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Back From Venice, Kim Ki-duk Looks for Understanding

2004/09/14 Source

By Joon Soh
Staff Reporter

Fresh from his second director's prize in a major European film festival this year, Kim Ki-duk says all he wants is to be understood in his own country.

"I hope this will be an opportunity for Korean people to stop showing distrust and start to understand my films", Kim said at a news conference in Seoul on Tuesday.

Kim returned to the nation after garnering the Silver Lion Special Prize for Best Director for his film "Pinjip (3-Iron)" at the Venice Film Festival on Saturday, along with two non-competition awards.

The prize is the icing on the cake for Kim, who won another director's prize earlier in the year at the Berlin Film Festival for "Samaria (Samaritan Girl)", a strange tale of teenage prostitution filled with religious overtones, while another film, "Pom, Yorum, Kaul, Kyoul...Kurigo Pom (Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter...and Spring)" from 2003, is currently enjoying an extended run in the United States.

But his controversial and often violent films have their critics as well, with many women finding his works misogynistic.

"I think my films get criticized because my moviemaking style isn't universal, and in some ways the fact that my films are said to be cruel has some truth", Kim said.

Due to his recent success, Kim said he has been receiving offers to make films with larger budgets, but the director says he isn't interested.

"I expect to keep making films with similar budgets in less than 15 days", Kim said. "I wouldn't be comfortable spending as much money as I want". He added it would be easy to begin to sacrifice quality and content if he made films with bigger budgets.

However, the director hopes someday the success he has seen at international film festivals will translate into commercial success at home, something the director has had little experience of.

"I hope that a film getting good reviews abroad will result in 1 million moviegoers seeing it locally", Kim said. "It's not to gain acceptance, but in order to get rid of misunderstandings".

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