Is it a consequence of limited budgets that your filmmaking roles have expanded, in the sense that you are now, in addition to the writer and director of your films, also the editor and producer? Is that a constraint of the budget or an effort to try and take over more aspects of the filmmaking process?
It's both. I do save quite a bit of money and time doing everything myself. The editing [on the recent films] was done using Final Cut Pro, for instance. I don't have to rely on communicating with editors and trying to convey to them what I need. I can actually do it myself and I have the whole thing at my disposal. That's very liberating. The "lower budget" part is actually a good part of it, too.
Is it also liberating in the case of 3-Iron [known as Bin-jip (Empty House) in Korea] to work so much with a film that doesn't rely very heavily on dialogue but is almost entirely visual in its construction?
It did create a great deal of a sense of freedom, but also comfort in some ways. There were a lot fewer worries, just more technically speaking, about sound. That was freeing in the production process. I felt like the actors were more comfortable interacting with me because they didn't have to worry about delivering lines.
You've had a great deal of success at the Berlinale and at the Venice Film Festival. The Bow, which you mentioned earlier, will be premiering at the Cannes Film Festival. How does this achievement change your approach to your filmmaking? Is this something you were looking forward to, having a film play at Cannes, or does it even serve as a consequence for you?
People now have a certain set of expectations about Kim Ki-duk films. It's not without reason, because now there is a body of work that people have become familiar with. Without the awards at various film festivals and without the acknowledgement in the world market, nobody would know about my films, never mind purchase or promote them. In many ways, these festival screenings and awards have opened doors and created new opportunities. I wish that American audiences would watch more of a range of styles. I hope that American audiences will become more cultivated.
As do I.
One particularly gratifying moment was recently when I found myself at an academic conference on pottery. It was an elderly artist, a well-known sculptor who makes porcelain in the shapes of books, from America who had seen Spring, Summer; and, without knowing who I was, she started talking about it and how much she loved it. I was so incredibly grateful and proud that I had made a film that had reached someone so far away and had touched her and inspired her.
Bookmark/Search this post with: