In this episode, Jim discusses Kim Ki-duk’s The Isle.
I also didn’t see any evidence the man was an ex-cop, so I was puzzled when I read that in summaries and wondered if I missed something. It wasn’t even clear to me the flashback was of his girlfriend that he’d murdered, since he himself doesn’t appear in the flashback. Unlike him being a cop, that makes a lot of sense once you know it. Unless the gun he puts to his head is only carried by cops?
It looked to me like the prostitute threw herself in the water while she was tied up, resulting in her drowning. I have no idea why she does that. It’s not until the next morning that the mute woman sees her body, looks at the moped left on shore, then puts it in the boat to tie to the drowned woman and hide the body.
I don’t think of the male lead as a “victim”. He is instead a victimizer who killed his former girlfriend & her lover, then attempted to rape the mute woman. You’re reaching when you say “something must have happened” to cause him to kill those two people other than the rather banal motive of jealousy. There’s not anything in the film to support the notion that some incident in his past made him unable to control himself.
I appreciate the shoutout, but my view is more that the perspective of the individual strongly alters how a film is received, enough so that it is difficult for the viewer to determine what is coming from the filmmaker rather than themself. It is easy to say “Aha! This comes from that aspect of the filmmaker’s life or the time/place in which they live”, particularly when only seeing a small portion of the filmmaker’s output. From a statistical perspective, I’d ideally like a large number of viewers watching a large number of films to see which results are robust. Or just asking the filmmaker (who typically knows a lot about their own life and the circumstances behind the making of the film), when that’s an option.
I didn’t even view the last image of the film as showing the woman “drowned”, and not just because of bubbles from her nose or her arms moving, but because that bit had so abandoned realism for pure imagery.
Overall, my impression of the film was quite similar. The fishhooks and animal cruelty were somewhat distinctive, but I’ve seen worse from South Korean cinema (which I watched partly because it was recommended here).
I don’t think it’s just Bax who thinks the director is Catholic, others have written about him having that sort of background, and in an interview about “Pieta” he acknowledges studying to be a preacher, though not finishing.
I found this interview interesting on the topic of his religious views, as he states he attended a Christian mission school, which he viewed as brainwashing he needed to escape later, but ultimately concluded Christian values were important and sought to inject religious themes in his work:
The films being discussed are “Bad Guy” and “Crocodile” rather than the recommended three.
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