The Bacchus Lady

South Korea | 2016 | 110 minutes | E J-yong

An elderly prostitute attracts johns in the wealthy parts of Seoul, arranging quickie motel trysts, in director E J-yong's sympathetic portrait that shines a light on the darker side of a real and growing underground industry in South Korea.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

  • Purchased Tickets
  • Limited Availability
  • On Standby
  • Matinee

8:30 PM Date has passed SOn Standby Director E J-Yong scheduled to attend

Thursday, June 9, 2016

  • Purchased Tickets
  • Limited Availability
  • On Standby
  • Matinee

4:15 PM Date has passed Director E J-Yong scheduled to attend

"How many more autumns will we live to see?" It sounds like the start of a melancholy conversation about the passage of time, especially coming from a 65-year-old woman in a park on a lovely fall day. But to So-young, it's a pickup line finely calibrated for attracting elderly johns. So-young (played with vigor and dignity by Youn Yuh-jung) is an elderly Korean prostitute who spends most of her days wandering parks in the wealthy neighborhoods of Seoul, hawking an energy drink called Bacchus, and arranging quickie motel trysts with her customers to make ends meet. It sounds like an absurd plot device, but it is a real and growing underground industry in South Korea. As many as 400 of these bagkaseu halmeoni (literally "Bacchus grannies") perform these services every day in Seoul's Jongno Park. Director E J-yong projects a litany of awkward social issues onto So-young: child custody, euthanasia, depression, and racism. But the veteran actress embodies So-young as a resourceful, strong, fully formed character, who develops connections with her regulars. Without a trace of sentimentality or exploitation, The Bacchus Lady shines a light on the darker side of Korean industrialization while depicting an older woman on the fringes of society not as a victim but as a sympathetic person determined to get through life on her own terms.

Director Biography
South Korean director E J-yong has explored a number of different movie genres and filmmaking styles, though in recent years he has made something of a name for himself as a director of mockumentary-style meta-comedies such as Actresses and Behind the Camera. In his latest film, however, he takes a more subdued approach to examine the serious difficulties faced by the elderly in contemporary Korean society.

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  • Original Language Title: Jug-yeo-ju-neun yeo-ja
  • Director: E J-yong
  • Principal Cast: Youn Yuh-jung, Chon Moo-song, Yoon Kye-sang, An A-zu, Choi Hyun-jun
  • Premiere Status: North American Premiere
  • Country: South Korea
  • Year: 2016
  • Running Time: 110 minutes
  • Producer: Suh Dong-hyun
  • Screenplay: E J-yong
  • Cinematographers: Kim Young-no
  • Editors: Ham Seong-won
  • Music: Jang Young-gyu
  • Website: Official Film Website
  • Filmography: My Brilliant Life (2014); Behind the Camera (2012); The Actresses (2009); Dasepo Naughty Girls (2006); Untold Scandal (2003); Asako in Ruby Shoes (2000); An Affair (1998); Tales of a City (doc, 1994)
  • Language: Korean
  • Has Subtitles: Yes
  • Format: DCP
  • International Sales: Media Asia Film Distribution (HK) Ltd.