January 26, 2008

Real Fiction: No Real Friction From Kim Ki-duk

Real Fiction is the kind of movie that makes you realize that “student film” is a classifiable genre that has nothing to do with being an undergraduate, under 21, or even a beginner. I don’t care whether director Kim Ki-duk was 18 or 80 when he made this fatuous flick, but his little piece of experimentalism has all the signature marks of student filmism. To wit: 1. A largely mute lead (Ju Jin-mo) who acts as both Everyman and cipher. 2. Plenty of handheld camerawork justified by the inclusion of a videographer in the storyline. 3. Pseudo-profound lines like “Real suffering is not something that hurts physically” proclaimed while someone is being physically tortured. The irony! 4. A man-against-the-world attitude without any real oppression or a real believable world. 5. The occasional sex scene that has more to with with peeking at women’s bodies than it does with illustrating a point. 6. A truckload of symbolism: the scar, the snakes, the flowers... 7. The big reveal that declares: Hey, it's only a movie! Those murders we just watched were metaphoric. If the absence of body humor jokes and literary references prevent Real Fiction from being a purist's student artfilm, its leaden pace does suggest the need for a sophomoric drinking game.

1 comment:

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