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LinkAsia | Mar 13
Host of the hit South Korean podcast "I'm a Petty-Minded Creep" Kim Ou-joon speaks with LinkAsia about his co-host Chung Bong-ju's imprisonment, Pr...
South Korean filmmaker Kim Ki-duk is making waves internationally with his recent film, Pieta. He was just awarded the Golden Lion award for best movie at the Venice Film Festival. It's the first time that a Korean has won the coveted award, which has previously been given to celebrated directors like Akira Kurosawa and Roberto Rosselini. Here's South Korean broadcaster MBC with the story.
Kim Ki-duk is regarded as a top filmmaker abroad representing South Korea, but within the country he has been outside the mainstream. It's an ironic reputation for him to have. Kim grew up poor, so he went to work in a factory when he was 15 and never studied filmmaking formally. Kim only started to watch movies when he was 32. His life changing moment came when he watched these two movies: The Silence of The Lambs and The Lovers on the Bridge.
I feel the temperature of the world, and my responsibility is to express my experienced temperature through films.
While he was studying painting, he found his powers of expression in film. And in 1996 he brought his first film, "Crocodile", to the Chungmuro filmmaking district. After that Birdcage Inn was selected as the opening film at the Berlin Film Festival. And his film Samaritan Girl,and 3-Iron were awarded Best Director at the Berlin Film Festival and Venice Film Festivals. He became known as an 'auteur.' However, because of his unique style of dark expression and extreme violence, he has always been regarded as a non-commercial filmmaker.
I think in contemporary society we're cannibalizing each other. Therefore, I had to choose that kind of subject for my films.
Despite conflict with the mainstream, Kim pursues a constant theme: sin and redemption. Critics gave him the cold shoulder, and not many people ever watch his films, but his artistic spirit has endured; it has now reached a dramatic climax with his 18th film, Pieta. I'm Jang Mi-il for MBC.
South Korea's social media users are supportive of the filmmaker, but critical of the way that the country's movie industry works.
This user writes:
"People who consider Kim Ki-duk's Golden Lion Prize win as glory for the nation must have not watched his movies. He became great as he showed the pain inside our raw society. The movie is very painful."
Another user laments the lack of nurturing offered by the film industry:
"He is not a director that the Korean movie industry raised, but a director that the audiences and film world outside of Korea raised."
And this user is ultimately impressed by the filmmaker's achievements:
"He was a middle school grad and an outsider. However, he overcame all the prejudices and stood up in the world. He's become an icon of success."
Kim Ki-duk is the first Korean to win top awards at the Venice, Cannes and Berlin film festivals.