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Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Chilling Effect as Film Edited to Escape Ban

I reported earlier about Kim Ki-duk's "Moebius" being held up because of "incest" scenes. Despite support for the film from other filmmakers, word is out now that the film will be edited to drop the supposedly offensive material. From globalpost.com...
South Korean filmmakers called on a government ratings' agency to lift an effective ban on the screening in the country of director Kim Ki-duk's latest film about incest.
"Moebius" received a "restricted screening" rating at the Korea Media Ratings Board (KMRB) on June 1 for including content "harmful to youth" as well as "unethical and unsocial" expressions.

The movie tells the story of a man who is raised up in a family destroyed by the father's affair and renounces the world.

Films classified for "restricted screening" can only be seen at theaters dedicated only to such films. Since South Korea does not have a single theater of that kind, the decision means Kim's new film cannot be shown in his home country.
Sounds like things need to change in Korea.


Kim said last week he has sent a letter of opinion asking the agency to reconsider the decision on June 5.
"As a filmmaker, it was inevitable to use incest as a motif of the film," he said in the letter. The scenes in question "are not focusing on the mother-son sexual intercourse but the relationship between parents," he explained.

"I think Korean adults should be given a chance to make their own judgment of my film."

They should have been. But here's what was reported at hollywoodereporter.com by Lee Hyo-won...

Kim Ki-duk has cut one minute and 20 seconds of his controversial film Moebius in order to submit it for a retrial by the Korea Media Rating Board (KMRB).
That might not sound like a lot, but consider...
In signed letter released to the press Tuesday, Kim explained that he decided to cut or modify 21 scenes that the KMRB had deemed “too problematic.” The director said he made the changes because he wanted to meet the film's previously scheduled domestic distribution date slated for September.
That's too bad.
Moebius portrays the destruction of a family as its members give into incestuous sexual desires.

So even though the portrayal was negative, it still had to be cut. Absurd.
The film, much like the director's 3-Iron (2004), proceeds without dialog and hence each and every scene is important, says the director.
“The plotline or expression of the scene may appear obscure, depending on the comprehension level of each audience member. But it is my hope that mature adult viewers would be able to discern the nuance and understand my intentions,” he said.
Sounds like an interesting film.
“I would be able to share the meaning of my film in overseas markets and film festivals, but emerging actors or staff members that took part in the project need the film to be shown in Korea so they can have the opportunity to become better known,” Kim said, adding, “Lee Eun-joo, who gave an impassioned performance in the role of a mother and lover, and Seo Yeong-ju, who plays the son, really deserve to show their work to Korean audiences.”
If they won't allow a negative depiction of consanguinamory, the message is loud and clear that they would not consider allowing a neutral or positive portrayal. That's too bad.
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