(aka 'The Bow' or 'Hwal')

Directed by Ki-duk Kim
South Korea / Japan 2005

 

  There is a very negative journalistic wave that appears to be building against Kim Ki Duk. This film may lend itself to support that following to some degree. I suppose one of a few complaints I have about this film is tht it is very unsatisfying. I could not interrupt a direction or meaning or establish the directors intentions. Perhaps it was meant to be that way, but the plot seemed quite hollow in the long run. In Kim Ki Duk's twelfth feature film it starts quite promising - a story involving love and jealousy between two very different people living together in near isolation. A sixty year old man (Jeong Seong Hwan, from Ogu) has been raising a young girl (played by Han Yeo Reum, from Kim Ki Duk's Samaritan Girl) since she was 6 years old. He is neither her father nor a relative and it later appears that he abducted her. The two live on a boat in the middle of the sea, yet despite the barren conditions, the girl appears to be extremely pleasant and content. Totally charmed by her beauty and innocence, the elderly man desperately hopes to marry her once she is of legal age, which he marks on the calendar patiently awaiting the day that they can wed. He exerts power over any would be suitors (men chartered to the boat to deep-sea fish) with a bow and arrow. He also uses the same bow to create music and tell fortunes in a bizarre and dangerous ritual.

The film itself is beautiful, but for me it lacked any real substance and in the end - any cohesive narrative it held seemed to fall through the cracks. It's a funny thing, as I recommend the film if only to establish your own opinion about it. Perhaps you can teach me something that was obviously missing from my perspective.

Gary W. Tooze

Poster

Theatrical Release: May 12th, 2005 - Cannes

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DVD Comparison:

 KD Media - Region 3 - NTSC vs. Tartan - Region 1- NTSC

(KD Media - Region 3 - NTSC LEFT vs. Tartan - Region 1- NTSC RIGHT)

DVD Box Cover

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Distribution KD Media - Region 3 - NTSC Tartan - Region 1- NTSC
Runtime 1:28:39  1:28:39 
Video 1.78:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 9.11 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s
1.78:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 7.56 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate:

KD Media

Bitrate:

Tartan

Audio Korean (Dolby Digital 5.1), Korean DTS Korean (Dolby Digital 5.1), Korean DTS, Korean (Dolby Digital 2.0)
Subtitles English, Korean, None English, Spanish, None
Features

Release Information:
Studio: KD Media

Aspect Ratio:
Original aspect Ratio 1.78:1

Edition Details:

• Director Commentary in Korean (un-subtitled)
• 'Making of' (no subtitles)

DVD Release Date: August 11th, 2005

Transparent Keep Case in cardboard sleeve
Chapters: 16

Release Information:
Studio: KD Media

Aspect Ratio:
Original aspect Ratio 1.78:1

Edition Details:

• 'Making of' (English subtitles)

• Trailer

• Photo Gallery

DVD Release Date: June 12th, 2007

Keep Case
Chapters: 13

 

 

Comments:

ADDITION: Tartan - June 07': Aside from being interlaced the dual-layered Tartan looks very good. Colors appear more true (less red skin tones) and it could even be sharper. Other differences - subtitles are a little slimmer and harder to read (also optional Spanish subs are included) - audio has the same Korean DTS and 5.1 but adds a 2.0 track. Supplements add subtitles to the same 35-minute "Making Of..." featurette, plus a trailer and photo gallery.

Final word: For tube systems the Tartan is the way to go, but superior components may wish to get the KD Media. Extras go to Tartan as does audio (although it did sound a bit tinny to me). 

***

On the KD Media: Beautiful progressive and anamorphic 1.78:1 image on this DVD. I can't find any information about the aspect ratio and it may very well be wider as many of the shots seem quite tight, but perhaps it was filmed in that manner - if we find out we will post here. Colors are beautiful,  No manipulations that I could determine - optional subtitles but infrequently needed as the film is devoid of extensive dialogue. The Making of featurette is still kind of interesting although it had no English translation, but the commentary is pretty much useless unless you understand Korean. I think I will revisit this film one day as it appeared to have subtle layers that I assume I missed in my first viewing... either that or it was just seductive eye-candy.  

Gary W. Tooze

 





DVD Menus

(KD Media - Region 3 - NTSC LEFT vs. Tartan - Region 1- NTSC RIGHT)


 


Subtitle Sample

 

(KD Media - Region 3 - NTSC TOP vs. Tartan - Region 1- NTSC BOTTOM)

 

 


 

Screen Captures

 

(KD Media - Region 3 - NTSC TOP vs. Tartan - Region 1- NTSC BOTTOM)

 

 


(KD Media - Region 3 - NTSC TOP vs. Tartan - Region 1- NTSC BOTTOM)

 

 


(KD Media - Region 3 - NTSC TOP vs. Tartan - Region 1- NTSC BOTTOM)

 

 


(KD Media - Region 3 - NTSC TOP vs. Tartan - Region 1- NTSC BOTTOM)

 

 


 

 

DVD Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

Thinking of buying from YesAsia? CLICK HERE and use THIS UPDATED BEAVER PAGE to source their very best...

 

Distribution KD Media - Region 3 - NTSC Tartan - Region 1- NTSC




 

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Gary Tooze

Mississauga, Ontario,

   CANADA

Thank You!