Like a kind of crazy cinematic ghost train ride, Woman Chasing the Butterfly of Death take us on a journey deep into the darkness of one man’s fears and fantasies. That man is Young-gul, a lonely and rather morbid student in late 1970’s South Korea. Narrowly surviving a murder-suicide attempt by a woman wearing a butterfly pendant, he next finds himself besieged by a seemingly insane bookseller who claims he can never die. Even after Young-gul burns the man’s body his skeleton comes back to taunt him. As if that weren’t enough, the poor student then finds himself the victim of a beautiful thousand year old woman (she looks about 25) who says she is hungry and wants to eat his liver….
The director, Kim Ki-young, was one of Korea’s most successful film makers. His 1960 production The Housemaid is now a recognized classic of world cinema. With this film he goes far beyond the bounds of the real and takes us into a world where anything seems possible, a world where a kind of dream logic rules. Almost impossible to summarize, the film is nevertheless insanely enjoyable. A real one of a kind production that opens our eyes to the limitless possibilities of cinema.
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