Couldn’t enjoy this as much as I should because I was in a weird state of mind, but it’s supremely entertaining, recalling Bound in its story of fortune-seeking men double-crossed by crafty female lovers.
The first half is told from the perspective of Sookee (Tae-ri Kim), a pickpocket working for handsome Jung-woo Ha (Ki-duk’s Time), who has his eyes on bigger marks, posing as a Count and getting Sookee hired as handmaiden to Lady Hideko (Min-hee Kim of Right Now, Wrong Then). The plan is to convince the Lady to marry the Count, then commit her to an institution and share her wealth, but Sookee is double-crossed and committed instead. The second part follows the Lady, who lives with her book collector uncle (Jin-woong Jo, only 40 but given gray hair and mustache) at his increasingly sinister estate, revealing her own moments and motives, some of which I’ve now forgotten because it’s been a very long month, but it’s an audacious and elegant movie and when it comes out on video I’ll happily get lost in it again.
Well-presented to English speaking audiences with Japanese and Korean dialogue in different colored subtitles. This is the year of Hokusai – first the animated biopic, then his wave appearing in Kubo and his porno octopus in this movie. I double-featured this at the Alamo with a 35mm screening of Possession, which was completely incredible and now cemented as one of my favorite movies, and which also features a porno octopus.
July 2021: Watching this again. I get the sense from twitter that as a reaction to the joyless superhero movie landscape, an interest in pervy horny movies is back in style, just doing my part.
The “Count” is hired to forge rare books so millionaire porn collector Kouzuki doesn’t have to part with the ones he sells. Now I recognize The Lady Kim Min-hee from the Hong Sang-soo films – the other woman is Kim Tae-ri, who has since starred in a historical drama miniseries and a sci-fi movie, both on netflix.
The Count with Tae-ri:
The Count with Min-hee:
The Count being tortured to death by pornographer uncle Kouzuki: