Bong Joon Ho Triple: Barking Dogs Never Bite / Memories of Murder / Mother (2000, 2003, 2009)

Swedish Tri Art 3 disc DVD edition, Region 2


Barking Dogs Never Bite
(Flander sui gae, 2000) Direction and co-script Bong Joon Ho

The Case of the missing dogs. Black and Quirky comedy about Killing and eating dogs in a highrise apartment building.

Warning ! There's a lot of violence against dogs, so beware. Eating dogs was common in Korea but i think it's rare today ? Maybe
on the countryside the tradition lives, as in China were city folks have dogs as pets and not as steaks.

Yoon-ju is a man (Lee Sung-jae) who is annoyed by a barking lapdog somewhere in his highrise. He catches it (he thinks) and plans
to murder it but finally hides it in the cellar. So, the dog is saved ? No, the Janitor finds it and eats it instead. Ha, ha, .... or, maybe not.
Park Hyun Nam (Bae Doo-na) is looking for a lost dog and she's working at the highrise apartments office and she's The Saviour of Dogs.

The jokes about murdering dogs felt a bit offensive, but to be honest it was quite funny at times (the Janitor's tale of The Legend of
Boiler room Kim, ha, ha) and for me it was a delight to hear on of my South Korean indie rock bands "Cherry Filter" on the end credits
with the very charismatic singer Youjeen Cho.
Presented in widescreen ? Not stated, but IMDB says 1.85:1 with korean audio DD 5.1 and swedish subtitles. No extras



Mother (Madeo, 2009) Direction and story-script Bong Joon Ho

Kim Hye-ja - Wow! What an actress she is

If Bong Joon Ho were a composer this film could've been named something like:

Bravura Performance by an elder actress with a slightly retarded son

A slow crime drama with a slightly rural setting that makes you think of the director's earlier crime drama "Memories of
Murder" a film as good as this one. Both were brilliant. Bong Joon Ho has told us that when making "Mother" he started
with the actress Kim Hye Ja and then constructed the story around her, and how she deliver the goods, she's frightening
as "Mother" who won't let anything stop her from proving her son's innocence of murder.

Yoon Do-joon (Won Bin) is a possibly slightly retarded young man who lives in a much to close relationship with his
mother, a possibly incestuous one as they share the one bed in the house. Do Joon is dimwitted and maybe also a
dangerous mental case, but also his determined mother is crazy and possibly dangerous too.
Do Joon hangs out with his only friend Jin-tae and else likes him ... except Mother. The film takes place in a village or small
town somewhere on the South Korean countryside and Mother makes a living for her and her son by working in a herbs
shop and giving acupuncture (even though she's not licensed to do so.

When a young girl is found dead Do Joon becomes the main suspect as he has been seen at the murder scene. He confess
to the police that he killed the girl by hitting her with a stone to her head, but Mother are sure of his innocence and will
do anything to save him, hiring an expensive defence lawyer and ... she starts to sleuth around by herself to find the real
killer. This is a brilliant crime drama with lots of atmosphere and with an outstanding (or horrific, frightening) performance
from the elder actress Kim Hye Ja (born 1941 and 67 years old when shooting the film.
She won Best actress award at the Asian Film awards. I found this film to be as good as "Memories of Murder".

The film is presented in anamorphic widescreen 2.35:1 5.1 korean audio with english subtitles.
Extras: Mother, Son and Murder: The Making of Mother (28 min), music score, supporting actors, cinematography,
production design, Magnolia trailers



Bong Joon-ho (born in 1969) really is a GREAT director and only has created popular Hits and films liked by cineaste
audiences alike. That's rare. He takes his time in doing this with about 3 years between each of his films.

His debut feature Barking Dogs Never Bite was a film everyone liked in 2000 and his follow up Memories of Murder in
2003 was also a Hit everywhere and one of the best korean crime-dramas ever. Most koreans knew about the murders
and wanted to see the film, and i will never forget the film's ending with Song Kang-ho returning to the crime site and ....
No, no spoiler here because this ending was POWERFUL indeed.

His third film was made, yet again 3 years later, in 2006 with the also international Super Hit The Host, i remember that
it was shown here in Sweden on Cinema even, something very rare for a korean film in the Hollywoodified Sweden.
I Loved this wonderful creature horror then and i still do, it's a great film (and not just because my beloved Bae-Doo-na
is in it) with it's comedy, the strange octopus-like creature and the actors. The Korean Godzilla.

Then in 2009 his maybe best film yet, the great Mother. Wow! What a crime drama that was.
After that we had to wait 4 years for Great Bongs international debut with the sci-fi dystopy 2913 Snowpiercer, who for
sure were the best of the korean maestro directors international feature film debuts, as Kim Je-woon's effort Stunk
and Park's Stoker was pretty bad also (even though some like it).

So, 2016 it has been 3 years again and maybe Bong will give us another great film again. Bong Jooh-ho - A Great man.
Note 2021-03-15: He sure did, with the unique and hard to describe Okja and in 2019 with the all over the world hailed
and multiple film prize awarded Parasite.



Memories of Murder
(Salinui chueok, 2003) Direction and co-script Bong Joon Ho

In 1986 a woman is found raped and murdered lying in a culvert in a field just outside of a country town, one in a series of
murders. The cops are bumbling and the CSI is ruined and a retarded young man becomes the first main suspect.
Detective Park Doo Man is totally incompetent and also proned to violence, a country cop, and he's brilliantly played by
the great and legendary Song Kang-ho. A "real" detective from Seoul arrives, Suh Tae-yeon (Kim Sang Kyung) arrives
to help with the investigation. All murders are committed during rainy nights and with the victims dressed in red.

The film was based on a real series of murder and the ending scene is powerful and stays with you a long time.

The film has some political satire in it also, when the president is about to visit the small town and cheering crowds are
being amassed, and in the next scene Molotov cocktails are thrown. Chaos enfolds with the Special Police ruthlessly
hitting away on the citizens. South Korea was still a fascist state in 1986 led by some dictator.

Widescreen ratio is not stated on the DVD sleeve but IMDB says 1.85:1, and the korean audio DD 5.1 has swedish subtitles
No extras. Region 2 DVD. (The picture above shows the old Korean CJ Entertainment 2 disc edition DVD, region 1 and 3)


Back to South Korean Film Page