Three… Extremes is a shocking new powerhouse by Park Chan-Wook (Oldboy). And Takashi Miike (Gozu). And Fruit Chan (Made in Hong Kong). And Chan’s contribution features striking cinematography by staple Wong Kar-Wai lenser Christopher Doyle. Has your cerebellum stopped twitching yet? It will run liquefied out your nostrils once you actually see this film!
A popular horror filmmaker is held hostage in his home by a disgruntled extra. The broken actor will force the breaking director to make a spiritually agonizing choice amidst a tableau of cruelty.
An aging actress, terrified of losing her husband’s interest, seeks help from an eccentric naturopath known for cooking special dumplings that reverse time’s ravages. She has an inkling that at least one key ingredient is unspeakably hideous (whatever you’re thinking, it’s worse than that), but she’s willing to turn a blind eye to maintain her looks in this stunning portrait of human frailty’s relationship with atrocity.
A young novelist is haunted by memories of her childhood, when she was part of a magic act with her late sister. The children used to contort themselves into a minuscule box, an act designed to please their surrogate father even more so than their audiences. Memory and time melt into a disquieting haze of guilt that carries yesterday’s whispers into screams of the present.
Three… Extremes is a transgressive trilogy of medium-length short films from South Korea, Japan and Hong Kong, each an assaulting exploration of egoism, with shared imagery revolving around destruction/rejuvenation of the flesh, and a shattered entertainer at its core. Chan-Wook’s Cut is pure Grand Guignol theatricality, highly stylized and laced with toxic does of acerbic wit, horrific violence and eye-bursting art direction. Miike’s Box is the dreamy, hypnotic entry—reflective, haunting and brimming with traces of corporeal corruption. It hits its mark with calm conviction—and isn’t afraid to leave bruises. The most disturbing entry is Fruit Chan’s Dumplings, which proved so strong that the filmmaker released a longer, feature-length version in his homeland. Hong Kong’s arthouse auteur has delivered what might well be the most confrontational and genuinely stomach-turning horror film in recent memory. People have fainted at screenings and it will doubtlessly leave a part of the audience outraged in virtually any country it is shown. Three… Extremes is a pan-Asian starburst of beauty, poetry, politics and revulsion, with fascinating sensibilities that contrast against one another to compose a pitch-black opera with a socially conscious soul.
"Bracingly twisted… dreamy… lyrical… plenty of vile little secrets and ghastly urges are explored" — David Rooney, VARIETY
"Actually lives up to expectations… these short films showcase the genuine talent of true artists and give us a taste of what real subversive cinema is all about" — Andrew Kasch, DREAD CENTRALwebsite
Director: Fruit Chan, Park Chan-wook, Takashi Miike
Screenplay: Park Chan-wook, Haruko Fukushima, Lilian Lee
Cast: Kyoko Hasegawa, Bai Ling, Tony Ka-Fai Leung, Lim Won-Hee, Gang Hye Jung
Producers: Peter Chan
Distributor: Lions Gate - Maple Pictures