South Korea

Ki-duk Kim – Pieta (2012)

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Synopsis (from koreanfilm.or.kr)

Hired by moneylenders, a man lives as a loan shark brutally threatening people for pay back their debts. This man, without any family and therefore with nothing to lose, continues his merciless way of life regardless of all the pain he has caused to a countless number of people. One day, a woman appears in front of him claiming to be his mother. He coldly rejects her at first, but gradually accepts her in his life. He decides to quit his cruel job and to live a decent life. Then suddenly the mother is kidnapped. Assuming that it would be by someone he has hurt in the past, he starts to track down all the people he has harassed. The man finally finds the one, only to discover horrifying and dark secrets that were better left unrevealed. Read More »

Sang-soo Hong – Da-reun na-ra-e-suh AKA In Another Country (2012)

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from; link

In Another Country is an airy comic romance by the Korean director Hong Sangsoo which begins in a hotel in Mohang, a quiet Korean seaside town. A young film student called Wonju (Jung Yumi) idly jots down script ideas in her room. As she writes, we see three, or perhaps four, distinct stories playing out, all made up of common characters and motifs that emerge from Wonju’s scribblings. Read More »

Woo-Seong Lim – Chaesikjuuija AKA Vegetarian (2009)

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Synopsis:

A young housewife, finds herself having strange dreams that make her disgusted by meat, leading to trouble with her meat-loving husband and attention from her artist brother in law. Read More »

Ki-duk Kim – Yasaeng dongmul bohoguyeog AKA Wild Animals (1996)

IMDB:
Two Korean ex-pats meet in Paris by chance encounter. One a petty thief and wannabe artist/painter (Chong-Hae), the other a tough guy (Hong San). Hong San saves Chong-Hae from a gang of thugs and the two become friends. Seizing an opportunity, Chong-Hae and Hong San perform martial arts stunts on the streets for money. A French mobster spots them and recruits the duo as hit men. While in Paris Chong-Hae falls in love with a statue-performer and Hong San yearns for the affections of a local peep-show stripper. After much backstabbing and being caught-up in murder; the duo find themselves at war with their mobster recruiters and each other. Written by Alex L Read More »

Ki-duk Kim – Seom AKA The Isle (2000)

The Isle is a case in point. Based around a primitive fishing community on a lake, it’s beautifully shot though morally bankrupt, far too eager to visually astound one moment then deeply shock the next. It focuses on a pseudo sado-masochistic relationship between a mute woman and a murderous ex-cop and, seemingly, is out to break almost every taboo available. There’s animal cruelty on a grand scale. There’s at least one rape scene, and one scene in which sexual violence towards women is almost justified by the filmmaker. There’s self-mutilation; a myriad of bodily functions; and, perhaps only a hundred lines of dialogue in the entire movie. It’s almost as if Kim is setting himself up to be Korea’s Takashi Miike, only with better cinematography. Read More »

Ki-duk Kim – Nabbeun namja AKA Bad Guy (2001)

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An interview with Kim Ki-Duk conducted by Colker Hummel for Sensesofcinema.com

Volker Hummel: Mr Kim, you once said that the starting point for all your films is hatred. What kind of rage drives your new movie Bad Guy?

Kim Ki-Duk: I used the word “hatred” in a larger context, and I really don’t think you should take that word out of context. The kind of hatred I was talking about was not a specific one, directed against one thing or person. Instead it is the kind of feeling that I get as I live my life and see things that I do not understand. That’s why I make movies: I see something which I do not understand and then I make a film in order to comprehend it. So maybe it’s better to talk about a misunderstanding that I have instead of hatred. Read More »

Ki-duk Kim – Bi-mong aka Dream (2008)

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Quote:
Dream (or Bi-mong, as is the Korean title) is already Ki-duk’s 15th film. It’s also the 15th Ki-duk film I watched so obviously you can consider me a fan. Ki-duk is a director who’s known to stay pretty close to what he does best, so even though the differences between Dream and his earlier films might not seem stellar, they do present a big deviation for Ki-duk standards. Yet in the end, Dream is still 100% Ki-duk and couldn’t have been made by any other.

Central to Dream is the casting of Jo Odagiri, Japanese acting talent who’s often considered to be Tadanobu Asano’s professional twin (and rightfully so). Odagiri is known for his interesting choices in film and his foreign appeal. Even their looks seem to match from time to time. Odagiri plays a large part in Ki-duk’s latest and marks Ki-duk’s first big deviation. It’s the first time a foreign film star takes the center stage in one of his films. Read More »