Just made it through this for the first time tonight. I don't think my Korean version DVD has many of the right subtitles, nor do I think it includes all of the plot or scenes (the questionable porn/art scene is nowhere to be found). So this must be the R-rated version, which is fine with me.
After watching quite a few documentaries on Waco and Jonestown and Marjoe last month, I found myself thinking a lot about different cults and house churches/small groups -- about little communities that might seem El Nutbar to those outside the group, and how the inhabitants in the group learn to band together on the principle of communal living alone. Heck, some Chicagoans even see JPUSA in this light. Everyone has a perspective.
I also found the story quite affecting in terms of how hurt people search out ways to find healing in others. I don't think the activity of "spassing" is half as healing as the act of being a part of the "religion" itself. But aside from the healing, things in these kinds of close-knit settings do tend to fall apart. People have to go back to their real lives. To reality.
Karen's story right up to the closing scene is powerfully gripping. Her family was so hurt by her two-week disappearance and non-appearance at the funeral that they failed to see how wounded she really was. These people were cold and harsh, so stoic, so frigid that I just wanted Karen to spaz out and totally fall apart -- in a way, just lose all her body functions and maybe have a seizure and freak them all out for revenge. As it played out, that's not how it went, but as usual in these types of films it played out more realistically and actually brought a very satisfying conclusion.
It is amazing how well-handled this sensitive material is, and how LVT takes a group of people faking idiocy and retardation and brings these gentle moments of reflection, where we can so easily identify with a quiet pain that is itching to somehow spaz its way out into the world.
Before tonight, I've always seen Idioterne as too slow and a bit of a silly little idea. Tonight I actually made it all the way through and was tuned into every second of it. There are going to be works of art that take us more than a decade to dial into.
Edited by Persona, 03 November 2009 - 01:39 AM.