LEAFF Presents A Park Chan-Wook Retrospective - Picturehouse Spotlight

LEAFF Presents A Park Chan-Wook Retrospective

The London East Asia Film Festival (LEAFF) proudly present a retrospective of internationally acclaimed filmmaker Park Chan-wook, supported by Picturehouse Cinemas.

With his versatility and idiosyncratic style, Park has become a powerhouse not only in Asia but across the globe. We want to do justice to his outstanding contribution to Asian Cinema, so Park will attend LEAFF to discuss his new feature The Handmaiden and present the stunning 4K restoration of Lady Vengeance as part of the famous ‘Vengeance Trilogy.’

Picturehouse Central

Friday 21 October, 6.30

The Handmaiden

The Handmaiden
The Handmaiden

Dir. Park Chan-wook, 2016. 145 mins

1930s Korea, in the period of Japanese occupation, a new girl (Sookee) is hired as a handmaiden to a Japanese heiress (Hideko) who lives a secluded life on a large countryside estate with her domineering Uncle (Kouzuki). But the maid has a secret. She is a pickpocket recruited by a swindler posing as a Japanese Count to help him seduce the Lady to elope with him, rob her of her fortune, and lock her up in a madhouse. The plan seems to proceed according to plan until Sookee and Hideko discover some unexpected emotions

Saturday 22 October, 6.00

The Vengeance Trilogy

Lady Vengeance
Lady Vengeance

Sympathy For Mr Vengeance (Dir. Park Chan-wook, 2002. 129 mins), Old Boy (Dir. Park Chan-wook, 2003. 120 mins) and Lady Vengeance (Dir. Park Chan-wook, 2005. 115 mins)

Park Chan-wook’s ruminations on revenge have created three of the most celebrated cinematic works of the new century – together they have garnered an impressive 28 film festival wins at prestigious international venues.

While these films can be thoroughly enjoyed on the surface as thrill rides, they are not just typical thriller fare. These are complex, emotional, powerful films that work in a space that ranges from extreme action to gorgeous art house, and show us intense violence and stunning, beautiful filmmaking.

The London East Asia Film Festival is proud to present, with a guest appearance from Park Chan-wook, the incredible ‘Vengeance Trilogy’, which will culminate in the world premiere of the 4K restoration of Lady Vengeance.

Hackney Picturehouse

Sunday 23 October, 8.45

The Handmaiden (Special Preview)

The Handmaiden
The Handmaiden

Dir. Park Chan-wook, 2016. 145 mins.

With help from an orphaned pickpocket (Kim Tae-ri), a Korean con man (Ha Jung-woo) devises an elaborate plot to seduce and bilk a Japanese woman (Kim Min-hee) out of her inheritance in Park Chan Wook’s sublime Cannes entry.

We are delighted to host this special preview screening.

Wednesday 26 October, 6.30

Stoker + Day Trip


Stoker (dir. Park Chan-wook, 2012. 99 mins) and Day Trip (dir. Park Chan-wook, 2012. 18 mins)

STOKER After India’s (Mia Wasikowska’s) father dies in a car accident, her Uncle Charlie (Matthew Goode), who she never knew existed, comes to live with her and her emotionally unstable mother Evelyn (Nicole Kidman). Soon after his arrival, she comes to suspect this mysterious, charming man has ulterior motives, but instead of feeling outrage or horror, this friendless girl becomes increasingly infatuated with him.

The creative team for Park’s first English-language film includes cinematographer Chung-hoon Chung (Oldboy, Thirst), and music by Clint Mansell (High-Rise, Requiem For A Dream).

+ Day Trip A girl is upset at losing first place at a singing competition. The teacher wants to comfort her but he is no talent in comforting people. They climb the hill as usual for singing practice in early winter, and something unexpected happens as she excels with the teachings of the teacher…

Sunday 30 October, 6.30

I’m A Cyborg + Bitter Sweet Seoul

I'm A Cyborg
I'm A Cyborg

I’m A Cyborg, But That’s Okay  (dir. Park Chan-wook, 2006. 105 mins) and Bitter Sweet Soul  (dir. Park Chan-wook, 2014. 63 mins)

I’m A Cyborg, But That’s Okay ‘Young-goon’ (IM Soo-jung) enters a mod psychiatric hospital rich with extravagant imagination and fantasies. She scolds the fluorescent lights and worries about the vending machine as she believes she is a cyborg. ‘Il-soon’ (JUNG Ji-hoon), a man who believes he can steal other people’s traits, keeps a close eye on Yong-goon, the new patient. In reality, Young-goon’s physical condition is extremely worrying. With the aid of some of the other patients, a desperate Il-soon tries to put her back on her feet again.

Bitter Sweet Seoul This crowd-sourced film is a strange yet beautiful documentary sponsored by the local Seoul government and helmed by brothers Park Chan-wook and Park Chan-kyong. Their campaign received over 11,000 submissions from around the world, 141 of which were short listed and edited by the brothers. The result is an eclectic, diverse homage to South Korea’s capital, showing warts and all through the lenses of phones to professional cameras.

The Ritzy, Brixton

Friday 28 October, 6.30

Joint Security Area (35 mm)

Joint Security Area
Joint Security Area

Dir. Park Chan-wook, 2000. 110 mins.

An incident in the J.S.A. (the demilitarized zone between North and South Korea) leaves two North Korean border guards dead and one South Korean wounded. The Swiss-Korean woman officer heading the neutral enquiry into the skirmish gets nowhere until she stumbles upon a history of secret fraternisation between some of the border guards on both sides. Joint Security Area is an engrossing political thriller about murder, betrayal, and forbidden friendship along the heavily patrolled, mine-laden D.M.Z. The highly acclaimed film became the highest grossing film in Korea, and won several Grand Bell awards—South Korea’s equivalent of the Oscar. It gained international notoriety and allowed Park the financial freedom and creative confidence to create his ‘Vengeance Trilogy’.

Saturday 29 October, 6.30

Thirst (35mm) + Judgement


Thirst (dir. Park Chan-wook, 2009. 133 mins) and Bitter Sweet Soul  (dir. Park Chan-wook, 1999. 26 mins)

Thirst won the Jury Prize at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival, and stars Song Kang-ho (The Host) as a devout priest, whose selfless desire to help others has shocking repercussions when the wonder-vaccine he volunteers to trial turns him into a vampire. Ostensibly concerned with the psychological impact of the condition on a very spiritual man, this is a modern take on the Vampire story. Not for the faint-hearted.

Judgement Drawing on a tragic event that took place in South Korea, Park critiques capitalist greed. In 1995, in Seoul, the Sampung shopping centre collapsed, killing 500 people and injuring many others. In Judgement, two different families claim the body of a woman killed in the catastrophe…

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