Pietà (film)

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Pietà
Pieta poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Hangul 피에타
Revised Romanization Pieta
McCune–Reischauer P‘iet‘a
Directed by Kim Ki-duk
Produced by Kim Soon-mo
Kim Ki-duk
Written by Kim Ki-duk
Starring Lee Jung-jin
Jo Min-su
Music by Park In-young
Cinematography Cho Yeong-jik
Edited by Kim Ki-duk
Distributed by NEW
Drafthouse Films
Release date(s)
  • September 3, 2012 (2012-09-03) (Venice Film Festival)
  • September 6, 2012 (2012-09-06) (South Korea)
Running time 104 minutes
Country South Korea[1]
Language Korean
Box office US$3,601,250[2]

Pietà (Hangul: 피에타) is a 2012 South Korean film. The 18th feature written and directed by Kim Ki-duk, it depicts the mysterious relationship between a brutal man who works for loan sharks and a middle-aged woman who claims that she is his mother, mixing Christian symbolism and highly sexual content.[3][4][5][6][7]

It made its world premiere in the competition line-up of the 69th Venice International Film Festival,[8][9] where it won the Golden Lion.[10][11] It is the first Korean film to win the top prize at one of the three major international film festivals — Venice, Cannes and Berlin.[12][13][14][15][16][17]

The title refers to the Italian Pietà (piety/pity), signifying depictions of the Virgin Mary cradling the corpse of Jesus.

Plot[edit]

Kang-do is a heartless man who has no living family members and whose job is to threaten debtors to repay his clients, the loan sharks who demand a 10x return on a one month loan. To recover the interest, the debtors would sign an insurance for handicap, and Kang-do would injure the debtors brutally to file the claim. One day he receives a visit from a strange, middle-aged woman claiming she is his long-lost mother. Over the following weeks, the woman stubbornly follows him and he continues to do his job. But he is slowly moved and changed by the motherly love expressed from this woman.[18]

Cast[edit]

  • Lee Jung-jin ... Lee Kang-do
  • Jo Min-su ... Jang Mi-sun
  • Kang Eun-jin ... Myeong-ja, Hun-cheol's wife
  • Woo Gi-hong ... Hun-cheol
  • Cho Jae-ryong ... Tae-seung
  • Lee Myeong-ja ... Mother of man who committed suicide using drugs
  • Heo Jun-seok ... Man who committed suicide
  • Kwon Se-in ... Guitar man
  • Song Mun-su ... Man who committed suicide by falling
  • Kim Beom-jun ... Myeongdong man
  • Son Jong-hak ... Loan shark boss
  • Jin Yong-ok ... Wheelchair man
  • Kim Seo-hyeon ... Old woman
  • Yu Ha-bok ... Container man
  • Seo Jae-gyeong ... Kid
  • Kim Jae-rok ... Monk
  • Lee Won-jang ... Sang-gu, committed suicide by hanging
  • Kim Sun-mo ... Jong-do's neighbour
  • Kang Seung-hyeon ... neighbouring shop owner
  • Hwang Sun-hui ... old woman

Release[edit]

Pietà premiered in competition at the Venice Film Festival on September 4, 2012.[19][20][21][22][23][24][25] It received theatrical release in South Korea on September 6, 2012.[26][27][28][29][30]

The film has been sold to 20 countries for international distribution, including Italy, Germany, Russia, Norway, Turkey, Hong Kong, and Greece.[31] Independent distributor, Drafthouse Films is doing a theatrical release in North America.[32]

It was Korea's Foreign Language Film submission to the 85th Academy Awards, but it did not make the final shortlist.[33][34][35][36]

Sexual violence[edit]

The film's depiction of the violence and sexuality between Kang-do and the woman who claims to be his long-lost mother have provoked intense reactions and is debated by critics.[37] Some of the most controversial scenes in the film includes when Kang-do feeds the woman a piece of his own flesh from his thigh,[37] and a scene when he shoves his hand into the woman's private area, molesting her, and asking her "I came out of here? Can I go back in?".[37] There is another subsequent scene when she gives Kang-do a handjob.[37]

Reception[edit]

The film won the Golden Lion prize at the 69th Venice International Film Festival. At its Venice press screening, it reportedly "elicited extremely mixed reactions".[38][39] Hollywood director Michael Mann, who presided over the jury, said the film stood out because it "seduced you viscerally."[16][40][41]

Deborah Young of The Hollywood Reporter described it as "an intense and, for the first hour, sickeningly violent film that unexpectedly segues into a moving psychological study."[38] Young gave high praises to the film's acting performances, however states "it’s not an exaggeration to say there’s not a single pleasant moment in the film’s first half" and "Viewers will keep their eyes closed" for the majority of the film.[38] Young further praised the visual style of the film with "Kim gives scenes a dark, hand-held look in which the frame edge disappears into black shadows. It’s not a particularly attractive style but does reflect the ugliness of its subject."[38]

Leslie Felperin of Variety describes it as the director's "most commercial pic in years" though it nonetheless features the director's usual trademarks of "brutal violence, rape, animal slaughter and the ingestion of disgusting objects."[42] Felperin further states the film is a "blend of cruelty, wit and moral complexity."[42]

Dan Fainaru of Screen International states "Starting with a grisly suicide and ending with a burial, this isn’t an easy or pleasant film to watch."[43]

Oliver Lyttelton of IndieWire praised the two lead actor's performances and their on-screen chemistry as mother and son: "there’s a real tenderness to the two performances, particularly that of Lee, who reverts from a strong-and-silent brute to easing into the childhood that he never got to live. And the disturbing, vaguely Oedipal relationship at the core is a fascinating one..."[44] However Lyttelton gave the film a C+, and criticizes "It's a shame then, that in the second half of the film, the interestingly twisted mother-son relationship shifts gears and becomes something closer to the kind of revenge movie that Korean cinema has become known for. It's not quite a full-on genre exercise, but it’s probably the closest to such a thing that Kim's ever made, and while he has his own twists to provide, it's still a disappointingly conventional turn for the film to take."[44]

Awards[edit]

2012 69th Venice International Film Festival

2012 32nd Korean Association of Film Critics Awards[45]

2012 49th Grand Bell Awards[46]

2012 Korean Popular Culture and Art Awards[47]

2012 6th Asia Pacific Screen Awards[48]

  • Screen International Jury Grand Prize - Jo Min-su

2012 33rd Blue Dragon Film Awards[49][50][51]

  • Best Film

2012 2nd Shin Young-kyun Arts and Culture Foundation's Beautiful Artist Awards[52]

2012 Korean Art Critics' Conference[53]

2012 Women in Film Korea Awards[54]

  • Best Technical Award - Park In-young (music director)

2012 Satellite Awards[55]

2012 9th Dubai International Film Festival[56]

2012 Korea Film Actor's Association[57]

2013 4th KOFRA Film Awards (Korea Film Reporters Association)[58][59]

2013 23rd Fantasporto Director's Week[60]

2013 7th Asian Film Awards[61][62][63]

  • People's Choice for Favorite Actress - Jo Min-su

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Park, Eun-jee (12 August 2012). "Movies at the palace: Sensible or sacrilege?". 
  2. ^ "Pieta (2013)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 30 May 2014. 
  3. ^ "It's a story about victims and attackers.". Korean Film Biz Zone. 27 August 2012. 
  4. ^ "KIM Ki-duk goes to Venice with PIETA". Korea Cinema Today. 7 August 2012. 
  5. ^ Cho, Jae-eun (27 July 2012). "Renowned director juxtaposes sexuality and religion in Pieta". Korea JoongAng Daily. 
  6. ^ "Kim Ki-duk back with new film Pieta". The Korea Herald. 20 July 2012. 
  7. ^ Lee, Rachel (9 September 2012). "From eccentric to darling of Venice". The Korea Times. 
  8. ^ Rachel Lee, Kwaak Je-yup (29 August 2012). "Kim Ki-duk's Pieta in competition at Venice". The Korea Times. 
  9. ^ "Korean morality tale premieres at Venice film fest". The Korea Herald. 5 September 2012. 
  10. ^ Ji, Yong-jin (10 September 2012). "Venice choses KIM Ki-duk". Korean Film Biz Zone. 
  11. ^ "Outsider Kim Ki-duk's Pieta Wins Top Prize in Venice". The Chosun Ilbo. 10 September 2012. 
  12. ^ "Venice festival winner a hard-hitting morality tale". The Korea Herald. 9 September 2012. 
  13. ^ Lee, Claire (9 September 2012). "Kim Ki-duk becomes 1st Korean director to win top film prize at Venice". The Korea Herald. 
  14. ^ Lee, Claire (9 September 2012). "Former laborer becomes acclaimed filmmaker". The Korea Herald. 
  15. ^ "Kim Ki-duk: from monster with 'inferiority complex' to master director". The Korea Herald. 9 September 2012. 
  16. ^ a b Kim, Ji-soo (9 September 2012). "Director Kim Ki-duk takes Venice". The Korea Times. 
  17. ^ Park, Eun-jee (10 September 2012). "In dramatic style, Kim makes movie history". Korea JoongAng Daily. 
  18. ^ Elley, Derek (8 September 2012). "Pietà". Film Business Asia. 
  19. ^ Lee, Claire (27 July 2012). "Kim Ki-duk’s Pieta goes to Venice". The Korea Herald. 
  20. ^ "Kim Ki-duk Invited to Venice for 4th Time with Pieta". The Chosun Ilbo. 27 July 2012. 
  21. ^ "Kim Ki-duk's new film up for competition in Venice fest". The Korea Times. 27 July 2012. 
  22. ^ "Pieta tipped for Venice win". The Korea Herald. 7 September 2012. 
  23. ^ "Directors Kim Ki-duk, Takeshi Kitano see Asian art house in crisis". Korea JoongAng Daily. 7 September 2012. 
  24. ^ Lee, Eun-sun (7 September 2012). "With 5-star reviews, PIETA is becoming a critical darling". Korean Film Biz Zone. 
  25. ^ "Director Kim unchanged by Venice triumph". The Korea Herald. 12 September 2012. 
  26. ^ Kwaak, Je-yup (6 September 2012). "Pieta filled with bloody revenge". The Korea Times. 
  27. ^ Lee, Claire (6 September 2012). "Kim Ki-duk returns with brutal revenge tale". The Korea Herald. 
  28. ^ Cho, Chung-un (10 September 2012). "Can Pieta enjoy success at home?". The Korea Herald. 
  29. ^ "'Memory of teen years hit him at most honorable moment in Venice'". The Korea Times. 11 September 2012. 
  30. ^ "Golden Lion Winner Explains 'Shabby' Venice Outfit". The Chosun Ilbo. 13 September 2012. 
  31. ^ Kim, Hyun-min (10 September 2012). "Director KIM Ki-duk's reputation goes world-wide". Korean Film Biz Zone. 
  32. ^ Cangialosi, Jason (19 October 2012). "Drafthouse Films Acquires Korean Oscar Contender, Kim Ki-duk's Pietà". Yahoo!. 
  33. ^ "Pieta to compete for Oscar's best foreign film award". The Korea Times. 13 September 2012. 
  34. ^ Lee, Hye-ji (13 September 2012). "Kim Ki-duk's Pieta to Vie for Oscar Nomination". 10Asia. 
  35. ^ Noh, Jean (13 September 2012). "South Korea selects Pieta as Oscar submission". Screen International. 
  36. ^ Kim, Nemo (24 December 2012). "Pieta out of the Oscar Race". 10Asia. 
  37. ^ a b c d "TIFF Day 10: Pieta x 13". Cinema Scope. 
  38. ^ a b c d Young, Deborah (3 September 2012). "Pieta: Venice Review". The Hollywood Reporter. 
  39. ^ Ji, Yong-jin (6 September 2012). "Venice gives PIETA a ten-minute standing ovation". Korean Film Biz Zone. 
  40. ^ Belloni, Matthew (8 September 2012). "Venice Film Festival Jury Yanks Top Prize from The Master (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. 
  41. ^ Thuburn, Dario (10 September 2012). "Pieta win in Venice clouded by controversy". Rappler.com. 
  42. ^ a b Felperin, Leslie (4 September 2012). "Pieta (South Korea)". Variety. 
  43. ^ Fainaru, Dan (4 September 2012). "Pieta". Screen International. 
  44. ^ a b Lyttelton, Oliver (4 September 2012). "Venice Review: Kim Ki-Duk's Pieta Is A Bruising Mother-Son Relationship Drama That Ultimately Disappoints". IndieWire. 
  45. ^ Ji, Yong-jin (9 November 2012). "PIETA, Critics' No.1 Choice". Korean Film Biz Zone. 
  46. ^ Lee, Claire (30 October 2012). "Gwanghae sweeps Daejong Film Awards". The Korea Herald. 
  47. ^ Ji, Yong-jin (21 November 2012). "PIETA Shines Once Again". Korean Film Biz Zone. 
  48. ^ Jang, Sung-ran (27 November 2012). "Korean Films Shine in Asia-Pacific Region and Europe". Korean Film Biz Zone. 
  49. ^ Ji, Yong-jin (4 December 2012). "PIETA Wins Best Picture at Blue Dragon Awards". Korean Film Biz Zone. 
  50. ^ Lee, Claire (2 December 2012). "Pieta wins top prize at Blue Dragon Awards". The Korea Herald. 
  51. ^ Sunwoo, Carla (4 December 2012). "Pieta gets Best Film at Blue Dragon Awards". Korea JoongAng Daily. 
  52. ^ Ji, Yong-jin (28 November 2012). "KIM Ki-duk Scores Another Brilliant Achievement". Korean Film Biz Zone. 
  53. ^ Ji, Yong-jin (12 December 2012). "KIM Ki-duk, the Greatest Artist of the Year". Korean Film Biz Zone. 
  54. ^ Kim, Hyun-min (6 December 2012). "BYUN Young-joo Selected as the Woman Filmmaker of 2012". Korean Film Biz Zone. 
  55. ^ Kilday, Gregg (16 December 2012). "Silver Linings Playbook Wins Five Satellite Awards, Including Best Picture". The Hollywood Reporter.
  56. ^ Conran, Pierce (17 December 2012). "KIM Ki-duk Picks Up Best Director at Dubai Film Festival". Korean Film Biz Zone. 
  57. ^ Ji, Yong-jin (2 January 2013). "Korea Film Actor's Association Holds Year-end Event". Korean Film Biz Zone. 
  58. ^ Sunwoo, Carla (1 February 2013). "Pieta is a hit with the journalists". Korea JoongAng Daily. 
  59. ^ Ji, Yong-jin (1 February 2013). "PIETA Regarded as the Best Film in 2012 by Reporters". Korean Film Biz Zone. 
  60. ^ Conran, Pierce (12 March 2013). "Multiple Awards for Korean Films at Fantasporto". Korean Film Biz Zone. 
  61. ^ "Cho Min-soo Named Most Popular Actress at Asian Film Awards". The Chosun Ilbo. 20 March 2013. 
  62. ^ Lee, Sun-min (20 March 2013). "Pieta's Cho Min-soo awarded for role". Korea JoongAng Daily. 
  63. ^ Conran, Pierce (21 March 2013). "CHO Min-soo Picks up People's Choice Award for Favorite Actress". Korean Film Biz Zone. 

External links[edit]