Watch Park Chan-wook Movies | AsianCrush
Park Chan-wook Korean Director

Park Chan-wook

Birthday: August 23, 1963


“I think right now, the most exciting cinema in the world is coming out of Korea. Park Chan-wook is amazing.” QUENTIN TARANTINO
“Park has cited Hitchcock, along with Brian De Palma and David Cronenberg, as a primary inspiration for a body of work that has established him as South Korea’s most celebrated director.” MIKE HALE, NEW YORK TIMES
"The reason I want to show shocking things is that they always pose an ethical question." PARK CHAN-WOOK

One of the most acclaimed and popular filmmakers in his native country, Park Chan-wook's (박찬욱) signature hyper-stylized, violent thrillers helped establish South Korea as a powerhouse in world cinema today. His infamous 'Vengeance Trilogy,' consisting of 2002's Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance, 2003's Oldboy and 2005's Lady Vengeance, has become of one of the most celebrated thematic trilogies in modern cinema. His latest film, The Handmaiden, competed for the Palme d'Or at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival.

Chan-Wook was born and raised in Seoul. He studied philosophy at Sogang University and intended to be an art critic. He founded the "Sogang Film Community," where he eventually met his wife. Park says that after seeing Alfred Hitchcock's Vertigo, he was determined to become a filmmaker. In a 2004 interview, Park cites Sophocles, Balzac, Kafka, and Vonnegut as his inspiration. Park's first two films, The Moon Is... the Sun's Dream and Trio were not successful in the box office. Consequently, he pursued a career as a film critic to support himself. In 2000, Joint Security Area was a favorite amongst critics and viewers alike. The film became the most watched film in South Korea, surpassing the previous film Shiri.

His success on Joint Security Area gained him more independence and cleared the way for him to create Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance. This was followed by Oldboy, which won the Grand Prix at Cannes that year. Quentin Tarantino personally pushed for Oldboy to win the Palme d'Or in 2004; however, Oldboy ended up losing to Fahrenheit 9/11. Park again won an award at Cannes with his vampire film, Thirst.

In 2014, Chan-Wook announced that he would adapt Fingersmith, which ultimately became his film The Handmaiden. The Handmaiden premiered at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival, debuting with critical and box office success.  Artistic Director Seong-hie Ryu won the Vulcain Prize for the Technical Arts, and the film was also nominated for both the Palme d'Or and Queer Palm. The film also won Best New Actress (Tae-Ri Kim), The Buil Readers' Jury Award and Best Art Direction (Seong-hie Ryu) at the 2016 Buil Film Awards.

You can stream a select collection of Park's films right here on AsianCrush.

6 titles found