While walking home late on February 19th after a day of filming, director Park Chul-soo was hit by a drunk driver and tragically died. He was 64.
To celebrate director Park’s significant contribution to the Korean film industry, the Busan International Film Festival (BIFF) has prepared a special program entitled Park Cheol-soo Special Commemoration: Eternal Movie Youth.
Park Chul-soo made his directorial debut with Captain of the Alley in 1978, yet it was in 1985 that the director had a big break with Mother, a film that continues to be celebrated as one of the most prominent rape-revenge productions to emerge from the industry. The 1990s saw the release of his most revered films in the form of 301, 302 (1995), one of the first Korean films to receive a theatrical release in the US, and Farewell My Darling in 1996.
More recently director Park helmed independent erotic dramas that explored sexual relationships, including Green Chair (녹색의자) (2003), Red Vacance Black Wedding (붉은 바캉스 검은 웨딩) (2011), B.E.D. (베드) (2012), and Eating, Talking, Faucking (생생활활) (released posthumously in March 2013). When his death occurred, director Park was in post-production on Green Chair: Love Conceptually (녹색의자 2013 – 러브 컨셉츄얼리), a re-imagining/remake of sorts to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the original.
Each of Park Chul-soo’s 5 films in the special program at BIFF 2013 are profiled below.
Park Cheol-soo Special Commemoration: Eternal Movie Youth
301, 302 (삼공일 삼공이) – 1995
Synopsis: 301, 302 became a cult hit upon release, and jettisoned director Park into one of the most popular Korean film makers at the time. The story contrasts two different woman in an apartment building, and through their attitude to food, conveys the suffering they have endured from patriarchal culture.
Farewell My Darling (학생부군신위) – 1996
Synopsis: Heavily influenced by American independent cinema, director Park turned his attention on Korean funerals in Farewell My Darling. The ceremony features the clash of traditional and new, as well as religious ideologies, that examines Korean culture through the tragic event.
Green Chair: Love Conceptually (녹색의자 2013 – 러브 컨셉츄얼리) – 2013
Synopsis: Green Chair: Love Conceptually depicts the relationship between a married woman in her thirties and a twenty year old man. The film explores the issues of divorce and age, with erotic twists and turns.
Mother (어미) – 1985
Synopsis: Starring Yoon Yeo-jeong (Woman of Fire (1971), The Housemaid (2012)), Mother is still revered as one of the best rape-revenge films of the period. When her daughter is raped and later commits suicide, a mother decides to find those responsible and enact her grisly revenge.
Stray Dog (들개) – 1982
Synopsis: The bleak outlook of the early 1980s is captured in Stray Dog, a film about two extremely poor students who live in a dilapidated old house. As the two struggle to survive and even to find food, they are filled with desperation and longing.