South Korean cinema gained steam on Saturday, winning two major awards at Cannes for the first time in the country’s history.
Park Chan-wook won Best Director for his crime thriller “Decision to leave,” while Song Kang-ho, best known for his role in the Academy Award-winning film Parasite, took home the Best Actor award for a medium.
Park, 58, spoke in his acceptance speech about the challenges the pandemic has brought: “Fans haven’t been to movie theaters, but that’s when we realized the value of cinema,” he said. “Since we have the hope and the strength to beat this pandemic, I believe that we filmmakers will keep theater and cinema forever.”
Park is the second South Korean director to win in his category, 20 years after Im Kwon-taek won the historical drama Chihwaseon.
The Best Actor award was his first, and he is now the first South Korean actor to win an acting award at Cannes.
“I can’t help but run to him,” said Park, who hugged Song after his victory. “He has been in many good films and it is time for him to win the award.”
“As an actor who worked with and collaborated with Director Park to win an award with Thirst,” Led said, “I will never forget the moment he ran up to me and hugged me.”
Park’s Cannes entry came nearly two decades after his movie Oldboy, which won the second highest award at the 2004 festival.
The dark thriller helped propel South Korean cinema onto the world stage years before Parasite, which won the 2019 Palme d’Or and Best Picture at the 2020 Academy Awards.
Starring Chinese star Tang Wei and Korean actor Park Hae Il, Decision to Leave tells the story of a detective who, while investigating the fatal fall of a mountain man, falls under the spell of the victim’s wife, whom he suspects caused it. Husband’s death.
Comparing comparisons to the more straightforward erotic thriller Basic Instinct, the detective story increasingly engages in the interplay of the main characters.
“I’m not a romantic, but I’m very interested in expressing feelings,” Park told AFP when the film premiered at the festival.
The film’s stunning soundtrack features an adagitto in Gustav Mahler’s Fifth Symphony, immortalized in Luchino Visconti’s 1971 film Death in Venice.
Park said the film was inspired by the systematic police procedures found in the Swedish Martin Beek police procedure books. “I wanted to film that,” he said.
Song, 55, has been honored for his role in Broker, about a woman who places an unwanted child in a “baby box” for adoption. In Japanese director Hirokazu Kureda’s first feature film in Korean, he plays a kind-hearted broker trying to sell a child to a loving family.
Kore-eda won the 2018 Palme d’Or for the story of his influential family Shoplifters.
“I am very happy for my whole family,” said Song, receiving the trophy at a party on the French Riviera.
He said barriers of language and culture in the group were not a problem. “Korei Ida is very familiar with Korean culture, so there was no difference when it came to compatibility,” he said. Koreans are familiar with Japanese cinema. Personally, I have watched almost all Kore-eda movies. There are many fans who love the typical Japanese aesthetic.”