Wednesday, July 20, 2005


In 3-Iron, South Korean director Kim Ki-duk has created a beautifully-shot tale of a young drifter who spends his days racing through the city of Seoul on a silver BMX motorcycle, pinning takeout menus to doors; and his nights breaking into those homes whose menus haven't been removed. Once inside, he checks their answer machine messages and invariably discovers the absent residents are on various trips. Then he makes himself at home for the night: he eats from their refridgerators, wears their clothes, watches their TVs, takes digital pictures of himself with their possessions, fixes their broken appliances, hand-washes their dirty laundry and tidies up after himself, before making his escape, taking nothing, the next morning.

Mistakenly thinking one grand house is vacant, he meets a silent young wife cowering in a corner, battered and bruised at the hands of her husband. The two of them escape and she joins him on his nightly drifts across the sterile apartments, crumbling tenements and grand cottage houses of the city. A mute and tender love gently unfurls between them on their unlikely adventure that also sees a death, the violent return of the husband, imprisonment and an overly-fantastical dose of magic realism. But it's the gently flowering love between the two bruised protagonists that I lost myself in at the Curzon Soho last night.

The waking dream continued with a heavenly meal at the Japanese restaurant Abeno Too opposite the Photographers Gallery in Covent Garden. We sat at a wooden bar in the centre and watched as the waitress prepared our okonomi-yaki -- a sort of bubble and squeak mixture of cabbage, tempura batter, eggs, spring onions, ginger, pork, squid and prawns fried on the grill in front of us and served with Japanese brown sauce, mayonnaise and chilli sauce. We also had a side of Korean kimchi plus a dish of seaweed and cucumber slivers marinated in a sweet rice vinegar sauce. We washed it all down with beer (him) and chilled roasted Japanese tea (me).

Tonight, after work, we're meeting at the NFT to see the beautiful, quirky and romantic movie Last Life In The Universe, again, to get us even more in the mood for Thailand (flights and hotels booked, hurrah: Bangkok, Chang Mai and various points in between, here we come!)

And so the dreaming continues.

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