As a kind of crazy cinematic ghost train ride, WOMAN CHASING THE BUTTERFLY OF DEATH takes 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 the 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 filmmakers. 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.
- 4k transfer from the film negative
- Digitally restored
- Interview with actress Lee Hwa-si
- Interview with producer Jeong Jin-woo
- Interview with cinematographer Koo Jong-mo
- Interview with Darcy Paquet
- Audio commentary by Kenneth Brorsson and Paul Quinn of the “What’s Korean Cinema?” Podcast
- Mondo Macabro previews