Quentin Tarantino's favorite film, Oldboy, is coming back to a theater in Seattle.
Believe it or not, Park Chan-wook’s phycological thriller Oldboy came out twenty years ago. In honor of this milestone, Neon movie theaters is bringing the classic film back to theaters so fans can watch it on the big screen. Moviegoers should not be surprised if Quentin Tarantino shows up for the screening since the twisted film is one of the Hollywood director’s favorite movies, according to The Seattle Times.
The 2003 film Oldboy starred Choi Min-sik as Dae-Su, a wild-haired Korean man who was kidnapped and forced to spend fifteen years in prison for a reason he doesn’t understand. After being released, he then has five days to hunt down his captors and learn why he was locked up. The movie includes intense action scenes and thrilling chases, leaving audiences shaken with a twist ending that no one ever sees coming.
Director Park Chan-wook first released Oldboy in South Korea in 2003, and the film gained much greater exposure after winning the Grand Prix at the 2004 Cannes Film Festival. Quentin Tarantino, who Park Chan-wook idolized for his genius filmmaking, was on the jury for the festival and pushed for Oldboy to get the recognition it so strongly deserved. Ultimately, the jury chose Michael Moore’s Fahrenheit 9/11 as the festival winner, but Oldboy was released to the United States audience on March 25, 2005.
Audiences fell in love with the Korean film, partially because it was so wildly different from any mainstream films shown in the United States then. Some critics knocked the film for its over-the-top violence and graphic scenes, especially the one disturbing scene that involves Choi Min-sik eating a live octopus. When accepting his award at the Cannes Film Festival, Park Chan-wook thanked his cast and crew and then thanked the octopods for their important contribution.
In 2013, director Spike Lee decided he would recreate Oldboy, calling it a reinterpretation as opposed to a remake. The film starred Josh Brolin as the lead (unfortunately sporting a shaved head rather than the wild locks associated with the original) along with Elizabeth Olsen, Samuel L. Jackson, and Pom Klementieff. While some audiences bashed the “remake” the jury is still out on whether or not Quentin Tarantino liked it.
Since Oldboy, Park Chan-wook has gone on to direct several more projects, including the romantic thriller The Handmaiden and the upcoming TV mini-series The Sympathizer. He has also been quite successful in producing great work, like 2013’s Snowpiercer starring Chris Evans, Decision to Leave, and Thirst. While Park Chan-wook has not gotten to work with his idol Quentin Tarantino yet, it’s never too late.
Quentin Tarantino is working on his tenth film, The Movie Critic, which he has gone on record saying will be his final film to cap off his long and successful career.
Those who want to see Oldboy in theaters can catch it when it returns to Neon on August 16.