The Isle Reviews

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September 16, 2020
The Isle is sick, but it is not empty spectacle.
September 23, 2017
study of isolated characters & marginalised experiences takes for its focus an extreme sadomasochistic relationship (modulated through the imagery of fishing), & finds ways to make its characters' fugitive desires become part of the watery landscape.
June 21, 2007
In the (genius) Coen Brother's film The Big Lebowski, Julianne Moore's character Maude is an avant garde artist who describes her painting as "strongly vaginal." Until The Isle, I thought that was simply a funny joke...
June 1, 2007
December 6, 2005
August 21, 2005
May 4, 2005
A creepy, gruesome, gorgeous and flabbergasting treatise on romantic obsession and violent, nasty male-female relationships.
September 25, 2004
If you have a strong stomach, then this deceptively calm tale of self-imposed isolation, extreme emotions and fishing will quickly reel you in, and leave its hooks in you long after you escape the cinema.
September 19, 2004
September 14, 2004
May 21, 2004
Spring, Summer fans should only have their appreciation of that film expanded by seeing this rougher take on similar themes.
May 13, 2003
The evocative imagery and gentle, lapping rhythms of this film are infectious -- it gets under our skin and draws us in long before the plot kicks into gear.
March 20, 2003
If you can get past the fantastical aspects and harsh realities of "The Isle" you'll get a sock-you-in-the-eye flick that is a visual tour-de-force and a story that is unlike any you will likely see anywhere else.
March 16, 2003
Ki-duk Kim has created a provocatively violent and sexual film with an oddly idyllic sensibility. It's a mysterious but ultimately rewarding experience.
March 11, 2003
Made me unintentionally famous - as the queasy-stomached critic who staggered from the theater and blacked out in the lobby. But believe it or not, it's one of the most beautiful, evocative works I've seen.
February 12, 2003
Equal parts Takashi Miike and Shohei Imamura.
January 31, 2003
Beautiful, angry and sad, with a curious sick poetry, as if the Marquis de Sade had gone in for pastel landscapes.
January 16, 2003
There is little question that this is a serious work by an important director who has something new to say about how, in the flip-flop of courtship, we often reel in when we should be playing out.
January 6, 2003
The vivid lead performances sustain interest and empathy, but the journey is far more interesting than the final destination.
January 3, 2003
A gorgeous and grotesque Korean film by director Kim Ki-Duk, who seems torn by his artistic and exploitive impulses.
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