The Hut (Pimag) (1980)|
Production Company : Se Kyung Enterprises Inc.
Date of Rate : 1980-12-26
Date of Theatrical Release : 1981-06-13
Running Time : 93 min.
Opening Theater : Dan Seong Sa Theater
Genre : Costume Drama
Screenplay(Adaptation) : Yoon Sam-Yuk
Director : Lee Du-Yong
Executive Producer : Kim Myeong-Shik. Yoon Sang-Hee
Director of PhotoGraphy : Sohn Hyeon-Chae
Gaffer : Cha Jeong-Nam
Music : Kim Hee-Gap
Art Director : Kim Yu-Jun
Editor : Lee Kyeong-Ja
Sound/Recording : Sohn In-Ho
Yoo Ji-In, NamGung Won, Kim Yun-Kyeong, Choi Seong-Ho, Hwang Jeong-Sun
When the eldest grandson of Mr. Kang (Choi Seong-ho), a prominent local figure in the village of Suri in Hwanghae-do, becomes afflicted with a mysterious, life-threatening illness, the entire household is plunged in anxiety. The imminent death of the direct heir to the family name is a serious matter indeed, since the Kangs have a history of seeing their sons die young a fact that has resulted in a household teaming with widows. The family matriarch (Hwang Jung-seun) calls in the most famous shamans and has them perform healing rituals, but the illness shows no sign of improving. The family steward recommends that they bring in Ok-hwa (Yoo Ji-in), who is renowned for her extraordinary spiritual powers. While she is performing the ritual, a large snake drops down from the eaves of the house and causes a commotion. Amazingly, the incident brings about a dramatic improvement in the condition of Mr. Kang's grandson. The household buzzes with glad excitement, with everyone clinging to Ok-hwa and asking her to cure the disease outright. But Ok-hwa searches all around as if possessed by a spirit and discovers a sinister-looking gourd bottle buried deep in the ground in the pine forest. This bottle hides a bloody secret.
Some twenty years ago, there was, in the Kang family, a young widow by the name of Lee (Kim Yun-kyeong). Bound by strict moral codes, Lee was living a lonely life of enforced celibacy. She had taken to stabbing her thigh with a small silver knife every night in order to suppress her frustrated desires, but the wound became infected and she came on the verge of death. According to family tradition, the Kangs removed Lee to an isolated hut (called pi-makin Korean), and left her there to await her own death. The family matriarch, wishing to grant her daughter-in-law one final wish, arranged for her to spend a night with the hut keeper, Sam-dol (Nam Koong-won). Through Sam-dol's devoted care, Lee miraculously recovered and the two developed deep feelings for each other. The matriarch welcomed her daughter-in-law's recovery at first, but became enraged when she found out about Lee's adulterous relationship with Sam-dol. As punishment, the Kang family secretly murdered both Sam-dol and Lee.
Ok-hwa, who is in fact Sam-dol's daughter, was merely pretending to be a shaman in order to exact revenge for her father. Possessed by a real spirit, she attempts to kill Mr. Kang inside the hut but lets him go unscathed. She enters the hut, sets it on fire, and dies in the flames.
"One of Lee Du-yong's most prominent films, which tells a story of folk shamanism through a unique subject, the pi-mak"
Director Lee Du-yong was largely known for his action movies prior to The Hut. But in this film, he begins to exhibit a strong folkloric flair, which captivated his attention during the 1980s. In particular, The Hut showcases Lee's main forte: the merging of local shamanism and eroticism. The depiction of the sexual desire of young widows whose frustration keeps them awake at night and the scene in which Ok-hwa readily opens her arms to the men who covet her are aimed at heightening the film's eroticism. The deaths of the Kang family matriarch and the men who violated Ok-hwa are revealed to be the handiwork of Ok-hwa herself, which seemingly negates the film's endorsement of shamanistic beliefs. However, Ok-hwa's eventual possession by real spirits and the unchanged state of Sam-dol's body after decades have passed once again plunge their deaths in mystery and reaffirm the power of shamanism. Shamanism and folklore instill The Hut with a powerfully uncanny and sexual atmosphere. The pi-mak, an isolated hut used to house the dead before burial, symbolizes the space between the world of the living and the realm of the dead.
Director Bio: Lee Du-yong (1942- )
Born in 1942. After making his directorial debut with The Lost Wedding Veil (Ilh-eobeolin myeonsapo), he continued to make many films in a variety of genres including action films, melodramas and period films and achieved success with his hit Imbecile (Dol-a-i) (1985) series of action films. He received international recognition for his films that dealt with the plight of women in the Confucian and patriarchal Korean society, receiving the Special Award at the Venice Film Festival for The Hut (Pimag) (1980) and the Prix Un Certain Regard at the Cannes Film Festival for Spinning, the Tales of Cruelty Towards Women (Yeoinjanhoksa mulreya mulreya) (1983). His other important works include Eunuch (Naesi) (1986), The Oldest Son (Jangnam) (1984), and Road to Cheongsong Prison (Cheongsong-eulo ganeun gil) (1990).