‘The Handmaiden’ Director Park Chan-Wook Talks Visual Cinema

Opening stateside October 21, The Handmaiden is director Park chan-Wook’s (Lady Vengeance, Oldboy, Stoker) is a twist laden tale that’s based on the British novel Fingersmith. Director Park’s visual style has time and time again been compared to Alfred Hitchcock, but along with the “master of suspense,” Park is also a creative descendant of such masters as Brian De Palma, Michelango Antonioni, and Michael Powell. During the press conference, I asked director Park why most filmmakers are mainly plot driven and usually ignore the visual landscape of their movies.

For director Park’s comments (via a translator) to the question, please go to the jump.

Kim Tae-ri & Park chan-Wook, 'The Handmaiden' Press Conference. (CR: Greg Srisavasdi, Find Your Seen)
Kim Tae-ri & Park chan-Wook, ‘The Handmaiden’ Press Conference. (CR: Greg Srisavasdi, Find Your Seen)

Question: Director Park, there are few filmmakers who have inherited the visual storytelling that drove the careers of such filmmakers as Alfred Hitchcock, Brian De Palma, and Michelangelo Antonioni. These days, many directors shoot their movie to fit a small screen and not explore the expansive scope of cinema. Do you have a theory why that’s the case?

Park chan-Wook: First of all, maybe that’s because young people nowadays don’t watch a lot of classic films. Is it that the cinephiles of today (or) young filmmakers – do they, rather than watch films in the cinema, are they watching films on their computers or these small screens more than they used to be? I’m not sure.

Is it when they’re studying in school, they don’t have much time and they result to watching it for convenience and that leads them to watching it on the small screens more? I’m not sure.

Maybe there’s one, even more important, reason. I just thought of this now. For visual driven cinema, you need money. When financiers read a script they say ‘this kind of story, it would require this amount of money.’ But to really do something special and make it visualist cinema, you need to put a little bit more money into that.”  

 

***I’ll be covering more of The Handmaiden on this site as well as Hollywood Outbreak and Deepest Dream. All of the esoteric/philosophical filmmaker/actor comments will be housed on Find Your Seen, with most of my film reviews housed on HO & DD. Just FYI!

**I’ll also review The Handmaiden when it hits theaters for CinemAddicts, a podcast I co-host with Anderson Cowan. To permanently enter our weekly giveaways, please rate and subscribe to our show via this iTunes link.

KIM Tae-ri and KIM Min-hee in THE HANDMAIDEN, an Amazon Studios / Magnolia Pictures release. Photo courtesy of Amazon Studios / Magnolia Pictures.
KIM Tae-ri and KIM Min-hee in THE HANDMAIDEN, an Amazon Studios / Magnolia Pictures release. Photo courtesy of Amazon Studios / Magnolia Pictures.
My ZoomH4n & Microphone Set-up for The Handmaiden Press Conference
My ZoomH4n & Microphone Set-up for The Handmaiden Press Conference

Greg Srisavasdi

Editor/Owner of Find Your Seen and Deepest Dream, I'm also a BFCA member and editor of Hollywood Outbreak. I also do a weekly movie review podcast called CinemAddicts. BFCA member, Clippers and UCLA Bruins lifer!!

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