Park Chan-wook (J.S.A., his Vengeance trilogy, and Thirst), you'll make a bee line for his newest film, THE HANDMAIDEN, which is very probably his best. It is certainly his most beautiful film, often breathtaking in its color and composition, but it is also his most placid -- even thought it's filled with mystery, betrayals, and finally just a tad's worth of his signature violence and blood. It is also one of the sexiest, most voluptuous movies I've ever seen -- brought to life, or at least to movie life, with that peculiar (to us westerners) Asian blend of inscrutability, perversity and out-and-out passion that offers up a very hot time.
Fingersmith, which was set in Victorian England and first shown on television in 2005. Park has made the move to Korea and Japan seem utterly appropriate in terms of plot, behavior and all else. And his movie is maybe ten times as beautiful as was the original -- which was perfectly fine in its own manner.
Snowpiercer and a number of other South Korean films -- keeps this little country still at the forefront of some of the best and most unusual mainstream arthouse cinema.
Magnolia Pictures, running 145 minutes and remaining unrated, the movie -- after opening in New York and L.A. last week to mostly excellent reviews -- hits cities around the country this Friday, October 28. Here in South Florida, it plays the Coral Gables Art Cinema in the Miami area, the Miami Beach Cinematheque, and the Cinemark Palace 20 in Boca Raton. To see all currently scheduled playdates and theaters, click here.