Cobweb (2023) poster
7.6
Your Rating: 0/10
Ratings: 7.6/10 from 227 users
# of Watchers: 1,326
Reviews: 3 users
Ranked #5560
Popularity #6947
Watchers 227

In 1970s Korea, when both art and dreams are censored, a film director dreams of a masterpiece. After his successful debut, Director Kim endures scathing attacks from critics who call him a specialist in trashy dramas. After finishing his latest feature ‘Cobweb’, he has vivid dreams over several days of an alternative ending to the film. Sensing that if he can just shoot those scenes as he envisioned them, a masterpiece will surely emerge, he tries to arrange just two days of additional shooting. However, the rewritten script fails to pass censorship, and his actors can’t make sense of the new ending. Between the tangled schedule, the opposition of the producer, and the collision between these fantastic scenes dancing before his eyes and the harsh conditions of reality, Director Kim feels he is about to go insane, but he pushes on regardless… “If I can just change the ending, a masterpiece will emerge. All I need is two days!” (Source: Festival de Cannes international press kit) Edit Translation

  • English
  • ภาษาไทย
  • Português (Brasil)
  • Polski
  • Country: South Korea
  • Type: Movie
  • Release Date: Sep 27, 2023
  • Duration: 2 hr. 15 min.
  • Score: 7.6 (scored by 227 users)
  • Ranked: #5560
  • Popularity: #6947
  • Content Rating: Not Yet Rated

Cast & Credits

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Cobweb (2023) photo
Cobweb (2023) photo
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Cobweb (2023) photo
Cobweb (2023) photo
Cobweb (2023) photo

Reviews

Completed
Anthojay
5 people found this review helpful
Nov 12, 2023
Completed 0
Overall 9.0
Story 9.0
Acting/Cast 9.0
Music 9.0
Rewatch Value 9.0

Seamless movie within movie

A film that focuses on behind the scenes in a classic movie production studio, where the movie director was inspired to shoot a retake for an alternative ending despite multiple challenges and restrictions ahead of it, while a new genre of cult classic was born in the making. The flow of the storyline is actually extremely complicated to execute, yet the script was able to handle the movie within movie seamlessly. A great proof of concept that works well though it may not be a crowd pleaser, luckily it's still pretty entertaining amid the chaos. The final act of that one take sequence is definitely the reason why this movie was selected for Cannes screening of this year, it's simply brilliant.

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Completed
lene
1 people found this review helpful
Jan 14, 2024
Completed 0
Overall 9.0
Story 8.5
Acting/Cast 9.0
Music 8.5
Rewatch Value 10
This review may contain spoilers

A film within a film that like a spider web tangle with reality

I didn't expect to see such a comedy from master of thrillers. I didn't read what genre it is and what it is about, apart from the fact that the time and place of the story is the Korean film industry in the 70s.

I wouldn't call myself a professional of Korean cinema in the 70s, but from what I know, apart from the censorship and the governmental pressure on the studios, films didn't really look like Kim Jee-woon showed it. And he personally agreed with it, stating that he had drawn inspirations from the films of the Korean golden age: Kim Ki-young's "Housemaid" (1960) or Lee Man-hee's "The Devil's Stairway" (1964), as well as from classic Hollywood films like Hitchcock's "Psycho" (1960). The similiaities are very much visible, and there's nothing bad in it. Apart from the fact that all of those films are from the 60s. Moreover, he made the film in the film black and white, which was not common anymore in the 70s. But it was all for the sake of distinction of two stories, so I'll let it go.

Main character: director Kim Yeol (played by amazing Song Kang-ho) has just finished his new (first?) film called "Cobweb". However, right after the wrap he changes the script for something more radical and groundbreaking, something that - as he stated - had never been made in Korean cinema before. Not receiving the permission of the censors (which was very common in those times), and not really having much time for reshooting (as studios had to film a lot of films per year in order to receive licenses and permission for the future shootings, there was not enough staff and equipment etc.) he decided to do it all in secret in just two days. His decision led to chaotic events on the set, random people appearing, drinking, shouting, somewhere in the background some romance was born and died. But his maniacal determination for finishing his masterpiece led him to achieve what he eventually wanted. To change the rumours (which were not really just rumours, as we discovered at the end) about his creativness and being just an unexperienced assistant director of late director Shin Sang-ho (at first I thought I misheard it and thought they talked about Shin Sang-ok and was very much confused). In the end all ends well. The masterpiece which was "Cobweb" was shown in the cinema.

And the story of Kim Jee-woon's "Cobweb" is just like the Kim Yeol's "Cobweb", as he had been sued just before the cinema premiere. What had happened and why? Family of the director Kim Ki-young sued Kim Jee-woon stating that the main character was based on the late director. Song Kang-ho smoked pipe and wore thick-framed glasses just like Kim Ki-young used to. However, Kim Yeol was presented negativelly, as someone who stole someone else's work and had no real practice as a director - comparing him to Kim Ki-young, they were two totally different people. In the end, they found the agreement, but I am not surprised with the lawsuit.

Film's "Cobweb" was a melodrama about five characters whose fates crosses and tangled with each other just like spider's web. No matter how much they wanted to have a revenge and flee from the hopeless reality in which they stuck, they couldn't, eventually getting caught by the spider. The monster, who at first seem to be just a small prop in the film and eventually becoming the main character. Someone stated that spider and its web is like a revenge and hatred that people can't run away from and which destroy them from the inside. But then, would this film be so radical and groundbreaking as Kim Yeol wanted? Maybe the spider and its web was a metaphore for the harsh regime of Park Chung-hee in the 60s and 70s? Maybe it was a metaphore of wanting to be free as an artist and filmmaker, but being limited by the censorship and hopeless reality? In my opinion, it would make sense, given the fact that it's the 70s and filmmakers were doing films either commercially and politically correct, or were using incoherent metaphore to criticize the reality which they couldn't yet change or escape from. Or maybe it was just inspired from Kim Ki-young's horror films from the 70s (which I hadn't seen) and had no deeper meaning? I need to ask Kim Jee-woon, once I meet him one day.

Overall, I had a lot of fun watching this film and despite many things that didn't feel right for me (like the black and white parts of the film which were more from the 60s than 70s) I sincerely liked it. I really wish that Korean filmmakers would make more films like that than action-thrillers with the same plot, over and over again. Unfortunately, "Cobweb" did really poorly in the box office, so I doubt it :(

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Details

  • Movie: Cobweb
  • Country: South Korea
  • Release Date: Sep 27, 2023
  • Duration: 2 hr. 15 min.
  • Content Rating: Not Yet Rated

Statistics

  • Score: 7.6 (scored by 227 users)
  • Ranked: #5560
  • Popularity: #6947
  • Watchers: 1,326

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