Im Sang-soo is one of Korean cinema’s most risque directors, a reputation earned through his frank and uncompromising exploration of sex, power and corruption, particularly in the social elite.
Since his debut in 1998 with Girl’s Night Out (처녀들의 저녁식사), director Im has courted controversy in Korea with his portrayals of women openly discussing sexual matters. Yet his big break came with the Moon-So-ri starring A Good Lawyer’s Wife (바람난 가족) in 2003. As well as being commercially successful, the film also screened in competition at the Venice International Film Festival.
Controversy was again courted with his next project in 2005, The President’s Last Bang (그때 그사람들). The film explores the assassination of former president/dictator Park Chung-hee, a very divisive figure in Korean history.
Im Sang-soo’s greatest achievement came from remaking the classic 1960 Kim Ki-young film The Housemaid (하녀) in 2010. With Jeon Do-yeon in the title role and featuring an all-star supporting cast, The Housemaid competed for the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival and was a critical and commercial success in Korea. Director Im’s follow-up film, The Taste of Money (돈의 맛), also screened in competition in Cannes in 2012.
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The Taste of Money (돈의 맛) – 2012