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Isle, The [Import]


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Product Details

  • Actors: Jung Suh, Yoosuk Kim, Sung-hee Park, Jae-hyeon Jo, Hang-Seon Jang
  • Directors: Ki-duk Kim
  • Writers: Ki-duk Kim
  • Producers: Eun Lee
  • Format: Color, DVD-Video, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen, Import
  • Language: Korean
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada This DVD will probably NOT be viewable in other countries. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • MPAA Rating: UNRATED
  • Studio: Knightscove-Ellis International
  • Release Date: June 30 2003
  • Run Time: 90 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00008QS9I

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Customer Reviews

3.5 out of 5 stars

Most helpful customer reviews

Format: DVD
This is my third film from director Ki-duk Kim (II). The first one being "3-Iron" and the second "Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter, and Spring" both being great but close to silent films. The Isle (Seom), a deeply troubling and equally beautiful film that will shake the hardiest of souls despite a minimal body count and bloodletting. The poetic setting propels much of the storyline, which follows lost souls Hee-Jin (Suh Jung), an errand girl and occasional prostitute who services a neighborhood of floating lake homes, and new resident Hyun-Shik (Yoosuk Kim), a quiet, suicidal cop on the run from the law after shooting his girlfriend. When the despondent Hyun-Shik tries to kill himself, the young girl stops him with a well-applied knife poke. She continues to spy on him, and the two silently develop a twisted relationship that escalates when he engages in some self-mutilation involving fish hooks. Add to the mix an accidental death, corpse disposal, more fish hook mayhem, and a lyrical finale, and you have one of the more memorable art-house/shock cinema

Though filled with images of sexual mutilation, excretion, and much-discussed animal violence (mainly to fish), "The Isle" is a far cry from an exploitation film; this is deeply felt, melancholy material, a harsh love story between two people beaten down by life and unable to express themselves except through pain.

The film also leavens the somber tone with a few nicely placed sick laughs, often at the expense of the characters' outrageous behavior, and director Ki-duk Kim displays an impeccable eye for simple, beautifully composed images.
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Format: DVD
Critics seem to be divided on this film, either praising it to the skies or denouncing it as arty garbage. I think the dilemma lies in the difference between the story and how it is presented. The film, while beautifully shot and absolutely wonderful to watch (the director was trained as a painter), is totally at odds with the sordid storyline, which deals with the relationship between an apparently mute prostitute and a suicidal cop who may have killed his wife and her lover. It's like a James M. Cain novel filmed by Peter Greenaway. I think for the most part it succeeds, though I have docked it a star for occasional lapses of taste (scenes of people defecating, for example).
VIEWER ALERT: There are two scenes involving fish hooks that, while not graphic, are very tough to take. Reportedly, they have caused strong reactions among theater audiences-- screaming, fainting, vomiting, and fleeing from the theaters. One critic said he ran out of the theater and blacked out in the lobby! You have been warned!
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Format: DVD
Gruesome, surreal, and gorgeous. All of these words perfectly describe the Korean film "The Isle." This film features amazingly beautiful scenery and imagery which is painful to watch. A man with a disturbing past seeks sanctuary from the law, and his own demons. He comes to a lake where a woman delivers fishermen and other visitors to small, floating rooms, accessable only by boat. She brings them supplies and prostitutes, and even sells herself to her visitors. She performs all of these duties without a word. When she and her reclusive boarder become entangled in a very disturbing love affair, sex, murder, suicide attempts, and mutilation follow. This film is not to be undertaken by the light-of-heart. The film's director is known for depicting inhuman brutality and horrors on screen, and is known to be quite a sick fellow in general. He's also known to be a talented film-maker, by those who can sit through his films without becoming ill. This is an excellent film, but not one for the squemish. If you think you can sit through the film's more disturbing scenes, then you're in for a very disturbing treat.
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Format: DVD
If you only see one existentialist art house horror porn film this year, then you must see The Isle.
The Isle is a Korean film about a disturbed woman that services small fishing floats. By service, I mean she brings the men coffee, has sex with them occasionally, and stabs them with a screwdriver if she doesn't like them.
The Isle is one part "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" and one part "I Spit On Your Grave." Sort of a cerebral feminist slasher flick. Too gross to appeal to mainstream audiences and too slow to appeal to suspense fans, I am not sure who this film was made for.
On another topic, who wants to fish in a lake where there are no bathrooms? Remind me not to eat sushi in Korea.
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Format: DVD
This was a very interesting film. I first saw it on the Sundance channel and decided to get it. First off its important to clarify that this film is NOT a porn. It is very surreal, and just altogether strange. The plot was interesting and not too hard to follow, but it had very little dialogue. It is nice and short, probably would have been boring if they made it any longer, and the end seemed pretty abrupt. This film is not for everyone and I would say that if sex, violence, s&m, or disturbing images offend you, this is not the movie for you. This movie is one that you enjoy but might feel bad for saying so. Regardless, it is an interesting movie and definately worth a watch.
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