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REAL FICTION

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...

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ADDRESS UNKNOWN

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WILD ANIMALS

Set in the back alleys of Paris, Wild Animals sketches the unique friendship between two Koreans living abroad. South Korean Chung-hae goes to Paris to study art but, lacking scruples, he soon winds ... More »

THE ISLE

"Hyunshik, an ex-cop in deep pain and on the lam, arrives at the end of his road, an isolated lake dotted with floating huts, serving as a retreat for fishing and a host of sordid activities. Its ... More »

BIRDCAGE INN

Touring Berlin, Montreal, Moscow and LA Film Festivals, Kim's third film shook audiences with its haunting images of two women reconciling polar differences. Unique in positioning two female ... More »

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