Joint Security Area
Park Chan-wook was among the first Korean filmmakers to make an impact in the West with Oldboy. But before that, he enjoyed a box office smash at home with this compelling drama from 2000. Gunfire in the demilitarized zone between North and South Korea leaves two North Korean soldiers dead while a South Korean soldier flees to safety. With the peace between the two nations on a knife-edge, Major Sophie Jean must determine what happened.
Before iconic films like Oldboy and his most recent Decision to Leave, Park Chan-wook made this, lesser-known, but equally brilliant film. The story is structured in the form of a whodunnit, but it manages to deliver so much more than a simple murder mystery. The film explores themes of brotherhood, loyalty, nationalism, all within this fascinating and complicated setting. The performances are so nuanced and well-crafted, the direction is masterful, and the climax is as devastating as it is thrilling. If you are a fan of Korean cinema and Park Chan-wook, this is a must-watch.
September 30 & October 8: Introduced by Leading Lights guest programmer Anthony Shim
Eun Soo Lee, Myeong-chan Park
Jun-seok Bang, Jo Yeong-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); Thirst (2009); The Handmaiden (2016); Decision to Leave (2022)
Missing VIFF? Check out what’s playing at the VIFF Centre
Chicken Run: Dawn of the Nugget
"Last time, we broke out of a chicken farm. Well, this time, we're breaking in!" announces Ginger, and break in they do, though Fun Land Farms seems like an impreggnable fortress to our plucky cluckers.
Bradley Cooper's second film as director is a symphonic portrait of the composer/conductor Leonard Bernstein, with Cooper in the title role and Carey Mulligan as his wife, actress Felicia Montealegre. One of the films of the year.
The Three Musketeers: D'Artagnan
D'Artagnan arrives in Paris trying to find his attackers after being left for dead, which leads him to a real war where the future of France is at stake. He aligns himself with Athos, Porthos and Aramis, three musketeers of the King.
The Wind Rises
Miyazaki's first "retirement" film is inspired by the life of Jiro Horikoshi, a young man much like the filmmaker, who grew up to be a designer and engineer, and who is best known for the "Zero" fighter plane, a masterpiece of aerodynamics.
Few rock docs are as fondly remembered as The Wrecking Crew, and fans will be thrilled at this follow up, which pays tribute to the crew's 1970s counterparts, the session musicians who worked with Carole King, James Taylor, Neil Young, Stevie Nicks et al.
Smoke Sauna Sisterhood
Within the confines of a smoke sauna deep in an Estonian forest, groups of women gather to cleanse themselves in both body and soul, sharing in traditional sauna-based rituals, while also revealing their hurts and longings, joys and pains.