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Bin-jip (3-Iron) (Empty House)

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Original title
Bin-jip (3-Iron)
Running time
95 min.
South Korea South Korea
Kim Ki-duk
Jang Seung-beck
, , , , , , ,
Kim Ki-duk Film
Romance. Drama | Romantic Drama
Synopsis / Plot
A young drifter enters strangers' houses - and lives - while owners are away. He spends a night or a day squatting in, repaying their unwitting hospitality by doing laundry or small repairs. His life changes when he runs into a beautiful woman in an affluent mansion who is ready to escape her unhappy, abusive marriage.

The burgeoning master of Korean cinema, Kim Ki-duk, returns to Sundance (The Isle screened in 2001, and Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter...and Spring in 2004) with his latest tour de force, 3-Iron. Although this film also relies heavily on imagery rather than dialogue, Kim produces a fascinatingly different result.

Tae-suk is homeless and lives like a phantom. His daily routine involves temporary stays in houses and apartments he knows are vacant. He never robs nor damages his unknowing hosts' homes; rather, like a kind ghost, he repays their unintended hospitality by doing the laundry or making small repairs. Once a beautiful model, Sun-hwa has withered living under the shadow of her abusive husband, who keeps her imprisoned in their affluent house. Tae-suk and Sun-hwa are fated to cross paths through their invisible existences. They meet when Tae-suk breaks into Sun-hwa's house, and they instantly recognize the similarity of their souls. As if bound by unseen ties, they find themselves unable to separate.

3-Iron is a magical love story set in a poetic universe filled with lucid desperation and serene detachment. Imbued with rare elegance, levity, and depth, it portrays a courtship between characters who are ebbing and flowing through their lives toward each other. Kim Ki-duk is a lyrical narrator of love and solitude and has orchestrated yet another visual masterpiece.— Trevor Groth (from
2004: Venice Film Festival: Silver Lion (Best Director) & FIPRESCI
2004: Valladolid Film Festival - Seminci: Golden Spike: Best Movie
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