during a time when that just didn’t happen & was deeply influenced by playwrights like Ibsen & O’Neill. His shit is off the hook & not simple “cult” or “horror” cinema.

First film: Woman of Fire ํ™”๋…€ (1971)
https://youtu.be/qcV5-YDmxJ0

Woman of Fire


Second Film: Insect Woman ์ถฉ๋…€ (1972) this one is KILLER for visuals!! I mean, all his stuff is but…sex and colors and total lunacy…mmmm….
https://youtu.be/Mwh2Z1Q8q9o

Insect Woman


Third Film: Woman of Fire ’82 ํ™”๋…€ 82 (1982) yes, it’s like the first WOF. Which is kinda like The Housemaid. Yes, he liked this narrative. But I would argue that the repetition of this narrative in different eras, houses, and with different class discussions really works well.
https://youtu.be/ssNg3hDGH_o

Woman of Fire 82

๊น€์ˆ˜์šฉ/ KIM Soo-yong

So this is the second director KIM in my list, but HFS. I just started watching his films the other day and I’m pretty sure that I haven’t recovered. I had watched a few of his films when I first got to Korea, but then I decided to watch a few more and I was in awe.
KIM Soo-yong was born in 1929 and he’s still alive, by the way. He has made a lot of commercial films and seems to have played nice throughout all the chaos and censorship that made the Korean film industry not…the most pleasant place to work at all times. More than 100 movies under his belt and, so far, he made a few that were so striking in how they dealt with gender and sexuality. These films are no bullshit films and I am still in awe that they were made in the 60s and 70s and earlier. I’ve never seen anything like these and I hope you watch them.

First film: The Seashore Village ๊ฐฏ๋งˆ์„ (1965) QUEER representation, sexual desire & more. Wow!
https://youtu.be/BwbQgeavk-Y

The Seashore Village (1965)


Second Film: Burning Mountain (1967) Politics, sex, war, desire, masculinity deconstruction…unbelievable film. I still struggle with the fact that this film exists. Does it?
https://youtu.be/XMyBmK8enLg

Burning Mountain


Third Film: Starting Point ์‹œ๋ฐœ์  (1969)- it is highly doubtful that anyone other than me will recommend this to you. I was going to put one of Director Kim’s other films that people really adore but this is one that rocked me. Visually spectacular w/a great story, I hope it thrills you like it did me. I was floored.
https://youtu.be/s75SVqui3wI

Starting Point

The 80s/early 90s

I’m going to recommend a few different films from the 80s that I think are dynamite and should be seen at all costs. Korean cinema in the 80s was a different monster than the 60s or the 70s and definitely different than the late 90s. MANY of the filmmakers who had been working in the 60s and 70s were still making movies in this period and made stunning work during this period. It’s almost as if the word “flop” didn’t exist in their vocabulary. Or maybe those films got lost? Who the hell knows. Watch these movies, y’all.

Whale Watching ๊ณ ๋ž˜์‚ฌ๋ƒฅ (Bae Chang-ho, 1984)- This is an anti-road road movie loosely about shitty crushes and how it is hard to be young. But that’s a VAST oversimplification. It stars one of my very favorite Korean actors ์•ˆ์„ฑ๊ธฐ Ahn Sung-ki and if you watch a lot of Korean films, you’ll know him cuz he’s been in almost 200 films and started acting when he was a kid. Just watch it. It’s not like any road movie or feel-good youth crap you’re used to. And if you like it, look up the director. He’s fabulous.
https://youtu.be/Fl-ns4OVC2g

Whale Watching


Our Twisted Hero ์šฐ๋ฆฌ๋“ค์˜ ์ผ๊ทธ๋Ÿฌ์ง„ ์˜์›… (Park Jong-won, 1992)- I wanted to include this one because honestly? I haven’t stopped thinking about it since I saw it. The poster for it is the background for my Kakao profile. It’s based on a very well-respected and famous book in Korea that many kids still have to read in school, I believe. When my ex-boyfriend saw my Kakao page, he super freaked out. He was like, “That movie is amazing! How do you know that movie?” Again, I just found it on the Korean Film Archive (KOFA) Classic Film Youtube channel and watched it. It’s definitely got some history in there and it’s not a light film. Josh Ethier, if you’re reading this, I thought of you when I first watched it, so it may be your cuppa. I highly recommend this film but it’s definitely a rough watch. I love it though. God, I love it.
FUN FACT: everyone’s favorite Oldboy star Choi Min-sik is in this film as a very young, very good looking teacher!
https://youtu.be/De0ZkC1mCxc

Our Twisted Hero

The Age of Success ์„ฑ๊ณต์‹œ๋Œ€ (Jang Sun-woo, 1988) – My feelings will actually probably get a little hurt if you watch this film and do not like it or at least have some very strong feelings about it. This film was one of the first films that really wooed me into the Classic Korean Cinema bedroom. After ์„ฑ๊ณต์‹œ๋Œ€, I think I was a goner. Centered on advertising and scheming/slimy sales reps obsessed with power & climbing the ranks, this stars my fave dude, Ahn Sang-ki. If you like Mad Men, American Psycho and watching wonderfully surreal 80s landscapes & perfectly horrible people like I do, THIS IS YOUR FILM.
Other thing to think about: this came out one year after Oliver Stone’s Wall Street.
https://youtu.be/3DLNGgfbXfo

Age of Success

Ticket ํ‹ฐ์ผ“(Im Kwon-taek, 1986)- In general, film history has not been a huge thing here in Korea. And their own film culture has not been platformed in a positive way up until, well, LAST YEAR tbh. So when I tell people I’m obsessed with classic film, they don’t really respond to most of the names I say except one: Im Kwon-taek. He’s been a widely recognized Korean filmmaker and is highly respected on a global scale. He’s made a lot of excellent films. I haven’t seen most of them but those that I have seen I’ve liked. This one? I LOVED. Ticket is a brilliant work that explores the lives of bar hostesses on a very intimate scale. Hostess films are an entire Korean film genre and I am quite taken by them. There is a lot to unpack there. And I think you will find that there is a lot to unpack in this film. Let me know what you think. The actress who plays the bar manager, Kim Ji-mee, is excellent and has done over 300 films (!!).
https://youtu.be/N6RH1rEcrQg

Ticket

Final goodies

I could keep talking about these films, performers, themes and historical points for ages. But my food delivery just arrived and I actually want to watch a movie. So I’m going to give you a few last ones and then feel free to leave a comment and let me know what you liked, hated, etc and I can maybe make another post if I’ve got time.

The Marines Who Never Returned ๋Œ์•„์˜ค์ง€ ์•Š๋Š” ํ•ด๋ณ‘ (Lee Man-hee, 1963) –
LEE MAN-HEE IS ONE OF THE BEST FILMMAKERS EVER TO HAVE LIVED AND HE DIED TOO EARLY. I said it and I damn well meant it. Everything he did (depressingly not much) was perfection. This war film was released in the US in 1966 under the title Marine Battleground but it got director Lee a best director award at the Grand Bell awards in 1964. Watch this movie. You’ve never seen anything like it. Then buy the Blu-ray of the The Evil Stairs from 1964, one of the best (if not THE best) horror noirs I’ve ever watched in my whole life. Watch everything you can from him. But here’s a taste:
https://youtu.be/8rrBUUWRlwc

The Marines Who Never Returned

A Bloodthirsty Killer/A Devilish Homicide ์‚ด์ธ๋งˆ (Lee Yong-min, 1965) – From the title it sounds like an action film but it’s actually a really great horror revenge film…with lots of cat stuff! Meowwwww!
https://youtu.be/rVVtAPh2M9Q

A Bloodthirsty Killer/A Devilish Homicide

The Body Confession ์œก์ฒด์˜ ๊ณ ๋ฐฑ(Jo Keung-ha, 1964) – Technically this is somewhere between melodrama and hostess film but it defies all that. This film is a massive work and discussion on the damage that the US did to Korea and Korean women. Be forewarned: there is some dialogue that has racial slurs and it’s definitely…wow. I had to really think about it for a while. It’s a very complicated film with complicated characters in a landscape of high trauma.
The women in this film are some of the most badass women I’ve ever come across. The madam of the nightclub – you meet her almost right away- is played by Hwang Jung-seun. You might recognize her from Seashore Village and Burning Mountain and I HIGHLY recommend you seek out her performance in the MINDBLOWING & EARTH SHATTERING film, Rainy Days, linked there. Heheheheh. Had to sneak ONE more link in before this final link…
https://youtu.be/lO78j-5Tgi8

The Body Confession

All right, y’all. I’m gonna go eat. You take care and enjoy these films. Let me know what you think.

The Politics of Solitude: Oldboy and Korean Noir

This is my second entry for the Korean Blogathon. Enjoy!

When I asked a friend why he thought Southern Korean cinema seems to offer so many films based upon the theme of revenge, I got a much different answer than the one I was expecting. Most people I know simply chalked it up to the North/South Korea thing, which was fine. I get that. No big deal. Really, as one of my girlfriends stated, you’d want revenge too “when half of your extended family probably died of starvation or were put in a work camp making asbestos-covered paper flowers for French weddings.” But I was personally of the opinion that the revenge thing couldn’t entirely come from the schism. There had to be more. And, as it turned out, I wasn’t altogether wrong.

While I did think that the Northern/Southern Korean explanation was too much of an easy way out of explaining the severe proliferation of violent and vengeful films, I was unprepared for my friend’s other answer. It seems that Southern Korean filmmakers use revenge as a trope in a way that is similar to how US filmmakers have done in the past. He noted that the contemporary South Korean attitude is one of complete and total self-reliance due to massive distrust of authority figures. In essence, if something needs to get taken care of, the individual takes care of it themselves, as almost every professional agency is seen to be corrupt in some regard. Director Bong Joon-Ho corroborated my friend’s statement when interviewed about his film The Host. Bong states, “It would seem that only the little guy and his family have the best interests of Seoul at heart — the government could care less.” (1)

What struck me most about this was that, beyond these directors’ desire to align their main characters with a kind ofย  “everyman/little guy” mentality, their primary focus still remains in underscoring the fact that Joe Everyman is a very lonely place to be, existing more readily in a location of solitude and self-sufficiency than any kind of communal wealth. In doing so, they inadvertently have made it so that nearly every single one of their Revenge Films feature what is, essentially, the perfect noir protagonist (2). Like the noir guys of yesteryear, the male heroes of Korean cinema tend towards a violent methodology and don’t listen to anyone but their own inner voice. Of course, this may also have a lot to do with the fact that the outside world has seriously messed with their existence and thus their entirety is now dedicated to getting back at those that ruined their lives, but who knows?

Like Glenn Ford in The Big Heat (Fritz Lang, 1953) or Cliff Robertson in Underworld U.S.A (Sam Fuller, 1961), South Korean cinema is populated with characters whose main goal in life is to even the score with the figures who caused them the greatest pain without any help from a higher authority source. In the American and Korean films, the heroes chose to take matters into their own hands…with markedly different results. But they are also markedly different countries. That said, what should be noted is that both of these groups of films (American noir and what we will now call Korean noir) indicate a severe distrust of authority/authority figures. While films like Heat and Underworld were directly correlated to American political contingencies, revenge films within South Korea are a very specified and specialized kind of noir that is reflective of South Korean political culture and climate. In order to clearly see how South Korea looks at its own people and develops its own noir, looking at one film in particular may give us a more conclusive feel.

OLDBOY: Laugh and the world laughs with you. Weep and you weep alone

Noir extends beyond a mood and beyond a time. It is not a genre and it is as complicated as a chess board made from a silken spider’s web…and just as sticky. Park Chan-wook’s film, Oldboy, was released in 2003 as part of his “Vengeance Trilogy.” I would argue that this film fits the category of Korean noir perfectly and that the political discourse being laid out could be seen as somewhat revolutionary and yet not extraordinarily unusual in that respect for the highly volatile country of South Korea. While Oldboy‘s sibling films also work for a discussion of Korean Noir, I feel that the overt visuals and meticulous aural planning make this the primary film of importance within the threesome.

In one of my favorite essays about the environment of film noir,”No Way Out: Existential Motifs in the Film Noir,” the author describes the protagonist as never actually being able to fit the word “hero” due to the shape of his surroundings. He says that “his world is devoid of the moral framework necessary to produce the traditional hero.” (3) If that description doesn’t fit Oh Dae-Su’s world to a T, I don’t know what does. As the film begins, the poor guy is just drunk and in the police station, having been done for being drunk in public. His pal comes to get him, they make a tragic last phone call to Dae-Su’s family, and…the alcohol takes over, leading Dae-Su to take off from the phone booth. The next thing he knows? He is trapped in a hotel room for the next 15 years, and he has no idea who put him there or why.

While the meat of the film may take place outside of the hotel room, post Dae-Su’s “escape,” that 15 year period is not to be ignored. Within his room/cell, he is allowed a very essential piece of information: a television. This media object serves as his sole escort- historically, sexually, and socially. We watch as he communes with soccer games, dance shows, and intensely important world events. Time passes and we are privy to his attempts at escape, all the while the screen is split, and we get to see the political changes taking place or the death of Princess Diana on the right while Dae-Su is trying to dig his way out on the left.

As Henry Sheehan so deftly notes,

Dae-suโ€™s imprisonment begins in 1988, the last year of the rule of Chun Doo-hwan, a brutal and murderous military dictator who ruled South Korea with the help of a secret police force, intimidation, indoctrination, and all the tools of a modern authoritarian state.ย  Dae-su has a television set in his cell, so he is able to watch political developments more or less as they occur.ย  But they come at him in the weird, leveling flood typical of TV images.ย  The return of political dissident (and future president) Kim Dae-jung, for example, is given no more (and no less) emphasis than the wedding and subsequence death of Princess Diana.ย  Dae-suโ€™s greatest television fixation is reserved for a young singer he seems to regard as his lover, but most of the time he flicks from channel to channel.ย  Politics and sex, both a factor of imprisonment,ย  get all mixed up in the gently pulsating beam. (4)

While we recognize what is going on in these initial diegetic circumstances , it is also integral to recognize where Oldboy itself comes from. Not unlike The Postman Always Rings Twice, The Maltese Falcon, or other famous films noirs, Oldboy had literary beginnings. Oldboy was borne out of a comic book written by Nobuaki Minegishi and Garon Tsuchiya. If those names don’t sound Korean, it’s because they’re not. They’re Japanese. Started in 1997, this 8-volume manga was bought in 2005 by Dark Horse to translate and then distribute in English due to the immense popularity of Park Chan-wook’s film. Although widely considered to be a comic with a noir-like storyline, the Japanese version of Oldboy differs from the Korean film greatly. While one might say that this is due to simple translative book-to-film issues, I would argue that with this property, it goes deeper.

Historically, Korea became annexed by Japan in 1910, making it part of the Japanese Empire. It remained so until the end of World War II in 1945, when Korea became what it is today, divided into North and South. Those kinds of scars don’t easily heal. One possibility with Oldboy is that Park Chan-wook saw the manga, saw the capacity it had for expansion, and simply lifted it, just wishing to use the narrative elements in an artistic manner. However, there is far too much political content within his film to argue such a thing. While these political elements are indeed gracefully hidden, they are most certainly there, making them seem just as much part of the storyline as anything else. Park Chan-wook’s ability to mask politics with characterization, music, and plot is nothing if not masterful.

When asked about the politics in Oldboy, the director’s response was coy. He said simply, “That is not what I intended. I can understand why people think that, and I have no intention of blocking that line of thinking!”(5) While this response may seem like a denial of having placed political messages within his work, Park Chan-wook’s relaxed attitude towards other’s people’s interpretations and his unwillingness to “get in the way” may tell another story. The heart of Oldboy does lay in a noir-like narrative, but the politics set the stage.

As Dae-Su’s story continues out of his forced isolation, he meets Mi-do, a woman who accompanies him on his journey to try to find the individual(s) who robbed him of his life. His involvement with Mi-do only leads him to more complications, and in the final face-off with the villain he discovers more about things in his past and Mi-do’s past than he ever wanted to know. Dae-Su sacrifices a great deal in order to make sure that Mi-do’s past never has to effect her in the way that his has caught up with him.

In this final scene, we witness Dae-Su, the man who has massacred people wildly and exacted the most horrific torture and revenge, is shown to be down on his knees in front of Lee Woo-Jin, the man who had imprisoned him for 15 years. Is he begging for his life? Not even a little. Dae-Su has shown that he cares nothing for his own existence. His body has pumped almost nothing but pure revenge since being released from that tower. No. Dae-Su is begging for the existence of Mi-do. Within this exchange, Lee Woo-Jin has said the most essential thing of all. Aside from threatening, Mi-do’s life, he said, flat out, “You’re notorious for not protecting your women.”

When Japan conscripted over 5 million Korean men beginning in 1939 for labor and a couple hundred thousand for the war effort, they also decided that they needed some ladies for “comfort.” They established brothels for their military men, and 51.8% of these “comfort women,” as they were known, were Korean. Due to the fact that Korea was under Japanese control, there was nothing that the men could do to stop this from happening. Thus, this became part and parcel of Korean history.

Dae-Su’s relationship with Mi-do is problematic, to say the least. She wants to make him happy, no matter what the cost to her is, even if it is physical pain during sexual intercourse. However, he knows that the emotional pain is on an entirely different registry. He will prevent this at all costs. It is almost as though through by using a Japanese text, Park Chan-wook is attempting to reinscript a new history for Korean women, one without the Japanese annexation and sexual slavery. Within this Oldboy, a film that is rewriting the comic through filmic means, the story is still relentless and painful, but Mi-do maintains dignity even if Dae-Su does not. In his final interaction with the heavy, he plays it so that she will never know her past. She will only know a future. To an extent, this is also a rewriting of Korea, over what Japan had attempted to do.

Dae-su’s final showdown with the man who organized his capture is of great import. It deals with a multiplicity of issues, but more than anything, it deals with matters in and around speech, image and control. The history of Korea isn’t far off from that storyline. While the details aren’t quite the same, both Dae-Su and Korea spent a decent amount of time being locked away, under someone else’s control. Then, upon release, they had to readjust, which still didn’t guarantee a happy life! In fact, in both storylines, there was a reasonable amount of violence, paranoia, and isolation. And at the end of the day, both Dae-su and Korea end up having to be split up into separate entities, with an indeterminate ending; hoping for a good conclusion, but based upon the previous visuals…it’s not lookin’ so hot for anybody at the moment.

While politics provide a solid foundation for Park Chan-wook’s Oldboy, it is film noir that adds the ambiance and gives it the flavor. Park Chan-wook is a very meticulous filmmaker, from his casting right down to his costuming. The mood that was set for this film and the darkness of the piece, was not entirely due to the fact that much of it took place in what were supposed to be hidden or underground locations. To begin with, the entirety of the soundtrack was designed to play as much of a character in the film as each actor. Almost every track was named after a film noir. Whether it was In a Lonely Place, Out of the Past, Kiss Me Deadly or The Big Sleep, each track played a role in rooting the film in a kind of historical background where the protagonist of the film exists in a universe of alienation, solitude and nihilism. Additionally, many (if not all) of these tracks also had a literary background, similar to Oldboy itself. The soundtrack presents Oldboy as a fully formed and musically textured piece that asks you to look beneath the surface. ย 

Dae-Su, upon waking up in his confinement, begins to narrate the film via voiceover narrative. Now, if one were to take a survey of all the films noir that have voiceover narration…well, let’s just say it would take a long time to name them all. A voiceover is a very tricky thing. As an audience, you become automatically aligned with whomever is speaking to you and telling you the story. It is a fabulous way to curry favor for your main character, and especially if your main character is not so ethically or morally…favorable?

Oldboy does not begin with a voiceover, nor does it maintain as much of a strong presence throughout the film as it does in the beginning. As the film starts, we are simply watching Oh Dae-Su. But he is quite sympathetic. He’s just a drunk family man. Then we are drawn even closer to him through Park Chan-wook’s use of the voiceover after he has been captured and incarcerated. Indeed, it is at this point that some of the most basic notions of film noir become verbally expressed by Oh Dae-suย  as he experiences 15 years of pure, unadulterated isolation.

Karen Hollinger notes that unlike other 1940’s genres, where the voice-over narrative is used primarily to “increase audience identification with the main character,” the narrative that is used in film noir is much less heroic. While there is certainly identification going on, the noir voice-over will “most often contain weak powerless narrators who tell a story of their past failures or of their inability to shape the events of their lives to their own design.” (6) While Dae-Su is able to express himself physically and seek out those who caused him harm, the continual voiceover seems to express how powerless he still seems to feel over the 15 years he lost (amidst other plot points). In truth, by the end of the film, the revenge that he has worked so hard to get falls more than a little flat.

Of the concept of revenge, Park Chan-wook said this:

The act of vengeance is a meaningless one. Killing the villain does not bring back the dead. Even the stupidest person knows that. But despite that, people are still captivated by a desire to avenge. And it’s not easy to walk away when the means are provided to “pay back.” [But on top of that,] vengeance requires a tremendous passion and energy. People have to abandon their other everyday activities in order to cling to that purpose only. Why do people want to devote their whole life to this meaningless, fruitless thing? Is this incomprehensible, dark passion the human characteristic, distinguishing us from other animals? (7)

Oldboy, like many films noir, is investigating what it is to be human while living within some kind of existential panic. Oh Dae-su’s solipsistic identity, caused primarily by the machinations of Woo-jin, the evil “puppetmaster,” created a humanity that was so far collapsed that it could only seek the kind of vengeance that Park Chan-wook is talking about. In the end, he truly does attempt to follow the film noir path. As Robert Porfirio writes, “set down in a violent and incoherent world, the film noir hero tries to deal with it in the best way he can, attempting to make some order out of chaos, to make some sense of the world.” (8)

 

(1) Interview w/Bong Joon-Ho, Rue Morgue Magazine #64, Jan./Feb. 2007.

(2) Noir scholars might insist that I refer to this as neo-noir based upon Oldboy‘s 2003 release date and noir’s temporal restrictions, but due to the fact that I see this film as referring to noir in its originating capacity and also due to the fact that it is existing within the confines of another culture and country entirely, I will continue to refer to it as “noir.”

(3) Porfirio, Robert G. “No Way Out: Existential Motifs in the Film Noir.” Film Noir Reader. Vol. 1. Edited by Alain Silver & James Ursini. Limelight Editions, 1998. 77-93.

(4) Sheehan, Henry. “Oldboy.” Film Criticism & Commentary. Accessed 3/9/11. http://henrysheehan.com/reviews/mno/oldboy.html

(5) Interview w/Park Chan-Wook by Neil Young for Neil Young’s Film Lounge-Park Life. Conducted during the Edinburgh Film Festival, 8/22/2004. Accessed 3/10/2011. http://www.jigsawlounge.co.uk/film/reviews/neil-youngs-film-lounge-park-life/

(6) Hollinger, Karen. “Film Noir, Voice Over, and the Female Narrative.” Film Noir Reader. Ed. Alain Silver and James Ursini. New York: Limelight, 1998.

(7) Interview w/Park Chan-wook by Carl Davis. “Oldboy Director Disses Vengeance, Looks Toward Upcoming Cyborg-Teen Comedy.” 8/22/2005. Accessed 3/11/2011. http://www.mtv.com/news/articles/1508066/oldboy-director-finds-revenge-meaningless-looks-toward-teen-comedy.jhtml

(8) Porfirio, ibid.

transcscript of an interview with Park Chan-Wook, writer-director of
OLDBOY
conducted at the Sheraton Grand Hotel, Lothian Rd, Edinburgh
during the Edinburgh International Film Festival
on Sunday, the 22nd of August, 2004
between 10.00-10.30am

by Neil Young