My Favorite Films of 2013
Premise: This list includes only films that had a 2013 release date according to IMDb. If you’re stunned that some films aren’t on this list it’s probably because they are on the 2012 list. My top ten will probably change and be updated, as more (foreign) films get released. As of right now I still haven’t seen Sono Sion’s Why Don’t You Play in Hell?, Catherine Breillat’s Abus de faiblesse and Gia Coppola’s Palo Alto. Yes, that last one was included purely because of the family name. Continue reading
If I Were the Oscars 2014: My Favorite Film Achievements of 2013
I’m sure every year cinephiles all over the world are heartbroken or at the very least bummed that their favorite films of the year weren’t even considered by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. I still naively hope that it will get better the next year and that they might get it “right”, but it’s useless. I stopped believing that the 9-10 Best Pictures nominees represent the years best films. I don’t even watch all of the nominees anymore, just the ones that look interesting. Continue reading
Review: Castration, Incest and Slapping in Kim Ki-duk’s “Silent Film” ‘Moebius’ (2013)
*Warning: Spoilers, Sex & Sadism Inside*
A young man (Seo Young-ju) witnesses how his father (Jo Jae-hyeon) cheats on his mother (Lee Eun-woo). The mother knows her husband is cheating on her. So she tries to castrate him as he’s sleeping, but he wakes up in time. She decides to castrate her son instead. After that the son approaches his father’s lover (Lee Eun-woo), but he can’t have sex with her (for obvious reasons). Meanwhile his guilt-ridden father researches penis transplant opportunities on the web, as well as alternative ways for him to have an orgasm. There’s a possibility his son might have a working penis again. So the father he decides to evirate himself and donate his sex organ. Unfortunately, the son’s new genitalia only seem to respond to his mother. Continue reading
Second Trailer for Kim Ki-duk’s Moebius
One of my favorite auteurs, a big inspiration for me personally and someone I feel sees storytelling just the way I do. Twisted stories that is. I’m talking of Kim Ki-duk of course. Moebius, his newest film, looks insanely creepy and intense. While not much happened during the first teaser, this second one really brings it.
As always I can set it up as much as I want to and I can try to make it appealing to you, but you just have to see for yourself. The film is currently playing at the 70th Venice Film Festival (out of competition) and I just can’t wait for this film to be released in some way shape or form that we can all have access to it.
Remember that after cutting it several times, Kim is now finally allowed to show the film in Korea, which makes me happy for him and everyone involved in the making of the film. I do hope we get a director’s cut at some point and I do hope (Swiss) cinemas will show this film, because so far there’s no news on that.
More ‘Moebius’ News
The Korean Media Rating Board (KMRB) just doesn’t want to let Kim Ki-duk release his new film Moebius. After cutting 21 scenes in hopes to release the film in South Korea, the KMRB voted once more the film be restricted from inland cinemas. The KMRB described Moebius as “terrifying and harmful to underage audiences,” depicting “unethical and unsocial expressions of sexual activity between immediate family members”.
The South Korean auteur, is returning to Venice with Moebius (out of competition), after winning the Golden Lion last year for his critically acclaimed film Pietà. The good news is that Kim showed his new film to critics, journalists and industry professionals and 87% of them would approve to show the film in South Korea. Unfortunately, it isn’t up to them to decide, but it is great to hear that the film is considered so good that the violence in it is almost secondary. It sounds like another quality film from the director. At least that’s how people who really know something about cinema are reasoning, what goes on in the minds of the KMRB is beyond me. They should be proud to have an internationally critically acclaimed director just wanting to show the good work he has done (I’ve never seen a bad Kim Ki-duk film) to his compatriots.
There seems to be at least some good news for the director and the film however, because the company behind it managed to sell the film already for Italy, Germany and Italian- and German-speaking Switzerland. As an Italian I’m very happy and proud of this. Considering that Moebius’ production cost around $1 million it should be easily able to make its money back on the home video market alone, but being someone who cares about art and that many people get to see good art, this has almost become a matter of principles here. I want this film to succeed, because I love Kim and his passion and the people who worked on Moebius deserve to have their work shown in their own country, where they can get the recognition they deserve.
Kim Ki-duk forced to cut 21 scenes from ‘Moebius’
What a sad day for cinema.
South Korean auteur Kim Ki-duk’s new film Moebius was going to be censored in South Korea unless he made some cuts. Kim submitted a re-cut version, because he aims for a September release of the film in South Korean theaters. The Korean Media Rating Board reserves itself a three month period to re-evaluate Moebius. One minute and twenty seconds, twenty-one incest related scenes had to be trimmed from the director’s cut in hopes to be able to show the film in its own country of origin.
The Golden Lion winning director himself commented: “As a filmmaker [cutting the scenes] is unfortunate, but in a market environment where major movies dominate theaters, I could not give up on this hard-won opportunity for the film to be released”. He also added: “I would be able to share the meaning of my film in overseas markets and film festivals, but emerging actors or staff members that took part in the project need the film to be shown in Korea so they can have the opportunity to become better known”. Kim himself was clearly displeased with the state of artistic freedom in Korea: “In the future, films that need to portray scenes that could be problematic will have to seek working with foreign actors and production companies”.
At least he has a very honorable reason for re-editing. I can definitely appreciate that. It shows he truly cares about his cast and crew. Demonstrating noble character, Kim Ki-duk puts other people first, even before his own art. That is certainly something to admire and respect. I’m sure a lot of self-important and self-abosrbed directors wouldn’t even think about anyone else. In fact I’ll admit that I myself only thought of “what I was going to get”, but that is a very egoist way to reason. So I am still completely on board with Moebius, super excited, I’m sure we’ll get the entire film on home video and I love the man even more than after watching Arirang. He is a good person.
More Moebius related stories
First ‘Moebius’ Trailer Unveild
After getting some buzz for being banned in South Korea, Kim Ki-duk’s new film Moebius also gets a first teaser trailer. All of the director’s trademarks are present: Great actors, fantastic score and creepy stalking.
Read more about Moebius
Is South Korea banning Kim Ki-duk’s Moebius?
New developments on Kim Ki-duk’s Moebius. It looks like the film will be restricted domestically: Except there are no theaters that show “restricted” releases in South Korea. The Korean Media Rating Board announced: “The story and contents of the movie is highly violent, terrifying and harmful to underage audiences. The unethical and unsocial expressions of sexual activity between immediate family members make it only suitable for screening in limited theaters”. At this point Kim Ki-duk’s production company is considering its options: Either re-edit and re-submit the film for a new rating or only exhibit the picture at festivals (which is allowed).
I’m not sure how big of a problem this is going to be for Kim Ki-duk, since he is still able to advertise it and alternatively show it domestically. Also, remember that his films are more financially (and critically) successful in foreign countries and low-budget, so he could still make his money back without compromising his vision. Undoubtedly this is not good news, but if he plays it smart he could turn it into publicity and attract a certain audience keen on violent content.
Meanwhile, the first poster for Moebius is a bit too reminiscent of the one for Steven Soderbergh’s Contagion (2011). Hopefully his marketing team steps it up a little and doesn’t give up on this very interesting sounding project.
Kim Ki-duk back to Venice with ‘Moebius’
Kim Ki-duk’s new film Moebius will be presented at the 70th Venice Film Festival. The South Korean auteur won the 69th edition of that very festival with his last movie Pietà. Moebius is described as the story of a mother that accidentally injures and fatally wounds her son and her husband castrating himself in order to make amends.
This sounds very much like Kim Ki-duk’s style and I’m sure it will feature his favorite theme of voyeurism and hopefully new inventive tricks on the aesthetic front (possibly better than those ‘zoom effects’ in Pietà). Being a big fan of his work I’m glad to see him back to work so feverishly. I can’t help but wonder if the accident on the set of Dreams has inspired him to do this film. If you want to know more about what happened during the shooting of that movie I highly watching his documentary Arirang, for which he won the Un Certain Regard price in Cannes in 2011.
The festival will take place from the 28. August to the 7. September. Italian director Bernardo Bertolucci was appointed president of the jury.