South Korean director Kim Ki-duk dies of coronavirus

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Last Update: 2020-12-11 23:46:55 IST

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The filmmaker died in a hospital in Latvia, where he planned to apply for a residence permit

Today South Korean cinema is dominated by directors such as Park Chan-wo k ('Oldboy', 'The Maiden'), Lee Chang-dong ('Poetry'), Kim Jee-won ('I Found the Devil'), Hong Sang-soo ('On the beach alone at night') and, above all, Bong Joon-ho ('Memories of murder', the multi-award-winning 'Parasites'), but there was a time, in the transit between the 90s and the later decade, in which the only internationally recognized filmmaker from that country was Kim Ki-duk , who died in Latvia, the country in which he planned to apply for a residence permit, due to covid-19. On December 20, he would have turned 60. The director of 'La isla' (2000) and 'Hierro 3' (2004) was for South Korean cinema the same as Akira Kurosawa for Japanese cinema years before , a true reference outside his country, whose stories and characters they connected with western audiences eager for different cinematographies. It is true that in the last decade it had lost prominence at festivals and in theaters. His work had become more radical and unruly . 'Amen' (2011), for example, he shot it following his actress's hand camera around Paris. The only other character in the film is himself wearing a gas mask, shot by the actress. As the forerunner of a generation that had only him as a well-known author , he made his debut in 1996 with 'Crocodile', a drama about outcasts made two decades after the last film by a South Korean classic director expert in popular genres with whom he shares the same Name. Before, he had studied Fine Arts in Paris. 'The island' was a real earthquake and put it squarely on the map of the international circuit . It was three years until Chan-wok directed 'Oldboy' and Joon-ho made 'Memories of murder'. He just broke all the barriers. For that reason alone it is convenient to remind him today. Ki-duk screened his films at all the major festivals and won awards in Berlin , for best director for 'Samaritan girl'; Cannes , where he won the Un certain regard award for 'Arirang' (2011) –a story between autobiographical and environmentalist with him as the only protagonist–, and Venice, winning the Golden Lion for 'Pietà' (2012), perhaps his last movie totally accomplished. It narrates the reunion between a lonely and unscrupulous individual and the woman who claims to be his biological mother. For Ki-duk it was a parable about extreme capitalism and when he went on stage at the Venetian Lido to collect the award, he celebrated it by singing a traditional song from his country 'a cappella'.

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