Tuesday, January 8, 2008
Breath (M-18), 2007, Korea, 84 mins, Director: Kim Ki-Duk, Starring: Chang Chen, Zia, Ha Jung-woo
Kim Ki-Duk's latest effort revisits elements from his previous films, as we follow the strange friendship between Jeung Jin (Chang Chen), a prisoner on death row, and Yeon, whose husband has been having an affair. There are moments in the film which appear to have remixed elements from Kim Ki-Duk's earlier movies, particularly 3-Iron and Spring, Summer, Winter, Fall . . .and Spring, and there is undeniable cinematic artifice in his works. A detached, dispassionate air surrounds the story of two wounded beings trying to make a connection, and the film's repetitious structure give it a firm and convincing rhythm. Like much of Kim's works there are wonderfully comedic and off-the-wall moments, and he probably is one of the most quirky and daring directors working today. Newcomers to Kim's work will probably be left wondering about the proceeding, while fans of his work will find little new. Still an interesting film that can only arise from Kim's imaginative and original mind, with subtle performances from both Chang Chen and Zia.