which pass for public opinion in a land where no such thing exists can be found only in Seoul - Isabella Bird Bishop, 1898
I met Kim Ki-young in person at the Pusan Int'l Film Festival in the fall of 1997, and still have a snap of him somewhere in my possession. He was wearing thick oversized black-framed glasses, the kind that are currently in vogue among South Korea's younger generations. Ahead of his time even then, he was. If I recall correctly, he was also puffing away philosophically on that famous pipe of his.At the time of our meeting, at a theater in Namp'o-dong in the center of old Pusan, he kindly agreed to an in-depth interview, but I foolishly decided on meeting him later in Seoul so that I could do more research first and be better prepared. I went to Japan for a few months and then returned to Seoul in late February of 1998. When I heard the news that he had perished along with his wife in a fire at their home in Hyehwa-dong just a few weeks earlier, it was truly a shock, yet somehow also fitting.He is perhaps most famous for "The Housemaid," but I consider "Promise of the Flesh" or "육체의 약속" one of his greatest masterpieces. Released in 1975 towards the dark end of the Park Chung-hee era, it is a glorious mixture of melodrama and camp, and not to be missed.
I would imagine my introduction to Kim Ki-young was in Bug 3. I remember your review of "Promise of the Flesh," and definitely enjoyed it - it's on the box set that came out around 2008 or so.
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