The versatile Korean director Ki-Duk Kim (or Kim Ki-Duk) this times comes with an original and wonderfull drama. In his usual slow pace and minimalistic style, Ki-Duk shows us a story of a young, ‘good burglar’ who meets a young model who is suppressed by her husband. The burglar continues his ‘hobby’ together with the girl. When the couple is caught by the police, the woman is returned to her husband and the young man further develops certain abilities (which would give away too much if I mentioned them). The film is full of amusingly surprising moments, but is far from a comedy. The two main characters hardly speak and the film is in large parts completely silent. As you may expect from Ki-Duk, the shooting is beautiful. If you like the films of Ki-Duk, I am sure you will also enjoy “3 Iron”, as the international title goes.
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.
This is the second film of Ki-Duk Kim that I see and comes closer to what I expected when I bought “Seom”. “Spring, Summer…” is about a monk who lives on an artificial island in a lake (again!) with his pupil. He teaches his pupil the lessons of life. When a sick girl of the pupil’s age comes to the monk to be cured from her illness, the pupil and her fall in love and the pupil eventually follows her to ‘the world of men’ only to return disappointed. “Spring, Summer…” is a very slow film with beautifull images and (Buddist) lessons for life. This is a very ‘spiritual’ film shot in a ‘meditative’ style. Some aspects of “Seom” come back in this film, but not the ‘gory parts’! A very nice watch, available on DVD for a very nice price.