Celebrating the 20th anniversary of South Korea’s finest film

    Thanks to a series of quality projects throughout 2010 such as the maid (2016), Train to Busan (2016), cremation (2018) and parasite (2019), South Korean cinema has seen some resurgence that can be likened to the attention it had in the early 2000s.

    Chronicling the true story of the first confirmed serial killings in South Korea, Memories of the murder (2003) is the second feature film directed by Kateb Bong Joon Ho. The featured murders took place in Hwaseong, Gyeonggi Province from 1986 to 1991. What makes this movie more relevant now than ever is that the crimes have already been solved in 2019. The solution of the case has given new appeal to the movie itself – the movie has Massive viewership over the past few years on many different streaming services as well.

    Today’s movie

    Every writing project has its share of inspiration, and for John Ho, that was a comic book (written by Alan Moore and Eddie Campbell) called from the hell. After conceptualizing a hypothesis Memories of the murderJun Ho did six months of research (presumably regarding real-life murders along with South Korea’s common criminal law) before writing a line for the film. Once he finished his studies, Bong took another six months to fully flesh out the script. After a full year, production was ready to go live.

    And although many of Bong Joon-ho’s subsequent films can be considered by many critics and fans as his best, not to mention the best in his country’s history, Memories of the murder It is still the greatest film from South Korea even after twenty years.

    Bong Joon Ho’s career

    CJ Entertainment

    This was his second feature film, but even before he directed full-length projects, he was still very active as a behind-the-scenes creator. After graduating from film school in the mid-1990s, Bong worked as a cinematographer and lighting technician on several small productions. He has some co-screenwriting credits from that period as well, plus one as co-director.

    His first appearance Barking dogs never bite (2000) garnered great reviews from critics, but was by no means a financial success. And despite its positive reception (from those who actually went to see it), Bong Joon Ho considered it a failure. In fact, he hates the movie, and may have channeled that hatred as inspiration for his next project.

    Follow-up director in the second year Memories of the murder It was well received by critics such as Barking dogs never bite Before that, and while it wasn’t a massive box office success, or anything, it certainly drew moviegoers in more than the director’s debut. In the end, though, the bulk of Bong’s success is with Memories of the murder It came from critics, fellow directors, and more die-hard movie lunatics who recognized the film as little more than a generic murder mystery. They opined that the film’s main characters—detectives Park Doo-man, Seo Tae-yoon, and Cho Yong-koo—were more accessible to comment on the condition of humanity than anything else.

    To follow up on this success, Bong released a string of hits over the next decade and a half: a stellar monster movie called the host (2006), for example, followed the mom (2009) psychological thriller. And in the next decade, he focused on the science fiction genre with both Snow hole (2013) and Okja (2017) before moving on to the most successful (at least on paper) movie of his career: parasite (2019).

    Related: The best South Korean sci-fi films, ranked

    Film Analysis: Memories of a Murder

    Memories of the murder
    CJ Entertainment

    Many elements go into making Memories of the murder The so-called “best”. It features professional blocking, where every character is placed within each frame with precise intent – they all fit seamlessly on screen no matter how small the space while still being able to move around outside and occupy their own space. It’s as if the characters are constantly building their own little worlds within each frame of Bong Joon-ho’s 2003 masterpiece.

    These are some great performances too from a talented cast who portray spirited, off-the-wall characters. And it’s their absurdity combined with the darkly comic undertones of the dialogue that facilitate such fine portrayals from the likes of Song Kang-ho, Kim Sang-kyung, and Kim Roi-ha.

    At the 2003 Korean Film Awards, Bong Joon-ho won Best Director and Best Original Screenplay, while Song Kang-ho – Lead Actor won Best Original Screenplay. Memories of the murder, and several other Joon-ho films – won Best Actor. Meanwhile, the movie also won Best Cinematography, Best Editing, and most notably, Best Picture.

    So, again, and with these various accolades in mind: one could write a book on perfecting this film, with each chapter being a different topic from “framing” and “blocking” to “continuity editing” and “sound design.” But mostly, the movie stands out for the genius in its script. Twisting and compelling plot points, wit is on the surface of each dialogue but also beneath the surface of other filmmaking tactics such as a variety of shots, well-placed subtext, and palpable character development.

    Other South Korean cinema highlights

    big boy
    CJ Entertainment

    Out of the gate, there is a notable year to be discussed here, and it came at the start of the new millennium. Obviously, 2003 saw the release of Memories of Murder. This has already been touched upon. but big boy (2003) by Park Chan-wook W A story of two sisters (2003) by Kim Jee-won is also among the highest rated films in the region, and they were both released in the same twelve-month period. And two more films by Chan Wook – common security area (2000) and sympathy for revenge mr (2002) – It can also be considered in the conversation in question.

    And in recent years, films like the maid (2016), Train to Busan (2016), wailing (2016) and burning (2018) all hit home with both critics and moviegoers. One old project worth noting though Housekeeper (1960), written and directed by Kim Ki-young. Although it did not receive any Western attention until recently, it is still widely considered by critics to be among the best films South Korea has ever made.

    But just a few years ago, parasite (2019) – also by Bong Joon-ho – set a new standard for what people think of when looking at films from South Korea. It’s the highest-grossing film in the country’s history, the only foreign-language film to win Best Picture at the Academy Awards, and it has a 99% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes — meeting all the criteria on paper to be considered the “best” movie. in the history of the region.

    Why do memories of murder come to light?

    Memories of the murder
    CJ Entertainment

    Created by a meticulous illustrator, warm color palettes, perfectly paced plot points, the palpable tone and indelible atmosphere of Memories of the murder You will remain in your thoughts like a recurring dream. And in some cases, the agonizingly unsolvable murder mystery will haunt you like a nightmare.

    This is a thriller, but its characters hardly ever find themselves in any dangerous scenarios. In the end, the only parties with any real trouble are the ones that have just seen the movie — like detectives Park Doo-man, Seo Tae-yoon, and Cho Yong-koo, they’ll be looking for any missing pieces long after the initial viewing. These characters provide endless dynamics and chemistry – each one sharing an original relationship with the next – allowing Jun Ho to seamlessly transition the dialogue from one-second grief and regret to second-to-second displays of amusement and elation.

    Every imaginable aspect of filmmaking converges here in a particularly atmospheric crossroads of quality Memories of the murder. And even if audiences don’t realize it yet, it’s the standout project from Jun Ho’s movie. In fact, it can generally be considered South Korea’s greatest film.

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