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Dream

(Bi-mong)

North american Premiere

  • South korea 2008
  • 93 min
  • 35mm
  • Japanese/korean with English subtitles
North American Premiere
Official Competition, San Sebastian Festival 2008

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“The visuals... are stunning, the production design both minimalist and luscious” — Natasha Senjanovic, HOLLYWOOD REPORTER

Credits

Director: Kim Ki-duk
Screenplay: Kim Ki-duk
Cast: Jô Odagiri, Lee Na-yeong, Park Ji-a, Kim Tae-hyeon
Producers: Kim Ki-duk, Song Myung-chul, David Cho, Kai Naoki, Kunizane Mizue Kim Ki-duk Film
Distributor: Showbox

Description

Although they’ve never met, an mysterious connection exists between Jin (Jô Odagiri) and Ran (Lee Na-yeong). Not that the two strangers don’t have a few things in common—by day, both are tortured by broken hearts, and by night, each is haunted by vividly realistic nightmares, one of which leads Jin to his first encounter with Ran. After he dreams of being responsible for a car accident, he elects to visit the street he saw in his sleep, only to discover to his shock that the incident has actually occurred. Ran is the guilty party and she’s under arrest, claiming she passed out at the moment of impact and now can’t remember any of what happened. Jin is struck by the realization that his actions in his dreams are enacted for real by Ran. Running the risk of sleeping under such circumstances is unthinkable, and a solution to this waking nightmare must be found. Tangling matters up further, just as self-mutilation seems the only means of remaining awake, is the spark of new love…

Kim Ki-duk’s fifteenth film, DREAM, is the celebrated Korean director’s first foray into the fantastic. Newcomers and longstanding admirers alike will rejoice at the new direction the visionary filmmaker has taken, as it allows him to go even further in his exploration of his favourite themes. As he’s known for doing, Kim crafts a violent and tragic love story, a tale of a couple at once united and crushed by an inexplicable curse. Their descent into hell will freeze your blood, bring tears to your eyes and have you praying for their impossible redemption. Stepping into the realm of dreams, Kim also offers a striking encounter between East and West as he weds Freudian dementia to Buddhist imagination. The art direction is sumptuous as usual—every scene in DREAM suggests the hand of a perfectionist in its composition, resplendent with a spectrum of vibrant colours. After bowling over both the jury and the general public at Fantasia last year with his turn in ADRIFT IN TOKYO, Jô Odagiri returns with a complete about-face, delivering a performance brimming with rage and pain. Visceral, thought-provoking and subversive, DREAM is a new opus, nothing less than unmissable, from a major auteur of contemporary cinema.

—Simon Laperričre (translated by Rupert Bottenberg)

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