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Saturday, February 18, 2012
12:00 AM
Michigan Theatre | 603 East Liberty Street, Ann Arbor, MI 48104

The Housemaid (1960) 111 min
Dir. Kim Ki-young
Cast: Kim Jin-kyu, Ju Jeung-ryu, Lee Eun-sim

The Housemaid (2010) 106 min
Dir. Im Sang-soo
Cast: Jeon Do-youn, Lee Jung-jae, Yoon Yeo-jeong


The Housemaid (1960)

The Housemaid was ranked as the best in Korean film history in a recent poll by the Korean Film Critics Association. Without doubt, it is the most influential film in the history of Korean cinema. The Housemaid is a domestic horror thriller telling of a family's collapse by the introduction of a sexually predatory femme fatale into the household, which “makes Fatal Attraction look like The Brady Bunch”(Chris Berry). Directed by an iconoclast, Kim Ki-young, The Housemaid shows the desires of the Korean middle-class family in Seoul and how it is fragile and easily dismantled by the outsider. Martin Scorsese had initiated the film’s digital restoration project in 2008 and the whole procedure took two years. This event will screen the restored and remastered version of The Housemaid.

The Housemaid (2010)

In the Hollywood Reporter, Maggie Lee wrote, “Im (Sang-soo) deserves credit for his gutsy departure from the original, rather than doing a carbon copy 'remake' a la Gus Van Sant's Psycho. The outcome is a flamingly sexy soap opera whose satire on high society is sometimes as savage as Claude Chabrol's La cérémonie." It has been almost half a century since Kim Ki-young's The Housemaid was released and since then, no director even dreamed of challenging Kim’s masterpiece. But Im Sang-soo (The President’s Last Bang), another iconoclast in contemporary Korean cinema, successfully made his own version of the stylish, sexy thriller. Updated to target the new Korean super-rich as opposed to the then-burgeoning middle class, Im’s film illustrates an eerie portrait of the world of the fabulously wealthy through the character of Jeon Do-yeon (Secret Sunshine) who plays a housemaid who happens to have an affair with the house owner.