SYMPATHY FOR MR. VENGEANCE (Park Chan-wook, 2002)
Museum of the Moving Image
35th Ave. at 36th St., Astoria
Saturday, March 3, free with museum admission, 3:00
Series runs February 28 - March 3
Park Chan-wook kicked off his revenge trilogy with Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance (even though the second film, Oldboy, was the first one released in the States), a creepy, quirky tale that lays low for quite a while before busting loose with a massive splattering of the old ultra-violence. After deaf-mute Ryu (Shin Ha-kyun) fails miserably in a desperate, ridiculous attempt to get his dying sister (Lim Ji-eun) a kidney, the recently laid-off Ryu is convinced by his anarchist girlfriend, Youngmin (Bae Doo-na), to kidnap the four-year-old daughter (Han Bo-bae) of Park (Song Kang-ho), the man who owned the factory that kicked him out. But when the plan goes awry, both Ryu and Park become obsessed with avenging their torn-apart lives. Although the first half of the film is too slow and heads off in too many directions, the second half brings everything together, chock full of the kind of violence promised by the title. Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance is screening on March 3 at 3:00 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, Lady Vengeance, and a trio of shorts (Night Fishing, N.E.P.A.L. Never Ending Peace and Love, and Cut).