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Decoding Virginia Tech: First Oldboy, Then... ?

(Photo: The New York Times)

Wednesday evening at ScreenGrab, editor Bilge Ebiri offered this observation about the lack of a blame game implicating the film industry following this week's massacre at Virginia Tech:

There may or may not be such finger-pointing at the culture after this tragedy. It’d be nice if there wasn’t; so far, the only people tying anything in to first-person shooter video games, for example, appear to be wingnuts or politicians out to score points. Otherwise, the shooter doesn’t appear to have been wearing or saying anything movie, TV or video-game related that is setting off anyone’s alarm bells.

And then, a few hours later, came The New York Times:

The inspiration for perhaps the most inexplicable image in the set that Cho Seung-Hui mailed to NBC news on Monday may be a movie from South Korea that won the Gran Prix prize at Cannes Film Festival in 2004.

The poses in the two images are similar, and the plot of the movie, Oldboy, seems dark enough to merit at least some further study. Following is The Times’s plot summary:

"The film centers on a seemingly ordinary businessman, Dae-su (the terrific Choi Min-sik), who, after being mysteriously imprisoned, goes on an extensive, exhausting rampage, seeking answers and all manner of bloody revenge." ...

A Virginia Tech professor, Paul Harrill, alerted us of the similarity between images in the hope that it would shed some light on what led Mr. Cho to kill 32 on Monday before turning the gun on himself.

And I'm guessing this is just the beginning. What do you think?

Posted at April 19, 2007 10:23 AM

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