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Oldboy - Preview and remake news

Preview by: Jack Foley

DVD SPECIAL FEATURES: Disc One: Director interview. Director's commentary. Director and cinematographer's commentary. Director and cast commentary. Commentary by critic Kim Yong Jin. Original theatrical trailer. UK theatrical trailer.
Disc Two: 2 making of documentaries. 9 deleted scenes with optional commentary. Director interview. Cast and crew interviews. Cannes Film Festival gala premiere footage. Short film Memory of Old Boy.

ONE of the talking points of this year’s Cannes Film Festival (2004) is to be remade into a Hollywood movie - even though it has yet to be seen in many cinemas outside of its home country.

Oldboy, by Park Chan-Wook, took the Grand Prix award and was the outright favourite of jury president, Quentin Tarantino, for its outrageous tale of kidnapping and revenge.

The film is clearly based on the Japanese manga, and tells the story of a man who is locked up in a room for 15 years, without any apparent reason.

During his time there, however, he is tortured repeatedly, until, for some equally unknown reason, he is allowed to escape by his captors. When he finally gets out, he vows revenge.

The film which ensues is said to be packed with of extreme violence, stunning visuals and one of the best fight scenes ever.

A review which appears on Aint It Cool News would appear to back this view up, stating: "This is a movie to be discovered, enjoyed, and digested. To give away too much of the story would be a disservice to anyone who seeks this film out, and for the record, that should be every self respecting fan of film."


Of the ultra-violence on show, a hammer fight has already had critics raving, while a scene in which Oldboy extracts someone’s teeth with the same hammer is said to be as squirm-inducing as Laurence Olivier’s dentistry in Marathon Man.

The real talking point, however, and the scene which has earned Oldboy such notoriety, is that of a man eating a live octopus on camera. It remains to be seen whether that makes it into the remake.

Upon being presented with the Grand Prix at Cannes, by Kevin Kline and Ashley Judd, a delighted Chan-wook said: "I would like to thank all the members of the Jury and the Cannes Festival. I met Roman Polanski at a party and we had our photograph taken together. That was already such an honour that I really didn't expect to win a prize [...] The fact that this great director said 'good luck' to me was such an honour. I dedicate this prize to the whole crew."

And when asked by a journalist at the post-ceremony press conference about the different cinematic genres used in his film: "With the advent of the DVD and other digital supports, the possibility of watching a film more than once exists. And I made this film with the intention that people would watch it again and discover new elements each time."

Still on the subject of Oldboy, the Hollywood version looks set to be directed by Justin Lin, who is best known for directing Better Luck Tomorrow, a tale of Asian-American high school overachievers who turn to crime.

He has collaborated with Better Luck screenwriters, Ernesto Foronda and Fabian Marquez.

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