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10 November 2016: Eoh Wu-dong


Eoh Wu-dong
Lee Chang-ho
1985 | 110 min | Colour | 35mm

“The new sexual freedom that swept into Korean cinema in the mid-1980s was, paradoxically, openly encouraged by the same government censorship bureau that had previously so carefully restricted sexual content, seeing erotic cinema now as a kind of release valve for a society in upheaval in the wake of the Kwang-ju Massacre and the intense political turbulence that followed. Lee seized upon this freedom to create a work with an extraordinary and politically directed erotic charge, giving the sultry star Lee Bo-hee one of her greatest roles as a woman who uses her magnetic sexual charms to bend men to her will and ways. Taking place amongst the dynastic infighting of the Chonsun dynasty, Lee uses the period film to openly critique political factionalism and the legacy of Confucianism, offering his headstrong and liberated heroine as an emblem of a defiant and individualism and feminism. Euodong's dizzying sexuality imbues its every image with the heady perfume of unleashed desire, bringing an electric intensity to the lush colour scheme and expressionist landscapes and interiors carefully choreographed by Lee and cinematographer Park Seung-bae.” – Harvard Film Archive

Part of the Classics Revisited strand of the London Korean Film Festival