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One of the enfants terribles of French cinema and a key director of the kind of visually striking 1980s films that critics referred to as the Cinéma du loók. From his debut 'Boy Meets Girl' (1984), made when he was just 24, Carax became known for ambitious films whose worlds were richly resplendent fantasies of modern life. After 'Mauvais Sang' (1986), he had unprecedented success with 'Les Amants du Pont Neuf' (1991), one of the most expensive French films every made. 'Pola X' (1999), with its stunning Scott Walker soundtrack, divided audiences and critics. 'Holy Motors' (2012) won them all back with its playful narrative, undermining of genre conventions and just plain strangeness.
A visual stylist par excellence, whose penchant for violence is matched by a mastery of atmosphere and fascination with moral ambiguity, Park Chan-wook is the most celebrated of the South Korean directors to emerge from the country's cinematic boom of the late 1990s. Originally a film critic, director Park's early features are entertaining, but lack the authorial stamp of his later work. His breakthrough came with the short 'Judgement' (1999). A dark satire, it referenced the Sampung department store collapse in 1995 which led to the deaths of over 500 people. Then came the acclaimed Vengeance trilogy: 'Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance' (2002), 'Oldboy' (2003) and 'Lady Vengeance' (2005) each deserves attention for its exploration of morality and our basest desires. His audacious take on the vampire myth 'Thirst' is the filmmaker's personal favourite of his work to date and cemented director Park's reputation as one of contemporary cinema's leading filmmakers. Park Chan-wook captures the intoxicating atmosphere of the Deep South gothic in 'Stoker' (2013), while 'The Handmaiden' (2017) is a marvellous, labyrinthine narrative of twists, turns and double-dealings. Based on Sarah Waters' novel 'Fingersmith', Park transposed the action from Victorian London to 1930s, Japanese-occupied Korea.