|Lee Eun Shim plays the Housemaid in the 1960 Korean film directed by Kim Ki-young|
The Housemaid (1960)
d. Kim Ki-young
Criterion Collection #690
Criterion Collection/World Cinema Foundation edition released December 10th, 2013.
This is the last of the initial batch of World Cinema Foundation titles that are being released via the Criterion Collection on December 10th. The Housemaid is a dark, dark, dark Korean picture about a Housemaid who seduces the piano teacher husband. And as IMDB says, "Dark consequences ensue." As luck would have it I'd actually already seen the 2010 remake of this film, directed by Sang So.
The Housemaid can fairly be described as a "twisted tale of love and obsession" and out of all of the World Cinema Foundation/Criterion Collection titles it is the film that most neatly fits into a "Hollywood Perspective," what with a focus on sex and death. The Housemaid is a good deal darker than any film noir I can think of. Forced abortions, child murder, suicide, attempts at poisoning; The Housemaid has all that. Any fan of American of French Noir will enjoy The Housemaid and it is BY FAR the most watchable of the newly released World Cinema Foundation titles.