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The Naked Kitchen

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The Naked Kitchen

Sponsored by: CinéAsie & Korean Film Council

North american Premiere

  • South Korea 2009
  • 102 min
  • 35mm
  • Korean with English subtitles
Official Selection, Berlin International Film Festival 2010



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“Elegant and breezy... manages to satisfy the eyes, the stomach and the heart” — James Mudge, BEYOND HOLLYWOOD


Director: Hong Ji-young
Screenplay: Hong Ji-young
Cast: Shin Min-a, Ju Ji-hun, Kim Tae-woo
Producers: Min Jin-su, Min Kyu-dong, Lee Jun-yeop
Print Source: M-Line

Part of...

Korean Cinema   

Korean Cinema



Mo-rae (Shin Min-a, who stole hearts in A BITTERSWEET LIFE and GO GO 70S) is preparing a meal for her husband. This evening she will be celebrating the anniversary of her wedding to her childhood sweetheart. The sun is shining, the birds are singing and she is at peace with the world. She has no idea what impact the events of the next few hours are going to have on her life. When her husband reveals to her he has quit his job to pursue his dream of becoming a great chef and opening his own restaurant, she tries to take it rather well, but when he introduces her to his new cooking teacher, who will be living with them for the coming weeks, and he turns out to be the handsome stranger she spent the afternoon having torrid sex with, the first infidelity of her life, she is understandably shaken. To make matters worse, while sharing the same woman, the two men are becoming the best of friends. What is a girl to do? Is it possible to love two men simultaneously? Mo-rae’s friend Sun-hoo thinks she is either crazy or intent on committing suicide. The relationships evolve and the secrets, lies and betrayals escalate. How long can this situation go on?

Korea has produced several films revolving around the world of great cuisine, in which cooking is treated as an art form in which the rituals of preparing and serving food are poetic in nature and breathtakingly beautiful. Now these lush images serve as the backdrop to a steamy love triangle. In THE NAKED KITCHEN, the sensual handling of the food seems to mirror the underlying sexual tension between the three main characters, and the result is a charming, funny and bittersweet look at the complexities of modern relationships. Writer/director Hong Ji-young has delivered a visual feast to equal the succulent meals featured in the film. The striking cinematography, exquisite use of colour and top-notch editing propel the narrative forward in a manner as nuanced and subtle as the performances of the talented cast. The outstanding musical score goes from the light and whimsical to the emotionally complex. THE NAKED KITCHEN is an delectable platter guaranteed to leave all lovers well satisfied.

—Robert Guillemette

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