Notes from the Korean wilderness, Kim Ki Duk [Entries 1 – 3]
Most people probably know me already.
I’m a famous film director…the Korean film director of his generation.
Oldboy is something, I suppose, but…no, it’s not really. It’s a cartoon, a comic strip…there’s no reality to the thing, not like mine.
I’m the one who took Venice…I’m the one with the social conscience…
But I don’t make films anymore. Do I?
No, it’s gone, all of it. I’ve deserted the city and deserted my camera [okay, it’s with me, but unused]. I’m a deserter…in a positive way. My place of residence is now a cabin shack somewhere in the woods. I won’t say where.
No, it’s not the cabin shack from ‘Samaritan Girl’.
While I’m here, I shall write nothing but nonsense. If they want any more than that, if they’re looking for linearity or cohesion, they can go elsewhere. Fuck them. If they want to link it to that hanging incident then, fine, they can do what they want. But that’s not why I’m here.
I’m in the woods and I’m not coming out till something’s different.
I’m tired of typical things.
I used to make films and edit them, but then I thought: why am I editing these things? What gives me the right to put an order to the beautiful, wild shit swirling around in that head of mine?
I shot it, so it must mean something.
What’s the time?
There are no damn clocks in this place.
I wonder if anyone’s trying to find me…
Maybe when they do, I’ll be surrounded by wild animals…by wolves…no, worse, the wolves will be eating my arm or my neck or something, and the KBI will kick down the door and see some pretty gruesome shit.
That’d be a way to go.
What am I doing with myself?
Well, there are a few things. You wouldn’t think it, but just because I’m living in the woods, doesn’t mean I have to go back to nature. I’m still in love with technology.
And then there’s art and history and languages and other cultures…wow, there’s so much.
But mostly I’ve been repairing my old cappuccino machine.
I brought it with me from Seoul and, when I first arrived, it was broken. So I fixed it.
Then I broke it again.
And fixed it.
I used to do this for a living.
Okay, other people used to do the breaking, but it was me that came along and made it work again.
It’s weird. In all my films, there’s never been a character who fixes cappuccino machines. I wonder why.
The thing that really gets to me, even when the world’s somewhere else, is this: Everything I see, everything I read, I could do it about fifty times better. Perhaps more than that.
And I’m talking about everything. Books, films, kid’s stories…I honestly feel there’s nothing I can’t improve.
The problem is I can’t talk about this. People might think I’m arrogant. But now I can…I’m mad, so they think, and I’m oh so torn up about that poor actress who nearly died on my set…yeah, yeah, it was bad, terrible even, but…it wasn’t that terrible. She did not die.
I don’t even know where that story came from. Why can’t a man just distance himself from the world for a few years? Why does there always have to be some huge, death-related reason?
Captain Sisko said once, ‘people always ask me, what have I been doing since Trek? Well, the answer is: nothing. I’ve been here [at home] playing the piano, living. Isn’t that enough?’
I’m with Sisko. It’s more than enough, living…
Anyway, I’m not here because of her…that actress. Sure, okay, we fucked up with the rope, we didn’t realise she was choking…but we cut her down, she’s alive, what else is there to say? It happened, past tense. If she’d actually died then maybe…but she didn’t.
Now I think of it…shouldn’t she be the one in the woods, not me?
Okay, forget all that. It’s a waste of paper, I’m not writing any more about it.
The thing I want to say…that I could never say before…was how much better I am than most other fuckers working today.
It feels incredible to be able to say it and not worry about my damn agent calling up tomorrow and saying ‘retraction, retraction.’
My agent hasn’t called in months. I guess he finally understands I’m serious about all this.
I’m gonna write a kid’s movie…how about that, agent?