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The Handmaiden

아가씨 | Agassi

Instrueret af Park Chan-wook
Sydkorea, 2016
Drama, Thriller, Romantik


In Japanese-occupied Korea, a conman operating under the sobriquet of “Count Fujiwara” hires a pickpocket named Sook-Hee from a family of con artists to become the maid of the mysterious heiress Lady Hideko, whom Fujiwara plans to marry and to commit to an asylum in order to steal her inheritance.

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The Handmaiden Instrueret af Park Chan-wook

Priser & festivaler

Cannes Film Festival

2016 | Vinder: Vulcain Prize for the Technical Artist

Village Voice Film Poll

2016 | 2 nomineringer inklusiv: Best Film

Indiewire Critics' Poll

2016 | 5 nomineringer inklusiv: Best Film

On its surface, The Handmaiden is an intoxicating study of duality and code-switching, a theatre played with the ropes that rig society to elevate the few and subjugate the many. It’s a meditation on power and desire, porn and performance. But more than this: its a brilliantly dark ode to women’s desire and autonomy: a subject that remains as pressing today as it was a century ago.
May 19, 2017
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It’s almost like there’s a fuzzy line being drawn between bad erotica (here, written works and readings for the benefit of men) and good erotica (here, sex between two women, as presented to us by a male filmmaker). This might have made more sense in Sarah Walters’ original novel Fingersmith, where the two kinds of erotica would both be literary, and the women’s stuff would actually be written by a woman. But we enjoyed it — my God, the design is fantastic.
May 17, 2017
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Park visibly rules his cinematic kingdom with imperial autonomy, cooking up a hyper-elaborate plot and mounting it on spectacular sets, designed by Ryu Seong-hee, of extraordinary beauty and intricacy. The sprawling, oppressive dwelling of wicked uncle Kouzuki is a Wellesian Xanadu, and creating it on screen in all its palatial complexity is in itself a statement of triumphantly unrestrained auteurial power.
April 13, 2017
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Hvad siger folk?

  • chanandre's rating of the film The Handmaiden

    Ol' Girl. (The film is called Agassi in Korean? Oh the irony? My Nadal of the 90s.). Metal balls. Desire. Books. Water. Trees. Rain. Drawers. Lovers. Cunnilingus. Gloves galore. Bechdel. Feminism. Lovers who uncover. Man you're dead. Hangings. Hanging out. Parasoles. A south korean treat. Film sushi for my brain and ache-y heart.

  • dionysus67's rating of the film The Handmaiden

    In the margins of Oshima's own explorations of the sensual 'empire', 'The Handmaiden' impresses with its Sadean figurations of a closed milieu of nobles and of sexual libertinism. Illusion proves more efficient when it cuts across the entire stratification ladder: ethnicity, class, gender. This architectonic of inversions finds its perfect articulation in the film's fascination with mechanism and sexual hedonism.

  • josé neves's rating of the film The Handmaiden

    Digital. Being in many moments an example of the visual bastardization that dominates the current industrial film production, especially in cinematography and obtuse camera movements (the first scenes of sex between the actresses are terrible), this film finds after the end of the first part, with the first twist, a clearing of the director's formalist capacity, showing in the torture's scene its major opus.

  • Carlos Filipe Freitas's rating of the film The Handmaiden

    Rich in dark humor, detail and color, as well as marked by a strong narrative, “The Handmaiden”, eschews the bloodsheds that Chan-wook is so fond of. Instead, it intertwines lustful carnal scenes and tense artful schemes.

  • saitosouta's rating of the film The Handmaiden

    This movie captures an ugly & verminous side of Japanese (erotic) culture in surprisingly effective way next to “Silence.” These caricatured images/words like so-called Ukiyoe which objectify & degrade women but magnify & satisfy men’s penis prevail everywhere, making women go crazy or die, at least feel disrespectful. Peculiarly these words red in the recitations are [cont]

  • ig_____or's rating of the film The Handmaiden

    Pulling a twist on top of another twist was a bold move. The film is beautifully put together and a constant visual treat, but I think that it could have been shorter, a bit less gratuitous with all the steamy sex, kinkiness and sadism of the crazy uncle, and explored better Sook-hee's backstory... It felt like all the attention went to Lady Hideko. But this was great, juicy and fun to watch!

  • Joao Pedro Amorim's rating of the film The Handmaiden

    the political background of a colonial japan and the main theme of the woman's representation in art history make this film fundamental for what it represents. the narrative unfolding and the (sometimes) gratuitous display of violence/sex of park make it somehow a smaller work. it is also an highly entertaining film.

  • Duncan Gray's rating of the film The Handmaiden

    I know I'm in the minority, but I was never that taken by Park Chan-wook's Oldboy: its style was irresistible, but the jury is out on whether or not its perverse twists meant anything. The Handmaiden is much more satisfying: not just an exercise in J-horror-Gothic fusion, but a tale of female sexual liberation that ultimately feels cathartic rather than exploitative. And still perverse, if that's what you want.

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