LADY VENGEANCE (SYMPATHY FOR LADY VENGEANCE) (Park Chan-wook, 2005)
Museum of the Moving Image
35th Ave. at 36th St., Astoria
Saturday, March 3, free with museum admission, 6:00
Series runs February 28 - March 3
Park Chan-wook’s awesome revenge trilogy (following Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance and Oldboy) comes to a stirring conclusion with the thrilling tale of Lee Geum-ja (Lee Young-ae), a beautiful thirty-one-year-old woman who has just been released from prison after serving thirteen years for the kidnapping and murder of a five-year-old boy (Nam Song-woo). While behind bars, Geum-ja plotted out a detailed, complex plan to gain revenge on her co-conspirator (Oldboy’s Choi Min-sik as Mr. Baek), who harbors a dark secret. As Geum-ja, known as both “Angel” and “Witch,” visits each former prisoner participating in the elaborate set-up, Park flashes back to reveal the woman’s original crime and her relationship to Geum-ja — who is also being followed by a wacky preacher with a great hairdo (Kim Byeong-ok). Now working in a bakery, Geum-ja has become a magical pastry chef as part of her scheme to feed Mr. Baek his just desserts, but, as Park shows rather gruesomely, vengeance — and repentance — comes with a heavy price. As with the first two parts of this masterful series, Lady Vengeance serves up a cunning concoction of bizarre characters, stunning surprises, existential exegesis, and plenty of psychological terror. You need not have seen the first two to love this one; in fact, all three films are stand-alones as well as stand-outs. Lady Vengeance is screening on March 3 at 6:00 as part of a Museum of the Moving Image/Korea Society tribute to Park in conjunction with the release of his first English-language film, Stoker, which opens March 1; the series continues through March 3 with Joint Security Area, Oldboy, Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance, and a trio of shorts (Night Fishing, N.E.P.A.L. Never Ending Peace and Love, and Cut).