Director: Kim Ki-Duk
Year Released: 2008
Spiritually hokey drivel: sculptor Jin (Joe Odagiri) has a bizarre connection with stranger Ran (Na-yeong Lee) in that his dreams have an effect on her (real) life, so that when they go to sleep at the same time, what his head conjures up with in Slumber Land she physically acts out. For a filmmaker who made three of the most intriguing pictures of the decade to allow his movie to disintegrate into a new age-y mess is disappointing but not entirely unpredictable: I detected a slip in his 2007 movie Breath and realize that his interest in physical and metaphysical interconnectedness demands cautious scripting and direction to keep from becoming pretentious. There's a strong intelligence and sense of understatement to his best films, but this one forgoes even practical consideration(s): for example, why don't Ran and Jin simply handcuff themselves to sturdy, stationary objects to avoid 'sleep walking'? Why don't they have sex together (maybe it will break the 'spell')? Why don't they utilize sleeping medications? They don't talk much because the script is too focused on plot - since Kim can't think of a smart way to wrap this up, his male lead shoves a chisel in his skull and his female lead hangs herself. How lovely.