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THE FOUL KING

South Korea, 2000 (MIFF 2001, Regional Focus)

Director: Kim Jee-woon

Dae-Ho, a timid bank clerk, is hopeless at his job. Mind you, it doesn't help that his boss is a ferocious disciplinarian who punishes staff with brutal headlocks Dae-Ho's escape comes with a decision to learn wrestling. Before long, the no-hoper becomes famed for his prowess as a skilled cheat, attacking his opponents with everything from kitchen utensils to rubber bands "I tried to create a situation that is hilarious yet still heart-breaking. I wanted to expose the ridiculous side of the world through an everyday citizen and ask which is more fabricated and violent: the foul play of the real world, or the foul play in the ring? This is the story of a man whose life is going nowhere, a loser who becomes a king when he steps into the ring."-director, Kim Jee-Woon "When he's not giggling uncontrollably or yelling in pain, Mr Song wears a Keatoneque mask of melancholy Kim stages the film's wrestling sequences with the grace and decorum of classical slapstick. The story is held together by the surprise and precision of its gags. Rather than stampede you with gags, it jabs and tickles — New York Times

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