Last week we brought you the news that South Korea’s Kim Ki-duk was faced with the difficult decision of re-editing his latest film, Moebius, in order to achieve a theatrical, native release. Following a man coming from a dysfunctional family, the film is said to contain “sexual intercourse between the mother and son and amputating of the sexual organ,” causing the Korea Media Rating Board (KMRB) to restrict its release until it’s been re-cut and re-submitted.
We’ve now got word from THR that the director has went ahead with the new edit, snipping 21 scenes and resulting in 80 seconds removed. Aiming for a September release in Korea (as well as a Venice premiere), the decision had to be made now in order to comply with the three-month waiting period for judgement from the KMRB. As we await further distribution news, and perhaps news of a director’s cut release, check out portions of a letter the helmer released, backing up his decision, and see the teaser here if you missed it.
“The plotline or expression of the scene may appear obscure, depending on the comprehension level of each audience member. But it is my hope that mature adult viewers would be able to discern the nuance and understand my intentions. As a filmmaker [cutting the scenes] is unfortunate, but in a market environment where major movies dominate theaters I could not give up on this hard-won opportunity for the film to be released.”
“I would be able to share the meaning of my film in overseas markets and film festivals, but emerging actors or staff members that took part in the project need the film to be shown in Korea so they can have the opportunity to become better known. Lee Eun-joo, who gave an impassioned performance in the role of a mother and lover, and Seo Yeong-ju, who plays the son, really deserve to show their work to Korean audiences.”
“I have no choice but to seek domestic distribution for the film even if it means [cutting scenes], because I am afraid the cast and crew would lose their share of the film like when Arirang was illegally downloaded after someone copied it from an Italian broadcaster. In the future, films that need to portray scenes that could be problematic will have to seek working with foreign actors and production companies.”
Do you think Kim Ki-duk was right in cutting down the film? Are you looking forward to it?