Joint Security Area
Standard: HKD 85
Concessions: HKD 68
Joint Security Area
Following the success of Kang Je-gyu's Shiri (1999), Joint Security Area is based on the clash between soldiers at Panmunjom on the border between North and South Korea. Two North Korean soldiers are killed in a night-time shooting in the titular Joint Security Area on the border. Two South Korean soldiers are investigated by the Neutral Nations Supervisory Commission for their involvement in the incident. Park chose not to rely on the visual language and themes built from his preceding two films. He was in full control of his professional creative team, and they acted in concert to harness the full star power and skills of his dream cast (Lee Young-ae, Lee Byung-hun, and Song Kang-ho). The film's popularity established Park Chan-wook as a household name. Joint Security Area was shot in Super 35, with sets specifically built for the film and many scenes shot at night. It took approximately a year and a half of filming and KRW 3 billion to produce and has become a cult classic.
About the Director
Park Chan-wook (b. 1963, South Korea) studied philosophy at Sogang University in the 1980s. After working as a film critic for many years, Park made his directorial debut with The Moon Is... the Sun's Dream (1992), followed by Trio (1997). His political thriller Joint Security Area (2000) received rave reviews and became the high-grossing film in South Korea at the time. Park then directed Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance (2001), the first of his ‘Vengeance Trilogy’, followed by Oldboy (2003), which was awarded the Grand Prix at the Cannes Film Festival, and Lady Vengeance (2005). After the intense trio, Park directed the offbeat romantic comedy I’m a Cyborg, But That’s OK (2005). In 2009, he subverted expectations with the genre-bending vampire film Thirst. Park made his American debut with Stoker in 2013. Meanwhile, his streak at Cannes continued with The Handmaiden (2016) and Decision to Leave (2022), for which he was awarded Best Director.
Image at top: Park Chan-wook. Joint Security Area, 2000. Courtesy of kt alpha.