The President's Last Bang
Smart, Chancy, Political Satire from Korea
Im Sang-soo's transcendently good political satire The President's Last Bang is so far the smartest, chanciest flick of the year--an alchemical brew of balls and technical brilliance that produces tremors of recognition and aftershocks of import. Whether it's DP Kim Woo-heong's rapturous tracking shots or Kim Hong-jib's tango soundtrack, there is something ineffable embedded in the fabric of the piece, making of the assassination of South Korean president Park Chung-hee something like the boxing sequences of Scorsese's Raging Bull.
It's appropriate: with Park a puppet of big business (it's rumoured that Samsung launched a campaign to discredit the picture prior to release, in part through the censoring of documentary footage owned by Samsung's sister-company CJ Entertainment) and an officer of the Japanese army occupying Manchuria during WWII, hunting down members of the Korean Independent Army arm-in-arm with Hirohito's wolves. (Park's assassin calls him by his Japanese name before he kills him--not a popular decision.)
Im frames his action in short segments, little dances of torture and madness, kidnapping and other florid abuses of power, having at one point a military man deliver his frothing soliloquy in his underwear. With the sly thought that maybe the butler did it, Im encompasses a nation's class, politics, military/industrial infrastructure, and skeletons in the closet with the same elegant outrage. It's one of the best films of the year--more so for how it turns up the heat, ever so slightly, on our own turbid waters. This, not well-intentioned fluff like Good Night, and Good Luck., is how to do righteous indignation. (W. Chaw, Film Freak Central)
The President's Last Bang
Thu & Fri March 16 & 17, 2006, 7:00 & 9:15, Muenzinger Auditorium
Korea, 2005, in Korean, Color, 102 min • official site
10 films for $60 with punch card
$9 general admission.
$7 w/UCB student ID,
$7 for senior citizens
$1 discount to anyone with a bike helmet
Free on your birthday! CU Cinema Studies students get in free.
Pay lot 360 (now only $1/hour!), across from the buffalo statue and next to the
Duane Physics tower, is closest to Muenzinger. Free parking can be found after 5pm at the meters
along Colorado Ave east of Folsom stadium and along University Ave west of Macky.
Park elsewhere and catch the HOP to campus
International Film Series
(Originally called The University Film Commission)
Established 1941 by James Sandoe.
First Person Cinema
(Originally called The Experimental Cinema Group)
Established 1955 by Carla Selby, Gladney Oakley, Bruce Conner and Stan Brakhage.
C.U. Film Program
(AKA The Rocky Mountain Film Center)
First offered degrees in filmmaking and critical studies in 1989 under the guidance of Virgil
Created by Suranjan Ganguly in 2003.
C.U. Department of Cinema Studies & Moving Image Arts
Established 2017 by Chair Ernesto Acevedo-Muñoz.