July 10th, 2009 17:07:00
Kim Ki-Duk may be Korea’s most ambitious auteur, and his films have routinely invited controversy while simultaneously securing awards throughout the festival circuit. Kim was a high school dropout who served in the army and had no formal education in film or the arts before embarking on his first picture CROCODILE in 1996, which would mark the genesis of his now-signature focus on marginal spaces and their alienated inhabitants. THE ISLE (2000) was Kim Ki-Duk’s breaththrough film, followed up by the audience-polarizing BAD GUY (2001), both of which screened at Fantasia. DREAM is Kim Ki- Duk’s 15th film and though it’s his first film with overtly supernatural elements, it still maintains his signature male-female relationships – desperate, and emotionally imprisoning. All films involve powerful, but indirect communication.
“The violence that they turn to, I prefer to call a kind of body language,” said Kim in a Senses of Cinema interview with Volker Hummel. DREAM plays Friday July 10th at 7:15pm (SOLD OUT) and again on Saturday July 11th at 2:50pm, both in the Salle de Seve.
Fantasia was one of the first festivals to play a Park Chan Wook film with JOINT SECURITY AREA back in 2001. We’ve been on board with him ever since, through his Vengeance trilogy (SYMPATHY FOR MR. VENGEANCE, OLDBOY and LADY VENGEANCE) and we are proud to present the Nnorth American Premiere of his new film THIRST - a vampire film that takes Emile Zola’s incendiary 1867 novel Thérèse Raquin as its primary inspiration. As with Zola’s text, THIRST similarly takes a minimalist plot and creates an intense character-driven web of betrayal and bloodshed. Zola’s book at the time was considered – even by his closest associates - “an outrage against good taste”, and THIRST is no less shocking and provocative. THIRST plays Friday July 10th at 9:30pm (SOLD OUT) and again on Sunday July 12th at 12:00noon, both in the Hall Theatre.
Noh Young-Seok’s DAYTIME DRINKING represents the newest wave of Korean independent cinema – its budget was a mere $10,000 – and with its lost, drifting characters who imbibe to excess and philosophize to no one in particular, it’s been likened to the early films of Jim Jarmusch. DAYTIME DRINKING plays Friday July 10 at 5:00pm and again on Tuesday July 28th at 3:00pm in the Salle de Seve.
The three films together form a unique triptych of Korean cinema, spanning the entire range of budget and experience to create the impression of a country constantly striving to challenge and reinvent itself.