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'Old Boy' director touts Asia

May 26, 2004|From Reuters

SEOUL — South Korean director Park Chan-wook, whose ultraviolent film "Old Boy" won the Grand Prix at the Cannes film festival last weekend, believes Asian cinema is moving away from the fringe and increasingly influencing the mainstream.

"We didn't feel like onlookers at Cannes," Park said at a news conference Tuesday, hours after flying in from Europe.

He said that Asian culture was being increasingly utilized in global films and that productions from the region were not merely being seen as "exotic."

"From movies to food, Europe's interest in Asia is getting bigger," Park said.

His visually stunning and extremely violent film, the second part of a revenge trilogy, was predictably well received by American director Quentin Tarantino.

Tarantino, who headed the jury at Cannes and was showing his Asian-influenced "Kill Bill Vol. 2" out of competition, admitted to finding it hard to sleep after watching "Old Boy" and to being brought to tears in some scenes, Park said.

"Old Boy" is to be remade in an English-language version in Hollywood, its distributor said. But the violence probably would be toned down.

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