THE HOUSEMAID (hanyo) (1960 S. KOREA) D/W: KIM KI-YOUNG
A piano and music teacher (Kim Jin-Kyu) and his seamstress wife (Ju Jeung-Ryu) are busy being middle-class and upwardly mobile, renovating a second home and buying all the new material goods (including a tv set). Enter into this already somewhat disfunctional setting a simple-minded housemaid (Lee Eun-Shim) with her eyes on him. One act of infidelity and a myriad stupid reactions to it fueled by desperate, stifling adherence to social conventions results in a bizarre, absurdist psychodrama that must have packed quite a punch at the time. Thanks to a restored DVD print remastered by the World Cinema Foundation (thanks Martin Scorsese), modern audiences can now enjoy this unique cult gem (and do double-takes at the fourth-wall-breaking coda). With Um Aing-Ran and Seong Ei-Ahn (later a very famous actor) as the young boy. The great b/w photography is by Kim Deok-Jin. Director Kim (apparently quite the auteur, and here`s hoping for more of his works are re-released soon) more-or-less remade the same story twice (in 1970 and 1982), and 2010 saw an official remake.

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