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South Korea, 2000 (MIFF 2002, Beauty within the Beast – Kim Ki-Duk)

Director: Kim Ki-Duk

Kim's most experimental film to date, Real Fiction was shot in just 200 minutes with eight 35mm cameras, ten digital cameras and twelve sequence directors. It's title, translated literally from Korean as 'state of reality', is as much a tongue-in-cheek contrivance as an allusion to the reality of the protagonist's own state of mind as captured in real-time.

In this 85-minute thriller, a street artist finds himself harassed by thugs, until a girl captures his image on her digital camcorder. Running into a version of 'himself', encapsulating painful memories, the artist murders his other self and heads out onto the street, exacting cruel revenge on all those who have wronged him.

Real Fiction is more than a technical and logistic filmmaking triumph. The coherent story line, seamless continuity and gripping tension are demonstrative of Kim Ki-Duk's mastery of the filmmaking craft. The fury of the film's production, segmented into twelve sequences, matches that of the protagonist's violent impulsiveness. One cannot help but see the lead character's responses as evolving onscreen as they occur. A project of sophisticated, explosive rawness - this Pusan Film Festival hit is a fascinating addition to Kim's film oeuvre.

See also...


South Korea, 2004
Samaritan Girl (Samaria) South KoreaWinner of the Silver Bear for Best Director at this year's Berlin Film Festival, Kim Ki-duk's 10th feature combines the darker-edged themes of his earlier films (B… More »


South Korea, 2004
Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter' and Spring (Bom, Yeoreum, Gaeul, Gyeowool, Geurigo Bom) South Korea'spring, Summer, Fall, Winter' and Spring is an exquisitely simple movie. The film's lyrical plainness… More »


Korea, 2004
The mesmerising 3-Iron, which won him the Best Director Award at the Venice Film Festival, again proves Kim Ki-duk deserves his reputation as one of the world's leading outsider filmmakers. Exemplify… More »


France/Korea, 2005
MIFF has enthusiastically flown the flag for South Korean cinema, championing such diverse and mind-altering work as MIFF guests Kim Ki-duk (retrospective in 2002), Park Chan-wook (Old Boy 2004), Im … More »


South Korea, 2006
A recent estimate in Korea claimed that 50 percent of the female population had opted for plastic surgery in their 20s. Considering this epidemic, MIFF favourite Kim Ki-duk's (Bad Guy, The Isle) la… More »

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