Thursday, 26 September 2013


Indecent, but in good taste. Kim Ki Duk wrings all the hysteria out of this bizarre story of a small family tearing itself apart, without rubbing our noses in it. I still can't decide if it would have been more or less effective if he had, if it would have been more or less comical. Is this a moebius strip of a family unit, or just a moebius strip of a film: one surface, one edge, one basic point, one basic method? The point - that we are mere animals too, and anyone who's seen The Isle knows how kindly Kim treats his animals. We are driven by our impulses. Unrestrained by dialogue, these manic souls grunt and gurn and act on their most primal emotions. The method - sex and violence, all the time. Nasty, cartoonish violence, often shielded from view. Icky, clandestine sex, a product less of healthy sexual desire than of inbuilt sexual repression. These base creatures laugh and scream and act most irrationally, and we laugh with them, and at them, and some may even scream too (oh, and some may vomit. No rly). And all without mere mention of reason, even in the most fleeting and insignificant plot machinations. He's not trying to 'ground' his outrageous tale, to enable his audience to relate to the characters and their actions and their feelings yada yada... He's flexing his muscles as provocateur, not nudging naughtily at the boundary between propriety and vulgarity but ripping it to shreds and spitting on it, and maybe doing other unmentionable things to it, like eating its dick (again, no rly).