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Decision to Leave film image, director Park Chan-wook

Decision to Leave

Heojil kyolshim / 헤어질 결심

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Virtuoso Korean filmmaker Park Chan-wook (The Handmaiden; Oldboy) picked up rave reviews and the Best Director Prize at Cannes for this singularly strange genre piece, a neo-noir mystery about a homicide detective who falls in love with the widow (Lust Caution’s Tang Wei) of an apparent suicide. The deceased was a mid-level bureaucrat in the department of immigration, and an older man; the widow is young, beautiful, and Chinese. She’s so apologetic about her Korean she uses a translation app on her phone during her questioning, but her words don’t allay suspicion in either language, and it emerges that the dead man used to beat her. Then again, she has an ironclad alibi.

These narrative elements are familiar from a 1001 thrillers. And yet we must be on our game; Park shuffles the pack with dizzying skill, concocting a visual syntax which is wildly original and quite idiosyncratic. Scenes are highly abbreviated, and often distilled into a handful of eye-catching compositions; he’ll place an unusual emphasis there or here, and it’s only later that everything falls into place. This is a tantalizing, teasing movie, and in its own weird way, desperately romantic.

Best Director Award, Cannes 2022

 

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Director
Cast

Tang Wei, Park Hae-il

Credits
Country of Origin

South Korea

Year

2022

Language

In Korean and Chinese with English subtitles

Film Contact
Links
18+
138 min
Action & Suspense Award Winners Drama Romance

Book Tickets

Thursday October 06

9:00 pm
Subtitles
Centre for Performing Arts
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Credits

Executive Producer

Miky Lee

Producer

Park Chan-wook

Screenwriter

Chung Seo-kyung, Park Chan-wook

Cinematography

Kim Ji-yong

Editor

Kim Sang-bum

Production Design

Ryu Seong-hie

Original Music

Cho Young-wuk

Director

Park Chan-wook headshot, Decision to Leave director

Park Chan-wook

Park Chan-wook has had two films win at Cannes: Oldboy (2003), which won the Grand Prix and Thirst (2009), which won the Jury Prize. His film The Handmaiden (2016) screened in competition at the 69th Cannes Film Festival, and won the BAFTA Award for Best Film Not in the English Language. From his TV series The Little Drummer Girl (2018), which screened on the BBC, to his collaboration with Apple on the short film Life is But a Dream (2022), director Park Chan-wook constructs unique cinematic worlds with his taboo-breaking storytelling, fascinating characters, and sensual visuals.

Filmography: Oldboy (2003); Sympathy for Lady Vengeance (2005); Thirst (2009); The Handmaiden (2016)