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Korean Wave

South Korea's official Oscar entry 'Decision to Leave' screens in the Philippines

Kathleen A. Llemit - Philstar.com
South Korea's official Oscar entry 'Decision to Leave' screens in the Philippines
South Korean director Park Chan-wook (center) with Chinese star Tang Wei (left) and Park Hae-il (right), lead stars of his critically acclaimed film, "Decision To Leave," at this year's Cannes Film Festival.
AFP/Loic Venance

MANILA, Philippines — Filipino cinephiles who are looking for another potential South Korean, Oscar-winning film may have the chance to see it before it becomes a huge hit or the talk of the town after the awards season next year. 

Park Chan-wook's commercial and critically-acclaimed latest opus, "Decision To Leave," is among the films featured at the ongoing Ayala Malls Cinemas’ "Korean Film Festival: Seoul Spotlight," which runs until September 27 in select Ayala Malls cinemas.

"Decision To Leave" is a romance thriller about a seasoned inspector who gets enthralled with a mysterious widow who is a suspect in his latest murder investigation. 

Park's adept eyes create refreshing and visually stunning angles to otherwise common or mundane scenes. The story is familiar yet his point-of-view as told by his lens make most of the scenes fascinating even in their mostly dark undertones.  

"Decision To Leave" has been selected by the Korean Film Council to represent South Korea at the Best International Feature Film category of the 95th Academy Awards scheduled in March 2023. 

It stars Chinese star Tang Wei and Park Hae-il. Park Chan-wook won the Best Director at this year's Cannes Film Festival for directing this film. 

The seasoned director is known for his "unofficial" Vengeance trilogy, namely, "Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance" (2002), "Oldboy" (2003) and "Lady Vengeance" (2005), with "Oldboy" earning praises from director Quentin Tarantino and renowned film critic Roger Ebert. 

Prior to "Decision To Leave," Park Chan-wook also directed another commercial and critical success, "The Handmaiden," which won the Best Film Not in the English Language category at the 71st British Academy Film Awards or the BAFTAs in 2018.  

The film, along with other films, will be screened in Glorietta, TriNoma, Ayala Malls Manila Bay, Centrio, Ayala Malls Capitol Central, and Ayala MarQuee Mall. 

"Decision To Leave" will also have its exclusive regular run across Ayala Malls Cinemas from September 28 to October 4. 

Here are the other movies screening at the Korean film festival: 

For those who want to see glimpses of the Philippines in a Korean movie, the 2020 action-comedy "The Golden Holiday" follows the story of a man who sets out for Manila to find his friend who scammed him under the guise of going on vacation. 

"The Policeman's Lineage" stars "Parasite" actor Choi Woo-shik who plays a by-the-book police officer that struggles to investigate a team leader who believes the cause of crime should be justified even if it's illegal. 

"On The Line" revolves around a victim of voice phishing who goes out of his way to infiltrate the organization behind the system.

"Ashfall" features an all-star cast that includes “Train to Busan” star Ma Dong-seok, Bae Suzy, and “Squid Game” star Lee Byung-hun. It highlights the pandemonium that ensues after the eruption of an active volcano, and the chaos that follows after a threat of more imminent eruptions. 

Another "Parasite" actor is featured in the film fest. Song Kang-ho leads the cast of the action thriller "Emergency Declaration,"  which shows the unprecedented terror that occurs in-flight, forcing the aircraft to declare an emergency. It also stars “G.I. Joe” star Lee Byung-hun, and “The World of the Married” actor Park Hae-joon. 

Horror fans can choose to watch the Anthology Horror film "Urban Myths," which consists of 10 different horror stories felt in familiar, everyday places like noise between floors, old furniture, mannequins, tunnels, and social media.

Putting a spotlight on outcasts is "In Our Prime," which revolves around the story of a genius mathematician with a hidden past and a needy student who has given up on math. 

"Train to Busan" stars Gong Yoo and Jung Yu-mi turn on the romance in "Kim Ji-young: Born 1982." The movie is based on the best-selling novel of the same name and tells the story of a woman in her 30s who suddenly shows signs of being inhabited by others such as her late mother and older sister, and the stories of the people connected to her. 

"The Dude In Me" tells the story of how a weak high school student and a gangster exchange their bodies accidentally. It features "Love in the Moonlight" star Jung Jin-hyoung. 

Festival passes are available for those who wish to catch these films. Watch three movies for P650 or seven movies for P1,500 in Ayala Malls Manila Bay, Glorietta, and TriNoma. Meanwhile, moviegoers can watch three movies for P500 or seven movies for P1,200 in MarQuee Mall, Centrio, and Capitol Central.

For inquiries and reservations at Ayala Malls Cinemas, visit the ticket booth or book tickets via SureSeats.com. 

RELATED: South Korea has big Cannes night with actor, director awards

KOREAN FILM

PARK CHAN-WOOK

TANG WEI

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