Ticket stands out amongst other hostess dramas because of the honesty with which it shows the ruthlessness that da-bangs must be run and the desperation with which the women in it must work. Also, this film is the first production of the female actor Kim Ji-mee who also stars.
In Yeong-ja's Heydays we can see the beginnings of the Korean hostess melodrama. More importantly, we can see the harsh realities that women faced in the 70s. This is a powerful film underscored by Kim Seung-ok's writing, Kim Ho-seon's direction, and Yeom Bok-sun's breathtaking performance as Yeong-ja.
Kim Soo-yong's The Seaside Village tells the story of a woman's life, love, and survival. It is beautiful both in its visuals and in its storytelling.
Secret Love Affair is the best Korean drama I have yet to see. Through this story we can see the culture of chaebol life and the prisons they live in. This drama is beautifully made and wonderfully acted. Kim Hee-ae is brilliant.
Homebound tells the story of a woman, but more importantly a nation, struggling to escape its past and move forward past the scars of war.
While more watchable than some of Kim Ki-young's later work, Woman of Fire continues to show how strong women, left uncontrolled, become monsters.
One of Kim Ki-young's final films. A similar story of women gone awry. It is funny, dark, scary, and ultimately, not that great.
Ieoh Island, by Kim Ki-young, looks at the myths and symbols of Korea's shamanistic culture in a small island off the Southern coast. The film's beautiful cinematography cannot overcome its other shortcomings, particularly its ultra-sexist portrayal of women.
Splendid Outing (1977) is interesting for its semi-creative nightmare scenario of what it would feel like for a successful woman to suddenly become married. Yoon Jeong-hee, as always, is incredible, but this is completely her show and she owns it.
The General's Mustache is interesting for the questions it raises on society and individual identity in post-war Korea. It seems to suggest that one's ability to conform is the basis upon which one's identity and successful integration depends most highly.