There are few directors working today with as much mastery over tone, atmosphere, and visuals as Park Chan-wook. The maker of Oldboy, Thirst, and Stoker (amongst others) has a special gift for creating lush imagery within his morally ambiguous tales of violence and revenge. Even his lesser works, like I’m A Cyborg But That’s OK, deliver some stellar frames and sequences that are able to tell many stories without uttering a single word.
That same sumptuous visual language is on full display in this teaser for Park’s latest, The Handmaiden. Based on the Sarah Waters book Fingersmith, the trailer does very little to indicate what the film is actually about. IMDB‘s synopsis states that it’s about “A woman [who] is hired as a handmaiden to a Japanese heiress, but secretly she is involved in a plot to defraud her.” What the teaser lacks in concrete plot info it more than makes up for in tone and atmosphere, however, promising a gorgeous look at some intriguing characters who appear to be constantly surprising each other (and possibly choking themselves).
There’s no U.S. release date for The Handmaiden yet, but the film will debut at the Cannes Film Festival in May 2016.