Wednesday, June 6, 2007


The Bow (활)

The Bow (활) Being a big fan of Korean director Kim Ki-duk (金基德), I am excited to get a chance to watch his "new" film "The Bow (활)" (South Korea 2005, 90 minutes).

Like Kim's earlier film "The Isle," the story is unfold on a fishing boat in the middle of nowhere. We never see any land during the entire film. An old man lives on the boat raising a young girl since she was very small. He plans to marry her soon on her 17th birthday. They live peacefully and quietly, telling fortunes as a team in a unique way that involves a bow, both an instrument and a weapon. However, when a young man shows up on the boat one day, everything is changed, or is it?

Kim's sui generis elegant style shows all over this film. The color, the music, the cinematography, the performance, and the story just give me exquisite gratification. Once again, the main characters never speak a word, at least we didn't hear a word (they whisper into ears few times). However, words seem unnecessary. The complex relationship between the protagonists is vividly revealed through their eyes and their body language.

I have seen most Kim's film, such as "The Isle (섬)," "Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter... and Spring (봄 여름 가을 겨울)," and "3-Iron (빈 집).") But I don't feel repetitive at all when I watch "The Bow (활)." I learn to watch Kim's with an open mind and not to expect where the story will take me, I will probably be wrong anyway. He always has the ability to tell an interesting story.

I am looking forward his next story.

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