On the Handmaiden challenging perceptions of homosexuality in South Korea: "I haven’t seen any statistics where this film achieved this sort of effect, but people have come up to me and said, “I took my mother by the hand and went to see the film.” It was an experience where middle-aged women saw the film and they might have been tricked into seeing this film by their children, but they were able to liberate themselves from their hatred and bias and just see this as a beautiful love story."
On the lack of gayngst: "I was wanting to make a film that deals with the subject of homosexuality, and I didn’t want to handle in the way that the protagonists are pained or troubled over their sexual identity.... I don’t mean that films that deal with discrimination, that deal with fight for rights of homosexual individuals, I’m not saying that’s not interesting or there’s no point. Of course, daring filmmakers have made brave films about that subject matter and I admire them for it. But exactly because there were great films that have been made on the subject, I felt this different approach could also exist."
On the male gaze: "This is not just any homosexual film, but a film that deals with the subject of male gaze. Those reading scenes [in which Hideko is forced by her uncle to read erotic passages to an audience of men], that’s just male gaze. It’s a film that says how violent this male gaze is, and as a victim of that, how much trauma it caused Hideko. And we’re sympathizing with her. Metaphorically speaking, these reading scenes are like scenes of gang rape."
sources: 1, 2
ontd, are you going to trick your conservative relatives into watching this movie?