Filmmaker and film critic for Arirang TV
What is your official title/occupation? I’m a film-maker and film critic for Arirang TV, channel 79 on Oceanic cable.
Where and with whom did you see the movie? I saw Stoker in Gangnam with Hyunseok Kim, a cinematographer who shot my short 992 and Lee Chang-dong’s Poetry.
Overall what did you think? As always with Park Chan-wook’s films, either you love it or you hate it. In this case, I loved it. Park’s English may be limited but his fluency in film language shows here. It’s an orgy of visual delights.
Without giving away the ending, what was one of your favorite scenes? The piano duet by Uncle Charlie and India. It’s absolutely brilliant. It starts out innocently, but by the end of it you know India’s feeling for Uncle Charlie is headed in the wrong direction. The musical piece by Philip Glass here is also hypnotic.
On a scale of one to four stars, what would you rate this film? ★★★ 1/2
What did you think of the cinematography? Cinematography was like another character in the film. Chung-hoon Chung, who worked with Park in his Korean films, makes an impressive debut in Hollywood as well.
Was the message/theme clear? It was clear to me. Some people seemed confused by the film though.
Did it remind you of any other work in film? Definitely Alfred Hitchcock’s films. Especially Shadow of a Doubt, Vertigo and Psycho. And David Lynch as well.
Who would you recommend this movie to? Tricky. I would recommend it to cinephile friends. Not everyone though.
Did any of the actors stand out? Mia Wasikowska. This is undoubtedly her movie and she proves she’s one of the best young actresses working in Hollywood now.
Did you identify with any of the characters? I felt detached from all of the characters in the film, which often I do whenever I see Park’s films. But I was fascinated by all of them.
Did the soundtrack contribute significantly to the film? Music plays an important part. So does sound in general. I also loved the song that plays in the end credit scene.
Would you buy this movie when it comes out on DVD? I would buy a BluRay. Or just buy it on iTunes.
What’s your favorite movie snack? Used to be popcorn. Now, I don’t have one.
On a different note, what’s new with you? Working on a new film. It’s a comedy set in the 1970s in Korea called The Ape of Wrath. It’s a mockumentary about the making of a schlocky monster movie. Hope to make it this summer.