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Isle, The [Import]

Jung Suh , Yoosuk Kim , Ki-duk Kim    Unrated   DVD
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 29.98 & FREE Shipping. Details
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By Jenny J.J.I. TOP 500 REVIEWER
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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4.0 out of 5 stars The Isle July 4 2004
Format:DVD
A film likely not for everyone, but a pretty good one regardless. There's little dialogue and lots of imagery. The film moves at a very steady pace, but at a very subtle one at that. Both lead characters are a bit disturbed and in perturbing situations in their lives: one suicidal, and the other just meandering mundanely through her job(s) on the isle. The setting and struggles are more of what this film focuses on, as we never really learn a whole lot about the characters (not even their names), except maybe for the fact that they have a thing for painful suicide attempts. Nonetheless, it's a good film: you'll likely either love it (like I did), or despise it:).
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4.0 out of 5 stars The Isle July 4 2004
Format:DVD
A film likely not for everyone, but a pretty good one regardless. There's little dialogue and lots of imagery. The film moves at a very steady pace, but at a very subtle one at that. Both lead characters are a bit disturbed and in perturbing situations in their lives: one suicidal, and the other just meandering mundanely through her job(s) on the isle. The setting and struggles are more of what this film focuses on, as we never really learn a whole lot about the characters (not even their names), except maybe for the fact that they have a thing for painful suicide attempts. Nonetheless, it's a good film: you'll likely either love it (like I did), or despise it:).
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4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting to say the least... May 2 2004
By dustin
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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1.0 out of 5 stars Very very slooooooow! March 9 2004
By Idoru69
Format:DVD
Yes there are a few scenes of violence (with humor) and sex (not explicit), but for the most part this movie is scene after scene of this woman rowing her boat across the lake -- she rows out with lunch, she rows back, she rows out a visitor, she rows back, she rows out for sex, she rows back. There is very little dialogue (which is in Korean with English subtitles), and there are some 5-8 minute stretches of no dialogue at all and very little action. . .
The film lacks suspense and the pacing is slower than the slowest of Japanese films, without the philosophical justification. Pass on this one.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful and greusome at the same time Feb. 13 2004
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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