7.0/10
1,609
5 user 9 critic

Birdcage Inn (1998)

Paran daemun (original title)
Streetwise Jin-a moves into a boarding house run by a small, close-knit family. But her unacceptable behavior threatens to destroy them all.

Director:

Ki-duk Kim
Reviews
1 nomination. See more awards »

Photos

Add Image Add an image

Do you have any images for this title?

Edit

Cast

Cast overview:
Ji-eun Lee Ji-eun Lee ... Jin-a
Hye Eun Lee Hye Eun Lee ... Hye-mi (as Hae-eun Lee)
Jae-mo Ahn Jae-mo Ahn ... Hyun-woo
Hyeong-gi Jeong Hyeong-gi Jeong ... Gecko
Min-seok Son Min-seok Son ... Jin-ho
Learn more

More Like This 

Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

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 »

Director: Ki-duk Kim
Stars: Dong-kun Yang, Min-jung Ban, Young-min Kim
Wild Animals (1997)
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

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 »

Director: Ki-duk Kim
Stars: Jae-Hyun Cho, Dong-jik Jang, Ryun Jang
Crocodile (1996)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A woman forms a twisted bond with a homeless violent thug who prevented her suicide.

Director: Ki-duk Kim
Stars: Jae-Hyun Cho, Jae-Hong Ahn, Mu-song Jeon
Real Fiction (2000)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

The film follows a South Korean artist as he systematically seeks out, and then guns down his real or imagined enemies.

Director: Ki-duk Kim
Stars: Jin-mo Ju, Yi-yeong Shim, Min-seok Son
Action | Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A member of Coast Guard Platoon 23, Private Kang monitors a high-infiltration stretch of beach lined with barbed-wire fencing. Driven by the belief that killing a spy is the highest honor, he waits for a chance to prove his worth.

Director: Ki-duk Kim
Stars: Dong-Gun Jang, Jeong-hak Kim, Ji-a Park
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

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 »

Director: Ki-duk Kim
Stars: Eol Lee, Ji-min Kwak, Yeo-reum Han
Breath (2007)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A love story involving a convicted prisoner who "slowly falls for a woman who decorates his prison cell".

Director: Ki-duk Kim
Stars: Chen Chang, In-Hyeong Gang, Jung-woo Ha
Bad Guy (2001)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

An unfeeling gangster seeks to ruin the life of a young girl who rejected him. He forces her into prostitution and spies on her regularly, then he soon begins to fall for her.

Director: Ki-duk Kim
Stars: Jae-Hyun Cho, Won Seo, Yun-tae Kim
Dream (2008)
Drama | Fantasy | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

In the aftermath of a car crash, a man discovers his dreams are tied to a stranger's sleepwalking.

Director: Ki-duk Kim
Stars: Joe Odagiri, Nayoung Lee, Mi-hee Chang
The Bow (2005)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

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...

Director: Ki-duk Kim
Stars: Yeo-reum Han, Ji-Seok Seo, Gook-hwan Jeon
Amen III (2011)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

A journey of a Korean girl who wanders around Europe to find her boyfriend.

Director: Ki-duk Kim
Stars: Hye-na Kim, Ki-duk Kim
Time (2006)
Drama | Mystery | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

To save her relationship, a woman puts herself through extensive plastic surgery.

Director: Ki-duk Kim
Stars: Jung-woo Ha, Ji-Yeon Park, Jun-yeong Jang
Edit

Storyline

With a red-light district in Seoul being demolished, the residents there find they have to relocate. Jin-a opts to leave Seoul and heads to the eastern city of Pohang. There she takes up residence in a boarding house run by a small family. Besides the parents, there is a daughter attending university and a son in high school. At first Jin-a is very happy there, however she continues to sell her body driving her into confrontation with the repressed daughter, Hye-mi. Things go from bad to worse when Jin-a meets Hye-mi's boyfriend... Written by Thomas Giammarco <giammarcoken@hanmail.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

User Reviews

It's a hard-knock life
19 December 2004 | by liehtzuSee all my reviews

One of Kim Ki-duk's earlier, lesser-seen films, "Birdcage Inn" portrays the hard times of a young Korean prostitute and the family that makes money off her in a Korean coastal city. As with all Kim's films, the plot is pretty ludicrous, but this one lacks much of the sensationalistic depravity that makes most of his films conversation pieces. Kim's really attracted to prostitutes and the business of prostitution - as, it seems, are many of his heroines (one character's transition at the end of the film foreshadows a similar character's change of heart in Kim's recent "Samaria"). He also seems to have a Mizoguchian love/hate feeling towards women. His girls may be whores but they have good hearts, and even though they may be smacked around repeatedly they persevere.

The main girl, Jin-a, has to be the prettiest whore in all of Korea working a seedy dive like the one depicted in "Birdcage Inn." She's down on her luck and is the sole income provider for this impoverished family and their little inn by the sea. The family, though, aren't really all that bad, they just have to put the kimchee on the table and the kids through school somehow. The high schooler son's obsessed with sad, muppet-faced Jin-a and installs a microphone in her room so he can listen in on her frequent trysts with customers. The father, well, aside from the time when he pretty much rapes Jin-a, he's an otherwise great guy. The mother takes it all stoically, which is more than can be said for the daughter, trying to get through university and court a potential fiancé amidst all the dirty business. She can't stand that her family resorts to such activities and she blames poor Jin-a for all of it. Still, "Birdcage Inn" eventually becomes the female-bonding film you figure it was intended to be from the get-go.

Like Lars von Trier, Kim tends to have his adorable lead actresses go through a good deal of pummeling and degradation in his films, and he continues to incur the wrath of feminists. But as I mentioned, despite its subject matter "Birdcage Inn" is probably the tamest of Kim's films until "Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter and Spring," and actually manages to finish on a relatively upbeat note. At the end of "Birdcage Inn" the whore's still a whore and everyone's still stuck in a dead-end existence, but they're all oddly content and accepting, with a smiling, Ozu-like resolve.


28 of 35 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 5 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
Edit

Details

Country:

South Korea

Language:

Korean

Release Date:

31 October 1998 (South Korea) See more »

Also Known As:

Blue Gate See more »

Filming Locations:

Seoul, South Korea See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Boogui Cinema See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page



Recently Viewed