Tuesday, October 11, 2005

kim ki duk’s the bow

i rode front row, and it was like being at sea, nothing in front of you except the big blue screen. this weekend, i was shipwrecked out there, left swaying in the cinema, moving, drifting, trying to stay afloat, but this movie wrapped me by the ankles and dragged me underwater.

the story: an old man has been raising a young girl for the past ten years with plans on marrying her on her 17th birthday. he keeps her on a boat in the ocean, and she never leaves, her only contact with the outside world are the fishermen he ferries back and forth.

what i love about kim ki duk are the worlds he builds. his stories take place in isolated places that live on its own peculiar sets of rules and beliefs … the floating temple in Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter… and Spring, the floating village of the Isle, the school girl hangout spots of Samaritan Girl. we saw Spring, Summer at andinh's place together one night and i remember how we ooh'd and coo'd not at elaborate chase scenes or explosions, but at strange little details, a chicken used as an anchor, a mother's face mask... and how it all made sense, his movies, i think, are an exploration, an understanding of how these other imagined places may or may not work.

and the way he shoots, there isn’t a wasted scene, he tells stories with such economy, so rhythmically, without a wasted image, it’s almost like fresh air, like opening your eyes and just seeing.