Jae-Young is an amateur prostitute who sleeps with men while her best friend Yeo-Jin "manages" her, fixing dates, taking care of the money and making sure the coast is clear. When Jae-Young... See full summary »
On a fishing boat at sea, a 60-year old man has been raising a girl since she was a baby. It is agreed that they will get married on her 17th birthday, and she is 16 now. They live a quiet and secluded life, renting the boat to day fishermen and practicing strange divination rites. Their life changes when a teenage student comes aboard...
Violent thug Crocodile lives under a bridge by the Han River in Seoul together with a peddling boy and a homeless old man. Crocodile saves a beautiful young woman Hyun-Jung from suicide by ... See full summary »
At South Korea's border with the North, troops guard the coast. Each bullies those ranking beneath him; tensions are high. PFC Kang and his friend Private Kim are on patrol when drinking ... See full summary »
Two Korean ex-pats meet in Paris by chance encounter. One a petty thief and wannabe artist/painter (Chong-Hae), the other a tough guy (Hong San). Hong San saves Chong-Hae from a gang of ... See full summary »
Romances end in blood and the frail hopes of individuals are torn apart in a vile karmic continuity of colonialism, civil war and occupation. After surviving Japanese colonization, Korea ... See full summary »
Mute Hee-Jin is working as a clerk in a fishing resort in the Korean wilderness; selling baits, food and occasionally her body to the fishing tourists. One day she falls in love to Hyun-Shik, who is on the run for the police and rescues him with a fish hook, when he tries to commit suicide. Written by
Moritz Muehlenhoff <firstname.lastname@example.org>
I'm fast becoming a fan of Korean director Kim Ki-duk; this is the second film of his I've watched after SPRING, SUMMER, AUTUMN, WINTER...AND SPRING. The two films have much in common in terms of style and setting, but THE ISLE is something else entirely. While SPRING was a heartwarming story that championed the Buddhist lifestyle, THE ISLE is an extraordinarily dark tale of obsession and broken psychology.
One again, Kim Ki-duk has crafted an expertly visual film; THE ISLE looks fantastic and the setting of those floating holiday lettings is an exceptional one. The characters are painted in broad strokes but this makes them thoroughly interesting and it goes without saying that the subdued acting is fantastic. This is a slow burner of a film, yes, but a thoroughly satisfying one all the same, in which the atmosphere is interspersed with some eye-popping set-pieces; if this doesn't put you off fishing then I don't know what will.
Although the infliction of pain is upsetting in the extreme, there are always good reasons for what occurs here, making this as far from "torture porn" as you'll get. The only issue I have with it really is the real-life animal cruelty, something I'm dead set against, but the UK DVD thankfully excises much of this material. In any case, I can't wait to check out more from the director.
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