There are those who like the later work of Ki-duk Kim such as 3-Iron (Bin-jip, 2004).
I like his earlier work most.
I wrote in my imdb review of Crocodile (Ago-o, 96):
I saw this after The Isle (Seom, 2000), but it was made well before. It's such a beautiful, painful movie. It contains images that will never leave me. The film's protagonist, a lonely, loveless man, visits an underwater gazebo beneath a bridge in Seoul. He has a chair there, a table, a small gate. The scenes where he swims down to this subterranean retreat and simply stands there are so amazing I cried.
Characters express their best and worst emotions through violence in Ki-duk's films, and never has this concept been explored deeper than in Crocodile. The non-stop beatings, rapes and shovings have a cumulative effect on the viewer that puts you in the shoes of the film's hapless heroine. It's clear that not as much money was spent on Crocodile, but, like The Isle, its brilliance and brittle beauty is in its simplicity.
From my imdb review:
Ki-duk Kim continues his exploration of primal human behavior in Birdcage Inn (Paran Daemun, '98). A master at depicting specific, "closed" environments, here he sets his story in a one-girl brothel in a seaside town. A man falls in love with the brothel's prostitute and this presents a dilemma for those who depend on her for survival. This is a more restrained, quieter film than the Korean director's Bad Guy, The Isle, Crocodile, or Address Unknown. The violence is less overt, the sex off-screen more than on-screen. For some, it will be a more accessible film. Personally, I would place it just below the four titles above, but that is in no way a slight on the movie. Recommended.
Unfortunately, Crocodile has not been released on DVD with English subtitles.
I saw it several years ago at the Melbourne International Film Festival.
Birdcage Inn is available on a DVD from Hong Kong's Winson Entertainment. The quality is close to rotten.