Top 25 Korean Films - No. 3

The Housemaid (Dir. Kim Ki-young, 1960)

Kim Ki-young is one of the best filmmakers the world has ever known, a director whose work could easily stand beside major world cinema classics, the only problem is that even now, most of the world doesn’t know that. Way before its time, the blistering, modernist film noir The Housemaid took the standard formula for Korean melodrama and trampled all over it with a brazen and risqué (for its time) indictment of the rising bourgeoisie in Korea.

The starkly contrasting black and white cinematography and claustrophobic interior framing were something of a novelty at the time in Korean film and Kim used these new tools to elicit of sense of dread in his spectators. His take on melodrama makes The Housemaid feel almost like a thriller, and he was so enamored with the style he synthesized that he often went back to this or similar stories. His later works Woman of Fire (1971) and The Insect Woman (1972) are also essential viewing.

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Year   2013 - 2012 - 2011 - 2010 - All Time (Top 25)

Genre   Gangster - Revenge

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