Browsing: Cinema of Embodied Unpleasures

Cinema of Embodied Unpleasures

From 1996 to 2008, filmmaker Kim Ki-duk produced an astounding output of fifteen feature films, averaging at times two films per year. Perhaps what is even more surprising is that unlike other filmmakers who emerged in the mid-1990s, Kim did not receive any formal training in filmmaking. But a background in visual arts he has, through his studies of fine art in France for three years at the beginning of the 1990s. Following that experience, he won several screenplay awards upon his return to South Korea, including his first-place submission to the Korean Film Council’s screenwriting contest in 1995. These prizes paved the way for his filmmaking debut a year later with Crocodile. Since then, this former factory worker, ex-marine, and priest-in-training never once looked back and proceeded to build a highly provocative, often controversial, and memorable filmography through a minimalist method of low-budget independent filmmaking. With his persistent themes of self-abnegation, metaphysical longing and interrogation, torture, trauma, isolation, physical and metaphorical journey, and the play between reality and fantasy, Kim has carved a place for himself within contemporary Korean cinema as well as world cinema.