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Arirang in Kim Ki-duk mini-season at the ICA

Kim Ki-duk, along with Bong Joon-ho and Park Chan-wook, was once the director that anyone trying to bluff their way in Korean movies could name. For around a decade he churned out one or two films a year which often caused controversy for their animal cruelty and misogyny.

Then, after Dream (2008), everything went quiet. Maybe it was because an actress nearly died on the set of that film. Maybe it was because another director was rumoured to have stolen a film project from him.

Whatever, he returned in 2011 with his bizarre autobiographical documentary, Arirang (reviewed by Saharial here), which won Un Certain Regard at Cannes.

The film is now getting a limited theatrical release, at the ICA, who will also be screening his two most accessible films, 3-Iron and Spring, Summer later in the month.


8 June 2012 – 14 June 2012

£10 / £8 concessions / £7 ICA Members

Arirang image

In 2008, an actress nearly died on the set of Kim Ki-Duk’s Dream. Wracked with guilt and existential doubt, the celebrated Korean auteur took to a remote cabin in self-imposed exile, seeking to overcome his anxieties and find a way to return to his life and career. Filmed in early 2011, Arirang documents that experience in a raw, inventive and profoundly self-reflexive manner.

Set within his cabin, shot by, and starring only Kim, the film is an act of therapy, of uncompromising self-interrogation via the only means he knows. With remarkable candour towards his personal ordeals and his filmmaking career, Kim enters into dialogue with himself—editing together each side of the conversation to become both subject and author, as well as his own audience.

But Arirang is not merely self-indulgence, nor is it strictly documentary. An introspective work that retains Kim’s characteristic aesthetic sensibility, this is also a fascinating study in filmmaking itself. Winner of Un Certain Regard at the Cannes Film Festival in 2011.

Dir. Kim Ki-Duk, 2011, South Korea, Korean with English subtitles, 100 mins.


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