It’s a bit disappointing, though, that Kim chose a conventional fast, linear, talking head structure for such an unconventional figure. However, Paik’s light-hearted spirit continues through these minutes, delighting our eyes not only with Paik’s self-deprecating humor, but his philosophical musings and his creative spirit: Managing a worldwide live stream, expanding the use of personal video equipment. , and elevating video art to a high art form.
We marvel at the elasticity of the artist’s mind, and his unbridled creativity. Indeed, Kim quickly worked to connect Paik’s artistic philosophy with his reality. He is a man without a homeland, a man haunted by his dislike for his businessman father. And yet, the documentary has a habit of talking about Paik’s personal life, such as his father who was a colleague of the Japanese during their brutal occupation of Korea.
Kim surprisingly skipped this detail. That background doesn’t take away from Paik’s artistic ethos but adds a texture to his desire to dismantle oppressive systems. A similar nervousness arises from the director’s reluctance to discuss Paik’s personal life. At one point, one of the actor’s former neighbors shared how troubled Paik’s marriage was. It’s not entirely clear if “chaos” is a euphemism for violence, but we get so few details about his marriage — how he and Shigeko function as partners — that the announcement hangs in the air. However, Paik is close to his work, which is probably what he wants.
Kristen Lovell, the Black transgender co-director of “The Walk,” opens the film by watching footage of himself in the 2007 documentary “Queer Streets.” He eagerly sees images of his younger self and recalls how he hoped the opportunity would give him a way to become a filmmaker. He wants to tell the story of 14th street in New York City’s meatpacking district, the so-called stroll, where queer sex workers live, find community, and experience danger while gained financial independence.In telling the story of the place, unfortunately, Lovell neglected his own journey.