Cannes hears out filmmakers angst
Kim Ki-duk wins sidebar competition with torn self-portrait
By Lee Hyo-won
Kim Ki-duk’s controversial self-portrait shared the best picture award with a German drama at the Cannes Festival’s sidebar competition, Saturday.
Kim drew a lengthy standing ovation when “Arirang” screened in the Un Certain Regard section, and the enfant terrible of Korean cinema sang a few bars from the titular folk song as he accepted the coveted award alongside “Stopped on Track” by Germany’s Andreas Dresen. Serbian director Emir Kusturica served as the jury’s president.
“Arirang” is a raw and experimental documentary-style film that captures his efforts to cure a “director’s block.” Filmed
while living in self-imposed exile, he laments on camera about his perceived failings as a director and individual.
The film conveys in the first-person what the director was up to during his three-year absence — a significant hiatus that had many in the industry wondering since Kim was reputed as a prolific filmmaker that made 15 films during a 13-year career.
His comeback at Cannes drew much attention as the 41-year-old appeared markedly different, and rather odd, sporting grayed, disheveled hair and making apparently inebriated ramblings and martial arts “stunts” during press events.
The director, who has previously won top prizes at Venice and Berlin for “3-Iron” and “Samaritan Girl,” respectively, competed in Un Certain Regard with “The Bow” in 2005 and then vied for the Palme d’Or in the main competition section with “Breath” in 2007.
But after actress Lee Na-young almost died while filming a hanging scene in his 2008 film “Dream,” Kim disappeared from the public until he made headlines by becoming involved in a legal feud with a local film distributor.
The case involved “Rough Cut,” a piece he wrote the script for that marked the directorial debut of his assistant director Jang Hoon. When Jang went on to direct a box office smash film, “Blood Brothers,” rumors began circulating that Jang “betrayed” Kim to sign with the film’s production company Showbox/Mediaplex, and that Kim became dejected and depressed as a result.
Though Kim issued a statement asking the media and netizens not to criticize Jang, he calls the younger filmmaker a “betrayer” in “Arirang,” among other vehement reproaches made against the local film industry and government.
Though it garnered a long ovation from the Cannes audience, reviews were divided.
France’s Film de Culte gave the film two out of six stars, saying, “The naked sincerity, this visceral need of cinema and creation, all the way until the end when fiction takes over a schizophrenic outburst, find some fine ways. But, just as the filmmaker himself declared, eloquence is not his strong point.”
“It’s a grind to watch, even for fans of the maverick writer-director’s work. Kim’s rep will inevitably ensure further fest bookings for what is essentially one long whine, but theatrical distribution anywhere looks highly unlikely,” said Variety, an influential U.S. entertainment news media.
Indiewire, another U.S. outlet, called it “alternatively beautiful, frustrating and extraordinarily astute.”
Meanwhile the Un Certain Regard section saw two other Korean films vying for the prize among 21 titles, including Hong Sang-soo’s “The Day He Arrives” and Na Hong-jin’s “The Murderer” (aka. “The Yellow Sea”). Hong won the section’s prize last year with “Hahaha.”
김기덕, 칸영화제 '주목할만한 시선상' 수상
김기덕 감독의 '아리랑'이 제64회 칸국제영화제에서 '주목할 만한 시선상'을 받았다.
김기덕 감독은 칸 영화제 폐막 하루 전날인 21일 밤(이하 현재시간) 드뷔시관에서 열린 '주목할 만한 시선 부문' 시상식에서 독일 안드레아스 드레센 감독의 '스톱드 온 트랙'(Stopped on track)과 함께 주목할 만한 시선상을 공동 수상했다.
한국 영화는 이로써 지난해 홍상수 감독의 '하하하'에 이어 주목할 만한 시선상을 2연패하는 성과를 올렸다.
아울러 김기덕 감독은 베를린영화제 감독상, 베니스영화제 감독상에 이어 칸 영화제 공식부문인 주목할 만한 시선상을 받음으로써 세계 3대 영화제에서 모두 수상하는 쾌거를 이뤄냈다.
3대 영화제에서 본상을 수상한 감독은 김기덕 감독이 국내 감독으로는 유일하다. 김 감독은 2004년 '사마리아'로 베를린영화제 감독상을, '빈집'으로 2004년 베니스영화제 감독상을 수상한 바 있다.
주목할 만한 시선은 칸 영화제 경쟁부문과 함께 대표적인 공식부문으로, 주로 새로운 경향의 영화들을 소개하는 부문이다.
김 감독은 지난 2005년 '활'로 칸영화제 주목할 만한 시선 부문에 진출했으며 '숨'은 2007년 경쟁부문에 초청됐다.
심사위원상은 안드레이 지야긴트세프 감독의 '엘레나'가, 감독상은 모하마드 라소울로프 감독의 '굿바이'가 차지했다.
올해 주목할 만한 시선부문에는 개ㆍ폐막 작을 포함해 모두 21편이 초청됐으며 한국영화는 김 감독의 '아리랑', 홍상수 감독의 '북촌방향', 나홍진 감독의 '황해'가 진출했다. (연합)