Screened as part of NZIFF 2005

3-Iron 2004


Directed by Kim Ki-duk

A seductively unworldly and virtually wordless love story from the director of Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter… and Spring. “This is a Zen comedy, full of beautifully distilled moments.” — Financial Times

Japan / Korea In Korean with English subtitles
95 minutes 35mm

Director, Screenplay, Editor


Jang Seung-baek




Lee Seung-yeon
Jae Hee
Kwon Hyuk-ho
Joo Jin-mo


Venice (Critic’s Prize), Toronto 2004; Sundance, Rotterdam, San Francisco 2005


In this seductively unworldly and virtually wordless film from the director of Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter… and Spring, a mysterious young motorcyclist breaks into houses, makes himself at home, then leaves things better then he found them. Faulty appliances are repaired, the plants are watered, grimy sneakers are scrubbed clean. When he extends this benevolence to the unhappy woman he finds cowering in one of the more opulent houses he’s entered, she becomes his companion in crime. Her husband is soon on the warpath – and as in Spring, Summer…, the restless spirits in 3-Iron endure savagery en route to nirvana. 

“There’s no dialogue to remember in Kim Ki-duk’s stunning, ghostly Korean love story 3-Iron; the two main characters never say a word to one another as they break into vacant apartments, two melancholy loners who find a kind of domestic bliss together. (He’s homeless, she’s miserably married to an abusive man – trust me, there are moments of hilarity.) Kim, who’s on a creative surge after Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter… and Spring, makes silence sing.” — Lisa Schwarzbaum, Entertainment Weekly 

“The movie camera is able to make the impossible look natural and the ordinary seem strange, not so much through elaborate special effects as through tricks of composition, perspective and editing. Mr Kim is a master of such estrangement, and 3-Iron is a teasing, self-conscious and curiously heartfelt demonstration of his mischievous formal ingenuity.” — A.O. Scott, NY Times 

“Bizarre, hypnotic… Kim, a former painter, has a thousand strategies, beautiful or brutal, to grab the eye.” — Ed Park, Village Voice