Thursday, November 14, 2013
Kim Ki-Duk's Moebius
Since the mid 90's, South Korean master Kim Ki-Duk has been making incredible films that range from unfathomably weird to unutterably beautiful. From his classic phantasmic golf saga 3-Iron to his majestic meditation on time Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter... And Spring, they (mostly) all share a ruminant madness that defies categorization. As does his latest film Moebius. This low budget, dialog free, Buddhist penectomy-heavy familial gender study is uniquely transgressive and totally unprecedented in the history of cinema. Ki-Duk has really outdone himself here. On its most basic level it's about one kid's journey to inner-peace through the most dysfunctional family ever committed to celluloid. It is also a complex, involved portrait of sexuality and family. The film's take on pleasure & pain / love & violence / maternity & paternity is one that demands contemplation. Throughout, there's a thread of solemn religious overtones that somewhat perplexingly reshapes the thematic narrative. It's also very funny at times. For the most part I found it disturbingly fascinating but the audience I saw it with laughed a lot. The actor that plays the teenager, Young Ju Seo, deserves an Oscar for his work. The close up shots of the crazy mother are particularly amazing. The most similar film of his to this is probably 2000's The Isle as that also dealt with some of the more taboo subjects he tackles along with a few similar themes. If you're easily offended you may want to avoid this film as it contains gang rape, incest, murder, mutilation and severed penises. If you're familiar with Ki-Duk's work or into weird stuff, you will probably love this hardcore piece of poetic insanity. Highly recommended & essential artistry.