Nabbeun namja (2001)

“Nabbeun namja” (2001)


torn pages

Some people just get to you. Being close to you, culturally, should help in that process. And sometimes it does. But most of the times, it’s meaningless where the art comes from. Some codes seem to be universal and will reach wherever you come from. I suppose that’s what Jung meant by collective consciousness. Kim Ki Duk changed me with his Bin Jip. In ways that i’m still trying to understand. I know that among many of the most powerful ideas in art, i’m specially fond of the idea of reaching without touching, to touch without contact. To make a climax but emptying the climactic moment. That’s something i’ve experimented in several areas where i try and work, music, architecture, image. It’s a powerful concept, hard to achieve, rewarding if you do. Kim Ki Duk did it in Bin Jip, and for that i’ll see whatever he has to offer.

*major spoilers* I think he was already surrounding that idea that blossomed in Bin Jip when he did this. This is about a despicable character, who falls in love with an normal woman. He bullies her in a clumsy attempt to approach her, and gets rejected. So he kidnaps the girl, takes her to Seul’s underworld, and reduces her to prostitution, out of love. Twisted and quirky, but in the process he becomes a voyeur, and always without touching, he watches her, screwing client after client. It’s a sick dark world the one we have hear, but one which encapsulates the sensitivity of a man who says love without using a dialog. You see, you know you found a true filmmaker, when what you take of the film are visual bits, bits of structures, bits of the pain of others. Based on this, we have a simple fold: we watch the mude thug watching the used girl. We also see him through her eyes. Ultimately we are put off of the film when we become at first as much unaware of the content of the photograph on the beach as the couple. But ultimately we are taken to the last level of the narrative, pushed away from its core.

The idea of the photograph in the sand is sublime. Where does it come from? how was time manipulated to make it be there? how does the moment in which she finds the shredded pieces overlap the moment in which they took the photograph. And than, the idea of the photograph as a mirror, the beautiful shot in which we see it, missing the bit which we know already how will be fulfilled. Cinematography and lighting, as usual, are top.

I will recommend you to go to Bin Jip and skip this unless this filmmaker really means something to you, and you want to understand his drafts and not only his most powerful experiences. But the quirkiness of the world he invents here is just too dark, too twisted to allow me to live in the beautiful, sensitive inner world of Kim Ki Duk. The man has pure talent, and quiet passion, but this is not his best experience.

My opinion: 3/5


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