Saturday, January 30, 2010

Aema Buin (애마부인) (1982)

Aema Buin certainly achieved a cult status for being what we can call the “first” Korean erotic film. Of course in the past there were many attempts at the genre, but some were heavily censored and their directors had a few problems with the law. For example, Yu Hyun-mok’s “The Empty Dream” (1965) which is a remake of Tetsuji Takechi’s “Daydream” (1964), supposedly featured a few brief nude scenes and therefore the director was arrested and the movie was consequently cut/banned. It’s only after 1982 with the instauration of the 3S Policy (Sex, Screen, Sports)by president Chun Doo-hwan that the erotic genre made a boom in Korea and the Aema series became the pioneer. Here’s Aema Buin’s synopsis: Oh Su-bi's husband, Shin Hyun-wu, is in jail for involuntary homicide. For the past two years, Su-bi has visited her husband every week. Though she is anguished by Hyun-wu's affairs, Su-bi is unable to divorce him even though everyone thinks she should. While visiting her husband, Su-bi meets Kim Dong-yub, a student of art, and feels his sincerity. One day, Su-bi runs into an old boyfriend, Kim Mun-ho, who lives in the same apartment complex. They engage in an affair. However, Su-bi is unable to bear the perverted sexual preferences of Mun-ho. She goes to Dong-yub and engages in a pure love. Hyun-wu asks for a divorce. When Su-bi is in the country, Dong-yub comes to her and promises to take her to France. However, the day they are supposed to leave for France, Hyun-wu is released from jail on a special pardon. Though she was on her way to Dong-yub, Su-bi finds herself greeting Hyun-wu, unable to free herself from the shackles of marriage.
On another level, Aema buin also have a strong amoral point of view for the time. For instance,Oh Su-bi have an extra-marital relationship while her husband is in prison and later, she also flirt with a woman (in a scene where they almost kiss each other). She is even sexually abused by some neighbor, but takes pleasure in it. So, a few taboos are explored and well developed here. Sadly, on the sexual side we stay on our appetite for more flesh, especially if you compare with other productions at the time. Hong-Kong was producing some wild and sexy exploitation films and Japan already had a foot in the AV field. However, a strong point is that the main character played by the beautiful Ahn So-young is steaming with passion. She’s always perfectly framed with just a right amount of shadows, making her one of the cutest and sexiest actress of the 80’s. She was also featured in other great erotic productions of the time such as Kim Ki-young’s “Free Maiden (Jayucheonyeo)” (1982) and in Nam Gi-nam’s “Sexual Compatibility (Habgung)” (1988). Nevertheless, Aema Buin remains a pleasant and well crafted piece of erotica which brought no less than 12 sequels and countless rip-offs (which I will eventually review).
Aema Buin

Jeong In-yeob

Ahn So-young
Lim Dong-jin
Hah Myung-joong