The Korean director had gone missing for three years. The craziest rumours were going around about his fate. In Arirang, presented in Un Certain Regard, he explains what happened to him.
Arirang is a very popular traditional Korean song. It describes the exertions of travellers crossing a mountain pass, and symbolises the profound personal crisis from which Kim Ki-duk has just emerged.
The Korean director had not been heard from since Dream, in 2008. During the making of this film, his lead actress almost died by hanging while playing a scene. This accident led Kim Ki-duk to reflect on his life. A life dedicated to film: “this imaginary world, at once cruel, heartbreaking, fervent, sad and sweet,” which had made him “the saddest man on earth.”
In Arirang, Kim Ki-duk films and directs this personal trajectory that took him out of the world of cinema for three years. A film in the format of a personal journal, which he wrote, acted in, directed, edited and produced alone, even creating the poster and the sound.
So Arirang is an unusual film and an important one in the filmography of this self-taught filmmaker, who was first revealed with his film Crocodile, and who has directed 15 films in 13 years. This is the third time he is present in the Official Selection in Cannes, after Hwal (The Bow) in 2005 in Un Certain regard, and Soom (Breath), In Competition in 2007.
B. de M.
Arirang will be screened on Friday 13 May at 5 p.m., Salle Debussy.