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...
In 1986, in the province of Gyunggi, in South Korea, a second young and beautiful woman is found dead, raped and tied and gagged with her underwear. Detective Park Doo-Man and Detective Cho... See full summary »
The story follows an underground weapons manufacturer in Belgrade during WWII and evolves into fairly surreal situations. A black marketeer who smuggles the weapons to partisans doesn't ... See full summary »
In busy downtown Seoul, a thuggish young man notices a fresh-faced college student who sits on a bench. He stares then sits next to her. She looks at him as if he's vermin, rises and walks ... 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 ... See full summary »
In the midst of the Korean wilderness, a Buddhist master patiently raises a young boy to grow up in wisdom and compassion, through experience and endless exercises. Once the pupil discovers his sexual lust, he seems lost to contemplative life and follows his first love, but soon fails to adapt to the modern world, gets in jail for a crime of passion and returns to the master in search of spiritual redemption and reconciliation with karma, at a high price of physical catharsis... Written by
The inscription on the floor is "The Heart Sutra", one of the most important Sutra of Mahayana Buddhism, written in literary Chinese. See more »
When the young monk finishes inscribing the Heart Sutra on the floor and falls down exhausted, the inscriptions below him change between shots (even though he is lying motionless). In one shot, the inscriptions he is lying on have been painted; and as he wakes up, the paint is gone. See more »
Didn't you know beforehand how the world of men is? Sometimes we have to let go of the things we like. What you like, others will also like."
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I'm constantly amazed by the appearance of some seemingly off-the-wall piece of art that when you view it evokes a stunning effect. The simplicity of this film, its low-key action and pace, its visual surrealistic beauty, all interact to create an emotional impression that is long-lasting and thought-provoking. Korea has been somewhat slower to enter the international cinematic world and here is a film with actors whose names stir little or no recognition. For myself, who has enjoyed the Korean films I've seen before, it was a delightful surprise. The film itself is a wonderful tapestry of Korean Buddhist culture, with quiet visual beauty, simple moral themes and human passions put into a simple, homespun perspective. The remarkable natural setting which reflects the wide spectrum of Korea's seasons, which range from hot, sticky humid-fraught summers to icy, cold snow-bound winters, become a metaphor of life with unadorned figures, completely human in form. The old monk becomes a witness to the interplay of human qualities, without judgment yet with a complete and quiet moral presence. The foibles of child cruelty is met with a simple retribution which imparts a lasting lesson. Judgment is always withheld and warnings are given simply. The effect of all of this rings long and lasting, much like the impression of a delicate Korean silk print: simple in design with plain brush strokes and stylized representations of nature-- yet, lasting in impression, often to the point of being unforgettable. I buy few videos and DVDs, preferring to see things I really enjoyed again and again. But, I've ordered this one.
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