Friday, December 11, 2009

Top Ten Films of the Decade, 2000-2009: #10

#10. 3-IRON (Kim Ki-duk, South Korea, 2004) A truly beautiful minimilistic masterpiece concerning a young man who trespasses into peoples homes when they're away and lives in their apartments, eats their food, wears their clothes, but leaves nothing of himself behind. He enters unobtrusively and for every item he consumes he gives an equal share back; he fixes broken appliances, he hand-washes their laundry, and he leaves the apartment a little better than he found it. He does have one small quirk: he likes to photograph himself amid the tenants belongings. One day he meets an abused woman and together they begin an emotional and spiritual journey together in search of their identity and passion. Our protagonist never speaks and our heroine utters six words (in translation anyway) so their feelings and thoughts are focused through facial expression and body language: a common occurrence in a Ki-duk Kim film. As our protagonist faces many obstacles throughout the story such as police brutality, being accused of murder and kidnapping, we know that he is a good man (though not perfect...he does attack Sun-hwa's husband. The reason may seem justified but it is a self-destructive path) and his feelings for Sun-hwa are true. The ending is sublime.

4 comments:

Shubhajit said...

Great review!

A truly unusual (and unpredictable) choice for the 10th best film of the decade, but a "sublime" piece nonetheless. Kim Ki-Duk really loves filming silence. Yeah, that does seem a bit like an oxymoron, but he does it really well. And that liking of his reached quite its epitome so to speak in this unique piece of work.

Personally, of the few Kim Ki-Duk movies I've seen, Spirng, Summer, Fall, Winter & Spring ranks the highest. But "sublime" is one epithet, as you've aptly used for this movies, works as much here as it would for his Spring, Summer... and even his The Bow.

In fact, when I finally sit down to make my list (maybe in early 2010 since I still have quite a few acclaimed movies belonging to this decade to watch), all the 3 movies will be strong contenders.

Looking forward to your remaining selections. Here's to more surprises :)

Alex DeLarge said...

Thanks! I love SPRING, SUMMER (etc) and it falls just a notch below 3-IRON as my favorite of his films. His latest DREAMS will make my 2009 Top Ten though I'm still waititng to see THE ROAD and THE WHITE RIBBON.
I tried to make my list eclectic and include only one film from a director, and I will be posting one selection every night until I reach number one.
Of course, I'll still be posting my usual reviews too:)

smarthotoldlady said...

I can't get into this list stuff. It's like asking all the time, 'What is your favorite ____" Well, flavors of ice cream are easy to answer, although, even there, my mood dictates different answers. But, when it comes to books or movies, who can have A favorite or even the TOP TEN. First of all, there are so very many that have come out in A year, much less TEN years, nobody could have seen, much less digested all of them. So, the best you can say is the best of the movies I've seen. Even then, there are so many that satisfy in so many different ways and fill so many different moods, I for one can never choose the best, the ten best, or even the twenty best. Maybe by category, I could choose a dozen or so, ending up with a listing of over a hundred bests.

So saying, 3-IRON would make my hundred or so bests list under the Oriental Movies category. LUCKY NUMBER SLEVIN would make the cut under the Revenge Movie category, and BEVERLY HILLS CHIHUAHA makes the cut under the Silly Non-animated Dog Movie category.

Alex, you're too good for lists. Just keep up supplying us with your wonderful prose analyses of the movies you see, and forget lists (except for shopping lists). I want you to know that to protect myself, I took the neon sign that says "home" off the front lawn.

Alex DeLarge said...

I'm listening to Beethoven's Ninth as I make my list...beware:)