Cinema Digital Seoul opens Wednesday until Aug. 23
By Lee Hyo-won
Kim Ki-duk's controversial, Cannes-winning comeback piece "ARIRANG - Movie" will make its Korean premiere at Cinema Digital Seoul (CinDi), a local showcase for digital works that kicks off in Apgujeong CGV tonight.
"ARIRANG - Movie", named after the famous folksong, created a stir at the Cannes Film Festival in May as it marked the film maverick's comeback after a three-year hiatus. The documentary-style piece captures Kim's efforts to cure a "director's block" and won the cineaste the top prize in the Un Certain Regard section.
"We have chosen to show Kim Ki-duk's 'ARIRANG - Movie' in the CinDi Surprise section, which introduces viewers to the year's most refreshingly provocative and cinematically surprising works", CinDi organizers said.
Jung Sung-il, renowned film critic and program director of the festival, called the film a "one-man band portrait of Kim Ki-duk", since the filmmaker produced, directed and was the central character.
"Ever since Van Gogh cut off his ear, I would say this is the most harrowing, brutally honest and transparent self-portrait that in a way marks Kim Ki-duk's second debut (as a filmmaker)", he said.
Meanwhile, other works by Cannes-winning directors can be seen at the festival. Hong Sang-soo, a favorite of European film festivals, will open this year's CinDi with his latest work, "The Day He Arrives".
The prolific director will display more of his minimal realism through the meandering, drunken escapades of a former filmmaker in Seoul.
Meanwhile, Palme d'Or winning Thai cineaste Apichatpong Weerasethakul, who visited CinDi as a judge in 2009, has directed a dreamy trailer for the festival.
In a previous interview with The Korea Times, Weerasethakul, who had always been insistent on using analogue film for his work,
said that attending CinDi expanded his views about the possibilities of digital cinema. "Seoul was really amazing. I found many, many ways you can approach digital. With the diversity and experimentation that I found in that festival, I appreciate it more. The young generation introduced me to the future".
The trailer thus marks the filmmaker's rare experimentation with the medium.
Fans will also get to view Park Chan-wook's Berlin Golden Bear-winning short that he co-directed with his video artist brother Chan-kyong.
The movie, starring Oh Kwang-rok and Lee Jung-hyun, is about a man who transcends his current and former lives after catching a woman while fishing in a river in the middle of the night. The 30-minute flick was entirely shot using an iPhone 4. Along with "Night Fishing", seven other smartphone creations will be introduced in the CinDi Smart section.
This year's edition of CinDi, which marks its 5th, will introduce fans to 98 films from 32 countries. Other works not to be missed include the Cannes-winning "Once Upon a Time in Anatolia" by Turkish director Nuri Bilge Ceylan; "Outside Satan" by seasoned French cineaste Bruno Dumont; and the six-part omnibus film "Women's Hair Seen by..." by Iranian filmmakers including the internationally renowned auteur Abbas Kiarostami.
Master director Im Kwon-taek, who used the digital medium for the first time for his 101st film, "Hanji", will give a master class on Aug. 21.
CinDi continues through Aug. 23. Visit www.cindi.or.kr (Korean and English) for more information.
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