Monday, January 10, 2011

Park Chan-wook shoots new movie using an iPhone

 As some of you might already know, I'm not too crazy about touchscreen-wielding iDevices as much the next guy. However, I am a HUGE fan of South Korean director Park Chan-wook, and this piece of groundbreaking news about his upcoming short-film -- one that makes good use of an Apple iPhone -- excites the hell out of me:

(Via AP)
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Acclaimed South Korean film director Park Chan-wook is wielding a new cinematic tool: the iPhone.
Park, director of the internationally known "Old Boy," ''Lady Vengeance" and "Thirst," said Monday that his new fantasy-horror film "Paranmanjang" was shot entirely on Apple Inc.'s iconic smartphone.
"The new technology creates strange effects because it is new and because it is a medium the audience is used to," Park told reporters Monday.
"Paranmanjang," which means a "life full of ups and downs" in Korean, is about a man transcending his current and former lives. He catches a woman while fishing in a river in the middle of the night. They both end up entangled in the line and he thinks she is dead.
Suddenly, though, she wakes up, strangles him and he passes out. When the woman awakens him, she is wearing his clothing and he hers. She cries and calls him "father."
The movie, made on a budget of 150 million won ($133,000), was shot using the iPhone 4 and is slated to open in South Korean theaters on Jan. 27. Park made the 30-minute film with his younger brother Park Chan-kyong, also a director.
Park Chan-wook's "Old Boy," a blood-soaked thriller about a man out for revenge after years of inexplicable imprisonment, took second place at the 2004 Cannes Film Festival. His vampire romance "Thirst" shared the third-place award at Cannes in 2009.
Park Chan-kyong said that a wide variety of angles and edits were possible because numerous cameras could be used.
"There are some good points of making a movie with the iPhone as there are many people around the world who like to play and have fun with them," Park Chan-wook said. Compared to other movie cameras, the iPhone was good "because it is light and small and because anyone can use it," he said.
He said the directors attached lenses to their phones and nothing was particularly different from shooting a regular movie.
Lee Jung-hyun, who plays the woman, said the film has a bit of everything.
Though it is a short film with a running time around 30 minutes it "mixes all elements from horror and fantasy to some humor," she said.

If you're not familiar with Park's style of filming, the last sentence of the above article sums it all. Having watched 2/3 of his "Vengeance Trilogy" (Lady Vengeance & Oldboy), as well as the more recent Thirst, I can say that Park's genre-bending fare proves to be very effective as it not only enhances the audience's viewing pleasure, but also gives spice to each of his film's characters,  thus, igniting excellent performances from its lead actors.

If 'ya wanna know more about this director, look for his films either through the interwebs or through your friendly neighborhood dibidi man. 

Will definitely look forward to seeing Paranmanjang, as well as a brand-new full length feature (I hope!) in a couple of months.

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