Natural City (2003)

“Natural City” (2003)



not folded paper world

Several times in my comments i’ve said how i’m getting more and more interested in korean current cinema (i still don’t feel comfortable to investigate its past). In later years, i think some of the best films coming out are korean. Among their vast production, we have two directors with whom i commit seriously. Because i have this interest, because korean films appeal to me, even when they fail, i’ve been wondering of the reasons for this. So far i think korean cinema reflects their culture. And that culture is a thin balance between west and east values. Korea is, in most aspects, apparently a country ruled by western principles. Yet, at root, it is an eastern country, coming from the same cradle as Japan and China. So these films i enjoy, beyond their own characteristics, reflect this balance, reflects the essence of two opposed visions of society.

Sometimes the film presses more on the spiritual construction of koreans, which i think still remains oriental in its core. Other times it marvels at topping western narrative structures. Kim Ki Duk and Wook Park are the best in each case. The reason why i mention all this is because this film is totally inserted in this context. But here the balance falls totally for the western side, and is not at all satisfactory in it. The film tackles Bladerunner in its cosmology, in how the world works, in how people in this world face their reality, and even in the physical shape of that world. But where Blade Runner was a matter of memories, dream-real, parallel versions and constant redefinition of realities, here all this is exchanged for a pure “love” story. None of that Dick ambiguity, instead a plain soap operish story about how a man overcomes rejection and compromises to save his forbidden lover, a ‘replicant’ who will die soon. There is no trick in how the story unfolds, there is no surprise to amaze us, there is no origami in this one. Anyway we don’t have that grand scale eye Ridley Scott placed at the service of Phil Dick’s vision. We have a mere celebration of huge sets, strange worlds (which are not that fascinating , by the way), and Matrix based slow motion. We have few things to see here.

My opinion: 2/5

This comment on IMDb


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