Directed by Kim Ki-duk
A wife, overwhelmed with hatred for her husband, inflicts an unspeakable wound on their son, as the family heads towards horrific destruction.
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★★★★★ review by Naughty on Letterboxd
Gives a whole new meaning to the phrase "ROCK Your World"
Kim Ki-duk revisited similar themes that were present in his previous film Pieta! You would have thought the shock value would have been diminished considering we've "been there, done that!" But that was not the case! Not only did Kim Ki-duk whip the shit out of that dead horse... he brought it back to life! And like Pet Sematary the resurrected came back with a vengeance and were inherently much darker and more vile than anyone could comprehend! Such was the case with Moebius!
Kim Ki-duk managed to do MORE with far less! He eliminated dialogue altogether! This was a tremendous move on his part! It succeeded in creating a more visceral atmosphere! Jae-hyeon Jo, Eun-woo Lee and Young-ju Seo were able to tap into their respective primal natures and deliver performances of a lifetime!
Once again Ki-duk has taken a stab at being a masterful provocateur by delivering one of the most dysfunctional families to ever grace the big screen! Not for the squeamish or faint of heart!
When I wasn't clutching the arms of my recliner with a vise like grip, I was having a "severe case of the WTF's" for which there is no known cure!
★★★★½ review by Jonathan White on Letterboxd
TIFF 2013 – film#12
Reason for Pick – Director Kim Ki-duk – 3 Iron
"Earlier this year, Moebius was banned by the Korean Media Ratings Board for failing two of its seven decency tests, which makes you wonder, among other things, what on earth the five it passed could be."
Robbie Collin, reviewer, telegraph.co.uk
That about sums it up. Infidelity, castration, gang-rape, auto-erotic self mutilation, and incest. Oh, and comedy darker than a black hole. If the former doesn’t send you running for the hills, then you will be rewarded with the latter, incredible insights into male sexual dynamics, and the sufferings that dicks can cause. Of the Kim films I’ve seen, Moebius is amongst his best and most powerful. It took an entire evening of chewing on it and discussing it to come to this conclusion. You can’t help but leave the theatre in anything but a state of total shock.
One could argue, rather convincingly, that the first act is simply torture-porn. I’m sure there are plenty of indentations in the arm rests of the Scotia Plaza 1 theatre from people clenching their seats. After you’re subjected to more than most could endure, Kim turns the film on a dime in the second act to become one of the most uncomfortably funny films I’ve ever seen. Moebius makes Dogtooth look like Disney in this department.
If you survived Kim’s The Isle, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet. Besides amping up the ultra-violence, Kim goes one step further in making Moebius completely wordless. This technique works brilliantly, as words would quickly ground the surreal, unbelievable, tone of the film. Another, albeit lesser, shocker I only discovered after reading is that both female leads, Mother and Mistress, are played by the same actress, Lee Eun-woo. Not only is the transformation amazing, it also makes yet another statement in the already allusion rich story. Cho Jae-hyun as the father, and Seo Young-ju as the son, also deliver incredible, mute, performances.
To say this film isn't for everyone goes beyond understatement. While no one left our screening, I read that several bolted at the Venice Film Festival, one leaving a trail of un-wellness as they fled.
You have been warned.
★★★★★ review by Nathan on Letterboxd
What happens when you cross every single line imaginable whilst making Dogtooth look like a film that could be shown on a kid’s network? Well my friends, you get Kim Ki-duk’s ”Moebius”.
Not only is Moebius an incredibly gruesome black comedy, it also features a trait that comes hand in hand with Ki-duk; very little dialogue. In this case, there is completely none. Not only is that an appraisable accomplishment within itself, it isn't even noticeable within the context of the film. KKD depicts what we believe to be a normal family, then, slowly but surely.. nah, actually quite fucking abruptly, we see this family turn from normal, to…well… I’m not sure there is quite the word for what they turn into.
Regardless, what’s interesting is the progression of the family into their mental downward decent. All things that play out from the beginning of the film are caused by one catalyst. Because of that, it begs the question, how much of this were they really capable of in the first place? To what extent does extreme circumstances cause extreme actions? Is it cause and effect, or is the capability already an innate course of action.
Either way, 3-Iron having been the only Ki-duk film I've seen before this one, it’s evident his style is quite broad yet extremely impressive. I look forward to exploring the rest of his work in the near future.
I’m going to go buy some rocks.
★★★★½ review by Invincible Asia on Letterboxd
Kim Ki-duk's "Moebius" might be the new benchmark for what a tour de force in film form means. It's an always engaging but quite often really disturbing journey that chronicles the downfall of a family of three when the mother finds out her husband is unfaithful. She tries to cut off his penis, he fends her off and then she heads for her sleeping son's bedroom and succeeds. That's the first five minutes.
Void of any dialogue and full of taboo breaking sexuality, violence and self mutilation this is one unique experience not for the faint-hearted.
Giving any more information about the plot would just spoil the experience. There's also a specific highlight about Lee Eun-Woo's powerhouse performance I only realised afterwards and if you're interested even slightly because of director Kim Ki-duk or anything you read about "Moebius" don't do any research. Just watch it when you feel brave enough.
At times I was shocked at what the characters were willing to do just to get sexual satisfaction. At other times I was shocked at what twisted scenes I still found at least slightly arousing. And sometimes this had me laughing harder than the best comedies I've seen in the past twelve months. "Moebius" is definitely a high-concept, thought-provoking piece of cinema and the strains of really dark humour are probably necessary to make it bearable.
After letting it sink in I think it's great and raises interesting questions about sexuality, dominance, pain and family, hence the rating, but proceed with caution. If you need fancy dialogue, morally untouchable characters and hate to feel uncomfortable for all the right and wrong reasons, this will be hell for you.
★★★½ review by Mike D'Angelo on Letterboxd
The Dissolve review. Wish this went all-out for gonzo sick comedy rather than striving for a serious undertone (and that it had a stronger ending), but mostly I howled.
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