CINEMA DIVERSE 2015 : DIRECTOR’S CHOICE - The Chaser (2008)
Event Date : 05 September 2015
Location: Auditorium, 5th floor The Chaser (Korea / 2008) directed by Na Hong-jin. It has been chosen by Banjong Pisanthanakun, an acclaimed Thai director of Pee Mak, Hello Stranger and Shutter.
The Chaser is Na Hong-jin’s directorial debut. The film had grossed over $35 million (1.2 billion baht) in South Korea alone. Apart from its commercial success, The Chaser was screened out of competition in the Cannes Film Festival 2008, and won 6 Korean Film Awards including Best Film, Best Director and Best Actor. It has been praised as one of the best Korean action-thriller movies of all time. Ex-detective pimp Jung-ho is angry because his girls keep disappearing without clearing their debts. One night, he gets a call from a customer and sends Mi-jin. But when Mi-jin meets the customer, Jung-ho realizes the phone number of the customer matches that of the calls the missing girls got last. As something smells fishy, he searches for her. During his search, Jung-ho dents a car in the alley. When Jung-ho spots blood splattered on the driver’s shirt, he senses the man, Young-min, is the suspect. After an intense chase, Jung-ho finally catches Young-min. But because of Jung-ho’s pretense as a cop, they are both taken to the police station. At the station, he bluntly tells the policemen that he has killed the missing women, and the last girl, Mi-jin, may still be alive. As the police force is obsessed with a random search for corpses, Jung-ho is the only one who believes Mi-jin is still alive. With only 12 hours left to detain the serial killer without a warrant, Jung-ho’s hunt begins.
“I am crazy about thriller films. Of course I started with American thrillers but soon I formed the opinion that Korean directors make the best thriller movies. They seemed to be masters of suspense with excellent tension-building techniques. Their clever use of violence carries a real emotional impact, much like in this film, The Chaser. I used to believe that only directors from Western countries could make good movies about serial killers. The killers in these films would mostly come from the upper class, often being extremely clever but deranged. However after watching The Chaser, with its working class characters and the plain and simple motive of the killer, I realised that anyone can make a good thriller movie about serial killers. It showed what could be done once you have a good story and know how to play with the audience’s emotions just like what Mr. Na Hong-jin did superbly with The Chaser.” Banjong Pisanthanakun
Arts Activities department
Thai Language, English
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