The Scandal of Bong Joon-ho’s Memories of Murder

Let It Read

The tunnel into which the suspect disappears. The tunnel into which the suspect disappears.

There is for me always something elusive about the films of Bong Joon-ho.  They are well-crafted, but do not draw attention to their virtuosity.  They immerse the viewer in a lively and multifarious milieu, but so much so that it is easy for the viewer to take for granted the sophisticated nature of his visual compositions.  Bong makes films that improve with each viewing, which is high praise indeed but also the feature of an arduous task, because it is only with repeated viewings that the subtleties of his style, as well as the complex manner in which he develops his themes, come more fully into notice.  Bong’s form of understatement rewards repetition and rewinding.

Memories of Murder (2003) is based on a real-life series of killings of women that took place in a mostly rural part of Gyeonggi province between 1986 and…

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