I didn’t love or hate the American remake of Oldboy.
That’s not to say that director Spike Lee doesn’t take the baton carried by Park Chan-wook (the original’s director) and do an impressive job. Lee is actually perfect for this film. As a matter of fact, just like Chan-wook, the Do The Right Thing director understands how film is a unique tool that can deliver an optical message to the viewer. He really does adopt the visual language of his South Korean predecessor, captivating the viewer whenever he flexes that visionary muscle of his.
Unfortunately, Spike Lee and 40 Acres and Mule are at an unfair disadvantage. Why? Well, because Park Chan-wook is cinema’s best contemporary director. Period.
My appreciation for the filmmaker behind The Vengeance Trilogy, Thirst, and Stoker, has a lot to do with his ability to convey a story through imagery. I’m not just talking about crane shots or 360 degree rotating cameras either. I’m talking about how he places actors in a frame. I’m talking about his subtle sight gags for the discerning viewer — I’m talking about inanimate objects placed in the background telling you everything you need to know about a silent scene. I’m talking about visual cues. The psychology of film.
Spike Lee is great at it. Park Chan-wook is a master at it.
This week’s Disc One is all about Park Chan-wook and his unmistakable eye. The following videos are just a sample of what the director has accomplished on-screen. Many people will talk about the vile twists and violent turns of Chan-wook’s films but there is an unmistakable visual grace to how all that blood-splatter comes together.
Troy-Jeffrey Allen writes about action/adventure for Action A Go Go. He is a comic book writer whose works include Bamn, The Magic Bullet, Dr. Dremo’s Taphouse of Tall Tales, and the Harvey Award nominated District Comics. In addition, Allen has been a contributing writer for ComicBookBin.com, OfNote Magazine, and ForcesOfGeek.com. His work has been featured in the City Paper, The Baltimore Sun, Bethesda Magazine, The Examiner, and The Washington Post.