Park Chan-Wook Returns To Cannes After Six-Year Hiatus

Park Chan-wook

A film by Park Chan-wook, the critically acclaimed South Korean director, will be competing in the 2022 Cannes Competition. This is a break from Park Chan-prior wook's work both stylistically and substantively.

Decision to Leave (2022) opened at Cannes on Monday, and Park, whose 2004 Cannes Grand Prix winner Oldboy (2003) helped open the doors for Korean filmmakers on the French Riviera, launched his latest picture here on Monday.

However, he refuses to agree that his most recent film, Decision to Leave (2022) which is neither as erotic as The Handmaiden (2016) nor asbrutal than Oldboy (2003)  is any less significant in his career.

As he puts it, "This question would not have arisen at all had this been a film by some other director,"  "I met distributors from across the world here yesterday and some of them suggested that Decision to Leave marks a new development in my career." he added.

"I contradicted them. I certainly wanted to make a film for adults. But a film for adults does not necessarily mean an erotic or graphically violent film," Park claims.

Decision to Leave has been widely acclaimed by critics. As the 75th Cannes Film Festival draws to a close, the Palme d'Or contender is set to remain in contention as the jury of Vincent Lindon comes down to choose the winners. Park has won numerous awards at Cannes, so this is nothing new for him. Previously, , he got a Jury Prize for his 2009 film Thirst.

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In the film, Park Hae-il plays a straight-laced Busan investigator who develops a romantic relationship with a Chinese woman suspected of murdering her Korean husband, who is found dead after falling from a mountain. Tang Wei, the star of Ang Lee's film Lust, Caution (2007) plays the Chinese woman.

When a police officer and a murder suspect face up against each other on opposite sides of a mountain or sea, Park Chan- wook's visual palette is unaltered in his latest picture.

"Yes, the mountain and the sea are omnipresent in the film," adds the filmmaker. "Like the two characters at the heart of the story, they keep changing colours according to the weather," he explains. "That is how light works. Even a blue dress might appear green or turquoise as the light changes."

When discussing his love of violence on the big screen—which is used sparingly in this film— Park replied, "There are many directors who excel at filming action on the big screen. So, I have always made it a point to stick to my own style. The violence I put on the screen is often not pretty at all but it is essential to the situation."

The director explains,"I do not make films to reflect my life". "I really do not know how much of my personality and thoughts have crept into Decision to Leave, but I agree that it is when people are in love that they are best able to reveal their inner selves."

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As Park points out, and Decision to Leave has been compared to Alfred Hitchcock's Vertigo (1958) by certain Cannes journalists.

According to the director, "I would like to tell them that I did not have Hitchcock's film, or any other film, in mind when Decision to Leave was being written."

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