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This is a remake of the classic "The Housemaid" (aka Hayo). This time it takes place on a chicken farm run by the wife. This gives a new animal horror to add to Kim's trademark rats (see ... See full summary »
In the 60s in Korea, the piano teacher Mr. Kim works in a factory giving music classes to the workers. When he receives a love letter from the student Miss Kwak, he delivers the letter to the supervisor and the worker is suspended for three days. Mr. Kim is a family man, married with two children, the girl Ae-Soon and the boy Chang-Soon, and he has just built and moved to a bigger house of his own. His wife Mrs. Kim also works too much at a sewing machine and they need a housemaid to help her in the housework. Mr. Kim asks Kwak's best friend, Miss Kyung Hee Cho, who is his private student of piano, to help him to find a housemaid. Miss Cho invites an unstable and unbalanced young woman to work for Mr. and Mrs. Kim and she introduces the housemaid to the family. Mr. Kim hires the youth and brings her to the household. But soon she behaves in a strange way, snooping Mr. Kim's private classes until the night that she seduces Mr. Kim and they have intercourse. The housemaid gets pregnant ... Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Sometimes, it's too easy to give abnormally high ratings to films may not necessarily deserve the honor. The good news is that Hanyo (The Housemaid) is the real thing - the kind of rarity that fills the viewer with such astonishment that you talk about it years later.
Kim Ki-young's 1960 masterpiece must be seen at the first possible opportunity -- if you have the luck. This black and white morality tale is pure black comedy, the almost-campy tale of a respectable music teacher whose life is soon complicated with a passion for one of his students. The tone is not unlike a deliciously lurid pre-Code drama about the withering power of vice, but The Housemaid almost takes pleasure at showing the incremental erosion of morality and the corrosiveness of sin. The strange subtitles, some handwritten, only add to the atmosphere. And if you're blown away by the deadpan comedy, prepare yourself for an ending that will leave you slack-jawed for days. The movie's a miracle.
Hanyo's construction is inventive and completely unpredictable - a fascinating case-study on Confucian ethics.
It's so good that Martin Scorsese and other sponsors funded a complete restoration of the old print, which includes painstakingly subtitle tracks. They did an outstanding job restoring a problematic print that was at the same time extremely rare.You should be able to catch a free streaming video that's fully authorized. (http://www.theauteurs.com/films/2039)
Or better yet, the DVD has just been released, and contains additional material about its restoration
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