Friday, September 09, 2005

3-IRON

1)I am not big on Korean cuisine and do not understand its local appeal. In fact you had better not recommend another Korean Bar-B-Kue to me anywhere this side of 37.1N and 126.58E.

2)Korean drivers are also a puzzle to me. They usually drift from one lane to another, usually at a pretty slow pace well below the flow of traffic, frequently make last second turns that cut me off and often burst out of cross streets with no regard for traffic in the existing right-of-way. Kind of like driving in the Bay Area.

And to complete yesterday’s Korean trio experience, I realize I don’t understand Korean movies, but I like what I screened on DVD last night. 3-IRON is a pleasant enigma: I film I don’t understand but found absorbing to watch and provocative to think about.

It’s not so much a story, but a presentation about a strange young man and the lives he affects, and is affected by. We are introduced to this Young Man as he hangs advertising fliers on residential door knobs. We assume it is his job, but that is hardly the case. The Young Man has no job. He apparently doesn’t need one. He would appear to be independently wealthy, or at least well off, as he rides a huge and obviously expensive motorcycle on his errands and adventures.

His main adventure is to return to the prepared door knobs and, where he sees his flyer still hanging, he picks the lock—with professional tools—and simply moves into the home for a day or so while it’s owner is away. He helps himself to available foods, but takes nothing else. In fact, he uses his handyman skills to repair objects and appliances he notices the need of. He seems to submit himself to the life style of the absent occupants, always taking photographs of himself in his new surroundings, and moves equally comfortably in rich homes and poor.

His modus operandi gets a bit sticky, however, when one home he moves into is still painfully occupied by a battered and cowed wife. A curiously non-verbal relationship begins between them and the dream quality of the film slowly segues into a nightmare. What 3-Iron is all about from there on is your guess as good as mine, ‘cause I ain’t got none. If you think you have some answers, the buzzer is in your hand.

I might find out more about 3-Iron, eventually, since writer-director Ki-duk-Kim does provide a commentary on the DVD which I will dip into later. At this time, I want to express my opinion and recommendation of 3-Iron based solely on what this lowly western mind can comprehend.

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