Friday, October 23, 2009

Real Fiction

A street painter who has lead a rather unhappy life, and is starting to lose grip on reality incurs a vision of an alternate self who through a rather dramatic stage performance tells him that he should find all the people who have ever done him wrong, and kill them. So without taking much thought into it he begins his violent vengeful rampage.

It is not the film itself that will leave you talking about Real Fiction for days after watching it. Its how the film was actually made, and by knowing this it gives you an entirely new appreciation for Kim Ki-duk, and the art of simple film making. After weeks of preparation and rehearsing, Real Fiction was shot in one day, over the course of about 3 and a half hours.

Every scene was filmed in real time, in one take, with multiple cameras set up. As well as one freehand camera being carried around by a mysterious young girl, who by the way is made quite apparent yet is never really explained. Using this style you are presented with a film that leaves you basically watching a stage play on screen. Though this is a very unique way of approaching a film, it does come with the risk of things not going perfectly well, which you will see in a few brief moments (though it is assumed any major hiccups were edited out).

However the film overall was done pretty flawlessly. The cast, especially our leading man Ju Jin-mo is superb in this quite demanding and probably nerve racking role. You will probably find yourself feeling sorry for the victims. Though these people did do him wrong, they are not bad people, so unlike most revenge films it’s hard to decide weather you should be caring for the main character, or weather you should despise him. That said your decision will probably be made easy by the end of the film.

Real Fiction is such a simple straight forward film, it just follows our killer about the city as he makes rid of his victims. So it is quite easy to say that it is how the film is made that makes it what it is, which is a brilliant early effort from a director who has since established himself as one of the most universally renowned Korean Directors in the world. In fact had this been made in a tradition style it would have lacked all its charm and been nothing but a boring A to Z killing spree.


A Film by KIm Ki-duk

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