Just as Abbas Kiarostami's “Certified Copy” glimpsed a different facet to the director's style through its international cast and location, Park Chan-Wook looks to follow suit with his English-language debut, “Stoker.” While the “Oldboy” helmer's particular brand of odd humor and unsettling drama will most likely remain intact, certain aspects of the film look to be taking a different approach, including the recent addition of one of the most talented composers working today.
Clint Mansell will provide the score to “Stoker,” and is currently recording at Air Studios in London. This news comes after Philip Glass was originally thought to be supplying the music, but it's unknown whether any tracks were actually submitted by him, or if the collaboration never moved passed early negotiations. This sudden adjustment is definitely not unwelcome though, as Mansell has repeatedly displayed a brilliant knack at nailing a film's evocative signature theme, from “Requiem of a Dream” to “The Fountain,” and let's not forget his understated work in “Moon.” Even his music in lower-key films, like the Keira Knightley romance “Last Night,” turned out to be among the composer's highlights. He'll join stellar company in Park's career though, with the director's long-time composer Yeong-Wook Jo, who supplied the fantastic scores to both “Oldboy” and “Thirst,” at last sitting this one out.
“Stoker” continues to remain somewhat of a mystery, with little publicity other than its cast and storyline, which concerns a daughter's relationship with both her mother and estranged uncle after her father's death, becoming available. However, Park has publicly spoken about his attraction to the project, stating he loved it “because it only has three main characters and the whole story unfolds in a house, which is a very confined space. I like telling big stories through small, artificially created worlds.”
World building is indeed one of Park's most notable talents among many, and Mansell's contributions will only enhance the film's atmosphere further. At the very least, it will be interesting to see how Park utilizes his impressive cast, which includes Mia Wasikowska, Nicole Kidman, Dermot Mulroney, and Jacki Weaver, for his undoubtedly disturbing touches. Lee Daniels might definitely want to take some notes with Kidman, because with Park involved, you can bet there'll be more than jellyfish stings getting treated.
“Stoker” has yet to find a release date, but look for the film to screen at film festivals toward the end of the year, with the soundtrack hopefully not too long after. [Film Music Reporter]