It could be overselling Park’s work just a bit to claim that there is no one else making movies like him, but trying to articulate their procedures or tie them to extant categories is quite difficult... Alive bears a resemblance to Wang Bing or even the Dardennes... At the same time Park abjures verisimilitude through tightly controlled situations and a sense of sociological entrapment much more in line with the codes of melodrama.
The audacious, formally striking Alive by Park Jungbum managed to relativize Los Ausenteseven further, with the inclusion of the young Korean director's dark, unrelenting tragedy in the competition being at once bold and entirely justified.
Like his bold, vigorous performance, Park's unflinching long takes work in the film like tenacious stares—often directed at scenes of violence or despair. The new film departs from the Italian Neorealist style that heavily informed The Journals of Musan. Instead, the dominant influence here is that of recent East Asian cinema.