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venerdì 19 aprile 2013

Revenge, the engine of violence: Ajeossi

The Man from Nowhere (Ajeossi, Jeong-beom Lee, 2010) is an undeniable example of South Korean violent cinematography. Not gratuitous violence, but violence generated by rules of form and content.

The fight scenes choreography (the form) reminds of Stanley-Baker's definition of Chinese Calligraphy: "Sheer life experienced through energy in motion, with time and rhythm in shifting space its main ingredients." A definition which could also be easily applied to martial arts.

As the form of the violence comes from a solid Oriental heritage; its content, the engine of violence, springs from the most classic element of the genre. Revenge.
A loner man, Cha Tae-Sik, who has lived in self-imposed isolation for years, decides to take on crime mob. A little girl has fallen prey to Korea's ruthless, dark underworld. She's his next door neighbour in a dilapidated part of town, with whom he has an inconsistent father/child relation. In the process, Cha Tae-Sik must face off against the police and his own past.

Ajeossi is overall a composition of Far East visual tradition and international cinema tale ingredients.

If you believe in blockbusters with a soul, this is definitely one of them. The film achieved home box office first, was selected for 19 film festivals, and won 31 awards.
If you don't believe in blockbusters with a soul, then you definitely have to watch this.