Thursday, September 17, 2009

Like You Know It All

Ku Kyung-nam (Kim Tae-woo) is a director of modest reputation invited to be on the jury of a small film festival. A bit lazy by nature, he takes a rather lackadaisical approach, missing or sleeping through the screenings, and much preferring to drink at night with his colleagues. Ku runs into an old friend he lost contact with, and after a night of drinking, is invited into his home. But after some sort of misunderstanding, and then a shocking revelation later with one of the festival organizers, Ku takes his leave and travels to the countryside, where he gives a lecture on his work and meets up with an old mentor that has since married a girl Ku was in love with in college.

I probably enjoyed this film the least out of everything I've seen so far. Ku, the main character, is completely unsympathetic and doesn't seem to ever learn anything, even when he sees the effect of his action or inaction. His declarations of love seem to come from nowhere and sound more like whining than anything else. The plot is all over the map, and it's not quite clear exactly what Ku did to his friend's wife (did he assault her, seduce her, or just peep at her, and what was with the rock?), which makes it difficult to read his nature. A scene in the middle of the film where Ku lectures a class of film students seems a bit self-referential and like a pre-emptive attempt to deflect criticism. The back half of the film seems like another story entirely, divorced from the first half; from a narrative point of view either half would have probably made a stronger impression on its own. Even some of the shots where the camera tracks over the background and then zooms in on a particular feature are distracting and seem technically awkward. While I stuck it out to end, I can't say I came out either particularly inspired or entertained.


My experiences at the Toronto International Film Festival. Note this blog is not affiliated with the Toronto International Film Festival Group or the festival itself.
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