Tag Archives: Ki-duk Kim

Ki-duk Kim – Bi-mong aka Dream (2008)

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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. Read More »

Ki-duk Kim – Ag-o aka Crocodile (1996)

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I often quote Kim Ki-Duk as my favourite director of all time, partly because of his prolific output (I’m glad he numbers his films, I was losing count!) and his consistently emotional style. While I absolutely adore the “new-wave” Kim Ki-Duk (3-Iron, Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter…And Spring, The Bow), I also thoroughly enjoy his earlier, grittier films (The Isle, Address Unknown). This film, his debut, is possibly the best and grittiest of the early films. In a setting that stands somewhere between urban and rural, and filled with Kim Ki-Duk’s beloved water motif, we see three misfits (a boy, the title character Crocodile and an elderly man) inexplicably living together on a platform under a bridge. Read More »

Ki-duk Kim – Hae anseon aka The Coast Guard (2002)

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Perhaps the reason why this movie is getting such a bad rap is mainly a fault of its well-meaning, but still incoherent style and narrative structure. I have not read any articles on this movie or interviews with the director to know what his overt intention was, but in the end I think the movie falls short of its mark due to Kim’s perennial fixation on obsession, whether it was his intention to delve into this subject matter or not. On most levels, obsession is a largely private affair, and any exegesis of obsession enmeshed within the loaded geopolitical situation that is now Korea would require a broader vision and canvas matched with a technical command of story telling than any that Kim has been able to provide here or elsewhere. Read More »

Ki-duk Kim – Suchwiin bulmyeong AKA Address Unknown (2001)

Romances end in blood and the frail hopes of individuals are torn apart in a vile karmic continuity of colonialism…
Address Unknown (2001) is Kim Ki-Duk’s most political film so far which traces the scars left by the Korean war of the 1950s and its contemporary reverberations on a US Army base. Read More »

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

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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)

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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)

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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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