Dream (2008)

Review first published by EyeforFilm “I, Chuang Tsu, once dreamed I was a butterfly, fluttering between here and there, in all its aims a butterfly. I just knew that I followed my moods like a butterfly, and was unconscious about my human nature. Suddenly I awoke; and there I laid: again ‘me myself’. Now I…

Arirang (2011)

Review first published by EyeforFilm “There are many people waiting for your movie. Make a film. Film whatever you want.” This is the advice which Kim Ki-duk offers himself in a probing, unapologetic interview-cum-character-assassination that the filmmaker conducts with himself (the interviewer distinguishable from the interviewee by having his unruly hair tied back). A third…

3-Iron

3-Iron (2004)

3-Iron first published by EyeforFilm Young, mostly harmless loner Tae-suk (Jae Hee) breaks into houses whose owners are away, makes himself at home for a night or so, does some cleaning or minor repairs, and then goes, leaving little trace of himself. On one of these uninvited visits, he fails at first to notice that unhappily…

Isle

The Isle (Seom) (2000)

The Isle (Seom) first published by Movie Gazette On a misty lake, a woman (Suh Jung) is caretaker for a fleet of houseboats, silently providing the men who hire them with fishing tackle and occasional sexual services. Drawn to a mysterious new arrival (Kim Yoo-Suk) who seems less interested in fishing or sex than in isolation itself, she…

Real Fiction (2000)

Review first published by Movie Gazette While plying his trade in a busy square, a seemingly impassive sketch artist (Ju Jin-mo) is videotaped by a young woman with a camcorder (Kim Jin-ah) as he endures abuse from both his clients and some small-time racketeers. She then leads him to a theatre (emblazoned with posters for…

One On One intro (2014)

This is, more or less, the text for my on-stage introduction to Kim Ki-duk’s One On One for the London Korean Film Festival on Sunday, 9 November, 2014. “Who am I?” Those three words appear in text at the end of Kim Ki-duk’s 20th feature One On One, challenging us to decide where our allegiances…

Crocodile

Crocodile (A-go) (1996)

Crocodile (A-go) first published by Little White Lies Kim Ki-duk is always courting controversy. His films (including The Isle, Bad Guy, Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter… and Spring and 3-Iron) are often violent, cruel and shocking, and have even been accused of misogyny; yet they also typically manifest a visual poetry and a spiritual resonance that offset their unpleasant…

Moebius

Moebius (2013)

Moebius first published by Film4 Synopsis: Korean bad boy (and Buddhist) Kim Ki-duk writes and directs a story of emasculation, self-torment and enlightenment. Review: Furious at the affair of her husband (Jo Jae-hyun) with another woman (Lee Eun-woo), a wife (also played by Lee) tries vengefully to remove his penis with the knife that they…