South Korea

Ki-duk Kim – Bom yeoreum gaeul gyeoul geurigo bom AKA Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter… and Spring. (2003)

Synopsis:
From the award-winning Korean writer/director/editor Kim K-Duk comes this critifcally acclaimed and exquisitely beautiful story of a young Buddhist monk’s evolution from innocence to Love, Evil to Enlightenment and ultimately to Rebirth.

Prayer, meditation, and appreciation of nature are the sacraments by which two monks live a simple life in Korean director Kim Ki-Duk’s SPRING, SUMMER, FALL, WINTER… AND SPRING. A wise old monk (Oh Young-soo) is master to a young student, and remains so throughout the changing seasons of the younger monk’s life. In springtime the young monk is a 5-year-old boy, in summer he is a teenager, in fall he is a 30-year-old man, and in winter he is in mid-life. The master and his student live in a tranquil house that floats in the middle of a pond hidden in a vast woodland. Paddling their row boat to the edge of the pond, they roam the forest collecting herbs for medicine, observing animals, and learning deep lessons about life. Read More »

Ki-duk Kim – Paran daemun AKA Birdcage Inn (1998)

Quote:
With a red-light district in Seoul being demolished, the residents there find they have to relocate. Jin-a opts to leave Seoul and heads to the eastern city of Pohang. There she takes up residence in a boarding house run by a small family. Besides the parents, there is a daughter attending university and a son in high school. At first Jin-a is very happy there, however she continues to sell her body driving her into confrontation with the repressed daughter, Hye-mi. Things go from bad to worse when Jin-a meets Hye-mi’s boyfriend…

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Ki-duk Kim – Soom AKA Breath (2007)

Quote:
After finding her husband’s infidelity, YEON absent-mindedly heads for the prison where condemned criminal JIN is confined. Although she doesn’t know him, repeated news of his suicide attempts on TV had subconsciously grown in her mind. Their first meeting is as awkward as it can get. YEON treats JIN like an old friend whereas JIN doesn’t open up so easily. To JIN’s surprise, YEON comes back for the interview again and again, with the decorated interview room like sping, summer and fall. YEON sings him seasonal tunes in dresses of that season. JIN gradually accepts YEON’s efforts and opens up to her. One day, her husband witnesses the intimacy between YEON and JIN and tries to separate them. They can’t see each other again while the limited time for JIN is ticking away. But the two are already attached to each other more than her husband assumed — more than life and death.

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Sang-woo Lee – Uhmmaneun Changnyeoda AKA Mother is a Whore (2009)

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Quote:
“My Mother is a Whore” is a dark piece of Korean independent cinema from the multi talented Lee Sang Woo, who wrote, produced, directed and even takes the lead role in the exceptionally grim drama. Complimenting his similarly themed “Father is a Dog”, the film is another bleak family tale, which also stars Lee Yong Nyeo, Kwon Bum Taek, Kim Ji Hee and Yoo Ae Kyeong. Given the subject matter, themes and tone of his work to date, Lee has perhaps unsurprisingly been compared with a young Kim Ki Duk, having previously also worked on his recent “Time” and “Breath”. Read More »

Ki-duk Kim – Shilje sanghwang AKA Real Fiction (2000)

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Quote:
An unstable artist (Ju Jin-mo) is sent over the edge during a walk in the park when a woman with a video camera (Kim Jin-ah) begins following him. Flying into a murderous rage, the artist begins running loose through the city, leaving dead bodies in his wake, until he winds up back in the park where he began. Director Kim Hi-duk shot this feature in “real time,” during less than four hours in one afternoon, using an armada of 20 film and video cameras set up in different locations; significantly, the film ends with the film running out in the cameras set in the park. Kim Hi-duk then edited his footage down to a compact 86 minutes. Read More »

Ki-duk Kim – Shi gan AKA Time (2006)

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South Korean maverick Kim Ki-duk takes a scalpel to the local obsession with
appearances in “Time,” in which a young couple resort to plastic surgery to perk their relationship — with unexpected results. Though typically centered on a high-concept idea, film is more of a conversation piece than Kim’s usual pics, recalling recent works by fellow Korean helmer Hong Sang-soo, with its coffee shop meetings and ironic playfulness. Largely going the distance, this one looks to appeal to Kim’s established fanbase rather than make new friends, and has already been sold to 15 territories, mostly in Europe and Latin America. Read More »

Chan-wook Park – Saibogujiman kwenchana aka I’m a Cyborg But That’s OK (2006)

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Plot Synopsis [AMG]
After wrapping-up his critically-acclaimed “Vengeance Trilogy” with the award-winning 2005 thriller Sympathy for Lady Vengeance, South Korean filmmaker Chan-wook Park shifts gears for this gently comic romantic drama concerning a delusional young mental patient who believes herself to be a cyborg. Convinced that she is not entirely human but in fact part android, Young-goon (Lim Su-jeong)’s health begins to deteriorate as she gives up eating food and instead decides to “charge her batteries” by administering electric shocks to herself via a small transistor radio. Read More »