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My Right to Ravage Myself

With its emphasis on suicide and avant-garde theater, arty Korean drama "My Right to Ravage Myself" may have a future as a weapon of self-destruction. Jeon Soo-il's helming has improved on his previous effort, "Wind Echoing in My Being," but pic's intellectual homilies aren't going to sustain auds once the initial sex scenes are over.

With: Jeong Bo-seok, Chu Sang-mi, Park Soi, Kim Yeong-min, Jang Hyeon-seong.

With its emphasis on suicide and avant-garde theater, ploddingly arty Korean drama “My Right to Ravage Myself” may have a future as a weapon of self-destruction. Local academic Jeon Soo-il’s helming has improved on his previous somnambulistic effort, “Wind Echoing in My Being” (1997), but pic’s intellectual homilies aren’t going to sustain most auds once the initial provocative sex scenes are over.

Performance artist Mara (Chu Sang-mi) begins proceedings with a bloody recreation of birthing that’s likely to make most entertainment-minded viewers head for the exit. Pic then pursues a multi-stranded story involving a punk rocker, a photographer, his taxi driver brother and a promiscuous temptress, all of whom are linked to cool-headed, Kafkaesque-named writer S (Jeong Bo-seok), who promotes suicide via his sinister Web site. Lensing is stylishly sleek and perfs are as good as the wearying script allows, but it’s Park Soi’s sluttish lollypop-sucker who lingers longest in the memory, despite her character being knocked off early on. Score is effectively menacing, but can’t enhance this dire arthouse dead-end.

My Right to Ravage Myself

South Korea-France

Production: A Dong Nyuk (South Korea)/RG Prince (France) production. (International sales: RG Prince, Paris.) Produced by Hong Seung-hyun. Directed, written by Jeon Soo-il, based on Kim Yeong-ha's novel "I Have the Right to Ravage Myself."

Crew: Camera (color), Kim Seong-tai; editor, Seo Yong-deok; music, Kim Seong-su; art directors, Choi Na-ni, No Hyeon-ju. Reviewed at Pusan Film Festival (Korean Panorama), Oct. 5, 2003. Running time: 92 MIN.

With: With: Jeong Bo-seok, Chu Sang-mi, Park Soi, Kim Yeong-min, Jang Hyeon-seong.

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