After a three-year silence, Kim Ki-duk returned with Arirang and promptly won the Un Certain Regard award in Cannes. His followup, Amen, has just slipped in and out of the Official Selection at the San Sebastián Film Festival, scoring no awards and, as far as I've seen, very few reviews. "A Korean girl zigzags around Europe looking for her lost boyfriend, while being stalked by a thief in a gas mask," writes Deborah Young in the Hollywood Reporter. "Far from being terrifying, the story has an almost comic book feeling of unreality, yet comes alive through the entrancing face and sober determination of newcomer Kim Ye-na in the main role. Though the Paris, Venice and Avignon locations give it a touristic Euro coprod look, this low-low-budgeter is actually a one-man show produced by the director himself, who also handled camerawork and editing."
For Screen's Fionnuala Halligan, it "comes across like something Kim Ki-duk threw together during his school holidays." Kim discusses Amen at Imitation of Life, and here's the trailer. Arirang will open the 12th TOKYO FILMeX, whose Competition lineup also features Juhn Jai-hong's Poongsan, for which Kim has written the screenplay.
MoMA's series Yeonghwa: Korean Film Today, 2011 (trailer) runs through October 2 and features Arirang as well, but the New Yorker's Richard Brody recommends Lost in the Mountains (2009), screening Wednesday: "Even at their most leisurely, the South Korean director Hong Sang-soo's films are bitingly precise, and here, under the pressure of a half-hour running time, his images have the intensity of a smack, with a story to match."
Andrew Schenker opens Slant's New York Film Festival package.
"I am pleased to say they have disassembled my book like lego, and I am now cautiously optimistic about the film." David Mitchell on Tom Tykwer and the Wachowski brothers' adaptation of Cloud Atlas.