As you may or may not know (but either way don’t care) I’m a fan of Korean cinema. Odds are you are too if you’ve seen and loved Old Boy, The Host, Lady Vengeance, and/or Memories of Murder. But while everyone knows the work of big name Korean directors like Park Chan-wook and Bong Joon-ho there are plenty of fantastic filmmakers that manage to fly under the radar of many domestic film-goers.
One such director is Im Sang-soo. His 2005 film, The President’s Last Bang, is a brilliant and violent black comedy that also happens to be based on a true event in Korea’s recent history. It’s a sharp, effective, and smartly constructed look at the 1979 assassination of Korea’s self-appointed dictator, Park Chung-hee. Seek it out if you haven’t seen it and try to avoid reading anything else about the story. Im has a new film coming out this year, and it again looks like a stunner.
The Housemaid is a remake of the 1960 Korean classic about a well-off married man who begins an affair with the family’s young maid. Complications arise (among other things) and soon the housekeeping standards drop precipitously when nothing gets polished aside from the master’s knob. Im’s modern retelling swaps the ages of the wife and housemaid so the the younger of the two is the married woman, but the tensions, suspicions, and emotional damage remain. Check out the trailer for Im’s new film, The Housemaid.
Beautiful isn’t it? It looks to take place entirely withing the couple’s large home, but Im appears to have made excellent use of the open spaces, angles, and lighting throughout. The trailer isn’t subtitled so I have no idea what they’re saying, but I have eyes… and this movie looks sexy, sumptuous, and dark.
The Housemaid will be playing Cannes Film Festival later this month.
What do you think of the trailer?