'Thirst' director thanks Hawaii fans
One of South Korea's top directors was in town last month, and I was fortunate to get an interview with him during his one-night stay.
Park Chan Wook arrived July 26 to receive the Vision in Film Award from the Hawaii International Film Festival that evening at a special screening of his latest film "Thirst," which also won the Jury Prize Award at the Cannes Film Festival this year. The Vision in Film Award was in recognition of Park's career works, such as "Old Boy," "JSA," "Sympathy for Lady Vengeance" and others.
Park stayed after the screening for a lengthy question-and-answer session, and to pose for fans' photos and sign autographs.
"Thirst" was released in Los Angeles and New York on July 31 and is scheduled to be released in Hawai'i on Aug 14. Park left Hawai'i a day after arriving, but was kind enough to first stop by KBFD for an interview as well as for this column:
Q. What is your feeling on the release of "Thirst"?
A. In Korea, I am used to having films being released at several hundred theaters at the same time, but for "Thirst," it's several cities at a time. Usually, many stars accompany me in Korea for a release. If "Thirst" does well in the select cities, it may continue to other cities, so I am asking fans for their support.
Q. What did you think of your local fans (at the HIFF screening)?
A. It was a really good experience for me, as I have heard that all my past works were well received here in Hawai'i through HIFF. I had a good time, with many humorous moments, but specifically remember a Caucasian man asking me in Korean a question that got my attention. He asked why there hasn't been and why I don't do a sci-fi movie. Interestingly, I have always wanted to a sci-fi Korean movie, and hope to do so in the future.
Q. Were there any interesting moments while filming?
A. "Thirst" is a dark film, but there is a lot of comedy in the script. I have worked with many of the stars in the past, so we had a lot of fun filming and there were many humorous moments. Working with actress Kim Ok Bin was new for me and she had a difficult role, so we often encouraged her and gave her support.
Q. You have received the Jury Prize Award at Cannes and now the Vision in Film Award. How do you feel?
A. The Jury Prize Award was for "Thirst," but the HIFF Vision in Film Award is in recognition of all of my past works, so it is very special to me. My works such as "JSA," "3 Extremes," the "Vengeance" series and shorts were shown at HIFF. I am very happy to receive this award.
Q. Is there anything that you would like to say to your fans here?
A. I want to thank my fans here in Hawai'i for supporting my past works such as "JSA," "Old Boy," the "Vengeance" series, and "I'm a Cyborg But It's OK." I ask for your continued support with my latest film, "Thirst," and hope you get a chance to see the film.
THIS WEEK’S K-DRAMA SYNOPSES
Episodes 17 and 18
Tonight at 7:45: At the after-party following a charity event, Jun-se notices Hwan's interest in Eun-sung. When Jun-se confronts Hwan, he gets upset and punches Jun-se out. Seung-mi overhears their conversation and is heartbroken. Sung-hee tells Pyung-jung to go to the country and start a new life.
Tomorrow at 7:45 p.m.: Just as Eun-sung's father gets on the bus to leave Seoul, he sees Eun-sung on the street and decides to stay in the city. Eun-sung and her co- workers are busy coming up with ideas to increase sales at the restaurant. Hwan is becoming a hard-working man and Eun-sung is impressed with his new attitude.
'DARE TO LOVE'
Episodes 19 and 20
Sunday at 6:45 p.m.: Sul-ran remembers a long- forgotten memory that is not all too pleasant. Gum-ran's trying to forget her kiss with Soon-shin. Soon-shin has a plan to win Gum-ran over. Poong-ran goes on an overnight trip with Yong-ha for work. Sae-dol is very nervous about it and follows her there. Soo-nam has just about had it with Sul-ran.
Sunday at 7:45 p.m.: Bong-sun's mom tells her not to see Denny anymore. Denny doesn't want to see her, either. Sul-ran gets scammed, but is saved by her trainer, unbeknownst to her. Gum-ran meets Soon-shin's parents. Soon-shin tells them about Jang-mi. Both mothers know each other.
Episodes 32 and 33
Monday at 7:45 p.m.: Jamyung's training to become a priestess begins, and the ghost of Jamuk appears to help her. After the training, Jamuk asks Jamyung to spare Wang Jasil's life. Hodong is working hard with the Jolbon army, but King Daemushin is suspicious of Hodong's intentions. Jamyung suggests building Jamyunggo, a drum that can sound by itself.
Tuesday at 7:45 p.m.: Hodong seeks asylum in Nakrang. Wang Hol is suspicious of his intentions, but when he sees Wu Naru and his army after him, he takes him to Jinyang Palace. Jamyung tells the king not to trust Hodong, but Lahee begs to save Hodong's life. King Daemushin sends a letter to King Choi Li, asking him to kill Hodong.
Episodes 15 and 16
Wednesday at 7:45 p.m.: Mi-rae's earnest idealism wins over her former political enemies, and she proposes aggressive plans to help the people of Inju. Guk and Mi-rae make their feelings known to each other, but the mysterious power broker known as Big Brother tries to break them up by blackmailing them with threats of ruining them politically. Mi-rae finds that she has no choice but to quietly hope that Guk triumphs in the election for the National Assembly seat.
Thursday at 7:45 p.m.: Guk's fiancee deliberately creates a political scandal by leaking photos of Guk and Mi-rae at a hotel suite to the press. Mi-rae runs into trouble trying to get funding for her programs. And Big Brother makes a splashy comeback to politics by creating a new party and becoming its chairman.