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Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance

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Park Chan-Wook never set out to make a trilogy. His ‘vengeance trilogy,’ in fact, only was later dubbed that by international critics who felt the three films were connected through themes of revenge, violence, and salvation. Luckily, he was able to make the second and third films in this ‘trilogy’ because this first one didn’t connect with audiences and it lost money. Join us as we kick off a new series looking at Park Chan-Wook’s Vengeance Trilogy with his 2002 film Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance. 

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"I’m not just any ordinary person."

Park Chan-Wook never set out to make a trilogy. His ‘vengeance trilogy,’ in fact, only was later dubbed that by international critics who felt the three films were connected through themes of revenge, violence, and salvation. Luckily, he was able to make the second and third films in this ‘trilogy’ because this first one didn’t connect with audiences and it lost money. Join us — Pete Wright and Andy Nelson — as we kick off a new series looking at Park Chan-Wook’s Vengeance Trilogy with his 2002 film Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance

We talk about the unique tone of the film, balancing absurdist humor with the dark themes of sacrifice, loss and revenge, and why that is possibly why audiences couldn’t connect with the film. We also look at the way that Park constructs films, and how his challenging storytelling style may also have kept audiences away. We chat about the editing, cinematography and script, looking at how they all come together to push the story forward in unexpected ways while allowing Park incredibly creative ways to show off his understanding of the language of cinema. We look at the interesting — and challenging — way the sound was designed and why it works in context of the film. And we look at some of the performances and why they work so well here. 

It’s a challenging film for sure, but one that we liked quite a bit. We have a great time talking about it here so check it out then tune in! The Next Reel – when the movie ends, our conversation begins.

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