Monday, March 7, 2005


The Isle (섬)

The Isle (섬) I finally gathered myself together and built up strong enough stomach to finish the Korean film "The Isle" ("섬"). It's one of the most gruesome good looking films I have seen. Yes, the film is beautifully made, I wonder if it was made on the same lake which the splendid "Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter... and Spring" (봄여름가을겨울그리고봄) was shot, both movies are directed by Kim Ki-duk (金基德). Let me tell you, Kim has a twisted mind and incredible talent like many great artists. He can shoot a scene and put the camera at your least expected position and you will remember or get disturbed for a long long time.

Unlike the divine "Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter... and Spring," "The Isle" is like a dark poetry, exploring the sadomasochism subplot, with style and beauty. Watching this film is a great cinema experience, with the thrill of seeing nothing like that before. I have recommended to people the Japanese thriller "Audition," now it gets a competition: "The Isle."

The film is about an ex-cop escapes to this isolated lake from the law (sounds familiar? see "Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter... and Spring") and meets this mute woman (people debate if she can speak or just choose not to during the entire film), who provides supplies and prostitution to fish men floating on different boats in the lake. Then twists and turns happen one after another. If you have the strong nerve to finish the film, you will know all the details.

While watching this film, I couldn't help but put on my hands over my eyes a few times, gasping and moaning, and then peeked out between my fingers to find out what's happening on the screen, like when I saw "Audition," "The Piano Teacher," and "Salo, or The 120 Days of Sodom."

Tonight, I will go to sleep with my lights on.

My rating: 9 out of 10.

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