A Remastered Version Of OLDBOY Is Currently Playing In Theaters To Celebrate The Film's 20th Anniversary

A Remastered Version Of OLDBOY Is Currently Playing In Theaters To Celebrate The Film's 20th Anniversary

If you never had the chance to see Park Chan-wook's Oldboy in theaters, now is your chance. The film has returned to cinemas to celebrate its 20th anniversary.

By MarkJulian - Aug 18, 2023 11:08 AM EST
Filed Under: Seinen

On August 16, Neon re-rereleased Oldboy  in  select theaters to mark the 20th anniversary of the film's release in South Korea. Tartan Films USA had previously released the movie in the United States.

To commemorate the event, the venerable Park Chan-wook personally oversaw a digital restoration and 4K HDR remastering of the movie. As of August 23, the film grossed $235,000 at the domestic box office.

The subject of the film is Oh Dae-su, a man who is abducted and held captive for 15 years without being told why. After being freed at last, he sets out to track down his captor and exact retribution. The narrative takes many unexpected turns and keeps the reader wondering right up to the movie's conclusion.

Oh Dae-su is brilliantly performed by Choi Min-sik. He brings both intensity and tenderness to his performance that is absolutely captivating. The supporting cast is also top-notch, as Yoo Ji-tae and Kang Hye-jung both hold their own alongside Min-sik.

Speaking to RogerEbert.com, Park Chan-wook touched on his efforts to restore the film.

"All I did was strive to relive the days when movies were screened on film and try to create the most pristine version possible. We would have corrected the color digitally in the present but, back then, we developed the film using the bleach bypass method. In other words, we physically treated the film negatives. The results aren’t as vivid and crisp as movies of today because of this, despite the fact it was a remastering. It’s very grainy with high contrast and low saturation. This doesn’t align with my aesthetic sensibilities as of today. However, this is in itself a record of that particular era. "

Oldboy theatrical screenings of the remastered version will be available for viewing thru the currrent weeked.

The film is based on a manga series written by Garon Tsuchiya and drawn by Nobuaki Minegishi. The manga was serialized in the Japanese manga magazine Weekly Manga Action from 1996 to 1998 and then collected into eight volumes.  The manga was translated into English by Dark Horse Comics in 2006.

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