Winter Woman (Gyeo-ul-yeoja) (1977)|
Director : Kang Dae-Jin
Production Company : Tae Chang Enterprises Co., Ltd
Date of Rate : 1969-03-22
Running Time : 100 min.
Opening Theater : Myeong Bo Theater
Genre : Melodrama
Screenplay(Adaptation) : Kim Won-Du (Yoo Han-Cheol)
Producer : Kim Tae-Su
Executive Producer : Kim Gap-Yui
Director of PhotoGraphy : Lee Mun-Baek
Gaffer : Choi Yui-Jeong
Assistant Lighting : Jeong Ho-Young
Music : Hwang Mun-Pyeong
Art Director : Lee Mun-Hyeon
Editor : Yoo Jae-Won
Choi Eun-Hee, Kim Jee-Mi, Yoo Mi, Kim Dae-Ryong, Yoon Yang-Ha, Park Am, Kang Bu-Ja, Kim Wung, Jee Bang-Yeol, Lee Ye-Seong, Cho Deok-Seong
On the day she matriculates in college, Lee-hwa (Jang Mi-hee) meets Yo-sub, a rich man's son who has been sending her anonymous love letters. She accompanies him to his father's vacation house in Cheongpyeong. When Yo-sub tries to take her into his arms, Lee-hwa rejects him and leaves the house. Despondent at being turned down by Lee-hwa, Yo-sub commits suicide, and Lee-hwa resolves never to reject a man who needs her. She falls in love with Wu Suk-gi (Kim Chu-ryeon), a college newspaper reporter involved in student activism. Her meeting with Suk-gi opens her eyes to social consciousness. But with only a week to go before the end of his military service, Suk-gi dies in a car accident. Several years later, Lee-hwa runs into her high school teacher Heo Min (Shin Seong-il). She gives her body as consolation to Min, who has been living a lonely and solitary life since his divorce. But when he asks her to marry him, she turns him down, creates an opportunity for him to reunite with his ex-wife, and departs.
The precarious boundary between the sexual exploitation of women and a new sexual morality
Winter Woman caused heated controversy upon its release due to its drastically unconventional representation of sexual morals. Conservative critics went so far as to lambaste it as "an utter mess that leaves one speechless" (Jeong Yeong-il), but it appealed greatly to young audiences and even achieved a new box office record for Korean movies. The controversy stemmed from the heroine Lee-hwa's attitude toward sex. Lee-hwa was once innocence itself, but after Yo-sub's death she readily grants her body to men as if it were a charitable offering. And the more men she has relations with, the more profound her sexual openness becomes. She still has romantic feelings for Wu Suk-gi, the secondman she goes to bed with, but in the case of her teacher Heo Min, she commits her body to him purely as an instrument of consolation, without regard for her own feelings. Her actions as portrayed in the film flew in the face of existing ethical views and sexual morals a fact that excited fierce criticism at the time. This reaction can easily be inferred from the copy for the film's newspaper promo ad: "Should Lee-hwa's audaciously lovable deportment be censured? Or should it be tolerated?" Women in Korean films of the day usually fell into one of two categories: the "innocent girl" of high teen movies or the "sexually open woman" of hostess movies. By exhibiting aspects of both at the same time, Lee-hwa introduced a new and provocative type of character into Korean cinema. Besides such social controversy, the success of Winter Woman drew the attention of producers in that it opened up some breathing room for Korea's suffocatingly closed-off film industry: by achieving a box office record that exceeded the kind of profits a single foreign film could bring in, Winter Woman provided the model for the idea that it was possible to make money with a domestic film. Winter Woman also made Jang Mi-hee, who debuted in Seong Chun-hyang (Seong Chun-hyang, 1976), a bona fide movie star.
- During its 133-day theatrical run, Winter Woman set a new box office record among Korean movies by drawing an audience of 586,000. It took over 10 years for this record to be broken by The General's Son (Janggun-ui adeul), which attracted 679,000 in 1990.
Director Bio: Kim Ho-seon (1941- )
Born in 1941. He led the "Visual Age" movement along with director Ha Kil-jong during the decline of the Korean movie industry in the 1970s, revitalizing Korean cinema. He debuted with Hwannyeo(Hwannyeo) (1974) and in 1975, directed his most famous work, Yeong-Ja's Heydays (Yeongja-ui jeonseongsidae) (1975) about the fall of a country girl who comes to the big city, Seoul. He made Winter Woman (Gyeo-ul-yeoja) (1977) about the new sexual morality brought on by modernization, which caused much heated debate for and against, and it was a box office success. It was through the success of this movie that the Korean movie industry became newly invigorated. Afterward, he made Admiration of Nights (Bam-ui changa) (1979), Winter Woman Part II (Gyeowul yeoja je2bu) (1982), Seoul Rainbow (Seoul mujigae) (1989) and Death song(Sa-ui chanmi) (1991).