April 23–May 8, 2008
Kim Ki-Duk was a factory worker, soldier, priest-in-training, and, between 1992 and 1995, a street artist in France, where he discovered cinema through films like Leos Carax's Les amants de Pont-Neuf and Jonathan Demme's The Silence of the Lambs (both 1991). After winning a screenwriting competition in Korea, Kim was able to make, without any formal training, his first feature, Crocodile (1996). Kim's debut film, long out of circulation, heralded the arrival of a furious young self-taught talent with a vision that, brutal though it is, is grounded in redemption. Over the next eleven years, thirteen more films followed, including three of his best-known films in the United States, the libidinous The Isle (2000), the Buddhist-inflected Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter... and Spring (2003), and an elliptical treatise on invisibility, 3-Iron (2004).
Kim's films cohere into a vivid and compelling body of work characterized by sweeping camera movements and long, richly composed shots. They are populated by characters, uneasy in their social situations, who adopt silence as a protection and whose reactions tend to be brutal; what distinguishes these narratives is what follows this savagery. His films take place in a world sometimes circumscribed by water, but always situated in a cinematic space a couple of degrees sharper than reality. All films are directed by Kim, from South Korea, and in Korean with English subtitles, unless otherwise noted.