Archive of films Arirang / Arirang
After a hiatus of several years, renowned South Korean filmmaker Kim Ki-duk returns to the screen with his frank, even heartrending confession Arirang. He serves as screenwriter, director, and even performer of a Kim Ki-duk triumvirate: recluse, filmmaker, and critic. This original work, realized far from civilization with a digital camera aimed at his own face, took Cannes’ Un Certain Regard ex aequo prize at this year’s festival.
Well-known Korean filmmaker Kim Ki-duk fell silent after making Dream (2008). In the unique film Arirang, he aims the camera at himself: he is his own screenwriter, director, cameraman, and performer. Far from the city where for years he has lived in a primitive house, the creator resolved to offer a testimony to the public that is at times agonizingly frank. He talks about his unusual path to self-taught filmmaking, his rise to becoming the foremost representative of South Korean cinema abroad, and about the reason for his decision to leave everything and withdraw into seclusion. But the film is not just emotional outpourings of depression and doubt: much of the confession comprises questions about the meaning of creation that Kim Ki-duk the recluse puts to Kim Ki-duk the filmmaker, who responds on a monitor while a third Kim Ki-duk ironically comments on it all. This display of directorial invention, along with his color concept for the film, testify to the exceptional talents of a creator who may be a touch sentimental but who is clearly ready to abandon his solitary life and return to work.
About the director
Kim Ki-duk (b. 1960, Bonghwa, South Korea) came to film direction relatively late, after turning 30. But only in the mid-1990s did he begin to make a name for himself as a controversial creator of unusual stories combining dark melancholy and brutality with erotic extremes. He became the best-known South Korean director thanks in part to his intense professional commitment: he regularly shot one film per year and his pictures have been shown to success at the world’s most prestigious festivals. At the 37th Karlovy Vary IFF he was the subject of a retrospective profile. Selected filmography: Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter... and Spring (2003), 3-Iron (2004), The Bow (2005), Time (2006), Breath (2007). His latest film Arirang shared the Prize of Cannes’ Un Certain Regard section with Andreas Dresen’s Stopped on Track.