Monday, May 01, 2006

Update: Shame-Faced

Join me as I take my first trip down the river with Huckleberry Finn.

DVD: The President’s Last Bang (2005)

In 1979, South Korea’s dictatorial president Park Chung Hee was assassinated by the head of his own intelligence service. This film recounts that night in equal parts political thriller and black comedy.

The assassin claims he’s acting in the interests of democracy, but he seems more motivated by petty grievances and his own impending death. A woman’s profane, fatalistic voiceover reveals the fate of the major players in the closing minutes. The whole thing ends with a prayer for Park’s soul. It’s a wild ride. Non-Korean viewers may have to scramble to keep up (I did), but the effort will be rewarded.

Park doesn’t come off well. I still agree with some of his philosophy. When one of his toadies criticizes another man’s taste in women, Park says:

“Never make a big deal over what goes on below the belly button. A real man would never do so.”

We could use some of that thinking here.

Miscellaneous: Link

New York’s Film Forum launches its annual film noir program. The people at Slant have you covered. Both via GreenCine.