Probing on the Edge of Morality and Death

On December 11, 2020, “South Korea’s most controversial director” Kim Ki-duk passed away in Latvia due to new crown pneumonia, a few days before his 60th birthday.

In the Korean film world, Kim Kidd is the signature of literary and artistic movies, from “Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter and Another Spring” to “Samaria Girl” to “Empty Room”, or the subtle or uniquely lethal emotions detonated audiences and film critics. People’s hot discussion and extensive attention have made him fortunate to be among the international film circles, becoming the first South Korean film director to win many awards at the Cannes Film Festival, the Berlin Film Festival, and the Venice Film Festival. There are not a few directors who are famous for literary and romantic films, but Kim Kidd’s works are always difficult to categorize. The poor family background and non-academic background are hard to associate with his achievements, which is such a “wild road.” , Contributed to Kim Kidd’s unique alternative shooting perspective in the film industry.

There was a loud cheering on one side, and a scolding infamy on the other. At first it was a series of “Nineteen Forbidden Movies” by Kim Kidd that triggered the audience’s reverie about his personal life and the subject matter of his shooting. The controversy and criticism of his personality and his works seem to be too out of bounds: “Mobius” He was once banned for incest, and at the same time, he himself was also prosecuted many times for allegedly assaulting actresses and sexual assault. He seems to be unable to continue to support him in the film and television industry after scandal and lawsuits. Due to the worldwide climax of the “Me Too” movement, discussions related to this have also been overwhelming. Kim Kidd has also become a target of the Korean entertainment industry. In order to avoid accusations, he originally planned to settle in Latvia and was ready to start a new business in a different place. The friend lost contact for many days, but in the end he died of new coronary pneumonia just a few days before his 60th birthday.

In Kim Kidd’s films, the heroes and heroines often tempted on the edge of morality and death. They broke the taboos of the world and showed the most essential relationship between people and the ugly and hidden side of human nature. “I also hope that one day they can make bright, clean, and healthy movies that they love, but first of all I have to be a clear and pure talent. The world I see still has so many filths, and I get mixed up in it, and it is inevitable to be contaminated. Quite a lot.” If a camera goes back to his childhood, perhaps the audience will be able to understand how the images that interpret desires are ready to come out.

Frustrated silence: “Bad Boy”‘s Floating Youth
Most real artists grow up from the temper of suffering. They use words or images to express their past desires and sufferings, so the stubbornness and sadness they used to be are no longer a secret private emotion, but a kind of emotion that exists in the depths of collective memory and can only be realized and met unexpectedly. Beautiful. Kim Kidd has the talent to create such a wonderful feeling, which is also the mystery that his films have captured many literary and artistic youths. “Life to me is to harm me, to him, and to be harmed. To harm others, to be harmed by others, and to harm myself. We are always bound to reality. Pain, discomfort, hatred, hatred, understanding and forgiveness are needed Time.” Growing up in an ordinary family in a small mountain village in South Korea, Kim Kidd saw the pain and shadow of the war brought to his father. His flammable and explosive temper, unprovoked abuse and accusations occupied him with food and no place to live. Childhood.

Kim Kidd at the 69th Venice International Film Festival.

Before joining the army at the age of 20, Kim Kidd had nothing to do all day long. He and his brother dropped out of school successively, but because of family constraints and helplessness, they started working again. The youthful vitality was crushed by the heavy work, and he was accompanied by rumbling machines all day long. Falling into a gloomy mood, he made pistols privately, abused small animals, and the negative energy of destruction and revenge hovered in his thoughts. When spending time with friends, Kim Kidd always likes to ridicule some of his unusual and engraved encounters with strange women. There is everything in “Bad Boy”, almost as it is. However, when he was alone, he was like a different person, silent as a shadow. Later, he filmed “Empty Room” which made him famous internationally and praised countless. This romantic and psychedelic movie is permeated with a strange plot. The male protagonist is like an invisible person in the life of the female protagonist, almost divided. Unclear what is illusion and what is reality, their reticence is very much like the young Kim Kidd.

Kim Kidd won the Golden Lion Award for Best Picture at the 69th Venice International Film Festival for his movie “Holy Sorrow”.

“The Samaritan Girl” tells such a sad story: a young girl betrayed her body for a trip to Europe, but unfortunately died unexpectedly. Her friend decided to continue to sell his body to atone for the two of them in exchange for inner holiness.

“If you stick to dialogue, you will not be able to express your feelings. It is because you are deeply hurt that you can’t easily speak it.” Silence is the highest level of language, and painting extends his broader world. Kim Kidd picked up his paintbrush whenever he had time. When he was 30 years old, he went to Paris, France to study fine art. Although he did not obtain any academy certification, at least during that time he supported himself by selling paintings, leaving the beaches and streets near the school. After he was painted, this habit continued for a long time after he became a director. As a fringe of the city, Kim Ki-duk prefers to sit on the sidelines in remote places. He also brings this kind of perspective of the bottom of society and bystanders into the movies “Beast City”, “Samaria Girl” and “Drifting Room of Desire”. Let the audience get the inspiration of human nature from the symbolic metaphors of sex and violence.

The movie “Empty Room” tells the strange and slightly strange love story between the young woman Sunhwa and the boy Tae-seok.

Owning a house of your own is the dream of all creators. In Kim Kidd’s impression, “Everyone has their own empty room in their heart, where the soul is infinitely lonely and longs for the intervention of another soul, but that requires a long wait. When waiting, no one knows whether it is pain or happiness, but Waiting is destined to be lonely, and loneliness will make people powerful, will make people understand many things, will make people grow, will make people know how to cherish, and will make people know how to forbear, and we will wait together in an empty room. Under the peaceful scene, there are emotions that are constrained by a certain weirdness. At the same time, it is a calm review of the human world from the perspective of a third party outside the crowd. Only those who have been frustrated for a long time can get this. Suddenly, this is a reward for him from drifting and suffering.

Glory and Scandal: A Swamp of Lust
Kim Kidd’s artistic journey is a trajectory from static to dynamic, from image to text, to video, the previous effort is the subsequent creation. In Li Zhinian, he was still trapped in the whirlpool of survival, hesitated and hesitated. Only when he was creating, he had full confidence, but he wrote a few scripts and left nothing until the script “The Painter and the Death Prisoner” and “Second Exposure”. “Illegal Crossing” won consecutive awards before knocking on the door of the movie world. After working as a screenwriter for a few years, he was not satisfied with the status quo and decided to take the shot himself. The shooting of the first film “Diary of the Crocodile Hidden Corpse” was not smooth. As the first work of Kim Kidd’s career as a professional film director, every link must be personally taken care of, due to shortage of funds, failure of on-site framing, and poor communication with all links, etc. The problems exposed the shortcomings of non-disciplinary artists.

When “Drifting Room of Desires” was released, the public and film critics had mixed reviews for the film’s performance techniques. This film, which was well-known in many film festivals, was regarded as a representative of “cruel aesthetics”, interpreting desire, abuse, and death. Extremely, the audience who couldn’t face the darkness and violence expressed their criticism, especially the female audience felt uncomfortable after watching the bloody picture. The temptation of the dumb girl to passers-by in the hut on the lake is like the singing of a siren. Under the beauty, there are dangers, and only the world’s despair and loneliness surface.

Jin Ji De is good at interpreting philosophy in terms of time and space. “Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter and Another Spring” takes the changes of the four seasons as the timeline of the story, recording the perceptions of monks in the four life stages of infancy, youth, middle age, and old age. With the cycle of life and emotional changes, the cycle goes from hunting for strange creatures, temptation, desperation, and then to living in simplicity. The poetic and philosophical aesthetic picture changed his previous style. The game between secular evil and religious sacredness pointed out that the only way out was to cleanse away evil and to convert to Buddhism. In 2018’s “World, Space, Time and People”, Jin Jide put the story on a warship, which is different from other works by explaining the background details as a foreshadowing. He concealed the ins and outs of the people on board. “Human” implies this miniaturized social space. Under the weight of survival, all people get rid of the shackles of the rules and become beastly, challenging the bottom line of human nature, and walking on the boundary of morality and ethics.

Metaphor is polysemy. Some people say a lot, but they seem to say nothing; some people are silent, but they say a lot. The movie drew a winding and long escape line for Kim Ki-de, who cherishes words like gold. He has experienced cruel youth, pious worship, reckless pay, and eternal pursuit to reach the truth of human nature, in pornography and violence. Sensory pleasure and puzzles are moving towards religious salvation. His ending is like the protagonist in the movie, living without restraint, without excuses, and without repentance. During the wandering journey, he unloaded the heavy shackles he had carried for a long time, and silently submerged into the gap of time and space.

The relationship between an artist’s moral cultivation and his artistic achievement often troubles the judgment of the public. Can character and work be confused? In the past, there were selfish and mean Picasso, vulgar and lecherous Balzac, etc., who have been criticized and fled to a foreign country. Jin Ji-de has always had confidence in his past creations. “I’m sure that even if I die now, I will immediately get re-judgment from people, even those who hate me and deny me. I know they will scramble to change their attitudes and reinterpret my movies.” The men and women who are tempted on the edge of morality and death are not his own incarnations?