Seom * Ki-Duk Kim * 2000

the isle

I bought two films by Kim Ki-Duk, this one and “Bom yeoreum gaeul gyeoul geurigo bom” which I will review as soon as I saw it. Kim Ki-Duk is a Korean director and his films are at least different from the usual Asian films that are so popular at the moment. I understood that the films are more in the vein of “Dolls” by Takeshi Kitano (reviewed elsewhere), a beautiful symphony of colours, images and symbols. “Seom” turns out to be indeed a film with marvelous images, but with an occasional “Odishon” (“Audition”)-like scene. People who know this film by Takashi Miike will know what I mean. “Seom” may not be that extreme, but I advise people with a sensitive stomach not to watch either film. This is only in a few scenes though. The film is about Hee-Jin who lets tiny boat-houses (or raft-houses) that are used by people for fishing, relaxation, receiving prostitues and commiting suicide. The non-speaking Hee-Jin has her eye on everything and sometimes violently interferes with what happens. The morning images of rafts tossing on the misty lake are beautiful (and so is Hee-Jin btw) and the overall atmosphere is strange and mysterious. You don’t want to try and find a real story or a descent ending though, because (like in other Asian films) you will not find it. A nice film and I am looking forward to see the other film of Kim Ki-Duk that I bought.

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